The
Inspiration
Project

WITH BRENDAN CORR

GUEST Jason Perini

Jason Perini
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Episode 45

Jason Perini: Episode Description

On this episode of The Inspiration Project, Brendan Corr talks to director, writer and actor Jason Perini about what attracted him to the entertainment industry, being comfortable with the unknowns of acting jobs, finding work life balance, what school life was like for Jason, the time he became aware that he needed God, the role of entertainment in the Church and what it means to entertain people.

Episode Summary

  • How to respond to the unknowns in life
  • What attracted Jason to the entertainment industry
  • What school life was like for Jason
  • Growing up in a Christian home and when Jason realised his need for Christ
  • What it means to entertain people
  • Understanding the nature of people through storytelling
  • The different expressions of entertainment
  • The role of entertainment in the Church

Episode Transcript

Sponsor Announcement
This podcast is sponsored by Australian Christian College, a network of schools committed to student well-being, character development, and academic improvement.

Introduction
Welcome to The Inspiration Project, where well-known Christians share their stories to inspire young people in their faith and life. Here’s your host, Brendan Corr.

Brendan Corr
Well, good morning, everybody, and welcome to another episode of The Inspiration Project podcast. We have with us this morning Jason Perini. Jason is a storyteller, director, writer, actor. He’s been involved in some major productions in Australia and around the world. A recipient of several awards. Some of his films have been part of the Chopped Fest Australia, and New York City International Film Festival. Some films have been shown at the Cannes Film Festival and received numerous awards through that period of time. Involved in short films, and longer films on both sides of the camera and production side. Even dipped into preparing some commercials, I understand, Jason. Can I thank you for your time and what’s your current project that’s occupying your space while you’re locked up in isolation?

Jason Perini
Oh no, thanks for having me, Brendan. Thank you so much for having me. Good question about my current project. Well, most of my industry is completely shut down. Yeah, so my agent has talked about how, yes, everything is shut down. But it’s a funny time too. For a lot of us who are freelancers, it actually has given us space to keep moving and creating. So there are a few biting projects that I’ve been able to just keep pushing forward. I also just managed to do a short, little acting job for a friend of mine last week, which was for a pilot for something that may be on television a bit later this year. And I do lots of voiceovers for radio and things like that, so they have been ticking along but for the most part, the isolation has actually just been a time to gather myself a little bit, slow down and just work out actually what are the things I really want to put my energy into almost when things start kicking off again. But my big project at the moment, I guess too, is I’ve just had. Well I’ve been at home with my wife and three kids.

Brendan Corr
Yeah, that’s a project.

Jason Perini
Yeah so my current project is just trying to have as much fun as we can in this crazy time that we’re in.

Brendan Corr
It’s interesting. I’ve noticed a number of posts that have been going up on Facebook and Instagram have echoed that sentiment, that the project of a lot of you guys that are involved in the creative industries are more about self and it’s finding back to that centre of core. It also speaks to the nature of the profession that you’ve chosen. It is almost the ultimate gig economy sort of thing. Apart from the very few who get longstanding, long-running shows, you know it’s going to be event by event, project by project. What attracted you to that almost itinerant lifestyle in terms of a career or a workplace?

Jason Perini
That’s a good question. I think for a long time, I have. The hard thing about my industry often is just how it’s a project-to-project thing, so often I don’t know what’s happening potentially a week from now or two months from now. And so a lot of it is just being able to sit in the unknown of how things are going to happen and how things are going to come. But I guess the way I got into my industry was I had always been interested in things like acting and storytelling at school. But when I left school, I went straight to work for a church and did that for a number of years. And after I had some, I guess, difficulties about how I would fit working for a church, I then thought, “I really want to study acting.” And I thought, “I’ll just study acting for a few years before I potentially go back and go to Bible College,” and something like that. But the way things happened, I studied acting. I got some work when I finished, and I’m still kind of, 11 years later, still kind of figuring out how it all works. But yes for me, I don’t have a 9:00 to 5:00, and it is project to project. With the kind of isolation and what’s going on in the world at the moment, it’s also not uncommon for me to be at home and don’t know what’s going on anyway. So at one level people who work in the creative industries, I think can adapt a little better to this because it’s not like we’ve gone from 9:00 to 5:00 and then everything stopped. We tend to have seasons where nothing’s going on, or everything’s going on anyway. So it’s kind of, yeah, the current way the world is going, kind of works, I think for people in my industry. A beautiful thing about work not being regular is that I get to spend more time with my family, and I get to be around for lots of those things, but it does have its stresses with, yeah, not being able to plan ahead too much, and yeah, having to just give into the fact that I’m not in control of my timetable a lot of the time.

