If you’re good at your craft and really focused on what you want, I don’t think your age matters. It may be a bit harder in some areas, sure, but that is nothing new in our business. We all have our challenges, but I truly believe that the key to success is understanding how to look at your career with an optimistic and “what could be possible” lens. It’s true with everything in life and acting is no different, whatever age you are.
What is critical though is that you really make sure your whole heart is in it, because it will take money, a lot of dedication, and a lot of sacrifice. This business has many rewards, but it is not for the faint of heart. Projects will come up that could move your career forward and you will have to choose them instead of going out of town, going to a ball game, or a weekend with family. You can have a life, of course, but you are going to need footage, experience, training, and résumé building, and these projects might be the work you need in order to get that first big booking.
I believe one of the hardest hurdles to someone entering the acting world at any age, but particularly at an older age, will be changing a life that is not built around the business to all of sudden being flexible around the business. Success in this business is very, very inconvenient. It will come when you are about to go out of town, are already out of town, when you’re tired, or when you simply don’t have the time because the rest of your life has gotten in the way. You will need to have the discipline and heart to say, “This is what I want and I need to sacrifice so that I can do this class, project, short film, etc…”
But if you are willing to make the sacrifice and work your butt off then you can have a career as an actor.
Here’s how to be a successful actor, regardless of your age:
1. Get laser-focused on what it is you want! If you want to do TV then focus on that and don’t take on projects that are out of that wheelhouse. The same goes for theater or film. You don’t want to waste any time dabbling in areas you don’t really have your heart in. Focus, focus, and focus.
2. Ignore all naysayers and the people who tell you can’t. When they say no, you say yes.
3. Be very, very good! The competition has years on you, so when you get back in the water or get in the water for the first time, be ready to swim like an Olympic swimmer. Practice, practice, and practice as much as you can, because your opportunity will come and you want to make sure you hit the ball out of the park so that luck will be on your side.
Preparation plus opportunity equals luck!
Break a leg!
“The mind is the limit. As long as the mind can envision the fact that you can do something, you can do it, as long as you really believe 100 percent.” —Arnold Schwarzenegger