Micah Lynn Hanson’s new movie A Match Made at Christmas was, fittingly enough, something of a match made in heaven for the rising actress. The movie was filmed in her hometown of Coeur D’Alene, Idaho, in her best friend’s childhood home, and Micah got to serve as both the lead actress and associate producer. It was truly an experience of seeing a dream come true in the full circle faithfulness of God.
But these mountain top moments for Micah have been far from instantaneous. They’re the result of a lifetime of growth and becoming. Micah’s story begins with a shy, homeschooled kid in Northern Idaho who ultimately found her voice through theater. God has steadily fostered that voice, through the challenges of self-doubt, the pain of chronic illness, and the road out of legalism and into grace. Wherever you are in your own process, this conversation Micah had on Trevor Talks is likely to offer encouragement to lean deeper into community and grace.
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Micah Lynn Hanson 0:01
Pain is going to happen. Regardless. I just don't want to waste the pain. Whether that's physical pain, emotional pain, whatever it is like, don't waste it, lean into it, and see what it's telling you. If it's physical pain, it's telling you there's a problem, you know, so how can we help our body in this journey?
Trevor Tyson 0:20
Thank you for tuning in to Trevor talks podcast, where we talk to real people about real topics in real stories. Today's guest is an actress, encourager, and such a sweet soul that I know for a fact you'll all get to know and love. You may have seen her in the Kendrick Brothers a latest hit movie overcomer, or even from her lead in the film like arrows. Maybe you saw her in Nashville on TV, or in NFC if you want love music, video, and several other music videos from friends of the show. She has a new film out now on Pure Flix called a match made at Christmas and I'm so grateful to finally have her here with us. Here's my interview with Miko, Lynne Hanson mica, like it's been a year like we've been trying to do this forever. So we're here we made it. We are finally it's like we met for the first time at the overcomer red carpet. And I could just tell you had this spirit about you that was like, not go getter. But just like you're super thrilled to be there. It's like you had been working for this a long time. And here we are promoting a film that you're a leader in, which is not your first time doing a lead. But it's it never gets old seeing friends succeed. So I'm happy we're able to sit here and talk about it today.
Micah Lynn Hanson 1:38
Me too. Thank you so much for bringing me on. I love this so much. Oh, of course.
Trevor Tyson 1:43
So how's everything been? I know, the past year has been interesting for filming and such. So what did that look like for you?
Micah Lynn Hanson 1:50
Yeah, so actually, this film that's coming out in matchmade at Christmas, is we were slated to shoot it in March of 2020. So I was currently driving across the country. From like Tennessee, where I had been living in Nashville, I had just moved to LA. So I was driving from Tennessee with the rest of my stuff I was going up to we're shooting in quarterly in Idaho, which is my hometown, which is super special. So this film was shooting up in my hometown mountain resort town in Idaho. I'm halfway across the country, with everything I own in my car, and I get the call that we have to shut down because of the pandemic. And I was like heartbroken. I was like, Oh my gosh, like, it's never gonna happen. This film's never gonna happen. But I was like, Well, I'm on my way home, I'll just stay. My parents still live in my childhood home. So I was like, I'll just stay with my parents, we'll wait it out, you know, the two weeks flatten the curve, that whole thing went really well. So I ended up just staying in my hometown. And we were actually able to shoot in September and October of last year of 2020. So we're able to shoot during the pandemic, nobody got sick. Everybody was safe and healthy. And it was just a total God thing. So yeah, yeah, it was interesting. I think it was the only thing I shot in 2020. So
Trevor Tyson 3:08
yeah, I think it's like one of the things that really stood out like from the get go with meeting you is, you're simplistic and you don't seem to be in a rush to get to the next thing, which is very rare to find. In today's day and age. It's like when you find someone that's actively like, invested in what's in front of them. That's super special. And you carry that super well. Now, with recording all of this during the pandemic, was it really weird compared to shooting beforehand. And I want to talk about the film in particular, but there's something about like we had Nathan Clarkson on and he was talking about like living in New York City during the pandemic. And that's a whole lot different than me being in Georgia and the Nashville and such, like, what was it like shooting a film and a pandemic? That sounds interesting all on its own? So
Micah Lynn Hanson 3:57
