Our diverse creative speakers have focused their lives on their creative journey. Our hope is that attendees will expand their horizons - if you’re a dancer, learn about literature, if you’re a painter, learn about acting. By diversifying our perception of creativity, we increase the breadth of our work. Look out for new speakers being announced over the coming weeks!
Eric Philpott is on the Adobe video team and is passionate about the art and craft of storytelling. He has worked in PR and marketing and started his career as an educator, and has taught in Germany, Canada, and the US and trained Waldorf teachers.
Product Marketing Manager
ANDREA SWEENEY BLANCO
Actor, Producer, and Coach
Andrea Sweeney Blanco is a bilingual and bi-costal working actor, singer, producer and coach. Originally from Monterrey Mexico, Andrea splits her time between the Latin and American markets in the world of Entertainment. Having gotten her BFA in Musical Theatre from Emerson College, she worked as a radio host for a popular radio segment, Standing Room Only on 88.9FM for Broadway and Filmmusic. Since then, Andrea has appeared as an actor in 6 national commercial campaigns, gathered multiple international film credits and developed an Actor's Studio Theatre Program for a private high school in LA. She directed a play at the Raven Playhouse in North Hollywood about domestic violence, all proceeds benefiting the Good Shepherd Shelter for Women and Children. She has now been Line Producer and 1st AD for various independent feature films and continues to coach actors. Andrea believes all creative endeavors require proactive collaboration, and creativity is just as much a discipline a sit is a form of divine inspiration. An arts-based career is truly a vocation, one unique to the carrier, and when treated with focus, care and resilience, magic happens.
Hasraf "HaZ" Dulull is known for his breakout sci-fi indie feature film - THE BEYOND, which was released by Gravitas Ventures, and premiered at #2 on the iTunes charts before trending on Netflix and fully recouping its budget quickly and becoming a profitable feature film. His second feature film 2036: ORIGIN UNKNOWN, which starred Katee Sackhoff (Battlestar Galactica, Another Life) earned a limited theatrical release in the US before landing on Netflix. He was later hired to direct the pilot for Disney’s action comedy mini series - FAST LAYNE, and was also credited as creative consultant on the entire series and directed three additional episodes when he wowed Disney channel executives with his vision for the 8 part series. This lead to Disney Channel Original Movies hiring him to direct the bridge special short film for the Descendants franchise which was rated as the highest viewed short form content on the channel. Both projects are now on Disney+. He is currently in various stages of production on genre TV, Feature and animation projects. HaZ is repped in Hollywood byThe Gotham Group, and is the co-founder of production company https://hazfilm.com.
Film Director / Producer
Creative Drone Pilot
Luisa is an Adobe Master Instructor. She teaches most of the Adobe Creative Cloud applications. Having won many technical and artistic awards, Luisa is well-known in the video community. She is a frequent speaker at NAB, Government Video Expo, NYC Drone Film Festival, Interdrone, and many others. She is an international celebrity in the video production and post-production world, and some of her training can be seen in Lynda.com and LinkedIn training.
Patrick Cannell is a composer and producer based in Brooklyn, New York. Recent projects include the scores to Academy Award-nominated writer/director José Rivera’s The Fall of a Sparrow, Academy Award and Golden Globe-nominated director Zaza Urushadze’s Anton, and director Rashaad Ernesto Green’s Premature which premiered at the 2019 Sundance Film Festival. Beyond film, projects include an upcoming Netflix original series from Academy Award-nominated writer/director Carlos Saldanha (Ice Age, Rio, Ferdinand), Clio and Cannes Gold Lion award-winning TV, Internet and Super Bowl commercials, the score for an innovative Broadway musical dramedy, and orchestral scores for permanent exhibits at the Museum of the Bible in Washington, D.C.
Composer and Producer
Musician and Sound Designer
Alberto Moreno is an artist of the world, a creator, musician, performer, producer, editor, sound guru and post-production instructor. His work covers a wide array of creative fields and has received numerous awards including 7 Regional Emmys. He has also composed music scores for television and film. With a passion for music at an early age and growing up in Hollywood, he soon found himself playing in rock bands and recording in all the major studios in L.A. Creatively that wasn’t enough so he added more tools to play within his repertoire and went into creating television content for all the major networks.
Ellen Zaks is a widely exhibited, London born artist and performance poet. Her paintings explore the dynamism of the human body in time and space. She is fascinated by mythology and the strange world of quantum physics. Each of her practices informs the other… “My paintings are thought-forms knit together upon the horizon of intent…my poems are photons streaming...” She has shown her paintings and performed her poetry in the UK and Spain. She also choreographed and performed in multi-media shows based on her poetry in Brighton festivals. Her art is currently on show at The Shard, London, UK.
Artist & Performance Poet
Dan is an acclaimed and award-winning English singer/songwriter who’s just released a double album 'Dreamland Tomorrow' on Reveal Records, critically acclaimed by RnR Magazine and Tom Robinson BBC 6 Music. Dan has toured and collaborated with label mates Joan as Police Woman, Kris Drever, Boo Hewerdine and Eddi Reader. He is published by Reveal Music Publishing via Westbury Music. He delivers songwriting workshops and mentors aspiring emerging artist's, including community music projects. The son of a Wolverhampton community radio pioneer, Dan was inspired by his father's record collection, gaining a "deep respect for song-writing technique". After stints performing with Naomi (1998–2000) and fronting rock band Sonara, who performed at Reading Festival, Dan went solo in 2007.
Dr. Anna Yusim is a world renowned, award-winning, Stanford- and Yale-educated, Board Certified Psychiatrist with a robust private practice in New York City and Connecticut. On the Clinical Faculty at Yale Medical School, Dr. Yusim is internationally recognized as a trailblazer among healers, a gifted speaker on topics of creativity, and the best-selling author of Fulfilled: How the Science of Spirituality Can Help You Live a Happier, More Meaningful Life. Dr. Yusim is presently starting a Spirituality and Mental Health Center at Yale and making a feature-length documentary on the interface of mental health and spirituality. In her quest to find something that she felt was missing in her life, she traveled, lived and worked in over 50 countries, while studying Kabbalah, learning Buddhist meditation, and working with South American shamans and Indian gurus. Dr. Yusim is a frequent contributor on CNN, FoxNews, NBC, ABC, etc. She has authored over 100 articles and been a guest on countless national and international TV shows, radio programs and podcasts. She has received numerous awards and distinctions including the National Institute of Mental Health Outstanding Research Resident Award, the American Psychoanalytic Association Fellowship, the William Webb Fellowship from the Academy for Psychosomatic Medicine and over a dozen of others.
