To Inform and Inspire: Why I started South of Scruffy Podcast

by | Jul 9, 2020

Knoxville, TN- Late one night in 2018, I started flirting with the idea of starting a podcast.  Like most of my late-night aspirational think sessions, I figured this too would never come to fruition.  But for the next few months, I couldn’t get it off of my mind.  I was feeling extremely attached to podcasts and the podcasters I listened to.  They were inspiring me, informing me, and subtly calling me to get out there and spread those sensations to a new audience.  The podcaster in particular that I gravitated to was Marc Maron.  Specifically, Marc’s conversation with Director Ron Howard deeply inspired me.  I was in a bit of a creative rut, and being a director myself, I left that episode inspired me to get out there and go make better stuff.  I suppose It’s a given that a lot of that impact may have been due to Ron Howard’s influence on the conversation, but I realized too that Marc Maron had (A.) given Ron the platform, and (B.) asked the right questions to catalyze Ron’s message.  THAT is what I wanted to do.  I wanted to talk to artists, entertainers, and craftspeople, and mold that conversation in a way that makes them accessible and intriguing to listeners who didn’t know that they could care about that guest…That they didn’t even know there was something interesting that they were missing out on.


On January 1st of 2020, I dropped the first episode of South of Scruffy Podcast.  I released the episode on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, and Stitcher.  I was somewhat overwhelmed by the  response.  I got emails and messages about how I was uncovering things about the guest that were intriguing and inspiring, while being informative as well.  I got “Thank You” notes from listeners.  I got people stopping me in public saying that they appreciated what I was doing.  So, to me, the podcast was a success on day 1.  I felt it was a proof-of-concept, so to speak, that I could indeed produce something that could incite the 2 things that I wanted to my listeners to take away: Inspiration, and information.


30 Episodes in, I am certainly still honing: I’m honing the art of listening, the art of interviewing, and also the art of producing a podcast.  Thank you all for being a part of the ride.  And we’ll see you next blog!


-Love y’all, and thanks for listening-

🤙 Ben🤙 

Written By Ben Fields

Ben Fields is a Director, Cinematographer, and former actor who grew up working in film and television. Ben has met lots of interesting folks over the years – This is the place where he gets them to spill their stories.