Greg and I (Liz) are continuing a conversation about the roots of FX (see Part I). Some of these roots should probably stay buried in the dirt, but then I’ve never professed to have journalistic scruples.
What kind of reaction did you get from families?
We had no idea how massively this thing would take off! We had families just walking in from the neighborhood. For some families, we were their church. I was surprised how it connected with such a wide range of people… single parents, divorced families, and kids and parents of ALL ages. It even fit schedules better, because kids and parents weren’t going in opposite directions as happens so often at church. They were experiencing everything together.
Why do you think FX took off like it did?
Including drama and improv really led to everyone’s guard falling fast. They didn’t feel like they were being preached at. It was a party. Living room theatre. There was no fourth wall. Everyone in the audience felt relationally connected to everyone on stage. It really made us increase the caliber of our performance.
What do you think the key was to getting FX launched?
It started because we had to. In fact, I don’t think it would have happened at all if NPCC had had a building right off the bat. By the time the permanent space was being built, FX was so established that it was easy to stay, “Well of course we need to include a space for family time meeting. And by the time we were in the building, it made sense to build time in the schedule for it.
We couldn’t have stopped it at that point. In fact, the FX families would have probably gone and started their own church!
Did you ever suspect FX would become as important as it has?
No way. And it’s a good thing we didn’t. It would have been WAY too much pressure.