"Whatever project I take, God is going to be behind that camera..."
Cleveland native TC Stallings was bitten by the acting bug early. School plays and church productions kept him fulfilled, but his dreams soon shifted to professional football. He attended the University of Louisville on a full scholarship, eventually moving into a career in Canadian and European Arena League football. His last professional game saw him win the European Super Bowl and he was named his team’s MVP. Having attained his dream, he discovered his passions were turning back to acting. One SHINE conference later, doors of opportunity opened.
Now having starred in four feature films, including Sherwood Baptist’s (Fireproof, Facing the Giants) Courageous, with another film in production, TC is making a real name for himself. We had a chance to ask TC about his new and exciting career and how he keeps it all in perspective.
What have you done recently and do you have something coming up in the near future?
I’ve done two films in a row. Jackson’s Run just had it’s initial premier. And I’m in the film One Heart now, with a bunch of well known people. It’s not a Christian film but a Christian theme. I’ve been busy with those.
I have an NFL commercial (NFL Heads Up Program) that’s running now. And I audition regularly. I’ve also been out of the country doing speaking engagements. I recently went to Mexico City and got to speak a message about Courageous and how I honor God in the media.
You do all of that AND you’re still a pastor?
I am a full time youth pastor (of over 100 youth) at Crossroads in Southern California — 90% of the time I’m working with the students at the church. I stopped my fitness training business when came to Southern California. It was a lot easier to do with the favor of God. All those things came to me – all through doing Courageous.
Tell me about some of your projects.
I have a good relationship with my agents. It’s not easy to get roles that are clean, so I say “no” a lot. Usually you can’t say you aren’t going to do a project because it stifles the agent’s pay. But for me, that hasn’t been a problem, which is an indication that this is God’s will for me. Other actors have looked up to me for doing that. And I have promoted a life change for other Christian actors to pray that they can do that themselves.
How do you choose your projects then?
Whatever project I take, God is going to be behind that camera. If I’m iffy about anything then it’s a project that I won’t do. When the time comes for me to be held accountable for the projects that I took, then I will be able to say that everything was God honoring. My witness wasn’t hurt. He is in the room that I audition in.
Tell me about a memorable job.
When I first came to LA, it was a big decision. My personal training business had been funding me and I took a risk to come here – not having a lot, staying with my Godparents – not really knowing what was going to happen. The first audition that I got (which would be lucrative) had questionable language. I went to the audition and took a marker and changed the bad words to something that would be God-honoring.
I knew other Christians that would be there. I used it as a witness. I told them that I changed the words. I felt like one of two things would happen. They would either kick me out or a miracle would happen and they would change it. People walked by me and said “you don’t see a lot of faith like that in this industry man, keep it up.” I didn’t let the money draw me in to change my way of honoring God. Though I was financially strained. It was a big faith builder.
How did AMTC help you and your career?
The exposure of AMTC was great. AMTC gave me the confidence to know that I am pretty good. Though I didn’t meet with Sherwood Pictures there, the followup came afterwards and Courageous came after that. AMTC is a great measuring stick. The opportunity is legit. The agents & competition are high quality. It’s hard to come out of AMTC empty handed. If you don’t come away with anything [an agent or job], you still know where you’re good enough or not. It gives you a bridge for things to happen down the road.
I didn’t have a rep when I came out of AMTC. I ended up signing with Defining Artists in LA. Now I also have a commercial agent and modeling agents. I didn’t have to go to them. The Lord brought them to me.
A few last words of advice to those who want to make a positive impact for God?
If you don’t believe in Christ, my advice won’t help! God mapped out my life in acting, modeling, performing.
Psalm 139:16 says “Your eyes saw my unformed body; all the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be.” It’s like God is saying “I’ll let you know how to execute this.”
James 1:5 says “If any of you lacks wisdom, you should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to you.”
Then I go to Jeremiah 29:11, “For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.”
And the last one is Romans 12:2, “Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.”