On Not Being a Loveable Old Lady
A casting breakdown came in our office today, and they were wanting to cast - - wait for it - -
a loveable old lady, 55-65
FIFTY-FIVE TO SIXTY-FIVE? I'm fifty-four. Nooooooooo! One more year and that'll be it. Zimmer frames! Those comfy slippers that zip up the front! Fawn cardigans! Hair permed in curls like a sheep (okay, my hair does that all by itself anyway, but I'll be mighty proud of it in a year or so and just waiting for it to go white).
Perhaps it's because I mostly work with people who are younger than I am, but I really don't think of myself as being "old" in any way.
I travel about to work all over the place. I work long hours and I think I have a young-at-heart, enthusiastic approach to it all. I know it's partly because I enjoy all my work - I think that really helps.
People often think I'm younger than I am - though I'm not arrogant enough to think it's because I look it! Granted, I don't have many wrinkles, but I don't think it's that. I think it's more that the young people I work with think simply can't imagine anyone being over fifty and still having nearly all of a brain and their own teeth.
And I think that's probably the key to this casting breakdown - it was, no doubt, written by someone in their early twenties. I remember being in a student play when I was nineteen, and was playing someone at the impossibly ancient age of forty.
"You're walking too fast," said the director. "Over-forties shuffle."
Do you know what? They jolly well don't. To be fair to my nineteen-year old self, I disagreed with him even then.
The only thing I would say about over-fifties (of which, remember, I am one) and it is that when we sit down we make a little "Ahhhhhh" of pleasure.
But that's it! That's my only concession! I'm just not having this "old" tag. Grrrrr!