I would like to see more baby Boomers in advertisements and movies. People over 50 are 100 million strong. AARP magazine says, “We are 70 percent of the disposable income in this country. We buy two thirds of all new cars, half of all computers and a third of all movie tickets. We spend $7 billion a year shopping online and 80 percent of all the premium-travel dollars.” Americans are obsessed with youth, only 5 percent of advertising is directed at older consumers. On my Blog and Social Media, I am encouraging Boomers, that we are beautiful at any age. We may have wrinkles but you need to see beyond that. It’s what’s on the inside that counts.
I had the pleasure of interviewing Cindy Rae. Cindy Rae is a “mature” model, actress, writer, teacher, Harley rider and elephant activist. She is fluent in Italian and has traveled a lot of the world. Cindy currently mentors potential talent, teaching acting and modeling in San Francisco.
Thank you so much for joining us! Can you tell us a story about what brought you to this specific career path?
In my twenties, I was a model and actress in Italy for ten years. After my daughter was born, I moved back to the US and stopped modeling. I started a totally different career, painting murals and faux finishes.
When my daughter left for university, I took a job as an acting and modeling coach. Since I was teaching, I decided to try it out and was surprised at how many jobs I was booking at the age of 52.
Can you share the most interesting story that happened to you since you started this career?
In one movie, I played the role of a prostitute dressed in thigh high boots and a really tight, short, red dress. Everyone on set was complimenting me on how well played the part. In the scene, a pimp kills me by smashing my head into the bar. It was interesting learning how to smash into the bar without really getting hurt.
Can you share a story about the funniest mistake you made when you were first starting? Can you tell us what lesson you learned from that?
I was once doing a runway show for Gucci wearing Roman sandals that laced up to just below my knee. One of them came untied with the string dragging behind me, I didn’t want to trip and fall like in the Blooper videos. I reached down, pulled the sandal off, flung it over my shoulder holding it by the lace and walked off the stage like I knew exactly what I was doing.
Another time on the runway, a low cut, sheer blouse I was wearing blew open and my left boob was out during the entire runway walk. I had no idea until I stepped backstage and looked down.
I learned to make sure everything is buttoned up and secure before heading onto the catwalk.
What are some of the most interesting or exciting projects you are working on now?
I was recently on the cover of Prevention magazine at the age of fifty-nine. I have been in several commercials; NoNo hair remover, Lumi Pearl facial cream, Open Table, Safeguard bathtubs and Graton Casino to name a few.
I am currently working on a memoir titled, “Not Always Pretty” about my life as a high fashion model in Italy.
Who are some of the most interesting people you have interacted with? What was that like? Do you have any stories?
One time, I was in Frankfurt for a runway show. Willie Nelson walked onto the elevator at the hotel where we were staying. We chatted about what we were doing in Germany, he said he was doing a concert across the street from the hotel, then handed me ten backstage passes.
After our runway show, a group of girls, all of us six feet tall with hair slicked back, red lipstick and long false eyelashes, walked backstage to Willie’s concert looking like clones. His eyes got huge like saucers and he said, “What is this, a Robert Palmer video?”
Which tips would you recommend to your colleagues in your industry to help them to thrive and not “burn out”?
Take breaks. It can be exhausting traveling, living out of a suitcase and not being near family and friends.
Find a hobby you enjoy. Some of mine are painting, biking, Zumba and hiking, they are great to burn off stress.
You are a person of great influence. If you could start a movement that would bring the most amount of good to the most amount of people, what would that be? You never know what your idea can trigger. 🙂
I would like to see more baby Boomers in advertisements and movies. People over 50 are 100 million strong. AARP magazine says, “We are 70 percent of the disposable income in this country. We buy two thirds of all new cars, half of all computers and a third of all movie tickets. We spend $7 billion a year shopping online and 80 percent of all the premium-travel dollars.”
Americans are obsessed with youth, only 5 percent of advertising is directed at older consumers. On my Blog and Social Media, I am encouraging Boomers, that we are beautiful at any age. We may have wrinkles but you need to see beyond that. It’s what’s on the inside that counts.
What are your “5 things I wish someone told me when I first started” and why. Please share a story or example for each.
1. Keep learning and taking classes. Never give up, work at it every day. You’re all you’ve got, believe in yourself.
2. Don’t let anyone else’s opinion determine your self-worth. I’ve been told, “You’re too old, too fat, too tall, too white, too dark.” Don’t listen to them.
3. Be prepared. Arrive on time, learn your lines. On one audition, I was nervous and messed up my lines. I didn’t get the speaking part, but luckily, I got the role as the model in the commercial.
4. Be confident and professional. Sometimes, it’s not so much how beautiful or talented you are, you might be exactly what they’re looking for.
5. Don’t listen to the negative voices. In one movie, my scene ended up on the cutting room floor. The voice in my head told me I was a failure. Sometimes you are your own worst enemy. Cry, then quickly move on to the next project.
Can you please give us your favorite “Life Lesson Quote”? Can you share how that was relevant to you in your life?
It’s better to look back on life and say, “I can’t believe I did that.” than to look back and say, “I wish I did that!”
After I turned fifty, several friends passed away. Some to cancer and one of my best friends died of a heart attack at fifty-two. I began to check things off of my bucket list; I bought a brand new Harley Davidson motorcycle, went sky diving, dyed my hair black. (I’ve always been blond.) One day, my daughter asked, “What are you going to do next mom, get a tattoo?” and that’s exactly what I did.
None of us are able to achieve success without some help along the way. Is there a particular person who you are grateful towards who helped get you to where you are? Can you share a story about that?
The first day I arrived in Milan, my agency sent me on a “go-see” at Gianni Versace’s office. I was a young insecure girl from Minnesota when he hired me for my first paid modeling job. The photo ended up on the cover of the Women’s Wear Daily magazine.
All it took was for Versace to believe in me and from there I became a high fashion model working for Armani, Fendi and other designers. After a few years, I got a role on a popular Italian TV show called “Drive In” and ended up working in Italy for ten years.
Some of the biggest names in Business, VC funding, Sports, and Entertainment read this column. Is there a person in the world, or in the US whom you would love to have a private breakfast or lunch with, and why? He or she might see this. 🙂
Betty White. What is not to love about Betty…she is smart, super funny, an animal lover, one of the most positive people on earth and has a career spanning over 80 years.
One of Betty’s quote’s, “Age is just a number.” I couldn’t agree with her more.
How can our readers follow you on social media?
Thank you so much for joining us. This was very inspirational!