Why Can’t Dreams Happen at 70?

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Welcome to BEING Studios Audio Reality®.

Meet Buzz, a 71-year-old former sales and marketing executive who drastically uprooted his life by moving out west to Los Angeles to pursue a lifelong dream of becoming an actor — even if it means taking a job as a rideshare driver to make ends meet, and despite objections from his adult kids. And meet Gloria, a 71-year-old retiree with a past as spicy as her personality. As she looks back on her dating history, is it time to finally open a new chapter and look for love (or just a good time) by diving into the dating app scene?



Henri, Gloria Riviera, Leah, Buzz, Linda, Speaker 6, Speaker 7, Speaker 5, Elise, Carol, Gloria

Buzz  00:05

My name is Buzz.

Elise  00:06

I’m Elise.

Henri  00:07

My name is Henri.

Gloria  00:08

I’m Gloria.

Elise  00:09

And I’m 71 years old.

Gloria  00:10

60 years old

Henri  00:11


Buzz  00:12

71 years old.

Elise  00:13

A few months ago, a documentary crew started following us around recording our every move. And that’s what you’re about to hear.

Elise  00:37

Having started dating at 70. […] I’m pretty mistrustful of man. I think 90% have cheated one time or another.

Buzz  00:49

Where the fuck are you getting these statistics?

Elise  00:51

You’re not sorry. You’re simply coward.

Buzz  00:53

You know what, sweetie? This is not working.

Elise  01:01

There’s a lot we haven’t talked about. But you gave him up at birth credit. Where are you comfortable saying why was so stupid. Please welcome our reigning pageant winner Elise Briscoe. I’m the oldest crowned in a major beauty pageant to this day. I think it objectifies women. You’re judging it on such a superficial level. It was torture for me for that four hours sitting there.

Gloria  01:29

It was hard for me to let somebody else know that I was living in a motel. They’re banging at the door. I don’t know what to do. Just call me back. Call me back on my phone. I’m getting ready to call the police. All right. Okay, bye This is BEING Golden.

Buzz  02:11

Having a good day? I’m good. My name is Buzz. I’m 71 years old. I’m from Minneapolis, Minnesota. And I recently moved out here to Los Angeles, California. I’m currently working as a rideshare driver, as a side hustle. But I actually have moved out here to Los Angeles to pursue my lifelong dream of being an actor. Hey, you know, I’ve only been I’ve only been doing this for half a day. I’ve been training on this a little bit. But the flexibility I think with this rideshare world is what really intrigues me. Yeah, because I mean, like a million other people on this town. I’m an actor. I have lived a fairly full life. I’ve been married, divorced, and raised four wonderful children. Who are all grown now. I spent the majority of my career in sales and marketing. But a few years ago, I gave all of that up, started collecting my Social Security, and took a chance at moving out here to do TV commercials. I do a little bit of everything right now. I haven’t really zeroed in on anything in particular, but love film. Yeah, but right now I’m tending the land a little bit more on the commercial side. And commercial money is good money though. It can be yeah; it can be really good. I wanted to act my whole life. You know whether performing in those backyard little plays with the neighbors or shooting a film on a Super Eight camera with friends. No, I was always performing shows I was always playing here or doing something. I loved it. And they’re, you know, coming out of the pandemic more and more are starting to do more work now.

Speaker 5  04:05

it’s an expensive city man. You got to hustle here.

Buzz  04:07

Yes, it is. You got to work at it every single day. You’re so welcome. Go have a good evening. Be safe. All of the above.

Leah  04:17

You already have a martini?

Gloria  04:53

Hi, I’m Gloria. I’m a 71 year old retiree. I live in Venice Beach, California and I hail from Dallas, Texas.

Leah  05:02

I’m gonna stick with a skinny Margarita.

Gloria  05:05

Skinny Margarita that has 1000 calories. That’s my friend Leah. She likes a lot of my other friends would say that. I always tell it like it is, even though it’s not something people want to hear. I’m independent. I’m outgoing. I love the California lifestyle. Except I do miss those cowboys with their cowboy hats and boots and their big buckles. And I mean that literally. Yesterday, I got to go to St. Louis City. There were no holidays there. And are you? I know you want me to have a boyfriend so I can be invited as couples.

Leah  05:48

That would be nice.

