Two thumbs up? Guest speakers from Hollywood urge Catholic students to ‘get their act together spiritually’ in a non-Christian industry

Staff Writer

Christians cannot withdraw from the culture but must embrace society and the entertainment industry, said two women from Hollywood in Franciscan University of Steubenville’s Anathan Theatre on March 19 at 8:30p.m.

Barbara Nicolosi and Vicki Peterson came to speak to a crowded room of students and faculty on how to use the Catholic faith in the entertainment industry. The talk was titled “Being Catholic in Hollywood.”

Between both Nicolosi and Peterson, they have had more than 30 years of experience in the Hollywood industry of film and television.

Nicolosi said that there has been a transition of storytelling. The “boomer” generation, which was all about rebellion and self-expression, has transitioned to the new generation that is focusing on community and change, she said. She also said that with this change, Christians are no longer in the back, afraid to share their faith and this has opened new opportunities.

Although, with these new opportunities has also emerged a withdrawal of Christians from society because they are afraid of it, said Peterson. They said that Christians have merely become a marketing demographic for bad Christian movies that have God stamped on it.

“Christians will settle for bland,” said Peterson. “Instead, as Christians we need to be embracing the culture.”

Nicolosi and Peterson opened the floor for questions from the audience and gave responses and advice to those who asked. They told the young people present who want to enter into the industry to master storytelling, go see independent films, write original stories and don’t just support a movie because it is “Christian.”

They also said that young people should know their craft, equip themselves with a good foundation of faith and keep persevering. Nicolosi also counseled all present who were interested in getting into the film industry to invest in themselves and their education.

“Do what the pagans are doing, just pray your rosary too,” said Nicolosi speaking about how Christians should approach the industry.

Nicolosi said that students, especially those interested in a career in Hollywood, need to get their “act together” spiritually. She said that there is no safe place and fear cannot be used as an excuse to not go to Hollywood because “fear is useless.”

“It gave a faith aspect to the industry which is often misunderstood,” said James Sweeney, Franciscan junior communications major. “You don’t really see that very often.”

Franciscan freshman, Liz Bunnel said she attended the talk because, “I am looking at doing communication arts and I really like the idea of going to a non-Catholic place instead of living in a bubble.”

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