ABOUT OUR TEAM

David Roche and Marlena Blavin have presented the live version of Love At Second Sight to more than 100 schools across the U.S. and Canada. In response to popular demand, they have now created a 25-minute video for use in middle and high school classrooms and assemblies. Learn more about our team below.

 

DAVID ROCHE

"Having a facial difference has taught me a valuable life lesson because I was forced to find my inner beauty. My passion is to share my experiences and inspire people, especially kids, to appreciate what is unique in themselves and others."

David is an inspirational humorist, motivational speaker and performer who has transformed the challenges and gifts of living with a facial difference into a compelling message that uplifts and delights audiences around the world. What really makes David unique, however, is his remarkable spirit, warmth, wit and authenticity. He presents keynote speeches, entertainment and storytelling workshops at conferences for associations, corporations, non-profit, educational and disability organizations. 

He has performed his signature one-man show, The Church of 80% Sincerity (also the title of this first book!) across the U.S. and Canada, and in England, New Zealand, Australia and Russia. David has appeared at the White House and headlined at Olympics Arts Festivals in Sydney and Vancouver. 

David has been featured in four films, including Shameless, a feature-length documentary by Bonnie Sherr Klein from the National Film Board of Canada, and was profiled by Paula Zahn on CNN. Anne Lamott's bestseller, Plan B, includes a chapter about David. www.davidroche.com

MARLENA BLAVIN

"Being married to David, I have learned how important it is to encourage people to look beyond the surface and to not make judgments and assumptions about others based on appearance."

Marlena had a thriving private practice as a massage therapist and nutritional counselor when she and David married in 1996. Connected to the world of personal storytelling through David, Marlena jumped right in. Although shy by nature, she discovered a natural gift for speaking and storytelling. And it wasn’t long before she was performing as a founding member of the Circle of Women storytelling group.

Marlena began to tell the inspiring story about how she met David and moved beyond her first negative reaction. The response was so positive that she and David co-created Love at Second Sight.

With 35 years experience as a massage therapist, Marlena uses a variety of hands-on healing modalities to bring comfort and relief to her clients. She heads the Gentle Touch program for her local hospice on the Sunshine Coast in British Columbia, and is a certified practitioner of Biodynamic Craniosacral Therapy and the Anat Baniel Method based on the work of Dr. Moishe Feldenkrais. Previously, Marlena co-founded the first massage therapy program in a hospital in the United States at the California Pacific Medical Center in San Francisco. www.marlenablavin.com


THE TEAM

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JO STREIT - Producer/Director
Jo has 25 years of experience creating award-winning documentaries, videos, and educational media that engage, motivate, and inspire audiences. Her production company, Streit Productions, specializes in "Visual Media For Social Change." www.streitmedia.tv

 

FRAZER BRADSHAW - Director of Photography
Frazer began his career with a rigorous education in the painting, sculpture and photography before finding his way into filmmaking. As a DP, he has shot a host of projects, including 12 narrative feature films and 5 feature documentaries, as well as hundreds of shorts, commercials, music videos and corporates. Resume highlights include work on Focus Feature’s Babie and, Jamie Melter’s Informant. His own feature, Everything Strange and New, which he shot and directed, premiered at Sundance and was nominated for both Spirit and Gotham Awards. www.frazerbradshaw.com

DARCEL WALKER, FUNKY TIKI - Audio Engineer
Darcel has over 20 film credits as well as numerous broadcast and cable industry assignments, including the History Channel, Discovery Channel, CBS, ABC and the BBC. He is the founder of the proposed IndieLove Film Festival and Art & Music News Network. He is also the writer, director, producer and series creator of Bamboo Dreams. www.sustainableproduction.tv/Pages/4-People.html

SHANE MARIO RUGGIERI - Editor
Shane’s experience spans features, commercials, corporate and entertainment genres, including numerous Apple products, Dolby, Sony, Chevron, Visa, Yahoo!, Mozilla, Fox Interactive and Universal Studios, California Music Awards, Enrique Iglasias, Green Day, and Elton John with 14 credits on IMDB.com. He’s been interviewed on CBS TV and featured on prominent blogs and websites. Shane also consults on high dynamic range workflow, tools, and technology with color scientists and engineers, and is currently a resident at Dolby Laboratories' Advanced Technology Group.  www.shane432.wix.com

KATHLEENA GORGA - Grooming
Kathleena founded Conscious Beauty Productions while cultivating an international career as a freelance makeup artist and hair stylist in the fashion, commercial print advertising, and music industries. Kathleena’s work has been featured in prestigious magazines such as Vogue, Vogue Brides, Glamour, Elle, Time and Newsweek. Commercial clients have included Hewlett Packard, American Express, Coca Cola and Macy’s. Some of the celebrities Kathleena has worked with include Emma Stone, Diane Sawyer, Heidi Klum, Tom Hanks and Steve Martin. www.consciousbeauty.com

LINDSEY ADAMS - Communications/ Campaign Manager
Lindsey is a Vancouver-based artist whose practice includes portraiture, sculpture, installation, and public art. For the past five years, Lindsey has worked as Communications Director for Realwheels Theatre, a non-profit organization with a mandate to deepen audiences’ understanding of the disability experience. She has a BFA in visual arts from Simon Fraser University. Lindsey is the co-founder off.o.u.n.d. spaces, an arts collective rooted in community-engagement. She was recently awarded a commission from the City of Vancouver to paint a mural that captured the ideas and vision of Robson Park community members. www.lindseykyokoadams.com  

JO ANNE SMITH - Web Design
Jo Anne founded Public Presence Consulting more than 25 years ago to help individuals and organizations expand their public presence in person, in print and online. She freelanced as an editor and designer for McGraw-Hill Publishing, and specializes in website and content development, editing and author services. She spent five years as associate producer on award-winning educational videos and multimedia, and served as Creative Projects Director for Speaking Circles International. www.publicpresence.com