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Find Your Playing Age

Created the: 17-09-2020

Have you seen the coolest casting notice and just HAVE to try out, but you're not quite the right age? We have good news — you could be considered for the job after all. Keep reading to find out what ages you can play as an actor.

The playing-age is the age an actor is supposed to be in the role. So, it's not necessarily the same age as the one on your driver's license, but the age you can play credibly. If a posting is looking for actors to play someone who is 35, you can apply for the job even if you are 25 or 45 – as long as you just look like you're 35 years of age. A classic example is Andrea Zuckerman of Beverly Hills 90210. When Andrea left high school in the series, Gabrielle Carteris, the actress, was in fact 32 years old.

How to determine your playing age

As a starting point, your playing-age will be your actual age +/- 5 years. If you are 42, your playing-age will probably be 40 – 45 years old.

In general, there are two exceptions to this rule:

Children: Because they develop so rapidly, their playing-age is often only a difference of 2 years from their actual age.

Seniors: Seniors are often divided into a group called "older/mature actors!, so their playing age can span many years. For some older actors, it’s not unusual to have a 10-year range in their playing-age.

Be realistic

There are many actors who set their playing-age too wide, hoping to get more job offers. Be careful — you may feel like 25 years old on the inside, but do you seriously look like a 25-year-old when compared to actual 25-year-olds? "Who are you trying to fool?”, is probably not the reaction you want from casting directors.

Make sure your profile is updated with a new photo every six months. It’s important to show casters what you look like today. You might just look exactly right for what they want right now.

If you’re unsure about the playing-age you’ve set for yourself, try asking your friends how old you look – or better yet, try asking strangers how old they think you are. But be prepared for an answer that may not always be what you were hoping for. ;)