DR. ANNA YUSIM
Stefan Dowsing is an artist who has exhibited substantially in the UK and abroad. He has staged multi-media art events at The Tate Gallery, The Victoria and Albert Museum and The Photographers' Gallery London. He works with painting, digital art and photography. His most recent exhibition was at the Shard, London.
Caroline Stokes is a human capital entrepreneur and founder of FORWARD. Our mission is to co-create emotionally intelligent organizations to evolve successfully during the 4th industrial revolution. An entrepreneurial approach is essential when we work together because your competitors, market conditions and the talent you seek do not stand still.
Advisor, Creative Director, Enterpreneur
Chris Bobotis, former Director of Immersive at Adobe and a co-founder of Mettle & MettleLabs. He is the software architect for the SkyBox suite of 360˚ video and cinematic VR tools, which Adobe acquired from Chris’ company Mettle.
Chris started his career as a Creative Director in advertising. In 1996, Chris led the efforts on a software division to facilitate content creation in Media & Entertainment. The first product was licensed by Adobe in 2008 for inclusion in Adobe Creative Cloud products. In 2015, this series of products created by Mettle for Immersive media transformed the nascent 360˚ VR video industry. Namely, their SkyBox software plugins for Adobe Premiere Pro and After Effects. As part of the acquisition, Chris joined Adobe as Director of Immersive. While at Adobe Chris oversaw tech transfers, formed engineering teams and worked closely with Adobe Design & Research to help bring tools like Content Aware Video to Immersive Content Creation and helped bring Immersive tool support to products like Photoshop etc. He is currently advising several companies and leading the efforts on “3DNA” at MettleLabs.”3DNA” is Mettles' proprietary Spatial Computing Framework.
Elzabeth Blake-Thomas is a British award-winning filmmaker and philanthropist based in Los Angeles. She is the founder and resident director of entertainment company Mother & Daughter Entertainment. Elizabeth has created the MD Foundation Initiative through her company, where allocated donations of smaller amounts are used for short films, TV pilots, and low-budget feature films employing new filmmakers through an on-set mentorship experience where all positions are paid equally. An Official Ambassador of Awareness Ties for Human Trafficking, raising awareness to the horrific nature of human trafficking and help put a stop to it. Her award-winning short film UNSEEN is currently being used in multiple educational systems for trafficking awareness seminars. A regular on panels at Sundance, Cannes and Toronto International Film Festival, Elizabeth mentors wherever possible, ensuring she sends the elevator back down to all other female directors and filmmakers.
Film Director & Producer
VASHI NEDOMANSKY, ACE
Film Editor, Producer, Cinematographer
Vashi Nedomansky, ACE has been a professional film editor in Los Angeles since 2000. He has edited 11 Hollywood feature films including “6 Below” for director Scott Waugh (Need for Speed, Act of Valor), global phenomenon “Sharknado 2,” comedy “An American Carol” for director David Zucker (Airplane!, Scary Movie) & PTSD documentary “That Which I Love Destroys Me” for director Ric Roman Waugh (Angel Has Fallen, Snitch). Vashi has cut over 50 national commercials for numerous brands including Nike, Volkswagen, Ford, NHL, EA Sports, Adobe, Medal of Honor, US Army, US Navy, US Marines, US Reserve & the US Air Force.
His company VashiVisuals has provided post-production workflow, consulting services and Premiere Pro training for numerous projects including: Deadpool, Gone Girl, The Good Doctor and House of Cards.
Muppet creator Jim Henson invited Steve Whitmire to join his team in 1978 during the height of the popularity of The Muppet Show, and Whitmire had a hand in virtually every Muppet project for nearly four decades. He originated such characters as Rizzo the Rat, Lips the Trumpet Man, Miss Piggy’s dog Foo-Foo, and Bean Bunny, and also sustained Richard Hunt’s characters, the lab assistant Beaker and codger Statler after Hunt’s death in 1992. Upon Henson’s death in 1990, Whitmire accepted the duty for the continuation of several of Jim’s characters and is best known for his 24-years as Ernie and his 27-years as Kermit the Frog. Projects include Sesame Street and non-Muppet films such as The Dark Crystal, The Witches, Dreamchild and Labyrinth, as well as the popular sitcom Dinosaurs and the classic 80’s television series Fraggle Rock in which Whitmire originated Wembley Fraggle and Sprocket the Dog. After 19 films, 8 television series, numerous specials, multiple sound recordings and other gigs Whitmire carries forth the essential principles of the lineage as the foundation for a progressive approach to the art of puppetry in today’s world and looks forward to sharing that spirit in his future endeavours.
Muppet Performer & Originator
Author & Educator
Teru Clavel is the best-selling author of World Class (published in 2019 by Simon & Schuster imprint Atria). She is frequently cited and published for her work, which focuses on the intersection of parenting, education and globalization. She has been featured on Fareed Zakaria’s GPS, The TODAY Show and CBS This Morning, to name a few, as well as countless internationally recognized podcasts and radio shows. World Class, endorsed by former U.S Secretary of Education Arne Duncan under President Obama, chronicles her experience having raised her 3 children in the public schools of China, Japan, and the US from 2006 - 2016. Teru has a degree in Global and International Education as well as Asian Studies. While living abroad, she was a journalist covering topics in education, gender parity and immigration while working as a college consultant with international students vying for admission to the most competitive US universities. You can read more about Teru on teruclavel.com.
