Acting : Older women by Cindy Myskiw

Cindy Myskiw

Older women

Ok, how come there are so few roles for older women? Has anyone really looked around at the people in their everyday lives, I bet most of them are above the age of 40. I am just curious. If I knew how to write I would put a movie together and it would have lots of older women...lol. Oh wait the was the movie "The Women". I just want to play too. Just something I noticed that is all.

Janet Scott

There are a lot of older woman out there, seriously, a lot of them, the young ones, are starting to get older too... Can't beat age... all a state of mind. But, I do know what you mean. Men are more fortunate in that regard... they mature, cough cough... Smiles.

D Marcus

You're right, Cindy. There are a lot of older women in all of our lives and we see them all the time. Have you ever noticed that most of the people we see in movies and on TV are above average in looks? Yet look around in our everyday lives and few people are above average in looks. Most are average and many are below average. Wonderful, terrific, helpful people, but not above average in looks. It's a cold, hard and unfair fact that moves and TV do not reflect our everyday lives. People are prettier and younger and more interesting and pithier and funnier and if they are ever at a loss for words they are cute about it. As a playwright I have written plays with older women. The theater is more open to that than the movies or TV - a few exceptions, of course.

Lina Jones

Marcus I agree with what you say because it certainly seems as though when an actress start getting older she seems to do more Broadway shows and Vegas shows. If I were an actress and was offered a role in the theater or Vegas if I did not think I was old I surely would then. I think women can be beautiful at any age, after all if want to truly see them tell them to remove the make up and Wow! You'll see how old they look. Much luck to you on finding parts that are comparable to your age I think your gorgeous!

Heather Waters

Wish you lived in Australia Cindy, need "older women" actors for my feature, they're not so easy to find :/

Dawn Alden

Like other marginalized populations, now is the perfect time for older women to start making their own work! Find a screenwriter and have him/her write a short for you and a few other older women. Imagine a situation where there would be a group of 40+ or 50+ women, and pitch it to writers. Get a group of older women together, think of a scenario, and improv a script. Do whatever it takes! It actually is a great time in the States for projects featuring older characters, as the Baby Boom generation is that age, and they want to see their stories portrayed on screen. Start talking with all your connections about making it happen, and you may find you've got a team and a project before you know it!

Shakira Tarachand

I am an middle age woman looking for roles?? Any ideas?

Cindy Myskiw

Thank you everyone for all your feed back. Wow. I am a little overwhelmed by the wonderful things you all had to say. I did not expect quite this response but I am oh so pleased. Pleased to see that I am not the only one that see and feels this. I think that we have so much to offer to a movie, TV, or theatre because we have lived and know how to feel these emotions that are required instantly for camera. I know one day there will be a part just right for me. So until than I will keep on doing what I am doing and keep honing my skills so that when the time comes I will be the only choice. Thanks again everyone! You all made my day! :)

Tara Imani

Back in the 80's, The Golden Girls tv series was a smash and look at Betty White's success- still going strong today. I think the industry needs some new old blood that can think outside the gaming box, so to speak, and reinvent shows and movies than mean something, like: The Mary Tyler Moore Show, Archie Bunker, The Odd Couple, Maverick, LA Law, Falconcrest. Our whole society is changing... becoming very much like cyborgs. I love the classics, too, and was glad to see The Gatsby recreated on screen.

Janet Scott

YES! Tara.... so glad you posted that....

Janet Scott

Just look at Down ton Abby.... Wonderful cast of female and male actors... Maggie Smith.... I love...

Janet Scott

Happy belated Birthday Maggie....

Elizabeth Bohorquez, RN, C.Ht

The British are much better at writing scripts for "real people." It must have something to do with their wonderful National Theater....every face, every shape, every age...every facial "defect"...tweaking my mind about the movie that takes place in a small town. The man who wins the lottery ticket dies before claiming it. It is hilarious. I remember this very old man riding a motorcycle nude... now, I won't rest until I find the name of that movie.

Elizabeth Bohorquez, RN, C.Ht

Maggie Smith? Thank goodness she knows it! What pleasure she has provided to all of us & continues to do so. Forget aging...so few actresses are willing to age on screen. Male actors seem to have less issue with that, but isn't this true in real life? Older women pretend they are younger, while older men strut their stuff "just as it is."

Elizabeth Bohorquez, RN, C.Ht

Here's a story line...& a true one. In Sarasota, Florida older women work as "companions" to younger men....not for sexual favors, but to give them status. Rather like mentors. They advertise in the newspaper.

Cindy Myskiw

Love Maggie Smith!

Dawn Alden

Elizabeth - now there is a story! Would you be able to find and post a link to the ads in the newspaper?

Tara Imani

Dawn, Elizabeth- carrying on with your script idea (of the older Sarasota women working as "companions"- or escorts/mentors- for younger men). That's kind of a new twist on "The Golden Girls" pas deux (part II) in the 21st Century. What are they really doing with those younger men ;) ::wink wink:: Just kidding! But, just broaching that edge in a weekly sitcom might be fun. Otherwise, it kind of reminds me of the Richard Gere character (Adrian?) in the 80's film American Gigolo... remember that one?

