Sunday, 31 January 2010

Age is nothing but a number?

I think it is quite funny how society is obsessed with age.
There was a time (or there still is a time) when society was obsessed with peoples race, culture, religion or sexual orientation. Age is now the new taboo! People can not grasp the fact that yes, there are a lot of young people out there that do of course enjoy the odd drink here and there, like to go out clubbing but also spend a whole lot of time trying to develop their careers.

 It makes me laugh the reactions people have when they realize I run Golden Delilah.
Theatre Manager: Hello, thank you for meeting with me.
Golden Delilah:  No it's my pleasure. I would like to discuss with you the possibility of hosting Golden Delilah's latest season at *********** Theatre.

 Theatre Manager: Thats great. I managed to read your proposal and information pack, and I think your onto a good thing.

 GD: Thanks, so as you know..........

Theatre manager interrupts 

TM: How old are you?

 GD: um....... (thinking......where is this going? what does that have to do with my 'artistic vision')
GD: Under 25 

TM: Patronising tone: I think what your doing is great! I mean after all your a black girl from south London under 25, most people like you are stuck in council flats, having babies whilst your boyfriend managed to get banged up in prison. SO WELL DONE YOU! ( theatre manager pats GD on the back) It is so great that you want to open up theatre to the working classes, we do like this idea because we get x amount of money from the government. So what are the plays you produce like?

GD: well......

 interruption again

TM: The gun crime in south London.........Nigerian traditions ......or the easy living in Jamacia ( obviously when it comes to the Caribbean and Africa ;Jamaica and Nigeria are the only countries of these continents!)

GD : thinking - what the........
Okay, so I may of exaggerated the scenario a little, but the essence is there. Don't get me wrong, I am very supportive of theatres that understand that there is a large potential audience within the 'urban' community. However the way they approach this subject matter can at times be very naiive, patronising and just a little bit, well ignorant.

 How can someone from a rural, upper class background believe that they can educate me in what it is to be a young person living within a working class 'urban' south London?

 Whenever I am confronted with situations like this there are two things I can do:

 1. Scream and tear my hair out, shout abuse and slap sense into these people.

2. Calmly understand their ignorance and try to re-educate them.
I always go with the latter!

All I am saying is that we should be focusing on someone's talent rather than their age.
I mean their are different ways to look at this issue....... 

I always think of the relationship between Sam Taylor-Wood and Aaron Johnson. Yes she happens to be forty-something and he is in his twenties actually still in teens. To be honest when I first heard about this relationship I did think, 'cradle snatcher, why the hell would this sexy man go out with an old granny.'
But who am I to say this, how could I complain about the fact that people always try to define me by age, if I am ready to do the same to some one else.
I don't know Sam Taylor-Wood or Aaron Johnson, but I imagine that they both see something within each other that other people can't.

So who the hell cares that she is old enough to be his mum, yes, age is nothing but a number, it's the person that matters.

For further reading: Under (DE) Construction, Perspectives on Cultural Diversity in Visual and Performing Arts.

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