J. J. Abrams, Stephen Spielberg, Woody Allen, Elvis, and God’s Unique Work in Us when We’re 14, by Dave Schmelzer

Playwright and Pastor Dave Schmelzer

Playwright-turned-pastor Dave Schmelzer is a true two handed warrior with a background both in theology (Fuller Seminary, ’87) and the arts (Stanford University, ’84.)

Dave leads a thriving church, The Vineyard Christian Fellowship of Greater Boston, writes fiction, and lives just outside Boston with his wife, Grace and their five children.

With four children in the arts I just loved his post. Each of my children were moving in their artistic vision by the age of 14.  I’m going to read it to my just-turned-15 actress-singer-writer daughter. You may just want to reflect on your own journey.


Woody Allen, J. J. Abrams and God’s Unique Work in Us when We’re 14

By Dave Schmelzer via notreligious.typepad.com

I read a fascinating opinion piece recently that pitched that age 14 is the most important one for any artist (or any person?). Age 14 was when Bob Dylan and Paul McCartney first heard Elvis.

“When I first heard Elvis’s voice I just knew that I wasn’t going to work for anybody, and nobody was going to be my boss,” Mr. Dylan once said. “Hearing him for the first time was like busting out of jail.”

Mr. McCartney, the son of a big-band musician, abandoned his first instrument, the trumpet, after hearing Presley. “It was Elvis who really got me hooked on beat music,” Mr. McCartney has been quoted as saying. “When I heard ‘Heartbreak Hotel’ ” — which was released in 1956, when Mr. McCartney turned 14 — “I thought, this is it.”

Age 14 was when Bruce Springsteen, Billy Joel, Gene Simmons and Stevie Wonder first heard the Beatles. Billie Holliday and Frank Sinatra first heard Rudy Vallee (!) at 14.

I just saw Super 8 this weekend–perhaps ill-advisedly taking my three boys (ages 14, 13, and 10) with me.  Two, nonetheless, loved it (as I did).  And it totally freaked out one son (which was understandable–it’s awesome, but as intense a movie as any of them have ever seen; when the lights came up I found myself trying to shield my 10-year-old from others–“Me?  Bring a 10-YEAR-OLD to this monster movie?  Pshaw!  I’d never do such a thing.”).

All to say, it’s J.J. Abrams’ homage to early Steven Spielberg movies like E.T. and Poltergeist, which came out when Abrams was…14. (I might be fudging here.  He might have been 15, depending on how his birthday aligned with the release dates.)…

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