We were lucky to catch up with D. Tina Batten recently and have shared our conversation below.
D. Tina, thanks for joining us, excited to have you contributing your stories and insights. It’s always helpful to hear about times when someone’s had to take a risk – how did they think through the decision, why did they take the risk, and what ended up happening. We’d love to hear about a risk you’ve taken.
“Starting my business meant I had to take a risk on me.”
Before I can discuss the moment I decided to step out on faith and risk starting my own business; I must discuss the origin of risk as it pertains to my life. You see, it’s so unfortunate that some people have horrific childhood memories. I fall into that category. Like so many, I’ve had to overcome many unpleasantries. I’ve had to basically reprogram myself to love, to accept me for the way God made me and allow myself to embrace the fullness of happiness. No easy task to say the least. But this is a story of Victory. “For with God, nothing shall be impossible.” That is one of my favorite biblical scriptures, Luke 1:37.
The word RISK as a verb means to expose (someone or something valued) to danger, harm, or loss. That someone of value was me! Exposing myself and my work to the world. Exposing my reputation to danger, harm, not to mention the possible loss of finances, social status and more. Anyone who has ever taken a risk, can relate to the many feelings that come along with taking that action. The nervousness of exploring the unknown. Feelings of insecurities and overwhelming self-doubt that question your ability to succeed. Just to name a few.
Granted, I’ve been performing and writing for over twenty years. With that said, every new idea, concept, performance or screenplay, comes the risk of not only failure, but success too. Some people tend to forget that portion. Yes, success! I’ve had to put my work out there for all to see, to judge, to comment. Honestly, that could be a major reason why some people are not willing to take the risk. But as my sister friend in the gospel and I always say, “If not me, then who? If not now, then when?”
One of the most challenging endeavors I’ve experienced, was when I stepped out on faith, the ultimate leap and took a chance on me. I had to bet on me to win, to overcome, to conquer obstacles seen and unseen with a lot of prayer for guidance and wisdom. Taking the risk, putting in the time and work needed for my business to succeed has been one of the best decisions I did for me. I continue to learn everyday about the creative space I’m in as a visual storyteller. I work hard to grow my business. For example, making a pivot in the middle of a national pandemic.
It’s not easy and requires hours of hard work and dedication to perfect my craft. I find it so rewarding to know that owning 100% of my original content that I produced over the years, gives me the freedom to license out my work and create several streams of income.
Nothing would make me happier than to see your readers step out from their comfort zones and try taking a risk of fulfilling their dreams and desires. I’d love the opportunity to read about their journeys one day.
D. Tina, love having you share your insights with us. Before we ask you more questions, maybe you can take a moment to introduce yourself to our readers who might have missed our earlier conversations?
D. Tina Batten is an independent artist, founder and President of Sister Batten Productions; a faith-based production company.
Sister Batten has been performing and writing since a little girl but did not take it seriously until the day she turned her life over to the LORD. That was over twenty years ago.
Early on when her gifts started to manifest, the Lord gave her visions, and dreams that played out in her mind. The emotions felt so real, she literally mimicked those emotions in the natural as her own. When the characters were sad, she felt sad, and cried. When the characters experienced happiness, she felt happiness. One can only imagine the emotional strain it took for her to comprehend what she had been experiencing.
Sister Batten later turned those dreams and visions into full story plots. She now writes about them through her many venues of artistry: stage plays, films, books, dinner shows, poems, concerts, monologues and more.
As a visual storyteller, Sis Batten is passionate about bringing encouraging messages of inspiration, hope and encouragement to every project she’s involved with. She brings a fresh diverse voice to the film industry by staying true and committed to her faith. That is one aspect she will not compromise or apologize for. She says, “the way the LORD gives it to me is the way I write it.” Sister Batten continues, “staying true to the message and to present it in such an authentic manner is what I am most proud of.”
On numerous occasions, Sister Batten has worked with profit and non-profit organizations, churches, women’s groups, youth groups, community groups and more by creating original concepts, variety shows, dinner shows, stage plays, films and other programs in the faith-based genre. She has a unique way of developing and creating fascinating stories that touch the heart of everyone who views her work. Her stage plays, films and books promise to take you on an emotional journey of the highs and lows of everyday life. Portrayed in the most realistic manner, Sister Batten’s storytelling touches on subject matters of today demonstrated in the most entertaining way.
Her ability to transition in and out of theater space for live productions, to the world of film and now books with such ease, is an attribute that continues to set Sister Batten apart from most. She cares deeply about the audience and will go through great extremes to make the production a unique, meaningful experience people will remember for years to come. She has a niche for transforming spaces to enhance the audience’s experience as well as the cast members. She is definitely an anointed woman of God who is on the battlefield for the Lord!
Sister Batten Productions offers people interested in viewing her work an opportunity to purchase, rent or download films via online store at website www.SisterBatten.com and other digital streaming platforms: Vimeo and Badami TV.