yeah. I mean, thankfully, we're in a really small town up in like I said, northern Idaho, there's not a lot here. We didn't have to shut down too badly, just because it's not a super populated area. But it was different just because, everybody if you weren't on camera, you know, you had to have a mask, you had to have those types of things you couldn't be as like I don't know, I really like connected with people that I'm working with, whether it's, you know, the lady running crafty or whatever. And like this was a small, really small, intimate indie film group. So we did still get to be close with everybody. But you know, it's just different. You know, there was some times where a couple people on set broke down in tears because they were scared that they might get something or pass it on to their elderly mother or, you know, like there were moments of fear but I just got to you know, come alongside those people and just pray with them and just, you know, know that like, God's goddess God has this production. While it's not actually a faith based film, pretty much everybody on set are all believers, the whole production team, the right directors producers are all like believers. And so we had that we started every day with prayer, you know, just for everybody's safety through the pandemic. So if this was a SAG film, I have no idea what it would have been like, I don't think we would have been shooting if it was a SAG film, quite honestly. But yeah, we just invited the Holy Spirit to help us through the whole process. And while it was different, and we lost a lot of locations, because of it, we lost certain things because of the pandemic, and we had to wait months to even shoot it. But God really used it all to help the film. And in the long run, I think,
Trevor Tyson 5:34
come on, and for this film, in particular, a match made at Christmas, tell us a little bit about it, why you're so excited for people to finally see it and what it means to you.
Micah Lynn Hanson 5:45
Yeah, so it's got to be the most near and dear to my heart film that I've done thus far. Because not only is it shot in my hometown, it's shot in my best friend childhood home like, I've known them since I was two years old. I'm actually this is their house I'm in right now. So this is Holly's house. They, we used their home as my character's home. So it's shot like in my hometown, in my best friend's childhood home. You know, a lot of my costume pieces were like my grandpa's flannel, or, you know, like, it's just, it's so special to shoot something to get paid to go to your hometown and shoot something. It's like, yeah, I don't know that there's many actors who have ever gotten to do that. And I just feel so incredibly blessed. And then on top of it, it is also I'm a first time producer on this. I'm an associate producer on this project, which is super cool. And it's just it's amazing getting to work with a bunch of like minded people. And the story is so cute. Like, so cute. The best way I can describe it is like, Hallmark Christmas movie meets like a more gritty like 90s rom com, kind of sharp. So there's a little more grit to it than like Hallmark. But it's you know, it's very feel good. You know, typical small town girl who loves Christmas meets the cynical big city boy, you know who hates Christmas? That kind of a plot, but with a lot more heart to it.
Trevor Tyson 7:06
Yeah, and I was watching through the trailer. And it looks like y'all had a good time filming this thing. And a lot of that can probably be credited, obviously, like, I can't imagine how comfortable I would be shooting something in my best friend's house that I grew up with in the hometown. Like, for me, it's a whole lot different. Like, I obviously like the brand, Trevor talks was just a blog and stuff before it became a podcast, but being able to just I'm not signed with anyone, like I fully fund everything. So being able to have that freedom. I can't imagine doing it anywhere else. Like I'm at my house here in Georgia now, which you can see Fredo Ray and my dog over here. So yes, I saw you earlier he's Yeah, he was being pretty vocal. Like every time the Amazon trucker. Someone go by. So I had to bring him in here. And like it's comfortable. Like I feel good about it. And we did the double Ward's a few weeks ago. And I mean, I'm not saying I don't like doing the in person thing. But like when we met at the overcomer premiere, red carpet interviewing is like speed dating. It's like bare bare bones stuff, you don't have a lot of time to prep. And doing this. It is like when you do an indie film compared to doing a SAG film, you know, like you have huge budgets for some summer like bare bones. We can hop on and record an interview like this for literally like we don't have to pay for time traveled. We don't have to pay for plane tickets, hotels, a crew to come to it. We can just set up a camera here and do it. And a lot of people are like, Oh, I have to have this big budget do this and that. But that's not the case. Like in 2021. To be musician, you don't need a manager. You don't need a booking agent. All you need is an internet connection and a talent to be an influencer or whatever which I hate that word. It's so overused, like just figuring out like, Okay, God, what do you want me to do with my wife? And where do you want me to start for me? I started in my home for a lot of other people. They started in theater and doing things and their hometown. So I want to really dive into your story in particular, though, you were born in California and then you moved to Idaho. Tell us a little bit about where all of this started for you.
