At the beginning of my acting career, or, more accurately, before my acting career had begun, my dad, failing in his attempt to mask his frustration and disappointment, burst my bubble by sighing through gritted teeth, “It’s going to be a long time before anyone pays you to be an actor.” The validity or wisdom of his claim at the time aside, I eventually did make money as an actor. For that, I am thankful and feel a sense of pride in accomplishment. It’s not easy to make any amount of money as a theatre artist, much less have the IRS recognize it as your career. Granted, actors and non-actors often have differing definitions of things like “making a living” and “career.” For example, retirement for many actors means dinner theatre in Boca Raton.
Loudly rasping out Stanley Kowalski over the shrill from the competing hearing aids of fellow elderly Gen-Xers as they enjoy their overly salted surf and turf no longer appears to be in the cards for me. Acting is no longer my career; in fact, at this point, it doesn’t even qualify as my hobby. I don’t know if I’ll ever tread the boards again; I’d like to one day. But, for now, it doesn’t seem likely. That’s a realization that I’m learning to be thankful for as I rest in God’s sovereignty and the fact that since I’m in Christ, all things are being worked out for His glory through my sanctification. Even in hard lessons, though, God, in His goodness, provides unlooked for and definitely unearned blessings. Like acting, making money as a writer is much easier said than done; I’m thankful that God has blessed me with a job that wasn’t even on my radar of possibilities a mere two years ago.
For those of you who don’t know, No Depression has hired me as a columnist. The thought that I’m a professional music critic is simultaneously exciting and hard to process. I don’t know if this is my career or just a really cool rest-stop provided by God as He continues to make me more like Christ. Regardless, and for however long this lasts, I’m going to enjoy it and strive to be grateful for the experience. My hope is that many of my friends enjoy it, too, and, maybe, will find some new music and new beer that will remind them of how good God is while seeing His love demonstrated in the good gifts of music and beer.
To that end, for my column’s first official article, I have paired beers with select tracks from the Toadies’ latest album. This is an album that both my wife and I enjoy, and, taking advantage of one of my job’s perks of free tickets, we’re both looking forward to seeing the band live this coming November. The article can be found here, and, if you haven’t already, please read and please consider sharing with your friends and family; in other words, help me impress my editor.
Thank you for reading and for your support.
 And you have to be willing to eat a lot of Ramen noodles.
 No Depression, for the last twenty years, has been on the vanguard of promoting Americana, alt-country and roots music. I am incredibly honored and humbled to be afforded this opportunity by one of the music industry’s most respected publications.
 I do realize that for some of my family and friends, while happy that I have this opportunity, my column is outside the pale of their personal standards of holiness. If that’s you, please know that I understand and am very thankful for your desire to live out your faith in the ways that you believe best point others to Jesus. Our unity in Christ is what truly matters.