Brendan Corr
Yeah, that’s not a life that everyone would choose. The ability to know what was coming up next week or next month or next year and be able to plan. These are the holidays that I know are coming that I can work towards and factor in. Was that something that you’ve had to learn to live with or is that an inherent part of who you are that you’re comfortable in the unknown?

Jason Perini
Yeah, that’s a good question. I think if there was one thing I could probably change about my work life it would be that I wish there was more structure. I think particularly being a husband and a father, sometimes I would find it easier to just manage life if I knew there was a structure. Having said that, my wife and people who know me well say that I would never survive working in a more structured environment. Yes, I have often wanted to just say, “I want to quit this industry and just do something that’s a little bit more predictable,” but yeah those people who know me best can just say that would drive me crazy. So although I feel like I’m constantly trying to work it out and get used to it, even though it’s been my career for the last decade it’s still I think, probably the only thing I know how to do really is the uncertainty thing. So yeah, it’s that thing where I don’t love it but I guess it’s all I know a little bit as well. So, I’ve just managed to, each day muddle through with it. But it’s definitely a challenge in my work for sure.

Brendan Corr
Yeah, you mentioned in a comment earlier that you found or picked up on an interest in this area of career while you were at school. Let me take you back to school. What was school like for you? Was it a fun place to be, or a hard place to be? Was it distracting?

Jason Perini
No, I was very fortunate in that I always had good experiences at school. I remember just school being a place that was fun. To be honest, I don’t remember much that I necessarily learned in school and I definitely would go back and apologise to a few of my teachers who I didn’t pay enough attention to but no I was privileged in the fact that the school I went to my dad was also. I went to three different schools. I went to a primary school, my local primary school till I was in year four and then I moved to another school from years five to year nine and then another school from 10 to 12. And all those schools I would yeah say were fun. But in middle school where I spent most of my time. My father was a teacher at and he was very liked by the students and the staff.

Yes. So he did a great job, I think of just knowing how to be my dad and also a teacher in the school. He was the chaplain at the school I went to. And I think those years, between years five and year nine, were helped in the fact that people liked me because they liked my dad. And so, that made life easier for me at school. So school was just always, I think a fun place for me. It had it’s challenges like it does for everyone but as I look back on my schooling life, I’m just very grateful to God for the way that he gave me a really positive schooling experience.

Brendan Corr
That’s wonderful.

Jason Perini
Yeah at school, I was not particularly great at math and science and things like that but I lived for the drama, art, and English. Those subjects I just loved and could spend all day doing. And so I kind of had this funny thing where at school, I’d either love it or not love it so much depending on the subjects I had that day. But I would happily just do art, drama, and English all day and not have to worry about the other ones.

Brendan Corr
I think that’s a typical experience for kids, that they feel pretty early that they know what’s in the core of them and what’s driving them. I want to come back to some of the implications of that but you’ve mentioned a couple of times that your dad was a chaplain at the school and you went straight from school to church. Clearly, you grew up in a Christian family. But you were also very personal in your awareness of what God was doing in your life, even at school.

How did that develop? How did you become a personal, one-on-one follower of Jesus rather than just being your school or your family, or your community?