Micah Lynn Hanson 9:16
Yeah, so I was homeschooled in northern Idaho. And I because I was homeschooled. We didn't have like a theater program or anything. But I did a couple like sketches with my church. And I don't know I just I've kind of just like had a knack for it. And then my sister brought home like a newspaper clipping like we didn't even have internet like this is you know, we lived away out like we didn't have service or anything. And she brought home a newspaper clipping with a advertisement saying that there was auditions for a children's musical theatre production in this little playhouse in my hometown called Lake City Playhouse. And they were like the next day. And now mind you I was the excruciatingly shy, awkward kid who could not make it contact with somebody to like, save my life. And but I always knew that I wanted to be doing this like nobody else knew, but I knew. And so I went and sang acapella for this audition. Like, my parents were like, who are you? What have you done with our daughter kind of. And I got cast in it, and the lady who was the director for it, she was a believer, and got me involved in C yt, which is Christian youth theatre. And I just getting on stage, there was no way to explain it other than it just I just knew how to do it felt like home, I felt comfortable up there, which is again, bizarre because shy, awkward kid doesn't, can't talk to people kind of a kid. Like, I mean, when I say like, awkward, like, I had like coke bottle glasses, like I was just the most awkward child you can imagine. So getting into theater, I always credit getting into theater with given me a personality because I didn't have one before. Like, I just I didn't. So getting into theater just gave me that confidence to like, start becoming who I feel like God really created me to be and getting to be on stage and be somebody else, for some reason gave me that confidence to do that. But it was just something like I always loved people watching, I loved watching people and setting them. So it was like, I knew how to put an emotion on if that makes sense at all. Like I knew how to do that, for whatever reason, I don't have any real technical official training. I just, I just knew how to empathize and how to portray human emotion, I guess. And I just loved it. Like I've always I've always loved singing. And so getting to be on stage and doing musical theater was just the best of all worlds. It was just the best thing ever. So I started there. The lady who was the director of that first production, she ended up being my very first agent. She started in like a film agency. She's now like a producer on Broadway, like she's doing huge stuff. And I love her like I still see her whenever I can. And yeah, she just really believed in me saw something in me and I think that's been the biggest part of my story. And my journey is having amazing people believe in me and encourage me because nobody my family does this. Nobody's in the entertainment industry. I never even knew it was something you can make money at. Like I didn't know it was like, it could be a career path. You know, like I had no idea when I got into it that that was a thing. But God just always placed people around me I call them my spiritual bumpers you know when you go bowling and you suck at bowling and so you have to like put the bumpers up. Like that's how I see it. God just put these these people in my life that like the bumpers and I've just been the the bowling balls just like being like pinballing off of these bumpers the whole way down. But he's never let me I've tried to get in the gutter. Like I've tried to jump over those bumpers and like land in the gutter and I probably have a couple times but you know, they're always there like pick me back up and be like, Okay, you can start pinball in office again. Like, here you go. So
Trevor Tyson 13:03
and you didn't start acting until your teens so yeah credited for like acting for you finding your personality? How would you describe your childhood prior? Like, I know, you said you were awkward wearing the coke bottle glasses and everything. But was it something even with being homeschooled sometimes, unfortunately, kids can go to church and get bullied? Was that something that you ever struggled with? Or fitting in?
