AJ has demonstrated her talent and versatility as a successful actress, musician, and songwriter with The Hollywood Reporter naming her one of the "Top 25 Performers Under 18 That Will Be Shaking Up Hollywood" in 2008. In addition to starring in GRACE UNPLUGGED, she recently wrapped production on the independent feature film Jesus in Cowboy Boots, a Cannes Film Festival entry in which she starred and co-produced. Other features include Secretariat, Super 8, and The Lovely Bones. AJ began her acting career in television, where she's been seen in "The Guardian," "Oliver Beene," "Cow Belles," the pilot "Haversham Hall," and the made-for-TV movie, "Super Sweet Sixteen."
AJ may be best known for her musical talents. In addition to singing and songwriting, she plays guitar, piano, and percussion She recently finished writing and recording a much-anticipated new album in collaboration with her sister Aly Michalka. Known as 78violet, the platinum-selling duo previously recorded as Aly & AJ. The sisters also launched a line of video game accessories targeted at female gamers. AJ resides in Los Angeles.
A basketball player in college, James Denton didn't begin his acting career until he was 28. Yet even after getting good reviews in a Nashville production of Our Town, he believed selling advertising was the smarter career path. After a few more years, he risked everything by moving to Chicago to become a professional actor where he quickly became one of Chicago's brightest acting stars as a company member of the Griffin Theatre and at the Strawdog Theatre Ensemble. After earning a key role in the "Untouchables" TV series, Denton moved to Los Angeles for more opportunities.
James is best known for his longstanding role in "Desperate Housewives." Other ongoing TV shows include "The Pretender," "Philly," and "Threat Matrix." He has guest starred on "JAG," "Slider," "Dark Skies," "Two Guys and a Girl," "Ally McBeal," and "The West Wing," and once hosted "The Miss America Pageant." His movies include Primary Colors, Face/Off, and That Old Feeling. James is also a musician and part of the Band From TV, a group of actors who perform concerts to raise money for charity.
Kevin Pollak is an actor, impressionist, game show host, and comedian. He started performing stand-up comedy at the age of 10 and touring professionally at the age of 20. As an actor, he began his career with George Lucas' Willow, directed by Ron Howard. Among his most notable roles are in Avalon, Ricochet, A Few Good Men, The Usual Suspects, Casino, Deterrence, End of Days, The Whole Nine Yards, and The Wedding Planner. His most recent movie Max Rose premiered at the 2013 Cannes Film Festival.
He has had a number of stand-up comedy specials air on HBO and Showtime. He was the host of TV's "Million Dollar Money Drop" and "Celebrity Poker Showdown," and he also hosts his weekly show "Kevin Pollak's Chat Show, where he interviews influential writers, directors, and actors. He is an avid poker player who has successfully played in the World Series of Poker. Kevin's directorial debut was on the web series "Vamped Out."
Michael Welch is best known for his role as the popular athlete Mike Newton in The Twilight Saga film series. Before that, he played Luke in the television series "Joan of Arcadia." A prolific actor, his other films include Star Trek: Insurrection, Hansel and Gretel Get Baked, The Demented, The Well, and independent releases Born Bad, Unrequited (for which he won the best actor award at the 2011 First Glance Film Festival), Lost Dream, and The Boys of Abu Ghraib. Michael is the recipient of two Young Artist Awards (for Star Trek: Insurrection and "Joan of Arcadia").
He has appeared in numerous television shows, including Emmy® Award winners "CSI: NY," "Criminal Minds," and "Bones." Other programs include "CSI," "The Riches," "Numb3rs," "CSI: Miami" "Law & Order: SVU," "Crossing Jordan," "NCIS," "Cold Case," and "Without a Trace."
After moving to Southern California from South Carolina as a child, Shawnee Smith began her acting career when she landed a McDonald's commercial at the age of 8. She soon became a member of the Screen Actor's Guild, appearing in dozens of other commercials before landing her first film role as a dancing orphan in Annie. She is best known for her cast role as Linda in the popular TV show "Becker," starring Ted Danson. Shawnee also appeared in television classics such as "Cagney and Lacey," "Murder, She Wrote," "The X-Files," and "All is Forgiven."
