The real and imaginative adventures of Dennis Spielman

Category: Real Page 2 of 137

Masa Ramen & Sushi and Rococo

Phi proves the landlocked state of Oklahoma has excellent seafood options as she visits Masa Ramen & Sushi and Rococo in Oklahoma City. I love how this episode of Take A Bite with Phi turned out with the behind-the-scenes stories at these restaurants.

A plate of lobster from Rococo's restaurant in Oklahoma City.

Expand your horizons by starting your free trial at The Show Starts Now Studios. I’ve decided to add the Uncovering Oklahoma series to The Show Start Now Studios’ streaming platform. Now you can enjoy new episodes and select timeless stories ad-free and algorithm-free! As a welcome bonus, subscribers can enjoy The Wing Episode early before YouTube. Join Apollo Woods of OKC Black Eats as we travel to three different restaurants for a focus on wings. With the Super Bowl and March Madness coming soon, now is the time to sample some places before ordering big.

Yes! Science! Season 1!

Showing that science is for everyone, Pallas the Librarian interviews people in various STEM-related careers about their work, performs fun science experiments, and discusses books that have inspired our guests. The entire first season of Yes! Science! has been enhanced and is now available to stream on The Show Starts Now Studios

Originally filmed as a live-studio audience show in 2019, the enhanced season includes improved 4k picture and audio, a new Science Facts segment, pacing editing, and new graphical elements to tell guests’ stories better. Thank you to SKELETONS: Museum of Osteology and Exhale for working with me on the new Science Facts.

I have some exciting partnerships lined up, and Pallas and I are planning to make a second season this summer. However, I’m working on acquiring funding to pay everyone, build a set for the show, have funds for a marketing budget, and all of the other fun stuff that goes into producing a bigger, better show. Subscribe to The Show Starts Now Studios to watch the newly enhanced season and help support our next season! There is also Yes! Science! merchandise available, too!

Reflecting on 2022

Happy New Year!

After working on New Year’s Eve for the past few years, I’m spending the holiday at home this year, so I thought I would write my annual end-of-the-year reflection.

Starting with client work, my biggest projects included arts educational lessons with the Oklahoma City Arts Council, spending a little over two weeks in Quartz Mountain filming for the Oklahoma Summer Arts Institute, producing a ton of artist interviews at Oklahoma Contemporary, writing articles for the Oklahoma Venture Forum, promoting events at the Myriad Gardens, recording audio for podcasts, and making lung health videos with Exhale (which finally launched this year).

As with 2021, client work was my main focus, but that didn’t stop me from hitting my personal goals.

The Show Starts Now Studios OTT Launched!

I’m going to start my personal recap with the launch of my biggest venture: The Show Starts Now Studios OTT! I mentioned this project in last year’s recap, and I was able to soft-launch the streaming service in October. I’m still in the soft-launch phase as I’m working on getting more of my archives updated and uploaded to the platform. Ending the year, I’ve launched Archiving Contemporary Art, Art & Victory, Creative Burgers, Colorful Escapes, Leadership Board, Take A Bite with Phi, Tales Unveiled, and Visiting Haunts. All the shows focus on expanding people’s horizons and adding adventure to their life, which I’ve been passionate about with Uncovering Oklahoma.

Take A Bite with Phi and Visiting Haunts were two brand-new shows created exclusively for the service. They are some of my best work yet. I’m extremely proud of them. We held a launch party at Rodeo Cinema to premiere the first episodes of both shows. I released three episodes of the food show and one of the spooky haunts series, and there are more episodes in my editing queue, which I’ll discuss later.

Ending the year, I have one subscriber!!! However, one is more than zero, and existing in the first place is a massive accomplishment. Once I get my backlog of videos caught up, I’ll do a massive publicity push. However, there is a ton of great content already available to watch right now, so I would love for you to subscribe as well!

Uncovering Oklahoma in 2022

Despite the world being a little less crazy this year, I scaled Uncovering Oklahoma back to focus on getting the streaming platform online. The first half of the year had businesses faced with staffing issues, so filming restaurant stories was not something I did until later. Some of my favorite stories I did were Norman, OKC, and Edmond Farmers Markets, Zero Tolerance Coffee and Chocolate, Sugar High, Okie Baking Co, and Creative Burgers Vol. 4.

According to YouTube, my videos got 48,914 views, with a watch time of 2.2k hours and 327 new subscribers in 2022. Here are the Top 10 most-watched videos from the year.

  1. Black Owned BBQ Restaurants Vol. 1 
  2. Guthrie Ghosts
  3. Wicked Forest of Terror
  4. A Day in Bartlesville
  5. Gathering Place
  6. Magnetic Hill in Springer
  7. Great Salt Plains State Park
  8. Winchester Drive-In Theatre
  9. New Tex-Mex at BlueJ’s in Edmond, OK [Short]
  10. A Day in the Life of Butcher BBQ Stand [Short]

Moving forward in the new year, I plan to focus on short content (like Instagram Reels) and promoting Oklahoma stories of my other shows.

