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Dance-tress Acting Up: Young and Beautiful

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A few blog’s back, I featured a picture from my friend Jimmy Bui’s “Music to Life” series. It was “Fear” by Sarah McLachlan. Well, we also did a shoot inspired by Lana Del Rey’s “West Coast”. I was excited to not only shoot with Jimmy again, but to also to shoot something that was inspired by Lana. As a dancer, music runs through my veins. To some this may sound ridiculous, but it moves me, literally I can feel it. It’s like being high without the high. It puts me in a different world. I suppose it’s a combination of her voice along with her throwback hippie/ 50’s persona. One of my favorite songs from her is called, “Young and Beautiful”. I would be lying if I said that it doesn’t relate to me during this time period in my life.

I am well aware that a career as an actress can be very short. Youth is glorified and fifteen years from now I won’t look the same as I do now. I won’t be the same person and I don’t want to be. Hollywood doesn’t believe that people would watch films with older women in them, especially as leads. They’re “not sexy” and they won’t sell tickets. They would rather shove a barely mature 18-year-old girl down our throats and expect women of all ages and color to idolize them.  Unfortunately, they do and it works. Sex always sells. 

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Luckily for me, I finally caught onto this. I get older everyday. I know that if I want to have a career in this business I have to find alternative ways to make a living. I want to create films that empower women in a positive way. Men too.  I would love to change Hollywood’s view of the mature female. I believe their stories are more relatable to a broader audience hence having the ability to sell more tickets. Women are amazing role models. They have the potential to be just as popular and money making as the teen stars, but also the maturity to use it in a positive way.  Opportunities just aren’t there yet. You don’t hear about older actresses dancing on tabletops or entering rehab. However, I would like to state that dancing on table tops can be extremely fun, but it’s nothing something you want to be doing in your 50’s. Ok, well maybe for some random grand celebration. ONE time.

Right now, the male to female ratio in castings are so inequitable. The new Star Wars movie initially had a cast of 11:3 male to female roles. Lets pretend one role went to an original cast member and one went to the director’s niece. That leaves ONE role available for ONE actress. We all know that there are thousands of actresses here just in Los Angeles. That needs to change and I want to be a part of this revolution. It’s happening and its happening now.  I want there to be more opportunities, even options. I don’t want to get into my 40’s and have to compete against a 21 year old to play the role of a mom. That’s nuts.

It’s sad that as a young adult and actress I fear growing old. I have read too many articles where award-winning actress’s comment on the lack of roles available for them. If they are struggling, what about the actresses that don’t have a name? It has to be tough.  These women are older. They have more experiences and stories to tell. Why don’t we want to hear them? I know that I do. I want to learn about their families, struggles, jobs, adventures, parties, marriages, divorce, etc. The world would probably be a better place.

“Will you still love me when I’m not longer young and beautiful? Will you still love me when I’ve got nothing but an aching soul?”- Lana Del Rey