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Laurieby Karen Michel Pavlick

My child is stuck in the body of an actor!

American Idol or The Voice?

I must admit that this was the first time I watched American Idol from the beginning stages to the finale. I had three favorites, two guys and one girl, all singer/songwriter types. And one took the title as American Idol. I am touched when I hear the heart, not just a great voice.

And because my sister works as a costumer on the show, I was able to sit in the audience a couple times and to top it off meet Steven Tyler! But, what excited me even more was the witnessing of dreams coming to pass.

Like American Idol, The Voice showcases some great talent, but what I love about this show is age doesn’t limit a person’s voice to be heard. You can be way over twenty-eight and still have a dream!

As long as your talent turns the chair, you are given an opportunity.

In acting, do you believe we are turning the minds of casting directors and agents to see that true talent can come in all sizes, shapes and… ages?

QUESTIONS: I’m just starting to get into extra work in San Francisco at 62. I worked in the film business off and on for years as a costumer and did some set work. Worked on the original Star Wars (I was only 19) and with Robert Altman, so you could say I was sort of blessed and I always loved that creative experience. Do you have any tips? I just signed on with SF Casting but feel like a fish out of water. What can I do to make this a great experience for all concerned?

ACTORS: Caroline Myss, a wonderful woman of wisdom, said something to the effect that most people don’t even find their true purpose until they hit sixty. If that is true, then I say… enjoy trying on as many hats as you like! Some may feel better than others, some may look better than they fit and others may be just plain ol’ fun! Eventually, you will find that one special hat that looks good with everything and it becomes part of who you are, so to speak.

So, I applaud you for the many hats you have worn and the one you are trying on now, acting at 62.

So many people, at your age, are counting down the days to retire from their work to finally start living their life. But, from the sounds of it… you live to work, not work to live. That alone makes you blessed.

Whenever I work to live, taking on jobs just to pay the bills, I am left unfulfilled and very unhappy. And to top it off, time stands still. I know there are times when we may have to, but to continue to work to exist is not living and not what God intended. He wants us to do His work.

And how do we know when we are doing God’s work? Well, for me it’s when I find more joy in helping others than myself, while doing what comes effortlessly.

I used to think work had to equal struggle, so if I was having fun AND making money, I wasn’t working!

And kudos to you for sharing your age!  Just when the world thinks they’ve got it all figured out, someone like you can knock them flat on their face and all of sudden you can not only become a testimonial people will be talking about for years to come, but an inspiration to other actors.

Perhaps, the show, The Voice can do a spin off called The Actor?!

Just last week I met another man, around your age, who was getting his headshots taken from my friend, Melissa Kolaks Broaddus.

He also seemed quite excited to be taking this new step into acting after years of tap dancing, directing and producing.

So, my first bit of advice, if you haven’t already, would be to get some great new, fresh shots; a commercial, business and possibly an outdoorsy or sporty look. I have seven photos on LA Casting, but that’s only because Melissa has captured me in so many great and different ways, but 2-3 looks are fine.

Even if you haven’t worked as an actor, you can make your resume look good with other jobs that you have done along with a nice list of special skills. NO fiction on the resume!

Then, simply staple your resume to the back of your 8×10, trim it to fit, and send it along with a short, but nice cover letter that expresses your personality to SF agents.

SAG-AFTRA will provide you with a list of agents in your area or you can always find SF talent agents on the Internet.

In the meantime, continue to self-submit on SF Casting. Background work is a great way to start, as well as being a stand-in. I have a friend who does stand-in work in LA and she gets asked all the time to audition for roles for the show she is standing in for and has gotten quite a few of them.

Student films are a great way to not only work on a character but to get some good footage for your reel.

And I can’t think of a better place to start in theatre than the San Francisco Bay Area! That’s where I began and nothing has yet compared to learning my craft than on a stage in front of a live audience!

Finally, I highly recommend auditing a few acting classes in order to get a feel for the class as well as the coach. And for great fun, get involved in an improvisation class, especially if you are pursuing the commercial world.

Before you know it you will no longer feel like a fish out of water, but be part of a school of fish swimming in the San Francisco bay!

And someday, I pray we won’t have to turn our backs on age; we will be able to accept that we are all one with our own unique timing; and every chair will be faced forward to watch in amazement talent that is not defined by age.

Go to my facebook page, Questions & Actors, click LIKE and start communicating with fellow actors and parents!