This afternoon, Mark Shea, blogger extraordinaire, in fact, once could say, one of the original bloggers, a blogger who began as a bulletin board aficionado, author, actor, speaker and all around nice guy, is speaking on Becoming Innocent.
Yesterday, I had the pleasure of meeting Mark's wife Jan.
Mark started out by saying he would talk about what he learned about being Innocent Smith. He spoke about being on the film set, and said the actors aren't the interesting part of the film making. The crew are the interesting part. Joey Odendahl is the man. The one who wrote it and directed it. Odendahl had everything to do with the movie Manalive.
The first thing Shea wonders is how Innocent Smith could possibly stay so fat. He's turbo charged, Shea says, is a compilation of Mary Poppins, who blows in with the wind, and Bugs Bunny.
Innocent is child-like, and has complete trust in God. There is an element in Smith that is terrifying. How does he live? How can he rush around like that all the time?
Shea learned what Spencer Tracey says: Acting consists of the following things--remember your lines, and don't bump into the furniture.
He learned that film making is an intensely collaborative effort, and everyone makes it happen.
Mark has a theater background. In college, he was a theater major for a few years. But he thought it was a rather unstable profession, so he decided to change to a rock solid stable field, and became and English major.
Mark realized that his faith, being a convert to the Catholic Church, and his theater background came together. Because as Kevin O'Brien pointed out last night, theater and liturgy are related. The theater and the liturgy have many parallels, which was so interesting, and Shea spoke so fast I can't relate it all here and encourage you to please get the CDs so that you can hear it all. It was fascinating.
It is a 20th century phenomenon that those we idolize are dramatic actors and in particular, film actors. The theater is the new liturgy. Theater and liturgy prepare us to receive grace. Theater can't deliver grace, but it can prepare hearts to receive grace.
Mark closed with the poem of Chesterton's called The Convert. Maybe you want to look it up and read or re-read it.