Elizabeth Bohorquez, RN, C.Ht

I'll do some research on the Sarasota Classifieds to see if they are still posting there. I actually had a few of these women in my private practice. It was interesting because part of society didn't respect what they were doing....judgment, judgment. Didn't believe it wasn't a sexual thing. They basically were teaching young men how to "be" with women & understand them. Many men don't have this kind of relationship with their own mother, OR there was addiction in their family & so they never saw a healthy relationship. They didn't want to continue the pattern, SO these women gave them a "practical in-service of sorts"...There was another interesting issue. Some men don't want to have recreational sex & so they wanted the dating experience WITHOUT IT. The sex pressure was too great & the men didn't have the opportunity to build longer relationships. It all made sense to me, especially since I grew up in a time when first date & sex were part of the menu. This "career track" was out of the norm, especially for those who were married....yes married !....or divorced, widowed, etc. They had difficulty explaining their work in their own social circle, because just like with any career....your job isn't meant to be your whole life. Personally, I found them very interesting & caring about what they did. ;-))

Tara Imani

Sounds great, Elizabeth! If you get a network script going, perhaps some of us older actors will be interested in auditioning for the parts of these daring socialites~ or their nosey neighbors :)

Cindy Myskiw

Elizabeth, that does sound like it would make an excellent movie or a sitcom.

Cory Wess

You could learn to write. Then you'll be able to take responsibility for your desire. To answer your question, I'm male and am creatively drawn to write stories about characters like myself or my friends. If I were an older woman, I would probably write about those types of characters.

Cynthia Garbutt

Sounds like you're onto something truly good. It doesn't have to be a story like The Women. It can be more true to your own life. But if you really want the story told - write it yourself. No one else is in a better position to do so. Nothing beats real life experience, in writing especially. You probably do have talent, you just don't know it - yet. Why don't you give it a go. Just clear your mind of anything holding you back, sit down at your keyboard and blank page. Then think about how you feel about the subject. And believe me the words will come. It happened for me, and loads of others. I'm there for support, of a fellow older woman - anytime, drop me a line.

Cynthia Garbutt

Think of it like your acting talent. Although you started in it later in life - it's the experience that you've acquired, that's what you bring along to the screen and makes you unique and genuine. The same will be true for your writing.

Elizabeth Bohorquez, RN, C.Ht

I've decided to write the story...probably for NaNoWriMo ...that means November. Meanwhile, I'll travel there "in my mind." I told part of the story twice yesterday...once to my nail tech & then to my husband. Both were mesmerized & asked some great leading questions that broadened what I remembered. Then, the woman sitting next to me at the salon asked "if there was anything like that in Rhode Island." Maybe this is something to explore. Any thoughts out there?

Johanna Marshall

Soooo glad to see this topic! This is my spin on things....I am in the 50 & OVER (that's the key word here) group.. Because I was burned 17 years ago, my skin became so tight, that no one now believes my age . Well, in one way that may be positive; however last year I signed with a commercial agency & they put on my profile that I would be good as a young "Grandma"...Work is work & I am grateful for whatever comes around, but as mentioned in some posts above, I would love to see roles whether in commercials , film, tv, where we are cast as people in a position of wisdom or the lack of it for that matter....... whether the subject is education, financial, sexual, etc and NOT just as a partner...Older people can be loners, fall in love, go on a killing spree, teach chemistry, dance their feet off.....need I go on????and all with a backstory......I don't mean to rant, but I would like to see the head honchos think out of the generational box and stop labeling us folks according to our age and know that we have a well of creativity BECAUSE of our age...........Amen.

Brian Wareham

Because Hollywood will gladly put George Clooney with Scarlett Johansson, but CRINGE at Julianne Moore with Justin Theroux. Hollywood sells sex as an aspect of film, and in their minds, sex appeal stops at 28, which is straight up b/s.

Vanessa Bailey

What a GREAT discussion. I'm an actress aged 44 and was increasingly frustrated at the lack of diverse, interesting roles available in drama for women my age. Victims of domestic abuse, tarts with hearts, cougars and oput-upon politicvians wives abound. But i wanted to play something that I felt was a story that expressed an aspect of older women that I could relate to. So I wrote my first short film script and we're shooting in October! http://www.threedaysfilm.com/ I was incredibly lucky to have the faith and comittment of some very experienced creatives who have stuck with the long process of crewing, casting and crowdfunding. But now we're pretty much there and canb't wait to shoot. Yes, it's a romance with a (much, as it turned out!) younger man (the 23 year-old actor and I co-wrote it, which has been a fantastic process) but she's NOT unhappily married, she's NOT a cougar. It watches the relationship develop across three days (as the titel suggests) and observes their own conflict and the reactions of other people as they unexpectedly find themselves falling in love. So - maybe, just maybe, it's time to start kicking ass by writing our own work. It's NOT easy but it's very satisying! x

Janet Scott

In the real world, we have men who share their lives with OLDER woman....

