Bitchy Actress

New York, Acting, and Attitude: Believe These Stories Or Don't - But I Betcha They're True.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Is 30 the New 20? I Sure Hope So.

So, I've accepted that fact that I'm not going to be a superstar by the age of 25. Partially because I'm already nearly 38, but also because I've gotten to know the industry like the back of my hand already, and find it startling that so much of it is about not just who you know (or who you blow) but also that you actually seem to get ahead if you're younger and less talented...and yes - skinny.

Look. I'm not just bitching because I just lost out on a part to someone else who, if she stands sideways, you might not see her; I wish her the best with keeping her boyish figure. Oh, and also the fact that I'm wondering if she's even old enough to have her period...

I am actually in a good age group, where there are lots of parts for women my age. The problem is that I might actually look too young (YAY!) so I have to compete for younger parts and then lose them to women that are more suitable for that age (NOT YAY!). I mean, it's not THAT bad - I've actually had another good year where between acting work and voice-over work I have been able to live comfortably (as long as I dont buy anything for myself or go on a vacation) I can say that I'm a working actor.

But when I go to an audition and see the sea of ladies that are younger...I try to chant the mantra that "30 is the new 20" in my head...and it just doesn't fly so well. The only thing I have on these other ladies is experience and acting ability (in most cases). Then there are the really talented young ladies that piss me off...because I am not above being jealous. But I'd rather lose the part to someone who can act, than someone who is just eye-candy.

Is that true? The 30-20 thing? Who came up with that? Some crusty old bat who was trying to deal with the same issues that I am? Because I'm approaching 40 and I don't know if they have the same mantra but in a size 30-40.

I also get discouraged because people don't take the work seriously. They just go from talking about what they had for dinner with a fellow auditioner, and then walk in. And sometimes they get the part. I am auditioning for people who were a baby when I was 18. It's a little weird. I applaud people for getting the gumption to try to make films or produce bdwy and off-bdwy shows when they are in their 20's - but I know part of the money is coming from their parent's trust fund - and I question why I'm even there when I would be willing to put money down that they couldn't tell you the difference between Elia Kazan, Tennessee Williams, or Jimmy Stewart.

But I might be just really assuming too much - except that when I try to have conversations with so many of the people I'm competing against and they have never read any Williams or seen a Hitchcock film, I have to ask myself: where is the industry going? Why am I here? And, most importantly, WTF?


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