Participants Featured in Ride to Heaven
Charles Phoenix is a performer, humorist, chef and author. In his live shows, videos, media appearances and books, the self-proclaimed “Retro Daddy” explores America’s classic and kitschy pop cultural past and present, and predicts retro-inspired future trends. His fans enjoy his unique spin and genuine reverence for all things Americana, and trust his guide to pop culture attractions from coast to coast.
Charles has shared his vintage images and culinary creations on TV with Conan and Martha Stewart and is often heard on National Public Radio. The Los Angeles Times calls him the “King of Retro,” and the LA WEEKLY anointed him “Kodachrome King”.
Exuding the joy of life and exuberant enthusiasm, Charles encourages people to “get in touch your inner Americana, embrace it, have a sense of humor about it, and proudly share it with the whole wide world.”
Debi Derryberry is a children’s entertainer, actor and voiceover artist who has been featured in over 100 popular children’s films, TV shows and video games (including many Disney titles), and is best known as the voice of Jimmy Neutron, Draculaura (from Monster High) and Speedy (Alka Seltzer’s animated spokesman). Debi has produced three award-winning kid’s music CDs: “Baby Banana and the Licorice Tree”, “Very Derryberry” and “What A Way To Play”, as well as the companion children’s book, Baby Banana and the Licorice Tree. Debi also performs concerts featuring songs from her music CDs, aimed at children aged 2-6 years old.
Buddy Bregman is an American musical arranger, record producer and composer who has worked with many of the greatest musical artists of 20th Century popular music including Ella Fitzgerald, Bing Crosby, Judy Garland, Peggy Lee, Anita O’Day, Matt Monro and Frank Sinatra.
Bregman wrote his first hit record “I Need Your Lovin“ with Jerry Leiber and Mike Stoller while a sophomore at UCLA. As an arranger, conductor and the A&R head of Norman Granz’s newly established Verve Records, he scored and orchestrated many major motion pictures including The Pajama Game, Crime in the Streets and Secret of the Purple Reef. He also orchestrated and arranged albums which went platinum, including albums with Ella Fitzgerald and Bing Crosby.
After his tenure at Verve, Bregman became a television producer and director in Europe, working with great success at InterTel, the BBC and as Head of Entertainment for the London’s ITV Network. Bregman wrote Jump Jim Crow, a musical for the Royal Shakespeare Company, and went into London-based independent TV and film production, including producing and directing his first feature film starring Olivia Newton-John.
Upon his return to the United States, Buddy accumulated a long list of credits as a producer, director and sometimes writer on many television pilots, MOW’s, specials and series. As a TV producer, Buddy Bregman has developed over 50 pilot scripts and worked with over 35 American and English writers/writing teams.
The Rev. Canon Malcolm Boyd
The Rev. Canon Malcolm Boyd (pictured here with The Ten Commandments director Cecil B. DeMille) is a best-selling author, gay elder, Episcopal priest for 50 years and a civil rights and anti war activist who marched with the Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr. and was a Freedom Rider in 1961. Canon Boyd was a three-term president of PEN Center USA West, a production partner with Mary Pickford, and President of the Television Producers Association of Hollywood.
Janna Duncan, the owner and founder of Drummond Ranch, has more than a decade of experience in canine herding training and competition. Among television’s favorite herding experts, she has been featured on 60 Minutes with Cesar Millan and The Dog Whisperer among shows on NBC, ABC, A&E, National Geographic Television, Animal Planet and The Family Channel. Janna conducts classes and herding demonstrations throughout Southern California, including at the L.A. County Fair and the Special Olympics. She has been featured in Time magazine, the Associated Press, the Los Angeles Times, and books including Big Dogs, Little Dogs, and Working Dogs.
The co-founder of the San Fernando Valley Herding Association and founding member of the Greater Los Angeles Stockdog Club, Janna is a licensed herding judge for the American Kennel Club, the American Herding Breed Association and the United States Border Collie Handler’s Association.
Todd James Pierce
For the past six years, Todd James Pierce has been doggedly researching and writing a narrative history of early cinematic theme parks (such as Disneyland and Freedomland). For this project, he has conducted over 150 original interviews with park designers and uncovered some wonderful, never-before-told stories about the men and women who built the early American theme parks. Todd is the author of four books, including A Woman of Stone (a novel) and Newsworld, a collection of stories that won the 2006 Drue Heinz Literature Prize and was a finalist for the John Gardner Book Award and the Paterson Literature Prize. Todd lives in Santa Barbara County and is an associate professor of English at Cal Poly University in San Luis Obispo, California.
Dr. Carleen Mandolfo
Dr. Carleen Mandolfo is an associate professor of the Hebrew Bible at the Claremont School of Theology in Southern California. Her current research involves feminist readings of the Book of Psalms, biblical lament literature, and the Bible in film. She serves as co-chair of a national working group convened by the Society of Biblical Literature to examine and offer resources for the teaching of the Bible in U.S. public high schools.
Dr. Mandolfo received her B.A. at California State University San Francisco, her M.A. from the Graduate Theological Union and her Ph.D. from Emory University. Her recent publications include “Women, Suffering, and Redemption in Three Films of Lars von Trier” (Literature and Theology, Sept. 2010), “Lamentations in Ancient and Contemporary Cultural Contexts” (Society of Biblical Literature, 2008) and “Daughter Zion Talks Back: A Dialogic Theological Reading of Lamentations” (Society of Biblical Literature, 2007).
A talented actor with over forty years of experience in television, films and stage plays, Dick Valentine continues to teach Improv well into his 80’s.
Before becoming an award winning commercial director, Roger edited the cult classic The Strawberry Statement in 1970. Born in France, he moved to Hollywood in the early 60’s.
And quite a few others!!!