James Walsh

In the real world people do what they want in relationships. Some even stay married.

Janet Scott

Behind every successful man, is.... a Woman. Behind every successful woman, is her self. Is it not?

Elizabeth Bohorquez, RN, C.Ht

To my mind...the successful woman is inside of herSelf...as for men, I believe they have that part as well, but we all benefit from each other's successful Self if we are willing to share it without judgment. Is this too heavy for Monday morning? ;-)

Randall Roffe

I like this. Fried Green Tomatoes forever

Elizabeth Bohorquez, RN, C.Ht

Towanda! How often I've repeated that word!!

Chad Theodore Everson

I think you are right on the money with your observation Cyndi. Maybe since the mature woman is really running this world, it is a bit too taboo and not a bandwagon the spineless flock to write or create. I think if you look back before the baby boomers were destroyed, there were some great works made for the mature women. There is a number of great BBC shows that celebrate the elder woman. There is hope, write one great product and everyone and their dog will follow.

Rafael J. Noblé

The studios are primarily interested in creating materials for young, potentially long term viewers (IE; Transformers, Pacific Rim, Twilight, etc.). Baby boomers would like to see more of themselves and their interests on the big screen. There is a massive audience. If you make it, they will come.

Shakira Tarachand

Yup.....why don’t casting agents use older women??

Rafael J. Noblé

It's not casting, it's that the roles are mostly written for younger women to target young audiences. If you write roles for more mature women, casting will fill those roles with mature actresses.

Elizabeth Bohorquez, RN, C.Ht

There have been some great roles for older actresses...but most filled by those who are or were already well-known...look at Shirley MacLaine, Olympia Dukakis, Jessica Tandy, etc. How about sitcoms such as Jean Stapleton and of course, all of the Golden Girls. I agree with Rafael about casting & who buys the tickets now....I see more older women in British films where character actors are more in demand. The price of movie tickets is so high .... that only big blockbusters seem to make out well. Smaller cinemas, such as our foreign theater, often have films with older female actors, but again....they are usually foreign films. Somehow I don't see this changing in the USA..

Elizabeth Bohorquez, RN, C.Ht

OK...if we build it...they will come. Sounds familiar!

Janet Scott

Smiles... Yes of course men are successful in their own right.... Rightly so..... Just an old expression tis all. It is up to the individual as to how successful they want to be...

Cindy Myskiw

Man, I love all the different Views this topic has created. I thank each and everyone of you for your input. After all it was just a thought I had running around in my very busy brain. If I could put down on paper what I want to put, I would have a great movie, but than I wouldn't be alive to see it because My husband would probably hire a hit man on me...lol. So until then I must rely on others to share their stories for me to share in. Thanks everyone.

Suzanne Sadler

I want to see a film with an older woman being pursued by a much younger man.

Monique Mata

Suzanne, I have a script idea based on exactly that :D One of these days, I'll get around to writing it.

Johanna Marshall

I would love to see a film like that; as long as Hollywood doesn't base it on the fact that he's chasing her because of her "richness".....more like richness of character would be most refreshing!!!!!!

Suzanne Sadler

Exactly, Johanna.

Padma Narayanaswamy

I have written women centric sripts and it is also posted here . pl check and thanks

Heather Hale

Some of us are writing 'em Cindy! ;-)

Break Into Acting

Don't give up! We never know when our big break will happen. Here is great article on making it big in Hollywood: http://thelearninghub.com/wordpress/advice-from-the-stars-on-breaking-in...

Cindy Myskiw

Believe me I NEVER give up.

Elizabeth Bohorquez, RN, C.Ht

In addition....most of us go through life "acting."

Lisa Bain Landis

Nothing like an Old Crone to show an old dog new tricks!

Joyce Porter

So true!

Deborah Roberts

Well I thank you for speaking out for us bigger & older Woman well done ( Clapping Hands) Horary

Cindy Myskiw

LOL, well, why not, we deserve it too!

Janet Scott

How about, When Harry meets Sally.... When Maggie meets George.... A story about a young lad who has had a crush on an older woman, all his life... When they both get into the gloaming years....They meet up again and get together... Presto... Love match made in heaven. Think of all those missing years, they could have shared.... sighs. The back story for both, could be sad.... DUE to wrong choices.

Elizabeth Bohorquez, RN, C.Ht

Ahhhh...but in those missing years they were "honing" their skills. What they bring now is much more powerful....life adventures fill the "picnic basket."

Janet Scott

Absolutely Elizabeth... It would make for a nice romantic tale. A life long one.

