Christy Sutherland Speaks Jan16

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Christy Sutherland Speaks

Christy Sutherland has spent more than a decade in Nashville.

christy1During that time, she garnered two major-label country recording contracts, a staff writing position for one of the biggest publishing companies on Music Row, multiple appearances on the Grand Ole Opry and a degree from Belmont University. Of course it doesn’t hurt that she happens to be country music legend Barbara Mandrell’s daughter-in-law. The vivacious singer-songwriter recently turned her considerable talents in a new direction, scoring a lead role in the upcoming feature film, “Welcome to Inspiration.”

Mike Parker – Tell me a bit about Laura Ann, the character you played in the film, “Welcome to Inspiration.”

Christy Sutherland – She is a young, single business owner who runs the local coffee shop. She comes from a background of abuse, she was in the foster care system. She has a good heart, and has a tendency to do the wrong thing for the right reason. She rescues a young girl out of a bad situation.

Parker – Laura Ann is a complex character. What did you do to prepare for that role?

Sutherland – Fortunately, I had a great upbringing, so I don’t have any first hand experience in that world. I read several books on abuse, and interviewed people who had been involved in the foster care system. I really opened my eyes to the great need that exists to help care for these vulnerable children.

Parker – You are known primarily as a singer/songwriter. When did you get bit by the acting bug?

Sutherland – It happened with this movie. It’s my acting debut. Before this I had no experience other than being a couple of school plays. But I loved every minute of it and would love to do more.

Parker – The title track to your latest CD, “Greater Still,” is a duet between you and Jason Crabb. Jason also appears in “Welcome to Inspiration.” Coincidence?

Sutherland – Jason had already been cast in the film to play himself, and his manager wanted to pitch me for the script. I met with Mr. Enochs (the book’s author) and he told his family that I looked like the character, which was very encouraging. The only problem was I didn’t have any acting experience. I worked with an acting coach for weeks before I sent in my audition video. The producers liked my audition, but didn’t want to give a lead role to a complete unknown, which was disappointing, as you can imagine. I was getting ready to leave the country on a mission trip to Guatemala when I got the call that I was cast.

Parker – What’s next on your agenda?

Sutherland – I’m in Texas doing concerts. We do a lot of prison ministry, and I just love it. The people are so hungry for hope and the love of God. When we get back I’m going back into the studio to do a CD of classic hymns. Then we’re going back to Guatemala to work with the mission organization, Feed the Children.

The Seven Questions

  1. What’s your favorite sound?

Sutherland – A baby laughing.

  1. What makes you happy?

Sutherland – Fried chicken.

  1. What makes you angry?

Sutherland – People who are rude.

  1. What is the secret of success?

Sutherland – Turning your life over to God.

  1. If you could have dinner with anyone in history, living or dead, who would it be?

Sutherland – Mary, the mother of Jesus.

  1. What is the epitaph that is written on your tombstone?

Sutherland – Mother. Wife. Daughter. Child of God.

  1. When you get to heaven, what is the first thing you want to hear God say to you?

Sutherland – “I’m proud of you.”