The New Definition of Hollywood
All this week at WitnessLA.org we’re featuring the stories and testimonies of Christians in the entertainment industry. Our friend Dinah shares her story of how she came to work in Hollywood and how she hopes to see it change.
Hollywood is defined on the web as “the film industry of the United States” or a term to describe something that is “flashy and vulgar”. What comes out of Hollywood often influences what people in the world see as the values of America and Christians. When I was in High School, I was faced with the reality that the values of Hollywood did not align with my own. I remember God saying to me that he wanted me to get rid of my Hip-Hop/rap music that was glorifying sex and violence. So I got rid of all of it and since then would avoid listening or watching anything that did not glorify Him. Being so out of touch with the latest popular media, I am still a little dumbfounded to find myself working in the Hollywood industry. To me, that itself is a witness that God is on the move to align Hollywood with Himself.
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Almost three years ago I was working as a youth director at a church and took a few of the youth to a conference. At the conference, they shared about the 7 mountains of society and how those mountains influence society. They named them off and asked those called into a particular mountain to stand for prayer. As I read through the list, none seem to resonate with me, but when they read off Arts & Entertainment, my heart jumped and without any word my co-leader flung me out of my chair. It was a puzzling experience for a girl who did her undergrad and graduate school in mission. I’ve been planning to be an overseas missionary for as long as I can remember.
As I continued to teach my youth group that serving God wasn’t just about doing things in the church, but about using your talents/gifts to bring God values into the mountains, I was convicted that I needed to do the same. I took a step of faith and decided to step out of the youth director role and see what doors Hollywood had for my administration gifting.
The day after I set my release date at the church, I was forwarded an email for a position as Personal Assistant for a campus pastor. Since it was only part-time and non-media related, I thought it would a good opportunity to see where I stood on the job market. In the process of the interview, I found out the person was transferring from being a campus pastor to an entertainment artist. Who but God would have been able align that up?
This was the only job I applied for and took it in faith hoping that it will be full time within a year or two. During that year, God gave him and me both a sabbatical year that was to prepare us for the time to come. In the next year, I was moved to Los Angeles for a full time job for a media company whose focus is to impact Hollywood with positive media to turn around what is being used for harm.
So for me working in Hollywood itself, testifies that God is on the move to redeem what Hollywood stands for. He is bringing together those whose eyes and ears are attuned to Him to establish His Kingdom on earth as it is in heaven. I look forward to the day when I type Hollywood in on the Internet and find the new definition for it to mean righteousness and justice instead of flashy and vulgar.