YAX CEO, Founder & Lone Nut
Robert is a third-year PhD student at UNLV in the Integrated Health Sciences department studying the effect of improvisation on Parkinson’s disease. He has created two programs to improve quality of life measures for people with and affected by PD: Yes, And…eXercise! and Day One: PD Superheroes, receiving grants from the Parkinson's Foundation. He has spoken and led workshops at numerous Parkinson's-themed conferences, both online and in person. He is also co-founder of the non-profit, Parkinson's Place Las Vegas.
He cut his teeth as an award-winning filmmaker in Los Angeles, attending UCLA's graduate screenwriting program. His narrative work includes the Artisan Entertainment release, The Playaz Court, and two Stephen King-based short films. His turn to documentaries changed the course of his life forever. Along with the award-winning Boys of Summer documentary series, Robert has three other health-themed documentaries that have sharpened his focus on everything from a cross-country bicycle trip, to how Jack LaLanne taught us exercise and, recovering from a four-story fall and an 11-month coma.
He lives in Walnut Creek, CA with his beautiful wife, two crazy kids, and an old, cranky Cockapoo.
Susan has loved life all of her 71+ years. She is a wife, mother, daughter, sister, student and friend. In 2015, she discovered she is also a Person with Parkinson’s (PWP). Much like everyone who hears the words “Parkinson’s Disease” and “you” in the same sentence, Susan was numb for a while. YES, numb … AND she instantly found herself surrounded by the love and support of family and friends. Her lifetime smile returned, soothing the numbness. Susan’s nephew, Adam, challenged and inspired her to exercise by attempting a nonstop, 65-mile swim. It was featured in the award-winning documentary, VICTORY SWIM. Susan shared her stories of what it means to thrive with Parkinson’s as keynote speaker at the University of Maryland’s Within Our Reach Symposium
Robert reached out to Susan after seeing VICTORY SWIM, sharing his hypothesis that improv could improve quality of life measures for PWP. She can confirm, YES, Robert was a Lone Nut with his ideas about improv… AND she became his official First Follower. She participates in every Day One class and YAX playshop available. She serves as a Mentor in the Day One program, as the Co-host of the YouTube Daily Dose of Dope(-amine), the Festival Director for the Yes, And eXercise Festival in Texas (YAX F iT) and, generally, as an all-around Robin to Robert’s Batman.
Susan lives in Austin, Texas with her husband of 50 years and their two Golden Retrievers.