If I had to describe my 2023 as a theme, I would say, “Building a Foundation for The Show Starts Now.” I’ve had brand consultations to get The Show Starts Now in order. While I launched the online video library in 2022, I took the service down shortly after release when I realized no one was subscribing, so I revamped the platform. I spent the year’s first half just getting the platform to a more prestable state, adding tons of content from my archives. Today, I’m proud of the state of The Show Starts Now, and my plans for 2024 are to build up the streaming service. I have some lofty ambitions, but for today, I will recap 2023.
Uncovering Oklahoma in 2023
Here are the Top 10 most-watched videos on the Uncovering Oklahoma YouTube during 2023.
According to Spotify, which is how I mostly listen to music, this was my soundtrack for the year. Remember, I often repeat a song (or playlist) when writing or for inspiration sessions. Maybe you’ll find a new favorite song!
Plans for 2024
I’m keeping my plans for the new year close to my chest. I will reveal that Uncovering Oklahoma will get a soft reboot with a new logo, branding, and direction. I’ll discuss the changes in another update, but April 2024 will mark my 15th anniversary!
I am looking at starting a new show in the spring, and new seasons of past shows.
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!
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.
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.
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
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
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
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
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.
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
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!
Continuing on what I started last year by writing my end of the year reflection in the new year instead of the last day of the year. For New Year’s Eve, I was hired again by the Oklahoma City Arts Council to live-stream their Opening Night event, but this time around, I only broadcasted the last hour while I roamed around capturing b-roll and photos.
2021 was filled with exciting client projects. Starting with the Arts Council of Oklahoma City, I live-streamed their Twilight Concerts for them during the summer again. For Oklahoma Contemporary, I filmed several videos, including some big pieces on Ed Rusha. I worked again with the Oklahoma City Museum of Art recording a series of lectures and art tours. Ran around with deadCenter Film for their festival, new office opening, and Glitter Ball. I got to be part of the media team for the Oklahoma Summer Arts Institute in Chickasha. I live-streamed the performances at the Asain Night Market Festival in the summer, which was so entertaining. Did a big concert video with Graham Colton in November.
I filmed a feature-length movie, About A Bear, with Namron Players Theatre. About A Bear is a mockumentary of stories and memories from the Norman community of the “bears” people have faced over the past 14 months during the pandemic. I also helped with their New Plays of 2021.
The client that kept the busiest was Exhale. The company plans to revolutionize lung rehabilitation with an online 12-week rehab program. I’ve been filming all of their educational, exercise, yoga, and promo videos, of which there are over 100! They plan to launch early this year. I’m super excited for them.
I think I covered all of my major client work in 2020 as I kept rather busy last year.
Before writing this post, I kept wondering why I didn’t do as much for myself, but when I looked at what I did for others, I feel great at what was accomplished!
Uncovering Oklahoma in 2021
I’m going to start with the biggest news: I was honored with the Governor’s Arts Award for Media in the Arts by the Oklahoma Arts Council. I feel great appreciation for the recognization of my work throughout the years.
I knew 2021 was going to be a crazy year going forward, so I shifted focus on Uncovering Oklahoma to film monthly episodes with multiple places. In other words, I did the series more like a travel show. Although I did some individual stories too.
According to YouTube, my videos got 48,885 views in 2021 with a watch time of 2.2k hours, and 264 new subscribers. Here was the Top 10 most-watched videos in 2021.
10. Oklahoma State Fair Food 2019
9. Winchester Drive-In Theatre
8. Great Salt Plains State Park
7. Guthrie Ghosts
6. Press Waffle Co at The Collective
5. Wicked Forest of Terror
4. Magnetic Hill in Springer
3. A Day in Bartlesville
2. Black-Owned BBQ Restaurants
Tales Unveiled in 2021
For the fourth season of Tales Unveiled, Jeff and I kept the season short with five episodes. However, with a shorter season, we were able to produce our most interesting fictional narrative arc. Having Kristy Boone back was great.
As for the most listened-to episode at the end of the year, I’m Here at Flower Bluff Manor was the most popular. This was the episode where I captured a real EVP.
Minor Spoilers: The season ends with Geoff’s character disappearing. We do have some ideas for a possible fifth season, but there has been some talk that Jeff may be moving, so we do have an ending if that is the case.
The 16th Phoenix Universe in 2021
In 2020, I wrote a new short story pretty much every week while for 2021, I scaled back with longer stories, but once a month. For 2022, I’m going to keep up with the monthly stories. I’ve been enjoying building my fictional universe.