Since 2011, So-So Topic has been independently writing and producing music while performing alongside today's innovators of creative culture, such as Flying Lotus, Snoop Dogg, Leon Bridges, Kendrick Lamar, Erykah Badu, and Thundercat. As the leading man of a small collective known as TeamFromNowhere (a team of creatives ranging from singers & poets to multimedia content creators), the self-taught writer/producer out of Dallas, Texas has shared his story across a colourful spectrum of settings, ranging from TED Talks to Adult Swim Fest. After simultaneously receiving multiple music placements in Augustine Frizzells' 2018 Sundance hit "Never Goin Back" and landing music in Spike Lee's Netflix series "She's Gotta Have It"(s.02). Topic is currently working along with his TeamFromNowhere co-writer/cohort Marquis "KoolQuise" Warren, producing a Dallas, TX based net series, aptly titled 'Going Nowhere Fast!'. As of June 2020, Topic has signed to AlphaPup Records(Los Angeles), with his latest studio effort, #MadMarch, arriving on all platforms in late September. Topic's music is available at topic.bandcamp.com
Performance Poet & Musician
Film Distributor & CEO
Weerada is an international entrepreneur, building new, democratic models for film distribution and education. Weerada is the CEO of FilmDoo, a platform using innovative technologies to bridge film content with edtech. Having lived in 11 countries across 5 continents, Weerada launched FilmDoo to bring together the 3 things she’s most passionate about: cinema, travelling and entrepreneurship. Today, FilmDoo is a global media company helping people to discover and watch great films, including hard to find award-winning shorts and documentaries. With a catalogue of over 2,700 films from over 80 countries, FilmDoo is a global leader in promoting diversity and helping under-represented stories around the world to get seen and heard. Recently, FilmDoo launched an edutainment platform helping people to learn languages and explore cultures through films. FilmDoo makes use of sophisticated metadata tagging systems, machine learning recommendation engines and automated image recognition software. Drawing on over ten years of experience across digital strategy and innovation, Weerada’s mission at FilmDoo is to disrupt the traditional film distribution model and create new language learning technologies. Weerada currently oversees the company's strategy, content, product and technology.
Ari Gold has won dozens of prizes for his films, including the Student Oscar, best film at SXSW twice, Best Director at the American Cinematheque / ARPA, and many more. His films have screened at Sundance, Karlovy-Vary, Rio, and hundreds of other festivals. His dramatic film "The Song of Sway Lake" features Rory Culkin, Robert Sheehan, Mary Beth Peil, and Elizabeth Peña, and played 52 international film festivals, winning Best Feature at over a dozen of these. The air-drum cult comedy "Adventures of Power" ("One of the funniest films in recent years" - NY Magazine), is currently being re-released. His student-Oscar-winning short "Helicopter”, about his mother’s death in a helicopter crash that killed rock music promoter Bill Graham, is being expanded into a feature film, and also being excerpted in Alejandro Jodorowsky's film “Psychomagic, An Art that Heals.” Ari’s most unusual distinctions include winning High Times Magazine’s "Stoner of the Year" award, and being enshrined in the Guinness Book of World Records for commanding the largest air-drum ensemble on earth.
Filmmaker, Poet, Musician
Kelly Sweeney is a professional dancer and choreographer based in Los Angeles, California. She started off as a competition dancer, training and competing in all styles including ballet, tap, jazz, contemporary, lyrical, hip hop, and jazz funk, where she won several titles and scholarships. At age 15, she started working professionally and since then, you can see her dancing in movies such as “The Little Rascals Save the Day”, and the Netflix original “The Prom”, dancing alongside Meryl Streep and Nicole Kidman. She has also appeared on networks such as Disney Channel for “Holidays Unwrapped, a musical special”, “Hall Of Villains, a halloween special”, ABC’s show “Subergatory”, NBC’s “World of Dance” season 2, Nickelodeon/Jojo Siwa music videos, and the Brat channel show “Total Eclipse”. She has also done live performances such as performing at Youtube’s convention “Vidcon” for 2 years - in 2018 for Jojo Siwa, and in 2019 for Disney Channel’s “Disney Descendants” performance. As a choreographer, she choreographed a music video for Dreamworks production for the artist Ky Baldwin, assisted choreography for the Nickelodeon special “NickTok”, and has taught internationally in Argentina and France. Dancing has always been Kelly’s biggest passion and love, and her goal is to spread positivity and inspiration to anyone working with her or learning from her.
Gordon's esoteric and mystic journey began at a very young age. This has always been the accompaniment to his artistic vision. He has exhibited widely in the UK, and has many works in private collections. Artful in life and mystic in heart is his ethos. The balance of which is the fulcrum to endless visual landscapes which arrive spontaneously. We are struck by the otherworldly atmosphere and lavish detail in his visual narratives and the intensity of the sitters gaze in his portraiture. Each new artwork elaborates a narrative which teaches Gordon and informs the next step. This process reaches new potential in his exhibitions and presentations. "The visceral theatre of his soul," he tells us, where sharing insight is pivotal to the artistic process. This dynamic completes the circuit of production and evolution and it's fulfilment in the awaiting audience.
Mindfulness Coach, Hypnotherapist
Bob Chiang is a Mindfulness Coach, Hypnotherapist, and a Tai Chi Instructor. He is an L2 Coach in the Unified Mindfulness system developed and taught by Shinzen Young, which covers the breadth as well as depth in contemplative practice. In mindfulness, Bob leads a weekly group sitting for people wishing to learn and practice. He also leads a monthly meeting for teachers and facilitators of meditation and mindfulness to discuss and deepen their skills and practice for the benefit of their students. Bob works with people from all walks of life, helping them manage the difficulties they are experiencing by using mindfulness as a way to learn more about themselves. He runs courses for groups of learners at all levels, has hosted one day Tai Chi events for a more in-depth look at the art, and teaches workshops for corporate clients. The Tai Chi form he teaches is the Yang-style short form. He has been teaching for 20 years. There are many subtle layers to the Tai Chi movements, health benefits in terms of relaxation and fitness, physically as well as mentally. He loves to connect with people and to share useful strategies to allow people to overcome their barriers and work towards their goals. He became interested in Hypnotherapy whilst training as an NLP coach, one of the modules was on Hypnosis and the works of Milton Erickson. As a hypnotherapist, it has opened up another dimension to working with people. The mind has so much potential and endless creative possibilities.
Kerry Michelle - Starting in the late 80s on 16mm, a stint making Video Disks for immersive interactive projects, early adopter of Quicktime tech, Lightworks expert, director of live music TV and selling her soul to commercials and gameshows. Finally Kerry became a product specialist at Adobe helping launch Creative Suite in Europe and then touring launching CS3 in major cities across the USA. Working as a production and pipeline/workflow expert for major studios, including Disney and Sony, she decided to step back and build out her editorial chops as an AE on feature films and documentaries. Most recently Kerry has been the executive producer on the film "Lupe", .lu efilm.com edited in Premiere Pro, where she is seen on the festival circuit as she gives good "panel". Kerry Michelle has a long and checkered past in post over the last 35 years, obviously she started cutting when she was two.
