Does your playing age NEED to include your actual age?

  • Sophie Todd


    Hey everyone, thought id put this question out to you all as i've heard different answers and really interested to know your opinions.

    Does your playing age need to include your actual age? Both playing up or down?

    I ask, as I am soon turning 26 and have been told by a few people to think about dropping my playing age to 15-22/23 - its currently 17-26 as realistically I wouldn't play 26/mid twenties (i'm quite short and do look young- my mum says I shouldn't knock it haha) which is mad to me as I very much feel like i'm in my mid twenties!

    anyway thanks a bunch for any replies!

    hope you are all save and well !


    • 22nd May 2020
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  • Chanley Muir


    Hey, I get the same response from Casting Directors and Directors when they are auditioning me and then they ask “how old are you?” And then I just watch their jaws hit the table lol

    I’ve been advised that you don’t have to declare your actual age. Branding yourself for the roles you’d be cast for is more important- I mean the film industry still casts late 20’s/early 30’s to play late teens haha

    I was put forward for a role (my actual age) and the CD just said we’re not casting younger- made me feel both happy & sad lol

    So anyways, with the rant over. You can give your DOB or age in your Resume/Cover letter, but list your playing age for what you would convincingly, on screen, be able to portray- Just my two cents worth

    • 14th May 2020
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  • Joseph Simpson-Bushell


    Nope. For the vast majority of people their actual age DOES fall somewhere in their playing age range, but it's called playing age for a reason and if you're lucky enough to be perpetually young looking your stated age range should reflect that.

    And there's never a reason to declare your actual age except for insurance or legal purposes (i.e to confirm you're over 25 for alcohol or gambling ads, etc) - other than that the only time someone needs your DOB is when they've sent you a contract and need all your details. :-)

    • 17th May 2020
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  • Sue Parker-Nutley


    Absolutely what Joseph says. The term "playing age" means just that! It's how old you look not how old you are.

    All the best.


    • 17th May 2020
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  • Sophie Todd


    thanks everyone!

    I guess its true that unless its for like Joseph says about licensing, asking your age could be deemed inappropriate- potentially illegal if it affects if you are cast or not

    • 18th May 2020
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  • Jason Yip


    I think you do look your age... but let me qualify that (with risk of offending others).

    Genetics certainly plays a part, but lifestyle and life choices contribute more to our ageing. That's why I feel you look your age. People tell me all the time I don't look my age - I tell them I do. I point out that others don't look their age, as in they look older.

    I feel that most people use "you don't look your age" as a compliment because they want to believe that they themselves look their age and that others look younger. It's the same with obesity - fat people think they're average sized, and they think average sized people are skinny or even anorexic.

    Your b&w photo and the pic of you in the red dress, you definitely look like you could be 30 because of how you 'hold yourself', your outward confidence. "Looking your age" isn't just in your face, it's also in your body shape and 'swagger'. Hairstyle can add or deduct years too.

    Back to the original post... definitely put down what age you look like to others. It might include your real age, but it doesn't need to.

    • 20th May 2020
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  • Rav Takhar



    The rule of thumb from agencies is plus or minus 5 years.

    I kinda disagree as makeup can take off 10 years or add 20 years.

    Does this help ?


    • 22nd May 2020
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