ICH BIN EIN ALTES FARZEN
One thing about writing a blog when you have reached my age is you can say whatever you want. Question: Where does an old male elephant walk? Answer: Anywhere he wants.
I have often wondered if whenever Ronald Reagan thought of John F. Kennedy’s famous words at the Berlin Wall, he mouthed to himself, “Ich bin ein altes farzen.”
What a perfect segue to my subject. Age reared its (red) head at this year’s Rose Bowl Parade. It seems that 62-year-old parade narrator Stephanie Edwards was relegated to the cold and rainy bleachers while her partner of many years (pun intended), Bob Eubanks, sat warm and comfy in the announcer’s booth.
According to Ms. Edwards, “When a women is 62, she is not going to be seen as being as marketable as a man of the same age would be, not by marketers or the public.”
Do I detect a note of bitterness? If so, why is it that so many Hollywood people just don’t get it? In show biz, youth works. Age doesn’t. And, working hard at what doesn’t work will never make it work.
I’m not just talking about women. A few years ago I was doing pretty well doing voice-over commercials. I began to notice the auditions were getting fewer and fewer. I called my agent who informed me quite bluntly that I was just too old. “Too old to do voice-overs?” I asked, “No one ever sees me.”
I said this knowing it was not always the case. Even though blind audition tapes narrow the selection down to two or three people, the client usually wants to meet the finalists before the deciding audition tape. Even though the listener will never know, the client does. And that’s enough to cook your old goose.
Hey, I’m OK with that. I had my day. If everyone tried to stay around too long, there wouldn’t be room for the younger guys. Right? Life goes on.
At first, however, I was understandably chagrined (which means I did not grin). I did some research. One thing stood out as the great equalizer: HAIR DYE. When I see my ageless men compatriots who, till this very day, are still hot and in the competition, there isn’t a grey hair in sight. I, on the other hand, with my hair AND beard, stand out like Santa Claus at the mall. My advice to all male ageless wanabes? Stock up on Grecian Formula.
Going back to the Stephanie Edwards interview, she also lamented, “The public does not want to look at a 62-year-old woman with as much sexual interest as the public would look at a 62-year-old man."
To Stephanie I have to say in all honesty that I much prefer looking at a 62-year-old woman than a 62-year-old man; especially a beautiful red head like you. But, keep this in mind: I don’t really count. After all, I’m a member of a dying breed (double pun intended).