Seniors got talent, that's for sure. Senior talent competitions, a la American Idol, are popping up all over the continent. These competitions give 55+ adults the opportunity to be creative and receive recognition for their performing skills.
Last month, twenty performers competed at San Antonio's Wonderland of the Americas in the Senior Star Search talent contest in search of two starring roles in a local independent short.
The competitions organizer was Harder, 74, a great-grandmother, with a resume including stints as a go-go dancer, nurse, real estate agent, and her latest role, as San Antonio's “Indie Godmother” of independent films.
“This is where I am today,” she told the San Antonio's mySA. “I tell seniors they have the talent to entertain people, so they should do it.”
Since 2005, Harder has been the director for 34 shorts. Her start in the independent film community came in 2004 after a photographer she hired to videotape a Christmas party failed to deliver the tape. She learned to use a camcorder, edit film and write screenplays at night classes.
"It hasn't been easy — some people laughed at me at first,” she told the media source.
Harder's mentor, Janet Vasquez from the San Antonio Film Commission, told the media source: "Mary doesn't just talk about doing something, she goes out and does it — that's admirable.” She continued: “I think it's great she's doing what she enjoys, and we're supportive of her and her creative endeavors.”
“I still got it and I'm still going,” Harder told mySA. “I'm not taking my talent to the grave.”