Beverley MitchellFor 11 years, Beverley Mitchell has portrayed the middle child, Lucy Camden, on the longest-running family drama, "7th Heaven."  On the show, Lucy is the wife of a former cop, Kevin Kinkirk, and the mother of one daughter, Savannah.  She is also an associate pastor at her father's, Eric Camden's, church.  Off screen, Beverley Mitchell is passionately involved with various charities, particularly Mercy Ministries, "a wonderful organization" that  "uses faith and the foundation of the Bible as a way of healing women" through God's love.  She recently fulfilled her life-long dream of recording a country music album, which is now available on her website.

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Listen to Beverley Mitchell Sing:
"The Ones Left Behind"

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What drew you to country music, and what inspired you to record this album?

I grew up with country music, so it was the perfect fit because country music has always spoke to me. It's music with a lot of meaning, great stories, and great depth. And every great country song can be turned into a movie, and being an actress, that definitely speaks to me.

The first song you performed nationally on "7th Heaven" from your CD was called "Angel." Who or what inspired you to write this song?

On who inspired the song "Angel"
I lost one of my best friends when I was 16 years old, and "Angel" came from a poem that I wrote when I was dealing with her death. I truly believe that she was an angel, that she came down to teach us how precious life is and to appreciate every moment that you have here on earth. That's how the whole song was written. It was a wonderful and scary experience to have the first song that everyone heard be something that was so emotional and so intense for me. It was pretty scary, but I was so overwhelmed by the response that I got because this song that meant so much to me also meant so much to other people. I never thought that my song would touch everyone from women who had miscarriages to people who were upset about a dog that they lost. It's such a gift to be able to write a song that touches people.

You mentioned how the song touched women who had miscarriages, and this season Lucy had a miscarriage. How do you think she finds the strength to handle the sadness? And how do you usually handle sadness, especially since your experienced tragedy when you were 16?

I handle sadness by throwing myself into work, and keeping busy. I'm also the person that is always looking out for everyone else and trying to make sure everybody else is okay. As for Lucy, she dealt with her sadness in a different manner. She was just trying to get by; she had her ups and downs and was just being her crazy self.

Is there a particular angel in your life now, someone who inspires you?

Well, I think my friend who passed away still affects me. I only knew her for four years and she's been gone for almost 10, but I still think about her every day. Also, my grandma died 11 days before I was born. I was named after her, so I truly believe that she's definitely my angel up there, looking out for me.

Another song on your CD is called "Good Girls." Do you ever struggle with that image, since a lot of Hollywood actresses seem to be going through a phase where they're trying to shun their good-girl image?

Being a "good girl" in Hollywood
I wrote "Good Girls" because I've definitely been called a good girl, and I don't think there's anything wrong with it. I think it's perfectly fine, and I'm proud to be a good girl. I'm proud of the things that I do, and the person that I am. But I do think that there's a stigma that anytime anybody makes a mistake, they then become a "bad girl," which is really hard to deal with because this is our first chance here at life. I'm only 25 years old. I don't know what I'm doing. I make mistakes. I'm not perfect. I don't want to be perfect. So, I wrote "Good Girls" to show that sometimes good girls just want to have fun, but it doesn't mean we're going to go do anything crazy and stupid. We like to have a good time too, and there's nothing wrong with that.

Do you feel Lucy is a good girl as well?

Oh, absolutely. Lucy is like the ultimate good girl. What's funny is that it's hard to figure out where I end and where Lucy starts, because for 11 years, we've been together. I definitely feel like we're both good girls, because we're people pleasers. We're trying to be the best that we can be, but sometimes we fall off and make little mistakes. But, in the end, our hearts are always pure, and we're always trying to be the person that, at the end of the day, we can both be proud of.

I know that "7th Heaven" is one of the longest-running family dramas on primetime. Why, do you think, the reason that the show has lasted for so long? And do you ever feel like you're ready to retire from show business?

Why "7th Heaven" is still popular
Oh, no, no. I'm never going to retire. No way. This is who I am. It's in my DNA. I don't know how to do anything else. I think the reason why the show has been so popular and has lasted so long is because it's something that is totally missing on television today. We are one of the only family shows where kids, parents, grandparents, and aunts and uncles can all sit together and individually get something out of each episode. In today's society, families have been so broken up. Kids go into one room and the parents are in another room, and nobody sits together anymore and has family time. It's amazing to bring people together to watch a show that talks about the greatness in humanity, a show that's more uplifting and encouraging.

