The eighty-three-year-old William Shatner explained why he keeps working while his age contemporaries are sunning themselves on a beach somewhere in Florida.
Part of the trick is not feeling old. “I feel…it’s a toss-up between adolescences and the maturity of my middle thirties,” said Shatner. “That means I’m not dealing with reality at all. I’m delusional.”
The truth is the actor enjoys his work and can’t seem to bear to be idle. “Well, every time I kick back, I kick myself in the ass,” he said. “And it’s not compulsion. It’s just that it’s there and I’m ready to do it. I have the lifeforce to do it, so I do it.
“Work is part of what human beings do, but what I do doesn’t seem like work.”
Shatner is fortunate to have work, often older people run into difficulties finding jobs as they age. The actor is penning a book, Hire Yourself, which “addresses the large proportion of people over the age of fifty-five who are unemployed.”
“The fact that people over fifty are being rehired at a much slower rate because they want more,” said Shatner. “They want more, but they have more to offer. And in many cases, they’re failing to be rehired. Corporations are hiring younger people with less experience and less knowledge and paying them less. So I’m advocating…hire yourself.”
His book “tells readers how they should use the skills that they’ve spent a lifetime honing. In essence,” said Shatner, “they should hire themselves out to businesses promoting the strong skills they have. My introduction to the book is [that] you don’t have to talk to me about being unemployed. Every time an actor finishes a job, he’s unemployed.”
Shatner’s current projects include Shatner’s World, his one-man show currently touring; Wacky Doodle, a The Next Generation documentary; his annual Hollywood Charity Horse Show on April 26, several television projects, and the Hire Yourself book.