I know it sounds odd, but I’ve been looking forward to turning 50 since I turned 49! I’ve been telling everyone that “I’m almost 50 or it’s only 6 months until I’m 50″ for a while now. I’ve reverted back to a time, like when I was a kid, when it was COOL to be older.
In our youth obsessed world, reflected HEAVILY in our show BUSINESS as well, I guess I’m an exception…but I have noticed that there’s been a shift of late. It seems that finally, as a society, the tables are starting to turn.
When I look at the Fall TV line-up of shows, some of the movies that have come out recently and the opening of my friend Donna’s off-B’way show, Cougar the Musical, I see the dawn of a new AGE (pun intended!)
We are embracing characters who are heavy set, gay, tattooed, pierced, odd, a variety of ethnicities, and yes, OLDER. We’ve come a long way from a time where the cookie cutter perfect and ideal TYPES of folks we watched as entertainment has now expanded to include “regular” looking people who reflect our general population…yes indeedy – art is FINALLY imitating life!
So why did it take so long? I think reality TV has had a hand in it. It used to be that we consumed entertainment as an escape from reality. Then along came the concept that watching real people in real situations with real problems was just as entertaining (and cheaper to produce!). Now our scripted material for actors has transformed to follow suit. That’s good news for everyone who has a desire to act, express themselves and offer their talent who may be slightly “less” than perfect in appearance.
So what does any of this have to do with me turning 50? It means that in the next half of my life, I have the exact same possibilities open to me that I had when I was younger! I often receive emails from “older” actors bemoaning the lack of roles or opportunities available as they have grown older, but I honestly think just the opposite is true. In fact actors entering the marketplace between the ages of 55 and 64 have increased by 300% from over a decade ago. People often choose acting as a “second career” after they’ve retired from the first one. They have more time and money resources than younger actors just out of school and are more likely to “hang in there” longer. Life experience also shows them that NOTHING is overnight, EVERYTHING takes longer than we expect, and that it’s just as much fun on the journey, as it is getting “there”…wherever that is!
I’m looking forward to creating opportunities on both coasts now that I’m traveling between markets. I’m looking forward to more commercial work as my age range is in DEMAND for the sale of products to baby boomers. I’m looking forward to enjoying myself on the journey, as I myself have come to KNOW that this career works best when my mind is in the right place. I’m looking forward…period!
My birthday party in New York was on 9/27 but my actual date of birth is 10-10-62, so it’s just around the corner! I can’t wait to celebrate it with friends, family and YOU! CLICK HERE to see the awesome pictures taken last week and check back later for images of a very happy girl (who is having a wine bottling party!) after the fact.
I’d also love to hear your comments about how you feel about age and your career. Do you think it has anything to do with you being cast or not? How about your weight, your ethnicity, or any other characteristics that are a part of you…that isn’t your talent? What do you THINK about these things and the impact it makes on your success? – Lisa Gold