To the older people starting out in improv: You belong. This is for you.
If you are an older person and you are just starting out doing improv, stand-up, storytelling or acting, I want to say to you are in the right place.
You did not wait too long.
You are not wasting your time.
We need you.
I know that is not what you think.
I know that is not how society thinks.
But you are wrong.
Society is wrong.
I am right on this.
I am old.
I am so old I don’t need to lie to you.
We have been told improv, stand-up, storytelling, and acting is all a young person’s game.
That is bullshit.
Ok, maybe in Hollywood that might be true.
Are you going to be hired by Saturday Night Live? I don’t know.
Look, at Leslie Jones. She was hired by SNL when she was 47 years old.
So who knows.
Are you going get a Netflix special?
I don’t know this either. So please stop asking.
This is what I do know.
I know there is an audience for you.
I know that there is a place for you.
I know there people who want to work with you.
You have a lot to say because you have been around a long time.
You have seen things change.
You have changed.
And we want to hear those changes in your voice.
We want to hear from you in any form you want to express it.
In improv, in stand-up, storytelling, acting, interpretive dance or any other type of performance art that I am forgetting here. I am old.
We want to hear it! (Let’s move on, I am getting worked up.)
The reality is we need you more than ever.
The world is crazy, if you haven’t noticed.
So, we need your life experience, your success and your disappointments. We need your patience, your wisdom and maturity.
We need you in classes, and in shows, in open mics, in story nights, in plays and performances.
As a teacher of improv, I love it when I have a good balance of young and older students in my classes and workshops.
It always makes it a lot of fun.
The young people give the older people permission to play with abandon. The older people give the younger people permission to not care so much what people think.
They are grounded.
They have been through it. They are over it.
Those classes can be inspiring because we have so much life experience to choose from.
If you feel lost now, or feel like you haven’t found your people, know they are out there.
Yes, we have to look a little harder sometimes and ask around, but trust me, they’re out there.
And if, for whatever reason, you can’t find your people, then find some like-minded people to create something together, a show, an open mic night, a play.
Because you belong.