Creativity Found: finding creativity later in life

Martin Whiskin – from management to microphone

October 02, 2023 Claire Waite Brown/Martin Whiskin Episode 84
Creativity Found: finding creativity later in life
Martin Whiskin – from management to microphone
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Show Notes Transcript Chapter Markers
Swapping the 9-to-5 office job for a home recording booth
While managing databases during the day, Martin Whiskin spent all of his spare time gigging with his band as well as handling a lot of the promotion that came with that. He enjoyed learning about photography, videography and design that came with that role, but never considered himself to be creative.
As a shy youngster, music was an expression of self and a confidence builder for Martin, but striking the right balance between a demanding full-time job and a blossoming passion is no mean feat. In this episode Martin candidly shares his experiences, detailing the highs and lows of managing gigs and shows with his band, while also maintaining his day job.
When the pressure hit boiling point, Martin took a much-needed break from the music, followed by a layoff from the day job. While considering his next move, Martin stumbled upon the opportunity to explore voiceover artistry.
The band-days experiences translated seamlessly into running a successful voiceover business, with his skills in photography and video production playing a key role in his success. Martin finally started to appreciate and tap into his innate creativity.
In this episode Martin discusses the intricacies of being a voiceover artist, explaining more about the process, types of jobs, and the significance of script interpretation.

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Researched, edited and produced by Claire Waite Brown
Music: Day Trips by Ketsa Undercover / Ketsa Creative Commons License Free Music Archive - Ketsa - Day Trips
Artworks: Emily Portnoi emilyportnoi.co.uk
Photo: Ella Pallet


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Speaker 1:

Because up to that point, I've always been really shy. So I think it was, in a way, something that I thought would help bring me out of myself and become more of a person. In a way, I think there was probably a bit of delusion as well that, right, we're in a band, now we're going to be a famous band, and that was it. There was no ifs or buts, it was just we will be a famous band and, looking back, there was absolutely no chance of that, absolutely none whatsoever, because I needed to scratch that something with passion in it you know the creative side of me, which actually I didn't realise I had until I started what I do now.

Speaker 1:

I didn't realise I was a creative person because I never sort of analysed it. I always just thought I was a database manager who played music for a hobby.

Speaker 2:

Hi, I'm Claire, founder of Creativity Found, a community for creative learners and educators, connecting adults who want to find a creative outlet with the artists and crafters who can help them do so with workshops, courses, online events and kits. For this podcast, I chat with people who have found or re-found their creativity as adults. They'll explore their childhood experiences of the arts, discuss how they came to the artistic practices they now love and consider the barriers they may have experienced between the two. We'll also explore what it is that people value and gain from their new found artistic pursuits and how their creative lives enrich their practical, necessary everyday lives. For this episode, I'm chatting with Martin Wiskins, once a budding rock star and database manager, who now uses his mic and voice in a whole new way.

Speaker 1:

Hi, martin, how are you Very good? Thank you. Well, I say very good. I kept this bit secret when we first said hello just now. But I was at the hospital yesterday, so I'm fine. But yesterday I thought I'd broken a toe the amount of pain that I was in with this dodgy toe, and they said no, there's nothing wrong, you've just stubbed it really badly. But it's still throbbing now, like a day later. So I'm okay, but my toe hurts.

Speaker 2:

Do you know at the moment that you hit it?

Speaker 1:

Yeah, I tripped in our bedroom over a cable which should have been unplugged and shoved under the bed and I thought I'd snapped a tendon because I did that with a finger before and it felt exactly the same as that and I was convinced and I thought I might get crutches and everything. No pain, it's absolutely fine, it just hurts.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, I did that with a finger and I left it until the next day. My puppy at the time pulled on the lead because I was trying for her not to see the pheasant. But she did see the pheasant and she ran for it and she was on lead and I didn't do anything about it. It wasn't until the next day that I went to the GP because it was on my wedding rings finger and I was saying do you think I need to go and get these rings cut off? She said I think you need to go because I think you've broken it.

Speaker 1:

Oh, wow.

Speaker 2:

And I add and they did have to cut my wedding rings off.

Speaker 1:

Oh no.

Speaker 2:

Right, anyway, back to creativity found. So, martin, tell me what is the activity that fulfills you creatively currently?

Speaker 1:

Yeah, it's my job. It's a voiceover artist. The way I summarise it when I talk to people is in the simplest of terms I talk into a microphone for a living. In the fanciest of terms, I help businesses connect with their customers on a more human, emotional level. And in the most devious of terms, I control consumers minds, without them knowing, by using my voice.