Gloria  05:49

I know. Because I’ve kind of faced that all my life. Because I’ve been single a lot. I’m single because I choose to this. Yeah, yeah. Not because not because no one’s asking me. I love romance. I love the sexual side of things. I like the traveling. But I like it three to four days a week. I was married twice. And both marriages ended because I was very young, and it just didn’t work out. I have a son who lives across the country. And I raised him as a single mom and I loved every moment of that.

Leah  06:30

So I know you gave me like amazing advice when we were in Santa Barbara. How do I get him to say I love you? We’ve been dating for two plus years now.

Gloria  06:43

Do you feel like you love him? You want to say I love you?

Leah  06:48

I do. I feel like, I don’t want to be rejected.

Gloria  06:55

At my age, a lot of my friends like Lee had come to me for advice about a lot of things that especially about dating because I’ve dated a lot my lifetime and I’ve learned a few things. You need to roll the dice. I mean, I used to always say to people after two years, you call it love or you call it quits. It’s you can say it. If you feel it, say it and see what happens.

Leah  07:19

You always make it sound so easy to do.

Buzz  07:35

Hi, Gloria. I got that song in my head now.

Gloria  07:39

Which one? Say that’s the younger version.

Buzz  07:43

This is Buzz. So I have been building several friendships since I moved out here. And recently, a friend of a friend of a friend introduced me to Gloria.

Gloria  07:59

So you’re, how long now?

Buzz  08:01

Going on five months? Yeah, this is my fourth time I’ve been here living came out here in the early 70s. Then I went back to Minnesota, because California was really hard. I’ve come out to LA several times since my 20s to pursue this acting world. And every time it has kicked me in the butt. Eventually I did meet the woman that became my wife. We had kids, and that completely shifted my responsibilities. I wasn’t making any money, and somebody offered me a job to go into sales. So I went into sales, selling on the road selling home furnishings products. Did pretty well.

Gloria  08:42

And did you act while you’re doing that?

Buzz  08:44

No. Just selling, selling full time. Being a family man, I had to buckle down and make a living. But there always was this burning desire to get back to the acting and it just the timing on it just has never worked out until now.

Gloria  09:03

Sales is something people fall into when they’re waiting to do what they want to do. That was one of my jobs. But then I went into, you know, property management. I did that. For most of my..

Buzz  09:16

That’s what your most your most of your career was? Property Management.

Gloria Riviera  09:20

I was a bit of a workaholic.

Buzz  09:22

How long have you been retired?

Gloria  09:25

Five years. Okay. But I am the happiest I’ve ever been. That’s great. Yeah. And part of that is that there’s so many things that I want to do. I started this book in 19. […] I wrote about being single, giving advice to single people who are brokenhearted. When I was in my mid-40s. I wanted to write about all the highs and the lows of being single. But it’s also about sex and dating. It’s kind of like when I have a new love in my life, I’d write, you know, so I do kiss and tell. I actually had an Excel spreadsheet, because I was communicating with several men, I couldn’t keep my storage.

Buzz  10:24

This is so romantic.

Gloria  10:30

I think that what I was doing was learning things about dating and excitement and rejection. It’s always been in the back of my mind. And it just dawned on me that now might be the time to see about finishing it.

Buzz  10:46

So you’re still writing this book?

Gloria  10:49

I’ve not written anything in the book and 20 years back, in fact, I had not read it in 20 years.

Buzz  10:56

Why did you stop?

Buzz  11:02

Today I’m meeting with an internist to get some bloodwork done. There’s a little bit of baggage, I’m bringing them with me to LA this time, and that is that I had a heart attack. And I’m now having to be much more conscious of my health. Right now I feel really good. I am however, very conscious of how my body feels. And I just think that that is what happens when you have a heart attack or an incident like that. Thank you so much. Hey, I just got done at the doctor. I everything’s positive. All the blood results are all good. I’m very close with all four of my children. In fact, I speak with them almost every single day. My oldest Charlie lives up in Northern California with his wife and my grandson. How’s Lolly doing?

Gloria  11:02

I’m not sure.

Speaker 6  13:12

Mom came over for a couple of like three hours and watched in Oh, good. Yeah, yeah. She was having fun with a dating app. And she was feeding in mash bananas and stuff. Any heads for those auditions yet?

