Remember the short film, Children of War, by writer, producer, and director, Apolonia Davalos (read the TBAP review here)? I t was a lovely movie, and after having the privilege of privately viewing this movie, the lead actor, Steve Alberts is with us today!
Follow our chat below and learn more about this talented gentleman!
Miranda ~ Hello Steve! Thank you for visiting TBAP today. Please tell us a bit about yourself.
Steve ~ I’m 71 years old, married, and I have 3 children and 11 grandchildren. I love to hunt, fish, carve wood, play golf, and be creative. I am pleased that God gave me a West Virginia heritage, raised me in the Appalachian Mountains, and gave me a love for the people of West Virginia. I have a bachelor’s and master’s degree from WVU, and, I love my WVU Mountaineer sports teams. Also, I treasure my family and friends.
Miranda ~ Are you a Christian? If so, when did you first become one? Tell us your story.
Steve ~ I became a Christian when I was just a little fella going to vacation Bible school at the local Methodist church. I was probably 5 or 6 at the time when I felt the love of Jesus. I took the song Jesus Loves the Little Children to heart, experienced a gratitude and conversion, and still love that song today. I still see those classic images of children at Jesus’ knee each time I hear that song. Thank goodness for my mother and Auntie who acted as Proverbs 22:6 instructed them to. One of the faith-based stories that I have written is about growing up in church and vacation Bible school.
Miranda ~ When did you first recognize your love for film/acting? How did it all begin?
Steve ~ It was during a play as a freshman in high school. My older sister was directing the play and persuaded me to be in it. I enjoyed it and continued to do theater in high school, even winning the award for Best Actor, WV, State High School Drama Festival. I took several acting classes and appeared in several productions at WVU. But I took a break from acting until about the time I retired, although, I did a lot of master of ceremonies and announcing work, throughout my life.
Miranda ~ In what way would you say the Christian film industry is different than the secular? Do you believe there’s room for improvement in the Christian?
Steve ~ Perhaps, simply restating the obvious: Christian film does have the message of God’s love, goodness, grace, and mercy. Secular films, on the other hand, seem mostly to present a picture of mayhem, gloom, degradation—sometimes even, romanticizing traits, actions, and values that prey on different segments of society.
There is always room for improvement in all film genres. While one of the Christian Film panels at our last Nashville Film-com strongly suggested that all talent and all crew should be Christian for production of Christian films, my personal take on how to improve Christian films would be to use a mix of Christian and non-Christian talent and crew, use the storyline and the talent to show God’s redemptive love and, create an atmosphere where non-Christians might seek a deeper relationship with God—both in the viewing of the film and during the making of that film.
Miranda ~ What lessons have you picked up being an actor and, how has it helped your spiritual growth?
Steve ~ The first part of that question is not framed tightly enough. I could go way too many places in answering it. As to the second part, I cannot say that acting per se has contributed to my spiritual growth. On the other hand, several people who I met while acting have had positive Christian influences on me, particularly as we openly witnessed, professed our faith, and showed our love.
Miranda ~ What other actors/filmmakers have you worked with in the past—how has this shaped you personally—and, who do you hope to work with in the future?
Steve ~ Aha, you put me in another box where there are far too many places to go. In general, I really hope to someday have a role where I can portray the struggles that we all go through during our lifetime, and be part of a redemptive story that will draw people nearer to God, even if I have to be the bad guy. A powerful, inviting, and redemptive message is what’s most important to me.
Miranda ~ How would you describe the audience you act for?
Steve ~ Every audience regardless of genre is a mélange of all aspects of life, in all situations of life, and all are in different places along their individual journeys. But, all of our relationships with God are individual, personal, and unique, and so I hope that what I bring to the stage or screen helps in some small way to have that individual in the audience strengthen their relationship with God.
Miranda ~ What do you hope to pass across to the people who view the movies you act in?
Steve ~ As far as being an actor, I hope to deliver a character who is quite believable, whether I’m the bad guy or the good guy. Hopefully, the overall story will be the message—not my performance. It is sort of like the time I was asked to tell of my favorite Bible verse in front of a large group, and God led me to respond with, “It’s not just one verse, it’s not just one line; there are the answers time after time. From, ‘In the beginning…’ to the final ‘amen,’ there are the answers again and again.” I hope that people who view the movies I act in get their Christian batteries recharged from the overall experience.