I did continue work on my various books, including a collection of my short stories, which are in the process of being edited.
Top Songs of 2021
According to Spotify, which is how I mostly listen to music, this was my 2020 soundtrack. As always, keep in mind I will often put a song (or playlist) on repeat when writing or for inspiration sessions. Maybe you’ll find a new favorite song?
Plans for 2022
I’ve been going back and forth on what I want to share for plans for 2022, which has caused me to delay publishing this reflection. There are tons of content I want to create with the goal of building a studio venue. As a proof of concept, I worked with Janine De Guzman to get this vision for The Show Starts Now Studios out of my head.
Let me explain what’s going on in this scene. People are enjoying drinks on a rooftop pool-themed bar while watching a show on a massive drive-in movie theater screen. There are cars parked also watching the movie while people are entering the Earth-built studio to watch live productions. This is part of the entertainment experience I would love to create with The Show Starts Now Studios.
Getting to this goal is the question. I think I have a plan to get there. I’ve been putting all of these elements and pieces together, learning along the way. As of writing this post in January, the path involves creating an OTT service for all of my shows, movies, and documentaries. There’s more to the plan than having a monthly subscription streaming service, but I won’t go into those details. Though I will say I will be focused on adding adventure to people’s lives, so I won’t be directly competing against anyone and positioning myself as a niche add-on. As I’ve been soul-searching and figuring out my “glorious purpose,” everything needs an adventure.
Art & Victory and Yes! Science! will return. I’m going to give my art travel show, Colorful Escapes, another go. I got two other travel shows I’ve been talking to people about starting. I got educational content planned. There are card games (plural) in the works and so much more. I have some documentary films I’m putting together too.
I feel like such a weirdo/freak at times with all of the things I want to do and make, but this makes me happy. I just got to remember to pace myself and focus.
Thank you everyone for your support in the past year. I hope to continue to join me in my endeavors.
Hello, Adventurers! Typically, I write my end of the year reflection on New Year’s Eve, but I was working with the Oklahoma City Arts Council on a big live-streaming Opening Night event. This reflection is going to be a little different, but last year was a different kind of year.
This is the part where I share numbers on how much I created, but the statistic that matters the most, I’m reminding myself, is that I made it through the year. Also, I made more videos for other people than myself. I’ve been able to help many organizations connect with their audiences through video content and live-streaming shows. I’m proud of that fact.
In the summer, I live-streamed a concert every week for the Arts Council OKC and then again in the fall, but every other week. For Oklahoma Contemporary, I made them about two videos a month. I helped take a live play Namron Players Theatre had planned and turned it into a movie for them. I worked with Therapy in Motion and the Norman YMCA to do a Healthy Living Series. I got to do a big New Year’s Eve show, which was a goal I noted in my previous reflection. Plus, I helped other businesses with some internal videos too.
To thank my clients for this year, I worked with Design Pickle and they made me this thank you card that I sent (and still sending out) to all of my major clients for the year.
Overall, I am grateful and proud of what I did create in the year, regardless of who it was for.
Uncovering Oklahoma in 2020
At the beginning of 2020, I raised the bar by producing videos in 4K HDR and closed captions on every episode. Pre-pandemic, I started strong with stories in Tulsa and Guthrie. I released 27 weekly episodes along with three art and event pieces.
With my growing library of content, videos I made in previous years picked up in popularity. Even though I didn’t make many new videos, the watch time in hours for the YouTube channel was 2,542.3, which was about what I got in 2019. Subscribers grew by 365, putting me over 1,000! According to my YouTube channel, these were the Top 5 watched videos in 2020.
The title for the most-watched 2020 story goes to The Study in Oklahoma City, which was the second episode I did when the lockdowns lifted. The first story I eased myself back into filming was on the Winchester Drive-In Theatre in Oklahoma City, which was my second most popular 2020 video and most-watched via Facebook. Sergio’s Italian Bistro, Pink Elephant Coffee, Re: Earth, and The Study were the most-viewed via Facebook.
Tales Unveiled in 2020
Jeff and I got three episodes recorded before the pandemic hit. We picked up recording later in the summer and released a total of 11 episodes for our third season. Our episode on Bartlesville was our most popular. Despite the shorter season, we had quality episodes. Great stories from guests all around!
Quarter Minutes in 2020
We made one episode! Go us!
