Act Your Age Committee

The actor’s own life experience is the cornerstone of any performance. The broader and deeper that experience, the greater the capacity to understand and communicate the stories of others.

So come and play with us and…act your age!

About Us

Act Your Age (AYA) is a volunteer committee that has been formed by some of our union’s senior members, for the following purposes:

  1. To celebrate our talents by embracing the history, dignity,  and richness of our stories of survival
  2. To provide opportunities through an active actors’ gym to keep our skills facile and our focus sharp
  3. To educate the industry and marketers, over time, on the needs and concerns of senior performers
  4. To establish strong liaisons with other ACTRA Toronto committees, such as YEAA, Diversity and TAWC
  5. To explore and spotlight the new reality of what it means to be a senior
  6. To advocate for a change in the perception of senior performers – from invisible and easily dismissed, to capable, hireable, and fun

Advocacy

Our society’s preoccupation with youth means that older actors are too often forgotten. That’s not just a shame for the actors themselves and a terrible waste of their abilities. It’s also a serious blow to our understanding of ourselves as a society and of the aging process that is part of life.

Without public role models and a visible and positive “place in the story”, it is all too easy for aging people to become invisible to themselves and to others and to fall prey to feelings of shame, isolation and loneliness.

Videos

ACTRA Toronto’s Act Your Age Committee rejects this limiting social narrative and offers instead a very different vision of seniors and senior performers, through a series of entertaining and thought provoking short videos.

Misconceptions

With grace, wit and considerable charm, Misconceptions challenges our thinking about older people and their abilities. Shot with the generous support of PAL Toronto, the Ontario Seniors Community Grant Program, AFBS, AFM, William F. White International, Bling Digital, Sim Digital, Urban Sound and Creative Arts Savings & Credit Union, Misconceptions explores and contrasts the image seniors have of themselves — experienced, capable, energetic, vital, fun and sexy — with how they are too often portrayed in the media — challenged, slow, dowdy, infirm, out of date. The message that our misconceptions can blind us to a true appreciation of others and deprive those we overlook or underestimate of the opportunity to participate fully in society is ageless.


 

Actors Don’t Retire

The Actors Don’t Retire video is intended to serve as an entertaining (and humorous) reminder to the entertainment industry and the public at large that older actors bring a wealth of talent and a lifetime of performing experience to set and that the stories that they have to tell are important to all of us.

Full
Short

AYA Chair

Act Your Age Committee Chair, John McGrathJohn McGrath

It is such a privilege and joy to chair the ACTRA Toronto AYA Committee. The creative energy and wealth of experience (in life as well as on-screen) at AYA monthly gatherings is inspiring. I see my role as Chair as two-fold: 1) to work with you, our members, to organize monthly events, where senior performers continue to hone their skills; 2) to work with industry to change the perception of seniors through the stories we tell and how we tell them. Some cultures make it a practice to honour their elders. As artists and storytellers, we must do the same.

John McGrath is an award-winning voice actor who has brought countless characters to life on shows such as Hotel Transylvania (the series), Super Why!, Maggie & the Ferocious Beast (to name a few). He has been a proud member of ACTRA Toronto since 1989.

 aya@actratoronto.com

Upcoming Events

Watch your inbox for the great line up of workshops AYA has in store for you!

See you soon!

Contact: AYA@actratoronto.com

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  • 625 Church Street, 1st and 2nd Floors
  • Toronto, Ontario, Canada · M4Y 2G1
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