Dennis Spielman

The real and imaginative adventures of Dennis Spielman

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Promoting Yourself Online

The Show Starts Now Studios in collaboration with the Norman Arts Council, MAINSITE Contemporary Art, and OkSessions presents Art & Victory, a free monthly panel discussion series designed for creative entrepreneurs. The topic for May’s panel was Promoting Yourself Online As A Creative Entrepreneur. The conversation focused on promoting yourself as a brand on social media, finding your voice, learning from mistakes, and creative marketing ideas. This broad discussion was for artists, writers, podcasters, filmmakers, musicians, and all creative entrepreneurs hustling themselves.

This panel took place at MAINSITE in Downtown Norman. Hosted by Christian Pearson from OkSessions, Christian is passionate about growing Oklahoma’s music scene.

ABOUT THE PANELISTS

Tracey Zeeck is a veteran publicist, communications consultant, published author and public speaker. In her role at Bumbershoot PR she does everything from bookkeeping to housekeeping, from writing to pitching to developing high-level strategy for clients. She is regularly working with many moving parts – and with many moving partners – and always keeps everything moving ever forward. Her “everyone matters most” mentality means that she maintains strong working relationships with clients, colleagues and members of the media. In her 25 years in the industry, she’s learned what makes a client newsworthy and she can help make her clients’ stories shine in the ever-evolving modern news cycle. Zeeck works alongside her clients, dreams big, stays on budget, produces great results, and even manages to have some fun along the way.

Jacobi Ryan was born and raised in Lawton, now residing in OKC, has been writing Hip Hop music since 2006 at the age of 16. He’s seen the top spots of the top 40 on his hometown’s radio station, performed over 300 live shows, and is now releasing a new song, podcast, and video every week – all 2019. Among many passions, Hip Hop takes center stage and serves as the nucleus for Jacobi Ryan. His mother a teacher and father a business owner, Jacobi naturally has an entrepreneurial spirit with an interest in all forms of art, business, and empowerment. 

Jacobi’s sound influence has been connected to the likes of Jay-Z, Big KRIT, and J. Cole. He lists his personal influences as Bob Marley, Nipsey Hussle, Jay-Z, Warren Buffett and many other artists, innovators, moguls and revolutionaries.

Hannah Royce is a creative entrepreneur who started her own business at the ripe age of 23. HRCO helped local businesses manage their social media accounts, create content, devise authentic engagement strategies and more. Her passion for people, OKC, and inclusivity led her to creating the women’s empowerment event, Confidence Con, one year after starting her business. ConCon brings together intersectional groups of women and non-binary humans to explore the confidence gap and how we can bridge it with intentional vulnerability, mindfulness, and self-advocacy. She was recently hired by Downtown Oklahoma City Partnership as their Social Media Coordinator where she manages all sub-district accounts within the business improvement district. She also serves as the Secretary and Communications & Programming Coordinator for the newly-formed Oklahoma City Pride Alliance.


I could use your support! Join the show on Patreon with The Show Starts Now Studios. As a patron supporter, you can get early access to new videos, bonus content, ad-free podcasts, and more. I’m working on a podcast version of Art & Victory, which will be available soon as I’m currently submitting it to various providers.

Steak Sandwich with Fries at Ludivine - photo by Dennis Spielman

Ludivine’s New Location

Capitalizing on Oklahoma’s rich agriculture, Chef and Owner, Russ Johnson, opened Ludivine in Oklahoma City’s Midtown District after working in another state at a farm-to-table restaurant. In this Uncovering Oklahoma interview, Russ Johnson and Zack Carol talk about how Ludivine is for everyone and how their new location has helped them expand their offerings.

Last week, I was invited to a media lunch to preview their new lunch menu, which was something they weren’t able to do in their previous location. We sampled pretty much their entire menu, cutting up bites from each dish. Their wagyu burger was my personal favorite, but I liked everything I tried.

Back in 2013, I did a story on Ludivine for Uncovering Oklahoma, which I’ve included above. I’ve been doing quite a few updated stories lately, but there are a bunch of new places I’m trying to get stories with and I’m just waiting for them to respond.

Michael Murphy’s Dueling Piano Bar

Continuing my Bricktown coverage, this week’s Uncovering Oklahoma video featured Michael Murphy’s Dueling Piano Bar, where they bring in some of the most talented piano players from across the country for a request-driven music show. I interviewed owners, John Bartholomew and Bobby Spann, about their nightlife establishment at their new location.

