INSPIRING PEOPLE: Jocelyn Sluka

Jocelyn Sluka is a fabulous actress and a wonderful friend. For years we have travelled together with Friends of the Groom Theater Company, and there is not a gig we’ve done (out of hundreds) when she has not been kind and professional off stage, and nailed her characters perfectly onstage.

She doesn’t just act; like Meryl Streep on screen, she channels characters on stage. In one show alone (The Case of the Missiong Bodies) she plays a luscious femme fatale, a scrappy street kid, and a godfather knockoff. I never get tired of it; after all these years I still peek around the curtain in rehearsal to watch her transform.

It’s not just talent that lets someone play an adoring mother, a bag lady or a burnt-out heroin user with five husbands, all with equal conviction. It’s empathy. Jocey feels for people; she gets them from their own perspective.

I don’t know anyone who has forgiven more. I don’t know anyone who has stayed more faithful to God, in joy and in suffering. I don’t know anyone who’s more fun to travel with, which is a good thing because we have sstayed together in homes and hotel rooms all over the country and overseas for three decades.

When she was a young actress she heard a clear call from God to leave Hollywood and devote herself to theater that embodied the love of God. How superbly she has done this, how faithfully and cheerfully. I think when she gets to heaven, there will be a long standing ovation.