Lucy is also an associate pastor along with her father. What do you think is the impact of playing the role of a female pastor on TV?

I think it's wonderful. A lot of people always see a male-oriented church, so it's great to show that women can be good role models, that they can be shepherds and help bring people into the church. It's also great to show that women can nurture other people's faith and hearts. In Lucy's case, she's dealing with a lot of young teenage girls who are lost, who are confused, and who are hurt. But, she's able to administer to them, help them, and get them on their way. It's great encouragement, and I think that anyone who feels the calling should be able to do what they want to do. It doesn't matter what sex you are.

Actually, what denomination is the Camden family? There's been some speculation, and the show is vague about their denomination.

We keep it vague so that everyone can watch the show--whether they are Baptist, Episcopalian, Catholic, Jewish, or Muslim. It doesn't matter. The show is more about a family that is functional, that works together, and that has a foundation in faith. But it's also a show about having good morals and values and being a good neighbor.

Can you share your own spiritual background? How is it different or similar to Lucy's own spiritual background?

Her personal faith journey
My spiritual background is something that's very close to my heart. Growing up, I didn't go to church very much and I didn't read the Bible. I always had faith, but I wasn't involved with it. But two weeks before my friend passed away, I had a desire to go to church. I just called my mom and said, "Mom, I really want to go to church. Can we find a church to go to?" We found one, and I started going. And a few weeks later my best friend was killed, and in a time where most people get lost, flounder, or completely destroyed, I threw myself into my faith. It was probably my saving point because it allowed me to heal and to understand what had just happened. If it had not been for me being at church and being with people who could help me, and having God in my life guiding me, I don't know where I would be. That was one of the biggest moments in my life where I was completely lost, but I had someone helping me up, up above. Being involved in my faith allowed me to really appreciate life, appreciate what I'm doing, appreciate "7th Heaven," appreciate the wonderful gift that I've been given to touch other people's lives. My faith also reminded me that I have a purpose here.

What do you feel is your purpose in life, and as an actress in Hollywood? I particularly enjoyed two songs on your CD, "What Am I Doing Here?" and "The Ones Left Behind," which touch upon what we're doing here in life and why we should be here in life.

I think my purpose is to be the best person I can be, to be a good role model, and to show that it's so important to follow your dreams. I try to live by the Golden Rule, "Do unto others as you want done unto you."  I really live my life by just trying to hold my head up high. It's really hard in Hollywood. I don't hang out in Hollywood very often, but there are a lot of times in Hollywood where you're brought down to the lowest depths of life. There are so many people that are being told that, "Oh, you'll never make it. You can't be that. You're not good enough. You're not this enough." But, I'm living proof that if you fight hard enough, and you're determined, you can make anything happen as long as you keep your integrity and you stay true to yourself. Hollywood is a very interesting, funny little place to be. But, you've got to stand above it, avoid temptation, and be the person you want to be. You just need to have faith and to stay honest real.

Do you have a daily spiritual regimen to help you deal with the Hollywood stress, such as praying, meditating, or doing yoga?

Definitely meditating and definitely writing. For me, writing is mostly about letting everything out on paper, and letting it all go. Writing is my guidance, and it allows me to take quiet time out for myself, which is very important.

What kind of spiritual role model do you hope to see Lucy become through the rest of the season?

I just hope that she is able to convey that it's important to have faith in your life, and that there are people you can talk to and feel comfortable with. For young people, it can be very intimidating to go into church; sometimes you don't feel like you connect with others. When I started going to church at 15, it was important for me to find people that I connected with because it was overwhelming and intimidating to wonder, "Am I accepted? Am I this enough? Am I that enough?" Lucy is able to understand young girls and connect with them. Hopefully, she will show that no matter what happens in your life, no matter what mistakes you've made, you can be accepted and welcomed by a family-oriented community that is happy to have you.

Do you feel like "7th Heaven" has improved your own spirituality?

Absolutely. I think it has brought me a new awareness which I didn't have before. The show has also made me realize the power of community service, and the power that I can make. Sometimes, it's intimidating. You say, "Well, I'm just one person. What can I do?" But, one person can do a lot because one person can spawn another person doing something, and then another person doing something. No matter what you have, you could always give back a little and gain so much more.

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