I realized recently that I unintentionally pray with low expectations.
The Bible is clear that "in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God." (Philippians 4:6). That's the easy part.
But do I believe God will answer my prayers, big or small? Meh.
Being totally transparent, some of my skeptical behaviour stems from perceived poor interactions with my earthly father.
I have a reminder toy on a bookshelf above my desk called a 'Jacob’s Ladder’, consisting of wooden blocks held together by ribbons. When the ladder is held at one end, a visual illusion causes the blocks to appear to cascade down the strings. Jacob's Ladder (the name) comes from a vision of a biblical ladder to Heaven, with angels ascending and descending (Genesis 28:12). I remember being fascinated by the ladder’s mysterious workings as a child. I also remember being angry and puzzled after my father said “No” when I asked him to buy it for me.
Now that I’m older, I bought the toy for myself out of defiance when I saw it in a toy store, remembering that moment of hurt from my childhood.
But I’m forgetting that I can make a request that is incompatible with my father’s will. We all make requests that are superfluous or can even hurt us if fulfilled.
I didn’t need a Jacob’s Ladder. My earthly father knew this. Saying “No” was not a rejection of me.
I am learning that a “No” can be a Godly direction in my life. My response to this guidance is what will keep me in His will. But I’m also learning that one “No” doesn’t mean everything will be “No.”
Recently, I requested prayer for a health situation we were facing as a family. It involved access to a machine, clinical care, and testing that we were told would take over a year to even be considered. God answered THAT DAY, answering all three things to fulfillment before the night even descended.
I was surprised that I was surprised that God answered.
And to top it all off, the scripture verse from my devotion that day said: “For I am the Lord your God who takes hold of your right hand and says to you, do not fear; I will help you.” (Isaiah 43:13).
I think I may have got this prayer thing wrong. I must commit to God to make ALL my requests known to Him, no matter what it is or how minute the situation may seem.
I will discover God’s direction and will in my life, and those around me, by watching Him answer those requests in time. I must have faith to trust God for every answer, even if I don’t understand it.
Then we will see Heaven descend on our lives.
Kind of like that Jacob’s Ladder…
Those who know me know of my love of this insect. In celebration of an emergence of a female monarch butterfly today, I created this video just for her.
Still from movie trailer, 'Collider', by Steve Sugrim Being a creative has its ups and downs.
And for anyone who creates, it can be a lot of downs, with great effort to stay 'up'.
Today was one of those days, where I wanted to put all the stuff I've created in a pile, and set it on fire. Kind of like this still from my movie trailer, Collider. Stand away from the craziness, and just walk away.
But, I was reminded of the words from a message sent to me by a fan:
"Hi Steve Sugrim, Your Collider trailer was beautiful! I really enjoyed it and think that your nomination for Best Trailer was well deserved. The music was expertly timed and thrilling. Thank you for keeping the industry going with wonderfully creative media!" - Amy
I have a digital folder and wall called 'Cheer Me Up', and this message is in it. It made me come back 'up'.
The lesson? If you love something, say so. Your words and actions can make all the difference. Hit 'Like' or 'Love', and send that message back to all the people who create.
Gotta go - have some stuff to make.
I knew when I was writing '68 Anywhere Street' that the key role was going to be Kelsey. The entire story circles around her and her grief around losing her mother. I could tell from talking to Miriam that she knew what this was about. Her depth showed in her audition as I could hear it in her voice. But more than that, she is an accomplished actress and improv person, and challenged me on a few points in the script. I was fascinated with her perspective and ended up changing what I thought was a final script. She is beyond gold for this project, and I am glad to have her as my key actor. Can't wait to showcase her to you through this film.
Miriam Korn is an actress, known for Supernatural (2005), Break-Up Nightmare (2016) and The Vampire Secrets (2011). In addition to her voice-over work, Miriam is an improviser who trained at Upright Citizens' Brigade and Groundlings and has been working on-camera for the past two decades. She studied at UCLA where she graduated Cum Laude and works with the UCLA Medical Department with regularity, to continue honing her medical and scientific language skills.
Now begins the glamorous duty of micro-editing all the 'tasty bits' of dialogue recorded by the voice actors.
For me, this is where the magic of any short film begins - with the sound. I will lay down all the audio BEFORE one single visual frame is placed in.
Audio for me paints the visuals. I can't see this film until I hear it first.
It's fun working on animations where you have to 'visualize' the character before it even hits the screen.
When Carrie auditioned for the role of Marcella in the upcoming film '68 Anywhere Street', I burst out laughing. It was so great! She nailed the suspicious old lady voice right out of the gate. Voice acting is a hard thing to do, and it is so inspiring for me to work with such great talent.
Can't wait for you to see what we heard together.
Carrie Drovdlic is a voice artist in Columbus, OH, where she lives with her husband, three children, and a dog who likes to eat garbage. She has created character voices ranging from an old crone, to a warrior princess, to a scared Japanese teenager, with many in between, including several witches (which she doesn’t take personally). She has been occasionally heard singing the National Anthem at The Ohio State University sporting events, and she loves using her voice as a creative outlet. With the exception of hanging with her family, in front of the mic is her favorite place to be. If you’d like to know more about Carrie, including her surprising stint as a scientist, check out her website: www.carriedrovdlic.com.
As part of the cool process of filmmaking, you get to meet some pretty awesome people.
The first time I heard Thomas, I knew he was the right voice actor for 'Julian' in the upcoming short film I'm producing called '68 Anywhere Street'.
A followup Skype call with him proved he was gold. On a side note, we share some of the same music laughs, as he is a drummer and I'm a bass player. Good connection for this film!
Originally from South Dakota, Thomas moved to Los Angeles in 2016 to pursue a full time career in voice acting. Since that time, he's completed hundreds of voice over projects ranging from animation, video games, audiobooks, business/web/education and explainer videos, as well as radio and television commercials that's reached a global audience. He is currently voicing on-going projects in interactive education, audio drams, and animation.
Thomas enjoys coffee shops and the outdoors - specifically hiking, backpacking, and snowshoeing. With his home studio's close proximity to several national parks, you may find him on a quick weekend excursion up in the mountains.
So I'm beginning a new journey into short film - a project called '68 Anywhere Street'.
The script has been in play for a couple of years, and now it is currently being cast for voiceovers, in preparation for 3D animation.
This is brand new digital territory, so wish me luck. I'll try to remember to post things once in awhile!