Jason Perini
Yeah, that’s a question I actually love thinking about because I can just see how close I feel like God has been to me. So my parents were missionaries in Africa and when my older brother was born, they came back to Australia. And I have just been enormously blessed that I have an older brother and a sister and my mum and dad, we’re all Christians. And my mum and dad were just really incredible examples to me as a young boy that Jesus was this man who could be my friend, who would look after me. And also another thing at school, I remember in kindergarten our scripture teachers. We had a few scripture teachers that were just bonkers but some of them would come into class through the window and it was always stories and fun. And the church I went to had a great youth group. So I always associated, I guess, Jesus with this very adventurous man that was calling me into an adventure as well. And I used to love Disney cartoons and I used to love just stories of all kinds and getting to explore the wonder of those things. And yet I think of God’s grace and my parent’s example. I didn’t feel close to Mickey Mouse when I would go to sleep at night. There was something about, even though I would lump Jesus in with all these other stories, there was something about the person of Jesus that felt like I was close to him and I could talk to him and there was a friendship there and I think that was encouraged by my scripture teachers, the church I went to but mainly my brother and my sister and my mum and dad just showed me that a life having Jesus as your friend was rich and fun and felt like an adventure, yet it was also intimate and close. So, I have never not thought of Jesus being someone who was real and alive to me and who’s a close friend of mine. And that friendship has grown as I’ve gotten older. But I’m always trying to get back to that very childlike dependence on this person, Jesus, who’s my friend. So it’s always been a very strong presence for me.

Brendan Corr
Despite what many Christians would see that the Christian faith is something that is constraining and limiting and imposing, your experience was the opposite, that Christianity was an adventure. It was a fullness of life. It was opening things for you. Is that how you felt?

Jason Perini
Absolutely. I think the childhood I had, if someone had said to me, “Christianity is about rules and about following commandments,” that would’ve made no sense to me. Christianity was this invitation to be invited into a friendship with Jesus, who then as I got older into my early teens I started to be told about the fact that actually I fall short of being a perfect human and then Jesus is not only my friend but my saviour. And then as I got even older, I started to realise more and more, well, if he’s my friend and saviour, he also needs to be my king and my lord. And so all those things have been a constant wash for me but even things like when we did the Ten Commandments as a young boy, all the rules and those things of Christianity, maybe the cliché things that people think are constraining about it. I always saw those things within, I kind of knew that they were all part of the big sweeping story, that it was all part of the way that God was treating his people and looking after his people. I think I’ve been very fortunate in just always knowing, well, God is real and He’s a relational being. And so yes, I haven’t ever found Christianity limiting to me at all. If anything it always has been a freeing thing. I’ve had my moments where I’ve been embarrassed by being a Christian. That’s still something that I struggle with with people sometimes if I don’t feel like they’ll understand where I’m coming from. And I have all sorts of issues with obeying God and still trusting in Him. Yes, I do have very anchored down in me the sense that Christianity is an adventure of relationship with the creator of the world, and so yeah, that’s just, again, that’s just by the grace of God and by the great example of my immediate family.

Brendan Corr
And it’s allowed you to step into an adventure of life.

It’s been like a self-fulfilling prophecy. Your conception of what God is and what He has for your life manifests in the things that become possible for you.

Jason Perini
Yes. Absolutely. I was thinking about this recently, this whole idea that because I feel anchored in my relationship with God and that’s actually a deep firm foundation anchor because I know I have that anchor there, it allows me to feel like I can explore and fly a little bit in my Christian life. So I think having such a strong anchor in Jesus actually allows me to feel like I can fly through life.

There’s a filmmaker called David Lynch whose films probably aren’t for everyone. His stuff is pretty out there. But he tells the story about what he likes. His stuff is pretty weird and he talks about how he likes writing films in a diner because there’s the safety of being in a public place like a diner and he feels like his mind can wander. And he can go and explore weird things because he’s always got the safety of being back in the diner and in this safe place. And I kind of feel a little bit like that, I guess, Jesus is my diner.

Yeah, I feel like I can go and explore things a little bit that may sometimes be a bit uncomfortable or a bit weird because I know I’ve got the safe place of Jesus with me. So that’s something I’ve just been thankful for and have been reflecting on recently actually.

Brendan Corr
So you have this very strong sense of God’s presence and place in your life. You’re a teenager. You leave school and head to church. I want to come back to that. You find yourself in the entertainment business, all facets of it: writing, acting, producing, films, short films, commercials. I wanted to ask you, for you, what do you think entertainment is? What is entertaining?

