Category: 2016


BREAKING: Maryland’s Harry Potter Convention happens this Sept and I’ll be Showrunner

I am proud to announce that I’m the Showrunner of Maryland’s Harry Potter fan Convention. It takes place in Baltimore this Sept. 8-10 2017.


It’s already gone viral. It’s going to be a big deal. Below is 1 of many anchor posts I put out yesterday. Doing the math, it’s gotten over 56,000 people interacting positively with the con in less than a few hours.

Baltimore Maryland Harry Potter Convention

I learned some things this week that I’d like to share.

I’ve been a pro marketer for a long time. I’ve launched cancer drugs with a million+ dollar budget and products in the financial space with a similarly large budget. My geek event company is a start up. We don’t spend on ads much and we didn’t spend a dime in this particular case.

I’ve never seen a launch that went this viral with no budget and not even any guests announced yet. (Re)Generation Who, my Doctor Who convention in Maryland was huge and it never did these share numbers.

This reminds me of something that I wanted to share with you all today: An overnight success takes at least 10 years.

You can look at all the data you want, pay as much money as you want, and optimize your internet presence all you want, but what truly made this work is my reputation that I’ve been building since 2003 coupled with the data and knowledge.

It’s an extremely great idea to use data and optimize all of your stuff – don’t get me wrong. But the glue that makes it all work is your getting involved in other organizations and events in your space and helping with no strings attached. Almost every geek convention in the mid-atlantic (and elsewhere in the northeast) USA knows me. I’m well-known for mentoring and helping people and in cases where money is a thing, I will always pay out even at my own expense to do the right thing – even if it means a temporary loss.

Basically I work like the book Never Eat Alone, but I was doing it before I heard of that book. (If you haven’t read this book, you should.)

I learned this week how powerful researching trends and data can be. Truthfully that was something I refused to do until recently. I’ll be writing very soon about how much power harnessing these concepts has brought to my marketing game and I’ll show you what I did. I also learned how powerful proactive marketing and networking can be when it’s put together just right.

I hope this inspires someone to conceptualize the link between your online and offline work! If you feel stuck with your online marketing efforts – GO OFFLINE and interact. I promise that you’ll feel better and see results. They won’t be overnight results, but it will happen.

Every overnight success takes at least 10 years.

Register to join us in September in Baltimore at PotterVerse and get more information here on our Harry Potter convention website.

2016, Technology

Holiday Real Talk: The Best 2016 Art / Tech Entrepreneur Gift Guide for Him and Her

And by “best” I mean that some of these things I liked so much that I or my husband bought / use.


Most of us have to work a lot and learn several skills in order to keep moving forward in our entrepreneurial careers. My holiday gift guide is aimed at people who love art, technology, have busy lives, and refuse to accept anything less than success that they build themselves. My philosophy is also in buying less items and investing in quality that lasts a long time. This is why many of these items are higher priced investment items.

1. Catalyst Case for iPhone – $69.99


This case is still my favorite case. It’s waterproof, drop proof, and Oni-proof. While this is the only item on this list that was sent to me for free by the company (I always keep it legit with you), I’d have bought it myself if I knew about it before now. Read my full review of the Catalyst case for iPhone over here.

LINK: Catalyst iPhone (or iPad and other stuff) case

2. Travelon Anti-Theft Signature Slim Backpack- $61.99

Travelon Anti-Theft Signature Slim Backpack

I don’t own this but I’m thinking of picking it up because it looks great, is secure, and is hands free. If you know a woman who doesn’t like fiddling with gigantic and unwieldy bags and isn’t obsessed with designer brand names then this may be a good choice. I find that most bags for women seem to be made for poor little lambs who aren’t security minded at all. I can’t for the life of me imagine why anyone would buy a bag that closes with a magnet, yet many women’s bags have this. Those are so easy to pickpocket.

If you think I am being paranoid then you’ve had a more happy life than I have and I envy you. For everyone else this bag is cute enough to go almost anywhere and backpacks are always easier on the shoulder than a gigantic handbag.

LINK: Travelon / ebags

3. UDG Ultimate Backpack Black/Orange inside – €129.95


If you are looking for a more guy-oriented bag here you go. I actually got this for Xmas last year from my husband because I am an avid vinyl collector. This guy can fit my vinyl records in it if I’m going on a vinyl hunt and double as a work bag. The only caveat is that it is massive, so I don’t recommend it for NYC subways unless you actually truly need it. I truly do need it for speaking gigs where I have to set up my own tech. so BOOM.

LINK: UDG DJ / Vinyl Backpacks

4. Zella Live-In Leggings – $52.00–$69.00

Nordstrom Exclusive Zella Leggings are not see through, hooray!

