Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Rehearsal Needed for Role of Lifetime

Performers understand the concept of practice making perfect. For a major role, an actor will spend a lot of time reading the script, thinking about the character, and rehearsing lines. The goal is to have the character become second nature. The lines, mannerisms and actions all become part of the actor as he brings the character to life according to the vision of the author and director.
A musician will attack a solo performance the same way. Hours and hours of studying the score, memorizing the lyrics, practicing the notes over and over until the music becomes one with the soul.
How interesting it is, that performers who are Christians ofen do not think to apply the same discipline to their relationships with the Lord. Quiet time with the Lord takes a back seat to the hours honing the craft. Bible study and fellowship on Sunday morning are squeezed in between performances, auditions and sleep. And sharing the good news with others God puts in our path often is silenced for fear of offending or relegated to an "improv" routine.
Christians, however, should look at their place in the body of Christ as the role of a lifetime. You'll never be cast in a more important role with more potential to touch people's lives than as a son or daughter of Christ. Prepare for this role. Study the bible, which is your script. Commit passages to memory and be ready to draw on them when those "impov" sharing sessions happen. Spend time each day in prayer and meditation learning from the best director you'll ever have. And let this role become second nature so that all will be able to see the character as written by the creator and directed by the Lord. A standing ovation in heaven will be the reward.

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Christians, Churches, Copyrights and Christ

Which of the following statements is true about using lyrics, songs, dramas, and videos for church services and outreach events?
1. Songs may be used if you own the sheet music.
2. Lyrics displayed on a video screen are OK if you don't make paper copies.
3. You can use whatever you need if you don't charge admission.
4. Video clips from movies can be used if the length doesn't exceed 3 minutes.

Answer: None of the above.

Many of you reading this probably thought at least one of those statements was true. Having been in Christian production for many years, I have heard all of these reasons -- and countless others-- given by churches, worship leaders and pastors for why they did not need to seek permission or pay licensing fees for works they used. But the truth is, that if you use anything created by someone else, you must have permission to use it or you are guilty of stealing property. The US copyright laws, with very few and specific exceptions, allow the creator of a work to retain the rights to it. And being ignorant of the law isn't a defense for violating it.

With the exception of music performed live during a regular worship service, any use by a church must be with permission. For example, if your praise team performs a song that's on the top 10 pop chart during your worship service, that's OK under copyright law. If you project the lyrics of that song on a screen or print them in your bulletin, that's not allowed unless you have obtained permission. If you show a video clip or use parts of a video or song to create your own video used during your service or special event, you must have permission from the copyright holders to do that.

The law is complicated, but it's not hard to obtain the permissions necessary for any use. It's amazing to me, however, how many Christians, who normally would abhor lying or stealing, so readily throw these commandments aside when it comes to using copyrighted works for church events.

Masterwork Productions offers a workshop to help churches understand the law and resources for how to obtain permissions. Please contact us for assistance so that you may be the best witness for Christ in your church and community. If you know what the law is, and you know what is right, but choose to do wrong, that is sin.
Lauren Yarger
masterworkproductions@yahoo.com

Friday, April 6, 2007

Christian Artists United to Share the Message of Easter

This weekend will see many special outreaches by churches as we celebrate the ressurection of a Lord and Savior who took upon Himself the sins of the world. Many Christian performers and artists will be using their talents to help communicate that message at services all over the world. When you sing, give a word of thanks for those who wrote and arranged the song, for those who are playing the instruments and for those leading the vocals. When your spirit is touched by the movement of someone interpreting the message in dance, give a word of thanks for the talent they have been given and for the hours of rehearsal they have put in. When your heart is touched by a drama, give a word of thanks for the person who wrote it, for the person who directed it, for those acting in it and for the time given in preparation in collecting costumes, props and memorizing lines. If there are lights illuminating the front area, a microphone allowing you to hear a speaker, a video that inspires you and word lyrics up on a screen so you can sing along, give a word of thanks for the technical crew using their gifts to make it happen.
If a performer is visiting your church this weekend, give thanks for their willingness to travel and offer up a prayer for ther family who was willing to let them go minister instead of being at home with their loved ones on Easter. All of the parts of the body give service, and we specifically give thanks for those memebrs of the body we call Christian artists and performers who make an offering of their talents to make a difference for the Kingdom.
Lauren Yarger
Executive Director
Masterwork Productions

Daily Inspiration

The Blind Side

Read about the real life mom from "The Blind Side."

Lifeway: http://www.lifeway.com/article/?id=169816

Guideposts: http://www.guideposts.com/story/sandra-bullock-blind-side-football?page=0,1

Read Matt Mungle's review of the movie at http://www.buddyhollywood.com/.

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Lauren Yarger, Bio

Lauren Yarger has written, directed and produced numerous shows and special events for both secular and Christian audiences. She co-wrote a Christian musical version of “A Christmas Carol” which played to sold-out audiences of over 3,000 in Vermont and was awarded the 2000 Vermont Bessie (theater and film awards) for “People’s Choice for Theatre.” She also has written two other dinner theaters, sketches for church services and devotions for Christian artists.

Yarger trained for three years in the Broadway League’s Producer Development Program, completed the Commercial Theater Institute's Producing Three-Day Training and produced a one-woman musical about Mary Magdalene that toured nationally and closed with an off-Broadway run.

In 2008 she was a Fellow at the National Critics Institute at the O'Neill Theater Center in Waterford, CT. She writes reviews of Broadway and off-Broadway theater with a Christian perspective for Reflections in the Light (http://reflectionsinthelight.blogspot.com/) and is editor of The Connecticut Arts Connection. She also is a contributing editor for BroadwayWorld.com

She also reviews books for Publisher's Weekly and is a member of the National Book Critics Circle. She formerly was Connecticut theater editor for CurtainUp, a national theater web site bsed in New York and a reviewer for American Theater Web.

She also served as Executive Director of Masterwork Productions, Inc. and worked in arts management for the Bushnell Center for the Performing Arts in Hartford and the Hartford Symphony Orchestra.

She is a freelance writer and member of the Drama Desk, The Outer Critics Circle, The American Theater Critics Association, The League of Professional Theatre Women and The CT Critics Circle.

A former newspaper editor and graduate of the University of Missouri’s School of Journalism, Yarger lives with her husband in West Granby, CT and has two adult children.

Copyright Notice

All contents copyright © Lauren Yarger 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013. All rights reserved. For reprint permission, contact masterworkproductions@yahoo.com.

Scripture from THE MESSAGE Copyright 1993, 1994, 1995, 1996, 2000, 2001, 2002. Used by permission of NavPress Publishing Group.

Scripture taken from the HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION®. Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984 International Bible Society. Used by permission of Zondervan. All rights reserved.

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