Speaker 2:

Very devious. Okay, so what was your life like? Creatively as a youngster, at home and in education?

Speaker 1:

I was thinking about this this morning, really trying to rack my brain for creative things when I was younger and there wasn't much, I don't think I just remember playing. I guess there was obviously things like Lego, which is kind of creative when you start building your own things away from the instructions, but I was never interested in really interested in drawing, playing music. There was nothing really at school. I remember very young actually probably five or six years old doing music, but that was that equated to shaking some jingle bells type things and that was it. But as I got into grammar school, so when I was about 14 or 15, I started meeting people who were heavily into their music and played guitar and that sort of thing and that turned my head, you know, really opened my eyes to I think it was just being able to create something in the moment was like really really grabbed me. I saw people just whipping their guitar out at lunchtime and sitting down and playing a song and people would be transfixed and I thought, wow, I want some of that. I want people to look at what I'm doing, because up to that point I'd always been really shy. So I think it was, in a way, something that I thought would help bring me out of myself and become more of a person in a way that people would take notice of, rather than just this shy person that was in the corner of the room all the time not saying anything. So, yeah, it was music was the first thing that really pulled me into the creative world. I bought myself a guitar, but I didn't actually get one until I was about 18, quite late into learning music, and I taught myself to an average standard, shall we say. I was by no means an expert and never was. But yeah, there was going back to like the education side of it. We did music lessons at grammar school, but it was right, play these notes on the piano the same as I'm playing them on the piano. So there was no sort of creative element to it, was just basically just copy what I'm doing and then you would copy the teacher, what they were doing, to show that you could. I guess you could do rhythm and timing and that sort of thing.

Speaker 1:

I started getting into bands at the end of the sixth form, just as I was about to leave, but there was no encouragement from from the teachers, even the music teachers, to pursue it, to keep going. It was always oh, you're good at football, why don't you join a club and carry on doing football, or you're I don't know good at art, why don't you become, you know some, someone who works in a museum, for example, or a gallery. There was no, as far as I'm aware, no one was pushed with music or the really creative stuff, which was a shame, and I hope it's not like that now. So, yeah, no, I wasn't really pushed at home with it either, like my passion when I got into music. That was it.

Speaker 1:

I wanted to, to be a rock star. Didn't get there, obviously had a lot of fun trying, but yeah, there was no. There was no encouragement from home and I think because my parents came from that age where it was you leave school, you either go to university and get a job, or you leave school and get a job, and because they didn't come from you know musical backgrounds, I guess why would they think that was a good idea to do that? It didn't stop me from trying, but I always had to have a job as well.

Speaker 2:

What did it look like when you were trying then?

Speaker 1:

Thinking back, it probably looked very bad because I was young, with bad haircuts and terrible clothes. But yeah, it would be practicing two or three times a week with the bands that I was in Socializing in the local music scene. So it would be going to all the gigs in town and the surrounding areas and there was at the time, a lot of places to play music and go and see music small bands that nobody had ever heard of. So it was just immersing yourself in that culture and really learning how to get gigs, how to perform as well and how to talk to people from all different walks of life. You would be talking to the venue manager, for example, or a promoter or another band to try and get on their coattails to play with them, sort of thing. But yeah, it was a lot of hard work straight away. But I think there was probably a bit of delusion as well that right, we're in a band, now we're going to be a famous band, and that was it. There was no ifs or buts, it was just we will be a famous band. And looking back, there was absolutely no chance of that, absolutely none whatsoever. But it was, yeah, a lot of fun back in those days and I'm talking sort of 18 to 20 at this point I did music until I was about 35.

Speaker 1:

Trying in different guys is different types of music and it was always very hard work. But as you go through the years you learn that you're not the only people trying to do that. There's always going to be someone better than you, someone who's more, I guess, commercially acceptable than you are, because all the bands I was in were never going to be on radio one. It was not that sort of stuff. I think what a lot of people underestimate. When you're in a band, and especially one that doesn't have management, doesn't have a booker, a label, all that sort of stuff. You're running a business, the band is a business. It has to be, because eventually it will just expire. But yeah, always look back on those days as I make it sound more boring than it was. Those days were incredible and I'll do it all again. But yeah, you are running a business whilst you're doing it. There's no two ways about it. It's just very hard work.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, and you said that you were working as well. What were you doing to make the proper money to live? So all of us would always have.