Micah Lynn Hanson 13:27
Yes, for sure. So we did you know, we had some extracurricular activities we go to like the Awana program. I don't know if you know that or like, Sunday school. And I wouldn't say that I like got bullied. I mean, I remember a few harsh comments. Because on top of on top of being the awkward homeschooler I'm I was legally blind in my right eye. And so I had to wear a patch on my left eye. It's a really long story. But not only was I the awkward kid with glasses, but I also had a patch on my eye like, like the one eyed girl at church or, you know, in the long dresses, like I was raised very, very hyper conservatively, my parents are recovered drug addicts and alcoholics. And so God bless them, they just swung the other way. And we're like, we're keeping you guys safe, you know, you're not going to have to be part of that world. And so they went a little overboard, you know, and they would agree with the group and not say anything they don't know. And so I was raised. I always joke and say I was raised under a rock because I just didn't know about the world. I didn't know about life outside of my tiny little community. And so getting into theater was a good kind of getting my toes wet because it started in children's theater, like theater can be a very dark place. I'm not gonna lie, the entertainment world can be a very dark place. But getting into children's theater and then Christian youth theater was kind of stepping on my toes into a safe space to learn and grow my craft before kind of getting into more of the secular side of things. And but yeah, it was it was very, a very sheltered upbringing, but because of that, there was a lot of learning I had to do later on in life. That was pretty be painful. Because we all have to learn those things at some point, you know?
Trevor Tyson 15:04
Yeah. And for you breaking out of that kind of homeschool bubble, I guess we'll call it. What was it like breaking out of that awkward stage of life and really starting to discover who Michael enhance and actually is going out being in the world, realizing like, Okay, I really have an act and a calling for this on my wife. So I really want to pursue it with everything I have. Like, I guess what I'm trying to ask is for the person that's listening right now, maybe they were homeschooled, and they're like, Oh, I'm always gonna be awkward, or, I, I've recently had a glow up and I don't know how to handle real life. What would your message as someone who's been through it, be to them,
Micah Lynn Hanson 15:45
have good people around you. Like that will always be what I go to have good mentors and listen to your mentors. Like you don't have to do everything, you know, word for word, what they say, but listen to them. You know, like, if they're good people, if they love you, they love Jesus, like they're going to be doing their best to point you to what is best and healthiest for you. But also, step out there, stretch yourself also know that it is okay to mess up. I wish I would have known it was okay to mess up because I dealt horribly with codependency, which is kind of a fancy word for like compulsive people pleasing. Like, I would somehow in my mind, I would justify lying in order to keep somebody safe to keep people emotionally safe. I could lie but so long as it was like keeping people safe, like it wasn't malicious. So it was okay, you know, or just so that I didn't wasn't perceived as like the screw up or so that I didn't hurt somebody and like, that's not that's not love. That's you self protecting yourself, you know, because if somebody thinks ill of me, like, I'm nothing, you know, like, you've got to have enough worth in who you are, who Christ has created you to be to know that. You can mess up royally. You can faceplant, and he's going to be there to love you. And there's grace for that. Because I would, I would think there was Grace for everybody else except me. You know, and so I just couldn't screw up. I think a lot of especially if you're raised in a very conservative, like legalistic home, I think rules are a big deal. And like messing up is like, unthinkable. And yeah, so I just say, have grace for yourself that surround you with people who will call you out when you mess up, but also pick you up when you mess up, and walk you through that forgiveness process and that recovery process from the screw up, you know, because there's a lot of anxiety that comes along with, at least for me, like so much SIL so much anxiety, and I've gone through years of therapy to work through a lot of this stuff, but there's still so much anxiety around, messing up and I'll do so much to just try to negate any potential mess up. So you know, and like, you can't, you can't live life cleaning up a mess you haven't created, you know, like, just don't waste your time doing that, you know,
Trevor Tyson 18:10
yeah. And I've found myself in that before, like, and actively, like, you're like, gosh, shouldn't have done that you beat yourself up about it. But all you're doing is causing yourself more stress. So giving yourself grace is so big in your life. And one of the things I want to touch on with you is growing up with chronic illness and pursuing your calling through it, because like for you, in particular is Crohn's disease. So many people out there struggle on a daily basis with the same exact thing. And I think it's super encouraging to have such a strong woman like actively pursuing her career and chasing the God giving calling that you have on your life. It can't be easy. It's not something that you can kind of pace yourself for, but you can actively learn how to overcome these symptoms on a daily basis. So what did that look like for you? And for someone out there that thinks that that's a huge roadblock that they'll never be able to get past? What would your message be to them?
