Almost 2 years ago I met an incredible 5 year old boy named Gavin Stevens. I was asked to visit the Academy of Music for the Blind and sing duets with the students. Gavin wanted to sing 'Time to Say Goodbye' with me and from that moment on, my life was forever changed. His voice soared over the Italian notes, his smile brightened up the room and I immediately learned how powerful music can be. (AMB is a music school for blind children ages 4-18 years old)
Gavin was born with a very rare genetic retina condition called Leber's Congenital Amaurosis (LCA).
After meeting all the unbelievable students at AMB I decided to become their voice teacher. These kids are incredible and teach me more about life than I could ever teach them.
Whenever I see Gavin, he pulls me down to his level, throws his arms around my neck and hugs me...for a long time. One day his father asked him 'Gavin, why do you hug Rena so much?' To which he answered 'Because I love her and I want her to be OK.'
And so...I immediately thought of him as my Seymour and dreamt of recreating the classic movie musical scene from Little Shop of Horrors of Suddenly Seymour!
I wanted to make this video purly to raise awareness for Gavins Groupies, an organization started by his incredible parents to raise money for LCA research and The Academy of Music for the Blind. We are a non-profit and rely solely on grants and a small tuition that the families pay.
We had the incredible opportunity to record the song at Sony Interactive Studios and then shoot on location in Downtown Los Angeles. I tried to do everything on the cheap, but movie making does take money.
We're looking to raise just enough to cover the costs of the video production. Anything raised over the amount will be donated to AMB and Gavins Groupies.
The video will be out next month!!
To learn more about these organizations please visit
Producers: Rena Strober & Khim Teoh
DIRECTOR: Jon Weinberg
CAST: Rena Strober & Gavin Stevens
DP: JImmy Cheng
AD/Camera Op: Tommy Pham & Tony Tran
HAIR/MAKEUP: Armee Jacob
RECORDING DONE AT SONY INTERACTIVE STUDIOS
OTHERS WHO HAVE MADE IT POSSIBLE: Jennifer & Troy Stevens, Kellogg Boynton, Stephen Van Dorn, Michael Mumbauer, AMB, Gavins Groupies, Daily Dose Cafe,
Risks and challenges
I don't see any foreseeable risks with this project. We've already shot the video but need funds to pay for post production. Gavin already has so many fans around the world that I'm confident his huge smile will help us raise the funds needed to finish this music video.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
- (30 days)