For all of you who have asked for more information, this is for you and your friends who dream about the motion picture, singer's, modeling and performer's industry--and besides that Nathan would love to have you see his video! Watch Nate perform his winning song here! Nathan Clarkson At AMTC (He would love to hear from you at Nathan@wholeheart.org) So many moms have children with dreams of getting into the television industry or into movies or modeling. But if you are like me, you are skeptical and wonder if there are really any places in this arena to find Christians or an arena with any kind of strong, moral codes! Well, I have been surprised and want to pass on what I found in case the Lord is directing any of you or yours to enter this arena!
What fun to watch dreams come true! My sweet, out of the box child, Nathan, is stretching me again this week as we prepare him to move to New York--nothing tame for him! And more opportunities for me to be on my knees! So many of you who have known us over the years have watched our children grow up. When Sarah and Joel were taking normal piano lessons and moving ahead in the classical arena, the lessons didn't fit Nate. But over the years we could see that he was great at performing and speaking and entertaining. He was a magician for birthday parties, did some big stage illusion in front of big crowds and then formed a small band with some of his friends--he had countless kids into our home for food, to share our family's love and especially he had a heart to enter into the lives of many broken kids to tell them about his hope in Christ. He would also write songs that expressed the feeling of the heart of so many of these precious friends! And yet through all these years, he remained faithful to our own family's call to love and serve Christ--but it took me to many arenas outside of my comfort zone!
He began to pray and dream about God opening doors for him in the music, acting, tv and movie industry. We prayed with him, but honestly, I didn't know a thing about entering the world of contemporary music or Hollywood and New York and wasn't sure that is where I wanted this child. Fast forward to this spring when 2 of my friends called me a total of 7 times to tell me about an organization they heard about on the Christian radio station that was trying to help Christians get into this industry. Finally, since my friends kept bugging me, (Sally, you know you and Clay and Nathan have been praying for God to open doors for him--you need to follow through!)
Reluctantly in the midst of a busy schedule, I had Nate and Joy attend the talent search. Both were accepted to become candidates for this conference, but because of Joy's age and our limited finances, we decided to give Nate and his dreams a chance. To make a long story short, after much prayer and consideration, we decided to take Nathan to Orlando to the Actor's, Model's and Talent competition. What a great decision that was for us!
To my surprise, because I didn't know of anything in the industry that would be moral or Christian, this was an excellent conference in every way for us. We attended many seminars that really helped to inform us about many issues in the industry, Nate competed and received great input from many professionals. He made it into the showcase talent show where 40 would have an opportunity to perform for 2 minutes. This meant he had an extra opportunity to sing in front of around 90 top agents and talent scouts from many different agencies. (Universal Studios, Capital Records, New York Film academy and many more.) The result was that he was called back to meet a number of agencies and people who will be strategic in representing him, helping him develop a plan for his career, received a $5000 scholarship to the school he was hoping to attend and met wonderful people.
I didn't realize there were so many strong Christians in this arena. We met wonderful people in a very strong family environment. Because the conference wanted to emphasize modesty and true talent, simple t-shirts and jeans were the dress code of the day--no immodest clothing allowed. No drinking and smoking allowed! I recently had dinner with the founder and director of the conference and was so touched by her heart to help Christians find a bridge into the industry. Though she has received flack and pressure to not limit it to being a Christian conference, she is holding her ground and praying about how to become even more effective in creating an environment in which Christians may develop their talent and have a way to enter the market place of performing.
I know that the Lord must have a plan for using committed Christians to bring His light and messages to this arena. It is not for the weak of heart, but I prepared my children to go into the world to bring God's love and redemption, and now I have to trust Him to lead and protect them!
So for many of you who have asked me about it, I wanted to put you into contact with AMTCworld.com where you can find out more about this great organization. I know that there are many of you who are serious about entering this arena or who have children who are driven to this arena. Tell them that Nathan or Sally Clarkson sent you and I know they will help answer your questions and be glad to hear from you. I might even speak at the next one to help encourage the parents who attend to enrich the souls of their children in order to give them messages that will last for eternity. How great it would be if a whole army of godly, talented people would enter this industry and bring light, beauty, truth and moral excellence!
This saved us what could have been years and thousands of dollars if we had just sent Nate to New York or LA and had him attempt to enter the industry without being really informed. In one week, he went from having no contacts or personal relationships to having a whole field of people to meet, to help him and to help open doors. He now has a possibility of a great new discipleship group, two great church artists groups, several Christian leaders he will be meeting with, as well as great support and encouragement from our local agent who provided him with 25 hours of training before attending the seminar. She is precious and has become a real friend. It is still a challenging arena to enter, and all preparation and caution needs to be observed, but what I found out is that there are many believers hoping to make a real impact for Christ.So, by faith, we will support and encourage and pray for our own who will be entering this new area in just a few weeks. If you would pray for Nate, I would so appreciate it. If you want to write him a word of encouragement, please send him a note at Nathan@wholeheart.org
Not every child who thinks about becoming an actor or musician will be successful or even ever have the opportunity to actually work in the industry. But if you are serious about this arena, the AMTC conference is a great place to test the waters and to see what doors will open. Children from 3 years old all the way to 80 competed in modeling, acting, and singing. What a great group of people. Just wanted anyone who wanted a safe environment in which to explore the professional side of the performance industry to know that it was a blessing to us! You can contact them at AMTCworld.com or call them at: 1-800-STAR-420 or 678-783-0500 (There will be a Colorado Springs opportunity to try out on September 6!)
Now, in the next couple of days, I will return to another subject my friends asked me to write about--fussing!