January 2007

Q. A number of celebrities are doing some sort of reality show lately. Have you considered doing one? (Shandrika, Berkeley, CA)

A. I'm pretty selective when it comes to reality television both from a viewer's perspective and from a creative perspective. I enjoy non-scripted programs that offer more than a "shock value" element or a gimmick. I've enjoyed some of the Survivor seasons in the past and I do have fun watching Dancing with the Stars. I also enjoyed watching American Idol. Some of the syndicated cable networks offer some great documentary style shows that offer real insight and storytelling like the show Intervention. I don't have an interest in being on camera for the sake of being on camera and to promote celebrity status. I've seen some incidents where people are trying to re-invent their career or bolster their celebrity status but the end result was short of degrading. I think, at the end of the day, you have to have some dignity whether you're a celebrity or not.

Q. Who came up with the idea for the movie, "Just Pray"? How has the film inspired you in your own spiritual walk? (Lauren, Texas)

A. The film was written by my producing partner in 2000. On a dare, I challenged him to write a screenplay that was better than anything I had been reading at that time. He went home one Friday night and delivered the screenplay to me the following Monday morning. I immediately loved the story and the characters. I loved the essence of the project and its message: hope and redemption can be found in the most unexpected places and the most unexpected people. In this day and age, there is often a great deal of chaos and conflict as people are searching for answers and hoping to find resolution. The message from "Just Pray" is both inspiring and poignant in its reminder that answers may just be closer than we think.

Q. How do you reconcile who you are and who you want to be with what people expect and what they say about you and your choices? (Mariam, Texas)

A. There's always a time period or phase in most everyone's life where they do things, act certain ways, carry certain dispositions and live differently in order to fit in, impress other people or excel. Over time, you eventually learn that in order to be happy, and to be content with self, it is only YOU that is responsible for your own happiness, success and contentment not someone else. When you realize this, then it's easy to not worry so much about what other people think or believe or perceive. When you're at peace with your choices and yourself, there will be no need to reconcile someone else's opinion or perception with your own. I let my own internal barometer be the guide for making choices both personally and professionally; when that barometer indicates comfort and a sense of resolve, I know that I'm doing what's best for me and I give little credence to what others may say otherwise.