When I consider Karen Abercrombie, I think of purpose. What is my purpose as an actress? This is a woman who carries herself with such a fierce gate. On stage she is a force to watch, in one-on-one she listens with such intensity and presence that could make one stammer. I love her!
It wasn't the movie War Room that captivated me about this woman. It was her presence on stage and what she said as she spoke to artists in Kampala one sunny afternoon. I fidgeted as I tried to subtly hint at my overly talkative neighbour to be quiet as I purposed to focus my mind on what was being presented to me. Karen not only narrated her creative journey but she literally played every part-unafraid to take off her shoes or lie on the floor; the lady was in captivating character. She spoke of the tenacity of Rahab in the bible and how a woman was able to secure a prosperous future by ceasing an opportunity. She said we artists need to do the same. Cease opportunities, practice, practice, practice and pray, pray, pray and when all is said and done. Believe.
I was overjoyed when I was invited to dinner with her after the talk and that is where i picked up a clandestine key to being in the performance industry. She looked me deep in the eyes and urged, "surround yourself with the right people. Know want you want. Go for it." She narrated how she waited so long for an opportunity for God to use her like she seen another woman do on stage. She longed for a chance and practiced and prepared and when she finally got the call to audition not only did she have the acting knowledge but she had the maturity of heart that the character required to execute the role. But she emphasised that, "you gotta have faith!" At some point you gotta get out of the boat and walk on water. She reminded me that the conviction that I have on the inside is not a mistake and God will reveal its use to the world at the right time but while I wait I should work on the craft and prepare. There is a purpose to being an actress. There is a higher purpose to being a creative and God knows the exact time to reveal his will in you but it is up to you to steward it.
I could have talked with Karen that whole evening but I'm so thankful for the time I got to learn from her and be encouraged. I hope I get to be in a movie with her and she's like my mum or something haha.