Francesca Marie Smith is a doctoral candidate (ABD) at USC Annenberg whose work bridges academia and industry, seeking a balance of theory and practice focused on media, technology, and storyworlds. She began her career over two decades ago, working as a professional actor before pursuing higher education and, more recently, returning to media and entertainment as a creative and a consultant. Francesca received an honors BA degree in linguistics at Stanford, an MA in communication at Pepperdine, and a second MA in communication at USC (where she was awarded the Provost’s Ph.D. Fellowship), with concentrations in fandom and cultural studies; disability, narrative, and identity; rhetoric; and the work of Kenneth Burke. In addition to teaching courses at Pepperdine and USC, she has spoken at a variety of international academic symposia as well as industry-oriented events. Though her research has spanned a range of topics—from mental health and public shootings to 1980s computer advertisements and science fiction—she currently focuses on issues of transmedia worldbuilding, storytelling, and rhetoric. Specifically, she is interested in how various media works (including film and television, comics, video games, virtual and augmented reality, physical objects, and mobile content) can function as invitations for engagement.