Rebecca St. James On Life & New Music
Grammy Award winner and multiple Dove Award recipient Rebecca St. James, talks with CMADDICT Contributer Grace Thorson about her lead role in “Sarah’s Choice”, her Pro-Life tour, and upcoming new music.
Thanks for being with us today.
No worry. No worry.
With the release of Sarah’s Choice in November of 2009, what was it like acting in your first starring role?
I loved it! It was one of my favorite creative things that I’ve done in my life. I found it very fulfilling, and I’ve wanted to act, actually, since I was eight (laugh). I wanted to be in the Sound of Music. So, it was kind of fun to invest in an awesome lead role that I’ve wanted to do since I was a child. It was challenging, you know, I had a crying scene on day two of filming.
It was emotional – huge – in that I’m playing an unmarried, pregnant girl having pressure to have an abortion. But it was just very, very fulfilling. And now, having the movie out, and hearing the response has been incredible, and traveling around the country doing pregnancy fund-raising events and showing the film. It’s beautiful to see how, like music and the movie can come together in these shows and really encourage people to support crisis pregnancy centers. It’s been a wonderful, wonderful journey.
Awesome. We know you did a lot of research for the film. How did that affect your role?
Well, you know, I actually kind of started researching, I suppose, before I even knew about the film. I got involved with a crisis pregnancy center in L.A. through a couple of friends and went to a few fund-raising events and really encountered the ministry and some of the girls that were being ministered to. So, really, the role that I was playing, I was researching before I even knew it. And then, I was meeting these girls who were unmarried and pregnant. So then when I was asked to audition for Sarah’s Choice and got the role, I knew who to go to. I went to the pregnancy center and said, “Load me up on materials, so I can really get into the mind and heart of a girl who is in this situation.”
I think the thing that really came through to me in my research is how much pain and pressure and fear these girls are feeling. And so even though I hadn’t been through anything like a crisis pregnancy exactly, I had definitely experienced pressure and extreme amounts of fear and pain in my life. So I brought that to the table in the film, and I think that gives some of the emotion that you see on screen.
Having played in several roles before, do you plan on continuing to pursue acting?
Yeah, I love it! I was the kid, when I was growing up, that loved to play pretend (another laugh), and get dressed up, and was always getting my five younger brothers into something dramatic. So, yeah, it’s wonderful. I love it.
Right now I’m also working on a new book and we’re talking about a new album, and I’m singing. I’m doing a couple of shows a week. So it’s kind of a few different fingers in different creative pies, but the films that I’ve been involved with, I’ve really enjoyed. And I believe in the message of them, so I’m just praying that if God wants me to continue in this stream of art and creativity that He will continue to open up the doors.
Yeah, definitely. What is the message that the film conveys?
A few different messages: Obviously the pro-life mission is something I’m very passionate about, and so, kind of highlighting the work of pregnancy centers and encouraging people to choose life. That is probably the main thrust of the movie.
I think second to that would be the message of forgiveness, because a lot of women have dealt with the abortion issue directly and have gone through agony because of it. And so they need to know that there’s forgiveness, and all us need the reminder of the forgiveness of God that is offered to each of us. Because we’ve all made mistakes. That’s a powerful theme.
And then love. Just showing compassionate love to women in Sarah’s situation. I just think that’s something that people will walk away from feeling compassion for her, and, hopefully, for people that they encounter in their lives. Hopefully, they will show that kind of love to others that they meet.
How are you spreading the message?
Well right now were doing about two or three crisis pregnancy fundraising events a week. We were just in Maine this last week and Texas the week before. Three shows in each place. We’re doing kind of these movie and music nights. Some nights we’ll show the entire film and also do an hour of music.
We also have a ten minute version of Sarah’s Choice. Sometimes we’ll show that and do a longer set. It’s just been really cool we’re fundraising in that way, letting offerings or sponsorships of pregnancy centers to continue to invest in what they’re doing.
We’re also doing a quite a lot of pregnancy center banquets, so that’s been really, really cool to see a response to those events too.
What kind of response have you received?
Really what I’ve been overwhelmed by is how grateful these pregnancy centers are for support. Just really glow when they realize that they’re being supported. They’re just so grateful. I really encourage everyone to get around and support their local pregnancy centers, because the work that they’re doing is so amazing and so needed. It really means being Jesus’ hands and feet in loving the broken.
We as a church need to rally around them. When you think what’s going on politically in the nation and just alot of attack on pregnancy centers really. We need to rally around them like never before.
We’ve heard the promise of new music. Is there an album in the near future?
(Laughs) I know I’ve been talking about a new album for a while now. It’s actually looking like it’s closer than ever before. I’ve been writing for a new album for probably nine months to a year. I’ve got new music; it’s just a matter of getting into the studio. As you can tell, there’s a lot of other things that have been going on. Right now, we’re talking about this summer… studio time.
Do you plan on touring full-time for your next album?
Probably not. I’ve left many years of my life on the road. I think we’ll probably be continuing what we’re doing now, which is doing, select dates across the country. So, probably a couple of shows a week. That kind of thing. That seems, I think, more conducive to .… being involved in different avenues of creativity that I’m involved in now.
Do you have any closing thoughts?
I think the big thing that I feel like God’s teaching me in my life right now is to keep my hands open. In a place of kind of trust instead of clinging to what I want or trying to control things. I think that’s kind of the theme that He has been reminding me of a lot. Rebecca, keep your hands open and trust Me and live out that trustful relationship moment by moment.
Thanks Rebecca, it was great talking with you.
Good talking to you too.
Sure! God bless and we look forward to hearing new music.
Thank you. Keep us in prayer for that.