I do an improv warm-up exercise called “Age Walk.” As the players move randomly around the stage, I start to call out different ages, side coaching as the actors play themselves at age – three, then six, then twelve,fifteen, twenty and so on all the way to about eighty-five. Then they end up back at age three. (By the way, I don’t leave them at three – they get to return to their actual age). One day, I was working with a group of Older Adults, roughly age seventy to eighty-five. They went through the exercise, and when they were playing themselves at “fifty”, they were trying their best to do all the physical exercises they’d done at fifty. Half of them were doing jumping jacks!
The next day, I ran a class of young improvisers ranging in age from eighteen to about mid-twenties. I did the same warm-up exercise. This time, when the twenty-ish ones reached age fifty they slowed down, had more trouble walking, had achy bones, shaky hands, and yes, even used imaginary walkers! The old folks did jumping jacks at fifty and the young ones did walkers.
It seems to be easier being fifty “the second time around.”
On this subject — I was recently emailed this video. Full disclosure – I do not eat red meat.