Ok…so here we are a couple of years post the first real “firestorm” that erupted over IMDB (Amazon) listing our “Date of Birth” on one’s IMDB page. Now while they’ll be continued debates over whether or not you can truly REMOVE it, I just looked up Tom Cruise and Meryl Streep…and by golly…there are their dates of birth listed. So my purpose in thisblog is to assess how much you can really do about it. Always trust that I’m on your side but also know I’m interested in seeing you move your career forward and not find constant reasons for frustration, depression or lack of effort. If you happen to be a fan of The Newsroom, then pay attention to what has been the entire underlying B-Story of Season 2. It started out with an episode called, “Let’s Kill All of the Lawyers.” The actual point I’m lining up with is CERTAINTY. Legal certainty is a very difficult thing to fight on the other side with little or no resources or support. In The Newsroom there is a comment made by Marcia Gay Harden’s character that says: “If I’m one of the lawyers in that room, I don’t make that statement unless I’m absolutely sure…it is true.” And there you have, in a nutshell, the issue with DOB’s on your IMDB. Hey…that shit rhymes. 🙂
Because while I realize that knowing Ms. Streep’s REAL age…doesn’t hurt her career, nonetheless, it makes the point and why we’ll never be able to get Amazon/IMDB to remove it. Trust me, with the amount of lawyers and money that Amazon has, if for ONE second they thought they would “lose a suit” over this…it would have likely never been included to begin with…and certainly if they don’t…they don’t care if you sue them. This doesn’t mean that big companies, including our government, don’t make BIG errors sometimes as it relates to illegal activity, advertising, policy etc., but we’re talking about a FAN site that millions of people view constantly…so if they thought it would get them sued they likely…would never have put it there to begin with.
So now let’s address why cuz it is real simple…and it is ONE word: ART. You can add another if you like, SUBJECTIVITY. Because of these two words, being such a huge part of casting, in our profession…you’d never be able to get them to change it. So sadly, you’ll need to accept it, for your sanity. You see anyone can argue that your age, exact knowledge or an “age range” can just as likely GET YOU CAST…and not. Name me another profession where “job listings” can include such specificity as: Gay man, Black woman, must be Australian etc. etc. Our entire profession is CONSTANTLY excluding potential employees…based on sexual orientation, race, ethnicity, indigenous accent, blah blah blah. NOWHERE else…will you see such blatant discrimination except in ART.
So while I’m with ya, cuz I legitimately play about 10-12 years younger than I truly am, it simply isn’t going to go away because of all the “other” forms of discrimination in the “audition vetting process” much less being hired. So listen, focus your time on having people know you exist, having them like you and having them think highly of your ability and let the “you’re right for this one” aspect…have its way…which is always here today, gone tomorrow, but then back next week. Always on your side.
My best, @theKevinE