I’m pretty sure there is no perfect way to adequately explain the amazingly fun and surreal phenomenon that was the world premiere of the movie To Save A Life. The fact that it took place a mere five minutes from my house in Burleson was amazing enough. Combine that with the fact that Sam and I (with some of our teens) got to be directly involved made it even more crazy and exciting.
Thursday night, January 21, was the kick-off with the red carpet – and tickets were only available to local youth groups and ministries. The actors arrived by limo – including Randy Wayne (Jake), Steven Crowder (Doug), Kim Hidalgo (Andrea), and Robert Bailey, Jr. (Roger)… we were floored to find out that these four would be joining us for the big night! Four theaters were reserved for 7:00 premiere showings. Our tickets were in Theater 14 – and Sam and I, along with some of our teens, were responsible for setting up comment cards in the theater beforehand. Well, we found out that the front row of our particular theater was reserved for the young actors themselves – and we sat right behind them!
Seven o’clock came, the actors joined us, we cheered… and the movie didn’t start. Apparently, while all the other theaters had no problem starting, ours had a corrupted digital key code and delayed our showing for OVER AN HOUR. Grrr… (This is horrifying for those who are part of the group trying to make the event go off without a hitch!)
THE COOL PART… Randy, Steven, Kim, & Robert (and their families and friends) were such good sports about the whole thing! They immediately turned around and started talking to our kids and signing autographs without a complaint – and, believe me, they were soon bombarded with a crowd. People got up and mingled around in the theater… I got posters and books signed and felt like I got a real chance to compliment each actor (and their families) with personal sentiments over their roles in the movie. Each one was so engaging and kind and easygoing – in the midst of technical problems.

Once the movie finally started, it was pretty surreal to watch these faces on the big screen and then glance down the row in front of me and see that person RIGHT THERE. I suppose actors get used to that eventually, but it was strange for me! The crowd laughed and cheered and cried at the right times. The whole experience was beautiful.
I left during part of the movie to make sure Sam got something to eat, and while roaming the theater, I got to visit the Green Room with Amy from SDM and chat with some of the amazing people in LINC and Student Discipleship Ministries who work so hard for the teenagers in our area. Sam and I are so BLESSED to get to be a part of such a hard-working, passionate network of people in Burleson and beyond.
So if Thursday night wasn’t incredible enough, then Friday night definitely hit the list of Best Moments Of My Life… First of all, we had two more actors, Josh Weigel (Chris) and Trinity Scott (Kelsi the Pothead) join us on the red carpet – both of whom were incredibly nice and had important positive messages to share with everyone! Second, guess who got to help hype up the crowd on the red carpet while waiting for the limo to arrive?! Yes, yours truly. (Thanks, Power 89.7 for lending me a mic!!) Crowd motivation is kind of my thing – you know this if you go to my school… lol. I love emceeing events and was tickled pink (or red like the carpet) when asked at the last minute to do it.

But I have to say that my FAVORITE part of Friday night was not the actors or the crowds or even the red carpet… it was meeting these two people: Jim and Rachel Britts. (And, no, I’m not just saying that because Rachel now follows my blog or I now stalk her on Facebook, LOL.)

These two right here are the movers and shakers and creative geniuses of this movement that we care so much about. Jim wrote the screenplay for To Save A Life and then he and Rachel co-authored the supporting book. They both have incredible smiles and the light of Jesus on their faces… I loved how Jim took the opportunity to present the gospel in the tent after the movie. (Someone had to do it!!) And I love how their hearts are truly for ministry and affecting the lives of as many teens as they come into contact with. I had to laugh at some of the similarities between them and us – Rachel is a teacher, Jim a youth pastor. They don’t have kids yet, they love God, and they are chasing after His vision and plan!
(Call me a dork, but the coolest people I met through this whole thing were the youth minister/teacher/writers of the group! Ha.)
If you have not made plans to see this movie, DO IT. Take the teens in your life and dialogue with them about the story. Embrace a movie with a positive message about life – a message that extends even in the midst of the negative circumstances that reality presents. And then spread the word. Check out www.tosavealifemovie.com and our local website www.differentkindsofdirt.com.
Become part of something greater than yourself!