Greetings. My name is Rish Benjamin Outfield, and I realized today I never made an introducing myself post on here. Kudos to all of you who did, even those who are no longer with us.
I have been many things: a fast food worker, an insulation installer, a call center employee, a video store clerk, a news editor, a tech support representative, an actor, a cashier, a receptionist, an IS technician, a data entry drone, an archivist at a couple of cable channels, a cereal box mascot, an overnight truck unloader, a background check processor, a file clerk, a record store salesman, a costume shop order processor, a training faciliataor for the U.S. Marines, and a television and film extra.
Mostly, though, I consider myself a writer, actor, and podcaster. I moved out to Hollywood to pursue my dream of being a screenwriter, utterly failed at that, and now pretty much concentrate on short stories. From a very young age, I enjoyed reading stories aloud and acting out the parts, sometimes doing so in a tape recorder. In the computer age, I continued to do so, with varying levels of quality.
In 2006, my friend got me a job, and introduced me to the concept of podcasts. The next year, he tried out podcasting on his own, and was actually quite good at it. He and I talked about someday getting together and doing our own podcast, a combination of my loves of performing short stories, and the talk radio format I had embraced in Los Angeles when I discovered they only played terrible music there. It took more than a year before we finally did it, and in the summer of 2008, we launched the Dunesteef Audio Fiction Magazine.
Initially, it was just the two of us, providing the majority of voices, and cajoling others into participating with us. It was something of an extraordinary effort, in which Big did the lion's share of story work, and I concentrated on the conversation segments. After a while, Big's burden was lightened by listeners who offered to produce stories themselves, read submissions, do episode art, and answer correspondence. I realized we could do a secondary podcast consisting solely of my responsibilities, and That Gets My Goat was born, starting out small, and eventually getting more ambitious, such as the two marathon shows we did in 2012.
Big and I talk often about our writing, about selling our short stories, perhaps charging for collections or special episodes, and becoming bolder in attempting to make a living from our words. I guess that brings me to the more personal part of my introduction. I have always struggled with depression, loneliness, frustration, and feelings of inadequacy. I'm naturally introverted and shockingly cowardly, so it takes a great effort to put myself out there, submit my work for acceptance/rejection, and act like a clown around strangers. I've been dealing with various personal weaknesses for twenty-five years or so, and I don't seem to be getting any better.
Having a forum like this, where I can be myself (or at least a version of myself, perhaps a step distant), has helped me have a bit more courage and ambition, but still, it's an uphill climb, and I do sometimes wonder if it will always be. This forum has been nice as a way to get to know our listeners, others out there in the same field, and make new friends. Thanks for posting on here, and for reading through this. Hopefully, it told you something about me you didn't already know.