September 21, 2020
3 pm - 5 pm
The Art of Storytelling
September 21st, 2020
Susan O’Hara was formally trained as an oral traditional storyteller. For over 23 years, she has been crafting and telling stories professionally and truly understands the art of storytelling. She is an active member of the Florida Storytellers Association and the WIFT (Women In Film and Television) organization. Her passion for good wholesome entertainment has led her to script writing, story-boarding, and coaching storytellers, actors, directors, and writers in the art of storytelling. Her theatrical acting and directing background has proven instrumental in directing her own scripts. Her short films, produced by Storyhub, are being utilized to coach acting and writing clients in the fine art of storytelling. Susan's coaching has changed lives. Several actors as well as storytellers were inspired by her coaching to deeply touch the hearts of their audience. One client related a personal story that deeply moved an audience to a standing ovation never experienced by any audience before at this specific venue. Another client took Susan's expert storytelling guidance and worked with Storyhub to produce a promo video which increased her notoriety and locked in many new clients. Susan is presently developing chapter books and short videos to inspire 10 to 15 year old children to better connect in a disconnected world. She is looking forward to publication of these works within the next year.
Alexa Sheehan is a board member of both Women in Film and Television-Florida and Film Florida. She is a recent transplant to Florida after almost 20 years in Los Angeles working in the industry and its myriad media content. A member of the Director’s Guild of America and SAG-AFTRA, she hopes to parlay her experience in Hollywood filmmaking to create and to bring big projects to Florida and shake up the Florida industry. She and her husband, a Union Assistant Property Master, created HarborDashery Productions, which is a local production company in New Smyrna Beach filming commercials and other media projects for local businesses and schools. She was a judge in the last year’s 48 Hour Film Festival in Orlando, this year’s Hub on Canal Student Film Festival. She has sat on numerous panels to help educate the new regime of filmmakers, and to share stories of her experience.
Brett Varvel has been making movies since he was a teenager. In 2008 he directed and starred in "The Board," and God used the creation of this film to call Brett into full-time ministry. God gave him a vision to create a non-profit film production company called House of Grace Films, which was founded in 2010. Brett went on to co-write, direct, and star in "The War Within," which won numerous top film festival awards at Christian and Secular festivals. The Board and The War Within have gone around the world and impacted many of the Kingdom of Christ. Brett is most comfortable in the Director’s chair with recent feature films like "Treasure Lies," but is also passionate about writing and acting. Since graduating from Ball State University in 2008, Varvel has gone on to play leading roles in films like "Play The Flute," "Princess Cut 2 & 3," and "Miracle on Christmas." He is an Emmy award winning director and a two-time David Letterman Scholarship winner. Brett’s ambition and passion in life is to share the precious gospel of Christ through film, both in Christian and Secular film markets.
Carrie Sue Ayvar
Carrie Sue Ayvar, Storyteller, has been connecting people, languages and cultures in both English and Spanish for over forty years. A long-time advocate for the Art of Storytelling and Arts Education, she has performed in diverse venues from intimate café settings with small audiences to a National Park with several thousand eager listeners. She believes that “If you don’t know the trees you may be lost in the forest, but if you don’t know the stories you may be lost in life.” Her awards include: National Storytelling Network’s Oracle Award for Service and Leadership; “Sun Award” for Advancing Teaching and Learning Through the Arts; Florida Storytelling Association’s Chuck Larkin Distinguished Service Award; Broward Teaching Artist ArtsEd Forever Award; a National Parenting Publications Honors Award and Parenting Award for Cuentame Un Cuento/Tell Me A Story CD. She is an Endorsed Master Teaching Artist for the South Florida Cultural Consortium, an alliance of five local arts agencies and co-created their credentialing program. In 2019 she was one of only four recipients of the National Residency Teaching Artist Credential which recognizes the skills and experiences of exemplary school-based residency teaching artists in the United States.
Joth Riggs is an award-winning filmmaker, whose film career spans over 28 years and includes around a hundred movies and television projects for all the major Hollywood studios. After graduating with a Bachelor’s degree in Film Production, Joth got his start on his first feature film, Paramount Pictures' Pet Sematary II. From there he went on to work on the backlot at Universal Studios, before ultimately landing at Steven Spielberg’s Amblin Entertainment. It was only after being accepted into the prestigious Director’s Guild Training Program, that Joth left Amblin to become an Assistant Director for movies and television. After years as a sought-after A.D. working on such movies as Starship Troopers, End of Days with Arnold Schwarzenegger, and Suicide Kings with Christopher Walken, as well as popular television shows C.S.I., Baywatch, 7th Heaven, and Dr. Quinn, Medicine Woman, among others, Joth made the move to the director’s chair where he has directed several award-winning films and even some television. Currently, Joth is gearing up to direct his next feature film, The Exchange, while his most recent thriller, Blindsided starring Natasha Henstridge, is set to debut later this year.
Dr. Linda Seger
Dr. Linda Seger began her script consulting business in 1981 based on her doctoral dissertation on “what makes a great script?” In the last 39 years, she has worked on over 2500 projects and about 100 of those have been produced. She is the most prolific author in the area of screenwriting, having written 10 books with several editions of several of the books. She has given seminars on screenwriting in 33 countries around the world. She retired June 1 from consulting and seminars but not from speeches and panels. And she will continue writing books.