Tuesday, October 26 2021 - 6:06 PM

Sharing Christ Through the Arts

Photo by Jim Pappas

Telling Stories That Heal

We interviewed Jim Pappas, a consummate storyteller and producer from Grass Valley, California, about the art of storytelling. What is involved? Where do the ideas come from?

Editor – Jim, you have made a career out of scriptwriting, film production, and storytelling. I’ve only touched the surface. What all have you done, and what has been your motivation?

Pappas – Thank you for the opportunity to share with fellow creatives.

First of all, let me issue a brief disclaimer. I am not some big-time Hollywood mogul who does million-dollar deals every week. Nor do I have access to large sources of funding, equipment, or talent. I am just one of you with lots of ideas on using the arts to share God’s love with the world.

However, it has been said that “creativity thrives on limitations,” and I have certainly found that to be the case. So far, almost everything I have done has been done with volunteer talent at a very low expense. Perhaps that can be a source of encouragement to my fellow creatives who feel limited by their lack of resources. God’s greatest problem is not so much a lack of resources as it is a lack of committed communicators.

When we surrender our talents to God’s mission, to be used to His glory, then that makes Him a partner in our endeavors. We can then expect Him to be our source of needed inspiration and opportunity.

A more direct answer to your question, Rich, is that for about 15 years, I was writer/director of Company One, Inc., a non-profit drama ministry centered at Pacific Union College. My troupe of students and community members and I would meet twice weekly for rehearsals. When ready, we would perform at PUC for churches and academies in the Nothern California area with occasional trips further afield during spring breaks. Lots of fun, tons of pictures, and many good memories. We had many faith-building adventures, such as renting theater space in the Napa Valley and performing a Christmas play called Mary’s Song. The venture proved to be a great success and became a yearly event in the valley. This stage production was later picked up by The Quiet Hour and produced as a video adaptation. They also filmed another of my plays entitled For Such a Time: The Story of Queen Esther, which was produced as a play on film.

My only other foray into film is called The Creative Eye and can be seen, along with the above two programs, either on YouTube or Vimeo. That was a truly faith-building venture, and I look forward to trying another soon.

In the world of audio, I have produced three audio dramatizations. The first is The Pilgrim’s Progress; the second is The Pilgrim’s Progress Part II: Christiana; and the third is an original drama based on the life of Mary Magdalene entitled He’s Waiting For You. The first two titles are also available as books on my websites.

My biggest and most exciting audio venture is just getting started. It is an 18-hour miniseries based on the story of Joseph. The working title is Joseph: Prince of Pain; Master of Mercy. When finished, we plan to release it to the whole world free of charge and hope that it will encircle the globe with its message of faith, hope, and mercy. Fellow creatives are invited to follow production progress at www.JosephPrinceofPain.org.

Editor – Tell me more about Joseph. 

Pappas – The Joseph Project has been a long time in birthing, probably 13 years of writing, on and off. This production began rather as a hobby at first. But as I began to see a serious production beginning to shape up, my ideas began to grow. For more information about the Joseph production, follow the link below.

Now that I am finally at the stage of actual recording and gathering sound effects, things are definitely getting exciting.

Doing a project like Joseph is a labor of love for me, and to keep it pleasant and free of undue pressure, I have not posted a release date. As completion draws nearer in a year or so, I’ll begin putting out teasers to our potential audience as well as actual scenes to those who have contributed to its realization.

Some have asked what our budget is, and I tell them that’s up to God. At present, it is mostly self-funded with some help from a few donors. As that number grows, I’ll be able to hire more editorial and musical talent and speed things along significantly. I am presently negotiating with Kirk Van Buren to bring him on board as casting director and editor and doing a part or two. (Kirk did Christian’s voice in The Pilgrim’s Progress and function in casting and editing).

You may be interested to know that my business plan is to let God provide the resources and talent as it is needed and then, upon completion, give it back to Him as a gift to the whole world. Be sure to check back with the Joseph website as it will be changing almost daily as we bear testimony to God’s dealing with us on this project of faith.

Editor – That’s amazing. I take it you’ve operated this way for a long time, and somehow you have made a career of it. God has sustained you. That is a real testimony of faith. Thank you for sharing a portion of your story with us.

Visit Jim Pappas online.

Jim Pappas lives in Northern California.

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ASA Editor

writes from Westlake Village, California.

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