Age difference expands comfort zone


Isaac Wahl

Eavesdropping at a graduation party, I overheard a woman looking for a young male actor to audition for a show. We ended up talking later that day, and I could tell she was hesitant to ask if I was interested in auditioning. That turned out to be the beginning of my first professional show.

After an audition later that week, I was cast in the show “Revolt of the Beavers” in the 2018 Minnesota Fringe Festival.

In July, I remember walking into the first rehearsal and feeling ill. I felt confident, but it was my first time being in an all-adult show, and I did not know what to expect.

The rest of the cast believed I was in college. Once I told everyone I was still in high school, I sensed a slight shift in the way people treated me. It was never bad, but there was a sort of  doubtful, condescending attitude in the atmosphere.

The cast was kind to me, but during the early rehearsals, age created some odd barriers. This confused me b

ecause in my eyes I was not a child, but to others I was.

The cast began to get to know me and realized that I was not what they thought based on my age. By closing night, I saw a shift in the relationship I had with the cast compared to the first few meetings.

Besides the show introducing me to the world of acting outside of high school, which presented me with many valuable learning opportunities and experiences, I made strong connections with cast members who I still keep in touch with today.

I will never forget our producer emailing us saying the sales in our show did so well that she was able to pay all of us. Money was never my goal, but receiving my first check from doing something I care about was refreshing and reassuring.

I learned how the gap between ages is smaller than society likes to make us think. By overcoming that mindset, I was able to have an amazing experience as a member of an all-adult cast.