KERRY MICHELLE O'BRIEN
Producer & Post-Production Supervisor
Robert Stacy is a documentary and street photographer living most of the time in Tokyo. His documentary work focuses on women’s empowerment, socio - economic disenfranchisement, and political protest as means of change. Robert came to photography through the influence of his grandmother who had been a nurse treating British POW’s during World War II for the Italian Red Cross, and later worked in geriatric care in Brooklyn, NY. “She infused within me a sense of social justice, and was an incredible role model for what it means to have empathy. When I was a kid, she would tell me her stories from the war, the suffering she witnessed, and the dangers of fascism and how easily it befell her native country of Italy. Like many before me, I ’ve wanted to use photography as a means of showing our common humanity, force people to think about social issues in a different way, and take action to make positive changes in their communities, and the greater world.” Most recently, Robert has been documenting the Black Lives Matters Protests in Portland, and Los Angeles.
David is an Artist, Designer and Educator with a passion for all things that encompass digital creativity. He has been working with digital imagery since he first discovered computers. Over the past 14 years, he has authored books and tutorials for magazines and online resources on the subject of Photoshop and Photoshop Elements, focussing on photomontage, as well as the more traditional aspects of photographic retouching. He runs a digital art website, Twisting Pixels, which promotes and advocates digital art and artists.
Artist, Designer, Educator
Let me introduce a Professor and Polymath of Pugilistic Principles - "The Hound" Jay Cooper! A lifelong martial artist and former police officer, Jay has distilled over 30 years of training, 5 black belts, multiple disciplines and experience in life or death situations into an engaging and articulate series of talks, lessons and demonstrations. Although known for the efficacy of his fighting arts, Jay has always taught them as being part of a total approach to life and a way for any individual to explore and express themselves honestly. Jay has trained with a "who's who" of the best in martial arts and continues to pass on their lessons, insights and wisdom tempered with his always irreverent, occasionally profane, but never imitated style. Jay also has his own podcast and is working on several projects including online martial arts training academy and a film credit with a well known French director!
Nick Harauz is a certified Adobe, Apple, and Avid trainer and founder of Creative 111; a company that specializes in video and motion graphics training. Nick has the uncanny ability to engage his students and create a level of relatedness that keeps them coming back for more. Since 2002, Nick has also worked with domestic and international brands, offering a wide variety of video production and motion graphic services. He has worked with clients such as Proctor & Gamble, Diageo, Virgin Mobile, Yahoo, Visa and Blackberry. He spoke at Adobe MAX in 2018 for Adobe and has new classes on Linkedin Learning for creating Title Templates in both After Effects and Premiere. Currently, Nick is writing a book for video workflows in Photoshop for 2021. When he is not teaching or creating video content, Nick can be found on his e-bike.
Video Editing Expert
Director of Communications & IT
John is a serial entrepreneur, story teller, futurist, visionary and dreamer. He leads IEEE-USA’s Washington, DC Communications team and is responsible for guiding the strategy for all public relations, website and social media messaging to consistently articulate IEEE-USA’s mission, vision and brand. Prior to joining IEEE, John worked as General Manager of Web Development for Erol’s Internet, which at the time was the 4th largest Internet Service Provider in the country behind AOL, Earthlink and MindSpring serving more than 350,000 customers. While there, he founded INTERCOT.com – one of the Internet’s oldest and largest Walt Disney World vacation planning websites. John also previously served as Operations Director for one of the largest Century 21 offices in the world, and spent more than 10 years in Broadcasting as an Air Talent and Program Director roaming town to town – up and down the dial for radio stations in: Washington, DC; Manassas, VA; Martinsburg, WV; Frederick, MD; Hagerstown, MD, Lima, OH and Dayton, OH. John is a 1989 graduate of the University of Dayton (BA Communications), an avid photographer/videographer, podcaster, graphic designer & gadget nut who has been married for 28 years to his beautiful wife Stacey and Dad to his amazing sons – Michael and Andrew. He resides Hilton Head Island, SC.
Gold was raised in San Francisco, during the long extended hangover after hippie times in that city. His father is Beat author Herbert Gold, and his mother Melissa was a collaborator and last girlfriend of legendary concert promoter Bill Graham, and was killed with Graham in a helicopter crash. A childhood of constant change and chaos may have led Ethan to the unique way he approaches music as a balm and a life meaning-maker. Today he lives and dreams songs, writing about half his music while asleep. Earth City will be both a much-anticipated step forward for an artist whose path has been curved by inner impulse and by fate, and a return to the essential path of his original vision. He jokes that his mission is to “make sensitivity cool again.” But we can tell he’s actually not kidding. He’s willing to be quiet enough to paint in songs the delicate details of the modern age, and willing to be strong enough to fight for the world as it could be.
Songwriter, Film Composer, Poet
Penny Michelle is a social entrepreneur; Founder of LV Hypnotherapy, POSiTiVE Health Consulting Ltd. and Music 4 Minors Charity. She is a Certified Clinical Hypnotherapist & Behavior Modification Specialist, Mentor and Public Speaker. Alongside her wide ranging experience as a Life Coach, Penny has experience as a stock broker and real estate investor. She has spent her time as an ex-pat Army Veteran and now works as an international business consultant and Executive Coach for Founders & Investors in Tech.
Renaldo Lawrence is an elearning developer and educator recognized by Adobe, Apple, and Microsoft. ... Renaldo is an Adobe Education Leader, Apple Distinguished Educator, Microsoft Innovative Educator and Educator Trainer, and an Advanced Skills teacher. He holds his masters in education. He is an author of comic books, audio and paperback books.
E-Learning Developer & Educator
Despite a diverse industry field, (spanning government, consulting, publishing and now technology), James has always had a focus on education and how learning + empowerment can be used to ensure that regardless of circumstance, everyone has a way to share their experience and define their own way in the world. Recently, at Adobe, James has been at the forefront of revamping the on-boarding process for Creative Cloud and helped to lead a team that launched an intent-based overhaul for Photoshop learning in less than 60 days.
Alex Hummingson is a multi-awarded and critically acclaimed composer, performer, singer and writer and recording artist for Sony Music Entertainment Sweden. As a composer, Hummingson has collaborated with the likes of Sony/ATV Music Publishing Poland. She has studied musicology, music, acting, neuroscience, and history of ideas at the London Film Academy, Uppsala University and the TVI Actors Studio New York. Hummingson’s academic work includes research of female film music composers in Hollywood as well as presence - consciousness in music performance.