Jason Perini
That’s a good question. I probably don’t feel like I’ve ever answered that for myself. I don’t think in terms, maybe so much in entertainment, though I think it’s a really wordy question for me to think through, I guess I’d just think of it in terms of stories and characters and things like that. So I guess it’s just. Yeah I am bad at answering that question, which is crazy because that’s what I spend most of my time doing. I believe that entertainment or storytelling is about being able to connect with other people and with other ideas that I haven’t thought of. I think C.S. Lewis has a thing about stories being windows into other places and being able to then travel in other people’s shoes. And I think, probably, that’s what I love about it. It’s the chance to see what someone else’s life is like, what another world could be like. I do love that every time I watch a movie or see a play, I’m going into a world that I’m not part of and that it will somehow give me another dimension to my own understanding of life and the world and God, by watching how someone else and how another world is dealing with it. I guess that’s as best as I can answer but I am bad at answering that question.

Brendan Corr
I get what you’re saying. So the reason for my question is, I can see you’ve been involved in different sorts of media.

And so the notion of entertainment is not just a thing that is light and frothy and distracting. You essentially said Jason, that it is allowing people to access something beyond themselves that it’s something more than that. And it could be light and frothy and fun and uplifting or it could be challenging and it could be confronting in some ways.

That it’s no less entertaining in that it’s engaging and it’s drawing you to some sort of a response from your humanity, from your personhood.

Yeah, I think that’s great. So that leads me to this question. You’ve been involved in some comedies. Some of your things have been comedies but you’ve also been involved in some heavy-duty drama.

Where do you feel you naturally lie or what do you think’s the difference between those expressions of entertainment?

Jason Perini
That’s a good question. I grew up in a family that probably prized laughing and a sense of humour almost. I think in my family growing up probably God and Jesus were the most important things but it almost felt like having fun and laughing were a very close second. So I grew up in a family which didn’t take a lot of things seriously. My parents are both very cheeky. My brother and my sister have great senses of humour and are very funny. Everyone in my family, except for me, is very funny. I grew up in a family where you take God seriously but you don’t take yourself seriously. And my dad used to put me to sleep to tapes of standup comedians and my dad would always be watching comedy on TV or listening to comedy on the radio or things like that. So I think that’s where I feel most at home. And usually, I can see, what I think is the funny side of things quite quickly, even when they’re things that shouldn’t be funny. And with drama, I think for me, I work a lot as an actor and sometimes drama is harder for me because I can often see the funny side very quickly of things. When I used to act a lot more in theatre, which I do less now because of just the time constraints. I stopped doing that because we started having children and things like that. But I used to do a lot more drama in theatre. There is a power to drama but I think, I’ve heard people who work in comedy saying in drama, the actor just has to make themselves cry whereas, in comedy you have to make a room full of people laugh. And so they would tell me that actually, comedy is a harder thing. And I think I agree with that in a sense. I think my personal struggle with drama often when I am involved in it is that because I struggle to take myself seriously and things seriously, I will always second guess when I’m doing things that are dramatic. But my background is more in comedy but I am trying to move more into things that aren’t going for the joke and the lighter side of things. I guess I want to start to explore a little bit more the brokenness of the world through the things that I work in. As to the difference, I think drama and comedy have both got to come from a place of truth. With drama and comedy, it’s how well we can observe humanity, and how well we can observe the way people function in the world and that’s where both of those things come from. So I think that you’ve just got to be very specific about how much you can observe the way people are creating the drama or comedy. So in that actually they’re the same but they’ve got to be specific.

Brendan Corr
So, you’ve been involved as an actor as you’re saying and the certain skills that are required to bring a character to life in front of people’s eyes, whether that’s in film or on stage.

You’ve also been involved in the pre-production side of things where you’re writing and directing and crafting what that story is going to look like. Does that require you to have a deep insight into the nature of people? Do you need to know these are the buttons or the levers that I can manage that are going to have the effect that I want to have on the people who are going to see this in a week, a month, a year’s time?

