06 Apr, 2016 What I Learned Being Ray Liotta’s Personal Driver on OSCAR Night
Talking about God to Ray Liotta was one of the highlights of my decade long experience in Hollywood. God can use all of us in ways we’ve never imagined.
When you live in LA, there are some off-the-wall jobs people do between their acting gigs to help them pay rent and survive. One such job I agreed to do, was dressing up as a costume character for Hollywood events and kid’s birthday parties. Elmo, Johnny Bravo, Bugs Bunny, Scooby-Doo and yes, Barney were just some of the few ridiculous costumes I threw on – and quickly threw off when done. Luckily, there were some “cooler” jobs I booked, like when my agent called and asked if I’d drive the new Cadillac Escalade all over Hollywood and be a chauffeur for whomever needed a ride – even celebs.
That was a no brainer…let’s see, get paid to drive in a killer, fast-moving vehicle with the windows down and the music blaring as I cruise down Sunset boulevard? Shouldn’t I be paying them? About 20 of us were booked for this job and many of my friends and I had the best time calling each other about who we just dropped off and where. Our job was to show off the new vehicle and talk about it’s features to the peeps in the backseat as we drove to their destination.
When it seemed like life couldn’t get any better – it did. Our Cadillac crew got a call that we were requested to drive celebrities around town for the OSCARS. We were all assigned a different actor to pick up from their home, take them to the awards show, return to pick them up after it ended and then drive them to all the happenin’ parties afterward. Seemed simple enough!
The talented Ray Liotta was the victim of my wild driving skills for the night. He’s the actor who starred in countless movies and TV shows like Hannibal, Goodfellas, Texas Rising, Muppets Most Wanted and is the voice of Billy Handsome in the video game Mob of the Dead and Tommy Vercetti in the video game Grand Theft Auto: Vice City. Even though he played many scary movie roles – and has the looks to go with it – he was one of the kindest, most genuine actors I’ve met while living in Hollywood.
As I pulled up to his gated mansion just north of Santa Monica, I was shocked that I was even allowed to know where he lived. He opened the gate and invited me inside his house. It was immaculate! I remember thinking those were the highest ceilings and the most luxurious curtains I had ever seen. I waited inside until his wife Michelle was done getting ready and then we jumped in the Escalade and hit the streets. I remember thinking, “How in the heck did I get here? Am I dreaming?”
On the passenger side seat lay my Bible. I was excited to see where the conversation would take us during the night. We were barely out of his driveway when Ray started asking me questions. I filled him in about my Wisconsin farm kid upbringing to my current journey in Hollywood and that I mentored teens at a local church. He and Michelle, quickly asked more questions about the teens. I shared about my passion for helping young people base their identity in Christ and not pop culture. We talked about God throughout the night, usually with Ray’s leading.
Ray asked about tithing and what scripture I had read on the side of the road while he was partying with his friends inside. I had such a fun night with those two. At one point Ray said he didn’t like the whole hoopla of the party scene, but said he needed to make an appearance.
Ray taught me many things that night.
If you’re afraid about sharing your faith with others, know that they might be looking for a sign that God exists.
— Tina Marie Griffin (@TinaMGriffin) November 12, 2016
You could be the sign God sends to them to help bring clarification to their doubts! If anyone ever denies what you have to say, they are NOT denying you, but Christ. You’ve done your job and now they can’t say they never heard the truth.
Ray seemed interested in the Bible and asked many more questions than I ever imagined. He was polite, fun and such a pleasure to talk to. Ray, wherever you are, I pray you’ve found the truth in Christ and you are a witness to others on set! I do hope we get to hang out again soon.
Question: When did you share your faith even while you were afraid? You can leave a comment by clicking here.