|Speaking at the 13th Annual FPP Conference|
By Ken Harris
Before the advent of the COVID-19 pandemic that paralyzed the economy, I knew I was on to something after diligent research.
I realized I was the first American puppeteer attempting to spread cyber security awareness and scam prevention on a web series through my YouTube channel. I was taking this lifelong passion of puppetry and combining it with content I care so deeply about as a volunteer AARP Digital Fraud Fighter.
My efforts culminated in securing virtual gigs domestically and internationally. Before I knew it, I had a weekly 22-minute program on the new Spondulics TV under the umbrella of the nonprofit Florida Prosperity Partnership organization based out of Sanford, Florida. What makes FPP and its broadcast network unique is its commitment to introducing a broad range of shows aimed at elevating financial literacy and multiple ways one can save and maintain finances in a responsible way.
Then I was asked by CEO Bill Mills to participate as a plenary speaker at the June 13thAnnual FPP 2-day training conference at the Omni Orlando Resort at Champions Gate; the site of the F5 Financial Focus FilmFest.
Along with 16 other chosen speakers across the country, I was flown to Orlando to meet and greet with experts, practitioners, bankers, and even talented musicians who all contributed in some way to this unforgettable experience. It was so mind blowing, I nearly forgot my short comedy film, “That Gone Darn Scam” was nominated as an official selection for the film festival at the same event.
With session moderator Pamala McCoy, the CEO of BONA5D Credit Consultants assigned to my live block, I used puppets to conveyed ways how con artists can cheat consumers multiple ways. This performance was designed to help practitioners be aware and vigilant against identity theft, investment fraud, and other common scams.
The reception of my 45-minute slot was well received and my short film at the festival was equally admired when it garnered enough sufficient in-person and virtual votes by spectators to win the audience choice award.
Apparently, a unique film featuring puppets shining a light on the grandparent scam won favor. My film was only one of eleven films selected among 3,000 submissions as an official selection for the F5 Financial Focus FilmFest. Spondulics TV has video of the event in their archives and the footage can be accessible at https://spondulics.org/watch?v=146
Also, my presentation, “Safe and Secure with Ken and Friends? can access anytime at https://spondulics.org/watch?v=141
This was a wonderful experience; especially considering this was my first time venturing to the state of Florida. My hunch as using puppetry as a tool to educate on the topic of fraud was right on.
Now I am in the midst of converting my award-winning filming into a touring play here across Western Massachusetts. If I could help making a difference in my community with a lifelong passion, why not? It’s better late than never.
Check out my new website at https://swpupp.wixsite.com/safe