Okay, I’ll admit it. From the time I was a little kid, I wanted to be in a movie star. Maybe not a star, but at least appear in a movie. I remember seeing Howard Keel and Dorothy McGuire shooting Seven Brides for Seven Brothers in San Francisco in the 50’s and thinking that was as close as I’d ever get to the movies.
As a Girl Scout, I went with my troop to The Pinky Lee Show and The Dinah Shore Show in Hollywood. Then we walked through the Brown Derby and got an autograph from Cornel Wilde who starred in The Greatest Show on Earth. I was rubbing elbows with the stars.
At thirteen, I played the piano and made a speech for my eighth-grade graduation. I loved hearing my voice amplified from a microphone and raining out over the crowd. In high school, I enjoyed taking the stage to sing in a group or giving campaign speeches for student government positions. I wanted to take drama, but Mom thought all the secretarial classes would be more valuable in the future. So, I learned shorthand, accounting, office machines, and typing.
I took the stage at twenty-two as a classroom teacher. It wasn’t a stage, but I had a captive audience every day for thirty-seven years. My dreams of being in movies grew dim as I turned sixty and retired from education. But God wasn’t finished with me yet. As an experienced Toastmaster, I became a speaker for Christian Women’s Club, a motivational speaker for civic organizations, and an emcee for big events.
When the activity director on a cruise ship asked who would like to be in a play, I said I would, but only if I could be the star. When other guests were enjoying tours and games, I was in rehearsal for a silly skit where I lip-synced “It’s My Party and I’ll Cry if I Want To” and pranced around the stage while my husband pushed the wrong button on the video camera and missed the whole thing. I almost made it.
“This is your chance. Be in a movie with Mark Wahlberg.” Wait! What? That was the email that found its way into my computer.
I had just read an article about how Mark Wahlberg loved to build Lego sets with his son. My daughter-in-law and I had started a non-profit group to raise funds for Rady Children’s Hospital. My grandson survived brain cancer there and is a Lego aficionado, so our group was named Brick, an acronym for brain research in cancer kids. I told my husband, “I have to meet Mark Wahlberg and see if he will sponsor our organization or be a donor.”
Two weeks later I was standing shoulder-to-shoulder with Mark Wahlberg. Only God could have orchestrated that.
I had written a letter to him before I left home just in case. I asked if I could give it to him and he accepted it. Moments later, Seth MacFarlane grabbed Mark and me (probably thinking Mark and I were old friends) and we shot a scene together. You never see my face, but we practiced the segment a dozen times. When the film came out, I can be seen on camera (from the back) for at least 3 seconds, and Mark gave a generous contribution to BRICK.
My dream came true, but I’m embarrassed to tell people what movie I appeared in, even though getting there was a divine appointment. I was surrounded by ugly language and a disgusting plot. But meeting Mark was the acme of my climb, or at least that’s what I thought.
After a brush with cancer, I decided to learn standup comedy, and I took my first lessons from Gene Perret, an Emmy Award Winner who wrote for Bob Hope, Carol Burnett, and Phyllis Diller for over 20 years. I finally admitted to myself that I was really meant to be an entertainer. As a member of the Christian Comedy Association, I honored God by bringing clean comedy to audiences, and I loved every minute of it. Before I retired, I was a finalist in The Clean Comedy Challenge at The Ice House in Pasadena.
It seems like I’d done it all, but a friend and I wrote and produced a local play, The Legends of Wildomar, and an Easter play titled Sacrifice and the Resurrection of Christ. Again, God was opening doors. Little did I know, He wasn’t finished yet . . . nor was I.
My husband and I heard there was a locally based company, Creator Films, that produced a faith-based, romantic comedy. We watched the movie. Though we were familiar with Hallmark movies, About Hope, was better. The actors were more believable, and the plot was original; not a formula plot cranked out with the names changed. It had a happy ending that made the audience leave the theatre feeling good. We knew right away this was something we could get behind. In fact, we liked the movie so much, that we invested in Creator Films.
Creator Film’s new projects are aimed to impact the lives of millions of children with entertaining, faith-based content. There are animations in the works and live-action children’s theatre. The company has a Christmas movie in production; and a product line that extends play and learning resources into homes and churches.
Dave Ramsey’s course, The Legacy Journey talks about doing God’s work by leaving a legacy. This is a chance to do that, and more. Investors provide opportunities for more projects and greater reach. Investment is the engine that propels impact.
Maybe, I’m still not a movie star, but now I’m a shareholder in a movie studio. So I guess that makes me kind of a movie mogul; a movie mogul for Jesus. That has a good ring to it.
Karen Robertson is a comedian, author, and movie mogul. She’s open to auditioning for a part in a movie before her 80th birthday this year. www.SayItWithHumor.com. For more information on Creator Films go to creatorfilms.com.