Yes! Science! and Art & Victory in 2020
Due to the audience nature of these shows, I felt it was best to postpone them until the time was right.
The 16th Phoenix Universe in 2020
What’s this? A new category? One of my personal goals was to release a new short story every week for the year. With the exception of A Killer Among the Spaceship Game Show, which was released in two parts and the first part took two weeks, I kept up with my goal. I wrote 48 short stories!
Still, no new books. They were looking good in the first half of the year, but when client work picked up, writing time got spent on short stories.
According to Spotify, which is how I mostly listen to music, this was my 2020 soundtrack. As always, keep in mind I will often put a song (or playlist) on repeat when writing or for inspiration sessions. Maybe you’ll find a new favorite song?
Plans for 2021
Although it’s a new year and I’m optimistic, but I’m going to be careful with my plans as we’re still dealing with a pandemic.
For Uncovering Oklahoma, with COVID cases rising, I’m playing things safe. It’s annoying when I’m filming a restaurant and someone walks past me to go to the bathroom without a mask. On top of all that, businesses are going out left and right. I’m going to focus on retail businesses and concepts where I can control the environment to be safe. I don’t foresee me making as many episodes as I did in 2019. I hope to get back to doing collaboration episodes soon.
For Tales Unveiled, Jeff and I did leave the show open for more episodes. I would love to travel out of Oklahoma this season or next. We plan to start recording season four in the spring with a fall release. (There’s a Friday the 13th in August.)
For the studio audience shows, I honestly don’t know when I’ll start those up again. I might do them without an audience or I might do something entirely different.
For the 16th Phoenix Universe, instead of a weekly short story, they will be monthly. Writing every week has helped me build my fictional universe. I want to take some time on the stories and maybe release longer stories. I want to build upon other stories I’ve written in 2020 for 2021 and allocate writing time to other works. I plan to revisit all the 2020 stories, send them to an editor, and publish a book collection.
Also during the weekly short story creation, I’ve started two new books. One is based on A Question for the Writers and the other is from Upgrade Cave. I want to finish my other books before I get too involved in those stories.
Now, for new projects! Last year, I did start writing a feature film script although my writing time got spent on short stories. I would like to get that written out at least this year.
One of the first major projects I have in the works for the first half of the year is an interactive branching narrative that takes place in Downtown Norman. More about this later as we’re planning an April or May release.
Finally, I’m researching a project that might be a huge move I’ll make to get closer to the studio goal. Way too early for me to say anything about this publicly yet.
Thank you for following me throughout this year! You can join me on Patreon to help support these projects and get special rewards.
It’s time for my New Year’s Eve tradition of reflecting back on the year. I like to start off with some numbers in regards to my accomplishments.
Uncovering Oklahoma Episodes: 52 (more if you count Artist Statements and event coverage) Yes! Science! Episodes: 6 Tales Unveiled Episodes: 14 Quarter Minutes: 4 Art & Victory: 6
Before I talk about how each of the series did, I want to note that this year I made a big step toward my TV studio goal. I bought live-streaming equipment and started live-streaming shows! I got familiar with the equipment thanks to Startup Grind OKC as I live-streamed those fireside chats. I also filmed shows with a live audience!
Uncovering Oklahoma in 2019
Since Uncovering Oklahoma was my biggest project for the year, I’m going to start off talking about that series. Here were the top ten most viewed videos on both Facebook and YouTube. This list only includes videos that were made in 2019.
Same deal as last year, YouTube count is based on views while Facebook is from minutes watched. I upload episodes directly to each platform for maximum reach. My total minutes watched from all videos (includes previous years) via Facebook was 107.1k, which was up 3.8 % from the previous 365 days. As for Uncovering Oklahoma’s YouTube analytics: Totals views: 61.2k (up 49% from 2018), watch time in hours: 2.5k (up 62%), and 351 new subscribers (up 81%).
Uncovering Oklahoma is still growing! At the time I’m writing this post, likes for Facebook was 15,946 (was 13,130 at the start of the year), Twitter was 3,962 (3,549 last year), Instagram followers was 2,550 (1,426 last year), and YouTube subscribers was 669 (351).
I released a feature documentary, Welcome to the Plaza Walls, which premiered at the Tower Theatre on April 15, the ten year anniversary of Uncovering Oklahoma. It was a wonderful treat! After some feedback at the screening, I made some changes and released it for free shortly after. It was the only feature documentary I made during the year, other than a compilation for Amazon Prime. My focus has been weekly episodes.
