Reinvention Rebels

Reinventing My 80s: Taking Center Stage - How I Launched a Full-Time Acting Career with Stephanie Schwartz

November 03, 2022 Wendy Battles/Stephanie Schwartz Season 4 Episode 8
Reinvention Rebels
Reinventing My 80s: Taking Center Stage - How I Launched a Full-Time Acting Career with Stephanie Schwartz
Show Notes Transcript

Have you ever caught yourself thinking about what you can't do anymore because of your age?

CAN'T isn't in Stephanie Schwartz's vocabulary.

This amazing Reinvention Rebel embodies the idea that we CAN reinvent ourselves at any age or any stage.  Age? Just a number that doesn't have to define us.

At 85, she's not only talking the talk but also walking the walk as she pursues her passion as a full-time actor.

She’s not holding back, leaning into new opportunities, challenging herself and
finding immense joy in the journey.

You will love her story about how she nurtured a childhood interest in the arts over decades. From getting started in grade school to appearing in plays alongside her students as a college professor. Now retired, she has abundant time to pursue this passion.

I love what she shares about:

✅ How she started acting in mid-life and restarted 20 years later
✅ Why we should try things we haven't done
✅ Why we should accept invitations and try new things
✅ How rejection helps us grow
✅ Why self-acceptance is so important
✅ How she's learned to be more patient
✅ Why it's so important to ask for what you want

That's just tipping the iceberg on the wisdom she shared.

This episode reminds me that there are endless possibilities for us to shine, lean into our talents, express ourselves and find deep joy.

Get inspired by Stephanie's Reinvention Rebel journey.

Connect with Stephanie via email:

Mentioned in this episode: Reinvention at 50+: Accelerate Your Reinvention Journey with Self-Commitment, Purpose and Passion

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Stephanie: You don't know what you can do until you try it and I really think you know when things fail, the cliche is well when one door closes another one opens, step through it, go open that second door.

 Wendy: Welcome to Reinvention Rebels, stories of brave and unapologetic women, 50 to 90 years young, who have boldly reimagined life on their own terms, to find new purpose and possibilities. I'm your host, Wendy Battles. Ready for a dose of inspiration? Let's get to it.

 Hey, everyone, welcome back to another episode of the Reinvention Rebels podcast. I am your host, Wendy. And I am so glad you're here. If you are a new listener, welcome aboard. I'm so glad you found the podcast. This is the place to come for information and inspiration about what's possible when we decide we want to reinvent ourselves. And the amazing women that I feature, women between 50 and 90. They are so inspiring. They have so much wisdom. They've got great ideas. And just like me, they are a work in progress, they are figuring it out. Sometimes it's a step forward and a couple steps back with the idea that reinventing ourselves takes time, it takes focus, it takes commitment. But when we hear others' stories, it could help propel us forward. So, think of me as your guide on the side as you're figuring things out and you're taking those baby steps, and then you're taking larger steps, and then you are celebrating just how far you've come. I was thinking about that. Because last week, I shared the episode about this idea that when we make a commitment to ourselves, in the midst of everything else that we often are doing, how we are taking care of other people, whether it's our families, or our colleagues or friends, you name it, that we often end up at the bottom of the list and that when we want to reinvent ourselves, we need to figure out how we can make those things that light us up or inspire us. How we can make them a higher priority, so they don't fall off the list and we never get to them? And I think that today's episode is going to help you think more about that. So, if you didn't have a chance to listen to the past episode about accelerating your reinvention journey with self-commitment, purpose, and passion, I encourage you to give that a listen. And it's the perfect combination with today's episode. I have such an amazing guest, Stephanie Schwartz, who at 85 is doing the coolest things, I cannot wait for you to listen to our very fascinating conversation. So, without further ado let me tell you about Stephanie Schwartz.

 [Reinvention Rebels theme]

 Today, you are in for a treat. When you think of sage-ing into your 80s, do you think about new possibilities, trying things you haven't done but always wanted to, or picking up things you started years ago put down and are eager to start again? My guest today 85-year young Stephanie Schwartz is an inspiring reinvention rebel, who has turned retirement into an amazing opportunity to pursue her greatest love, acting.

