Mike Parker is one busy man. In addition to acting in films such as Lukewarm, Season of Miracles, Redemption of the Commons, Redemption, and the upcoming The Good Book, Mike is the creator of BuddyHollywood.com, the National Entertainment Examiner for Examiner.com, and publisher for WordCrafts Press and WordCrafts Theatrical Press.
When did you first develop a love of acting?
I’ve always been a bit of a ham. I remember my very first acting role was in a school play for the PTA when I was in the 2nd grade. I played Simple Simon (who met the pie man, going to the faire). But I was a jock throughout my high school years, preferring football to the footlights. My high school sweetheart (who later became my wife) was a dedicated thespian, and it was her influence that finally pushed me back toward the stage during college. Since that time I’ve been actively involved with theatre, and after I got out of the Army my interest in television and film acting expanded.
What was your first film role?
My first role in a feature film was “Harry” in the film, Lukewarm. Harry was a homeless guy who was befriended and subsequently led to the Lord by Thomas (played by veteran actor Bill Cobbs), an older resident in the community. It was a memorable role for me, because in addition to getting to share the screen with Mr. Cobbs, John Schneider and rising star Nicole Gale Anderson, I also got to get hit by a truck and die. And I did my own stunts. How cool is that?
What faith-based films have you been a part of?
I’ve done a number of short films for such faith-based organizations as LifeWay and the Gideons, and just finished a short with strong faith elements called Salvage for the Long Live Imagination film contest. Faith-based feature films I’ve been a part of include Lukewarm, Season of Miracles, Redemption of the Commons, and Redemption. On television I created and hosted the syndicated Christian music video show, NightVision, back in the 1990’s, and I scripted more than 100 episodes of JC-TV’s music video shows XVZ, TX-10 and Rewind.
You wear so many filmmaker hats – writer, review, actor, editor. Which is your favorite?
My favorite ‘hat’ is the one I happen to be wearing at the time. I know that’s kind of a cop-out answer, but it’s the truth. My primary gig is as a writer, so if I had to choose just one, that would probably be it. But the reality is, I love the entire creative process. Every piece has its own unique appeal. I am absolutely enthralled with the concept of “Story.” Whatever hat I wear that helps bring the story to life, to convey Truth to the audience, it’s an honor and a privilege.
When reviewing movies, what qualities do you consider key?
Storytelling. First and foremost. Everything else is secondary. If you tell me a great story, I’ll forgive a multitude of sins. If you tell me a lousy story, all the great acting, directing and special effects in the world can’t save that movie. I believe every story that has ever moved you, whether you saw it on the silver screen or heard it while sitting around a campfire on your Daddy’s lap, moved you because it was in some fashion a reflection of The Great Story. The mainstream media refers to it as The Hero’s Journey, but I know who the original hero is.
Tell us about BuddyHollywood.com.
BuddyHollywood.com is an online entertainment magazine. It’s my attempt to consider entertainment from both the general market and the faith market without walls. We cover a broad spectrum of entertainment-related disciplines including film, television, music, theatre, books and pretty much anything else that strikes our fancy. We don’t segregate our content by Christian or general market. You might find a press release about Natalie Grant’s new CD nestled up next to a review of the horror flick, The Conjuring, which might follow an interview with Man of Steel producer, Deborah Snyder, or a review of the latest Broadway show.
Tell us about your work as the National Entertainment Examiner for Examiner.com.
The great thing about working as the National Entertainment Examiner for Examiner.com is the complete freedom to explore and review any aspect of entertainment, anywhere in the country. I’ve never claimed to be a critic. I don’t have the training for that job. I’m strictly a reviewer, which means I get to give the country my opinion, which people are free to agree or disagree with. If I watch, read or listen to something that is garnering unmerited critical acclaim, I have the freedom to proclaim, “the emperor has no clothes.”
Thanks for asking. In addition to my other hats, I’m also the publisher for WordCrafts Press and WordCrafts Theatrical Press. We publish fiction, non-fiction and stage plays for both the Christian and general market. I’d love to invite your readers to stop by our website, www.wordcrafts.net, and check us out. And if you’ve written a great book or stage play, let us know. We’re always looking for new authors and playwrights.