Elizabeth Bohorquez, RN, C.Ht

Yes...& the tale would differ from a New Zealand point of departure....we grow up & mature differently. Values remain the same, but are wrapped in the paper of the surroundings. I like the idea of looking through a few different lenses. Now that I've planted this seed in my mind, I look forward to what comes forward....probably in the shower. ;-)

Benjie Anderson

I feel ya, Cindy. (As a older man), unless you're a "known" older man (50 and above who constantly show up in productions and are "working" actors), writing a good script, getting it green lit and into production, seems to be A/THE way those of us professional actors w/ creds., good work habits and are "seasoned" to get in the running. The reality of the way life "is is," doesn't often translate into $ that can be made from, by or with names not yet known to those in positions to help go from the page to the stage or set. The pendulum is shifting (demographically) as the % of the population this is older (but NOT w/ one foot in the grave) rises. I'm workin' to position myself here in Atlanta to be more of a benefit to, and benefit from the bevy of activity that's occurring here. Not there yet... but I'm workin' on it! You know how to write, Cindy. Just write! Form, structure, function, etc... all that can be corrected on an ongoing basis. I'd love to chat w/ you about that. Write-on, Cindy! :0)

Elizabeth Rockett

Agree, and I wrote the perfect movie for 40 year old women - good character roles and everyone in HWoodLand told me to change it to 30s... so I did, just for the script. And now I'm lucky to have found a director (female) who asked me: Do you think 40 year-olds are too old? And I'm so excited and told her the truth -- isn't that a cool story?? So now in the fund-raising role...

Janet Scott

That is a cool story Elizabeth.... how interesting.

Heather Hale

Cool, Rockett! So...I have a tiny little victory I'd like to share. ;-) I'm booking all the speakers for the AFM. For those of you who don't know, it's like America's Cannes. Check out: http://www.AmericanFilmMarket.com. Our beloved RB will be moderating our marketing conference panel (http://www.americanfilmmarket.com/attendee/conferences) on Crowd Sourcing your audience to a room of about 800! ;-) I'm uber proud of him for that! But here's what I think ya'll will most root for! ;-) Their speaker line-ups are notoriously the Old Guard...you know what I'm implying...but in the trades next week...??? In "The Hollywood Reporter" and "Variety," you'll see huge, full-page, four-color ads with RB's thumbnail mug (http://americanfilmmarket.com/MarketingConference#RichardBotto) ;-) but also...out of 32 speakers SO FAR...guess how many are women? In the Old Days (last year ;-) and prior) the answer to this woulda been ... "2?" ;-) This year? 13. Not quite 50%...but hey! 37.5%! :-) GETTING CLOSER to parity! We're not there yet... but we're still booking! Got a lot more to go! I'm also pushing to mix it up with lots of people of color peppered everywhere - trying to rainbow cast our program so we're more reflective of the industry - and our world. Lots of baby steps occurring behind the scenes. The more females and people of color behind the camera? The better and more REALISTIC the roles - and role models - are in front of the camera! ;-)

Cynthia Garbutt

Well done Heather. I'm hoping to be one of those women and one of color - one of these days. Hope you'll be calling on me. Best.

Heather Hale

Well you are, now, Cynthia! ;-) We just have to create the credits! ;-) Let's DO IT! ;-)

Heather Hale

Cynthia - I'd much rather they be calling on us! ;-) Something you or I wrote ;-) that you starred in and I directed and produced! -) MUCH better to be ON the panel than booking it! ;- )

Cynthia Garbutt

Yes you're are right about that. I'm trying - everyday. Working really hard, making good contacts and building a network, you included, I hope.

Heather Hale

It'd be my honor! We need to raise the funds, Chiquitas! Let's put our beautiful heads together and get those cameras a'rollin'! ;-)

Cindy Myskiw

I love all the comments. Yes, let us put our Beautiful Heads together and get those cameras rollin! Every person we talk to and make a connection with is another chance at making something happen for each and everyone of us. So it is just up to us to make it happen. Thanks for sharing everyone. :-)

Kathy Trevelyan

I am so happy to have found this thread! I am in my late fifties and only left Drama School two years ago. I am represented by an actor's cooperative, so I see all the castings that go through Spotlight; and the number of roles for women over fifty is tiny. I've been lucky so far and have worked a lot, almost all on the Fringe, It is so frustrating to see people casting a female King Lear aged 38, grandmother aged 35-45 etc. I was reading plays for a friend who is producing a short play festival and got so fed up with the poor quality of the submissions and the lack of any women over 40 that I wrote my first play. It's no great work of art and is only ten minutes long, but people who have read it like it, and it's been chosen to be part of the festival. So pleased! So- I am looking for two actresses in their fifties/sixties to join me. The play has three character and is a comedy. If any of you are in London please get in touch! There is no pay unfortunately, but I am hoping to use the play to get together with more women my age and start making our own work. And making a noises,,

Elizabeth Bohorquez, RN, C.Ht

This is a great idea Kathy...all of us who write should keep in touch. One thing I must say about the British...they do or at least they "did" utilize the talent of older actors....especially men. I just had this conversation with my husband the other day. I'm thinking that the writing needs to be there....I truly believe the audience is there....after all, we are the audience! There are millions of us. Last night I turned OFF a new program on Public Television...it was British produced, but probably a joint venture. The script was terrible....in my humble opinion ...& the story-lines unrealistic. I don't know if they are airing this in the UK. It's called The Paradise. It's also a slap at women. Now, I do realize that women were not treated well in the workplace, BUT isn't it time to get some good writing out there??? At least have the women show their smarts & solve problems. Believe me, we are good at that!!