You can visit the sites below for more information:
BadamiTV Channel www.badamitvchannel.com Diverse Voices Unlimited Stories
Walking in the Spirit
If Not For The LORD, Where Would I Be? Delicious Episode
It Ain’t Over Til GOD Say It’s Over! Staged Play
Sister Batten says, “I’m so grateful to this publication for allowing me the opportunity to share my journey with your readers. Remember, the best is yet to come. Watch and Pray.”
What’s the most rewarding aspect of being a creative in your experience?
The most rewarding aspect of my artistry as a visual storyteller, in addition to spreading the good news of Jesus Christ through unique stories, is by far, knowing how much my work has blessed people and has provided hope, encouragement and inspiration to them over the years. Most people have approached me after experiencing a Sister Batten production and shared with me first of all, how much they enjoyed the production, followed with how much the production has tremendously blessed their lives. People have shared how they were able to identify with the characters, good or bad. People have expressed how they were fully invested and saw themselves in the story of the fictional characters. In return, people were more liable to pay close attention to how the problems were handled, conflicts addressed, and learned techniques as to how they may handle their own personal life challenges. My visual storytelling has provided topics for people to open up and communicate with others. I’m always so humbled to hear such positive feedback from viewers, attendees and readers, past and present.
I tend to work with a lot of teens and young adults to provide a creative safe space for them to exercise their God given gifts and talents. It’s so rewarding to have witnessed those gifted, talented and anointed young people excel and master their craft. I can’t express enough the joy those young people obtained helped to rejuvenate me while providing that extra push for me to keep on moving forward project after project, year after year. These rewards are proof to me that I’m producing good fruit.
So, you see, that is why I find blessing people through my creative artistry has been and continues to be overwhelmingly rewarding. To God Be The Glory!
Can you share a story from your journey that illustrates your resilience?
“You can’t have a testimony without first going through a test…”
A few stories come to mind that illustrate my resilience over the many years of occupying the performing arts ministry space as a creative visual storyteller. One story in particular takes me back to April 2012 when I came face to face with one of the hardest tasks I’ve ever had to go through, till this day.
I was in the middle of the pre-production stage of shooting my first film entitled Walking in the Spirit when my husband and I received the tragic news that our baby boy was killed. With a deep sigh, I’m demonstrating resilience this very moment by sharing my story with your readers.
As you can imagine, after receiving the tragic news of the death of my son, everything went quiet for a while as I tried my best to cope with the loss. I needed time to grieve. I needed time to process living without my baby boy. Several weeks had gone by when the Lord spoke to my spirit. I felt the willingness and urgency to continue with the project. I felt the drive to pick myself up from a very deep and dark place to continue the work I started some weeks prior. I worked, cried, worked and cried again throughout the entire film process. That behavior continues to be true even today. After completion of the film, I toured and got plugged into the film festival circuit. It was during those next few years that actually spearheaded my healing process.
I traveled in film festivals, conducted private and public screenings of the film and received many accolades in the process. That film was truly a blessing to many. It was during the Q&A segment from each screening that I found to be the most challenging.
During each film screening, the production team was instructed not to turn lights back on until after the very last end credit was viewed. It was during that time when viewers would read the film dedication and became inquisitive and intrigued as to the origin of the story. As I looked out into the diverse audience of young people, their parents and many others, there were many questions asked of me about the murder of my son. Lord knows I tried my best to answer each and every question only going as far as I could handle or that I felt comfortable sharing.
The series of questions were very difficult to say the least. I knew deep inside the audience attendees were extremely sincere and concerned about me, my faith and the resilience I displayed by continuing to work through the pain of grieving. I’m reminded of one of my pastors’ favorite statement, “You can’t have a testimony without first going through a test.” Many applauded and commended me for displaying such resilience in answering their questions. Towards the end of each screening, we talked and prayed for each other, and for the safety of all the children in the world. I had no idea how much the message of that short film, Walking in the Spirit, would benefit me as well as it did to all who viewed the film. I’m still a work in progress and continue to grieve the loss of my son. Honestly, it’s my new normal. I’m so thankful for my resilience to hold on to my faith. Which in turn gives me the strength to continue to do the work I’m created to do.
Thank you to the staff and editor for allowing me the opportunity to share a portion of my story with your readers. Praying my words will bless the hearts of many.
- Website: http://www.sisterbatten.com
- Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/sisterbatten/
- Facebook: https://www.facebook.com
- Linkedin: https://www.linkedin.com/in/d-tina-batten-907a5518/
- Twitter: https://twitter.com/sisterbatten
- Youtube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCFDdsx30t9FgbdI4kZJnbTA
- Other: Great news!!! I co-authored a book The Prayer Warrior, here is the website to get all the information and view the book trailer https://www.theprayerwarriorbook.com I’m raising funds to shoot my next film project, Second Chance Feature Screenplay and everyone can participate. Accepting In-kind and monetary sponsorships, partnerships and producers are always welcome. Let’s team up to film this amazing project. For more information visit: the events tab on www.SisterBatten.com
Courtland B. Toney, Photographer of Studioblu