In 2009, Hummingson received an Everyday Hero Award from the magazine Amelia, and prior to that, an award and scholarship from the Dialog-89 Foundation for her “continuous commitment to society and her questioning of current ideals in her provocative performance art and her authorship.” Her voice acting credits include The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo, and Hummingson continues to be a highly active voice actress. Active on both sides of the Atlantic, she is moving into production roles and focusing on telling stories through creativity. Currently writing her first novel and recording new songs in the studio, Hummingson believes that expressing yourself through art is very important and if you can't express your art in one way, then find another, particularly in these times.
Ric Viers is the author of “The Sound Effects Bible”, “The Location Sound Bible”, and “Make Some Noise”, the founder of Blastwave FX – one of the world’s leading sound effects publishers and a partner of www.soundeffects.com. Known as the “Rock and Roll Professor of Sound”, Viers was inducted into Full Sail University’s Hall Of Fame in 2014 for his contributions to the industry and the student body. He has hosted several video series like “Rode University”, “Crash Course In Location Sound” and most notably “The Detroit Chop Shop Video Diaries” - a reality series about the interns at his studio The Detroit Chop Shop. In 2019 he produced his own category “The Trailer Is The Movie” in the world’s largest short film competition “My RØDE Reel” and is currently producing two full-length feature films. In 2020, Viers launched ChopShopFX.com, a website that provides content and resources to filmmakers and film schools. His career focuses heavily on giving back to the next generation of filmmakers and artists through lectures, workshops and webinars. His sound design work continues to be used in major motion pictures, television shows, radio programs, and video games worldwide.
John Thomas Dodson is an orchestra conductor, mindfulness teacher, consultant, author and speaker. A graduate of Johns Hopkins University and Tennessee Technological University, Dodson has a Master of Orchestral Conducting degree from Peabody Conservatory of Music & was a conducting fellow at the Aspen Music School. He has conducted in renowned venues like Carnegie Hall, Lincoln Center, Severance Hall, Athens Megaron Concert Hall and the Hungarian State Opera House with orchestras in the US, Greece, Russia, Hungary, Poland, Mexico & the Dominican Republic. Dodson was selected to study Buddhist Traditions in the Himalayas through a National Endowment for the Humanities program at College of the Holy Cross. He worked with a life-long student of Tibetan Buddhist meditation master, Trungpa Rinpoche & has attended numerous silent retreats studying meditation in the tradition of Sayagyi U Ba Khin as presented by S. N. Goenka, one of the foremost teachers of Vipassana of our time. Dodson has continued his studies in mindfulness, participating in programs provided by UCLA & University of Massachusetts Medical Center. Dodson authored the leadership development program, Substance of Leadership: Practicing Internal Transformation, and he founded Blue Heron Mindfulness Living, where he teaches ancient mindfulness practices as a way to navigate the challenges of the modern world. John Thomas Dodson has presented at international conferences and led mindfulness sessions worldwide. He has presented presentations on the subject of mindfulness for musicians at Oberlin College-Conservatory, Washington College, Kutztown University of Pennsylvania and the National Conservatory of Music in the Dominican Republic. John Thomas Dodson was awarded the degree of Doctor of Humane Letters, honoris causa, from Siena Heights University in 2016.
JOHN THOMAS DODSON
Conductor & Artistic Director
Soren Stockman’s poems have appeared in Bellevue Literary Review, Bennington Review, BOAAT, Columbia Journal, H.O.W. Journal, The Iowa Review, The Literary Review, Michigan Quarterly Review, Narrative, Painted Bride Quarterly, PEN Poetry Series, Redivider, St. Petersburg Review, Southword Journal, Tin House, and Tupelo Quarterly, among others, while his prose has appeared in The Fanzine, Kenyon Review Online, and Playboy. His work has been awarded First Place in the Narrative 30 Below Contest, has twice been a finalist for the New Letters Prize for Poetry and the Tupelo Quarterly Poetry Prize, and has otherwise been a finalist in contests for Bellevue Literary Review, Cutbank Literary Journal, Gulf Coast, Memorious, and The Paris-American. Performance credits include “Joseph Merrick” in The Elephant Man at the Wings Theater in 2010, and more recently “Victor Pistachio” in Bloodshot at Target Margin Theater in 2020. He is the recipient of fellowships from Gloucester Writers Center, Lacawac Artist’s Residency, New York University, New York State Summer Writers Institute, and Ucross Foundation, and a former Judge in the West Virginia Writers Annual Writing Contest. Elephant, his debut collection of poems, is forthcoming in fall 2022 from Four Way Books.
Guy Noffsinger is an avid storyteller - yet where those stories come from and how they are told may be a story in-itself. About Guy: Guy is an average “guy” with the gift (or curse) of too much creativity. He started his professional life of filmmaking as a US Navy Combat Photographer / Videographer, and served over 20 years. During that time, he graduated from the University of Central Florida with a BA in Communications, and later earned a MSc in International Studies. While attending his undergrad studies, Guy used his experience as a military documentarian to gain employment with a CBS News affiliate and quickly learned to live and thrive in the brutally hectic world of network television news. Later, Guy left to work in the motion picture industry at Continental Film and Digital Labs post production facility as a sales and advertising manager, and soon found himself attending dailies screenings on feature films such as The Waterboy, True Lies, Assassins, Jaws 3, Cocoon, My Girl, and others. He hit the road and traveled north to Washington, DC, to work as a video segment producer for a Discovery Channel affiliate at Idea Television. After almost a decade, Guy was inspired to switch coasts to California and throw the dice at creating his very own production company, Flagship Films, in LA. It was awarded several contracts with Warner Brothers Studios, Sony Pictures and Paramount Studios. This was a great ride for Guy and where he learned one of THE MOST valuable secrets in Hollywood. During 2008 financial crisis Guy, like may other independent filmmakers, was out of a job. But soon he found his dream job - working as the Senior Television Producer for NASA TV. During this time at NTV, Guy also pursued other endeavors such as an independent documentary producer and even Public Service Announcements (PSAs) which eventually awarded him numerous recognitions to include two Emmy Awards. During this time he entered into contractual representation by the United Talent Agency (UTA - New York) and immediately began producing content for international consumption. Today, his most recent effort is a new collaboration with Fun Meter Productions: the maker of HBO’s Emmy nominated series “McMillion$.” The secret project will debut on Apple TV in the fall of 2021.