Jason Perini
That’s such a good question. I think whether you’re acting or writing or directing, or whatever part of the storytelling process you’re a part of. People often say that the most universal things that you can do are when they’re the most specific. So I think it’s just whether it’s writing or directing or acting. There’s a famous writer and director called Mike Nichols. He made films like The Graduate and things like that. And he always talked about how whenever you’re looking at a scene, whether it’s in the theatre or a film, you just have to ask yourself, what would this really be like? And it’s actually interrogating, whether you’re directing, acting, or writing, thinking to yourself not what is the cliché version of this or what is the stereotype of this but what is it really like if people break up in a relationship? What is it really like if I split my pants open at the bus stop and I’ve got nothing to wear? What is it really like if I have a close person die to me and how does that affect me? So it’s always just trying to get to the core of how people really do this. And I think the more specific that we can be, then the more universal it is to everyone. And so I’m still learning that, and I look back on previous work I’ve done, and I think I missed the mark a lot of the times with that but it’s a growing thing that I’m just trying to keep working at. How would people really do this? And so in that sense, I think whatever it is with the kind of storytelling you really want to try and observe how people do react and how specific they can be and you can be in representing that, if that makes sense?

Brendan Corr
It goes back to your word that both comedy and drama need to be truthful, and they need to be based on something that is authentically a human experience.** **Or it doesn’t touch the heart of the people that you want.

So given that you’re looking for truthful responses that you can capture, do you find yourself being an observer of people? Do you find yourself sitting back and watching and noting your life around you?

Jason Perini
I do and I think that was something that came to me from my parents too, at an early age. I can even remember when I would be before school when I was three or four, I would get on the bus with my mum to go up to the shops and she would point out the old lady who would be falling asleep on the chair next to us. I think my parents were always people that I guess found observing people kind of funny and so that’s part of it. But it is I think actually, there is a deep kind of sense to observing, just because on what you were saying before too there was an acting teacher and his last name was Meisner and he had a quote about what acting was. It was trying to live truthfully under imagined circumstances. And so the crazy thing about storytelling and particularly acting is that you’ve got this contradicting thing where you’re making up an imagined scenario for yourself but within that imagined scenario, you’re trying to live that imagined thing as truthfully as you possibly can. And so I think trying to then see the truth of the world around you helps you have an instinct for your imagination to know how best to bring that to life in a way. So I think always, the truth of the world and then the truth of I guess how your imagination can recall that, is a big part of what the work I do is really. Yeah, I would definitely sum up what I do for a living as trying and telling the truth but in an imagined circumstance.

Brendan Corr
Related to that, the idea that you’re looking at the world around you looking at people’s lives, you’re reflecting on circumstances, you’re reflecting on truth. Where do you get ideas for new stories? Where do they come from?

Jason Perini
If anything, my problem is that I have too many ideas for stories and most of them are probably rubbish. Yeah my brain just will automatically go to the story. It’s my brain’s default. My brain just naturally goes to thinking, “Oh, what would happen if two people were sitting in a café and one of them said this, or what would happen if a guy’s on the train and this happened?” So that’s just how I’m wired. That’s not to say that the stories that I think through are any good. And often it’s just those moments and then the hard thing is actually going, “Okay, well, I have five seconds but how do I make an hour and a half out of this, whatever?”

Brendan Corr
Do you know when you have a good idea, Jason? Do you know when something’s hit you with a lightning bolt, you’re like, “That’s worth developing”?

Jason Perini
Yes, I do sometimes but do you know what I’ve found recently? I collaborate with some. There are some writers and other directors and actors that I’m collaborating with a lot and often they will come to me with ideas that they have thought of. And my brain will just go, “That is perfect.” Often it’s when other people say to me an idea they have I’m like, “Yeah, I can see how that is a fully-fleshed idea that we could make a story out of.” I think probably for me a good idea is probably just when I myself can be interested in an avenue that I want to keep exploring. And I’m sure my wife can tell you that I go down a lot of different avenues with stories I’m working on and I tend to get to what I perceive as dead ends and then go onto something else. My problem is actually, I have probably 20 ideas of films I’d love to make right now but the trick is to just settle on one and go hard with that, which is why it’s good having collaborators that can push you and invite you onto their project that you can work at it together.

Brendan Corr
Do you think that helps you filter through ideas that are going to work and get a different perspective?

Jason Perini
Yes, that’s right. And that’s the beauty of also just sharing ideas with other people is that you’ll either see that they light up and they take it somewhere or it falls on deaf ears too. Yeah but I just think there’s all these ideas everywhere. Sometimes I just wish I could turn off my brain a little bit at that level. But I just see them everywhere. I made a short film a few years ago and I saw someone had tweeted that this couple was pretending to get engaged in different Burger Kings in America and they’ll pretend to get engaged in the store so that they can get free food and they just went on this tour of proposing to each other at different Burger Kings to get free food. And that became the basis of a short film that I wrote and directed. So that becomes the launching-off point and then it snowballs a little bit.

