Think it’s too late to write a memoir or to take on a new career? Actress/author/blogger/lecturer Lee Gale Gruen describes how, since she retired, she’s reinvented herself many times over (here’s also an update on her)…
When I retired from my 37-year career as a probation officer, and I found myself with nothing meaningful in my life and decades looming. I mistakenly enrolled in an acting class at a senior citizens’ program, thinking it was a play discussion group. When I was forced to perform in a scene in front of the class, my lifelong stage fright kicked in. However, my shaky voice strengthened as I became completely immersed in my character, unaware of the sea of eyes watching and judging me. What a high! I became hooked on acting.
After my mother died, my outgoing, charismatic father, Marvin, became depressed and withdrawn. “Come with me to my acting class, Daddy” I blurted out to cheer him up. After some convincing, he agreed.
Midway through the class, the teacher called on Marvin to perform an improv with another class member. He really hammed it up and later asked me, “So, when are you picking me up for our next class?”
That started us on a magical journey attending the class together for three years, bonding more than ever. I wrote the humorous Dad/Daughter scenes we performed in the class showcase every six months. The audience members loved us; Marvin loved the attention; and I loved acting and making him happy. All six scenes are included in the book.
I transitioned into the world of professional acting. As my fledgling second career started going uphill, my father’s health started going downhill. I shared all my new acting experiences with him at the nursing home where he resided in his final years.
For more about Lee Gale Gruen and her book…
Acting website: LeeGaleGruen.com
Book website: AdventuresWithDadTheBook.com
Public speaking video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_cen-dN6SUU&feature=youtu.be
Author interview video: youtube.com/watch?v=FIUm9e7NRKc
Blog: Reinventing Myself in My Retirement: LeeGaleGruen.Wordpress.com