Buzz  13:33

Yeah, I’ve been I’ve been put on a couple of avails. And a couple other auditions that are going on. But nothing. Nothing firm yet. So it just continues to be a lot of auditions and knock on wood. And I hope I get to get something pretty soon here. You know, it’s coming through.

Speaker 6  13:52

I mean, I’m not getting any less expensive. We have to have some kind of a cushion. Everything kind of falls apart.

Buzz  14:06

You know, I’m doing this the rideshare thing, but I have to make sure that I’m leaving enough time for auditions. It’s probably a really good idea. I just get really hesitant about.

Speaker 6  14:20

I mean, you’re on your 70s, I don’t know if there is a right one. In talking with the rest of the candidates, we’re all very concerned about that, like, you know, everything falls apart and you get sick or something like that. There isn’t a whole lot of cushion. Exactly. Living in an area that is conducive to not be able to draw in a certain level of income. Yeah. I mean, there are other expenses. And so, you know, I know that this is all important to you, but again, you know, it’s not like you’re 60, how like your 55. What is realistic? Is this the right thing to do at this point in your life? We want to support you and want to say, you know, go for it. But we also aren’t blind to the way that this industry tends to work. It’s not like you’re a known entity here at 70. You know? You know, I just don’t. It’s that that’s, I think we’re all coming at it from that. And that’s why we’re all telling you the same thing.

Buzz  15:38

Well, I don’t know if everybody’s telling me that. I know, you’re telling me that.

Speaker 6  15:43

[…] At least three out of the five of your brothers have that opinion.

Buzz  15:51

The way I’m going about this is not all that calculated, but it’s I’m working hard at it every single day.

Speaker 6  16:00

the problem is you’re not being calculated about it. You gotta have a plan. I don’t know how to do this.

Buzz  16:06

I keep telling you, I have a plan. The plan is to succeed. That’s it. One plan.

Speaker 6  16:13

hope, hope is not a plan. The plan is to succeed. My plan is to succeed too. But I gotta have written down what the expectations are.

Buzz  16:24

I have that, I have all of that.

Speaker 6  16:26

Get myself a timeline. And if I don’t meet that timeline, I have to adjust.

Buzz  16:29

I have a timeline my time, Charlie, my timeline says..

Speaker 6  16:32

Three months. So you know, it kind of comes along to a it goes along those lines. Yeah, keep saying like, do you want to actually go into your, you know, your twilight years here searching for this? Or do you want to get something stable? Something that’s gonna make you comfortable? Give you time with your grandkids. You live in the back of a pool house. W

Buzz  17:04

That is a judgment that I didn’t expect to get out of you. Charlie is the most practical, pragmatic, the most realistic of all the kids. He will challenge me. You know, he will challenge me on this acting career. Dad, are you all set? Are you making enough money? Charlie has always been much more challenging me; I think than any of the kids. And he’s never wavered from that. And I love him for it, it’s still not very easy to hear.

Speaker 6  17:37

All right. Well, unfortunately, I do have to get back to work.

Linda  18:14

What are you doing?

Gloria  18:16

I’m not doing anything today. Yes, I did. That’s my sister. Linda. She lives two doors down from me with her wife. Helen.

Linda  18:25

You to have dinner with us tonight? You have plans?

Gloria  18:29

No, I don’t want to plans. I could have dinner with you all without town. So excited. I am so excited. What will you be fixing for dinner, Linda? They’re wonderful neighbors. Linda and I are very close. She’s my best friend. And we’ve been there for each other through many ups and downs in our lives. Well, I’m sitting here, going through a file because I’m thinking about picking up the writing on my book again, I was writing about single down and what it’s like to be single and you know, all the politically incorrect stuff that goes on and kind of giving advice to single people who break up and, you know, some going through old drafts and seeing if you know..

Linda  19:26

Do you think that would be hard on you? I think it’d be difficult to revisit all that emotional stuff?

Gloria  19:33

I don’t know. It’s been 20 years; I should be over it. After digging my book out. I started reading through it. And I realized that I think I’ve blocked a lot of this out. And it’s probably why it’s been on the shelf for so many years. And looking through some of these pages. It’s got some men in it that I’ve kind of forgotten about, you remember, John?

Linda  20:00

John Cadillacs all around, John.

