Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Introducing Kristi...Again!

Hi folks,

In case anyone missed the email/post I sent out and posted to my various sites a couple weeks ago, I wanted to use this as my first official post on mine and Robin's new blog. If it is redundant for some of you, I apologize. I promise- new content to come from me soon! Now, without further it is.

Greetings! Some of you know me well, and some maybe not so much. But here I am anyway, writing to let you all know about a couple of awesome things that are going on in my life right now. So, patience, Grasshopper- this is a little long but quite informative! Many of you may be aware that I finally finished my bachelor’s degree in May, graduating from Kennesaw State’s cutting-edge program with a Theatre and Performance Studies major, and a Film Studies minor.

Before I graduated, I began to pray in earnest about what my next step should be after graduation. I spent much of my twenties “gathering life experience”, or as some might call it, wasting time. Don’t get me wrong- there were some bright lights amidst the fog- not all of that decade was time and energy lost. But one day, during an extremely difficult period, I asked God to take over anything I was trying to hold onto, because that is the only way, I truly believe, to make the most out of every second- to really be who we are meant to be. I did not- do not- want to waste time anymore. And now, thanks to God, here I am, a few years later, officially educated.

But the question has still remained- or at least it had until a few months ago- what next? I tried a few different possibilities- sometimes the process of finding God’s way for us is by having doors closed in our faces, while others stay open, or are thrown open wide. Usually through this process, we learn a lot along the way, if we are open to it. That is the attitude I tried to take as I put in numerous applications for grad school last year, dragging members of my family around the Southeast with me as I auditioned for various MFA acting programs, as I wrote treatments for filmmaking programs, as I tried to demonstrate my ability to handle an MA/ PhD program, and as I failed to get into any of them. That is the attitude I tried to keep as I graduated, still working the same job I had before I started. I tried different paths in and around the Atlanta area, some resulting in failure, some in success. I had an amazing experience building a new show from scratch for the North Carolina Renaissance Festival. That collaboration and travel experience taught me so much about myself and working with others to make a production where before there had been none. My two partners in that process were wonderful, and I will never forget them!

And yet still, the question remained- where do I go from here (here being the Atlanta area), or do I stay here, and if so what do I do? I had been playing with the idea of moving to Los Angeles for a while (much to my sweet mother’s dismay). Over the last couple of years, a growing feeling- maybe even a calling- seemed to be settling in my heart for the West. Still though, that is a big move, and I just was not sure. Until probably 5 ½ - 6 months ago. I had been reading a series of fictional books which moved me so much, not only as a reader but as an artist- as a PERSON- that I knew I had to go for it. Do you ever have an experience like that- where one event in your life can have so much impact on a seemingly unrelated second event? I find this seems to happen a lot when God is involved. There was a peace inside me now about what I had to do that I had not known before. I had to follow my dreams, the dreams I believe God has laid on my heart to seek. I have asked myself, what is it I am seeking? Fame? Money? A secure spot on Hollywood’s A-list? Not necessarily noble ventures. The main thing I have to seek is God’s glory. I want to explore through poetry of performance and writing, and hopefully eventually, my own filmmaking, God’s Truth and Beauty. Does that mean every venture I undertake will be puritanical in nature? Not necessarily. Sometimes to find Truth, ugly and uncomfortable elements must be exposed first. Does that mean I won’t have to do a few cracker or toilet paper commercials? Please. I hope I can get those gigs! But the glory of God is why I believe I am being led to go there, and God willing, I will be successful in following Him.

Now, on to the second exciting development in my life recently (and I will try to make this brief)--- I am starting a BLOG! Actually, I will be sharing a new blog with fellow artist and wonderful aunt of mine, Robin Johns Grant. She is a writer, and we are sharing many similar experiences in our walks as Christians and artists these days, and are both very interested in exploring the crossroads of the two. How does one stay true to God, and true to her calling as an artist? This is one of the questions which will be a recurring theme in our blog, but we’ll be delving into other important areas as well, such as will there be another Pirates of the Caribbean movie, or whether or not Rupert Grint is too young for me. Or where exactly is my position in Six Degrees of Kevin Bacon? I will also be giving updates on my progress as I ready for my move to the West, which is scheduled for late April. My dad and his wife are generously helping me relocate, and we will be viewing some of the West along the way. What an adventure! I will share my victories and losses once I get there, and of extreme importance- my celebrity sightings!

Can't wait to hang with you all in Cyberland!


Kristi Israel

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