 When she was younger, she dabbled in acting part-time while balancing a full-time teaching career. But after 39 years in the academic world, she was happy to reinvent herself as a full-time actor, leaning into what lights her up. Stephanie has been around appearing in film, TV, and commercials. Of course, the pandemic has put a damper on that but she's reinvented herself yet again. Now appearing in Zoom Productions, a reinvention within a reinvention so to speak. She's got an interesting reinvention story and she epitomizes the idea that we're never too old and it's never too late to change and grow. She is full of ideas, energy, and big dreams and I can't wait for our conversation so you can learn more. Stephanie Schwartz, welcome to the Reinvention Rebels guest chair.

 Stephanie: Hello and thank you for that lovely introduction. I'm so happy to be here.

 Wendy: Likewise, it is a privilege and an honor to be in conversation with you. And I bet you could imagine, Stephanie, that I have a lot of questions. I'm sure our audience wants to know a lot of things too, about you and your reinvention journey. But I would love to start a conversation with a really simple question. How did your love of acting develop?

 Stephanie: I don't really know whether it started when I was dancing in nursery school and performing in the productions of the fairy tales that were traditional at that time or if it really started when my parents began to take me to Broadway Shows for birthday celebrations, or the movies those Natalie Wood, and watching her, and then watching Margaret O'Brien in Meet Me in St. Louis. And I just thought that it was the coolest thing to do. Of course, we didn't say cool then, but now I can say it. I love the movies. I think my first Broadway Show was called Happy Birthday and Helen Hayes was the lead. I'm so glad that my parents loved theater and loved taking me to appropriate shows and performances and that just inspired me, captivated me. And then, when I was maybe eight, nine years old, I was in dancing school and I enjoyed performing that. I remember in junior high I had audition for the school play and I had my choice of three performances with a speaking role or six performances in a dancing role. And guess what I chose?

 Wendy: I think you chose three performances with a speaking role.

 Stephanie: No, I chose dancing--

 Wendy: Really?

 Stephanie: -with six performances. And I love to perform.

 Wendy: Alright, that makes sense. I love it.

 Stephanie: And then I was part of the drama club in high school and college and then I got married. And after I graduated from college, I went on for a master's degree. But I was teaching at that time and I did not have time to act and in essence, I really had a very traditional path. I went through all the academic programs, made my mother very happy by going into teaching.

 Wendy: High five [laughs].

 Stephanie: I was a speech and drama major and I was teaching speech. I got married before I graduated from college. So, after a couple of years, I had my first child and I was thrilled that it was a boy. We didn't know that in advance but I was happily surprised because my mother had loved her older brother so much and spoke about him. And my feeling was well now if I have any more children, they will have an older brother.

 Wendy: Nice, I love that.

 Stephanie: But I didn't like staying home. I liked working. I wanted to get back to work. And being in a classroom is a performance of a type. I was teaching speech and theater when I could work it into the curriculum. Then I said to my husband, I want to have another baby and I want to go back to work. He said, "Well, which one, and I said both." [Wendy laughs] and then that's exactly what I did. And while I was pregnant with my daughter, who has an older brother, while I was pregnant with my daughter, I started sending out resumes and making phone calls, and the New York City schools I had been teaching in a New York High School in the Bronx. But at this point, we were living in Queens and New York City did not have any openings for part-time teachers, the only thing they had were day-to-day subs and I didn't want that, I wanted my own class.

 And so, I started teaching in the evening program at Queens College two nights a week, which was just perfect. And as I said, I was interviewing while I was pregnant which in 1962 was very unusual.

 Wendy: I know that must have been.

 Stephanie: I was a trailblazer at that time. So, I was teaching part-time when they had an opening and offered me a full-time day session program. And I came home and talked it over with my husband. I said this is an opportunity that I can't pass up. And if it doesn't work, I won't do it again. And if it's really horrible, I'll quit in the middle, but I've got to give it a shot. And that's pretty much the way I've lived my whole life. An opportunity presented itself, I want to give it a shot, I want to learn something new, I want to try something new. And if it doesn't work out, well, I'll shift gears again. And if it does work out, and I've been very, very fortunate that just about everything has worked out.

 Wendy: It's amazing.