Speaker 1:

Well, apart from a drummer who I won't talk about, but we always had full-time jobs. It's always the drummer. We all had full-time jobs to fund this experience of trying to make it in a band, I guess. So I was a database manager for 20 years and it was fine, but it was database management. There was no excitement for me anyway, in that I was dealing with names and addresses, millions and millions and millions of names and addresses every day of people who had bought things from catalogs and websites and stuff like that, and that's it. So I would have to segment that into various parts and say, if someone came to us and said, oh, I want 10,000 names who bought dog biscuits, I would have to pull those people out.

Speaker 1:

And it was that every day and it was fine. It paid OK, it allowed me to sustain the bands that I was in because we wouldn't have been able to afford to go into studios and all that sort of stuff. Yeah, it was like being in a band at the same time as a full-time job was. There was no downtime. You were at work and then you were practicing, or you were at work, then writing, or at work and then gigging two full-time jobs pretty much. But yeah, nothing against database management, but it's not looking back now, it's not the most exciting path I could have chosen, shall we say.

Speaker 2:

But I guess you were choosing that because that was something that you could do while you were really focusing and certainly, to begin with, wanting the music to be much more than it became.

Speaker 1:

Yeah so it allowed me to do those things because of the money and the people that I worked with were very good about it. I could take afternoons off. If we needed to drive down to Bristol or whatever for a gig on Friday night, I could always make the time up. But, yeah, it wasn't fulfilling in any way, so I always had to. That's why I always had that music, because I needed to scratch that something with passion in it. You know the creative side of me, which actually I didn't realize I had until I started what I do now. I didn't realize I was a creative person because I'd never sort of analyzed it. I always just thought I was a database manager who played music for a hobby. That was it. I'd never really dug into it until recently.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, so you said that you continued with the music until age 35, I think you said Did it stop? Did it fizzle out? What changed?

Speaker 1:

It did. Yeah, it did stop for a long time. It was quite a tough time, like mentally, for me. We'd done like a mini tour. It was just three dates, but we'd booked three small things, small theaters in Kent for three bands. There was our band and two others that we gigged with quite a lot and at the time we were all just like I guess you would call them alternative folk bands. So, yeah, not like your Martin Karthi or your Bob Dylan, that sort of stuff. It was just weird folk.

Speaker 1:

Oh yes, and yeah, we booked these three dates and there was so much work behind it because we had to sell all the tickets. It was only 100 tickets per venue but when nobody knows who you are and you're heavily reliant on friends and their networks to bring people in, it was such hard work to get those shows together and they went really well in the end and I think two out of the three did sell out. But it's as you're doing your full-time job and you're the whole time thinking I've got to sell all these tickets for this thing. Anyway, that went really well and we did get Like me particularly. I remember a couple of people from the other band saying you know. Thanks so much for sorting all this out has been amazing, and that's not. I've not blown my own trumpet, I'm just you know it was. I think that was something that kept me going.

Speaker 1:

At that point I was almost breaking with the amount of work that was going on to to make these gigs work and try make the band work as well, because we wanted to get it to a point where because at that time the band we was in could sustain the band, and by that I mean we were getting paid enough to get to the next show, we were getting paid enough to go into the studio, we weren't having to use our own money, we was having a pool of money to use for all of the other stuff and we was Getting to a point where we possibly could have had someone go part-time with their job To really work on the band the rest of the time, and that was what we were aiming for. So these compliments that I was getting kept me going, if that made sense. So anyway, we carried on and then we put this big show on them on a Lightship. We like to try and book alternative type venues and again, it was so much work because we had to sell a load of tickets, but we had to sell them at a higher price, which we weren't used to doing because we were only a small band. We had to pay the venue, we had to pay the headline band because we wanted to get a named band in.

Speaker 1:

There was just so much pressure on it and Everyone at the gig seemed to be enjoying themselves, apart from me that's what it seemed like, because I was bringing people in, checking off their tickets and just making sure that Everything was going smoothly. But the result of that was me having a terrible time, and that that's when I realized that it wasn't fun for me anymore, because I was getting too bogged down with the admin side of it, which has to be done, but it was killing the fun, and If I hadn't had a full-time job it would have been fine. But I think there was. Everything was just it just got too much. And then we had a, we had a practice, I think. A couple of weeks after that I said I've got, I've got to take a break because it's too much. So, and that was a very awkward, awkward chat.