Heather Hale

I was so bummed. There was an ALL FEMALE SHAKESPEARE play done around here (Burbank, maybe?). Got all sorts of scuttlebutt and buzz. Okay, that's great. I applaud it. But they said ALL FEMALE. It was directed by a man. Really? Seriously? Seriously.

Dawn Alden

There's an all-female Shakespeare (Hamlet) running right now at the Odyssey Theater, but I believe it was directed by the AD, Lisa Volpe. I hadn't heard of one in Burbank, but I'm thinking of producing one myself. You can bet I have a couple of female directors in mind!

Heather Hale

Dawn - http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/331212458/all-female-hamlet-for-la-w... - directed by TIMOTHY DOUGLAS - LISA WOLPE is HAMLET. ;-/

Dawn Alden

Hey Heather, Luckily, it looks like that changed by production time. Here's the credits page of the production: http://www.odysseytheatre.com/hamlet.php Glad they changed their original plan!

Cindy Myskiw

See how wonderful networking is. Make a small comment and it spreads to all over the globe and brings people together. I am glad I was able to connect people together and inspire others.

Kathy Trevelyan

Thanks for starting it off!

Cindy Myskiw

You are very welcome, Kathy! :)

Heather Hale

Dawn - I did see that. It was such a no brainer - I can't believe they didn't see it straight out of the gate!

Kathy Trevelyan

Well, maybe they are learning at last!

Vanessa Bailey

We've just wrapped on "Three Days" a 20mins which I co-wrote with a young male writer/actor - it's a love story about a "normal" woman (not the sexually-predatory type, SO fed up with that stereotype) in her mid-forties who falls in love with a much younger man. You can see how the shoot turned out here: https://www.facebook.com/ThreeDaysFilm It was my first writing venture, but I got so fed up with the lack of interesting roles for women that showed us as more than just a wife, mistress, tart-with-a-heart or victim of domestic abuse! Fingers crossed the festivals like it - but there's no drug abuse, swearing, very graphic sex or nudity so they may not!! ;P

Kathy Trevelyan

Just had a look on Facebook Vanessa. I'd love to see it. Well done for making it!

Vanessa Bailey

Ah - thanks Kathy! It's been very hard work (100% funded through three crowdfund campaigns on both Indiegogo and Kickstarter) but the team are amazing, I've been very lucky. Scary though - just beginning the edit! \O/ Thanks so much for looking - we update the page all the time with news, if you do want to keep track of it :)

Heather Hale

Great work, Vanessa! Good luck! ;-)

Vanessa Bailey

Thankyou Heather - been a steep learning curve and I made lots of mistakes, but here we go with the edit!! :D

Andre Hunt

Start writing stuff. Just single sentences in a pocket notebook. Phrases, observations, even quotes. Lines you wish people said instead of what you heard them say. And of course, watch Pre-code films.

Heather Hale

Vanessa - if you aren't making mistakes, you aren't learning or pushing boundaries. Good for you for risking to move forward on lots of fronts! ;-) And you know, every film is made three times - when it's written, when it's shot - and now... ;-) you have a chance to fix all sorts of problems ;-) make all sorts of new discoveries ;-) in the edit! ;-) GO FOR IT! ;-)

Kathy Trevelyan

I wrote a short play which is being put on. Totally motivated by the frustration about lack of roles! If I can do it, anyone can!

Ron Barenburg

Vanessa: I have a number of scripts for 'youth challenged' women...:-) One of which, The Road Through Maggie as been optioned twice, and Tables, just optioned last year. Hard to get them in front of people with vision that see that void in the marketplace. Best, Ronnie MDb Profile http://pro.imdb.com/name/nm4789888/resum

Vanessa Bailey

Ronnie, this is so true. This is what I love about going down the indie route as we did with Three Days. https://www.facebook.com/ThreeDaysFilm We put our own team together who loved the story, crowdfunded it and shot it. We wrapped a few weeks ago and are now in post. It's an award-winning team (Bafta, Coup de Coeur) so being indie doesn't mean you can't find great people to work with. And our crowdfunders obviously loved the concept - there's a market out there. A lot of people had a problem with stepping outside of the usual cougar-meets-toyboy-and-have-alot-of-sex-then-part-company storyline and writing a genuine (albeit reluctant) romance.Sometimes you have to bypass the rulebook and make some new rules yourself! But there's a huge audience out ther who want to watch "older" women because that's the age they themselves are! :D

