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Young Actress Entices Fans To Read

Actress Alena Pitts will discuss her role in the hit movie "War Room," and shares how she is now inspiring young readers with her new book series, Faithgirlz. Read Transcript


NARRATOR: Alena Pitts had planned

to be a lawyer when she grew up, but in 2015,

when her aunt Priscilla Shire asked

her to audition for the movie "The War Room,"

Alena had no idea she would get the part.

Today she's 13 and balancing life

as a student, model, and contributor to the magazine

"For Girls Like You."

Alena uses her life experiences to highlight solid points,

a fun story about faith, love, and family in her book,

"Hello Stars."

Well, Alena's joining me now.

It's great to have you with us.

Thank you.

What's this about you wanting to be a lawyer?

I love to debate and just kind of argue over different things.

Not in a bad way, but I like to argue sometimes

just over my point of view.

And so that was kind of a distant thought,

but I don't want to stay in school for too long, so--

It's too much school for you, huh?

Yeah.

[LAUGHING]

All right.

So you're sitting there.

You want to be a lawyer.

You like to argue, and suddenly you get cast in this movie.

Yes.

What was that like for you?

It was definitely just like I had

to learn to give God control.

It was really hard, kind of just because I

had my whole life planned out.

And then I was like, am I going to become an actress?

Like, what?

So it was definitely just something new

that I had to open my eyes to.

GORDON ROBERTSON: It must have been really hard for you

to go from zero to a starring role in a movie.

ALENA PITTS: Yes.

GORDON ROBERTSON: How did you make it through?

Kind of just God-- and it wasn't like hard-hard,

but it was just hard kind of just learning to--

I've always been an introvert, so it was hard

learning to just talk to people and be bubbly and kind of

get into the character.

So that was the only difficult part.

Most of it was fun, though, because everyone

was super nice and super fun to be around.

OK.

When you said you had to rely on God, what does that mean?

What did you do?

Pray.

I had to pray.

And then my parents just helped me a lot get through it

and stuff like that.

OK.

You talk about prayer being sort of a discovery for you--

Yes.

--that you hadn't been used to that.

Why was it a discovery?

I used to think it was only for, I guess, younger--

I mean, older people, just because they

had testimonies and things that hurt them and things to talk

about and pray about.

And nothing had ever happened to me,

so I didn't really have anything to pray about.

And then I realized God wants to have a relationship with us

after the movie, just because everything we did in the movie

was all about prayer.

And I kind of just learned the power of it.

GORDON ROBERTSON: OK.

So you're studying for the movie.

You're studying to be a part of the movie, movie's about

prayer, and you say, I bet--

I wonder if prayer can help me, right?

ALENA PITTS: Yes.

So how did God show up?

You would pray, and then what would happen?

So actually with my new book, "Hello Stars"

which you haven't introduced yet,

but I'm going to go ahead--

You can.

[LAUGHING]

So me and my mom--

my mom just said, we should write a book.

And I was like, yeah, sure, but I don't

think it will actually happen.

I'm 13.

And so she was like, let's just pray about it.

And so we prayed about it, and three weeks later we

got the opportunity to write the book.

So it just really showed that was just

one of the thousand ways that God has showed that He's

listening to our prayers.

GORDON ROBERTSON: That is kind of a miracle.

ALENA PITTS: Yeah.

GORDON ROBERTSON: For-- who approached you for the book?

ALENA PITTS: Zondervan.

OK, so they saw you in the movie,

and they said, would you want to do a book?

Yes.

And you had prayed three weeks before--

Yes.

--God opened the door for a book.

Yes.

GORDON ROBERTSON: That's a miracle.

Yes.

GORDON ROBERTSON: [LAUGHING]

What happened on set in the movie?

Like just dealing with prayer, or--

GORDON ROBERTSON: Yeah.

So one time, this man, one of the camera people--

I can't remember his name.

I think it was Bob--

but he was just shooting, and all

of a sudden he got a phone call from his grandpa's mother

or something like that saying he had had a heart attack.

And so he just kind of broke down and he told the directors.

And there were so many things the directors could have done,

but they just decided to pray about it.

And so we all stopped and shut the cameras off and everything

and just prayed.

And then the next day, his grandpa was fine.

And so it really just showed, like, wow.

These guys are all about prayer.

OK.

How did that work for you becoming an actress?

It was a lot of fun, definitely different

than I thought it was going to be, in a good way, though.

I enjoyed it a lot.

I've been super busy now just doing interviews and things

like that for it.

GORDON ROBERTSON: OK.

Well, let's talk about your book, "Hello Stars."

And as I understand it, it's a book about someone

who becomes a star.

Yes.

So sort of like you.

Yes.

GORDON ROBERTSON: What do you want people

to take away from the book?

Really just I kind of want young girls

to just take away, like, they could

have their whole life planned out

and they could totally be in control of their entire life,

but they really have to just learn

to give God control in order for their wildest dreams

to come true, just because us trying to do it on our own

is going to take us nowhere.

OK.

It is sort of funny for me to hear you say,

I had my whole life planned out.

[LAUGHING]

That's something that I-- nah.

It doesn't work that way.

Why did you think you could plan out your whole life?

I've always been a controller.

I love to be in control.

I can be bossy at times, and so I've always just

bossed my sisters around, things like that.

And so my mom would always be like, Alena,

you can't always be in control because that just

causes a lot of stress for no reason, and things like that.

And so now that I think about it,

it was honestly really silly that I

thought I could be in control of everything that happened.

Yeah.

I've learned a phrase, control is an illusion.

You're kind of never in control, even when you think you are,

the more you acknowledge God and what He's doing.

One of my great prayers is--

and I learned it from my father--

God, can I be a part of Your plan,

because Your plan will be a whole lot bigger

and a whole lot better than my plan.

And that's a good prayer.

That's a good prayer.

What's next for you?

Now that you're in control and you

know how to pray and get an answer,

what are you looking for now?

I love to sing and kind of just all things

artsy, and so I'm hoping that I can do that in the future.

OK.

So you want to be an artist, a writer, a painter?

All of the above?

Kind of.

Not the painting part.

GORDON ROBERTSON: Not the painting part.

OK.

Artist and writer.

All right.

You got another book coming?

Yes.

There is one that comes out-- the second one comes out

in September, and then the third one comes out in January.

GORDON ROBERTSON: So you're doing a whole series?

Yes.

OK.

Is it directed at girls?

Yes.

OK.

So it's all part of, I want to help you with the things

that I've learned and how to get along in life, how to succeed.

Yes.

Well, good for you.

That's great.

I love it.

Any movies coming up?

No, not right now.

GORDON ROBERTSON: Any TV shows?

No, not right now.

GORDON ROBERTSON: Do you have an agent?

Yes.

All right, so you're getting pitched.

All right.

Well, we look forward to it.

If you want to learn more, her book is called "Hello Stars."

It's the first one in an ongoing series.

It's going to be a series of three,

and it's available wherever books are sold.

And it's wonderful to meet you.

Thank you.

And I'm so glad you're not a lawyer.

It's wonderful.

Yeah.

That's going to be great.

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