The 16th Phoenix Universe in 2022

My story-writing time got converted into video creation, but I still wrote several short stories. I focused on expanding the stories of my serials. I wrote some epic stories this year, including some modernization of some ancient works.

“You Have 3 Unread Prophecies” – A morning news show host receives three tips on his phone about the future as he spends time with his sister.

Snow Shovel Inc. – In 1992, two nine-year-old boys have an adventure filled day saving the planet, shoveling snow, and catching a criminal.

Bleeding Fear – In a fantasy world where everyone gains a power of light on their 17th birthday, a group of adventurers searches for a place to rest for the night after destroying a laboratory performing harmful experiments on people. The boutique treehouse-style hotel they do find has some secrets of its own. 

Missing Memories – Rumors of children losing memory while playing on their own in the new Star Light District. After solving two mysteries, Haley “The Sounds” Riot and Robin Bee venture to the Underground Zone of Aequus to uncover the truth.

Proof of Hades – After her trip to the Underworld, Sally Wilkerson has difficulty convincing her friend of her experience until an opportunity presents itself to her as Hades and Persephone invite her to game night.

The Dragon with the Time-Traveler Tattoo – When a herd of dragons visits the small town of Valley, the mayor decides it’s his civic duty to greet them, only to get caught in a mystery.

The Horror Prompt Card – A writer is gifted with a mysterious card that will inspire them if they toss the card in a fire while sharing a scary story.

Resurrection on the Oriental Express – People from various worlds wake up on a train to solve who is reviving people from the dead in this reverse murder mystery game show.

This year’s most-read short story was I’ll Never Walk Sutton Wilderness in the Dark Again, followed by Resurrection on the Oriental Express, The Horror Prompt Card, and The Dragon with the Time-Traveler Tattoo.

Top Songs of 2022

According to Spotify, which is how I mostly listen to music, this was my 2020 soundtrack. As always, keep in mind I will often repeat a song (or playlist) when writing or for inspiration sessions. Maybe you’ll find a new favorite song!

Plans for 2023

My new year goals align with The Show Starts Now Studios. I am pushing toward giving myself a salary (even if I’m earning a modest $30,000 a year, but shooting for 50k). I want to film something outside of Oklahoma, which will most likely be for Visiting Haunts, as Jeff and I have expressed interest in doing an episode of Eureka Springs. Having the freedom to film anywhere was one of the motivations for shifting away from Oklahoma branding on the new shows. I would also love to have my first employee as Lessa has been a fantastic partner in my new filming endeavor. Got to get that subscriber count way past one to accomplish those goals. 😉

As I mentioned, I have a large video editing queue of works I plan to get on the streaming platform. While client work takes priority, I wanted to share what I have in store for you. Listings are in order by series title and then episode number. 

Archiving Contemporary Art

There might be more stories for season 1 as I go through my Uncovering Oklahoma archives to see what I still have saved. One big requirement is that the artist(s) must speak about their work. 

  • 1×02 Janet O’Neal – One Thousand Tears, John Raymond Mireles – Neighbors Project, Mildred Howard
  • 1×03 Bright Golden Haze
  • 1×04 Between Art and Quarantine
  • 1×03 Water and Land / Visual Poetry
  • 1×04 Momentum 2021
  • 1×05 Water and Land / Visual Poetry
  • 1×06 Fieldworks – Beyond Measure
  • 1×07 Momentum

Season 2 consists of brand-new content or contains new footage. In other words, stuff filmed with this series in mind. 

  • 2×02 Artful Inlets
  • 2×03 Resistance, Memory, and Play – The Work of Joseph DeLappe
  • 2×04 Nature’s Course by John Newsom
  • 2×05 Between the Spaces
  • 2×06 Factory Obscura Experiences: Collection 1 – Doorways, Seed Reef, and SYNESTHESIA
  • 2×07 Building Pumpkinville
  • 2x?? La casa que nos inventamos

Art & Victory: Lessons

  • Jazz-Based Dance with Samantha Hayne: 04 Pas De Bourree and Pivot Step
  • Jazz-Based Dance with Samantha Haynes: 05 Drag Step and Tuck & Roll
  • Jazz-Based Dance with Samantha Haynes 06 Fan Kick and Piqué Turn
  • Basics of Auditions and Building a Character with Cat Pitt
  • Contracts with Cat Pitt
  • Booking A Venue for Your Production with Cat Pitt
  • Theatre Tech Basics with Cat Pitt
  • Props and Costumes with Cat Pitt
  • Marketing Your Local Production with Cat Pitt

Art & Victory: Sessions

  • Hard Edge Painting with Jason Wilson

Leadership Board

  • 1×03 Be Sell Ready
  • 1×04 Intellectual Property
  • 1×05 Product Development
  • 1×06 Money Sense

Take A Bite with Phi

  • 1×04 Masa Ramen & Sushi and Rococo
  • 1×05 Humankind

Tales Unveiled

Not going to list every single episode, but Tales Unveiled is on the list to be enhanced for the streaming site. Most of season 1 is already uploaded. 