Gloria  20:04

One thing that I remember so much about this man. When we broke up, he said, by the way, you have the biggest fattest ass, I’ve ever seen. And I am not kidding. Every time I looked in the mirror for about 15 years, I thought, biggest fattest ass. And then JLo got popular. I think she started the biggest, fattest ass craze. So it didn’t bother them as much anymore. But he is absolutely about the size of a doughnut. He’s kind of a funny story. John is a funny story. Then, of course, there’s Bob. You know, he was the last one I wrote about. There are several different stories here. But the most difficult one for me, is the one about my last relationship with Bob.

Linda  20:56

We all liked him so much. And we all thought he was the guy for you. And he was just so almost perfect.

Gloria  21:05

And he was the last person that I was in love with. And that ended because I realized, or he finally fessed up to the fact that he was married. And people always ask me, well, didn’t you see some red flags? And I was like, you know, a couple, but he was so good at lying, that my whole family loved him. And my family is not easy to fool.

Linda  21:10

I don’t know, boy, I don’t know if it’s the greatest idea for you to be doing this again. Because, I mean, I think a lot of it is funny, and some of it I think, is probably helpful to other people. But you went through such a hard time with all of this and to relive it. I just, I don’t know. I don’t know if it’s a good idea, but you’re not really asking for my time.

Gloria  22:11

Well, you know, I always value what you think. And maybe you’re right, but it has been 20 years, so I’ll just have to think about it.

Linda  22:22

Okay, I don’t want to play big sister too much.

Gloria  22:25

Okay. I won’t let you. Don’t you worry about that. Okay, so I’ll bring the salad tonight. All right.

Buzz  23:03

Auditions are really exciting. You get on a zoom call, or you get into a room with a casting director. And you read a script that you have rehearsed. My name is Buzz Leer. Hi. My name is Buzz Leer. I’m in Los Angeles. I’m 5 foot 11. Hi, my name is Buzz Leer. I’m in Los Angeles. And I’m reading for the role of Justin. I’m in Los Angeles. And I’m reading for the role of Michael, and I’m reading for the role of Dr. George, you have a very short amount of time to actually sell that character the best you can. I’ve been auditioning like crazy. And I’m trying to up my percentage of actual bookings. Thanks for the food. I appreciate it much. I’ll finish up and then we can talk details. Okay. I don’t know if we need to be picking through your neighbor’s garbage. Why not? Because just stuff they don’t want. […] Some of the roles are really great. Some of them are not so great. But I’m just really trying to land that one big meaty role. Hi, Carol. How are you? Carol Debo is my talent manager. And she has been absolutely spectacular in mentoring me through these first several months of being in Los Angeles, especially when things seem hopeless. So I was just calling to just say one say hi, we haven’t spoken in a little bit. Two, I just wanted to get kind of an update, you know as to where we are. I guess. We’ve had you know; we’ve had a couple of really good auditions I felt, and I felt good about both. I mean, did we book them?

Carol  24:51

You know, we talked about this a couple times. And this is something that because you’re coming to this later in life and you haven’t lived it. The average is 30, auditions to one booking. So it’s like supply and demand, way more actors and there are opportunities. You just have to wait, dude, you just have to your auditions were very strong. You actually don’t look your age, you look younger. So when they’re looking for somebody in their late 60s, early 70s, very often it’s a character look, because people, you know, they have a vision of what people in their late 60s, early 70s look like, and you’re not it. So there’s a little bit more of a narrow market for your type.

Buzz  25:43

Yes, like that, that US Attorney rolling in the LA law on did was just like, oh, man, I want this so bad.

Carol  25:51

You know, the thing is, we don’t know why that didn’t happen. But casting light to your tape. So your job is to audition. And let casting see who you are, part of your job, part of your journey.

Buzz  26:05

So what do you think the next here we are sitting on? Call it July 1st. What’s What is this market going to be all about for the next couple of months, your next few months slows down.

Carol  26:19

Certainly August, everybody takes off, Fridays are off, it’s going to really slow down. Now, it’s not easy. This is not for the faint of heart. And I always say to my clients, if you think you can do anything else with your life, go do it. Because this is not easy. But you’ve waited this long. To follow this dream. It’s a year, maybe a year and a half. And then slowly, you will start nailing these auditions. And the bookings will come. Just don’t get discouraged. Take classes so your muscles are ready when the opportunity comes.

