We’ve Got Spirit, How About You?

The practical reason to look for spiritual depth in your drama team – or any artist, really, is a simple one.

The Spirit makes for better artists.

Early in my days at Taproot Theatre, a gifted Jewish actress starred in one of our plays. During a talkback with the audience, she was asked why she would work for Taproot.

After all, we had an openly Christian staff, and we held pray sessions prior to rehearsals and performances for anyone who wanted to join in. What’s a nice Jewish girl doing in a place like that?

The actress laughed at the question, and admitted that it took her several shows to trust that she wasn’t going to be dragged into the alley and Bible-thumped. (We had a strict anti-thumping policy – at least in the alley). Eventually Taproot became her favorite place to work.

Why? Because Taproot was the only theatre in town that brought the spiritual into the acting process. In fact, the actress had led the prayer that very night.

Now let’s be clear, when I say that Taproot brought the spiritual into the process, I don’t mean the way our subcultural defines the spirit: where we perform religious material, or have intellectual conversations about the meaning of the trinity.

I mean that the Holy Spirit was literally invited into the process of creating.

Which makes sense. The Creator himself invited the Ghost into his creative process (Genesis 1:2, Job 33:4, Psalm 104:30).

It’s no coincidence that G-d required his artists to be filled with the Spirit (Exodus 31:3). “Inspiration” means a divine influence that allows a person to receive sacred revelation (thanks Mirriam-Webster).

Ever wonder why every culture prior to the Luther division put their arts and artists in the church? Now you know.

Artists in tune with the Spirit have a leg up on the rest of ‘em. Be a shame if the church wasn’t taking advantage.

Just my thoughts,



2 responses to “We’ve Got Spirit, How About You?”

  1. Omar says :

    Shouldn’t the Spirit be invited in to every phase of human endeavor? It seems that there are plenty of politicians, businesspeople, teachers and scientists who want to leave God outside of the office door. Isn’t making the spiritual components of life overt part of what we mean when we say that “there is no distinction between the sacred and the secular?”Or is your point simply that the arts are particularly vulnerable to this sacred/secular separation?

  2. Gaffney says :

    Absolutely — dividing the spirit from every part of life is a waste of good spirit. (And goes against our design.)And yes — I do think the artist needs to be even more careful than most here. Like the runner needs to think more about breathing than the couch potato, despite both needing breathe.

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