Serving the Voices Blog

Posts Tagged Hollywood

Voiceless

Voiceless
By: Rihanna Teixeira

Growing up, we all have big dreams. If you ask a classroom of kindergartners what they want to be when they grow up, you’ll hear answers ranging from astronauts, to doctors, to actors, and teachers. We are born with an internal desire to be and do something great. For me the stage was all I dreamed about.

At the age of six, I discovered my mom’s Amy Grant records (yes, records) and began playing them on repeat.  Songs like El Shaddai, Sing Your Praise to the Lord, and Father’s Eyes became my anthem and my family quickly caught on that I had an obsession.  Night after night, I would literally spend hours in my room with the music blasting, pretending that I was singing on a large stage, and everyone in the audience was there to see me.  Becoming a singer quickly became a focus in my life and at eight years old, my parents finally allowed me to pursue it.

I spent a lot of my time singing and performing at events and in choirs.  As I became a teenager, I was a force to be reckoned with.  I had no fear in calling and asking random event planners if I could sing at their event.  I offered up my talent to anyone who seemed interested.  It wasn’t until I was eighteen that I felt like my dreams were finally becoming a reality.  I was in Los Angeles for a singing competition and was approached by a man in a shiny suit who claimed that he could make all my dreams come true.  My mother and I drove to his office and from there he schmoozed us with a fancy dinner and conversation filled with names of Hollywood big-shots.  Before I knew it, I was recording my first demo at Paramount studios; the experience was surreal.

One thing led to another and I found myself on a plane to Atlanta, Georgia to record with a Grammy award-winning producer.  This time, I didn’t have my mother, or anyone for that matter, with me.  I still remember the fear that overtook me as I stepped off the plane and realized that I would be alone for the next few weeks in a city I knew nothing about.  It was during this trip that my voice began to disappear.  I remember trying to speak up during the writing sessions if I didn’t like an idea, and I would be quickly shut down. The producer would mock me saying, “I just wrote Mariah’s new album and it’s number one. Do you really think I don’t know what I’m doing?”  I ended up recording three songs with him, all of which I hated.

My voice was no longer my own.

Looking back, I realize that what I really needed was support.  A ministry like RYFO could have saved me from a lot of anxiety and fear that I was facing alone.  I needed someone to process with or just vent to.  RYFO’s Host Homes have an amazing opportunity to really speak life back into the areas of musicians lives that may be shut down.  I encourage you readers that aren’t part of RYFO’s ministry to consider becoming a host home.  In doing so, you could be the one who prevents a musician from losing their voice.

Jesus Loves You (Unless You’re Famous)

Jesus Loves You (Unless You’re Famous)
By: Rihanna Teixeira

The church has such a wonderful heart. Our passion to serve and help those who are lacking is inspiring. I love hearing stories of the homeless man who is now a pastor because someone stopped to show him the love of Christ. I smile to myself when I see a friend post pictures of their recent trip to the heart of Africa where they fed the hungry and nursed the sick. My heart rejoices when a family member successfully raises the money they need to go to Thailand to rescue the girls in slavery. I love it all.

Growing up in a Christian home and in the church, I’ve seen hundreds of support letters come through from missionaries who are traveling to the most remote parts of the world to spread the gospel. I’ve heard of prayer meetings focused on certain countries and love offerings taken for others.  But I have never seen a support letter or heard someone say that it is their dream to work as a missionary in Hollywood.

I get it. Why would they need us? They have access to literally everything they could ever want and they could surely find their way to a church if they really wanted Jesus. Plus, almost every musician and actor somehow manages to thank “God” in their acceptance speech. Surely, they can figure it out for themselves.

It’s funny how we unknowingly decide who needs Jesus the most based on whether they had caviar or dirt for dinner. I might be going out on a limb here, but I would venture to say that Hollywood is the most forgotten when it comes to God’s children. It’s easy for us to look at the hungry child who has no father and no place to call home and feel that tug on our heart to love them. But, we see a celebrity struggling with drug abuse and we write them off in disgust and pray that our children don’t ever become like them.

Both groups of people are hurting. Both groups are hungry. Both have a need. Yet, only one is accepted.

You see, beyond the champagne and glitter, the awards shows and  club appearances is someone’s daughter. Someone’s son.  We see the surface, the product, the celebrity. But God sees his most prized possession who is lost in a world where everybody knows their name and yet they don’t even know themselves.

My encouragement is this. If God gave you a heart for Africa, go to Africa. If he gave you a heart for single mothers, help single mothers. But if you have a heart for Hollywood, pursue Hollywood. I believe that with our prayers, we will walk into a season where Hollywood will no longer be the forgotten ones among the church body. I believe that with our prayers, celebrities can encounter the living God and find the fulfillment that they so desperately are looking for.

You may not be in the situation where you can up and move to Los Angeles to start ministering to artists, but you are always in a position where you can pray. And if we really believe that prayer changes things, let’s just start there. With prayer.

Pray that God will lead people to serve record label executives and introduce them to Christ.

Pray for artists to really find their voice in the one who gave it to them.

Prayer changes things. Prayer changes people. Prayer sets the captives free.