Jesus Christ has been portrayed hundreds of times across many different platforms. Television series, movies, cartoons, reenactments, and almost every form of media imaginable. Of course, over time, stories tend to get retold and gently reshaped into forms more familiar to their audience. And a Middle Eastern Jewish man gets mistaken, quite often, for a Scots-Irish, blue-eyed North American southerner. Hey. It happens. I always say, I’ve been called worse. But I must admit, I play a pretty good Jesus. And, even as a Christian, I understand how this man and people like him get made into caricatures over time. But caricatures are still enjoyable. At fairs, and events, any kind of gathering or celebration. Suddenly everyone looks to the corner of the room, and simply because of some congruence of beard, hair to the shoulder and a pleasant demeanor, everyone thinks, Jesus. It’s become a character. And a character that denotes a level of mindfulness and respect on the part of any actor who makes an attempt. And many have. To varying degrees of success. And I am joining their ranks.
I play a pretty mean Jesus. Not mean mean, just dead on, laid back and sensitive, mostly smiles. I’m an actor, primarily working in historic dramas, so keeping my hair long is standard practice, and not shaving often is as well. Add a floor length robe and leather sandals, and you have your very own Jesus to attend Easter luncheon, your birthday party, youth group event, Holiday celebration or any gathering. Even if you’re not religious, maybe you just really enjoy irony. The idea of a guy who looks like the idea we have of how Jesus is supposed to look, sitting there listening while you talk politics with your peers. Any event, really, except crucifixion. I am your Jesus.
But it seems a shame to wait for every area I’m in to put on a production of Superstar, or for someone to remake The Last Temptation with anyone who in any way engenders the image of Christ.
I want to offer this character for contract. This is Jesus. Linen robes and leather sandals and long hair and dark beard. Sitting there, ineffectual, at the open bar for your wedding reception. Or showing up with baskets of candy at an Easter celebration. Or reading the lessons for a cantata or holiday service.
Even if you just want Jesus to sit there in the corner, sleepy-eyed, smiling at everyone and talking about farming.
I am the actor for you.
Oh, and a side note, literally any other biblical character as well.
Homogenization is a powerful thing.
It’d be a shame to not take advantage.