Another Age QuestionComplications Ensue
Complications Ensue:
The Crafty Game, TV, and Screenwriting Blog




Baby Name Voyager graphs baby name frequency by decade.

Social Security Administration: Most popular names by year.

Name Trends: Uniquely popular names by year.

Reverse Dictionary Search: "What's that word that means....?"

Facebook Name Trees Match first names with last names.


Archives

April 2004

May 2004

June 2004

July 2004

August 2004

September 2004

October 2004

November 2004

December 2004

January 2005

February 2005

March 2005

April 2005

May 2005

June 2005

July 2005

August 2005

September 2005

October 2005

November 2005

December 2005

January 2006

February 2006

March 2006

April 2006

May 2006

June 2006

July 2006

August 2006

September 2006

October 2006

November 2006

December 2006

January 2007

February 2007

March 2007

April 2007

May 2007

June 2007

July 2007

August 2007

September 2007

October 2007

November 2007

December 2007

January 2008

February 2008

March 2008

April 2008

May 2008

June 2008

July 2008

August 2008

September 2008

October 2008

November 2008

December 2008

January 2009

February 2009

March 2009

April 2009

May 2009

June 2009

July 2009

August 2009

September 2009

October 2009

November 2009

December 2009

January 2010

February 2010

March 2010

April 2010

May 2010

June 2010

July 2010

August 2010

September 2010

October 2010

November 2010

December 2010

January 2011

February 2011

March 2011

April 2011

May 2011

June 2011

July 2011

August 2011

September 2011

October 2011

November 2011

December 2011

January 2012

February 2012

March 2012

April 2012

May 2012

June 2012

July 2012

August 2012

September 2012

October 2012

November 2012

December 2012

January 2013

February 2013

March 2013

April 2013

May 2013

June 2013

July 2013

August 2013

September 2013

October 2013

November 2013

December 2013

January 2014

February 2014

March 2014

April 2014

May 2014

June 2014

July 2014

August 2014

September 2014

October 2014

November 2014

December 2014

January 2015

February 2015

March 2015

April 2015

May 2015

June 2015

August 2015

September 2015

October 2015

November 2015

December 2015

January 2016

February 2016

March 2016

April 2016

May 2016

June 2016

July 2016

August 2016

September 2016

October 2016

November 2016

December 2016

 

Thursday, January 22, 2015

Q. In the FAQ section of your site, you mention that it can be a little more difficult for older people to break into TV writing. I just turned 29-years old and am considering going into television writing. I know I am probably at a disadvantage compared to, say, people fresh out of college who are looking to break into TV writing. 
My question to you is this: How much of a disadvantage, if any, is my age? I'm still willing to "rise through the ranks" and take on W.A. and P.A. jobs before becoming a Staff Writer and working my way up. But I know those types of jobs typically go to early- to mid-twenty somethings.
It depends what you've been doing for the past nine years. I started writing TV specs in my thirties and didn't get a TV episode on the air till my late thirties. On the other hand, I had a feature film credit, and a couple dozen feature specs, and I'd worked in indie features for years. If you started breaking into TV writing from being a TV agent, likewise, then 29 is not old at all.

Or, if you are Don Draper, it's not unreasonable, either.

If you were actually a soldier, cop, trauma ward surgeon, lawyer, or rich dilettante who solves crimes for the police, then you could parlay that into being the baby writer who actually knows something about the procedural world.

If you were, on the other hand, an accountant, then you would be, yes, a bit behind. But 29 is not outrageously old, if you're willing to pay the dues and work the ridiculous hours. I continue to think that the real issue for aging writers is not actual prejudice, but an unwillingness to eat all the crap sandwiches you have to eat to break in, or even stay, in the biz. (If you're successful, you get more bread to spread the crap on, which makes the sandwiches much tastier.)

There are also areas of TV where older people are more welcome. Kids' programming, ironically, is a haven for older writers, because they have kids.

But 29, for a writer? Not horribly old. (For an actor, 29 is horribly old. All things being equal, do not attempt to start an acting career at 29.)

4 Comments:

Yeah, I worry about that myself as I am 48 and just getting into screenwriting. While I have written a bunch of unpublished very short stories, I wonder if it's too late. My solace from your blog is that I have been an insurance agent, an air traffic controller, economic developer for cities, restaurant owner and my metal band's CD still sells for $25 on Amazon. Hopefully that will parlay into something original. But I have asked my friends if we were 65 could we start a rock band that would take the country by storm like we would when we were 25. There is something about the generation gap and entertainment that are mutually inclusive. Sigh.

By Blogger jEFF K, at 8:38 PM  

"I have asked my friends if we were 65 could we start a rock band that would take the country by storm like we would when we were 25."

Is that your pitch, Jeff? If it isn't, it should be. No 25-year-old could compete with you.

By Blogger Stephen Gallagher, at 8:28 AM  

I hear you, and I believe all that life experience will pay off in dialogue and onscreen relationships of all sorts. But my query was about not getting the current generation's thinking because I am a generation or two removed. Not that I need to write for them, but there is something exhilarating when your youth comes up against the edge of the box and you go outside the box because you haven't lived long enough to have life experience to recognize this. Often in my view it is when new ideas/genres/etc are created. Do 45 or 65 year olds create such things? I would love to see examples!

By Blogger jEFF K, at 10:52 PM  

I'll give you a personal example. I own and run a bar. Luckily it caters to all ages and the generations mix pretty well. In my late 30s I found I could relate to a 22 year old because my thinking wasn't that far removed. The things I thought about, did for fun, movies I watched, were things that a 20-something would do or related to. Now in my late 40s I find my ability as that dynamic host of hospitality has lost some of its ability to relate to anyone at any age.

By Blogger jEFF K, at 10:57 PM  

Post a Comment

Back to Complications Ensue main blog page.



This page is powered by Blogger.