Story-telling has been a large part of many of our campus residents’ lives in “the biz,” and while many of them (but not all) are now retired from the industry, their desire to continue to tell those stories in compelling ways isn’t over. In 2001, Lucy and Mel Shavelson provided the start-up funding for a Media Room on the MPTF Wasserman campus in Woodland Hills. Since then, under the guidance of the gifted and enthusiastic Jennifer Clymer, the Media Room and Channel 22 (its in-house outlet) have blossomed into a very productive studio setting for our residents and volunteers to share in the creation of original programming and video projects.
Very recently, one of our residents, Lin Dorfman, turned a poem she wrote, “New Kid on the Block,” into a short video, which I’ve included below. With encouragement from Jen Clymer, Lin returned to poetry-writing (yes, we have poetry-writing classes on campus!) after taking a hiatus, and found a subject that reached her muse very deeply. She touches on an incredibly complex psycho-social issue – seniors making the decision to move out of their residence and onto the MPTF campus to avoid social isolation and engage with others, and she does it in an absolutely delightful way. As many of us in the “sandwich generation” know either from work or family experiences, this is a time fraught with many uncertainties and can be an emotional roller coaster for family members as well the new resident himself or herself. Lin captures the journey so brilliantly. Her personal experience will resonate with many seniors and family members. I think you’ll enjoy her work. I know I did.
Here’s something about Lin. She worked as a librarian in the film library at MGM for 26 years. As a single mother to three kids, she also took side jobs to help provide for the family, including working as a cigarette girl at the Beverly Wilshire Hotel, a hostess at supper clubs around town, and a real estate agent. Once she retired from MGM, she became a therapist and worked for a suicide hotline and an organization called Women Helping Women, providing assistance to women struggling with personal problems.
Though she never wrote professionally, Lin has always loved to write poems. Whenever her friends or family had a party or some sort of special occasion, Lin would be the person they turned to for some poetry. She also plays the piano, paints, and takes the improv class at MPTF, which she calls the highlight of her week. In what free time she does have, Lin is eternally looking for new creative outlets and hobbies.
Lin always knew about the MPTF residential campus, but never imagined herself living here. She first looked at the campus 5 or 6 years ago but felt she wasn’t ready. A little more than 3 years ago, once she was no longer able to drive, she moved to campus, as she puts it, “kicking and screaming.” Once here she started to make friends, get involved in many of the campus activities and she found she was exactly where she belonged. And we’re very glad she’s here!!!!