2009 MFA Acting graduate Christina Browder has been living and working in Los Angeles since graduating and has had a lot of success! In fact, she was just featured in a national Match.com commercial (click the link at the end of the post to see her!). Read on to see how she describes her experience thus far and what God has taught her during her time there.
‘I've heard people refer to Los Angeles as many things, one being "the city of dreams." I guess this statement is accurate (and enticing), as people everyday from around the world pack up their lives and move here to pursue...well...their dreams. From the time I was a little girl, I've had a dream to be a storyteller. Unfortunately, I have given up on that dream many times in my life (out of fear, lack of confidence, etc.) but God never gave up on me. So, on September 18, 2009, I found myself being one of those people...trekking across the country to the unknown. And I must say, it has been quite the adventure.
I remember one time, driving on the 101 Freeway through bumper to bumper, downtown, rush hour traffic and being completely overjoyed because... I was here. Or the time I was working background on Desperate Housewives, and in the middle of the scene, began to cry because... I was here. Or the first time I was able to pray for someone on a set, and being moved to...tears (you guessed it), because... I was here. I guess the overwhelming consensus is...I AM HERE!
And that statement has gotten me through some of the terribly challenging times, of not knowing exactly where I would live, or encountering obvious signs of darkness, or trying to start a career while paying back student loans, saving for new headshots, running around the city of L.A. to three auditions the same day...you know, the usual life of an actor.
I believe that God has me in L.A. for a bigger reason than I even realize. Yes, He has enabled me to be an actress and bring awesome stories to life, but He's also enabled me to see His love and grace in a way that I've never experienced before. And I truly believe He wants me to share that love, that life, and that grace with the inhabitants of this city. I am constantly humbled when an acting opportunity seemingly falls from the sky in my lap, yet encouraged when I remember that my life is in His hands. And although the opportunity manifested overnight, being prepared for that opportunity did not. So I am repeatedly inspired to study the craft when I'm not working, to pray when I don't feel like it, and to rejoice in ALL aspects of life when my mind wants to only be focused on "my career".
A couple things I've learned since being here:
1) God LOVES this city and He LOVES these people. I've encountered some of the most beautiful, intelligent, warm, and endearing people since being here. And that doesn't mean they are all Christians—some are searching, some are broken-hearted, some are running, some are hiding—but ALL are loved by God. And I try not to focus on the incredible darkness that is here, but on the incredible LIGHT! I think about the influence this city has and it makes sense why it is such a target of the enemy. It also makes sense why it has such a special place in God's heart.
2) It's sooooo much bigger than the career. I find that when I stop focusing constantly on the future and just enjoy where I am, things seem to happen. I'm too busy enjoying what God has done to complain about what He hasn't done. I must say this IS one of the bigger challenges in my life, yet so rewarding when I am able to rest in Him and trust that His timing is perfect!
3.) Everybody's path is different. This statement is especially apparent in the entertainment industry, as there is no "ONE" way. I try to focus on the unique path God has for me instead of comparing someone else's to mine. Comparing is exhausting and fruitless (I know, I speak from experience). It's better to just do what you can, incorporate YOUR strengths and celebrate YOUR successes.
As I type this, it's the new year, and I really do feel like a new person. I guess beginning a career in a new city makes you (hopefully) wiser and more appreciative of life. This year, I have an aim to enjoy God WHEREVER He is and celebrate each thing that happens in my life. By the way, I just got a manager and I thank God for her...we'll see what happens! : ) Thanks to everybody who took the time to read my first ever blog post!!