Ron Barenburg

You're certainly on target Vanessa. I've gone the traditional route, write, re-write, submit, option, 'next'. Well, I'm hoping this 'old dog' can learn new tricks. My script Tables, for instance explores when a woman, oh about 50-ish looks in the mirror and worries she can't attract that 'look across the room'. She sets out to see if she can manufacturer that 'chemistry of love' by methodically bringing over 1,000 men to her table, a restaurant in a New England town, for dinner, engaging in a set sequence of questions and answers (some hilarious, some tear bringing) over dinner, then nothing more and no further contact. Then recording all in a journal. It's a story about love, online dating and what that chemistry is. One location, one main heroine and a snapshot of the men (and women) that came to her table. Very socially relevant and a true story. Sigh. Anyway Vanessa, I applaud your determination and persistence. Knock 'em dead! Best, Ronnie

Vanessa Bailey

Sounds fascinating and highly original Ronnie - I'm sure there would be people out there interested to look at the script - get on twitter and network! There's a massive filmmaking/writers community on there :D You might strike gold!

Ron Barenburg

Thanks Vanessa, I'll expand my horizons, and since it is based on a true story, it may have more impact. Best Ronnie

Andre Hunt

Who was it that said a film script takes out all the middle elements and compressess life nto the highs and lows to make a two hour experience? Is that why when we see stories about older men or women they turn out to be about kings and queens? Is there something about the speed and intensity of younger lives that matches the compression of experience in film? Hmm....Independent Cinema. How about Dependent Cinema? Older characters are much more frequent in French cinema.... I just watched Street Scene (very early Sam Goldwyn ala Dead End era) on YouTube. Wonderful experience obviously done for the stage before. The older characters are extremely well written, but they spend a lot of their time fussing over the younger main character's follies and dreams. The aged become a device that the force of youth has to overcome with their hopes and risk taking. But they'll get their turns soon enough.

Ron Barenburg

Yes, the trick is to turn around the 'fussing'...:-) Best, Ron

Chanel Ashley

Cindy, I feel there would be roles for older women if a compelling script were made available - the roles for older men and women in Game of Thrones abound, the scripts compelling, wonderful story and dialogue - perhaps you envisaged a genre more akin to a present day story, a little more tame and gentle tale - how good was On Golden Pond, it all comes back to quality writing and acting - as someone noted earlier, the British make such films on a regular basis - just a thought.

James David Sullivan

What about "Philomena"? What about "Saving Mr. Banks"? The roles are out there. Maybe you need to team up with a writer who is writing those kind of roles and help him/her pitch the scripts. Don't wait for the dawn to arrive, search for the sun while it is still dark!

Ron Barenburg

James: Now there's an idea worth promoting. Of course not every actor could afford their own personal screenwriter, nor could every screenwriter write for 'down the road'. BUT it does give me, as a screenwriter food for thought. Thanks James..:-) Best regards, Ron

James David Sullivan

All an actor has to do is look on a Web site that carries loglines, find some that have roles for older actors and make some contacts! And vice versa!

Vanessa Bailey

James - if ONLY it were that easy! ;P But - it's always good to be out there looking! :D

James David Sullivan

Nobody said anything was easy. Life's not easy. Look at what's going on in Syria, for example. We can be thankful that that is not happening in our countries right now. But networking is an important part of putting things together and making things happen, and that is particularly true in this business. And what I have suggested is not that much different than looking for a job on an Internet Web site. "We do these things not because they are easy, but because they are hard" -John F. Kennedy, Rice University, Sept. 12, 1962 And whether it is putting someone on the moon or getting a role that no one else thought was possible, or a movie made against all odds, that is what we choose to do because we are artists and our souls will not let us escape that destiny.

Vanessa Bailey

You could be on to something, James squinches desperately in the direction of Sam Mendes ;P

James David Sullivan

after telling Sam that a great director never dishonors the scriptwriter's wishes! ;-)

Jimmie Nelson

Of course it all depends on the content of the show or film, but I have to agree that a great film has a variety of nationalities, gender and age within its production. The world is vibrant because of the differences and trademarks each individual has to the next. I don't mind seeing biopic films with a predominantly particular race or age group if it is aiming to portray truth of the real event(s) that took place during that course of history, but I know for our ideas and shows we aim to have a diverse cast and crew because are world is as such. Ms. Cindy, your pin point on this one.

Angelina Carkic

Watch European TV and you will find a lot of older women looking every bit their age. I even enjoy their programs. Not so much 'wow' in them. They reflect the real world a lot more than US shows. Cheers!

James David Sullivan

Here's a list of over 100 actresses, all of whom kissed 60 a while back!

James David Sullivan

And here's another 100, this time on the north side of 40, who are holding it together. And don't forget Judi Dench and Helen Miren!

James David Sullivan

You're as old as you feel: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qnBD5DJj8Es

Angelina Carkic

Hey James. I was watering the garden. On line now.

Angelina Carkic

Oh yes Miren and Dench! I'm currently watching detective Montalbano on Youtube. The women in that show are 90% down right ugly. No kidding.

James David Sullivan

Are you back online?