Buzz  26:55

I appreciate Carol being so real and honest about the reality. But that also scares me to think about that. Running off on a call. Okay. Thank you so much, Carol. Have a great day. And I know we’re going to talk again soon. Okay, bye, bye. No, I’m not a rich man. And I don’t have a huge nest egg for retirement. I am relying heavily on Social Security. I mean, I came into this whole thing with my eyes wide open. I knew that this would be hard, but it is nonetheless stressful.

Gloria  27:44

So what do you have there?

Speaker 7  27:45

I got oil pastels. And then some like markers and pencil stuff. I don’t know what I wanted.

Gloria  27:52

I’m here at the park. Today I’m meeting my friend […] to do some painting. I’ve never painted with oil pastels.

Speaker 7  28:00

They’re so fun. They’re like little crayons. But for fancy painters.

Gloria  28:04

[…] is my friend that I met at an artist event. She’s younger. She’s very young. She’s 30 years old. And she’s a wonderful writer. And I’ve been getting some good advice from her now that I’m picking up my book again. I’m really trying to decide how I want to start up again. I’m trying to think of different ideas on the book as far as subject matters. I think in my book, I have to talk about certain stages of life, how do you started dating at 70.

Speaker 7  28:44

How do you think it’s different? As you get older?

Gloria  28:48

I never meet anyone. I mean, we’re would have made them. And now that I’m retired, you know, I might meet someone at the YMCA when I go to work out but my classes are mostly women. I have not gone, you know, like really tried to date anyone or gone out of my way to try to meet someone. Sometimes I wonder why I haven’t. But part of it is that I’m pretty mistrustful of men and my last relationship because man had lied to me for like 10 months and he ended up being married. And boy, it was just such a rude awakening when that happened to me that I wrote a dossier of our relationship and how I felt once he told me he was married and he lied to me for the whole 10 months.

Speaker 7  29:48

Like a file like the CIA has.

Gloria  29:50

Yes, because I gave it to his wife. I know. That’s a long story. And it’s a pity painful one. So that, that I haven’t really read aloud to anyone in a long time. I’ve been with people who aren’t trustworthy.

Speaker 7  30:14

So when’s the last time you’re dating casually?

Gloria  30:17

That’s gonna make me sound like a hermit. I guess, […]. But I haven’t forgotten how to do things. Trust me. I haven’t forgotten how to have great sex. I know that. All is still […]

Speaker 7  30:40

Have you gone to internet dating stuff?

Gloria  30:44

I don’t know how many people my age are doing this. Nowadays, you just swipe?

Speaker 7  30:50

yeah, it’s kind of like you can see four pictures and two sentences. And you’re like, I would meet this person and see. But I have successfully met like a few different people that I like on the apps. I think you should give it a shot. Sounds like you’re curious about getting out there too.

Gloria  31:11

You know, I started writing this book just to get it finished. Because I started it 20 years ago and uncovered a lot of things that I realized I hadn’t personally dealt with. And I realized that my dating life has become difficult and almost non-existent. And I’m 71 years old, do I really want to put myself out there and go through that? I just wonder if all that would be worth it.

Speaker 7  31:41

It’s very fun. casual dating in LA is fun. I’ll a 16 ounce matcha latte with oat milk iced.

Gloria  32:18

This is Gloria and I’m meeting men away today to grab a quick cup of coffee.

Speaker 7  32:24

Cheers, cheers. Thanks for hanging out.

Gloria  32:30

I want to go into the future and meet you. I think you’re gonna be a cool person.

Speaker 7  32:35

I hope so, that’s my goal.

Gloria  32:37

Well hang out with me. I’ll give you some pointers. You liked this story. I’m thinking about maybe checking out some singles out. But I’ve seen ads for silver singles. And the ads look good. It’s for people over 50, so that kind of intrigued me a little bit that I wouldn’t be bombarded with all these young man. I’m not sure how I’m feeling about this whole process, because it’s been years. But I’m kind of excited to see what’s out there and what my choices are.

Speaker 7  33:20

So have you made your profile at all yet?

Gloria  33:22

Yeah, no, I haven’t made it.

Speaker 7  33:24

Do you want to set up your profile right now?