Brendan Corr
I want to come and draw you back to your time in church and how those things connect together. But before we get there let me ask you. You find this idea, you hear this story of this couple that’s a real-life event. It triggers, “That’d make a great film.” As you were turning that into a product, are you conscious of, I guess what I’m asking you is, are you looking for the approval of the critics, the industry, the peers, or is that less important it’s just, “Is this going to make the audience laugh?” Is it going to be a popular appeal? How do you balance those different possibly competing demands?

Jason Perini
That’s a good question because sometimes I work on things where I will direct an ad or I’ll direct something for someone else, and at some level, you’ve got the higher power of if it’s for a brand or something, you’ve got to make it so that they like it. So sometimes you’re actually answering to a higher producer or someone like that, where you’re trying to get your version of something but ultimately you don’t have the final say. But when it’s something where you’re just making it as a passion project thing, I think for me it’s, will I just be able to. I think it is probably for me and I love actors so if I’m not acting in something, it’s like if the actors are loving it, then I know that I like it. I think at one level, I probably don’t think of the audience enough. And now that I’m starting to evolve a little bit in my writing and when you go and approach more places like Netflix or Stan or something, they do kind of know, “who is the audience?” and that’s a big question for them. So I’m just learning to be more aware of that as I develop things but yeah, for the most part, I think, yeah “what would make me just feel great watching this?” So at one level that may be a selfish answer but it is a constant thing, I guess of working at. I’ve definitely made lots of things and I’ve watched them back and I go, “I don’t like that I did that there.” And I think sometimes it may be because I was trying to answer some imagined audience out there. But I think probably the stuff I enjoy, I’m hoping that the people who watch it have similar sensibilities to me and will enjoy it as well.

Brendan Corr
That’s great. Jason, I want to bring you back to the Jesuit experience you had. You went from school to working for a church.

I was wondering, the church has got a story to tell. It wants to reach people, reach their hearts. What do you think is the place of entertainment in the business of church?

Jason Perini
Gee, that’s a good question. At a lot of levels I would prefer to say I don’t feel like I should be a person to answer that. So I’ll say that first. But having said that, I think you can’t escape the fact really, that the way I know the creative universe is probably first and foremost through a book, through the Bible. And in that book, the Bible, is full of stories. And then when God’s son comes to Earth, He comes and He sits down with people and He talks about how there were two men, one built his house on the sand and one built his house on the rock. And when the rain came. So you have this person of Jesus who is God in the flesh who’s come to Earth and he thinks it’s worthwhile to sit down and tell people stories. So I think you can’t deny how much God values stories, that God values meaning in things like symbols and imagery, that he just calls himself the Door, or he calls himself Bread and you go, “What, that doesn’t make a lot of sense just with logic.” I, in one sense need an imaginative story-aware brain to make sense of those things. So I do think that the Church should be actually a family of storytellers, that what we do is we tell the story of how God has loved people through the history of the world and it’s that story that ultimately we are to get caught up in. But having said that, I don’t particularly personally feel I have much to offer the Church in terms of my own storytelling. I think sometimes, the Church wants things to be super clear and super obvious and perhaps if I was to be a little bit critical, doesn’t always realise that the audience can figure out things for themselves and they want to make things so clear that you can’t get any other meaning out of it. But I think the good stories usually you have to dig a little bit at, which are also like the parables of Jesus. You’ve got to dig into them. I think for the Church to keep growing as a family of storytellers, we need to not just go for the obvious kind of banging people over the head with things. We’re allowed to treat our audience with enough respect that things can feel hidden at first, or things need to be, to dig a little deeper. I think often where I’ve got into trouble in the past with helping with different church things is that I guess I just haven’t been clear enough in what the message is sometimes and I want people to dig a little bit deeper but I think there’s sometimes a fear in, “Well, if we don’t really serve up this is what this means, we’re somehow going to get ourselves into trouble.” So yeah I guess to be fair, I have a bit of a bruised history with my work and the church and so that’s something I need to keep asking forgiveness from God and people, where I’ve been quick to judge. It’s kind of a work in progress for me. I think God is a storytelling God and Jesus was a storyteller, and if anything, what is sharing my testimony with someone is just telling the story, like basically what you’re doing on this podcast is saying, “Tell me your story, and how does the story of God interweave with the story that you find yourselves in?” It’s a clunky answer.

