by Brett Baylis
I’m a 58-year-old black man who, despite my age and brawn-I’m 5’8″,210-220 lb.,sporting 18″ biceps-am regarded boyishly handsome.Additionally, my voice belies not just my beefy physique,but my race-I’m said to sound more like, as one acting coach told me some years back,a Southern rock or Country singer rather than a “churchy,” or “typically urban” -inflected voice. I wear Western garb occasionally and am said by a lot of the local-Windsor,Ont.,Can., ladies to resemble a handsome black cowboy.
Which roles would be realistic goals for me to attempt to attain, given my age,build,looks,intonation,dress and re-creational preferences?(Heavy metal,garage rock,Country music,dance-EXCEPT LINE DANCING!!!!-and rodeo;I’m even called “Cowboy” because of the above self-description.)
You’re a character actor. You could be right for a lot of roles if you don’t limit yourself. The country/southern accent could make you the perfect choice when the right part comes along, but you’ll need more range to have access to more roles. Try a speech class so you can put on a standard american accent and other accents when you need it.
Hobbies you’re proficient at are great special skills to put on your resume (for example, if you play the electric guitar or sing Country music), but here again, don’t let them limit you. You could act in any role where there is a character your type. Just check casting websites everyday and read the description for all the roles, looking for your age range, ethnicity and type. Yes, it’s good to know your type, but the cowboy thing can really work in many different plotlines and genres. Look at “Space Cowboy” Tommy Lee Jones!