Gloria  33:26

Let me get my glasses out. Because I still do that. They have a free trial thing. Maybe I can go in there.

Speaker 7  33:34

Have you thought about what you’re gonna put in your profile?

Gloria  33:37

Or you could help me write it?

Speaker 7  33:42

Gloria 71. Venice, California. How about we go for coffee?

Gloria  33:49

It’s unusual for me to think about writing about myself and doing a bio it seems so self-serving. But it’s interesting because they ask you all kinds of questions. And they ask you about your personality and which I like a lot. And then there’s the part, the dreaded part where I have to post my photographs. Like how many pictures do you think a person should put on?

Speaker 7  34:18

At least two good ones of your face.

Gloria  34:22

Need one of your body? Show your whole bod.

Speaker 7  34:29

Okay. Show me I want to see the pictures. On this photo.

Gloria  34:34

Yeah, that’s a picture. I took it myself.

Speaker 7  34:37

Oh, it’s cute. Really, you look amazing. You look very like beautifully, like made up. I feel like this is a pretty good like, This is who I am. Like, if somebody sees this photo, they’re like, yes.

Gloria  34:49

Yeah, it’s a very confident photo.

Speaker 7  34:54

So you have a few matches already, right?

Gloria  34:59

I think this guy looks interesting. He’s handsome, even though he has a beard, but he has a full beard that’s different than a goatee. He’s looking first a soul mate, how old is he? 66. He looks like a musician. This guy. Now look at mad. He says he’s 76, here at the picture with this son looks older than 76. And he says right away. I’m a retired physician. I went to school in Europe and move quickly. But he looks interesting. And in his next place. He wants to go to Poland; I can tuck him into Italy. I think the more that I’m using this app, I’m getting better at understanding how it works. And it’s kind of fun. It’s kind of builds up your ego just a little bit, I guess. Or I do want to take a chance on it. I’m kind of excited about seeing what happens. But you know, I’m not sure. I think it will be good emotionally. For me to put myself out there again and see what happens. Oh, my gosh, are you scared? Well, I’m not scared. It’s just different now. You know, it’s different to do this as a senior.

Speaker 7  36:19

Hope this is fun for you still?

Buzz  36:39

Tuesday afternoon, little bit before three on a very, very hot day in Los Angeles. I feel I mean, physically, I feel great. Mentally, I’m wavering a little bit. I’ve had my moments of, you know, anxiety. And those things all get driven by work. If I don’t have workbooks. It makes me anxious. And so there have been more of those days recently. But it always runs that way that I’m as much as I might feel, or say, Oh, I’m really used to these peaks and valleys. I’m not. I don’t or I haven’t second guessed my decision to be here. Or to have made this move. But those things do cross my mind from time to time. What if I hadn’t made this move? But I’m doing you know, doing the best I can. Yes, there’s more at stake. I mean, I can get real emotional about this, because this is something that I want so bad. I’ve wanted this dream for so long. And I want to succeed, I want to succeed, to show me, myself and my kids that I can succeed at this because I’ve talked about it for so long. And I just I don’t, I don’t want to, I just, I can’t fail at this. I just can’t, you know I don’t care if I’m 70 years old who gives a shit? Why can’t dreams happen at 70? Why can’t they? They can’t.


BEING Golden is an audio reality original from Lemonada Media’s BEING studios. Executive Producers are Jessica Cordova Kramer, Stephanie Wittels and Kasey Barrett. Our co-executive producer is me. Sele Leota. Our segment producer is Mariah Gossett and our associate producer is Greta Stromquist. Liz Lipschultz is our Story producer, and Millee Taggart-Ratcliffe Is our Story consultant. Scott […] is our audio supervisor and field recordist. Additional field recording by Kurt […] and […]. Mix and sound Design by Ivan Kuraev and Bill […]. Our music is by Signature Tracks. Special thanks to Providence St. John’s Health Care Center and Rough Improv. You can find us online at Lemonada Media and connect with us across all social platforms. For a list of current sponsors and discount codes for this and all other Lemonada Media series. Visit lemonadamedia.com/sponsors. If you liked what you heard today, please tell your family and friends to listen and subscribe, rate and review us on Apple, Spotify and wherever you get your podcasts. Until next time, thanks for listening and thanks for BEING.

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