John F. Trelow

WANDA Tante Celia, we have utter butter? Drop-dead gorgeous CECYLIA, 65, prepares a big-2-family-size lunch in the shade of the wagons. Anna SINGS Bruno a lullaby. CECYLIA Of course Wanda. Wanda comes running in to collect some ointment. CECYLIA Nothing works without utter butter. (giggles) WANDA Yummy. Your dill pickles tante?

James David Sullivan

???????????????????????????????????????

John F. Trelow

Excerpt from my screenplay to stress on older characters as discussed in this topic.

Andre Hunt

I suppose you know about the film Nebraska. Most of the cast, including women, are 70 or older.

James David Sullivan

EXCELLENT POINT!

Ron Barenburg

I have a script; The Road Through Maggie, has a over eighty year old, a mid forties and a mid twenties female cast. Optioned twice, if anyone would care to read it, please let me know. Best regards, Ron: ronwriter@gmail.com My Available Scripts http://ronwrite.wordpress.com/author/ronwrite/

James David Sullivan

Why not post either your logline, your synopsis, or your entire script on your profile?

Ron Barenburg

James: If I knew how to do that James, it would be a good idea..:-) Ron

James David Sullivan

Are you saying you don't know how to write one of those or you don't know how to post one of those? Since you know how to post your photo, try clicking on the "Logline/Screenplays" underneath the "Photos" and you should be able to figure it out from there.

Ron Barenburg

Yes James, what I meant was knowing how to do it is one thing, how to manage who looks at any of our works and authorizations is something that is still not clear

Ron Barenburg

The Road Through Maggie is now posted: Logline: The Road Through Maggie is in the tradition of 'Boys On The Side,' 'How To Make An American Quilt' and 'Divine Secrets of the Ya-Ya Sisterhood.' Funny, sexy, and full of hope, it is the journey of three Women, from three generations, and the bonds that link them together.

Ron Barenburg

PS: thanks James..:-)

James David Sullivan

Ron, you're right. We don't have a lot of control over who sees our loglines, etc. Until we do, I just point my logines, contest awards (in the synopsis section), and let viewers know to contact me if they want a synopsis or script. That way, I can vet them to see if it's somebody with a legitimate reason for either document. And my requests so far have been disappointments. But I am also trying pitches, contests, and other marketing techniques, and I have had much better luck that way. But without at least a logline posted , nobody knows anything about your work. "If a script falls outside the Internet, does anyone know it?"

Nicola Gaughan

I will need an older woman for my film when I produce it

Adrian Crawford

Same here for my next. Tropfest one but someone 70s so there you go.

Bhavnisha Parmar

Apologies if something has already been covered. The first thing that popped into my head was Golden Girls with this post as I believe Tara said right at the top. What a fab program, with such great universal relevance! Here in the UK there are no shows really like this either really and truly based on older women and it is a real shame as with all their experience they have great stories to tell! Not sure if it is similar in the US or anywhere else for that matter but we Brits adore verbatim work. Sitting down really extracting real life stories from real life characters and conversations and sharing that in a screen format. I have recently undertaken a lot more writing, having started stand up comedy and would love for all the "older", ha, women to get in contact and see if we can get something concrete rolling. It is so odd that just the other day whilst watching Golden Girls, I thought wouldn't it be great to see something like this take over our screens again. So I started analysing characters and potential stories. Please inbox or post if this is something you would love to carry forward! :)

Bhavnisha Parmar

Just to add I would not want the show to be around trying to cry out for more attention for older actors but rather a celebration of what they have to offer back to the world! :)

James David Sullivan

Here's something I just saw: "We are looking for completed feature-length comedy scripts that were written for a female lead in her 60s." I won't tell you where I found this. My point is this: If you make a diligent search, such roles are readily available. It's a whole lot better to light candles than to curse the darkness. The source of the above script search will be available to the general public in a few days, and is well-known in the industry. And this is not a huge budget movie, so any mature lady with acting experience would have a shot when the shooting starts.

James David Sullivan

Here's another: "We are looking for completed four-hour miniseries scripts which stories are about older female historical figures, like Madame Curie or Eleanor Roosevelt. We are open to submissions on miniseries that are longer and can be edited down, but not projects that are shorter (feature length scripts or shorts), and not projects that are about male or young female historical figures. " This listing can easily be found by looking up the "usual suspects". Seek and ye shall find!

Cindy Myskiw

I am not cursing the darkness, James David Sullivan, I am only looking for help. I am still pretty new to the business and don't know all the places to look to find work. Plus I live in Canada so a lot of the stuff in the USA I can not try for. But I appreciate your help and any wisdom you can bestow on me. :)

Angelina Carkic

Hi Cindy. I'm adding from my point of view in Australia. I believe Hollywood is pretty democratic in where you come from. Why some of the screen's most popular actors are from Australia and from Canada.but you are right about roles for older women: unless you look like a Granny that's been freeze dried at 30 something. Love UK films and programs. The continent in general. They portray people with all their warts. Viewing things coming out of Europe is so much more realistic.And fun to watch. They have brilliant writers, directors and actors! Quebec programs are also good. CBC Radio Canada has produced some brilliant work and they're more open to portraying real people in the roles. (I don't think Canada even has an Angelina Jolie type character hanging in the wings.) LOL. What I do find, is that the actors getting on screen seem to do a lot of travelling. Can't presume to know about how to get roles, but I'm sure, being a Canuck, there's got to be a heap of talent there. Don't give up and good luck.

