The real and imaginative adventures of Dennis Spielman

Tag: Tales Unveiled Page 1 of 10

The Launch of The Show Starts Now

I am thrilled to finally launch The Show Starts Now! Dive headfirst into a world of curated experiences designed to shatter your humdrum routine with The Show Starts Now. The unique, Oklahoma-based streaming service is more than just entertainment—it’s a passport to electrifying adventures. We celebrate the extraordinary in the everyday, bringing you closer to inspiring individuals, captivating locales, mesmerizing skills, and unforgettable journeys. 

Today’s official launch is a far cry from the beta preview I shared back in October. For the first time, this feels complete, like I’m proud to share what I’ve made. I closed the beta access a few months after being released because the platform wasn’t getting any traction, only having one subscriber. A few months ago, I met with a brand consultant, Jenn Easley-Maynord of Artio Services, who gave me some much-needed insight and direction. One was a slight name, dropping “Studio.” I was advised that the word could be confusing with people thinking I’m a studio facility, like Parire Surf Studios. I went with the .tv domain to help with branding, too. The price was lowered from $7.99 to $5.99, matching other indie OTTs like and Rooster Teeth.

Another central pivot from the beta version, I kept the location focus broad, and now I’ve leaned into the Oklahoma focus. This includes adding Uncovering Oklahoma, which was not my original plan. I dug through my archives, re-editing all of my old stories back from 2017, improving the image and sound quality, changing some music with better tracks, updating graphics, and other adjustments. Not everything was uploaded to The Show Starts Now, as I didn’t bother with closed businesses, episodes that got shuttered to another series, or places I have on my shortlist to revisit for an updated story. On a related note, the complete Tales Unveiled podcast series was added to the service with audio improvements as my skills have grown.

While older Uncovering Oklahoma episodes were improved, they were not as dramatic as the first season of Yes! Science! Initially released in 2019, Pallas the Librarian interviewed people in various STEM-related careers about their work, performed fun science experiments, and discussed books that have inspired our guests. The enhanced season includes some newly filmed Science Fact segments with Exhale and The Museum of Osteology. Pallas and I plan to work on season two, with our first episode being filmed in partnership with Sooner Con!

Also first released in 2019 was Art & Victory. This was a monthly panel discussion series for creative entrepreneurs. Again, the pandemic stopped me from continuing the series. For The Show Starts Now, I took the brand and spun the concept into three series: Discussions, Lessons, and Sessions. Discussions feature live audience panel chats, while sessions are one-off artistic creation videos, and lessons are multi-part guides. The Arts Council of Oklahoma City and I worked together to create the initial Lessons and Sessions on the service, which in trade, they also get a copy branded for their platform.

Take A Bite with Phi and Visiting Haunts are brand new series I created exclusively for The Show Starts Now. The entire first season of Take A Bite with Phi is available, while Jeff and I plan to film the reason for Visiting Haunts this summer. I’m just hoping to get subscribers so we can afford to travel, as we would love to feature out-of-state places like Eureka Springs. I also want to go to Texas for Creative Burgers.

The entire first season of Archiving Contemporary Art is available, with the first season consisting of stories from Uncovering Oklahoma. The series gets inside the minds of artists and art collectives about their creative works. Episodes from season two will be released soon, which are brand new. I have several episodes worth of content that needs to be edited, but my goal was to get the first season complete for the streaming service.

I have first to thank my wonderful wife, Leslie, who none of this wouldn’t be possible without her support. Seriously, I wouldn’t be able to take on as many creative projects without here because, let’s be honest, none of these shows are paying the bills. I do hope that changes soon with the launch of The Show Starts Now and that I’ll be able to pay other people’s bills. Continuing the special thanks to Jeff Provine, Lessa Keller-Kenton, Pallas, Phi Nguyen, Sherl Martin, Vicki Langford, Christian Pearson, Kristy Boone, Apollo Woods, Justin Coleman, and Undrell Maholmes for working with me to create many of these videos. Thanks to everyone I ever interviewed for all of my shows. Thanks to everyone who supported or still supports me on Patreon. Thanks to everyone who shared one of my works. Honestly, thank you, everyone!