Executive Producer, Director
Award Winning Author, Speaker, Songwriter
Dan Clark is President/CEO of the international communications and high-performance consulting firm, Clark Success Systems. He is also a New York Times best-selling author, award-winning athlete, professor, adventurer, journalist, gold-record songwriter and recording artist. Having fought his way back from a paralyzing injury that cut short his American football career, Clark’s unique and comprehensive understanding of how to get from where we are to where we want to be ignited a desire in him to share his revolutionary insights with the world. Clark has had the honour of presenting his ideas at the Festival of Thinkers in Abu Dhabi, UAE, to the general assembly of the United Nations World Congress, to the senior leadership of the United States military, and to US/Coalition combat troops in Iraq, Afghanistan, and Africa. He has spoken to over 4,500 audiences, in all 50 states, in 50 countries, having been invited to share his innovative and counter-intuitive views on significance, leadership, resiliency, increasing productivity, building team unity, and exceeding internal and external customer expectations with many of the world’s most significant organizations including Apple, NASA, Honeywell, Marriott Hotels, Delta Airlines, Troon Golf, and the Mayo Clinic. As a prolific writer, Clark is a New York Times best-selling author of 20 books, and a primary contributing author to the Chicken Soup for the Soul series, where he has been published in more than 40 million books in 40 languages worldwide. His story “Puppies for Sale” was made into an award-winning film at Paramount Studios starring Jack Lemmon.
Chief Enchantments Officer at Wizardry Ltd, Tony Harmer (a.k.a The Design Ninja) is a creative Swiss-army-knife and learning-content author with a three-plus-decade career that has given him a broad experience base to draw upon including some time as a press operator, several years as a concept artist in IP development, and as an instructor in many applications, delivering graphic production training worldwide. He is the author of several video titles for LinkedIn Learning (formerly lynda.com) as well as running a growing channel on YouTube. Tony is a popular speaker/presenter and his often-off-the-wall sessions always provide a ton of tips, techniques, insights and inspirations delivered with humour and enthusiasm that is totally infectious.
Graphic Production Specialist
Apple-Certified Trainer, Consultant
Larry Jordan is a producer, director, editor, author, teacher, and Apple Certified Trainer in Digital Media with more than 45 year’s media experience with national broadcast and corporate credits. Based in Los Angeles, he’s a member of the Directors Guild of America and the Producers Guild of America. He’s been recognized with awards as an “Industry Innovator” and “Top Corporate [Media] Producers in America.” An Adjunct Professor at USC since 2011, he’s written ten books on media and software, thousands of technical tutorials, and created hundreds of hours of video training.
Jeff Foster is an imaging industry veteran and author of multiple computer technology, animation and video production/visual effects books. He has been an Adobe® Certified Expert and has served as a workshop instructor and featured speaker at conferences such as Photoshop World, Macworld, Adobe Max, NAB, InterDrone, PhotoPro, LinkedIn (Lynda.com), CreativeLive and a long-time columnist for the ProVideo Coalition. For over 30 years, his award-winning production and training work in photography, animation, video and visual effects have catered to numerous clients, including Disney, Deluxe Digital, Nestlé, Discovery/TLC, Universal Studios, FOX Television and Lions Gate Films.
Video & Education Specialist
Actress, Writer and Filmmaker
Award-winning actress, writer and filmmaker, born in Monterrey, México, as Lucía Villaescusa Corella. An architecture graduate from the Technological Institute of Monterrey, Associate’s Degree in Acting from The American Academy of Dramatic Arts in Los Angeles, and UCLA Extension’s Business and Management of Entertainment. Recipient of NALIP’s "Emerging Content Creator” and “Diverse Women in Media” Scholarships. Lucy has appeared in various national commercials, feature films, plays and short/episodic content in the US, Mexico and China. Her debut projects as a writer/director include “Bend”, a teaser for a pilot which premiered at the Oscar-qualifying LA Shorts Fest 2019, and “Silent Ways”, which has received over 8 nominations and awards including “Best Actress” from the Monaco Film Fest; and as a theatre director in 2019’s Short + Sweet festival with “The Lullaby.” For the second consecutive year, Vico was invited to participate in the collective filmmaking event, Lab KinoRoom of León, Guanajuato, where her script “From the Inside” was also selected to be produced on December 2020. Lucy is currently working on 2 screenplays and in preproduction for an animation short film.
Ellen Johnson has devoted over three decades to the arts as a recording and performance artist, educator, songwriter, lyricist, author, and publicist. She holds a Master’s Degree in Vocal Performance from SDSU, Bachelors of Music from the American Conservatory of Music, and continued her Ph.D. studies at the University of Humanistic Studies. She attended UCLA's Music Business Extension program and completed certificates in Expressive Arts Therapy and Creativity Coaching with Eric Maisel. Jazz Journal International describes her as “superior jazz singing by an artist of the highest quality.” She has performed with musical icons Bobby McFerrin, Charles McPherson, Louie Bellson, published lyrics to Sonny Rollins and Charles Mingus compositions and is the author of the biography, Jazz Child: A Portrait of Sheila Jordan. Currently, she is immersed in her long-time passion of sound healing and music cognition studies.
Performance Artist, Songwriter, Educator
In 2000, Ricky Mastro received his first degree in Drama from the University of Washington (Seattle). Returning to his native country, Brazil, he followed that with a degree in Cinema from Fundação Armando Álvares Penteado (São Paulo) and a Master’s in LGBT Identities from Universidade Anhembi Morumbi (São Paulo). In 2015, he moved to Toulouse where he got a DURCA Diploma from the École Nationale Supérieure d’Audiovisuel. (DURCA: Diplôme Universitaire de Recherche et de Création en Audiovisuel). To date, Ricky has written and directed 7 shorts films that were distributed to over 200 festivals around the globe. He was part of Fucking Different São Paulo which had its premiere at Berlinale. His first feature film 7 minutes was released in 2020, and it has been distributed all over the world. Ricky is very active in the LGBT+ festival circuit. He is the festival programmer of the Festival of Sexual and Gender Diversity in Goiás (DIGO) Brazil. Also, he created a LGBT+ festival in Recife, Brazil, RECIFEST.