Micah Lynn Hanson 19:11
Oh, man, so I wasn't officially diagnosed with Crohn's disease until I was like 25 I believe 2425 I know I had been dealing with symptoms of it for years prior I just didn't understand like, what was going on because it kind of came on gradually and when your body's in a lot of pain for a long period of time you forget what normal feels like. But that was also right when I was really starting to pursue film like I was diagnosed I think like the year before I got the role in like arrows like I remember sitting on set and like arrows and God bless. Mary Smith was a makeup artist and I was sitting there like crying because I was in so much pain and she's doing my makeup and tears running down my face ruining the makeup that she just did and she's you know, fixing it and you know, my my biggest I don't know. It's what I can encourage people with is that let it's okay for people to know that you're struggling. It's okay for people to know you're not okay. I think that was partly why not saying that, like, God gave me this disease, but like, he allowed it in my life because I think he needed me to know like, Hey, you are not Superwoman you can't do everything you need people. And I always wanted to be the person there for everybody else, it was really, really hard for me to ask for help or admit, like, Hey, I can't do this right now, like, and I remember when I was first diagnosed, I was in shock, for sure. And, you know, a few weeks or months into it, I just remember sitting on my bed and just kind of like screaming and crying and be like, okay, jokes over like, I'm done. Like, I can be better now. Right? Like, this isn't this isn't funny anymore. Like, I'm really done. Like, I'm really, I've always been, you know, I grew up in the, you know, like, Country Girl, like, do it yourself. Like, I've lived on my own since I was 18. You know, like, I didn't really need people. But I would just say, like, people love you, and they want to be there for you. And also, I think, for me everything. I truly believe it's kind of cliche, I think we hear it a lot now, but like, I truly believe everything happens for you, not to you. But it is that's a mind shift. You have to see it that way in order for it to for that to work for you if that makes sense. You know, because I could and I for a while I definitely lived in the victim mentality. It was like, Oh, poor me like, oh, I have such a good sob story now, you know, and I would use it 100% Like I needed it for a little while to be like, Oh, yes, please just feel bad for me. Like, Oh, I'm so strong. I know. I'm dealing with this so well, like I'm humble. You know, like it was a thing but realizing that I don't know it just what what can I learn from this? And what how can I use this to help other people? My friend Sarah Hammett? Do you know Matt and Sarah Hammett? Yeah, you would know that. Your great friend are wonderful. So Sarah, and I've talked a lot about, you know, their journey with Bowen and his heart and everything. And yeah, I love what she says she said it best. She said, pain is going to happen. Regardless, I just don't want to waste the pain. Whether that's physical pain, emotional pain, whatever it is, like, don't waste it, lean into it, and see what it's telling you. If it's physical pain, it's telling you there's a problem, you know, so how can we help our body in this journey, I chose to go holistic route, I chose not to go on medication for it because I didn't feel like my body was lacking a medication. I'm not saying medication is wrong. I did medication for a little while, but I wanted to try to give my body what it needed to fight this disease. You know, and it took years and years to come on. And so I knew it was going to take years to heal. And so just be patient with yourself and know that it's nothing is forever. Even though this disease for me, it is an incurable disease. It's something that really keeps me in check. If I'm not taking care of myself mentally, physically, emotionally, spiritually, my body lets me know, because otherwise I'll just overwrite it and just plow through it and be like, I'm fine. I'm fine. I'm fine, you know, but my body will stop me and be like, okay, okay, I'm listening. I'm sorry. Like, what do you need, you know, like, Okay, I'll slow down, I will reconnect, you know, like, you've got to support the body that's supporting you, you know?
