Dennis Spielman

The real and imaginative adventures of Dennis Spielman

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Recording Your First Album

I’m excited to premiere Art & Victory, a monthly discussion panel series for creative entrepreneurs. The show is a production of The Show Starts Now Studios and is done in collaboration with OkSessions, Resonator, Norman Music Festival, and the Norman Arts Council.

In theme of the Norman Music Festival, the topic for April’s panel was Recording Your First Album. The conversation touched upon various aspects, including finding the why behind your music, mistakes made, and planning tips.

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

About The Panelists:

Desiree Yearby was born and raised in Oklahoma City. Desiree started attending local hip-hop shows when she was 16 and chased the feeling she felt there for the last 12 years. When she was 22, she started to attend major music festivals which is where she built a lot of industry relationships. The last 12 years Desiree has thrown showcases, started the blog/site Gotsteeze.net, booked festivals in OKC and Tulsa, became an adjunct professor at the University of Central Oklahoma teaching Social Media Marketing to the School of Contemporary Music.

Sophia Massad is an alternative/indie-rock artist, reigning from Oklahoma City. Her sultry to sassy vocal tones sculpt her unique sound. With her rugged charm, exuberant sense of humor, and absurd performance style, Sophia Massad pours herself into every song. Her musical style, inspired by the Alabama Shakes, Amy Winehouse, and Fleetwood Mac, can be both lawless and poetically honest. Massad’s biting lyrics reveal raw and transparent frustration.

Severin Olsen is the lead singer and guitarist for the band Brooding. Severin has written and recorded music for over 5 years now in a home studio including multiple singles, EPs and albums throughout various bands.


I’m currently preparing for next month’s panel, which will discuss promoting yourself online as a solo creative entrepreneur. Be sure to visit the Art & Victory website. I’ve gotten lots of positive feedback about this project and so I hope it continues to grow. I know this idea is far out there, but I think it would be cool to see other cities open up their own Art & Victory chapters, much like 1 Million Cups, Startup Grind, and Creative Mornings.

El Toro Chino

Translating from The Chinese Bull in Spanish, El Toro Chino is an adventure in food by fusing together Latin and Asian Cuisine in Norman. Gerry and Jennifer Reardon share their story behind the restaurant and what makes them unique.

Cocktails at El Toro Chino - photo by Dennis Spielman

El Toro Chino is located at 2801 36Th Avenue NW in Norman. For more information, including hours and menu, visit their website at https://www.eltorochino.com

Dinner at El Toro Chino - photo by Dennis Spielman
Dinner at El Toro Chino - photo by Dennis Spielman
Chili at The Red Cup

Oklahoma City Chili

In preparation for National Chili Day next week, I visited three restaurants in the Oklahoma City metro that serve bowls of chili as part of their regular menu. For this story, I traveled to Flint in Downtown Oklahoma City for their Bison Chili, The Red Cup in OKC for their vegetarian chili, and The Diner in Downtown Norman for their Championship Chili. The chili featured from each place is completely different from each other. Not only do all of these venues offer bowls of chili, but they also feature it on other menu items such as burgers.

National Chili Day is celebrated on the fourth Thursday in February, which will be on February 28th for 2019.

Be sure to read the full story at Uncovering Oklahoma for more information about these places, including some recommendations to other places.

I’m planning on doing more themed videos in the future for Uncovering Oklahoma. It gives me a chance to feature older, more established places and to revisit places I haven’t been to in a while. After all, just because a place has been around, doesn’t mean that it’s not new to someone else. As for future themes, National Corn Dog Day is coming up next month…

Coffee at Clarity Coffee - photo by Dennis Spielman

Digging Up The Truth

“Sam and Geoff conduct separate interviews with Sam getting a second opinion from Localites OKC on places they’ve visited and Geoff learning about the legendary Chinese Tunnels. Their conversations add new levels of mystery to the tales of Oklahoma.”

This is the second to the last episode of our first season! After the end of the season, we’ll do a Q&A video, so if you have any questions for us about the series, send us a message or leave a comment on social media and we’ll answer it in the video!

As for episode notes, throughout October our schedules were full, especially with Jeff hosting various ghost tours. We recorded the two main interviews last Friday and the last bit yesterday. I’m excited to work on the finale, which will heavily story focused. We do have plans for a second season, which we’ll start recording in the summer of next year. We’ll talk more about season two in the post-show video.


Tales Unveiled is a production of The Show Starts Now Studios and is produced by me, Dennis Spielman. The voice of Sam Saxton is Dennis Spielman. The voice of Professor Geoff DeRoot is Jeff Provine.

This episode featured the voice talents of Kayla Coffey & Anna Farha from Localites OKC as themselves; Paul Evans as Wendell Holmes; and Mel Roberts as Detective West.

Special thanks to Clarity Coffee and Waving Wheat Bakery for letting us record there.

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Amy Cerato - photo by Dennis Spielman

Dr. Amy Cerato – A Geotechnical Engineer

Cerato is the Rapp Foundation Presidential Professor of Civil Engineering at the University of Oklahoma. She researches and consults in geotechnical engineering, specifically focusing on soil stabilization, expansive soil mitigation and foundation design in problematic soils. She is a registered professional engineer in Oklahoma. She is the author of more than 50 technical papers and the recipient of the 2009 Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers (PECASE) and 2008 National Science Foundation CAREER award. She is a member of the Deep Foundation Institute’s (DFI) Helical Pile and Tiebacks Committee and the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) Geo-Institute Committee of Engineering Geology and Site Characterization.

As for the future of the series, tomorrow, I recently interviewed Dr. Daniela Busciglio, a professor of applied linguistics and a Communications Strategist with DFB Consulting. I may do one or two more interviews before I conclude the second season of Yes! Science! I’m also working on an overarching documentary, which has interviews of everyone I’ve interviewed for the show, discuss the subject of women in STEM fields. I’m also already planning something really exciting for the third season, which I’ll share soon after I have some more conversations with people.

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