Hey Everyone -

I'd like to hear (or read) your thoughts on a topic that has been on my mind since getting into VO professionally over 3 years ago.

We all have standards to which we hold. As believers in Christ, we also need to be salt and light in a world that seems to be getting raunchier and dirtier. How do you handle auditioning and/or being cast for scripts for which you have a theological or philosophical delima?

I've recently been put on an audition "short list" for a well known company. The content is not immoral, but does not match up to what I know to be true. My delima is that there needs to be Believers associated with this company, but by voicing the material, would I be complicit in spreading incorrect information that does not match with a Biblical world view? Or am I starstruck and blinded by the fact that I got the second call?

Any thoughts/comments would be appreciated.

-Dan Harder

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Replies to This Discussion

Hey, Dan...
This is a really late response to your thoughts, but let me share what I've experienced. As much as I can I try to research who it is that I'm auditioning for. That's not always easy and if you're like me you will have responded with an online audition BEFORE actually checking it out. One thing I always remember...I reserve the right to change my direction at any time during the creative voiceover process. I have on occasion said yes to projects that I did not go through with because, as they say in sports "upon further review..." I find out that the customer is loooking for a performance that I'm not comfortable with. It is absolutely OK to respectfully decline any work you deem inappropriate. That being said, some openings are openings for ministry. If you are in a den of thieves you MIGHT by your character be able to persuade them to find other work. Sensitivity to the Holy Spirit will lead you in those instances.The fact that it matters to you is admirable on it's own. Just stay focused on the Lord and He will sharpen your focus in business!
God Bless You
Herb
Hey Dan

I had an experience I'll share with you. I was offered an audition for something I was not comfortable doing. This gig would've led to many other gigs with this client that would not necessarily have been objectionable. I still said no. I just knew in my heart, I couldn't put my voice out there selling what he wanted me to sell. He got quite mad at me. I tried to explain my position but haven't heard from him since. I thought I was tactful in rejecting the work and still stand by my decision. I really think we have to protect our image just as actors on screen do. For example, if I were on camera, I wouldn't do a nude scene. I look at it like that. Our body of work does reflect our character. I know that in the end I'll be rewarded. It may not be with another gig here on earth, but I'll reap the rewards in Heaven. That's what truly matters to me - not the bottom line.

Just my two cents-
God bless you in your work

Tina Lascha
Everyone is going to have their own convictions and opinions on this, Dan. Personally, while I like the idea of building relationships with clients and being a witness, I won't compromise on what I put my voice on. It's cost me some gigs, but I'm glad I decided not to do the jobs offered.
BTW, we had a topic about this a while back with some interesting comments.... check it out: http://www.voiceoveruniverse.com/group/christianvoiceactors/forum/t...
Hey Dave -

Thanks for the link. There's a lot to chew on in your link. The gig I'm concerned about is as a promo voice for a well known cable channel. It's not lewd or immoral, just likely to include topics like "billions of years" ago and possibly pseudo investigations into "the real Christ". Though I'm still waiting for them to approve or nix my fianl audition, I'm still struggling with whether or not to accept it should I be offered it.

I'd appreciate prayer on this one for wisdom and that God would protect me from getting it if it's not right for me.

-Dan
Don't do it and respectfully tell them why.
I believe in God, Christ, Mary, all of those core Christian beliefs. I grew up in the Bible belt of America. I have no idea what the material was or why you didn't like it. I do know that as an actor I often play parts that I would never want to be. For example I did a Book Trailer for a book titled "Tricks". It is about the real problems of teen prostitutes. As an actor I know that I can play the part without being the part.

Many people might be judgmental about it but, I turn to Jesus and know that he saved an adulterous prostitute from being stoned to death. He who is without sin can cast the first stone.
As Christians we are making decisions every moment of the day, in or out of work situations. Some of them are pretty straightforward others or not. My experience has been whilst involved in voice work (or recording music for that matter), that when a Christ honoring decision has been made, it has always brought blessings – first of all because of your continued peace with God knowing that you have not compromised your relationship with Him and secondly, many times, a visible blessing.

I remember the time I refused to record a music group because of the lyrics in one of the songs. It was a lot of money I had to turn down, but the Lord soon sent more work from elsewhere.

Or the time when I had quite a rapid response from a new studio contact in Israel to whom I had sent some info and demos about myself. The first short voice over they sent, was related to on-line gambling. I had to write back stating that as a Christian I couldn’t do it. They understood and were very respectful. I thought I would be black-listed never to hear from them again, but lo and behold, very shortly after this, I was sent a big project for E-Bay from the same company and am regularly working with them.

