“How should us older folks with unrealized dreams go about making them happen? Classes with young, beautiful 20-somethings just sounds intimidating. Also, how can we be good, present parents and still realize those dreams?”
Wow, what a question. OK, here we go.
It’s completely understandable you’d feel intimidated about being in a class with “young, beautiful 20 something’s” but here’s the deal – you’re not there for them, you’re there for you.
And so you are NOT competing against them – both in the class and in your career – you are in that class to grow into your talent.
So the best advice I can give to you about feeling insecure and/or intimidated is to embrace your strengths verses focusing on what feels like your “weaknesses.” Yes, they may get called in to audition for the new Avengers movie or for a Corona beer commercial where everyone looks fabulous in a swim suit at the beach and you may not anymore-believe me, I get it 🙂
So being young and looking fabulous may not be our strength anymore BUT we act from who and what we are so the fact is your instrument is deeper than most “twenty-somethings” – you have laughed more, loved more, hurt more, and lived more than them (wouldn’t you say you are much more interesting than when you were twenty-one?)
So when an audition comes along that requires more depth AND someone who DOES look older, guess what? They can’t compete against you.
Now, there is no doubt there are way less roles available if you go the traditional Hollywood route as an older actor (by the way, now you know how women and minorities feel in Hollywood). So, you have two choices. You can either complain about this fact or do something about it.
If you choose to do something that would mean creating your own content, make your own films, write your own screenplays or one-person shows or full-length plays or whatever … but the bottom line is this – if you truly want to do this, if you have a deep, burning desire to REALLY do this, then the only thing holding you back is you and your limiting beliefs..
And your second question is dear to my heart:
“How can we be good, present parents and still realize those dreams?”
When my daughter was born I realized the single greatest thing that I would ever do in my lifetime was to be the best father I could possibly be to her. No film, no role, no tour would ever be more important that making sure she knew she was loved, safe, adored, respected, and honored.
Because of that, I took a two year sabbatical from my career to be with her.
And then two years turned into four.
After four years of putting my dream on hold I went back to work and I was right – this was the single greatest thing I have ever done for for my daughter but it was also the single greatest things I have ever done for me as an actor because this time away made me a better father and a better, man, and because we really DO act from who and what we are – a better actor as well.
Now, my way is not the right way or the only way so “to thine own self be true” but my point in sharing this is with you is in my opinion, there is nothing more important you will ever do than you give your child the gift of a rock-solid foundation of being loved and if that means you have to put your dream on hold for awhile and/or back off it a great deal until this foundation is in place then it’s worth every sacrifice. And at some point when I felt that my daughter’s foundation was now rock-solid, I got back after it.
Yet, every situation is different.
Maybe you have lots of support and financial resources so you can not just juggle, but actually balance having a family and going after your dream at the same time.
But no matter what your situation is, I believe balance is the key.
I hope this helps and I love your questions so keep them coming. And as always, thank you for your time and my very best to you,