10:15AM (PST) – Amy Cuddy, Harvard Professor and author of the book, “Presence: Bringing Your Boldest Self to Your Biggest Challenges”
Photo credit: Bob O¹Connor
Amy Cuddy is a social psychologist and professor at Harvard Business School. She studies how our body language speaks not just to others, but also to ourselves. Specifically, her research focuses on how adopting powerful, expanse postures (imagine Wonder Woman) helps us to be more present in high-pressure situations, changing our thoughts, feelings, behaviors, and physiology, and impacting how well – or poorly — we perform in job interviews, difficult conversations, public speeches, etc. Her TED Talk on this topic is the second-most-viewed of all time, at over 31 million views. She was one of Time Magazine’s 2012 “Game Changers”, Business Insider’s 2013 “50 Women Who Are Changing The World”, and in 2014 was named a Young Global Leader by the World Economic Forum. She teaches courses at Harvard on power, influence, and communication. Her book, PRESENCE was released by Little, Brown in December, 2015.
10:30AM (PST) – Shelly Peiken, Grammy Award nominee and author of the new book, “Confessions of a Serial Songwriter”
Confessions of a Serial Songwriter
Shelly Peiken is a Grammy-nominated songwriter. She has been a prolific, behind-the-scenes force in the music business for more than two decades. Her songs have sold in excess of 50 million records. She is best known for penning culturally resonant anthems, including Christina Aguilera’s “What a Girl Wants”, Meredith Brooks’s “Bitch”, and songs recorded by Britney Spears, Celine Dion, Natalie Cole, the Pretenders, Keith Urban, Cher, the Backstreet Boys, and many others. She lives in Los Angeles.
11:30AM (PST) – Michael & Janeen Damian, filmmakers, “High Strung”
High Strung is in theaters April 8th
High Strung Official US Trailer
Ruby Adams (Keenan Kampa) is a dancer from the Midwest with a scholarship to one of New York’s toughest performing arts schools. Johnnie Blackwell (Nicholas Galitzine) is an aspiring British musician, playing for money on subway platforms. Ruby’s world is classical and disciplined; Johnnie’s is improvisational and street smart. When these two young artists are thrown together, they immediately clash, but neither can deny the sparks that fly between, or their shared ambition of trying to make it in the most competitive city in the world. When Ruby’s scholarship is threatened, and Johnnie suddenly faces deportation, they join forces and enter a contest where winning—or losing– could change their lives forever. With the help of a dynamic dance crew called The SwitchSteps, they prepare to perform in a competition that unites their disparate worlds, and climaxes in an action-packed extravaganza that thrillingly combines hard hitting hip-hop with contemporary and classical dance.
As a filmmaker, Michael Damian has just completed the dance film “High Strung”, which he directed/wrote/produced. He also served as writer/director on the holiday romantic comedy, “A Princess for Christmas”, which starred Sir Roger Moore and Sam Heughan (Outlander) and was released by Lionsgate. Damian directed three films for 20th Century Fox: “Flicka 2″ starring Clint Black, “Marley & Me: The Puppy Years” (which he also wrote), and “Flicka: Country Pride”. He directed, wrote and produced the feature film “Moondance Alexander”, which was also released by 20thCentury Fox. Prior to his recent work, Damian co-wrote, directed and produced the indie crime comedy, “Hot Tamale”, and television pilot “Red Eye” for France’s TF1 network.
Damian has enjoyed a prolific on-camera career and is most widely known for his 18-year run as Danny Romalotti on the number one-rated daytime television drama, “The Young and the Restless”. On the stage front, Damian starred as “Joseph” in the popular Broadway production of the Andrew Lloyd Webber/Tim Rice musical, “Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat”, which broke box office records in both Los Angeles and on Broadway and earned Damian a Grammy nomination. In addition to his Broadway career, Damian has released five albums and has had eight Top 40 hits including the number one single “Rock On”, which earned him gold records worldwide. Damian won the BMI Song-writing Award for his hit single, “Was It Nothing At All” and also has written and produced soundtracks for “Flicka 2″ and “Flicka: Country Pride”, “Marley & Me: The Puppy Years”, and “A Princess for Christmas”.
Janeen Damian began her career as a classical dancer and at the age of 14, landed a scholarship to Balanchine’s School of American Ballet in New York where she studied for five years while also attending Professional Children’s School. She performed as a soloist with the Dallas Metropolitan Ballet and as a principle dancer with Mississippi Ballet Theater. She then moved to Los Angeles where she was the youngest dancer cast as a series regular on the Television series “Solid Gold”. She soon became one of Los Angeles’ most working dancers and performed on numerous TV series, movies, music videos and musical specials including The Academy Awards, Grammys, American Music Awards, Happy Birthday Hollywood, Warner Bros. Celebration, and more. Ms. Damian was also the lead dancer in Prince’s “Batdance” video and danced in Michael Jackson’s 3-D musical film Captain EO, which was directed by Francis Ford Coppola. Some of her other on camera credits include the films; “Bugsy”, directed by Barry Levinson, “Annie”, directed by John Huston, “Footloose”, directed by Herbert Ross, and “Basic Instinct”. Ms. Damian also choreographed the TV series, “Party Machine”, as well as serving as its lead dancer and also played the recurring role of “Tiffany” on CBS’, “Capitol”. Ms. Damian then teamed up with her husband and writing/producing partner Michael Damian. They have written and produced 12 films. Some of her credits include the prequel “Marley & Me: The Puppy Years” for 20th Century Fox and the re-launch of the popular Flicka franchise. She also wrote and produced the holiday romantic comedy, “A Princess for Christmas” starring Sam Heughan (Outlander) and Sir Roger Moore, “Love by Design” (starring Jane Seymour), “Sweeter Side of Life” (starring her father James Best, and Kathryn Morris) and “Moondance Alexander”, for which she won Best Screenplay honors at L.A. Femme Film Festival.