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    Old Man Voices

    The old man is an elderly male character. The definition of “old” can be subjective, with the label being applied to those in their 50s, 60s or older, depending on the average life expectancy of the environment the character is in. The age of the old man character can also influence the activities, attitudes and behaviour of the character. Old man characters are typically seen as friendly, wise and having leadership traits. Old man characters may be grandfathers, retirees, or hold other roles common for that age category.

    The old man character experiences multiple phases of his older life stage, and can feel differently depending on how his life has gone. In the early phase of old age, the old man character works less, may be retired, and spends more time building into his community, as well as engaging in leisure activities. In this phase, he is still healthy and independent. In the middle phase of old age, the old man character may need a bit more assistance, be more cautious of risks, and reflect on his life, either feeling contentment or unease about the future. This reflection can spark either a sense of completion and satisfaction, or regret and a feeling of loss. Old man characters who feel satisfied are more often mellow, even, and content in the face of old age. Old man characters who feel regretful may be more grouchy, irritable or otherwise unhappy. In the later phase of old age, the old man character may be much more dependent on others for help, and speak with a weaker voice, which gradually becomes softer and weaker throughout each phase. For the old man character, this sense of helplessness may be embarrassing, and he may insist he is capable of helping himself despite the risks of being alone. He may also be forgetful, prone to outbursts and somewhat shameful of his helplessness, while still having gratitude for those helping him in his last years of life.

    Old man characters can often be seen talking to other people, either friends their age, family members, members of his religious or retirement community and care workers. Old man characters can be seen doing many charitable things as well, such as volunteering at a local charity or making toys for his grandchildren. Old man characters may also be leaders in academic or social spheres of society, teaching and mentoring others. Old man characters may be respected as elder members of the community, or be treated as something lesser. Old man characters may also be seen in less active settings, such as being in a care home or hospital, being sick or injured, and at the end of their lives, giving goodbyes.

    The old man character can be seen in many forms of media. Family movies with grandparents, historical movies such as documentaries, television shows with retirees and lectures by older professors, as well as in religious sermons with older priests and pastors. Looking out for this character in the media and identifying traits, attitudes, and the phase of old age the character is experiencing can help you identify key elements to incorporate into your old man voice. Add your honed “old person” voice to the mix, and you have the perfect old man voice done and dusted!