I think that if we are walking with the Lord – He will guide us to make the right decisions… although it may not be crystal clear at times, which way to go.
Not too long ago, I was tossed some VO work in the Non-Union Video game industry by my mentor. At first I was excited, as this is only the second time he has sent me actual paying work, but then I read what it was for. I won't go into detail, but I will say that the game itself was something that I would not play because of certain thematic elements that I feel are not God-honoring. I faced the dilemma of telling him I was unable to get a decent Mic for the project and begging off that way (at the time I did not have my own Mic yet) or being straight up honest and telling him what I was thinking and feeling. I opted for the truth option. He said he understood, as our relationship has always been based on mutual respect for each others talents, and a friendship that grew from a common interest in a certain video game. He knows that I may not agree with his life choices (he is not what you would call a True Believer), but neither do I condemn or preach at him about them. He said we were still cool, and he is still offering advice when I ask my stupid Newbie questions, so I think that when we decide to Honor God, God will Honor us right back.

That being said, I would not have an objection to playing a seedy character, or even an immoral one, if the scope of the project lent itself to presenting evil or immorality in its proper light. We learn primarily through experience and story; this is the way God has made us, and the way Christ taught us and continues to teach us, so how could we not use these talents and skills in like manner?

For a time I was also starstruck that I had been tossed an opportunity, but I have regrets from taking a similar opportunity in the past, not because the work paid low, or that it didn't lead to fame or fortune ( I would feel even worse if it had), but because the previous choice was not God-honoring, and I knew I could not so choose again. That was why I chose Honesty Road over convenience Ave. :)
Hey everyone! Hope all is well and that the New Year is off to a great start for all of ya! I'm located just outside Washington D.C., so you all probably know exactly what I'm doing...SNOW..in a big way!!!..lol

I know this topic has been discussed many times - but if anyone has something new they'd like to share - please do!! Several months ago, while on LinkedIn, I noticed auditions listed within one of my VO professional groups - for an upcoming novel, so I sent in an audition for one of the characters - for fun. The audition didn't have questionable content, per se, but I knew there was a chance it could go that way. I always said if I got the gig, I'd just see what the rest of the script looked like. Well, I did get the gig, and the script, so I now know the content of this romance novel is questionable,,,and my part gets a little racey...moreso than the audition. Woulda - shoulda - coulda..but thinking back I should have reviewed the audition material for the other parts. That may have clued me in earlier. Still, part of me says...but I'm an actor...it'd be fun. blah blah blah....and the other part says...this goes down a road and contributes to that which is contrary to and affects my relationship with God and my true self. The weird thing is...I've never been interested in or read romance novels...even before I was a Christian! Since I just got the list of actors and script yesterday, my guess is that I will turn it down in a timely fashion. In the meantime, I wouldn't mind if some of you guys who read this and want to weigh in,,,with your experiences and/or opinions...please feel free.

Thanx for being here to talk to..... :-) ~ilene
Hi Dan...great stuff to ponder. Better to vet this stuff out now for some of us than right in the middle of something. This is only my opinion as I read your situation. If I erase your line "My delima is that there needs to be Believers associated with this company" then it's a no brainer...you don't voice it. God is responsible for placing people within a situation and he usually does it convincingly. Joseph was a slave in Isreal then Governor, Jonah walked the other direction...God spit him out where he needed him...Moses didn't want to be the influencing factor in confronting Egypt (I stutter and am slow of speech) but God said you are the man, Aaron will help...and He knocked Saul off his A**, ok Donkey and said this is what you will do for me. I guess a verse that fits that I always ask myself is Romans 14:22 Happy is he who does not condemn himself in what he approves, for whatever is not of faith is sin". If you doubt, then bail on it. I admit it would be tough on the short list to do but choice begins before we audition. Shine bro! Ken
My goodness Dan, this is a tough one. I have been in this business for a very long time saved and unsaved. I have made a promise to the Lord never to go against what His Word says and to trust in Him to provide for me. Twenty five years ago I was doing Morning Drive in Denver, had a great gig in Kansas City, was a heathen and God took me out. I got very ill. He healed me from something people don't get healed from. Now, I am His and I won't go against anything that compromises the Word of God. That means if I don't work, I don't work.

He is my boss now.
Hope that helps dear.
God bless you Dan.
Your Sister in Christ,
Lauren

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