How to Age Gracefully in Hollywood
A TV comedy writer on how to survive a business model of ageism
I’m a TV writer who writes for The Ankler under a pseudonym for obvious reasons. Previously, I wrote a PSA advising you not to be a TV writer, a story about Getting Fired the Hollywood Way, The Misery of Writer Twitter, and Hollywood’s Zoloft Blow-Off.
When I was in college, I fell for an attractive man in his forties. I’ll never forget that first time I woke up in his arms and saw him smiling lovingly at me as the morning sun shone across his face and thinking, “Whoa this guy is OLD. Jesus Christ. Seeing someone across the table while you’re having dinner at Balthazar is one thing, but this whole direct sunlight deal is… wow.”
I recently turned the same age as that guy. Time is a flat circle, and so is my ass.
There are people, particularly women, who hate it when I talk this way. There’s nothing wrong with aging, they say. They consider the words “you don’t look 40” a micro-aggression. They say things like, “I’m proud of my crow’s feet” and “I’m not old, I’m well-seasoned,” and talk about how much life has taught them. Yeah, that’s great, but I didn’t come to Hollywood to be well-seasoned. If I wanted wisdom, I would have become a Buddhist monk or been wrongfully convicted of murdering my wife and her lover then spent 19 years in prison before chiseling my way out with a rock hammer and the help of Morgan Freeman. I came here for Narcissistic Supply, and the supply chain is in crisis.
Los Angeles is the worst place in the world to age. The city’s official foundation date is 1781, but that’s not what it says on its IMDb page.