 Stephanie: I'm a trailblazer in some ways, I'm also a risk taker, although I'm not reckless. I will risk trying something new after I consider the pros and cons and I've been very fortunate that things have worked out well for me. But I really just want to keep on learning and trying new things. I've traveled to some very exotic places and enjoyed what I've learned and I prepare for it. In fact, I'm starting to read now about Croatia and Slovenia, because I'm planning a trip there later this fall. But I don't go unprepared and I don't go simply as a tourist, I really wanted to try to get to understand the places that I've been. Do you want to hear about some of the places I've been to?

 Wendy: I do but I want to first stop and ask you a question because you mentioned that you are a trailblazer and a risk taker and I know that sometimes, especially as we age, we might become less sure of ourselves, perhaps less of a risk taker. But what I've seen in these Reinvention Rebels that I've been interviewing these really amazing women is that they are willing to take some risks. So, my question, Stephanie for you is, what advice do you have for women that are listening, that maybe aren't the risk taker that you are, but they're interested in making a change in their life some way? And they need to get started? What advice would you give them about how someone could get started to cease some new possibilities?

 Stephanie: I think that if a person used to do something that they enjoy, but haven't done it for a while, they should try it again. If when they were younger or freer, they enjoyed doing certain things and don't do it anymore. They should look for opportunities to renew their interest, they may find that they don't care about it anymore. But they took the risk to go in and find out if they like it, if they still like it, if they still can do it. And if they don't, then think of something else, but also to put themselves in a situation where they're meeting new people and can get new ideas from the new people.

 Wendy: Like that idea a lot, I like that idea--

 Stephanie: Accept invitations-

 Wendy: Yes.

 Stephanie: -especially to places that you haven't been to before or activities that you haven't done before. Whether it's going to a ball game and developing, either redeveloping an old interest or developing a new interest. As a spectator, then if there's such an opportunity to become a participant. And you don't know what you can do until you try it, and I really think even when things fail, the cliche is, well, when one door closes, another one opens.

 Wendy: Exactly.

 Stephanie: Step through it. Go open that second door.

 Wendy: I love that, go open that second door, get out there, try it, even if you haven't done it before. What do you have to lose? And there is so much to potentially gain. Because sometimes we do uncover things, we didn't know about ourselves. Sometimes we don't know what we don't know till we try it to your point. So, I really liked that advice about step through that door.

 Stephanie: Yeah, you have really rephrased what my thought was and I hope that the people who are listening to both of us can absorb that idea of trying something new or retrying something old.

 Wendy: Yes, and speaking of retrying something old, you were acting part time, you were working full time. You retired from your academic job. But then you said, I want to become a full-time actor. I'm really curious as to what inspired you to want to do that full time. Because you know, some people are just hanging out there, maybe in a retirement village, they're taking it easy, you again are doing your trailblazing and stepping out. So, what inspired you to want to move from part time into full-time acting?

 Stephanie: Well, the opportunity of having more time available to devote to it. When I was teaching, I was very engaged in my academic life. I love teaching. In fact, I'm looking for opportunities now to get a new teaching job. I had the great good fortune a couple of years ago to read a casting call for "Unusual opportunity for actors." So, I called to find out what is this unusual opportunity.

 Wendy: Yeah,

 Stephanie: And it was for a company that provided after school enrichment programs in science for children starting in nursery school, what now it's called pre-K through the second grade. I never taught young children other than my own. I didn't particularly like young children, which is why I initially trained as a high school teacher, and then went on to college and university teaching. But this was an unusual opportunity for actors. And I went and I had an interview as well as submitting whatever documents that people wanted and they hired me. Three times a week, I would go either to a pre-K class, or kindergarten, or first grade. And I was learning to teach science. I was not a science major ever but I was a teacher and I learned the content and I knew how to teach. So, I was doing that, besides how hard is it to teach a five-year-old what gravity is. When you hold the ball in your hand and you open your hand and the ball drops. [Wendy laughs] That's gravity.

 Wendy: That is.

 Stephanie: And from there I would have balls to give to the children and they would do the experiment. And then we would talk about the core of the earth and the electrons and the neutrons and how the earth created gravity. But anyhow, that was a teaching job until the pandemic closed the schools. And every once in a while, I call my office and see if they're back in business yet and they're not. I'm hoping maybe in September they will be. But then again, I'm older, my health is more fragile than when I was younger. And so, depending on what the infection rate is and the rules and regulations about the children being vaccinated? Like I said, "I'm a risk taker, but I'm not reckless."

