Should I lie about my age?

by Ryan
(Henderson Nevada)

QUESTION:

Hi, im 23 and am planning on moving to L.A to act once i've saved up enough money but am worried that my age is going to hold me back if i give it. I look young and if shaven i can pass for a 16-17 year old. Should i lie about my age at auditions? And why is age such a factor in Hollywood? Thanks.

ANSWER:

Many actors in teen shows are in their mid-20s. If you really look 16-17, no one will care if you're 23. After all, many people look 5-6 years younger than they are. That's not a big stretch. Actually, being an adult is a plus, because you don't need a work permit, etc. Your age shouldn't appear on your resume, so you don't have to worry about that. All you have to worry about is to get good headshots that look like you. Get that shaven look, but don't retouch the picture to look younger than you look when you walk in the room. You can mention to the headshot photographer that you're going after teen roles for one of your looks and pick a younger wardrobe for that shaven look. You may also want to get an unshaven, slighly older look picture so you can submit to young adult roles too. Many actors get a first look in during their headshot session and shave half-way through for a second or third look.

Being young helps in Hollywood if you're starting out because there is so much competition that it is that much harder for an actor in their mid or late 20s to get an audition or an agent when they don't have experience and are going against actors with long lists of credits already. That being said, there are roles for all ages for good actors here, so yes, it's always helpful to start early, but it's not everything either.

Hope this helps.

Good luck with the move.

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but what if....
by: Anonymous

But what if you are in your mid 20`s and you look like you are 16-17 and can play a 16-17 year old role, is it still hard competition? because by then it´s only a competition between you and teenagers right(even if you still are in your mid 20`s)?

ANSWER: If you look 16-17 and have a strong acting resume, that's a plus, but a lot of 16-17 year olds have acting experience and training in Los Angeles, especially if they started auditioning as kids.

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