She discovered a love for the stage when she was 15 and appeared in a play starring Richard Dreyfus. She won the Dramalogue Critics Award for her performance in the original production of To Gillian on her 37th Birthday—becoming the youngest actor up until that time to receive such an honor.
Jamie Grace is a young singer-songwriter from Atlanta whose debut single "Hold Me," featuring TobyMac, landed her a nomination at the 2012 Grammy® Awards, where she was the youngest nominee. That year, she was also nominated for a Billboard Award and four Dove Awards. She earned the Dove Awards New Artist of the Year.
A graduate of Point University with a Bachelor's Degree in child and youth development, Jamie uses her platform as a singer, songwriter, speaker, and actress as a way to motivate those around her, especially kids and teens. She has toured with artists such as TobyMac, Newsong, and Matthew West, and is working on her second album to follow the Dove-nominated, 2011 release, "One Song At A Time." At 11 years old, she was diagnosed with Tourette Syndrome. She has launched social media sites ImaGodgirl.com and ImAFighter.org.
According to Time Magazine, more than 40 million people sing the songs of Chris Tomlin each week. He has ten No. 1 radio singles, three GRAMMY® nominations, 18 Dove Awards, one platinum and three gold albums to his credit. His beloved worship songs include anthems such as "Forever," "Indescribable," and "How Great is Our God."
Combining his faith and his budding appreciation for playing music, Tomlin began writing songs as a boy. While attending Texas A&M University, he led worship at Dawson McAllister youth conferences that drew 10,000 students or more. After meeting Louie and Shelley Giglio, Chris became one of the key leaders in the Passion movement and the flagship artist on sixstepsrecords. He leads worship at Atlanta's Passion City Church in addition to touring and leading worship all over the world.
Singer Pia Toscano makes her motion-picture debut in GRACE UNPLUGGED. After being considered a frontrunner, she placed ninth on the tenth season of American Idol. Her elimination shocked judges Randy Jackson, Jennifer Lopez, and Steven Tyler, all of whom were visibly and vocally upset. Some viewers and media outlets described Pia's departure as one of the most shocking eliminations in Idol history.
Her debut single, "This Time," released in 2011 as did a duet of "The Christmas Song" with Il Volo for their EP "Christmas Favorites." Pia also co-wrote Aubrey O'Day's song "Wrecking Ball" with Steven Miller.
Brad J. Silverman gravitated toward the entertainment industry at an early age. While his dad was a professional trumpet player, Brad became a rock and jazz drummer. But his knack for comedy led to a career in stand-up comedy and as a comedic actor. His career took a different path when he wrote and directed his first short film. In the mid-1990s, he was on a fast track as a writer, director, and producer, until he became a Christ-follower. A short time later, he felt compelled to walk away from the entertainment industry. In 2007, after an eight-year "wilderness" period, Brad became staff writer/director and vice president of production for the newly formed Coram Deo Studios, Inc. After writing and directing a series of successful programs for kids, he wrote and directed the first feature film for the company, No Greater Love, a Christian romantic drama. A Los Angeles native, Brad and his wife Hayley have four young children.
Russ Rice relocated his family from Michigan to Los Angeles in 1990 to attend The Master's Seminary with the purpose of moving into full-time ministry. That year, he also opened a school-fundraising company to provide for his family while he was in school. Signature Fundraising grew into one of the largest independent companies of its kind as Russ poured the biblical values he had learned into his business. In 2001, Rice began contracting with filmmakers to produce videos promoting his company. The projects began winning awards and received attention from major film and television studios. With early success and an eye for growth, he started an in-house media division in 2004, employing full-time filmmakers. In 2007, he incorporated the division as Coram Deo Studios. (Coram Deo: "Living continually in the presence of, under the authority of, and to the glory of God.") After producing a critically acclaimed kids' program, Coram Deo produced its first feature length film, the Christian romantic drama, No Greater Love. Russ and his wife Carina live in the Los Angeles area and have five children, three of whom now work for Russ.