 Wendy: Exactly.

 Stephanie: What else have I been doing lately? Oh, I took a course that just finished about two weeks ago in producing plays.

 Wendy: Wow.

 Stephanie: I've worked with producers as an actor, I've worked with directors as an actor, but I wanted to learn more about producing. And so, I took a new course.

 Wendy: Sounds fascinating.

 Stephanie: It's looking for opportunities to learn new things or taking advantage of some opportunities that fall into my lap.

 Wendy: Exactly.

 Stephanie: And that would be my advice to anybody else. Look for new opportunities of things that interest you or just take advantage when an opportunity presents itself. And you don't know what you can do until you try it.

 Wendy: Exactly, exactly and I believe [crosstalk]. Yeah, you have to kind of get out there and do, sometimes a little figuring out, you have to lean into what you're curious about. Sometimes, I think we try things and they don't work out the way we expect but that's okay because as you said, you got to just go for it, and then figure it out from there because even our failures I believe can lead to other things.

 Stephanie: And you can learn from the failures just as much if not more than learning from your success.

 Wendy: Exactly, sometimes that is the biggest lesson when we fail, but it maybe redirects us to something else or uncover something we didn't anticipate. And that's such a powerful thing.


 I hope you're loving this episode as much as I am with the fabulous Stephanie Schwartz. She's so interesting, isn't she? And I want to tell you about another Stephanie, who is super interesting and has a fantastic podcast. It's called Psychocinematic. Imagine a mash up of film and TV with podcasts. Take a look at the psychology behind all of it. It's a podcast where depictions of mental illness and disability in movies and TV are taken apart and analyzed, sharing research and interesting perspectives, as well as a whole lot of humor, join psychologist and disability ally Steph Fornasier and an array of her guests with lived experience including a medical doctor and even an ex-film student. Together, they look at classics like Sybil, Forrest Gump, and Rainman, new generational favorites like Encanto, and popular series like The Sopranos. They get behind the psychology of all of it in the most interesting off the cuff and engaging ways. You will love this podcast. You can find it on all your favorite podcast apps. You can also follow Psychocinematic on Instagram and Twitter or check out their Patreon for lots of exclusive bonus content. Now back to this Stephanie Schwartz interview.

 Wendy: So, I know that so much of acting from what I understand is often rejection. You try out, you audition, but you don't obviously get the roles. Does that feel any different?

 Stephanie: You have to develop a thick skin [crosstalk] when it comes to that. In certain cases, you walk into the audition room and immediately the decision makers say she's not right for the part. They want somebody taller or shorter or fatter or thinner, lighter colored skin, darker colored skin, hair. I just tell them right off. I have a closet full of wigs, we can change that very easily.

 Wendy: I love it.

 Stephanie: But as I have gotten older now, I'm no longer going to go to an audition role. It's just not realistic. I used to tease that nobody will ever cast me as a 16-year-old black boy.

 Wendy: I Love it. No, they will not.

 Stephanie: So, know thyself.

 Wendy: Yes.

 Stephanie: And I'm very satisfied with auditioning for roles for older characters.

 Wendy: I love it. Yeah, you seem to be. I'm curious, as you've been doing this full time, you've more from your other career into acting full time. What would you say is the most impactful lesson that you've learned about continuing to put yourself out there and to stretch into new things?

 Stephanie: I have to accept that not everything is going to work out, I would try something and if it's right for me and for the other people involved or the other situation, then that's wonderful. And if the other people are smart enough to know that I'm not right for the job, they'll tell me. If they're not smart enough to know that I am right for the job, well, we both lose. But with enough experience, you learn to take the rejection, and some of them hurt. I have not been cast in some shows that I really wanted to do. But on the other hand, I've had a lot of good experiences.

 Wendy: So, it all kind of balances out it sounds like in the end.

 Stephanie: In a long run it does.

 Wendy: Yeah.

 Stephanie: And sometimes it really pays off better because by being rejected in situation A, that means I am free to take advantage of situation B.

 Wendy: Exactly. Yeah.

 Stephanie: And if I was [crosstalk] already committed, I'm not a quitter, I follow through.

 Wendy: That's very clear.

 Stephanie: And if I have made a commitment to project A and B comes along, which is really more desirable, I can bail out on those things that I have committed to.