Yes! Science!

Before I publish the season, I will re-edit all of the episodes and include some new segments in the episode. This won’t be a simple enhancement like I did with the Art & Victory Discussions and will take more time.

  • 1×01 Arianne Hunter
  • 1×02 Alyssa Grooms
  • 1×03 Lee Fithian
  • 1×04 Elizabeth Smith
  • 1×05 Lily Peppers
  • 1×06 Autumn Loveless​

Visiting Haunts

  • 1×02 Stone Lion Inn and Downtown Guthrie

While there is just this one episode, I may hold off on releasing the story until I film others and can do a proper full season.


An Untitled Documentary about the Asian District (filmed part of this story and need to film more)

That’s a wrap for my end-of-the-year reflection! Thank you for following me in my various endeavors! I wish you all Happy Year’s Year and Happy Adventures!

Gonzalo Lebrija: La casa que nos inventamos

From the La casa que nos inventamos exhibition at Oklahoma Contemporary, this interview features artist Gonzalo Lebrija. Gonzalo Lebrija discusses the public art sculpture of an American muscle car standing vertically about to hit a pool of water. The work, Breve historia del tiempo, is display outside of the building. The exhibition runs through Jan. 9, 2023. Admission is always free. More info at

Watch the other videos I filmed for Oklahoma Contemporary, including interviews with more artists from Guadalajara, Mexico.

Anita Ly: Generating Success for Entrepreneurs

I wrote a profile on Anita Ly about Generating Success for Entrepreneurs for the Oklahoma Venture Forum.

As the Managing Director of gener8tor in Oklahoma City, Anita Ly is committed to helping entrepreneurs succeed with gener8tor’s national investment accelerator program. Ly started her professional career as a scientist in biotech pharma in California before moving to Oklahoma to attend graduate school at the University of Oklahoma. While at OU, she became involved with the Oklahoma Catalyst programs as they were looking for someone with a STEM background, who was all about women empowerment, and entrepreneurship. This led to her discovery of her passion for working with founders and telling their stories, leading to her decision to pivot her career to focus on helping founders. After finishing her schooling at OU and working in venture capital at Atento Capital in Tulsa, she joined gener8tor to help support and build a community around founders in Oklahoma City. The gener8tor platform includes more than 75 programs spanning startup accelerators, corporate programming, speaker series, conferences, skills accelerators, and fellowships.

“Most of our startups don’t just go there for funding,” said Anita Ly. “We’re known for the wide breadth network that we can provide to our founders through mentor swarms as well as investors swarms. Our goal is to set them up for success while having a white glove concierge approach.”

Applications for entrepreneurs are open until mid-January, and Ly has been actively recruiting and talking to founders to let people know that gener8tor is in town. Ly said the most rewarding part of working with gener8tor is seeing the successes of several types of founders.

“No founder comes into the program at the exact same stage of development or having the same types of issues, and it’s really exciting to help them pinpoint what they need to focus on in order to hit that next milestone,” said Ly. “Then seeing the excitement on their faces when they are able to finally raise that next round.”

Aside from the Investment Accelerator program, gener8tor offers other product lines that Ly will discuss. They’re not just focused on Oklahoma City but on supporting all of Oklahoma and companies that can give back to the local community. Ly would like to have all Oklahoma Venture Forum members come to learn about gener8tor’s different offerings.

“We are constantly looking for not just investors but mentors,” said Ly. “That could be anyone who works directly with founders, has been a founder, or has a unique set of experiences that might play a good hand with our potential cohort. Everyone can be a mentor, and we really want people to feel like they have something of value to give, and at the same time, there is so much they can learn from mentoring other founders as well.”

Anita Ly will speak to Oklahoma Venture Forum Power Lunch members on Wednesday, January 11, 2023. The event will be held at The Venue at Crew in Downtown Oklahoma City from 11:30 am to 1:00 pm and will be open to members and guests both in-person and virtually via ZOOM. Ly believes the forum is an excellent place for those that want to be involved in the venture capital world.

“Those that have always been curious about getting involved, this is a great way to have those monthly power lunches and meet really incredible people to learn about what’s going on in the ecosystem and having a network where they can get together with other like-minded individuals,” said Ly.

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