JudyAnn is a local actress, who loves theater. She has been doing community theater for over 50 years now. Last year she landed a great comedy role in her first senior theater production, “Gladdis In Wonderland.” JudyAnn was also rehearsing with a 150 person choir when the pandemic hit. Stuck at home she was thrilled to find Broadway HD, a subscription channel, where for just $8.99 a month she could watch Broadway shows from her living room like Miss Saigon, Les Miserables, and comedy plays as well.
“Theater keeps the mind engaged from memorizing lines to learning about different cultures and societies.”
She looks forward to getting the green light for theater and choir activities to resume but in the meantime, she has taken the chance to bone up on her technical skills while in COVID-19 lockdown.
“I’m a lifelong learner. I always love to learn new things. I was taking Udemy classes and got this little blurb about GetSetUp and I thought — hey this is new I should check this out for learning and to meet new people.”
She started out by taking the class Gmail — Useful Things You May Not Know and two Zoom classes Get Started With Zoom for Beginners and How to Schedule & Host Zoom Meetings. Like many people, she had never heard of Zoom prior to the pandemic, but then started to use it to speak with her son and daughter, and participate in classes, groups, and social activities online.
“GetSetUp has been great! I took those classes and: How to Take Great Pictures With Your iPhone, which was also nice. My favorite class fun-wise was Virtual Visits Museums & Tours You Can Enjoy Online where we looked at the Louvre and the Smithsonian in DC. Practical wise though the Zoom classes have been the most helpful.”
Judy Ann realized that GetSetUp is hiring Guides, so she has been looking into the application process. She is considering potentially teaching some classes on brain fitness, chair yoga, and hopefully an arts & crafts class. She would also love to see some more social hours centering on the topic of theater and movies. She thinks learning comes from honing past skills and learning new ones.
“I am a lifelong learner always doing something new. I have dabbled in different types of painting and in a pandemic that is a good at-home activity. I picked something a bit harder than my skills to really work my brain. I just finished an impressionistic beach scene painting. Now that one hurt my brain.”
JudyAnn’s push to enhance her technical skills while in lockdown is in preparation for her new home business that she plans to launch post-COVID-19. She wants to help people audio record their family stories.
“The idea is to interview grandma or grandpa and get their stories on audio to make a beautiful heirloom keepsake. Sometimes the life story kind of intimidates people and capturing brief little stories can be better. I wish we had captured those from my dad. He always told wonderful stories. Now that he is gone those stories are starting to slip away. We are forgetting details and starting to get facts from fiction mixed up. If we had interviewed him on audio we could have preserved his wit, love, and humor. I want to help other people do that for their families.”
JudyAnn’s ideas around recording memories come from her time working as an activity coordinator for people with dementia. She understands from these experiences the importance of capturing all those stories.
If she was interviewing herself she would probably want to capture some of the funny stories from moving from California to the Midwest with her husband.
“When you move across the country, there are a lot of cultural changes and snafus. The culture is different. You expect going from one part of the US to another to be similar. It isn’t.
There was a lot of Norwegian and Lutheran culture. It is charming, but I knew I didn’t really know much about it. When we had first moved to the midwest I was invited to an advent tea. I’m a huge tea drinker. I love tea of all kinds. I went to the event looking naturally for tea. — ‘Oh you want tea?’ they said in surprise. There was only coffee to be found, no tea!”
JudyAnn managed to find a teabag at the bottom of her purse at the time to enjoy as the others enjoyed coffee at the tea event.
Whether it's bringing her own tea to the tea event or finding fun and worthy things to do during the pandemic JudyAnn has a positive attitude toward making the most of life’s funnier moments. She may not be able to get on stage at this moment but she is online connecting to others in GetSetUp classes and social hours to learn and prepare for when she will be taking the stage again.
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Older adults are sparking virtual friendships on GetSetUp that lead to in-person meetups.