Thanks for reading, and if you are a new subscriber; Welcome and thanks for joining us! Yeah, I know it’s late this week, and after bragging about being early last week. Such is life I suppose.
Yeah, yeah, yeah…it’s an excuse, I know. Those of you who have been following and reading this blog know that after about a year of doing Voice Over work, I branched out into on screen acting as well. Truth is, these days I book more on screen work than VO work…I guess you could say I have a voice only a mother could love. Truth is, on screen acting just takes a lot more time to prepare and execute than short form VO, which cuts into my time to audition for VO work. Not a complaint, just a comment.
It’s kind of like the military in a way
If you’ve never been on a film set, for the actors, there is a LOT of waiting around. In the Navy we called it ‘hurry up and wait’. The production crew stays busy all day, but the actors have to sit and wait between scenes and setups. You film, then break while the crew resets cameras and lighting, sound, and stage setting. You have a lot of time to rehearse, and also to think, to ponder things. Maybe that’s why so many actors have strong opinions, I don’t know…but ponder is what I did a lot of.
This week I was fortunate to work on a student project with some VERY talented, eager and hardworking students from a (relatively) nearby college. It got me thinking and I wanted to share some of those thoughts with you.
Seems the word “millennial” has come to mean something derogatory, particularly to people in my age demographic (I am 60, so officially a “boomer”, which is apparently also derogatory). But, while I am clearly a “boomer” (those born between 1946 and 1964), what we boomers usually think of as Millennials are actually GEN Z’rs. You can check out the breakdown here if you like, but I will lay it out for you below:
From the linked website above –
- Baby Boomers: Baby boomers were born between 1946 and 1964. They’re currently between 57-75 years old.
- Gen X: Gen X was born between 1965 and 1979/80 and is currently between 41-56 years old.
- Gen Y: Gen Y, or Millennials, were born between 1981 and 1994/6. They are currently between 25 and 40 years old.
- Gen Y.1 = 25-29 years old.
- Gen Y.2 = 29-39.
- Gen Z: Gen Z is the newest generation, born between 1997 and 2012. They are currently between 6 and 24 years old.
- Gen A: Generation Alpha starts with children born in 2012 and will continue at least through 2025, maybe later.
All that to say…
Millennials are in their 40’s now…and what we old folks THINK of as millennials (college kids) aren’t. I was today years old when I learned this. Anyway, I digress. This week I had the pleasure to work with a group of GEN Z’rs, and I can dispel the stereotype for you. These kids were fantastic, energetic, respectful, industrious, talented, hardworking and a long list of other complimentary adjectives. It was an extreme pleasure and honor to be cast in their short student film.
So this week I was a character in a student film that was written, directed and produced by students learning cinematic arts in college. I’m intentionally not naming the college or the piece, because I think this is universal and not unique to the institution or the screenplay. Anyway, they have (or actually ARE, since it is not yet complete) doing all of this within the span of a single semester. Let that sink in, TEN weeks from idea to finished product. That’s FAST. Honestly I can’t wait to see it.
We don’t give these kids enough credit.
First, “kids” is an accurate word to describe them, at least from an old codger like me, regardless of what “generation” they fall into. Second, we old folks really don’t give them enough credit. If you think young kids are all lazy and screw ups, I recommend spending some time with them. I get that sometimes their language (slang) is tough to understand, and their perspective is different, but try to understand and you’ll see they are not much different from you at that age. They want to make an impact on the world, they don’t yet fully understand how strongly the world will oppose them making that impact (they ARE still kids and are a little naïve and altruistic – like you were at that age), but they have the drive and desire which is certain to make some impact.
They don’t WANT to live with their parents
I don’t want to get into a political discussion here, suffice it to say that these kids want to be independent and self-sufficient. They are prevented, many times, from being able to due to the present economic situation coupled with (sometimes) crushing student loan debt. No comments on Federal funding or not here…just a fact that massive student loan debt coupled with the present economy is a thing. A Fact if you will, whose result is sometimes adult kids staying at home longer than our generation did. It’s not laziness, it’s circumstances. Ponder that for a bit…but please no political commentary in the comments, I moderate all comments and I’ll just not approve them anyway.
A great experience
All-in-all, it was a great (and eye opening) experience to work on this project. We filmed the whole thing in two LONG days this week, outside in the heat and humidity of South-Central Virginia. I am completely grateful for the opportunity to be involved. If at all possible, when permitted, I will share the results here in my blog.
For this production, there were three characters and three actors (duh). It struck me that one was in his 30’s, one in his 40’s and then me at 60. Two were good looking men, and one was old and overweight (I’ll let you guess who that third one was). It struck me that these productions are trying to portray real life, and they need EVERY kind of person in them. If you have a passion and desire to act, but are reluctant because you are not “handsome” or “beautiful” (And how are those terms really DEFINED anyway?)…don’t let it hold you back! I told someone on Facebook just yesterday, films need old ugly people (like me) too!
On TOP of that…
Besides the realization that it takes every kind of person and look in theater and screen acting, I realized it takes every AGE GROUP as well. Again, in just this one production this week, we had 20’s, 30’s, 40’s and 60’s represented. Experience levels ranged from brand new (me) to relatively new (students) to someone with 5 years of experience AND someone with more than 20 years. In retrospect it occurred to me that I (as the oldest member of the team) had the LEAST experience.
Here is the message;
(Go ahead, say it – FINALLY) Actually, I suppose there are two messages. One is: Give the younger generation a break and try to understand and encourage them. No matter how you feel or what you do they are GOING to replace you. Work WITH them and help them to make the world a better place. You can use your wisdom and experience to help sand down some of the rough edges of naivete and altruism…just don’t sand TOO much. The second is: You are never too old to start following your dreams. Do you have a passion, a desire, a DREAM? Go after it! I’ve begun a 3rd (and depending how you count it 4th) career at 60 years old. While I likely don’t have 30 years left to give to it, I’ll give what time I have and have a BLAST while I’m at it. No matter what you think, it is not too late (well, unless you want to play professional football, it MAY be too late for that) to chase your dream!
It’s OK to suck at something you enjoy doing. EVERYONE sucks when they first start, but not everyone starts. “If you’ve tried and failed. Congratulations. Most people won’t even try” – Author unknown.