When three or more males gather, regardless of age, a natural delegation of roles occurs, with each male slipping into his relevant life-stage character like well trained Broadway stars (but usually with far less make-up and reliance on prozac).
Take any situation where a man may interact with other men like tasting sauces, fixing stuff, playing sports, during battle, solving underwater mysteries or just at a BBQ.
These roles dictate that whilst among the group, each man play the appropriate part their age demographic demands. Each of the archetypes revolve around a familial dynamic, playing off, and at other times crossing over, each other.
Understanding each of these roles, and the transitions between them, is key to becoming the director of your next male social gathering scene:
The Kid - typically between the ages of 1-14, The Kids role is to provide a head of hair to be ruffled constantly and have various concepts thrown at him deemed to be too ‘adult’ in nature only so they can be followed by the quip “I’ll explain it when you’re 18!”. Also The Kid is perfect for any activity requiring small limbs, light frames and tight spaces such as poking the carcass of a dead cat in the roof cavity.
The Teen - typically between the ages of 13- 19, this role is a unique mix of angst, self-consciousness and awkwardness. The Teens role is to be inappropriate either in their dress, demeanour, conversation or eating habits, making older Men angry and the younger ones confused.
The Lad/Guy/Dude - typically between the ages of 18 -30, this guy is the puppet in which older men project their regrets upon and who younger men aspire to emulate. This is a transitional period that needs to navigated carefully by those going through it, as it can turn bad quicker than a Tupperware container of creamed-tuna pasta bake left in a car during the peak of summer.
The Bachelor/Uncle - typically between the ages 30- 55 no one really aspires to be found in this category. It is a result of doing the previous category poorly. This can be a category that men transition in and out of across their adult life due to divorce, choice, lack of choice or by just being bad at life....like a creamed-tuna pasta bake.
The Dad - typically between the ages 30 – 50 is the time Men with children officially become a Dad. It is possible to just be a 'Guy / Dude with a Kid' in your 20's but once you turn 30 things totally Dad-up. Embrace your newfound skills in being able to pack the car like a real-life game of Tetris and try not to invest in too sensible a pair of shoes.
The Old Man - typically between the ages of 50-70, they have given up on most of their life dreams, along with maintaining their body weight or appearance. About this time they realise that they have learnt all they need to in life and to start sharing this with those around them...with or without their permission.
The Gramps - is typically aged 65+, he is usually found sitting on an old chair or stool in a corner as both the technology and comfiness of modern chairs scares him. His role is much like that of any good horror film; scare people, entertain them and make them laugh whilst maintaining a lingering sense of death.
As the great actor (who was also a human-man) Peter O'Toole once said, "Acting is just being a man. Being human. Not forcing it."