Miranda ~ What was your experience on the Children of War set, and, how did the role you played inspire you personally?
Steve ~ My greatest “take away” was the collaborative willingness of Apolonia Davalos, our writer, director, and producer to take parts of our personal stories, lives, and backgrounds, and meld it into the storyline of the film.
On a very personal side, the story took place in a part of my home state that is really struggling, and also, at one time I was a coal miner. Apolonia took that into account and we had several discussions about the realities of the life of a miner and life in southern West Virginia, before the script was finalized.
To go deeper still, Apolonia had written the story with me in mind as the lead actor without, then, knowing I was from West Virginia, or that I had ever worked in the coalmines. We had been on Sharon Wilharm’s Providence set a week earlier when Apolonia sent me an email saying she had a special project that she wanted me to be involved with. Once she sent me the script, I thought, “Wow, here’s another God Wink; He had a big hand in this one!”
Miranda ~ Are you part of any film projects right now? If so, what’s it about, and, when can we expect it?
Steve ~ I am not in any big productions just now, although, I have been very active with commercials and television this year. We are getting ready for a Lifeway Christian Bookstores commercial in the next few weeks, but nothing big just now.
Miranda ~ In your opinion as an actor, why should a Christian be part of the film industry? What do you believe they can offer to the world through film?
Steve ~ Sometimes, I think that the greatest opportunity for Christian actors is how we behave on set, as much as it is in the final outcome of the movie. Even when we are playing the bad character in front of the camera, we can still show Christian love and values to all of those others that are around us.
And, in front of the camera, while the actor is expected to deliver their character, it is the story that will impact the audience.
Miranda ~ What is the greatest/most inspiring moment, so far, in your career? How did it shape your thinking?
Steve ~ My most inspiring moment was not in front of the camera. It was and still is, knowing that God loves me deeply and dearly, and that He still has great plans for me; and it goes back to that vacation Bible school when I was 5 or 6 years old. That carries me through life and helps to form who I am in Him.
Miranda ~ What has been the most difficult moment in your career? How did it you overcome it?
Steve ~ My most difficult moment was befriending, mentoring, and helping a faith-based filmmaker, and then him not giving me the opportunity to audition for a role for which I was suited. That set me back quite a bit as I had to reach down pretty deeply to push away some very non-Christian thoughts.
Miranda ~. What are you most grateful for, generally and right now?
Steve ~ I am grateful to know there is a loving God, and that He and I have a beautiful and unique relationship. And, I am grateful to know that He has lots of good things in store for me in this life and the next. Who knows (except for Him), He might even have a role for me in a major Christian, life-changing movie!
Miranda ~ What word of wisdom would you offer an actor who’s just beginning?
Steve ~ On the side of life’s foundation, be confident, yet be humble in knowing that all of your gifts, talents, and blessings are not by your hand, but by His. Listen to Him as you journey through life.
On the practical side, take classes, get in front of the camera as often as you can, collaborate with like-minded individuals, form relationships with admirable people, and, market yourself in every positive way possible. It will come.
This or That
Tennis or Football? Football
Gym or Outdoor? Outdoor
Cereal or Fruit? Both together (and throw on a little yogurt)
Music or Movies? Depends on the day
Magazines or TV? Both
Blue or Green? Blue
Blazer or Leather jacket? Blazer
Thank you, Steve, for stopping by today!
About Steve Alberts
Born and educated in West Virginia, Steve now lives in Nashville, TN.
Having done theater in high school and college, Steve began acting for film and television after his retirement. He now has 30 film and television credits—the most notable to date being the strong supporting role of Sheriff MacFadden in the film, Hollow Creek, which featured Burt Reynolds.
Working with the great nephew of Al Capone, Steve has the lead role of Frank Aldo in the soon to be released 1930s Chicago-based film noir Old Chicago Souls.
Of his many commercials, Steve is most proud of his direct-to-camera pitch for The West Virginia Housing Development fund in his native West Virginia.
Music videos include performances with Taylor Swift, Taylor Made, Little Big Town, Toby Keith, Jerrod Neimann, and Christian artist, Matthew West.