When Ana Dwork, Kathy Gorlick and Jan Lynch worked together at La Mesa Junior High School, the trio would spend time after work talking and laughing together.
“We used to crack ourselves up,” Gorlick, a former school counselor, said. “We used to say we should videotape this.”
After more than a decade at the junior high school, the trio retired together and decided to do just that.
In December 2017, the friends joined together to form their YouTube channel “Ma’am Talks!” where they talk about topics like retiring, getting older, managing money and reducing stress, among others.
“Our theme is to embrace getting older,” Gorlick said. “We’re all going to worry about it, we’re all going to stress over things that happen, but we’ve got to find a way to laugh about it and to let others know that yeah it is stressful and there are things that are serious, but that you’re not alone.”
Calling themselves the “candid Golden Girls,” the trio always incorporates humor into their discussions as they honestly share their perspectives and own life experiences—from grandchildren and marriages to losses and health concerns—with their audience.
“Most importantly we discussed how retirement was a difficult transition. Throughout our lives working together we’ve gone through difficult times,” Dwork, a former school administrator, said. “We supported each other through humor and we wanted to really encourage others to do the same thing and look at getting older and the process of life through the humor.”
To create their weekly five to six minute videos, the trio meets together Wednesday morning to discuss their topics of the day and to film videos that are released on Wednesday and Saturday of the same week. Each friend has also taken on her own role in the new venture: Dwork became the technology whiz, Lynch the advertising expert and Gorlick the editing specialist.
“It gives us something to look forward to,” Lynch, a former school office manager, said. “I certainly look forward to very Wednesday knowing we’re going to get together and laugh, that’s the big reward.”
The unscripted videos discuss common things individuals face as they grow older and tackle unique topics like tummy issues and senior porn.
“We really do try to find topics that are current with what people are concerned with,” Gorlick said. “A couple weeks ago Jan and I started having a ridiculous conversation and I said we had to film it and it turned out to be really funny. We’re just hoping to let more people know that you’re not alone and we’re all dealing with this kind of stuff.”
As they continue to increase their channel subscribers and reach more people, the Ma’am Talks crew hopes to make their own T-shirts, provide additional information about video topics on their website, partner with a marketing group and improve the quality of their videos using microphones and lighting.
“It’s been fun and I hope that we continue to reach more people,” Gorlick said. “I really want to get it out there and encourage people to watch.”
But through it all, Dwork, Gorlick and Lynch hope their videos help others who may be struggling with getting older by making their lives a little lighter and helping them through tough times.
“One of the best things about being old is you’re not surprised by life. You’ve seen so much and you put things in perspective more so it’s nice to be at this stage of the game,” Dwork said. “With all the issues that come up it’s still nice and it’s nice to have support from friends and laugh about it.”
This new venture also allows the trio to continue with their former public service career path in education as they help friends, community members and strangers embrace getting older.
“We’ve gone through what so many people are going through,” Lynch said. “Instead of helping 12 and 13 year olds we’re now helping us old folks.”
On Twitter as @_ChristinaCox_