 Wendy: So, it sounds like it's been a learning experience.

 Stephanie: It's a bit of a roller coaster sometimes.

 Wendy: Yeah.

 Stephanie: But as I've gotten older, I just say, well, that's life. Sometimes it works out, sometimes it doesn't, life is not fair but it balances, and I hate to just say cliches but the more I look at things, the more true they are.

 Wendy: That is so interesting and you're right. It's funny how life unfolds. And I believe we learn the lessons we need to learn even if we don't always want to learn them. Sometimes it's the hard way as we know, sometimes it doesn't seem very welcoming that lesson, but I always feel like it's in my greater benefit when I can have a little more wisdom, sometimes in distance from that situation, I can see that it really was working in my best interest. And we had a pre-interview chat a while ago. And you mentioned the importance of being patient while seeking new challenges. And acting of course, is one of the things it seems like you have to be very patient about, not give up, be persistent as you are, the risk taker that you are because I know that being patient sometimes is hard for me, I want it now. I have all these ideas, I want to make them happen. What role has patience played for you in your reinvention journey?

 Stephanie: More on a subconscious level because I really am more like you in that I want-- when I know what I want, I want it now. When I see something it's like, I don't have the patience for my computer to warm up. I want it to be like the old electric light you flick a switch and the light goes on. You don't have to wait for the light to go on. But our current technology is not made that way. The machines are not built to just instantly go on as soon as you turn the switch. It's got to warm up, we got three or four elements that have to synchronize? And it's a guess that I'm patient because I don't have a choice.

 Wendy: [laughs] Right. I suppose [crosstalk] something like acting, right? That’s true.

Stephanie: And you have to go after something. But I can't force the result, it's got to take its own course.

Wendy: Yeah. Definitely. So, I like that you're bringing it out in your own time but you're just continuing with this. Because do you plan on acting forever?

 Stephanie: Uh, huh.

Wendy: As long as you can?

 Stephanie: But nothing is forever. I remember very specifically at my 60th birthday party some of my guests were other faculty members, who were co-workers and friends. And someone asked me, am I planning to retire? And I said, "No, I love what I'm doing." But two years later, I decided to retire, I suddenly got tired and I felt that I was cheating my students by not having the energy to give them everything I had as I had been doing for over 30 years. And I really felt that it wasn't fair to my students if I continued to teach. And so, at 60 I said, "No, I'm not going to retire, I'm enjoying it." But at 62, "I'm not enjoying it anymore, so I will retire."

 I think things happen in their own time. When the time is right, such and such will happen and it won't happen when the time was not right. I hadn't acted for 20 years between college graduation and 20 years later, I was teaching, I was raising a family, I was finishing my academic education. And then I asked a man who I had hired when I was the chair of my department and that's another whole story. I was the first woman chair in the college. So, I hired an acting teacher and then one day I said to him, could I sit in on your class? Can I audit your class? And he said, "Yes." And that was a January intercession and then I asked if I could act in his next production. And he said, "Yes." And that's how I got back into acting, but there was a 20-year absence. So, as I said, when the time is right things will fall into place.

 Wendy: It is so true and I love that story about how you took this long break, you had other priorities at the time, then you were able to refocus on it and things unfolded for you, you picked it up, and have been doing all kinds of interesting things.

Stephanie: And it was [crosstalk] college faculty member who told me that it was after seeing me in several of the college productions told me it was time for me to go to a professional acting school and I did.

 Wendy: Interesting.

 Stephanie: I studied for three years with one of the finest teachers in New York City. I never dreamed that a course that met once a week would involve as much work as it did, but I had a wonderful time doing it.

 Wendy: That's wonderful. I think too that when we find something that we're so passionate about like you are passionate about acting, it's hard work but it's also joyful. So, we want to do it.

 Stephanie: Exactly.

 Wendy: And we don't mind working so hard. It's something that we just can't get enough of which is how I feel about podcasting just like you do about acting. So, I know what you mean. I know that feeling it can evoke when you find something that gives you such purpose that feels so delightful that you dud all day.

 Stephanie: Joyful.

 Wendy: Joyful, absolutely. I'm really curious about, of all the acting you've done since you've become a full-time actor, what's been your favorite role?

