By Michael J. ARVIZU
Television actress Sarah Drew is by means no doctor. But she does play one on television. And in the course of her performances on the small screen, she has used her faith as a guiding principle.
The daughter of a pastor, Drew visited La Cañada on Thursday morning, Nov. 6 to give her keynote speech as part of the Crescenta-Cañada YMCA’s annual Community Prayer Breakfast.
The actress, who is eight months pregnant with her second child, jokingly warned the audience that she might need to stop her speech and run to the bathroom at any time. (In the end, she was able to get through her remarks without interruption.)
Addressing an audience of about 100, Drew spoke of her addiction to false affirmation saying the only identity that really mattered is the one God gives us. Jesus, she said, teaches us to live a life of humility and to be servants.
To live by these rules she said is hard. “Especially when the product is yourself,” she said, “and your popularity and the future of your success is measured by how many Twitter followers you have, how many fans idolize you, or what feedback you receive from the audience you are performing for.”
In retrospect, Drew said, it really didn’t matter what those people thought of her. But she could never see past her own false affirmation.
“I never cared about how I dressed or how I looked,” Drew said, speaking about the years before she made her television debut. “I was told by agents that I could not compete in this industry until I learned how to make myself more beautiful.”
Over time she said she forgot who she was. In the midst of working in television she forgot that her creator made her and the one who truly loved her inside and out and cherished her with all of her flaws was God.
Overall reaction to her keynote was positive. Guests felt she spoke candidly about her career and was not afraid to hold back.
“I think it was eye opening to the industry,” said the Rev. Steve Poteete-Marshall, pastor of Crescenta Valley United Methodist Church. “There are people behind it who have real aspirations and dreams.”
Poteete-Marshall said the industry holds a lot of temptation, much like ordinary life. It was refreshing to hear from someone who has gone through the same struggles.
“She could testify to what helped her through that … and that, on the other end, she came out stronger,” said Poteete-Marshall.