I exercise and I go to work a lot. I think it’s kind of bullshit to spend an ass and an arm on leggings if they can only be used for one situation. It’s also bullshit to fall victim to cheap (or expensive) leggings that fall apart or are see through. These extremely thick and durable leggings I wear all the time to go to work under my dresses. It means that I’m super comfortable all day and I can also use these to go biking when I am not at work. They are so thick you can even wear regular underwear underneath without it showing. If you wait until Nordstrom has a sale you can get these for almost half price. If they ever discontinue these I will cry. The rest of the Zella line doesn’t seem to be cut super great for my body type but these fit like a dream.

Sorry guys, I don’t have a Men’s version for this one. Dresses are office shorts in the Summer and dresses are as comfortable as pajamas in winter with this.

LINK: Zella Live-In Leggings

5. SteelSeries Nimbus Wireless Gaming Controller for Apple TV, iPhone, iPad, iPod touch, Mac – $49.95

steelseries iphone ipaditouch osx and mac gaming controller

Every busy person needs some down time. In my case I play GTA: Liberty City on my iPad Pro. This controller lets me do that easily.

LINK: SteelSeries Nimbus Wireless Gaming Controller

6. Apple Pencil for iPad Pro – $99.00

Apple Pencil for iPad Pro

Any artist who has an iPad needs this. Why? Because you can turn your iPad Pro into a WACOM CINTIQ-like tablet if you use the AstroPad Drawing Tablet App. I’ll do a review on this in January, but this could actually save someone in need of a drawing tablet with a display monitor some money. I’ve been using this as my primary drawing tablet for a month now.

LINK: Apple Pencil for iPad Pro

7. Aquabee Bee Paper Super Deluxe Sketch Pad, 11-Inch by 14-Inch – $19.70

aquabee bee paper super deluxe sketch pad 11x14

Aquabee is not very well-known but they should be. They have literally the best sketchbooks I have ever tried. You’ll never want to use a shitty brown covered sketchbook from the art store again. The paper is very thick, and double sided with a rough and smooth side. It’s also able to accept wet media. For artists like me who couldn’t afford to finish art school and supplies in college and never learned what paper goes with what media – this just makes it easy because it does it all.

LINK: Aquabee Sketchbook

8. ThinkGeek Star Wars BB-8 Motion Car Charger

Star Wars BB-8 Motion Car Charger

This cute little car charger makes sounds and moves as you charge your phone. It may not be the most useful thing in the world but there’s no law that says we can’t have a sense of humor.

LINK: Star Wars BB-8 car charger

9. Otamatone from Maywa Denki – $25.99

Japanese Otamatone by Maywa Denki

Speaking of sense of humor, I am not even going to describe this thing. Just watch this video.

Oh man I need this. My husband is not in agreement.

LINK: Japanese Otamatone from Maywa Denki

And there you have it – my 2016 holiday gift guide. If you have something art or tech that you think my readers should know about, please email me via the top nav bar and let me know!

2016, Oni's Life

NEW STUFF: New Doctor Who podcast, new Marketing and Life Coach blog focus for 2017

Hi all –

You may have noticed that I haven’t been posting as much as I had before here. There are a few reasons for this.

I have been very busy working on my conventions that my organization, Onezumi Events does in addition to my full time freelance work. You guys know this. It’s also taken a bit longer than I expected – nearly a full year for me to get back to my normal ability to work in Overdrive Mode (my normal state of being) after my eye surgery. It’s impossible to handle everything that I do without being in Overdrive Mode.

I don’t want to go into detail because frankly I am tired of dealing with it, but I’ll just leave it as I may have finally as of 2 weeks ago figured out how to exist with glasses AND contact lenses. It’s pretty annoying to try and life your life when you feel like you have been slapped in the head because your brain can’t decipher what’s going on randomly when you change your eye wear. But I have it now.

I produced over 10 pieces of art in less than a week and for 2 weeks have had no trouble doing what I used to do before I went super blind – but even easier. I did over 47 hours of marketing research and fun with social media data in addition to my day job in another week. So I think it’s say to say that I am back to normal but better. Here is a sampling of only some of the stuff that I’ve been quietly working on behind the scenes:


– Our new (Re)Generation Who Podcast / VideoCast! This will have a launch date quite soon. If you are a Doctor Who fan, you really need to subscribe to our YouTube channel now so that you don’t miss out on the launch. Reviews, celebrity interviews, discussions, and spotlights on Doctor Who projects that you may not know about but need to know about will be here. Hosted by me and featuring recurring co-hosts and yes – even actors from the Doctor Who TV series will be involved. You are gonna love this.

