Albuquerque woman dives into new career in her 80s


An Albuquerque woman who is in her ninth decade is proving you are never too old to chase a brand new dream, and her new pursuit has proven wildly successful. 

Answering emails in her condo in downtown Albuquerque, Carolyn Meyer looks every bit the author that she is. She’s had a long career writing historical fiction for young adults. 

“I’ve been writing for about 50 years, and I’ve had 60 books published,” Meyer said. “That’s six-oh, 60.”

Meyer is also a widow. She lost her husband of 30 years, Tony, to a lung disease a few years ago. In her 80s now, Carolyn Meyer is at a stage of life when most people are looking back, but Meyer has other plans.

Meyer, at 82, with a long career and a marriage behind her, decided she wasn’t quite done yet. Carolyn Meyer is a budding stand-up comic. That condo she shared with her husband of 30 years just happens to be above an improv theater. 

“I always thought improv was fascinating, and I thought, ‘Well, I’ll just go down and take a look at it,” Meyer said. 

So, Meyer signed up for a class.

“I didn’t understand half the time what they were talking about, because they watched different TV shows, and listened to different music, and watched different movies, their lives are so remote from mine,” Meyer said. “And yet, there was something about being with them that was fun, because I could just be someone else for a while.” 

That class led to Meyer developing her own one-woman show, and that show caught fire. 

I had a torrid affair with the man who designed our dining room table,” Meyer said. “Low maintenance compensates for high miles.” 

“It was amazing. She is a force of nature,” Celia Schaefer said. 

Her first shows sold out, so they scheduled more shows, and they sold out. 

“I mean it was comedy, it was all funny. But [there] also were serious parts. It was like a real life, like she was sharing with us, so,” Lauren Keller said. 

Meyer seems to have struck a chord. 

“Young women relate to it very well,” Meyer said. “Because it shows them that you don’t have to just shrivel up and die.” 

“The young guys cannot wrap their heads around this,” Meyer said. “Here is this woman with silver hair who looks like she should be singing in the church choir and playing bridge with her friends, is up there throwing f-bombs.” 

One thing you should know about Meyer’s show, it’s not PG-rated. This 82-year-old talks about getting old, her sex life, and online dating in her 80s. 

“I always feel as though I’m interviewing a man I don’t want to hire, for a job he doesn’t want to get,” Meyer said.

“My mother would not approve. I try not to be vulgar. Raunchy? Yes, the subject matter is iffy,” Meyer said. 

There are also times when Meyer’s comedy, turns confessional.

“She’s up here showing us what a [so-called] ‘granny’ can be, so I love it. I think she’s doing us all a service,” Celia Schaefer said. 

Now in her ninth decade, Meyer is learning new things about herself. She is also teaching. Though Meyer admits to slowing down, she is not giving up—and she has some advice for the rest of us. 

“Go out and try things, even if it’s outside your comfort zone; because it gets pretty stuffy in here if you don’t.”

If you would like to see Meyer’s show, there are upcoming dates at the Cell Theater in Albuquerque. To purchase tickets, click here.

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