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Bob Smiley - How to Become a Christian Performer (Kind Of)

  • 1999 12 Dec
  • COMMENTS
Bob Smiley - How to Become a Christian Performer (Kind Of)
by {{Bob Smiley}}, courtesy of {{Christian Musician}}

Anyone who has had any success as a Christian performer has received this question at least once from an adoring fan: "How do I become a Christian performer?" The most commonly given answer is "Buy my CD. It will tell you everything." Actually, that is the answer I give because I never miss a moment to shamelessly promote my album. But enough about my comedy album sold in Christian bookstores everywhere (and of course on crosswalk.com.) The most common answer is, "Keep singing in your church, at school, whenever and wherever you can. Just keep practicing."

This is true advice. However, I started thinking one day during my free time (I'm a comedian. See: "Practically Unemployed") that there is so much more you can do to prepare to become a Christian performer. First of all, every day you should tie an anvil to your dominant leg and walk around the entire state of Texas. This will come in handy 200 times a year when you are standing in an airport line that is just a tad longer than the line to the ladies' restroom at a {{Chonda Pierce}} concert.

All true performers, to save precious energy that will later be needed to "rock!" the crowd, never hold their luggage while waiting in line at the ticket counter. Nor do they pick it up when it's time to move up closer (average moving time: 2 hours = 4 inches). True performers have mastered the art of "scooting" their dress bag, t-shirt boxes, CD crates, merchandise display and musical gear down the line by simply using their dominant leg. This is why you must start preparing now. Some are masters at it, but there is no such thing as a natural. Rumor has it that Peter Furler ({{Newsboys}}) can scoot his bag with his right foot while filling out a luggage tag with his left foot, but he has been doing shows for over a decade. Be patient and slowly work your way up.

Another body part to prepare is your stomach. When you first begin performing, you will be given pizza for lunch and spaghetti for dinner... everyday. This will never change until you are popular enough to ask the promoter for special requests such as spaghetti for lunch and pizza for dinner.

Another strange thing that occurs is the condition known as the After Show Munchies, in which you become so hungry that you will eat anything placed in front of you, including an old, partially-eaten carrot found in the seat cushion on a rented tour bus or a can of hominy (main ingredient unknown). The biggest proof of this for me can be summed up in 5 words: Chick-O-Stick candy bar. This candy bar is so foul that I have no doubt in my mind it will be the official candy bar sponsor in Hell. I can see it now: Satan will say, "Hello and welcome to Hell, have a Chick-O-stick." This candy bar is made of wafer, sugar and sawdust.

After a show one night, a crowd member (I don't have actual fans) gave me a card with an encouraging scripture written on it taped to a Chick-O-Stick bar. I thanked this person for the card and the encouragement and went back to my bus knowing I would never eat this horrible thing. Thirty minutes later the road manager announced that we would not be stopping to eat that night and the Chick-O-Stick started to look more appealing. An hour later, after checking all the bus seats for tainted vegetables and looking in the pantry for any cans of hominy, I devoured this candy bar much like the shark devoured the boat at the end of Jaws. Every performer becomes like this. {{Plankeye}} used to get so hungry that they would actually stop late at night and-under no gunpoint whatsoever-willingly buy and eat a gas station burrito (main ingredients: black tar and Chick-O-Stick leftovers).

To properly prepare to become a Christian performer, you should also unplug or cover all clocks. Time means nothing to you. You will not be expected to show up on time for your show or set practices, and just the thought of making it on time to an interview makes me to laugh so hard I have to skip to the next paragraph.

Okay, now that I have calmed down and wiped the tears from my eyes, let me tell you the last thing you can do to prepare to be a Christian performer: start reading the Bible right now (what I mean by "right now" is after you've read this article a couple of times and gone out to buy my CD). The best thing about being a Christian performer is that you get the opportunity to minister to people, but you have to be prepared. Know the Bible inside and out and be prepared to talk about it. It's never too early to start gearing up for ministry. As you prepare your voice, your comedy material or your body, also prepare to be a good witness.

I'd write more, but it's late (I guess?), the microwave just went off, and I like to eat my hominy when it's hot.