“Ask a Priest: What If Hollywood Has Me on Hold?”

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Q: I’m 20 years old, not a perfect Catholic but at least a loyal one. I’m in the process of receiving a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity in Hollywood with a coveted role. The thing is that I’m becoming more nervous because the green light has not arrived yet, and unfortunately in some occasions I sort of blame Our Lord and ask why this has not happened yet. God knows how much I want to help millions of people. There are signs that show me that what I want is on the way, and I feel it comes from God to encourage me to believe and don’t give up. But at the same time I get too excited and angry. How should I handle this? God means a lot to me and there’s nothing more I want to do than to make him proud and happy with me. Thanks for your time. – J.

Answered by Fr. Edward McIlmail, LC

A: It’s good that you want to help others. The details about how that might happen can be tricky, however.

We might want to do good our way, but it’s more important that we do good God’s way.

Discovering God’s way might require time and patience and lots of prayer.

Part of our faith is that God can bring good out of something that is seemingly bad.

I won’t try to guess what will happen with this Hollywood opening. But if it falls through, it’s not the end of the world. Rather, it might be an opportunity for you to double down on your prayer life and sacramental life and rely on God to guide you.

Sometimes we can be tempted to do the opposite – we want to guide God and nudge him to do things our way. Not uncommonly we yearn for the glamorous things in life … such as landing an acting job in Hollywood.

But sometimes God has different ideas. A seeming failure can turn out to be more beneficial than worldly success. For worldly success can leave us feeling proud and overconfident — and more open to the devil’s tricks. “Pride goes before the fall” (Proverbs 16:18).

In any case, you don’t have to earn God’s love. He already loves you. If you find yourself blaming him for things that don’t go your way, that is reason enough for you to pause.

Being “too excited and angry” is a sure sign that we’re not quite in sync with the Holy Spirit. When the Spirit is at work there is calmness and serenity.

What you want to do is make as much space for the Almighty in your life as you can. It would be good to dedicate time to prayer, the sacraments, and works of charity.

Grace perfects nature. If you give your heart to God, the Holy Spirit can work wonders through you.

And that’s the point. You want to put your life in the hands of the Holy Spirit, not a Hollywood producer.

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One Comment
  1. Hi there,
    Prayer is good to ask God for what he knows is best for you. I am in music myself I like all types of music I like singing Jazz with my Jazzy voice and I like singing classical and to sing hymns (using my lighter voice that is more ethereal). you have to be very very careful as the Arts are full of predators and those that want to exploit you. I could have had the glamourous career and the money but I have pride in myself would never degrade myself. Some actors in Hollywood are asked to act out awful unsavoury scenes. Some of the films nowadays are not like the beautiful films of the golden age they ask actors to act out scenes that are no better than being a call girl! If you do make it to Hollywood don’t go for films that ask this off you. Even some films aimed at young people can have terrible unsavoury scenes. Romantic films used to just be so nice and well properly romantic without all the horrible stuff that is filmed now like “Its a Wonderful Life” I am young by the way. I am really careful about what I choose to watch in films as I get offended by such things. I have found a way to sing and avoid such predators, the entertainment world is full of them. Some will groom people so they do not realise what is happening. You must keep your morals and tight values and never ever let them slip. You can still act if you don’t get into hollywood. It is about your craft not where you are acting dont be sucked in by the system. If you have been offered say a nice film with no unsavoury scenes then that is nice and good. But keep your morals and dignity, God would never wish you to lower yourself in the way that some actresses sadly do. Be very careful about it all. Again you can still act and perform and be successful. I sing and if it makes people happy then I have succeeded I have done my job well I care not for money or fame. I just enjoy the singing it is a gift that I must use so I do. Acting in the community is great. Some people will get a day job and act in the evenings and they choose what to appear in as volunteers this is a great way actually as you will be your own boss and do the roles you want to do . It gives so much to the commuinity you get more rewards doing that much more than the cold hearted world of an establishment that can be ran by some awful people wanting money and to chase girls. So be careful. If hollywood is for you keep respectful do not lower yourself. Prayer is good and I hope you are able to use your craft for good acting in decent productions. I hope this helps.

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