Speaker 1:

So yeah, that would have been in the November of oh gosh, 2010, 2011, I think, and then after that, you know, we had a meeting in a pub on Valentine's Day of all days to choose, just for me to announce whether I was gonna come back or not, because that was the three month period was up on that day, just so having to be Valentine's Day, and, yeah, I dumped them on Valentine's Day, so I didn't go back and that was it, and I just during that three months, I was just like I completely lost the love for what I'd been doing for 15, 16, 17 years of playing music and I didn't pick up a guitar for two years after that. It just really, you know, wiped me out and I was just not interested. So it was a kind of a sad end.

Speaker 2:

But I think, I needed it.

Speaker 1:

I needed that clean break to to enjoy music again. I Didn't really listen to music much after that, and now I love listening to music again, so it's all happy days.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, all comes back to the happy ending. We always do get to happy ending on this show, but that does mean that there's there's a bit in the middle where it's not so happy. So still working in data management at this stage and not having the music to sustain your Creative side that you hadn't even realized you had? What changed to bring about how you get to be being a voiceover artist?

Speaker 1:

Yeah, so good question. So after the music, I was, sorry, rewind a little bit. Whilst I was in bands, I was always doing other bits for the band, so I was teaching myself photography, because bands need photography, so we'd have photos. I teach myself a bit of video production because we needed videos for things, so I was always learning these different At the time I didn't know or didn't Analyze it creative things, so I wasn't in the band. So I carried on just like messing around with video stuff, just not for any reason other than to for something to do. I guess. I felt I still felt I had that Urge to do something, but no longer was it music. So I turned to Photos, videos. I tried writing Screenplays, just writing jokes, anything where I was Getting this stuff out, because I'd have so many ideas all the time. I just needed to get things down in some way, whether that was, you know, an idea for a photo or idea for a video, and the turning point really was you, I just got made redundant. That was it.

Speaker 1:

I'd been at this company for about 11 years, I think, so I had a bit of money come through and a bit of time where I could, you know, analyze what I wanted to do and I thought there has got to be a better way than database management. It was fine, like I said, and it treated me well and allowed me to pursue a ultimately fruitless career. Like I said, I would do it all again the music stuff, even if it ended the same way, because there was so many good things throughout that and I would encourage anyone, if they get the Chance to, you know, play music. It's, it's really very rewarding. But, yeah, so I got made redundant from there and I was really thinking, well, what can I do? I didn't want to jump straight back into an office job and put myself in the same position of then having to have all these hobbies again. You know, to have a fulfilling life, I guess.

Speaker 1:

And I was looking around thinking, well, what have I built up over the past few years in terms of skills? And I was looking at my photography stuff and the video work and it was okay, but it wasn't. I couldn't sell it at a corporate level. So I quickly put all those ideas to bed and then thought, oh, I've got some recording stuff from when we used to do demos. Maybe I will record some acoustic bands or some singers or something.

Speaker 1:

So I started looking for new microphones and new equipment to record things. That was my hot idea for about five minutes to do that. And then, of course, a little bit after that, facebook started firing adverts at me saying buy this microphone that you've already looked at, buy whatever. And one of the adverts was linked to microphones. It said record your own voiceovers from home. And I thought, okay, I've got a home and I've got a voice. Maybe I could do this.

Speaker 1:

And it was literally because I had the recording gear. I thought, well, I'm halfway to having what I need. Little did I know that having the recording gear is such a small part of being a voiceover artist, but yeah. So I thought, well, it was this course, with some industry legends, let's say and if I don't enjoy it and it doesn't work, then we'll go back to an office and do data again. I haven't had to, so it went well enough and I just carried on pursuing it. I will say that, looking back now, I'd already built a foundation of skill in photography, and why I didn't think to take that further, I still don't know. I decided to start something completely new that I'd never done before. Maybe it was the challenge of it or the excitement to try something so different. You know, it's really outside of my comfort zone as well Because, like I said, I was very, very shy at school and still in a way I am, but the voiceover has helped me overcome that somewhat.

Speaker 2:

I think, yeah, Creativityfoundcouk is the place to go to find workshops, courses, supplies, kits and books to help you get creative. So if you're looking for your own creativity, found experience, go have a browse to see what's on offer so far. And if you can help adults to find their new creative passion, please get in touch on social media or through the contact details on the website. So when you do the course and then you obviously enjoyed doing the course and thought this is something I'd like to pursue how do you go about getting that started and becoming a known voiceover artist that people will come to?

