Ageism, like so many other isms, is as rampant in Hollywood as it is so many geographical and professional areas. Perhaps even more rampant. Our friends at Script Reader Pro are here today with some excellent and practical advice on how to deal with it in the real world:
by Script Reader Pro
Unfortunately, ageism in Hollywood is definitely real. The many lawsuits and payouts over the years are proof of the fact that the industry views more mature writers a little differently from those in their 20s and 30s.
For some reason, the general theory goes that if a writer hasn’t produced anything of quality by the time they reach, say, 45, they’re unlikely to… ever.
Yes, this thinking is as silly as it sounds, but it’s all part of the uphill struggle many aspiring writers face when trying to break in, and so deserves to be addressed.
But here’s the good news: age discrimination in Hollywood is often not the determining factor in whether a writer over 40 breaks in or not…
The determining factor is much more likely to be the writer themselves.
In this post, we’re going to show you the top five actions you can take right now to combat ageism in Hollywood. So let’s jump on in.
1. Focus on your strengths as an “older” writer.
If you’ve been writing for a number of years, ask yourself if you’re a better writer now than you were ten years ago. Chances are, you’re a much better writer now than you were then and therefore much better positioned to break in.
Could a 25-year-old have written Marriage Story or The Irishman? Possibly, but it’s highly unlikely. Write down what you bring to the table as a more mature writer: your experience, life skills, writing craft, personal confidence, and so on.
Yes, a writer in his or her 20s may be better positioned to write a sitcom starring a bunch of millennials or a high school coming-of-age movie. But so what? You’re probably better positioned to write practically everything else.
What’s your life story? What makes you unique among all the thousands of writers out there trying to break in? Write it down and turn a negative—your lack of youth—into a positive—your experience.
2. Ask yourself if you’re using age as an excuse.