James David Sullivan

@Cindy - then start checking out every lead you get here and anywhere else. Check every one of your contacts' projects and see if they need someone like you. I doubt it will be long before you find something. "Seek and ye shall find."

James David Sullivan

@Cindy, so you're telling me that you have checked with every venue near you for stage plays, every TV station in your area, and every movie production company in your vicinity, and none of them have any roles that you can at least audition for?

Molly Kerr

I read that female protagonists, especially older female protagonists make it almost impossible to get funding. That was the case about five years ago according to a film maker in the USA. But things seem to be changing. I've seen a bunch of productions starring older women but not a lot in proportion to the number of middle aged actresses I've seen! I am writing a screenplay with a middle aged woman as the protagonist. It will probably be ready by the time I'm suitable for the role. :/ But there are just generally more roles for men. James seems to forget that while you're lighting these candles, so are all the other middle aged women. It's mathematical, James. If you have ten roles for middle aged women in the next three months you're going to have about 1000 middle aged women looking for them and competing for them. It's not in their interest to share the information around, either. And that's not the case for the 10 000 young men. They have 1000 opportunities every three months if they want.

Cindy Myskiw

James, no I am saying, that yes, I have tried to make it to the ones that I can but they are usually for a lot younger roles. I am in a rural area and it makes it hard for me to get to all the auditions that do come up. Most of them are independent films so they usually don't have time to do on-line auditions, because they can usually find what they need that can make it to the auditions. I am just saying that it is nice when there actually is something that I can actually audition.

James David Sullivan

@Molly, @Cindy - there are about 80,000 to 100,000 screenplays written just in the US every year. Worldwide, it is probably 250,000. About 250 are made into theatrical releases each year. Those are pretty daunting odds as well. I am not going to give up. I am not going to complain. I am going to keep trying. And I suggest you do so as well.

Angelina Carkic

Bravo James. When you do make it I'd like to know. I'll be congratulating you. :-)

James David Sullivan

As Elvis would say, "Thank you very much!"

Cindy Myskiw

I am not nor was I ever complaining, I was just curious as to what kind of conversation it would start and where peoples thoughts were on the subject. Also I never give up and I always get what I aim for. So it is just a matter of reading, watching and waiting for my moment to shine. And believe me one day I will shine. :)

Mark Cabaroy

This is only my opinion Cindy, but I think the distributors feel that the majority of the movie going public is under 30- So they put youth oriented films out there. People tend to want to see films where they can relate to the characters. For the most part they are right "movie dates" are still the cheapest form of entertainment dollar for dollar. But fear not, when distribution shifts to streaming the demographic will change to move mature audience because those people are staying home to watch TV. That's why a lot of shows are not necessary youth (under 30) orientated- Most cops shows, and dramas the characters are over 30+

James David Sullivan

@Cindy, as of right now, you have 399 people in your network. I have 1976. You couldn't have joined this network after I did, and I'll leave it to you to figure out why. That's almost a factor of 5 times more in about the same time. With quite a few of the people I have met on this network, when appropriate, I have pitched my scripts. Are you catching my drift?

James David Sullivan

@Lyse It's all to easy to complain and find an audience. It's a lot more difficult to do the work necessary to accomplish difficult tasks. Is that a foreign concept to you?

James David Sullivan

@Lyse, if it's not already clear: I would like to see Cindy spend as much time searching for roles as she does letting the world know how difficult it is.

Cindy Myskiw

Hey, Guns down everyone. Please I did not mean to cause confrontation I was just creating a conversation. @James, I spend all my free time trying and searching for roles that I might be able to audition for. I am in constant contact with as many people as I can be at any one time. I belong to as many of the websites that I can access without going broke. But I live in a rural area of Manitoba and it makes it a little more difficult for me. But I am not trying to complain and say wooo is me. Just the opposite, I just want people to know I am available. I have made contacts on this particular site and have been offered a role but it isn't happening just yet. I am sorry now that I even posted this conversation now. The people who have actually taken the time to talk to me and get to know me and have seen my demo know that I am not someone who is a complainer. So I truly hope you all can see where I was coming from and I was just CURIOUS, that is all, about peoples opinions. Please don't take anything personal.

Heather Hale
Deryn Warren

Cindy, don't apologize. You are right. It is very very hard for older women to get roles and always has been. It is getting better but . . .

Cindy Myskiw

Thank you, Deryn. :-)

Aiona Byuwek

I so agree!

Ruth K Brown

My bucket list is now full of Eleanor and Ethel Thayer and Mother Superior Miriam Ruth and others of that ilk ... great work IF the plays are done locally.

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