British actor Christopher Lee Power has played many roles in his life, but none has been as powerful as his own where he has been able to break free from a life of abuse and shame to becoming a Christian
|Cover of the book|
Now he has chronicled it in his autobiography called “Breaking Free from the Street to the Stage,” which is now being turned into a film by Owen Carey Films UK
Over recent years, Christopher has had the opportunity to appear in Sky TV’s “The Mystery Files,” toured with an award-wining play, auditioned for a Martin Scorsese film and also appeared in many British soaps including the long-running “Coronation Street,” as well as “Hollyoaks” and “Brookside.”
He has “trodden the boards” in various Shakespeare plays, but many years ago his life was far from the glamorous world of theaters and movie cameras. In fact, it was a complete mess and heading for disaster.
But today, his life has dramatically changed and he says it is due to a powerful encounter he had with Christianity Jesus Christ
Christopher grew up in the Northern England shipbuilding town of Birkenhead, just across the River Mersey from Liverpool and, in his teenage years, found himself entangled in teenage gangs and crime resulting in prison sentences.
But whereas, in his early life, he was fighting in teenage gangs and taking drugs, he now teaches young people how to act both on the stage and in life and also continues a successful career in the acting profession. He is also working on a film project with Owen Carey. The writer/director of “BREAKING FREE,” who is a member of the British Academy of Film and Television Arts (BAFTA).
His debut feature, “BABY BLUES” (2001), has been seen by estimated audiences of more than 35 million people in countries on four continents including China and the USA.
His second feature film “A MIND OF HER OWN” (2004) won several awards including a coveted Crystal Heart Award from the Heartland Film Festival in the USA.
Owen’s third feature film, “THE SPELL,” achieved outstanding success in winning a theatrical release in mainstream multiplex cinemas across the whole of the UK. Subsequently, “THE SPELL,” was picked up for television and DVD distribution by distributors in both the UK and the USA.
Christopher says “I have seen the screen play and we will now contact potential investors with our treatment of the film in the hope of raising the money.”
Christopher’s schooldays were “not as exciting as I expected.” He says he would go out of his way to pick fights with teachers or “anyone in a uniform.” And he says that from as early as eight years old, was sexually abused by both men and women even to the point of been taken into a garage lock up and molested.
“When I was a baby, there was a time when the entire family slept in the same bedroom above a taxi place in a two bedroom flat (apartment). We did not have a bath and running to the toilet at night was not fun as the toilet was in the yard,” he said.
It was at this very place that Christopher recalls a tragedy that still haunts his father.
“My dad had got involved in a fight and his friend was stabbed to death during it,” he recalled. “My father had spent about 18 years in and out of Borstal’s (youth prisons) and later adult prisons.
“I started stealing at the age of five and by the time I reached 11, I had become involved in gangs.”
Christopher recalled that Guy Fawkes Night or Bonfire Night (Nov. 5) was always a big occasion for him.
“On that night, we would build barricades’ and throw bricks and bottles at other rival gangs,” he continued, saying that by now his life had started taking an unfortunate turn for the worse.
“Walking the streets and looking for other gangs to fight with became an frequent occurrence,” he said.
As his young life continued in a downward spiral, he said that that “solvents” then became part of his life.
“At around the age of twelve, glue sniffing was something I did for some time along with inhaling laughing gas,” he went on to say.
It was not until the age of 18 that Christopher finally told his mother about being sexually abused.
“I could have even been killed if I ran away,” he told the ASSIST News Service. “I had such a deep hatred towards anyone in authority such as the police. They had arrested my dad for sticking a plastic shotgun through the letter box when I was eight, resulting in him being taken away.”
At school Christopher’s simmering hatred was so intense that he says he would also “lash out” at his teachers.
So by the age of 18, and by now incarcerated in an adult prison, Christopher life was a mess. The drugs had taken their toll; he was deeply scarred emotionally because of the abuse and had found himself locked up this time for stealing a cash box.
As the years went on, Christopher says that he found himself “in and out of Juvenile courts.”
He said, “I remember my dad coming to bale me out on many occasions. I was given community service, probation, attendance center fines and then detention center.”
Christopher recalls the moment that he was sent to Foston Hall, a Young Offenders Institution, located in the village of Foston in Derbyshire, England.
“It was also known as the ‘Short Sharp Shock,’” he told me.
|Christopher with Miss Piggy|
Christopher went on to say, “I remember being sentenced and my heart sank, as I was taken by a police officer who held tightly onto to my arm and told me not to ‘run away.’”
He went on to say. “There was a Gideon Bible in the dormitory and it brought great comfort to me as I use to mark it with a piece of lead I had stolen from a pencil.
“So here I was, locked up and I was lying on the bunk bed in the cell and I then cried out to God to help me,” he said.
But then came the turnaround in his life that was to change everything. By now he was back on the streets again.
“An old school friend called Jean Pierre approached me and asked if he could have a chat with me,” he recalled. “We both went to a nearby churchyard and under a cross of Christ that was there, he started talking about Christianity.”
From that moment on, many things started to change for Christopher.
“I asked God to forgive me and, although there were no flashes of lighting or thunder, I knew something was going to happen to me,” he said.
As the months went by, he says he was slowly weaned off drugs, drinking, smoking and gambling.
Christopher went on to train at Richmond Drama School, then Royal Academy of Dramatic Art (RADA) and finally at the Actors Studio UK – Drama Theory, based on the methods of Lee Strasberg.
In 1997, through his determination, he gained an Oxford Diploma in acting.
“The very people that I had hated came into my path and I found myself befriending the police and teachers,” said Christopher. ““Opportunities arose and I became a voice for young people talking at times to local councilors.”
He concluded by saying, “I thank God for turning my life around and I am looking forward with God’s help, seeing my autobiography turned into a film, I believe it will inspire and touch many lives” Christopher’s full story can be read in his new autobiography called “Breaking Free From The Street To The Stage” published by O Books at £7.99 (ISBN: 978-1-84694-171-9) and also available from many good book shops in the UK.
It can be ordered also at http://www.o-books.com/book/detail/500/Breaking-Free
If you would like to get involved with this film project or want to contact Christopher his e-mail is: firstname.lastname@example.org and phone number is +44 (0)151 645 9928