Brendan Corr
No. I think you’ve been able to get across exactly what you’re meaning and rather than, I was interested because I had wondered whether part of your response to that question might have focused on the production side of theatre and the glitz and the gloss and that. But you’ve gone much deeper than that superficial level, and hit the essence of living truthfully, which is how does that get communicated? How do you communicate what is truthful other than through comparison, metaphor, example, or parable? And, I think you’re right. I think that is part of where the Church needs to remember its purpose, to grab people’s hearts and to persuade them in a way that is revelatory of a grand story.

Jason Perini
Yes, on you touching on the glitz and glamour, this could be a longer discussion for another time but before I went into the film industry. When I did work for a church and I would do a lot of preaching and I was up in front of people a lot of the time, I struggled a lot more with my pride and with my, I guess, sinfulness during that time than what I do now when I work as an actor. I’ve been fortunate to work in Hollywood and have some pretty cool experiences there. But I think that I was much more in danger of actually the glitz and the glamour when I was becoming more of a well-known person in church circles than I am being a person who’s known in the entertainment industry. But that’s a whole other story.

Brendan Corr
That’s really interesting. I think you’re right, that is another whole conversation to have around the way in which the Church needs to guard its own heart from some of the things it might criticise in other agencies, in other institutions of society. That is a big question. We might invite you back in a while and have a talk about those sorts of things. Well, Jason, you’ve been so open with your time with us and your reflections. We started by talking about the fact that the project that you were involved in during this isolation was not a retreat, but at least a reflection back on where you’re at and who you are and what are the things that will be coming up in your future, family and work and faith.** **And we want to just assure you of our prayers for that, and we’ll be really hoping that God makes His next step very clear for you, and gives you a clear view of who He is and what His place in your life right now needs to be.

Jason Perini
No, thanks, Brendan. That’s very kind of you. And thank you for just being interested enough to let me think through those things. I’ve been able to listen to previous episodes of the podcast and I’ve got something out of each of those. So thank you for, I guess, just providing a space and some open air for people to just chat about those things. Thank you for the work you’re doing too. It’s very kind of you to have me on.

Brendan Corr
Jason Perini, God be with you.

Jason Perini
Thanks Brendan, thanks for having me.

Jason Perini

About Jason Perini

Jason Perini is a director, writer and actor. In 2012 Jason co-wrote and acted in the short film 'A Little Bit Behind'. He was awarded 'Best Actor' at the International 48 hour Short Film Awards in the USA. The film screened at the 2012 Cannes Film Festival shorts corner. In 2016 he wrote and directed his short film 'The New Empress'. The film starred Maggie Gyllenhaal and was produced by Dana Brunetti. The film had its premiere at Paramount Studios (Los Angeles) as part of the Jameson First Shot project. In 2018, Jason acted in and co-wrote the online Wallabies campaign for ASICS 'The Travelling Salesman', which was co-produced with LADbible. The campaign has had over 3 million views online and was the winner of the Mumbrella Sports Marketing Awards 'Social Campaign of the Year'. Jason's directorial feature film debut 'Chasing Comets' had its national cinema release in August 2018. The film played in over 90 cinemas across Australia. Jason was nominated for an ADG award for 'Best Director in a Feature Film' (Under $1mil) in 2019. The film is currently streaming on Stan.

Photo of Brendan Corr

About Brendan Corr

Originally a Secondary Science Teacher, Brendan is a graduate of UTS, Deakin and Regent College, Canada. While Deputy Principal at Pacific Hills for 12 years, Brendan also led the NSW Christian Schools Australia registration system. Brendan’s faith is grounded in a personal relationship with Jesus Christ and a deep knowledge of God’s Word. Married for over 30 years, Brendan and Kim have 4 adult children. On the weekends, Brendan enjoys cycling (but he enjoys coffee with his mates afterwards slightly more).