So, Valentine’s Day is coming up. Are you….?

You don’t want to wake up on Friday and completely forget to do something romantic for your significant other

You can try to laugh it off

But this is what will happen

This is not the Valentine convo you wanna have

Let’s take a moment to think about the connection that we have with the people in our lives and genuinely appreciate them

That’s more like it!

It’s only logical to assume that what follows next will be

You did good!

 
 

“Hold on– it’s hard to see you.” is a phrase I have signed one too many times over video calls. But, how many of us realize that lighting can really improve this situation? It is true: bad lighting can completely ruin a video call. While the network connection may be beyond our control, lighting is not. The above vlog covers 5 tips to maximize the experience of your video calls from now on!

Want those tips in PDF? Download the  “5 ways to improve lighting for your video calls” tipsheet.

 
 

The Wedding – Behind the scenes

September 26th, 2013

Shooting Duff Goldman for our commercial was a real pleasure! Duff, who was the cake master in The Food Network’s reality show Ace of Cakes, instantaneously soothed any starstruck nerves some of us might have felt– especially Nicole, a Convo interpreter, who is a huge fan– with his easygoing vibe. He welcomed us in his West Coast bakery, Charm City Cakes, located on Melrose Ave in Los Angeles, and his staff made us feel like we were being greeted by friends.

Wayne and Nicole with Duff GoldmanDuff Goldman going over script with Wayne and Nicole

Turns out he was just as smooth on camera– not surprising, if you consider the 5 years he was on television. We didn’t need to coach his acting, which was a good thing because the entire team was occupied with their own tasks: Wayne and Jay were filming and maneuvering the camera movements while Leila and Nicole were standing in a corner, signing and interpreting the bride’s lines into Duff’s phone. With every take, Duff would surprise us with a new facial expression and word choice in his lines. Talk about giving us variety to work with!

The Wedding ConvoWayne working behind the scenes

When we came up with the commercial idea, it was a no-brainer to go with Duff. Not only is he big on supporting civil rights, he somehow found out about a lesbian couple who was denied a wedding cake from a local anti-gay cake shop. Unexpectedly, he made the cake for them at no cost whatsoever because no cake should be involved with any form of discrimination! Duff is also quite a personality, a lovable prankster, that we wanted to capture… and is evident in this bonus clip of him learning to sign: Duff Goldman learns ASL.

The icing of the cake was when Duff didn’t bat an eyelash when we asked if we could borrow one of his decorative cakes for the final scene in the commercial. “Have your pick,” he told us. When all was said and done, Duff looked at his phone, chuckled, and commented that he had to run down to get a brownie for his fiancee, who was threatening bodily harm if he came home empty-handed. Waving us good-bye, he got in his huge truck and pulled out of the driveway, presumably pranking his fiancee that the brownies were sold out.

If you missed the commercial, check it out below:

 
 

Talking about Art with Bex

September 3rd, 2013

Born and raised in Los Angeles, Bex Freund cultivated a love affair with oil painting at the age of seven and has been exhibiting since 2004.

In 2007, she moved to the Bay Area to earn her BFA at California College of the Arts.

In 2008, Bex worked as a prop/set fabrication intern for the Emmy award-winning series Robot Chicken, learning how to craft tiny worlds alongside Hollywood industry veterans.

More recently, Bex has spent the last two years working as a studio assistant for internationally exhibited painter Joshua Hagler in Berkeley. Her work has been exhibited at the de Young Museum of San Francisco and showcased on the popular entertainment weblog, Autostraddle.

Check her work out at taproot-coccyx.tumblr.com.

More about “Be you”

 
 

Cannot wait to see the first artist? Meet Bex.

Come share your interpretation with us via our Facebook fan page using the hashtag #TalkingaboutArt.







 
 

In the era of free and accessible information at our fingertips, TED has become a global sensation for its videos of talks that are centered around spreading new and inspirational ideas. TED also empowers communities to share ideas locally as well, under the program TEDx, which is where communities can gather to watch presentations that are designed for them.

The first and only TEDx event of, for, and by the deaf community, TEDxIslay, was held in Austin in 2010, followed by another one in Los Angeles in 2011. One of the talks from TEDxIslay, “Deaf in the Military” by Keith Nolan, was selected to appear on the front page of TED.com and became a viral sensation. This talk led to a sequence of events which prompted the Secretary of Defense to begin planning a pilot program that would allow Deaf people to serve in the military.

One of the co-organizers, Mark Gobble, passed away tragically in 2012. There will be a TEDxIslay event in 2013 which will be held in his honor. Convo is very proud to have sponsored the TEDxIslay events and we eagerly await the new videos of the talks that will appear in the upcoming weeks. We hope that you will be as inspired by these talks as we were.

For more on TEDxIslay, go to www.TEDxIslay.com.