Darice is the CEO and founder of Synapse Publishing & Entertainment, LLC . Darice has been an actor, ballroom dancer, innovator, musician, international speaker, marketer, award winning author, software developer and serial entrepreneur having founded multiple corporations in several industries. She has been a requested speaker, moderator, coach, sponsor, and contributor to expert panels for film and music festivals including TIFF, Cannes, Sundance, Springboard, FIIFF and others. From serving on theatre boards, to raising money for not-for-profit organizations to managing touring artists and providing original musical content and supervision for various media and films She is currently a member of BMI, TWIFM, WIFT, BMI, NSA, AIMP, MMF, and other professional organizations and brings a ‘joie de vivre’ Synapse Publishing & Entertainment prides itself on not only its development and support of talent, but on its catalog and extended support and access to writers and performers at all levels. Its unique expert level roster of award-winning music composers both in the US and internationally. In addition – she loves a competitive game of Scrabble and is a devoted new grandmother to Owen.
CEO & Founder
ALEXANDREA SIMS CLARK
Creative Performer & Children's Book Author
Alexandrea Sims Clark, originally from Salt Lake City, Utah, has been working in the creative arts in Los Angeles since 2011 with some of the top entertainers in the world including Dua Lipa, Rosalia, Pharrell Williams, Selena Gomez, Ciara, Gwen Stefani, Robin Thicke, Meghan Trainor, Chayanne, and Missy Elliot, to name a few. Alexandrea’s extreme work ethic and talent has propelled her to perform on some of the biggest stages in the world, including the Grammy’s, American Music Awards, iHeart Radio Awards, VMA Awards, BET Awards, Professional Sporting Events and many more. Alexandrea has not only reached the pinnacle of her profession as a performer and creative artist, but she has also become a successful writer, poet, model and business entrepreneur. As an author, Ms. Clark has amalgamated her life experiences of victories and defeats, lessons of resiliency and core beliefs to write her first published book, Character Awareness, as well as pen a powerful book of lyrical poetry. Alexandrea has gone onto create a clever series of children’s books, using each of the twenty-six letters of the English alphabet to teach character, integrity, hard work, diversity, honesty, discipline, creativity, imagination and kindness. Alexandrea's first three children's books titled "Awkward Angel Fish," "Baby Blue Bird," and "Courageous Cat," are available wherever books are sold.
Allié Merrick McGuire is the Co-Founder of Awareness Ties™ (www.awarenessties.us), a platform that raises awareness for causes one story at a time. With their monthly magazine, quarterly broadcast, and social impact campaigns they raise awareness for causes and support for nonprofits. Allié believes that words are the most powerful tools we have and that our voices are the most valuable asset we will ever possess. As a spoken word artist, Allié illustrates the power of words with 'articulation' - the 'art' of speaking.
Social Entrepreneur, Producer & Speaker
Photography, Photoshop, and Lightroom
Tim Grey is passionate about traveling the world with his camera and sharing his knowledge and experience with other photographers. As a respected educator, Tim has written eighteen books on a variety of subjects related to photography, has published over two hundred video training courses, and has had hundreds of articles published in magazines such as Digital Photo Pro and Outdoor Photographer, among others. For more than nineteen years Tim has been answering questions from photographers in his daily Ask Tim Grey eNewsletter. He teaches through hands-on workshops and presents at a variety of events around the world.
Stephen Burns is a digital artist and author of books on being creative with your digital tools. He is an Adobe AEL (Adobe Educational Leader) and Adobe Freelancer and has taught digital creativity internationally. He is an Instructor at Santa Monica College and Goldenwest College. He is also the president Of Photoshop Users Group which is currently the largest Adobe Photoshop Users group in the country. He is guest writer for a number of magazines to include the feature article and front cover of Photoshop User Magazine. He has discovered the same passion for the digital medium as he has for photography as an art form. His background began as a photographer 28 year ago and in time, progressed toward the digital medium. His artistic influences include the great Abstractionists & the Surrealists including Jackson Pollock, Wassily Kandinsky, Pablo Picasso, Franz Kline, Mark Rothko, Mark Tobey, and Lenore Fini, to name a few.
Director, Producer, Casting Director, Performance Coach, Set Designer, Actor
C.J. has been highly regarded as an "actor's director" for the past 25 years, with dozens of theatrical productions, corporate videos, multimedia productions, trade shows, and short films on his resumé. He was President and Artistic Director at Theatre-on-the-Hill, in Bolingbrook, Illinois for ten years. His lauded theatrical work was a prime reason why Bolingbrook was selected as one of the best small towns in the U.S. by Money magazine.
In 2003, Lorrisa became the youngest graduate from Columbia College Chicago at age 17, with an interdisciplinary major in Theatre and Screenwriting. Her plays have been purchased, published, and produced around the world. In 2013, she produced and starred in her original musical Zenobia, a romantic ancient world multimedia epic directed by C.J. Julianus. In 2015, she premiered her historical play, Made of Stars. Six-time Emmy winning writer Kay Alden called it “A sweeping saga through time and cultures, raising issues of spirituality, mortality, and the power of love. A charming, entertaining, yet deeply thought-provoking drama.” In 2008, Lorrisa was cast as a lead performance capture actor for Midway Games’ Mortal Kombat vs. DC Universe, and she’s been a principal performance capture actor in every Mortal Kombat videogame title released for the last 12 years. She’s performed in numerous other Warner Brothers games, including Injustice and Injustice 2 (DC Comics). She also performed in The Lord of the Rings Online, and played all female performance capture roles in mobile game Harry Potter: Wizards Unite. In addition to Lorrisa’s independent film, industrial, and commercial work, she has guest-starred on The Bold & the Beautiful and Chicago PD. As an on-camera host, interviewer, and performer, she has represented Purell, V-Tech, Motorola, Elkay, Project Runway, Nestle, and more.
Illustrator, designer and animator
Ilan Sheady is an international illustrator, designer and animator working on projects primarily in the horror genre. His studio, Uncle Frank Productions provides artwork and presentations for film proposals, packaging for blurays and posters for some of the worlds biggest film festivals.
