We had the good fortune of connecting with Kyle Rainey and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Kyle, what was your thought process behind starting your own business?
I’ve been listening to podcasts for years. Joe Rogan is the one that really sticks out as the first podcast I got into. Since then, I consume more podcasts than I do movies, music, television, video games or even books. Many people, including myself, are thirsty for more authentic and thought provoking content. Most TV shows and movies today are dumbed down, short, and full of political and social motifs. With podcasts, people have the ability to absorb long-form conversations that are genuine, thought provoking, and make the listener feel like part of the discourse. It’s a decentralized platform, mostly free from the reigns corporate sponsors, advertisers, censors and contracts, which allows it to be free and organic. On podcasts, people can say what they think or feel, and share their unique perspective without fear of retaliation from the network or corporate sponsor…at least that’s how it was in the beginning. I like to think of a podcast like a pirate ship. Everyone can have their own ship and operate under their own flag and rules. Of course, if you’re a very successful ship, a bigger entity, let’s say the Spotify Armada, could want to hire you to be a pirate for them, at the expense of flying under their flag. We see this happening more and more as the medium goes more mainstream. So, while podcasting is still new, decentralized, and independent, I wanted to start my own pirate ship. Free speech and individuality are important to me, yet I found myself more and more nervous to talk to people about my views and opinions on any particular subject out of fear of ridicule. So I finally said, “Screw it,” and hoisted up my mast, and set sail into the ocean that is the internet. Now, I just put myself out there, and those that like it will listen and support me, and those that don’t, don’t. It was a very freeing experience, and as the show grows and changes, I grow and change with it.
Can you open up a bit about your work and career? We’re big fans and we’d love for our community to learn more about your work.
I went to college for theatre, and graduated with a BFA in Theatre Performance with an emphasis on Acting and Directing. Throughout my time in school I also worked as a carpenter in the theater’s scene shop, building sets and learning the technical side of the theatre business. As I got out of school, I realized there were 10,000 other Kyle’s who looked just like me and had the same skills I did. So in order to stand out, I marketed myself not only as a professional actor, but also as a skilled theatrical carpenter. That landed me my first big gig out in the NY/NJ area, and from there I came back to Texas to work in higher education, sharing my skills with the next generation of theater professionals. While I had planned to continue to seek acting work and go on to bigger things, the pandemic really changed my perspective. When everything shut down, everyone I went to school with or worked with in the business was out of a job. It was terrible to see, but I knew I was extremely lucky to have a secure job in education. Since then, I decided that I couldn’t rely on the status of an industry to determine whether or not I was going to be able to pay my bills and provide for my family. So I’ve since started taking steps to be my own boss, start my own business and do my own thing, as they say. I can use the skills I have in carpentry and woodworking to build and create for a profit. I can use my acting and performance skills to make sales or market myself for a particular purpose. And I have started my podcast to be an outlet for my desire to create. While this is only the beginning, I have big plans for the future. While it’s important to have a successful brand or product, at the end of the day you have to promote yourself, in all things that you do. Whether it be a small business, a podcast, your artwork, or even someone else’s product, you always have to promote you, and that’s what I plan to continue doing as I move forward. I encourage anyone else just starting out to do the same.
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
I was born and raised in the DFW area, and after coming back from several years of schooling and work in other places, it’s changed so much, but it’s still just as great as when I was growing up, if not better. Dallas has so much to offer to anyone who goes there. The food, of course, is something that stands out to me. Hutchins BBQ is some of the best BBQ in Texas, in my opinion. Also, one of my favorite places to go for birthdays or special occasions was The Blue Fish sushi restaurant. I’d definitely recommend either of those. However, more and more restaurants are popping up all the time, so I’d also encourage anyone to step out of their comfort zone and try something new! And do your best to support local businesses. I also enjoy going to The Truck Yard, a big outdoor bar/restaurant with yard games, live music, fantastic philly cheesesteaks, and various food trucks on site! I always have a good time there. But like I said, more and more restaurants, bars, shops and venues are popping up every day, so check them out! I know the Grandscape on 121 is growing fast, with more venues and restaurant’s coming all the time. Check them out! It’s in The Colony, my hometown, so go support!
The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
As far as the man I am today, I have to give all credit to my wonderful and supportive parents. Life wasn’t always as great as it is today, but they taught me the importance of self-reliance and responsibility. Along the way, they have continuously supported and encouraged me to pursue my creative and artistic pursuits. As far as inspiration for podcasting and creating content goes, I have to give props to on of my favorites, Sam Tripoli of the “Tin Foil Hat Podcast. Following him through his journey as a stand-up comedian, podcaster, businessman and father has really inspired me to just go for it in anything I do.
Other: Linktree: https://linktr.ee/TheBigDumbPodcast Apple Podcasts: https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/the-big-dumb-podcast/id1539315135 Spotify: https://open.spotify.com/show/2GcVpO4rITcDSwJPgojKl6?si=_sBSrlFbTZum0EKjG0Pkkw
all images are my own.