Fun Fact: Michael Murphy isn’t a real person. It’s a fictional character created by the owners.

I did a video about the piano bar nearly ten years ago, which I’ve included above. You can see my progress as a filmmaker if you’re interested. When I learned that they were moving to a new, bigger location, I knew I wanted to do an update video.

Michael Murphy’s Dueling Piano Bar is located at 119 East California Avenue in Oklahoma City. For more information, including hours and reservations, visit them at murphyspianobar.com

Luminarium Albesila - photo by Dennis Spielman

Inside the Luminarium Albesila

I was invited to preview the Luminarium Albesila, an Inflatable Sculptures Art Exhibit, for Rex Fest in Oklahoma City. Created by Architects of Air, the large sculptures reflect light to create an immersive experience filled with color.

Luminarium Albesila - photo by Phi Nguyen

In this video, I wondered around experiencing the Luminarium Albesila for myself and then I had a guided tour where I learned about the fundraiser event for the John Rex PTA and the inflatable sculpture. The guided tour was recorded using my iPhone and published on Uncovering Oklahoma.

Inside the Luminarium Albesila - photo by Dennis Spielman
Inside the Luminarium Albesila - photo by Dennis Spielman

Welcome to the Plaza Walls

Welcome to the Plaza Walls explores the history, the challenges faced, and the community benefits of the curated outdoor mural exhibition known as the Plaza Walls in Oklahoma City. The 30-minute documentary special includes interviews with artists, project managers, and supporters.

I’m excited to finally release this documentary today, which you can enjoy for free via YouTube in 4K with English Closed Captions. I’ve been filming the development of this project since it started back in 2015, so there’s footage throughout the years. There are even a few shots that I filmed last week in it! Yes, this has been an on-going project.

On Monday, April 15, 2019, the ten year anniversary of Uncovering Oklahoma, I premiered Welcome to the Plaza Walls at the Tower Theatre. Doors opened at 6 pm with the movie starting at 7 pm. In addition to the screening of the documentary, there was a showing of short films from Quarter Minutes, Plaza Walls merchandise for sale, and a Q&A session with Kris Kanaly and Dennis Spielman. Tickets were $10 with proceeds benefitting the Plaza Walls/Oklahoma Mural Syndicate.

After the screening, a few things were brought to my attention and so I’ve made some last minute additions and changes. I was planning to release it later that week, but it was important to delay the film to polish the story.

What I learned from my previous feature-length documentary, Inviting Art, helped shaped this film. When I set out to make Welcome to the Plaza Walls, I had a film length of 30-minutes in mind. One of the critiques I received from OETA when I submitted the 60-minute version of Inviting Art was the feeling of content redundancy, with many people making the same point over and over. Once I edited Inviting Art down in half, that version was loved.

I strived for balance, diversity, and the right amount of people in this film. With the exception of Robbie Kienzle, no one else from Inviting Art was interviewed (although they had appearances) to make this fresh. (Both Robbie and I agreed that her interview for this film was better.) For each interview, I spent about 20 to 30 minutes talking to them about the Plaza Walls, giving them the questions in advance. I pulled out the best of the best of what each person said. Keeping content mining in mind, I also made brief artist profile videos. This allowed me to tell a bigger story, without making a long film. Plus, the minute-long artist profiles helped promote the film.

One of the favorite chapters that I’ve heard people tell me was the fake origin stories. The audience loved them at the premiere. Going forward on future documentaries, I want to incorporate more story-telling elements. Perhaps a mockumentary?

On the subject of what’s next, I’m going to focus on my books and shows. For season two of Tales Unveiled, Jeff and I going to be traveling throughout the state for ghost stories. There’s also Yes! Science! and Art & Victory. I’m working to get my books, Intertwined by Cracks and Collecting Cassie’s Soul, published this year. I got projects to keep me busy.

If you loved this documentary and want to help me make more films, support me on Patreon. You’ll get early access to new content, behind-the-scenes videos, and other goodies. This documentary wasn’t sponsored or paid for by anyone other than the support of my patrons.

I hope you enjoyed the movie! Be sure to visit the Plaza Walls for yourself as it’s always changing! 

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