– OnezumiVerse changes: It’s become clear to me that for over 10 years people have been asking me to help them with their lives and careers. You’ll see posts showing up here before 2017 that are Life Coach / Marketing Coach / Tech Review-oriented, like this awesome iPhone case review.

That’s because I am in real life an highly-acclaimed Marketing Manager / Strategist / Whatever you want to call it who really REALLY optimizes / hacks her life so that she can be a high performer. Basically I run shit on Beast Mode and I’ve got the scars to prove it. I’ll be sharing how I managed to get from being so poor that I had to eat out of trash cans to this level – and I’ll share all of my Un-glamorous mistakes so you can avoid those. Hopefully I can help some people better themselves in the same way that I did. This is what a large part of this blog will be in 2017.

You won’t lose the me you’ve come to know.

The Haunted House reviews and all of the popular features are staying, but this blog needs a tighter focus in order for me to remain interested in blogging here.

REAL TALK: I have done theme parks over and over so much that there’s not much interest remaining for me on that topic. I have never had any desire to be a theme park news site and I can’t possibly compete with folks who live in Orlando and get inside tips from their friends who work there before it’s made public.

My Thing has always been my unique voice. I have no desire to just post links to press releases or speculate about roller coaster rumors. Other people do that far better than I ever could.

In order for me to do anything I feel that I must always answer the question, “Do I enjoy this and can I do this better than anyone else? Do I have something to offer that no one else can?”

Well, the things that I do the best are:

1. Running Conventions

2. Marketing and Life Coaching that is accessible for everyone regardless of your economic background

I also kinda rock the haunted house reviews.

Judging by today’s political climate I think this is needed more than ever before. I’ve been considering it for over 10 years because I get so many requests for it. This all started because I got so many questions from my friends that I figured I would just put them online so I don’t have to keep re answering the same questions 8x a week. I’ve started a Facebook group for this on the down low and people are already joining before I’ve released anything.

This is going to be amazing and I think it’s going to help a lot of people. Feel free to email me from the top nav bar on this site to submit a question. I may answer it here in this series.

Thanks to everyone who has followed me since I started building this in 2003. I’ve never been great at focusing on 1 topic, but I finally found 1 topic that I can bring a hell of a lot of unique value to and make endless good content about.

Oh, and I’m also getting ready to open my art shop up again.

In 2017 you will get me, but better. Thank you so much for being there while I went through what ended up being the most bizarre and life-changing year ever. Please pardon our dust here while I prepare for the amazing year ahead!

You guys are the best!

2016, General, Guest Post, Theme Parks, Virginia

Busch Gardens Williamsburg Christmas Town 2016: “Miracles”

This review is a guest post by Kara Dennison.

One of the cool things about Busch Gardens is, if you’re bad at keeping track of time (like I am), sometimes you get surprise shows. My family had gathered for dinner at Marco Polo’s Marketplace during the opening night of Christmas Town 2016, and we were rather pleasantly surprised to see a show start up in front of us… which kept us in our seats longer than any of us had been planning.

For those who don’t know, Marco Polo is a sort of multicultural food court with Italian, Mediterranean, and Asian food, which is now attached to Il Teatro di San Marco. That particular theatre, located in Italy, is known for more elaborate sets and effects than one usually gets at a stage in the park attached to an eatery — likely because the performance space is isolated enough that there’s no worry of confetti getting in your food.

"Miracles" at Il Teatro di San Marco
©2016 SeaWorld Parks & Entertainment, Inc.

“Miracles” is an interesting addition to BGW’s Christmas show line-up, because other than a mention of Christmas at the end, there’s very little that makes it directly seasonally-branded.  You’ve got “Scrooge No More” in England, you’ve got “Gloria” in Ireland — handling multiple facets of the holiday, but both unmistakably themed to it. “Miracles” goes a different route. While you will hear a brief mention of the holiday and see what are definitely Christmas trees on the set, this is more a broadly uplifting, inspirational show. There’s talk of unity, love, family and friendship. There’s a performance of “Angels Among Us.” But it falls fairly solidly into the category of “uplifting”… yet and at the same time, seasonally so.

©2016 SeaWorld Parks & Entertainment, Inc.
©2016 SeaWorld Parks & Entertainment, Inc.

There were four female singers who would trade off solos and four-part harmonies throughout the show. The rest were dancers, with two notable female lead dancers — a sort of fairy snow queen in a sparkling, traditional costume, and the ingenue of the piece, who was in the same all-white ensemble as the rest of the dancers but notably smaller and coded younger. There was no “story” to speak of. Each segment might have its own vague plot to it: a boy and a girl lost in a forest and watched over by an angel, three girls playing tag on the ice, and the like. But this was knowingly an assortment of show pieces.

