It’s never too late to follow your dream… Written by: Kelsey Dunlop
In life we often have that one over-the-moon, reach-for-the-stars dream that if we dare go after; it could be a real game changer.
Marilyn Willock dared to go after that dream. As one of the Academy’s oldest graduates, Marilyn has gone on to make us proud of her talent and time spent here.
“I would take another course depending on the topic but I would actually like to get real acting work now,” Willock said in an interview regarding her plans for the future. In order to get into that real acting, Willock has said that she “will soon be taking another course studying scene work to improve my auditions.”
Marilyn doesn’t let her age lock her in to a dead-end job or even retirement; she wants to make her life count by doing what makes her happy. Many older men and women have been found to be doing the same thing in the past few years. Whether it’s golfing, travelling, getting a part-time job or chasing a singing career, seniors are no longer attached to that elder stigma. Most of them strive to take care of themselves, look after their health, and make the most of their lives. When you’re pushing 70, don’t you want to be able to be happy about what you’re doing with you life, or what you’ve done? It’s a feeling of satisfaction and accomplishment that can mentally and emotionally make you feel years younger.
Marilyn isn’t stopping at courses; she’s always trying to improve her talent. “I’m going to movies & also Stratford & Shaw festivals. I saw a play at Stratford last week & the Q & A afterwards was just as exciting a learning experience as the play itself. It was very interesting.” The determination in Willock’s actions isn’t hard to miss; she isn’t going to let this opportunity pass her by.
It’s been said that regret can often weigh a person down, and that’s often why seniors want to free themselves of regret and do everything with their lives that they can. They want to make their families proud and leave a mark with their name on what they’re leaving behind. Marilyn is sure to make her family proud as she strives to reach her goal in the limelight.
When it comes to Marilyn’s personal movie choices, she said, “I have enjoyed so many movies. Sophie’s Choice with Meryl Streep was outstanding for acting integrity and story. Glen Close in Alfred Knobbs was also outstanding for the same reasons. Cicely Tyson in Fried Green Tomatoes may be too old for you but her acting was so real and so charming. I enjoy everyone on Downtown Abbey and all masterpiece theatre television movies for great acting, great stories, period pieces, authenticity and total integrity. I also enjoy Murdoch Mysteries as one of the most outstanding television series Canada has ever produced. The chief detective plays the period to perfection as far as manners and grace are concerned and the rest of the actors do very well too.” It’s important to keep a wide range of selection and always keep up to date with what’s going on in the world of Hollywood movies.
Back to the word regret, and Marilyn has none after enrolling at the Toronto Academy of Acting. “I would certainly recommend the course to anyone interested in acting. It seems to be all one needs & then one must continue to exercise the skills learned,” she stated. Since time is of the essence at Marilyn’s age, a condensed program was the way to go and has definitely proved to be the best thing for her. She has gone on to get herself an agent and land a role in a History Channel documentary series. Way to go Marilyn!
“The instructors were very well informed regarding their special topic. They were keen, enthusiastic, pleasant, talented themselves & well able to identify with all the students regarding all our limitations and inexperience. Their critiques were appropriate yet encouraging. No one ever felt slighted or discouraged. At the end of 4 months we could all notice improvement in one another,” Willock boasted.
Noticing an improvement in our students is one of our proudest moments, but whether or not they choose to do something about their talent is left in their hands. Marilyn, however, is not stopping and we couldn’t be happier for her.