FAQS | Frequently Asked Questions, as in “no week goes by where I’m not asked all 8 of these.” Here are some Frequently Told Answers.
Is Hosanna your real name or stage name?
My birth name is Hosanna Faith. Growing up it wasn’t very fun or cool because on Palm Sunday the boys at Sunday School would chase me around the church singing my name & smacking me in the face with Palm Branches. Life was tough.
Aren’t you young to do what you do?
I’m not super sure when people think the appropriate age is to say “Yes” to God and walk confidently in your calling, but I’m going to go with, “Immediately,” so I’d say no one is too young for that. However, only a few years out of college, I’d also say being one of the youngest in my field is why what I do works the way it does. We can’t push being relevant in our culture and then tell our young people to wait until they are older to do so. Some people will say that, but I’m not a part of that business. The Great Commission didn’t come with age limits. Say “Yes” now.
Are you qualified to speak on the stages you speak on?
Most definitely. Just kidding. By many standards, probably not. But God used a donkey, a prostitute, and a murderer, so I like to think of myself in good company.
Did you go to school to be an actor?
I’m not an actor; I don’t think I’d be good at it. My degree is in English Lit., & I have a minor in theology. I learned how to speak in front of crowds from my dad who was a street preacher to the homeless for 25 years. I’d say my passion, charisma, and… volume comes from that experience. I also competed in underground slam poetry for years. The writing for me is far much more an intricate craft than the performing. Speaking the truth requires little acting skill. Thankfully.
How long does it take you to write a commissioned poem? What’s that process like?
I have pieces I’ve written in an hour, and pieces that have taken months. When I am commissioned for a piece there is normally an outlined timeframe required in the contract, and I usually take up most of that time. I exegete the scriptures in their original Hebrew & Greek text, pray day & night on them (God has way better ideas than me), play with ways to make it clear & relevant, and I edit, edit, edit. Anyone can write. Great writers edit. I don’t always say what I selfishly want to say, but rather I say what the audience needs to hear and what they will best easily understand. I have many conversations with the leadership/pastors of the organization/churches, hear their heart for the message as well as seek God’s heart for it, and I study audiences, cultures, & statistics, realizing that no two jobs are the same. (Honestly, I have very little to do with what I do. God-breathed scripture is behind every line. I mostly listen, paraphrase, & memorize.)
Where you do live?
I literally don’t have an address. I know that’s tough to explain; nomadic missionary speakers-poets aren’t a huge thing. But I’m going on 3 years of being booked back to back and traveling to and from events/cities/states every month, week, and may times multiple days in one week. I live out of a suitcase and own very little. Places that book me provide travel & lodging so I “live” most days in hotels & guest rooms, and hang out a lot in airports. However, I do have Sabbath weeks where I unpack for a week or so for physical/spiritual/emotional rest, and don’t travel or perform, but just rest, write, and do off-stage work (have a lot of Skype meetings & conference calls, work on contracts, prepare for my next jobs [that takes most of my work day], etc.). Maintaining close relationships is hard with how much I travel, so for those reasons there are 4 specific states I frequently go back to for those Sabbath weeks, and because of the communities there, those places each equally feel like “home.”
You seem more serious on stage than you do off stage, why is that?
I don't take myself seriously. I take Jesus seriously. That's it.
Is your hair real?
This question is always really funny. Best memory is when I was speaking in a prison in Alaska and women were literally pulling at my hair asking me this (obviously I wasn't afraid, seeing as how buff I am.) Yes, it’s really real. And really hard to comb through. Really though. I don’t even know which of many ethnicities it comes from. Really? Yes.
Thanks for asking! Also, I love avocadoes, smoothies, superheroes (mostly DC comics), the San Francisco Giants, Tina Fey, exercising, thrifting, photography, and Mac products—I believe owning them changes one’s quality of life.