I listened to the interview last night and found it very moving and edifying. Like some others here, I never heard of Jonathan Jackson before and I don't watch much TV, but I always enjoy conversion stories and found his to be compelling, unique, and conveyed with much feeling. I was amazed to learn of a successful and wealthy actor who searched for truth with such a sense of desperation and fervor. Of course, reading books isn't everything, but I was impressed was impressed with the number of books that he read as he was seeking the truth, and the obvious love of Orthodoxy which he expressed. I also think Fr. Andrew conducted the interview very well.
I admit that I do still wonder about the compatibility of acting and rock music performance with Orthodoxy in general, and not personally as it applies to Jonathan Jackson (I'm sure he will sort this out in his own life with his spiritual father). There is much said in the canons and the Fathers that seems to prohibit both the participation in, and watching of, acting and theater by Christians. Canon 51 of the Quinisext Ecumenical Council come to mind as one example:
Canon 51: The holy and ecumenical Council universally prohibits so-called pantomimes and their theatrical exhibitions; afterwards, in keeping with this, also the spectacles of wild-animal fury and of hunters’ prowess, and the execution of dances on the stage. If anyone flouts the present Canon, and gives himself over to any of the things herein prohibited, in case he is a clergyman, let him be deposed from office; but in case he is a layman, let him be excommunicated.
(cc. XXIV, LXII, LXVI of the 6th; cc. XVII, LXX of Carthage.)
Interpretation by St. Nikodemos of the Holy Mountain
With a vengeance the present Canon prohibits the doings of so-called pantomimes, some of whom were Arabs mimicking gestures, while others were Armenians, at other times slaves, sometimes even slapping each other’s face, and moving the spectators to uncontrollable laughter. What is here called "spectacles of wild-animal fury and of hunters’ prowess" as translated into English (though but two words in Greek, meaning, approximately, "hunting scenes" — translated, however, as above in order to bring out the implications more clearly) are the spectacles beheld when one sees wild beasts, such as, for instance, lion, say, or bears, or other savage animals, fighting, either among themselves, or with human beings who have been condemned to death. For it is a piece of great inhumanity and barbarity to look at such bloodshed and laugh at it. But in addition to these spectacles, the Canon also forbids dances and indecent wriggles performed whether by men or by women on the stage. The stage was a tent within which they used to engage in all kinds of theatrical presentations and pretenses, or where someone would stand up and display examples of skillful acting, according to Title XIII of Photius, ch. 21, and hence they are called actors who at times pretend that they are masters or lords, and at other times that they are slaves or servants. As for anyone that flouts the present Canon and gives himself to watching such displays, if he be a clergyman, let him be deposed from office, but if he be a layman, let him be excommunicated. Read also c. XXIV of the same 6th.
On the other hand, what successful actor would give up acting if doing so was a condition for entering the Orthodox Church?
I realize some may respond with a mocking attitude towards the Spirit-inspired canons and the writings of the Fathers on the subject of acting, but I really would appreciate a mature and profitable discussion of this subject, with reference to the canons and writings of the Fathers, if such a discussion is not too much to expect in this forum. For instance, it would be beneficial to discuss what has been said in Orthodox tradition about acting, whether such words pertain to acting in general or a particular kind of acting that was done at the time when such prohibitive words were expressed, what is it about acting that makes it unsuitable for Christians, etc.