Pasha’s love for all things language, culture and music, has never been stronger. Having previously studied at Junior Guildhall School of Music & Drama, her experience as a performer has grown extensively over the years. Notable performances include the BBC Proms, being an inaugural Junior Artist for the London Philharmonic Orchestra, and playing with the WOW (Women of the World) Orchestra, playing under the baton of world-class conductors such as Marin Alsop. Pasha is currently an active member of the Chineke! Orchestra - Europe’s first BAME orchestra celebrating diversity in classical music, with performances including BBC Radio 3 ‘In Tune’ showcasing Black and British musical talent, as well as appearances on Blue Peter and Britain’s Got Talent 2020. Despite her predominantly Classical background, her musical tastes span all the way from Jazz Fusion and Neosoul, to EDM and Alternative Indie Rock. Pasha actively engages with the live music scene in Birmingham, and she combines her expansive experience as an artist with a passion for discovering unique and upcoming talent, with the aim of bringing their creative narratives to life.
FRANCESCA DE LUCA
Francesca is a working SAG-AFTRA actress with unique talent and drive. She was born in London England, of Italian descent and after a successful UK theater and international film career, moved to Los Angeles six years ago to pursue her acting career. Having extensively trained in London, New York and LA, her acting talent was discovered by the iconic Oscar winning director Francis Ford Coppola who personally auditioned her amongst hundreds of actors for his innovative film project “Distant Vision” a ‘Live Cinema’ production. She has multiple award winning Film and Television credits such as “Passports”, “Jeremiah Tower The Last Magnificent” which had a successful cinematic US and Canadian run, “Down and Out”, which have been hits at festivals such as “Tribeca Film Festival”, “Cannes”, “Key West”, “Hampton’s International”, “Laughlin”, “California Womens Film Festival” and more. Francesca is represented by esteemed “Citizen Skull Management and “PureFlare” in both Los Angeles and Atlanta. When Francesca is not acting, she gives acting coaching, British accent coaching and Career and life enhancing advice sessions to actors in any stage of their career. She is often invited to speak on podcasts, Zoom Conferences and write advice articles for Industry publications like ‘Cut Frame Magazine’. She created ‘Hit the Town with a Hollywood actress’ one of Airbnb’s most popular Experiences. Francesca says that when she stands in front of camera, every fiber of her being comes to life. She is driven by the challenge of bringing to life a character from script. It is a creative journey unlike any other and one she relishes. The world needs actors and storytellers now more than ever. It is about transforming the viewer into a different world , allowing them to escape and have relief from real life , to explore elements of their being they may not have otherwise done. Film and Television can be highly therapeutic not just for the viewer but for the actor too. As the viewer explores themselves, so do we as actors. However the life of an actor is not just about doing your best acting work and going to classes, it about being driven by your passion, putting in the work , being creative and goal setting, believing in yourself and trusting in the Universe or God. It is in achieving balance, love and harmony within yourself and your outside world and embracing all that you are.
Wes Plate started his career as an offline editor working on regional and national TV commercials. In the late 1990s his complex workflow led him to partner with his father Harry Plate, who was a software engineer, to create a plug-in that translated Avid timelines into Adobe After Effects. This plugin turned what was a multi-hour manual process into a few clicks that took only seconds. Wes and Harry’s company, Automatic Duck, soon became the main producer of timeline translation software used by video editors around the world. Today in addition to working in tech designing one of the world’s most popular NLEs, Wes has become an accomplished ultramarathon runner. He has run many ultras ranging in distance from 50km to 240 miles, and his YouTube channel helps other inspire other runners by sharing his race experiences.
Ultra Marathon Runner and Creative Technologist
Culture and Branding Expert
Join culture and branding expert, a marketing industry leader, adjunct marketing professor, an international keynote speaker, Rhea Allen as she provides this presentation based on her nearly 20 years of experience as a President and CEO of an award-winning creative and digital marketing/ad agency that’s performed professional marketing and creative services all over the world. She will provide an authentic and supportive atmosphere in which learners are encouraged to deeply reveal themselves in order to manifest a truly meaningful personal brand that effectively communicates their core values, principles, and professional superpowers. She is the host of the Marketing Expedition Podcast and not only the Co-founder of Peppershock Media, but also the founder of the Marketing Expedition Community, an online subscription-based platform where members gain invaluable insights, the latest trends in marketing, forum support, ideas and inspiration for building brands and bottom lines for both personal and company brands. She has a distinct style in which she provides encouragement, coaching, and feedback. She tends to promote a supportive environment and facilitates the creative process for all walks of life while participants pursue their goals of successful personal brand creation and corporate brand alignment from the inside out. Rhea "Ray" Allen is the founder of powered by Peppershock Media, the company her husband Drew Allen co-founded with her in 2003, they have two boys Emerson & Kaden and enjoy the great outdoors!
Cirina Catania, CEO of Catania Studios, an international filmmaking company, is one of the co-founders and former director of the Sundance Film Festival and former Vice President of Worldwide Marketing at MGM-UA and United Artists.She is a tech evangelist, futurist, and hosts podcasts in her spare time! (OWC RADiO at OWCRADiO.com and the Oh!Zone on USTimes.biz) Cirina is a partner in Lumberjack System, offering creative and time-saving solution to video editors and producers, as well as Tech Ambassador for companies such as Blackmagic Design, etc... Cirina is a long-time member of the Producers Guild, Writers Guild, IATSE Cinematographers Guild, the National Press Club, National Press Photographer’s Association, and more. She has worked as a writer, director, supervising producer, cinematographer, post-producer, or marketing exec on over 150 film, television and new media projects for the big screen as well as for networks such as National Geographic and Discovery. She is the director of “Kionte’s Storey,” a feature doc currently in post-production after five year of filming a athletic and charismatic wounded warrior in his travels pursuing his dreams. Cirina is based in San Diego, D.C. and Berlin when she is not on the road filming in the Amazon or other exotic locations. She is very proud of the fact that she has not yet contracted Malaria and that after all these years, she still loves her job!
CEO Catania Studio
Associate Producer, Level Ex
Josh Kohn is a former accountant in the steel industry turned game developer and he has been making games since 2013. Currently, he is an Associate Producer at Level Ex, a studio that makes video games for doctors. Josh holds a B.A. in business administration from Baldwin Wallace University and a M.Sc. from Drexel University where his thesis involved using physical motion in conjunction with virtual camera movement in order to improve locomotion techniques in virtual reality. He has worked on both mobile and AAA games and his credits include Family Guy: Quest for Stuff, Harry Potter: Hogwarts Mystery, Fortnite, and client focused projects in Cardio Ex.