How Do I Get into Senior Acting?

Are you looking for your proverbial “second act?” Maybe you’ve always had a passion for acting, but real life got in the way. Thankfully, it’s never too late to get started as an actor! While it can be tough to make your show business dreams a reality, you also have a lot of advantages and life experience that can help make it possible.

First of all, don’t let the term “senior actor” discourage you! There are plenty of actors who started acting late in life –Gene Hackman was 31 when he earned his first film role; Samuel Jackson was 42 when he got his breakthrough role in Jungle Fever; and beloved actor Betty White, whose career has spanned eight decades, joined the cast of Hot in Cleveland at the age of 88.

The Advantages of Starting a Senior Acting Career

A big advantage to starting a senior acting career is that you are likely more financially secure than your younger counterparts. This can be huge, especially if you’re dedicated to advancing your career quickly by investing in acting classes, voice lessons, headshots, multiple auditions and finding an agent.

You can see – and appreciate – the big picture. Many young actors are in a rush to “make it” and don’t take the time or have the patience to hone their skills. Having some wisdom and experience means you’re more likely to skip the bad habits and take a more thoughtful approach to your acting career.

The rich life experience you bring to the table is uniquely yours. No number of acting classes or workshops can instill how you draw upon your various successes, failures, relationships, conversations, adventures, and perspective as you audition for or take on specific roles.

Plus, you’ve already faced so much in life to get where you are today, you’re less likely to be paralyzed by fear! Knowing who you are, feeling secure in your own sense of self and being able to leverage your experiences to tell amazing stories are huge advantages, especially stacked up next to a younger actor who is insecure and full of self-doubt.

How to Become a Senior Actor

While there is generally a lot less competition for senior acting roles, many of those that remain have resumes that include acting experience. So, buckle down and jump into as many acting classes and workshops as you can. Getting your skills up to speed and getting some roles under your belt quickly will help you keep up with more experienced actors.

Surround yourself with great teachers, mentors and others who support and encourage you while helping you set realistic expectations. Find the people who will help you say “yes” to the acting projects you enjoy and love for the sheer joy of acting, not because you’re seeking a last-ditch attempt at becoming famous.

You can absolutely do it – and Discovery Spotlight can help. Being an actor later in life is not only possible, but more common than most people realize. Your unique stories and personality are your competitive edge. Stay focused, keep honing your craft and, most of all, enjoy the journey!