When actress and broadcaster Carmen Gilda decided to re-start her career at the age of 77, after spending 15 years caring full-time for her parents, she signed up for filmmaking classes at Manhattan Neighborhood Network, the nation’s largest community media center (learn more here).
Gilda, known professionally as Gilda Miros, initially worried she wouldn’t be able to keep up with younger classmates but she outdid them all – using the public access TV station’s studio to produce a riveting new documentary ‘Seniors Finally Say #MeToo.’ Here’s a sample:
The 79-year-old grandmother tells Senior Planet how she learned to film on her iPad and phone and persuaded eight fellow thespians from The Actors Fund to tell their casting couch horror stories.
Senior Planet: How did the documentary come about?
Gilda: “I was trying to take care of me – I didn’t want to become isolated when I came back to New York after 15 years caring for my parents in Florida. MNN gives classes and I decided to enroll as I wanted to keep up on new technology. That led to me making ‘Latin Icons: Past & Present,’ my show on MNN. (See viewing details here.)
“Then the Actors Fund started a new program and I got involved in that too. The #MeToo movement came on the news and our group started talking about it, so we decided to do a documentary using our experiences from the ‘60s and ‘70s. MNN let us use a studio and was very supportive. It took three-and-a-half months to make and is now on YouTube.
Senior Planet: Was it hard when you first enrolled for MNN classes?
Gilda: “I was 77 when I started and I thought they would all be kids and I would be left out. I was afraid I wouldn’t pick up on things, that I would hold everyone back. But the classes were small, the teachers were patient and all the activity kept my mind very sharp.”
Senior Planet: You seem incredibly busy. What else are you up to?
Gilda: “I’m producing a stage show. I was born in Puerto Rico, grew up in the Bronx, then went to Mexico where I became an actress and model before moving into radio, TV and writing. ‘Latino Icons on Broadway’ celebrates the golden age of Latin music. My sons Tony and Karym are working with me on it and we have shows on September 8 and 9 at Fordham University’s theater at the Lincoln Center.”
Senior Planet: Who or what inspires you?
Gilda: “My brother Nel Miros is a professional singer at 75. He’s in a doo-wop group, the oldest is 90 and the youngest 70. They’re inspirational. Nel had cancer, he has a lot of ailments but he says when he sings, he forgets.
“I find the more I create, the more I want to do and that’s what Senior Planet is all about – it’s inspirational. MNN does a fabulous job too.”
Senior Planet: What does aging with attitude mean to you?
Gilda: “I have a positive outlook on life. When I get up every morning, I love to have something to do. I forget my age. The body reminds me but it doesn’t try to stop me. I wear my gray hair with pride. I have led a good life and I feel at peace.
“My dad, who was 101 when he died, needed me 24 hours a day and I developed diabetes and a heart condition. When I came back to New York, there was no more diabetes and I have pills for my blood pressure. I still have to be careful with my heart but I love every moment of my life.”
Her Youtube channel with the complete documentary, her Latin Icons show and other films can be seen here.
To learn more about filmmaking with iPad, visit here. Classes begin in September. For more information on MNN’s film making courses go to:
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