Embrace Your Age!
Don’t Try Be Young Forever
Alright, you perpetual 25-year-olds! You can’t be young forever!
Yes, showbusiness has a long history of actors lying about their age. And why not? Hollywood, for example, is a town that is built on youth, beauty and glamour. Aging, for many actors, means less power, limited opportunities and fewer jobs. So, if you can’t beat Father Time, some figure, why not simply deny it’s existence. One little white lie and…presto! The clock is turned back.
This is especially true for women. Hollywood can be absolutely brutal to the aging actress. Even today, ageism is still rampant. Consider this gaudy statistic from Womenandhollywood.com:
The majority of female characters were in their 20s (32%) and 30s (25%), while most male characters were in their 30s (31%) and 40s (27%).
The truth is, men tend to have a much longer shelf life in showbusiness. But that doesn’t mean that life is cheesy for men. After all, most men who work as older men usually found success in their younger, sexier years.
But while it may be tempting to stay young forever, it is often better to embrace your age. Here’s why:
Younger actors certainly have more available roles. But they are also faced with stiff competition. It’s hard to get work when there are one thousand other actors who look like you. But a funny thing happens as time goes on. Many of those thousands of actors give up and move on with their lives. The actors who stick with it are met with fewer opportunities, but also, fewer people to compete with for those remaining roles.
Play your “Type”
If you’re a woman who looks 35, but you insist on playing 25-year-olds, you are not playing to your type. Why would a casting director choose someone who only looks 25 when they squint, when they can easily find a real 25-year-old, or at least, someone who genuinely looks that age. And, while it may make you feel good to be considered for 25-year-old roles, you’d probably have more success going after roles that are closer to your own age.
All Types Are Needed
Have you watched any commercials lately? Count how many older, or even elderly, roles you see. The inevitable conclusion you will come to is: showbusiness needs all types. There truly is work for everyone. And, if you don’t play the role of the senior detective, loving grandmother, sexy cougar or caring father, who will?
It’s a fact that there is less work for the less youthful. But that doesn’t mean you should try to be young forever. If you embrace your age, you can actually make it work for you.
Lastly, consider this quote from Academy Award nominee Leslie Ann Warren:
“This industry eats women up in their 20s and spits them out in their 30’s…I haven’t really experienced that ‘shelf life’ issue because of my willingness to embrace my age and continue to allow myself to grow.”