 Stephanie: Oh, there is different criteria to answer that question. I had the most fun playing a supporting role in the play called Deathtrap, by Ira Levin. I was a psychic neighbor of the leads and one of my favorite lines, and this is really going back many years. As a psychic, I'm in conversation with my neighbor. And suddenly I say, "Oh, my daughter just became pregnant, I have to call and tell her. Because I was a psychic, I knew something happened.

 Wendy: That is great.

 Stephanie: That was one of my fun lines. I also wound up chasing another actor ready to kill him with a dagger at the end of that play. And that was fun. Another play that I did all the female version of The Odd Couple. If you're familiar with Neil Simon's play The Odd Couple. Also because it was so popular, he wrote a female version.

 Wendy: Now, I don’t know that I knew that.

 Stephanie: And I played one of the two leads with another faculty member, I was the first faculty member to start acting with the students and that brought a whole new dimension of our relationship. And I'm still very close with some of those students. But then after I did a couple of shows, another faculty member chose to audition and fortunately, she and I wound up playing a lot of shows together. But the odd couple was a fun comedy with her. Elsewhere, one of my heavy dramas in Chappaqua, I played Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf which was really a heavy drama. [crosstalk]

 Wendy: Yeah, that certainly is.

Stephanie: I wasn't really good enough. If I could have done it again 10 years later, I was a much better actor 10 years later. I mean, now I know I'm good even though I know I'm not right for all the parts that are available. But anyhow, I played that character, Marfa. And that was very hard. What else was a hard role, more fun role? Plaza Suite, which Matthew Broderick and Sarah Jessica Parker just finished playing on Broadway in the revival. When they first announced that they were going to be doing that show, I guess they announced it before the pandemic and I was really eager to see it but I'm still not going into theaters.

 Wendy: So, one day maybe, one day you'll be back, you'll be back-

 Stephanie: oh, yeah.

Wendy: -in the theaters, right?

 Stephanie: All things [unintelligible [00:39:17].

 Wendy: Exactly as we're talking about how patience is so key [Stephanie laughs] one of the things that I love is this idea. You said, "Well, I realized 10 years later that I was pretty good." And part of what I hear in that is that you evolved as an actor, that you got more experience, you got more confident, you had things that helped you see that I'm good at this, as you said, you know, maybe you weren't right for every single role, but you're really good at what you do. And I think building that confidence and that courage to go pursue whatever that is we want to do is so key when we want to reinvent ourselves that we sometimes lean into maybe small wins, we did something well, we can see that we're making progress and that we can build on that. And that's part of what I hear you're saying you've done throughout your acting career.

 Stephanie: I think with everything we learn from experience. Our own experience doing certain things and also from the people we associate with, we can learn from their experience. I think life is a process and doesn't end until we die. But prior to that we're constantly learning, "Well, I shouldn't say I shouldn't be so, so brazen as to say that as a generalization for everybody." For me, I wake up every morning and say, "What am I going to learn today?" And I really hope that I can learn something new each day. Then I joke and say and if I do it early in the morning, well, then I can go back to bed. I'm done for the day.

 Wendy: [laughs] I love that, I love that.

 Stephanie: And really [crosstalk] sense of humor is extremely important and more important as I've gotten older, to be able to laugh at myself as well as laugh at life. I mean there were down times, there are bad times but we get through them and then there are more good times to look forward to.

 Wendy: Exactly, we have to sometimes navigate right the ups and downs of life that we all experience. But that idea of just hanging in there, absorbing those lessons along the way.

Stephanie: I wasn't thinking of this, but let me well-- I forgot we're on a podcast, but I wanted to show you the ring that I'm wearing.

 Wendy: Ooh, I love that. It's so pretty.

 Stephanie: The ups and downs of life.

 Wendy: Ah, yes. That is definitely the ups and downs of life. Indeed, that's such a great--

 Stephanie: It's not a perfect circle, its ups and downs.

 Wendy: Right, Yeah, and that's just a great portrayal of what we go through, every day or every week or every month. There's the ups and downs of life no matter what it is. So, what a good metaphor for that. As we're wrapping up, Stephanie I do want to ask you, what's next for you as you continue on your reinvention journey? What haven't you done yet that you would like to?

