Blog #007: Am I Too Old To Start Acting
By Loren Johnson
Recently I had a student by the name of Leanne come to me at one of our weekend beginner workshops and she asked me a very serious question. She asked, am I too old to start acting? But the thing is Leanne is only fifteen, and I had to take a step back, and say, What...? No you're not too old to start acting. She then asked, when are you too old? So here we are, I thought this would make a great blog and you can all thank Leanne for it.
I was actually quite taken aback by Leanne's question because we have quite a large number of students in their 30's right through to their 70's who also wondered that exact same thing, "Am I too old to start acting?" I want you to do something for me. Next time you sit down for a well-deserved break in front of the TV take notice of how many of the actors in the commercials, TV shows and films are of middle or older age - you will actually find it's a larger percentage than you would expect! That's because even if a show's main focus is on a young cast there will usually be a need for parents (and often grandparents too) that are written into the main story lines. We also can't forget that there are a lot of family shows and crime dramas where the main characters need to be older purely for believability.
Plus, one of the benefits of being an older actor is that your looks aren't as prioritised as it is for the younger actors - your talent is - so you don't have to worry about your size, wrinkles or the grey hairs, in fact, they may be looking for a bigger-sized woman with wrinkled skin and a few grey hairs to portray the lovable mum character.
I strongly believe that the older actor or actress can actually find a rather good niche within the local Perth film industry. I’ve witnessed it many times. So don't worry or question whether your slim or attractive enough - It doesn't matter! Let me say it again, it doesn't matter!
The other benefit about going into acting at an older age is your life experience and wisdom. You will often master the acting techniques a lot quicker than the younger generation do because you can relate to what a character is feeling and therefore you can tap into those emotions more easily and present them in a more realistic and believable way. By the time most people are in their 30's & 40's they've experienced major events in their life (usually both good and bad) and these life experiences help make them a greater actor as they have a lot more knowledge and emotions to draw on.
Your increased wisdom and maturity will also hold you in great stead as you go through acting training and face auditions, and land some great roles. You will have an advantageous perspective on learning, interacting with other people, dealing with pressure, and professional behaviour in a work environment.
Your age is actually a lot to be grateful for, and in no way should it deter you from pursuing an interest in acting, whether that be just for some fun every now and then or a more serious approach such as a new career direction.
I hope that helps. Until next time, stay safe and as always - happy acting.
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