The costumes were actually quite nice. As mentioned, they were all white, but they weren’t uniform. Sitting close enough showed you that the dancers were in a wide array of wintry clothes. The ladies all had flowing skirts, but paired off with jackets, sweaters, blouses, leg warmers, and the like. The male dancers had an equal amount of variety. Everything there could likely have been store bought, but the decision to have multiple monochrome-yet-unique pure white ensembles kept things unified without running the risk of looking “strict”. It kept the production feeling very real and very human, where matching costumes might have made it lose the human touch it was going for.

©2016 SeaWorld Parks & Entertainment, Inc.
©2016 SeaWorld Parks & Entertainment, Inc.


The staging was overall good, with a mix of traditional and contemporary dance styles. The “contemporary” veered towards the playful rather than the postmodern, which was nice. There was some very creative choreography, but some of it could only be appreciated from straight-on (my group was seated stage right). Most of the choreography avoided this, but there were a handful of moves that were clearly gorgeous from head-on but couldn’t be salvaged from off-side. In spite of this, the majority of the production made good use of the expanse of stage, sending the singers and dancers to all corners and engaging as much of the audience as possible.

My one complaint is an “on the night” one, and not a complaint so much as a minor issue — one of the singers’ microphones was glitching on and off constantly towards the end. A shame, as she had a beautiful voice (all of them did). Overall, minus that one issue, the whole production looked well put together, which is good considering this choreography involves a lot of trust-jumping.

“Miracles” is very sweet, very pretty, and very uplifting. Someone a bit more cynical might tire of it early on, but it’s very much “good and pure,” no sarcasm implied. It’s just… nice. It’s people singing happy songs about caring about each other and believing in miracles and there’s confetti and shiny things and sometimes we need a little of that in our lives.

“Miracles” plays at select times at Il Teatro di San Marco during the entire run of Christmas Town. Admission is free, but reserved seating can be purchased on the event website.

2016, Reviews

Tech Review: Catalyst waterproof iPhone case is what I use now instead of Lifeproof

Remember when I blogged that my Lifeproof case fell apart quickly and was a pain to use? Well if you missed that you can review that here. Catalyst contacted me and graciously sent me a case to review. I’ve been using it for like a month now so I can confidently tell you how it’s holding up.

Holy crap, you need this.

They make them for all sizes of iPhone. Mine happens to be the 5s, which is also the same size as the SE.


GUYS. This Catalyst case is literally the best iPhone case I have ever used in my life. It’s sleek, waterproof, drop proof, easy to put on and take off, and doesn’t make the workflow of listening to music annoying. I’ve been searching for over a month to figure out if it had any problems but I can’t find any.

The case itself feels like it’s a much more durable material than you’d normally see. The stress point of the volume/mute switch is handled by a sturdy plastic knob that you can turn. The volume buttons itself are covered with high quality rubber. You can see that in this picture:


The bottom of the phone has a molded rubber part that kind of acts like a cork. So you don’t need a special adapter for your headphones that you’ll inevitably lose. You can just use your regular headphones. My audio cable in my car was too wide for it because I bought a big one, but for like $6 I bought an adapter just for my car’s audio cable that always stays in my car, never gets removed, and doesn’t get lost. Now it’s seamless from walking and listening to driving and listening.

Considering I listen to music almost all the time that’s a big concern for me. :D

Below you can see the headphones on the left, the power charger in the center and a lanyard attachment on the right. YEAH I SAID IT finally someone got intelligent and gave us a lanyard attachment! ALL CAPS I HAVE WANTED THIS SINCE THE IPHONE CAME OUT. Literally everyone in Japan is probably flipping out right now – and everyone else who likes to collect cell phone charms:


I seriously was way too excited about this lanyard attachment. :D


I was skeptical at first because I’ve been through several cases and never found one that I liked but in my opinion Catapyst makes the best iPhone cases I’ve ever tried – so much that I gave away the case I had puchased for myself when my LifeProof broke. If you want a sleek, waterproof, drop proof case that is easy to use and easy to put on and take off Catalyst is where you need to go.

– Waterproof
– Drop Proof
– Easy to put on / take off
– Easy to use / durable volume buttons
– No adapters needed to use your headphones
– After a month it’s holding up very nicely.
– Great removable lanyard feature

– If you have a fat audio cable in your car you’ll need a $6 adapter for your car, but that’s really not a big deal whatsoever.

Catalyst has my highest recommendation. If I had known about them I would have purchased this on my own. My husband was thinking of letting my have his bigger phone but I turned it down solely because I like the case on this phone too much and don’t want to part with it. These guys should be the #1 purchased iPhone case in the world. They are that good.

You need this. Click here to get more info about it. I am not being paid to say this.