When Cultures Clash: Shari Rigby Talks About Being a Christian in Hollywood

4w_wed_300x300_102313_1God has a plan for all of our lives. The big question is, do you trust Him with that plan? Actress Shari Rigby looked to God when her life didn’t go according to her own plan, and she has been trusting God and His plan ever since. Shari shared with us the new opportunities that have come from advancing in her career by starring in films like October Baby and Not Today.


Can you briefly explain your career path? How did you get started as an actress?

Shari: My career path has been an interesting one. Back in the mid ’90s I worked as a Paralegal for one of the largest law firms in the state of Arizona. Then in the late 90’s, I moved into working with my husband as a Human Resource Director and Office Manager for the family manufacturing company. When our youngest son, Levi was born, I decided to be a stay-at-home mom with only one thing on my mind- more babies. Unfortunately, my husband and I were unable to have anymore babies and this was a huge turning point in my life. I cried out to the Lord to lead me, as I was lost, and that’s exactly what he did. He led a man right into the coffee shop that I was volunteering at in our church. He sat down, I poured his coffee and he asked me if I had ever thought about doing commercials. This was the beginning to my acting career and my journey as an actress. He invited me to a commercial audition that was being held for an insurance company. I ended up booking it and that was the beginning to many national commercial campaigns. I worked for Blue Cross Blue Shield, America West Airlines, Suzuki, and many more. This led to a greater desire to audition for films that were coming through town and to learn more about the craft of acting that I was falling in love with. Before I knew it, I was cast in several sufi low budget films, soaps and then onto October Baby and Not Today feature films.

4word: A lot of people would say that there isn’t room for Christians in Hollywood. How do you respond to that?

Shari: There is a lot of room for Christians in Hollywood. After seeing how many people the Lord has brought to Hollywood, I believe that it is one of the greatest mission fields in the world. We have the ability to share the gospel with many that are lost, to creating amazing TV/Film/Radio that presents messages of hope and redemption. As Christians we can walk onto a set everyday in this town and be a light to others. Hollywood is a lonely city and believe me, people notice when you are happy and full of joy. They want what you have and usually asked, “Why do you seem so different?” There are many Christians in Hollywood now and I do see the impact they are having. I continue to pray that we all can work together and keep our eyes on Jesus. Believe me, Hollywood keeps their eyes on the Christians and they are just waiting to see what WE do or say. I balance my career with my faith by setting standards and remembering that the Lord brought me to LA to do his work and that comes first. As long as I keep my focus on Jesus, my family, on others and the needs within Los Angeles, things stay balanced.

4word: What is the most rewarding part about your job?

Shari: The most rewarding part of my job as an actress is to tell incredible stories and bring them to life.  This is what happened in October Baby. When the film came out in theaters, it launched me into a whole new career of traveling and speaking, which I have been doing for the last year and half. I have had men and women walk up to me after hearing me speak, and share their story of healing and redemption with me. What more can I ask for as an actress?

4word: What words of advice do you have for maintaining balance when work is demanding?

Shari: I am a firm believer in maintaining life by keeping myself mentally, physically and spiritually renewed daily. Life is demanding and there always seems to be a million things to do, but you will always be refreshed by diving into the Bible and getting a good dose of spiritual food. Spend time on what you have read to reflect and pray. Ask the Lord to show you how he is using your life. Add a healthy workout to unwind and let the hormones- fly it will make for a better day and life. Last but not least, thank the Lord for what you have and enjoy each and every minute of life you’ve been given.


Do you see how the Lord is using your life and career? Spend some time today thanking God for his blessings in your life as you seek to serve him better.