 Stephanie: Well, there are still many places on earth that I haven't visited yet and I would like to go to more of them. At one point, I had fantasy itineraries. I want to scuba dive in every special coral reef in the world, I want to go to every major museum in the world, I want to go to every major opera house in the world. But of course, these are fantasy itineraries. Nevertheless, there are still so many places that I haven't been. So, as I told you, I am I'm planning a trip in October with a dear friend with whom I've traveled before. So, there are places that I would like to go. I have ridden camel. I haven't gone hang gliding and that's something that I've always wanted to do. I am a certified scuba diver and there are places that I haven't been diving. Although I have been to the major dive spots in the Caribbean. Let me see, places to go. What else have I not done?

 Wendy: You already have such a list, I love it.

Stephanie: Certainly, more plays that I would like to perform in. I don't know what-- I can't name specific opportunities right now but they will appear-

 Wendy: They will appear.

 Stephanie: -and if they write to me, I will audition for them.

Wendy: I love it. I love all the things on your list. I love that at 85 you have this long list of things you want to do, places you want to go, experiences you want to have, that's wonderful.

 Stephanie: Yeah.

 Wendy: And why not?

 Stephanie: And why not? Why not because of the door slams in my face. That's why not. But if the door is even cracked a little bit open, I will step through and see what's on the other side.

 Wendy: Yes, which to me is like [crosstalk].

 Stephanie: I hope that people who listen to your podcast program are inspired to take a step forward that they hadn't thought of before.

 Wendy: I don't know how they can't be after listening to all the things that you're up to, listening to your risk-taking personality, your willingness to try new things, to open up that door a little bit, see that crack, see that light as a possibility and step through it as you said that's inspiring and to be doing it at 85 as something that you just want to do, you want to learn, you want to understand things. Like I used to do like to learn something new every day. That keeps us I feel like youthful, engaged, curious, living our best life as we age. So, I think that that is fantastic wisdom that you just shared. So, Stephanie, if people want to know where they can learn more about the work you're doing or see you in a play, is there any place they can go to learn more about Stephanie?

 Stephanie: Well, there's telephone and emails and postal mail, which I still use. I think you have all of my contact information. I don't know how you present it on the podcast, but I'm willing to let anybody who wants to talk with me or write with me, to contact me and I will respond to them.

 Wendy: That's wonderful and I will put your email address in the show notes-

 Stephanie: Okay, cool.

 Wendy: -so that they can easily find you and be in contact with you if they feel so inspired because you've shared so much wisdom in our time together today, lots of wisdom about what is possible and I have to say that I am so grateful for your time, your ideas, your wisdom, your willingness to share your journey, your reinvention journey with us. So, thank you for gracing me with your presence today.

 Stephanie: And thank you for wanting me to talk about myself. I mean, you know what else?

 Wendy: Right, well, it was wonderful and I cannot wait.

 Stephanie: I hope someday we can meet in person.

 Wendy: Oh my gosh, yes. We have got to meet in person that would be fantastic. I feel like it's one of those weird things where I met you through your daughter-in-law, who I met at a conference when we were on a panel together and the first time we talked, we just had this instant connection.

 Stephanie: Yes.

 Wendy: And I love that. I was like, "Oh, I would hang out with Stephanie any day. I can see us going to lunch, talking all afternoon, etc. So, I love it.

 Stephanie: We will find so much to share with each other.

 Wendy: Yes, exactly. So, I'm looking forward to that day when I'll get to see you in person and have little fun.

 Stephanie: That would be lovely.

 Wendy: Yeah, so thank you amazing Stephanie Schwartz, thank you so much for joining me today.

 Stephanie: And thank you Wendy and hello to whoever is listening.

 Wendy: That's a wrap as Stephanie might say. I hope you loved this episode and the wisdom of Stephanie and all that she had to say. And I can't wait to see you next week for a brand-new Reinvention Rebels episode. Until then, keep shining your light. The world needs you and all that you have to offer.

 Hey rebel, if this episode inspired you to think about what's possible in your life, I'll share a little secret. Any of us can reinvent ourselves no matter where we are in our lives. Any age, any stage, we just have to decide to get started. Here's a super simple way for you to get going with your reinvention dreams. Download my audio, five questions to spark your curiosity and inspire your reinvention journey. I share five key questions that will spur your thinking, help you uncover your dreams, and motivate you to take action. Because if not now, when? Details in the show notes. Let's get inspired together.

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