I hope you take a moment to subscribe, watch a few videos, and enjoy The Show Starts Now. I’m open to feedback and suggestions for what you want to see in the future. If you can’t subscribe now, follow The Show Starts Now on YouTube, Instagram, and Facebook.

Happy Adventures!

Reflecting on 2021

Hello, everyone!

My view of the Opening Night 2022 fireworks

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

  1. Gathering Place

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.

One of my most popular short stories was I’ll Never Walk Sutton Wilderness in the Dark Again, which was the first story where people asked if they could read the work aloud on their podcast or show.

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?

My most listened to songs in 2021 on Spotify

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.

Happy Adventures!

Confrontation with Grayson - art by Mikey Marchan at Design Pickle

Tales Unveiled: 4×05 Conversations and Confrontations

In the season finale, as Sam and Geoff arrived in Sulphur to interview Tanya McCoy, they receive a FaceTime call from Detective Valerie James about a fifth murder. The two talk with Tanya about ghost stories in Sulphur, Ada, Blackwell, and other small towns, as well as the Skirvin Hilton Hotel in Oklahoma City. A few days after the interview, Geoff requests Sam to join him outside the Norman Public Library, where Geoff plans to confront George Grayson.

The Show Starts Now Studios was proud to bring you season four of Tales Unveiled with producer Dennis Spielman. Dennis was the voice of Sam Saxon along with his co-host, Jeff Provine as the voice of Professor Geoff DeRoot, Kristy Boone as Detective Valerie James, David Moxley as George Grayson, and Leslie Spielman as Anastasia Wheeler and the voice of the end credits.

If you love what we’re doing, want us to keep being artist-owned and fan-supported, please join us on Patreon. In return, you get bonus content, including early access to other shows from The Show Starts Now Studios!

Stay tuned as the studio has exciting projects coming in 2021!

Tales Unveiled: 4×04 I’m Here at Flower Bluff Manor

Sam and Geoff travel to Sulphur, Oklahoma where they meet Linda and Emily to talk about Flower Bluff Manor as well as other tales of the town. During a tour of the bed and breakfast, Sam captured an EVP from one of the residents. 

After touring the manor, Sam and Geoff meet with Detective Valerie James in regards to a fourth murder victim. 

Subscribe to new episodes of Tales Unveiled via Apple PodcastsSpotifyStitcher, or anywhere you enjoy podcasts. New episodes on Fridays!

Tales Unveiled is a production of The Show Starts Now Studios and is produced by Dennis Spielman. The voice of Sam Saxton is Dennis Spielman, with Jeff Provine as Professor Geoff DeRoot, and Kristy Boone as Detective Valerie James. If you love what we’re doing, want us to keep being artist-owned and patron supported, join us on Patreon. In return, you can get bonus content, including early access to other shows from The Show Starts Now Studios!

Cutting Away at The Hatchet House - art by Mikey Marchan for Tales Unveiled

Tales Unveiled: 4×03 Cutting Away at the Hatchet House

Sam and Geoff meet up with Ryan Fogle of Ride OKC at a new coffee shop called NEON in Oklahoma City’s Plaza District. From there, Ryan leads the group a few blocks north to the corner of NW 18st Street and Carey Place where they discuss the murder at the Hatchet House. Sam and Geoff get a call from Detective Valerie James and they began to notice a pattern in the murders.

Subscribe to new episodes of Tales Unveiled via Apple PodcastsSpotifyStitcher, or anywhere you enjoy podcasts. New episodes on Fridays!

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, with Jeff Provine as Professor Geoff DeRoot, and Kristy Boone as Detective Valerie James. If you love what we’re doing, want us to keep being artist-owned and patron supported, join us on Patreon. In return, you can get bonus content, including early access to other productions of mine!

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