My collaboration episodes included Creative Burgers Vol 1 and 2, Black-Owned BBQ Restaurants, Oklahoma State Fair Food 2019, Zero-Proof Cocktails, The Collective, Streetcar Ghost Stories, Parlor OKC, and Downtown in December. All of the collaborations were a hit. I was inspired by how well the ones I did in 2018 that I had to do more in 2019 and I plan to be doing even more in 2020.
There’s been so much to cover that I started releasing videos on Tuesdays in addition to my Thursday videos. The ones one Tuesday were more time-sensitive, such as event coverage and artist statements. I renamed the Tuesday Treats feature to Creator Conversations and moved it to Wednesdays.
Website traffic is down again this year, however, video views and social media engagement is up, so I’m happy. I want people to watch the videos more than I want them to visit the website.
Tales Unveiled in 2019
Tales Unveiled took off in popularity this year. Episode download averagers for the first season were 2oo to 300 while the second season averages were over 1,000! We were featured on Stitcher, Oklahoma Gazette, and Oklahoma Today, which you can read about that coverage here.
Taking advantage of my new live-streaming setup, I reinvited the series as a talk show hosted by Pallas the Librarian. We started the new season in March, doing monthly live events for six months. The show didn’t take off in popularity but the series was well received. Pallas has been an amazing host. All of the guests have enjoyed their time on the show. Plus, I learned so much from producing it. I’m taking the knowledge I’ve gained to make a better season for 2020.
Art & Victory in 2019
A new series! Art & Victory is a panel discussion series for creative entrepreneurs. Themes range from industry-specific discussions to more broad topics for all creatives working to make a living with their art.
Due to the lack of good wifi at the venues, I wasn’t able to do this a live-streaming show, but I did do it with an audience. Another step closer to the studio goal!
Quarter Minutes in 2019
After not making any in 2018, we made four stories in 2019. We enjoy making these super short films and I’m determined to keep getting better. I had a goal of releasing one a month, but when my other series started to pick up, Quarter Minutes fell through the cracks. With as much as I do, perhaps one every other month or every quarter would be a more realistic goal for 2020.
Top Songs of 2019
These were my most played songs in 2019 according to Spotify, which is how I mostly listen to music. Keep in mind I will often put a song (or playlist) on repeat when writing or for inspiration sessions. It’s all good fun.
Plans for 2020
My plans for 2020 are to keep upping my game.
For Uncovering Oklahoma, I’m going to start releasing videos in 4K HDR. I’ve released videos in 1080p simply so I could get creative with my framing, but I want to flex my skills. I recently got an HDR computer monitor and I’m in love with HDR. My Panasonic GH5 is capable of shooting 10-bit HDR, but I never really used it until recently. I know it’s going to be overkill, but this move will be more about producing higher quality content.
I want to take Yes! Science! to the next level. I want to build an elaborate set and up the overall production quality. I would also love to get it on a major streaming service to fund the series so I can bring out of state guests.
For our third season of Tales Unveiled, Jeff and I are going to continue traveling the state for ghost stories. We are planning to start recording in January this time as Jeff is still working on his ghost stories of Oklahoma book, which he plans to release in the fall.
I’ve been picking up more freelance work and I’m worried that will take away time from all my shows, but I need the money to make those shows happen. On the subject of balance, I’m getting better at balancing everything I do.
In my past end of the year recaps, I talked about my books and how those are so close to being done but never get released the following year. I have written out Intertwined by Cracks, which has undergone some major changes this year and needs some more work as the last feedback I received was that the story moved too fast. Collecting Cassie’s Soul, the sequel to The Crashing of Heaven and Hell, has been finally written out all the way! I’ve also been working on a third book this year, but not much as the other two have been my main focus.
I’m looking into starting a political satire series in 2020. Been learning what it takes to do a live show in 2019.
There are some random things I want to do: create some interactive public art piece, film a Borderlands short fan film out in the Little Sahara, write weekly short stories, make a feature-length horror movie, film something out of state, make a scripted mini-series, do a space drama podcast, take more artsy photographs, do a big New Years Eve special show for those that want to stay home, and get some famous women on Yes! Science!
I feel so inspired. There’s so much I want to do. Seriously. So much I want to create. I want to thank you for following and if you want to support these amazing endeavors of mine, join me on Patreon.