"Group Creativity. We're doing a lot of very small, creative sessions this summer. If you want to be in one please give me a ring. Thank you."
That's the message you'd get if you called David Shepherd at his home office. A fairly recent migrant from New York to western Massachusetts, Shepherd is best known for his pioneering work in improv theater. Mike Nichols and Elaine May worked with David many years ago in Chicago on a project called Compass. Ed Asner and Alan Alda have been long-time buddies and colleagues.
Oh, and David is now into his 80s.
A lean, slightly gaunt man who is cross patrician and cross "beat," he's a walking advertisement for a creative non-retirement. And he happens to be a virtual company owner working from a home office.
This summer David is turning to his own generation to provide some entertain for people in retirement homes and assisted living arrangements. They'll be given topics like "elder romances," or "giving up driving," or even "interfering boomer children" and get a chance to act them out under the guidance of the master.
With any hope, David will turn this past-time into a money-maker. Because being 82 or so doesn't mean you don't want to make a living, nowadays.
If this has enticed you, locate David's book . . . THAT MOVIE IN YOUR HEAD. It will tell you all about improv theater turned into video experiences. And take heart that you can operate a virtual business long after corporate America says you've had it.