From marketing professional to inspirational entertainer, Larry Rosenberg is reinventing life after 70 and finally fulfilling his dream. Today, he is a singer, dancer and comedian rolled into a one-man musical show that embodies seven decades of creative passion.
“When I look at the aging process, a lot of people my age are falling apart, emotionally, physically and spiritually. It’s as if they’re just waiting to slide into the coffin. That’s not for me,” he says emphatically. “It’s never too late to live your dreams, and I intend to have fun doing it.”
The contrast of Rosenberg’s professional career compared to the entertainment and life coaching company he launched two years ago is profound. After 40 years as a global management educator, college professor, business consultant, mentor and coach, Rosenberg is now the star of The Larry Show, a one-man act laced with a lifetime of experience, inspiration, song, dance and a tinge of risqué humor.
Rosenberg is unafraid to challenge the stereotypes of aging and invites others to do the same. His mission is to encourage and assist people in the second half of their lives, to feel free to be themselves, and share more love, joy and creativity with the world.
“I believe life is an adventure,” Rosenberg says. “And I am on a mission to share wisdom through entertainment.”
Stuffed Shirt to Showman
You may wonder why on earth a successful, global marketing executive living a comfortable life of active retirement waited so long to chase his dream.
Let’s roll the clock back a few years. Rosenberg eased into what he calls “active retirement” at age 62. That’s when he relocated from the hustle and bustle of Washington, D.C., to Sedona, Arizona, nestled in the red rocks of Southwest vortex country. He spent his days hiking, traveling and pursuing his love of all things spiritual.
But something inside was missing. “One of the things I was doing for fun was taking singing lessons.” He viewed singing lessons as the route to dispel a childhood wound that had haunted him for decades when, as a preteen, he was told he had a lousy singing voice. “What I heard as a child was I wasn’t good enough. I needed to change that.”
Reinventing Life After 70
So on his 71st birthday, his rebirth became official. He rented a performance hall, complete with a stage, lighting and a sound system. He performed song and dance numbers for his captive audience, and the rest is history.
“That’s when my life changed,” he says. “And I thought, ‘Why am I only doing this once a year?’ I love to be up there on stage.”
To say he embraced his newfound passion is an understatement. Today, at 73, he has launched his “Act 3” by creating The Larry Show and starting a life coaching and motivational speaking company to support others through their mid-life transitions.
“Act 3 is about reinventing yourself during the last half or third of your life,” he explains. Act 3 is characterized by identifying your gift, purpose and legacy. For me, The Larry Show represents rebooting myself from the inside out.”
The Big Shift
With more than 60 million Baby Boomers in America who are either nearing or joining the ranks of retirement, Rosenberg believes there is a significant paradigm shift toward active aging.
“Baby Boomers generally want to live life to the fullest. And what does that mean for many people? It means having something that is your passionate purpose and legacy in life,” he explains.
More than 20 years ago, the impact of active aging and the Baby Boom generation was explored by experts from eight industrial countries at a summit hosted by the Department of Health and Human Services and the National Institute on Aging. At that time, experts recognized that projections of increased longevity and improving health would have significant impact on the way society responds to aging.
Rosenberg believes people in their 50s hit a stage in life when they begin asking more about getting meaning out of life and less about getting things in life. He calls it The Big Shift.
“We are meant to give back,” he explains. “There’s something that wants to come out. At the deepest level, it is about rebooting your life. For me, it took 71 years to hear that voice.”
Reconnect With Your Inner Child
Research has shown that people who have a sense of purpose in their lives are happier, healthier and enjoy increased longevity.
Rosenberg agrees. “If we want to feel younger, we need an energy source. And for me, that energy source is the concept of the inner child.”
He explains that each of us has an inner child just waiting to resurface. “Think about it. Children experience such joy and freedom naturally and don’t need permission to be exuberant.”
Rosenberg describes himself as a precocious charmer as a child. “And then that went into the closet and it only came out on my 71st birthday, prancing around on stage having a ball.”
Ingredients for Healthy Aging
Rosenberg believes that by acting as if we are younger, we can interrupt the aging process. “The chemicals in our bodies respond to our life choices. I feel younger now than I did 10 years ago. I have the energy to do exactly what I want.”
What’s most important to include in our lives?
- Nature – “Our inner nature – our human nature –comes alive when we are surrounded by beautiful earth nature.”
- Community – Surround yourself with role models and with people who can benefit from your life experiences. Give back through social circulation, Rosenberg says.
- Diet – Adopt a healthy way of eating. “We have so many toxic foods, from GMOs to over-processing, salt, sugar and MSG,” says Rosenberg, who became a vegetarian two years ago. “We’re marinating in sugar and salt as we get older, and a lot of diseases come from these environments.”
- Exercise – Just keep moving. Science has proven that as little as 30 minutes of exercise a day can improve longevity. For Rosenberg, that includes 80-minute song, dance and comedy shows in addition to yoga, swimming, walking and hiking.
The Next Act
Next up for Rosenberg and The Larry Show is the continued development of coaching and training programs to help others to experience their own Act 3 transformations.
He also has dreams to take The Larry Show to off-Broadway or Broadway stages and to produce a documentary about the story of the show and how it evolved. “It’s never too late to revitalize your life,” he says. “I reserve the right to have an Act 4.”