Understanding physical  &  playing age


How old are you?

How old is your character?

It is important to understand the difference between your actual age and that of your character.

First of all your actual age does not always mean that you would be a good casting to perform that age.

This is because not everyone develops at the same rate or has the same height or character.

Physical age is really only relevant from the legal perspective - to ensure the actor is "of age" - for example, a child or an adult.

From a casting perspective much more informative [if it is honest] is the playing age.

In simple terms, this is the age range that an actor can play convincingly without major makeup ie as they are.

Other factors like dress and even camera angle can build also add to the age of the character.

In theatre, because of the stage to audience distance, the age illusion is easier - hence in Pilot Theatre's stage production of Lord of the flies boys of 14 could be portrayed by actors in their 20's.

When deciding your age range be realistic - ask for advice and update regularly as changes occur. 

The videos on this page all have one thing in common - the actor has not used makeup or props to appear older or younger - they are themselves - acting the character.