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Actors & Performers

There's a sense in which all of life is acting. We have roles—and just as we deem a performer's work good or bad, we are capable of fulfilling those roles poorly or well. Of course, there's more at stake in real life than onstage or on-screen, but the Bard wasn't just being clever when he said life's a stage and we're actors on it.

Among Christians, the performing arts have often been condemned as unrighteous, too worldly, unfit for God's people. In very many instances, those are reasonable conclusions. Plays, circuses, parades, movies, exhibitions: these have all been forums for widespread immorality. But they can also each be used as expressions of the human condition, and in this capacity they can do much good.

A good play or movie is no more than a kinetic representation of life as we know it, along with any insights the scriptwriter includes. The characters act our their own life stories,biographies that could belong to any of us in the audience; we watch, we reflect, we respond, and if the actors have done their job well, we are moved or changed.

So maybe we should watch more plays or better movies, you might say, but why should we read biographies of actors or performers? who cares about what they're like off-stage? To know what constantly putting on another's face can do to a person. Because, while we're acting everyday, we are still essentially the same person, whereas an actor becomes any number of people, sometimes multiple personalities in a single evening.

This is the great irony: that, while watching a play or movie can be very constructive and helpful for the viewers, a lifetime dedicated to the work of portrayal can often lead to a profound loss of identity and a faceless carnality. Not all actors do this—some manage to remain upright (even Christian) throughout long careers, and these we hold as heroes; the rest, merely as examples to avoid.

Not allperformers are worth reading about, either. Those who've made significant strides or contributions to their fields are probably going to have more interesting and enlightening stories than a pretty summer blockbuster face, or the hunk who's always wrestling robots and shooting big guns. Our selection is consequently limited, though (we believe) it is sufficient.

Review by C. Hollis Crossman
C. Hollis Crossman used to be a child. Now he is a husband and father, teaches adult Sunday school in his Presbyterian congregation, and likes weird stuff. He might be a mythical creature, but he's definitely not a centaur.Read more of his reviews here.

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19 Items found Print
Annie Oakley
History Maker Bios
by Ginger Wadsworth
from Barnes & Noble
Biography for 2nd-4th grade
in Biographies (Location: A12-01A)
$3.00 (1 in stock)
Annie Oakley
by Charles Wills
from DK Children
for 4th-7th grade
in Biographies (Location: A12-01A)
$4.00 (1 in stock)
Annie Oakley: Young Marksman
Childhood of Famous Americans
by Ellen Wilson
from Aladdin Paperbacks
for 3rd-6th grade
in Childhood of Famous Americans (Location: A12-07D)
$6.99
Buffalo Bill's Great Wild West Show
Landmark #73
by Walter Havighurst
from Random House
for 5th-8th grade
in American Landmark Books (Location: A10-04D)
Buffalo Bill: Frontier Daredevil
Childhood of Famous Americans
by Meryl Stevenson
from Aladdin Paperbacks
for 3rd-6th grade
in Childhood of Famous Americans (Location: A12-07D)
$5.99 $4.00 (1 in stock)
Bulls-Eye
by Sue Macy
1st edition from National Geographic
for 4th-7th grade
in Clearance: History & Biographies (Location: BLG-07D)
$2.00 (1 in stock)
Harry Houdini: Young Magician
Childhood of Famous Americans
by Kathryn Kilby Borland
from Aladdin Paperbacks
for 3rd-6th grade
in Childhood of Famous Americans (Location: A12-07D)
$6.99
Maria
by Maria von Trapp
from Creation House
for 7th-Adult
in Biographies (Location: A12-01A)
$6.00 (3 in stock)
Ready, Aim, Fire!
by Ellen Levine
from Scholastic Inc.
Biography for 4th-7th grade
in Biographies (Location: A12-01A)
$1.50 (1 in stock)
Real Book about Buffalo Bill
by Adolph Regli
from Garden City Books
for 4th-7th grade
in Biographies (Location: A12-01A)
$5.00 (1 in stock)
Ronald Reagan: Young Leader
Childhood of Famous Americans
by Montrew Dunham
from Aladdin Paperbacks
for 3rd-6th grade
in Childhood of Famous Americans (Location: A12-07D)
$5.99
Shooting for the Moon
by Stephen Krensky
1st edition from Farrar, Straus and Giroux
for 1st-3rd grade
in Biographies (Location: A12-01A)
$6.50 (1 in stock)
Sir Charlie
by Paul Fleishman
from Greenwillow Books
for 4th-8th grade
in Biographies (Location: A12-01A)
$12.00 (1 in stock)
Sitting Bull: Dakota Boy
Childhood of Famous Americans
by Augusta Stevenson
from Aladdin Paperbacks
Biography for 3rd-6th grade
in Childhood of Famous Americans (Location: A12-07D)
$6.99
Story of Buffalo Bill
Signature Books #1
by Edmund Collier
from Grosset & Dunlap
Biography for 5th-9th grade
in Grosset & Dunlap Signature Books (Location: A10-04F)
Who Was Harry Houdini?
Who Was?...Series
by Tui Sutherland
from Grosset & Dunlap
for 4th-6th grade
in Who Was? biographies (Location: A12-06B)
$5.99 $3.50 (1 in stock)
Who Was Louis Armstrong?
Who Was?...Series
by Yona Zeldis McDonough
from Grosset & Dunlap
for 3rd-6th grade
in Who Was? biographies (Location: A12-06B)
$5.99
Who Was Walt Disney?
Who Was?...Series
by Whitney Stewart
from Grosset & Dunlap
for 3rd-6th grade
in Who Was? biographies (Location: A12-06B)
$4.99
Wild West
from Amon Carter Museum of Western Art
for 5th-Adult
in Western Expansion (1800-1898) (Location: B01-14A)
$6.50 (1 in stock)