Dennis Spielman

The real and imaginative adventures of Dennis Spielman

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Norman Music Festival with Tune-Yards - photo by Dennis Spielman

Norman Music Festival 11 Interviews

While Norman Music Festival is over, the music doesn’t have to stop. In this week’s video, I’ve edited together a montage video of eight musicians interviewing other musicians at the festival on Saturday. Featuring Jarvix, Elecktra, Don Data, Sephra, Local Man Ruins Everything, Special Thumbs, GWIZ, and Limp Wizurdz.

I came up with the video idea on Saturday morning, so this was all done on the spot. This video was edited down from 30 minutes of raw interviews to a 10-minute highlight version. The completed collection is available here on Patreon. Since this concept worked out rather well, next year I’ll schedule interviews in advance and work to represent more genres.

Downtown Norman during the Norman Music Festival - photo by Dennis Spielman

Festival Recaps

Two of the area’s biggest festival, the Festival of the Arts and the Norman Music Festival, have passed. Actually, last week was jammed packed with stuff. For the festivals, this year, the weather was amazing. The Festival of the Arts only got rained out on one day, while last year the weather was just awful. I even got a little sunburnt at the music festival.

I had a great time at both festivals. For the arts festival, I filmed several local artist shout-outs. I even volunteered for a few hours there on Sunday. Then for the Norman Music Festival, I filmed b-roll on Thursday and Saturday. Thursday was interesting because it was the first time they did an outdoor stage that day, so it was busier than past years. On Friday, we had a date night at the arts festival, but on Saturday I was back at the music festival from Noon to 11 pm doing my press thing. I filmed the entirety of Jarvix’s main stage set for him, which you can watch below.

Before I went to the festival on Saturday, I was taking a shower when I was like, “I should I film interviews where bands interview bands. I got the technology to do that now.” When I did my Deep Deuce Pub Crawl video, I had this sound setup that worked well in the noisy environments and it worked great at the festival, even with a stage playing in the background. Because it was a last minute idea and I was doing a man-on-the-street on the spot thing, there wasn’t as much diversity as I would’ve liked to showcase, but the interviews were still great. Watch that video on Uncovering Oklahoma. I’ve also released the uncut interviews here on Patreon.

Me (Dennis Spielman) selfie with Shara Nova of My Brightest Diamond  at the Norman Music Festival

I want to wrap this story up by talking about My Brightest Diamond, who was one of the headliners at the Norman Music Festival. She was a major source of inspiration to my first fictional book I published a few years ago, The Crashing of Heaven and Hell. She was such an inspiration, I even dedicated the book to her. So of course, I wanted to give her a copy and personally thank her. I was lucky enough to meet her and talk to her for a bit. She was so nice and I’m so thankful she took the time to hang out with me. She said she would read it while on tour, so I hope she does like it.

On the subject of meeting your heroes, my friend, Jarvix, also got to meet Tune-Yards, who was was a major inspiration for him. You can read this article in the Oklahoma Gazette about his journey.

A final shoutout to my superstar supporter, Revolve Productions over on Patreon.

Jimmy's Round-Up Cafe - photo by Dennis Spielman

Jimmy’s Round Up Cafe

Jimmy’s Round-Up Cafe is everything good about how a cafe or a diner should be by making everything from scratch daily and serving breakfast all day. If you want frozen, pre-made food, Jimmy Collins will advise you to go somewhere else. Located in Oklahoma City, Jimmy’s specializes in chicken fried steak, fried catfish, chicken strips, fried pies, meatloaf, and their famous rolls.

Jimmy's Round-Up Cafe - photo by Dennis Spielman

Jimmy with their rolls - photo by Dennis Spielman

2017-04-25 Festival of the Arts - photo by Dennis Spielman

Festival of the Arts

Oklahoma City’s rite of spring, The Festival of the Arts, is a community celebration of the visual arts, performing arts, and culinary arts. In this video, I share stories from patrons of the festival to share a community point of view on the popular art festival. This video does use some clips from my documentary, Inviting Art, and includes some parts that didn’t make it in the film.

Festival of the Arts is home to over 100 artists with media forms that include oils, water, drawing and printmaking, photography, clay, glass, sculpture, fiber, jewelry, wood, leather, and two and three-dimensional works. Throughout the festival, the artists will be there personally to answers your questions and discuss their work.

From appetizers to desserts, the Festival is a celebration of the culinary arts as well! Various vendors bring their specialties to the International Food Row and throughout the grounds. Each food vendor is partnered with a local arts organization, so each bite you take supports the arts in central Oklahoma!

The 2018 Festival of the Arts will take place April 24-29.


If you love making art a destination in your travels, then check out my new series, Colorful Escapes!

Kwan's Kitchen Lobby - photo by Dennis Spielman

Kwan’s Kitchen

Get to know the French Chinese restaurant, Kwan’s Kitchen, in Oklahoma City. Mary Jia, Pak Kwan Keong, Zhander P’ng, Donald Kerr, Taylor Gilstrap, and Kim He all explain why you don’t need your passport – just an appetite – to come visit.

This is a unique feature piece for Uncovering Oklahoma for two reasons. First, it features six interviews talking about one place, which in the past the most I’ve had was three people. Second, it’s the first time I did an interview not in English. I had to come up with a solution on the spot, so Zhander translated for me and afterward, provided a dub of the lines in English. I edited the video NPR style where the first few words were in Cantonese and it crossfades into English.

Kwan's Kitchen - photo by Dennis Spielman

If you haven’t already, please go visit my new series, Colorful Escapes. There are some exciting new rewards for backers.

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