Deep Calls to Deep


Andy Goldsworthy- Maple Leaves Arrangement

Nature abhors a vacuum.

We’ve come a long way from the empty hallways and classrooms of summer. It seems like only yesterday that schedules lay blank, and unfilled- awaiting the promise of a new school year, challenging academics, and exciting activities.  The prospect of having “nothing to do” is now a sweet, distant memory, as we rush from class to class, project to project, idea to idea.  Taking a moment to breathe and reflect seems wasteful and self indulgent. After all, there is so much to do, and it’s good right? It’s good to be involved and engaged and… and… and…?

Somehow, in the rush we forget who we are, and why we are doing this all in the first place.

Writer Charles E. Hummel calls it the Tyranny of the Urgent. We lose what is important amid the tide of busyness. We become disconnected from our creative and spiritual Source, instead focusing our energies towards whichever deadline approaches fastest.

In a society wired for instant gratification, the value of contemplation and reflection increases.

As artists, as Christians, we can remind ourselves that we are called to stillness, to rumination, a deep AWARENESS of what we do, and a holy imperative to execute our tasks mindfully. It’s not enough to go through the motions. After all, this is our act of worship.

My teacher, Dr. Don Postema says it beautifully:

The world doesn’t need more busy people, maybe not even more intelligent people. It needs ‘deep people,’ people who know that they need solitude if they are going to find out who they are… The world needs people who want their lives not only to be filled, but to be full, and fulfilled. If we are to be artists of our lives, we need to be in touch with the One who is a “greater artist than all other artists…” The world needs people who will allow time for God to recreate them, play with them, touch them as an Artist who is making something beautiful with their lives. (Postema, 18)

Take time to be still today. Connect with your Source.





Postema, Don. Space for God. 2nd . Grand Rapids, Michigan: Faith Alive Christian Resources, 1997. 18. Print.






Expect the unexpected @ SETC

“Expect the unexpected,” is what I learned at SETC Atlanta.

I decided to go this year just to experience SETC for the first time. It was a hard decision to make, because I am a junior and it seemed unwise for me to not do job contact or an audition of any kind. But God gave me peace about just going and seeing what it was like, taking workshops, and meeting theatre people from all over the country. When I got to Atlanta and to the hotel, the only thing I could say was, “man, thank God I didn’t try to do more.”

It was quite a sight. There were hundreds of people everywhere of every type bustling about with excited facial expressions, suitcases, and a contagious energy. I felt rather small, honestly. Coupled with that, however, was feeling incredibly blessed to be among a big group of people passionate about the same thing — theatre.
So, I mentioned “expect the unexpected” at SETC. What’s that about? Well, (this is where I would recommend a little more preparedness) I was wandering through the university/theatre school booths downstairs when I came to the Stella Adler Studio of Acting table. I got talking with the marketing associate, Ryan, and he gave me an application for their summer 2011 acting conservatory. I hadn’t auditioned for them or didn’t really have any ambition to go to NY this summer, but completely ecstatic, I did it anyway. I ran back to the table after filling it out, gave him my headshot and resume (I JUST printed it off. Again, God was gracious in this instance, so just in case — PREPARE [unlike me :)]) and he promised to call me with an interview time later.
Throughout the weekend, I kept running into him randomly. Our conversations usually went something like this:

“Hey Ryan!”

“Hey, um, Stephanie? Right?”

“Yeah, that’s right.”

“Good to see ya!”

And then one day, I began,

“So, have you decided on interview times yet?”

He responded, “Yes, sorry I’ve been meaning to get back to you. We’ll sign you up for the first slot, Saturday at 6pm.”

Saturday at 6pm. Yeah, I was nervous. But so excited! I really didn’t know where this was all going. I knew that it was pretty unlikely I would get in, but I went along with it, and the next step was Saturday at 6.

The interview went pretty well. It wasn’t outstanding. In fact, I kind of felt like I was putting them to sleep 🙂 But after a long, stressful weekend for everyone, it was understandable.
In conclusion, a week later, I got a call from Ryan with an acceptance into their summer program. I couldn’t believe it! God definitely used this to teach me to expect the unexpected and be prepared for the unexpected. So, even if you’re going to SETC to experience it for the first time, don’t hesitate to come over prepared and with an open heart to meet lots of people. Trust God, and you never know what He will do.


Commencement speaker – Makoto Fujimura

Our university president, Dr. Roger Parrott announced on his blog that the 2011 Spring Commencement speaker for Belhaven University will be renowned artist Makoto Fujimura, head of the International Arts Movement headquartered in New York City.  We are excited to have such a distinguished speaker on campus and look forward to the opportunity to hear his address on April 30.

Art Factory

I just wanted to do a quick post and shout out to a place of healing and art.
…. and has a cool Belhaven connection as some of the founders of this place are the parents one of our theatre students here at Belhaven…. 🙂

The Art Factory Revealed from Rick & Mary Beth Holladay on Vimeo.

Opportunities for visual artists and those supporting the visual arts in Europe. The Art Factory is a faith-based initiative to rediscover the possibility of a creative and restorative relationship with God and encourage and enjoy the making of art.

Erin Brownfield – guest artist and almunus

Guest Artist and Alumnus, Erin Brownfield, speaking in Departmental Meeting on October 22, 2010

Guest Artist and Alumnus, Erin Brownfield, speaking in Departmental Meeting on October 22, 2010

We were pleased and blessed to have alumnus Erin Brownfield (’10) return to Belhaven to share her experiences auditioning and working for the Disney corporation as an amusement park character performer.  She had this to share here on our blog:

This past weekend I had the pleasure of visiting Belhaven after graduating from there this past May. What brought me back was to catch up with people and to see the department’s production of “Juliet + Her Romeo”. The play was brilliant in all aspects and simply was amazing. Beautiful job all the way around.

Since graduating from Belhaven, I have been working for the Disney Company at Walt Disney World in Orlando, Florida. I am one of the Character Performers there. While pursuing this job, I was also able to use a few things I had learned from my years at Belhaven. For instance, I was able to present the company with a professional resume and headshot while some of the other people auditioning were not. I also was able to go into the audition with full confidence and focus. In other words, Belhaven helped give me a firm theatre foundation which I could stand upon.

Anyway, I hope the year continues to go well for all of you. Break a leg in all your future endeavors!

Erin Brownfield