Work the dream

• Charlotte in the Fremantle-shot thriller The Silent City.

• Charlotte in the Fremantle-shot thriller The Silent City.

The ripe old age of 36 is considered by most, in and out of the trade, as too old to break into acting.

The “cult of youth” has gone so far that primary school kids will soon be the only ones being taken on by agents, Olivia Charlotte bleakly jokes.

“Los Angeles’ agents have got to the point they don’t take anyone over 24.”

But the 36-year-old Bayswater actor is so determined to follow her dream she’s started the long and complicated paperwork required to move to the US for acting work.

She sent her resume to a number of Sydney agents recently and, within a couple of days, three had responded so she’s now set to head east in the new year for meetings.

The petite blonde vibrates with a relaxed energy and determination as she talks to the Voice over lunch, her manner pleasant, friendly and engaging—nothing of the diva to be seen.

It’s a tough game she’s breaking into, especially for someone who prefers being at home than socialising, but she’s braced for the hard yakka of meeting, greeting and being “known”.

“You have to sell yourself,” Charlotte says.

Her gentle manner, vegetarianism and job as a fitness instructor belie what she describes as “wild” teenage years.

“I lived in a bogan area and was drinking and smoking, staying out all the time—and I was disrespectful to my parents.”

Motherhood at 19 put the brakes on her dreams.

“I put my career on hold for all the reasons we do as adults, in my case single parenthood and financial stability.”

Her daughter is now a “well-behaved” and studious 16-year-old, nothing like her mum at that age: “I have apologised to my mum quite a few times,” Charlotte smiles.

A brief stint in Sydney when her daughter was six was a promising start to break into acting.

She was getting work but the idea of leaving her young child with strangers for hours on end wasn’t something Charlotte felt she could do.

The death of an aunt was the spur to return home to family in Perth.

“But I could never give up [my dream] completely and have had my foot in the door for the past 10 years.

“This last year, as my daughter is now older, I have committed 100 per cent to my passion.”

Charlotte has appeared in three feature films, four short films (including Deep End with Ginger Meggs’ and Voice cartoonist Jason Chatfield).

A fitness trainer, she was the body double for a German actress and has appeared in TV commercials and promotional VDOs.

But it’s not an easy row to hoe, especially in Perth.

“You go for an audition and know you are perfect for the role but don’t get it…but don’t get feedback [as to why].

Not getting an audition is even harder, Charlotte says.

“It’s frustrating, you want them to see you even if you don’t get picked for the role.”

But Olivia Charlotte is not going to sit back in her old age and wonder “what if”, she’s grabbing the life she wants and running full tilt.

“I want to show everyone that it doesn’t matter what age you start, don’t give up on what makes you happy.”


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