Trevor Tyson 23:24
Yeah. And I have hypothyroidism. So figuring out like, Okay, I had to learn different things about myself to work with. And, you know, if you don't take care of hypothyroidism, one of the huge issues that I saw with like, even before I was diagnosed, they were like, Oh, you've got panic disorder. And it turns out, like that was a symptom of the hypothyroidism. So it's also incurable. So you have to stay on medication for it for your whole life. And it kind of just balances out. But there's also things in my diet, there's triggers, and also stress. So I have to keep myself in check. Because with running a marketing agency and working on a ton of projects at one time, it's so easy to find myself getting overwhelmed. And it's also like, even for doing live events, like those stresses me out, but they're my favorite thing in the world. And the funny thing is about those, like, when I'm emceeing a concert, like I'm the most comfortable me like being on stage and making people laugh, like Scream, whatever, I am fine when I get there, but the days leading up are so bad for me. And I've realized that and I'm like, Okay, I'll want to call out like two days before one day before on the way there like, I can't do this, but once I get there, I'm fine. It's literally like can we put me to sleep for the days leading up maybe the week weren't good, but that's just one of those things. I've had to learn to roll with the punches and get through and it's so refreshing to hear Not that you're in pain, but like that there are also people out there that have to, like, learn to live with this stuff, and that are actively seeking holistic approaches to this. And like you said, like medications, not the devil or anything. It's just, it's a decision that you make for yourself. And you find what works for you. It's not a one size fits all. It's not a blueprint that we can find. And God's made us all so unique, that something that works for me might not work for you, if something works for you might not work for me. And that's the beauty of about diversity, especially when it comes to our culture in general. Whether it's secular Christian, wherever you're in right now, like, you have a purpose, I believe that God has a plan for every single one of us. And he's actively working within us. And that's just the beauty about all this awesome beauty about the show getting to dive into the stories behind the people that we see on screen or hear on the radio, it it, it was always something in the back of my head that I'm like, Okay, this is what I'm going to do. But as you could probably relate, I never saw it actually happening, you know. And it's just God's working on each and every single one of us in such unique and diverse ways. Are we willing to drop everything and go for it. And from an outsider perspective, it looks like you're actively doing that. And I know that a lot of people are going to be encouraged by your story. And that everything you've shared with us has a purpose through the struggles through the heartache through the awkward seasons, like there's something in this for a little bit of something for everyone in this. So Miko, thank you so much for taking time to be with us today. And sharing about the movie, and all the fun projects you're working on. And then also diving into the vulnerability about your life because I truly believe that your story can save lives and heal so many people from symptoms that they're struggling with on a daily basis, whether it's mentally or chronically. Just thank you for being vulnerable with us today.
Micah Lynn Hanson 27:01
Thank you for opening up a space where people can come and just hear from other people like it's so that's kind of what got me through honestly, a lot of those seasons, whether it was through chronic illness or going through a breakup or whatever it is like hearing other people talk about their experiences and knowing you're not the only one like is so valuable and you create a space where people can do that. So thank you for doing that
Trevor Tyson 27:23
facilitators, of course, and to everyone that is listening or watching on YouTube. Thank you so much for just coming week after week. We couldn't do this without you and thank you to new release today for making this episode happen as usual. And also the whosoever is love those guys love them so much. And yeah, we'll talk to you guys next week. I know
Transcribed by https://otter.ai
Micah Lynn Hanson, was born in Costa Mesa, California, raised in Coeur d' Alene, Idaho and is now a theatre and on camera actor/singer based out of Nashville, TN.
Her most recent credits include CMT's "NASHVILLE" and playing the lead role, Alice, opposite Alan Powell (Redliners, The Song), in the Kendrick Brother"s film/miniseries "Like Arrows: The Art Of Parenting".
Growing up one of 6 children it wasn't until her late teens that Micah found her passion for the arts. Beginning in a small children's theatre musical production in her home town, she immediately fell in love with performing and her career took off as she quickly began booking professional jobs on stage, film, and television.