Speaker 1:

In a way and this is something one of my first clients sort of made me realize that, in a way, all that time spent in bands is paying off being a business now and I thought that's excellent. I can go and tell my mum and dad that all those years weren't wasted. So thank you, best client I've ever had. And he was saying you know, because he was in a band as well and he was saying we used to do this. Yeah, I've done that and we did it like this. Yeah, I've done that as well. And he was saying well, all of those things you're doing now, and it was things like I would contact three, 400 festivals every year to see if we could play these festivals.

Speaker 1:

And it was a constant churn of contacting labels, contacting venues, all that sort of stuff, cold calling basically. And that was what it was like at the beginning of my business as well, just trying to get in touch with people. Probably the why I was doing it then wasn't ideal, but I never had to do it before. Someone else was always getting the business where I'd worked before. But yeah, it was a lot of legwork and social networking, physical networking, digital networking Just a slog, I think, at the beginning. I mean, it still is now, but now I know what I'm doing.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, yeah, you have to still, like you were saying about running the band being a business, and it's the same with artists wanting to sell their art or sell their services or whatever it is. All the work in the background. It is funny that you were doing the videos and the photography and never realized how creative those things were.

Speaker 1:

I think I'd just never been around those sorts of people, if that makes sense. I was always in bands with other musicians, but that was it. That was the circle of creativity was just music, and I just thought we were making music and that was it. I've seen it as this overarching thing of creativity until much later, probably within the last couple of years, that maybe even a year.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, so what does tell me what the day of a voiceover artist looks like, and I want to know more. You've touched on it there, I think, a bit. What benefits other than financial do you think you've engaged from, you've gained, rather, from embracing this way of working?

Speaker 1:

Yeah, let's talk about the benefits first. I think time is and this might sound a bit, but my time is my time. To a degree, I've got a family, so it's not always that way, but being able to start when I want, finish when I want, take breaks when I want go into town, if I need to book appointments, if I need to go out for lunch, if it crops up, those sorts of things, Is just so such a refreshing way for me, because as many people have worked 20, 30 years for other people and when you finally work for yourself, I think it's and I'm not. I don't regret really anything. I don't think in life. But if I look back I think, well, why didn't I try this sooner?

Speaker 1:

People said to me if there was a guy I still talk to, from all the bands I've been in, there's really only one person I still talk to, which is a little bit bad. But he once said to me if, out of all of us, you would be the one to start a business and this was probably 12 years before I did start a business, Eventually I listened to his advice. But, yeah, it's just being in control of my own destiny, I think, and not just being a cog in someone else's money-making machine. The last two companies I worked for was very much financially driven for the boss and their family. Yeah, I don't really hate anyone or anything, but it was not cool, should we say the way that we, those companies, were set up to fund their lifestyle basically, and that's what it was 300 pound bottles of water delivered to their home, For example.

Speaker 1:

Not that I'm bitter, but yeah, it was just to highlight. Now I can buy my own water, but I just buy, you know, Sainsbury's own or whatever it is. So, yeah, the benefits, I think. And also, I've been here through the whole of my. I've got a six year old and a 15 month old and I've seen them from day one growing up, you know, and always look back to the NCT group, the baby group. We were in the first time round and all the dads in there were commuting into London, or a majority of them, every day, so leaving at six in the morning, getting home at six, seven at night, and I was like, wow, I could not be doing that now and I was here the whole time and it was.

Speaker 2:

I would be cross if I was your partner and you were doing that as well. Yeah, I just because that's a long time for a partner to have baby the whole time.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, exactly exactly and it's just. I Wouldn't have it any other or I wouldn't want to have had it any other way because of what I've managed to be involved with. And it goes for for anything, even if it's just as simple as oh, we need to get our wills done, so I don't have to take time off work to do we, just do it. I'm here the whole time, so it's not like I'm Bunking off work to do it, it's just Anyway. So yeah, the benefits are Really very personal benefits. I think it just makes life better. You feel free, you feel in control and just just happier. I think not that I was, you know, in a bad way working for other people, but you don't realize until you're You're now doing something for yourself. The difference in in mentality behind it. I guess.

Speaker 2:

And you said about. We will come back to the day today. I haven't forgotten that bit. But you said about being a shy child and Behind the microphone, both as a voiceover artist and in the band, or behind a guitar in the band. Do you feel that that's another benefit on your? Do you feel more confident? Do you feel more approachable?

Speaker 1:

Yes. So I think the whole time I was in bands I was still a shy person, apart from when I was on stage. I could say anything on stage, I just didn't, didn't care. There was no, no limit to to what I was doing up there. Probably would have been different if I was a solo artist. I don't think I would have had the guts to do that. I was always, I don't say hiding behind a band, but you're a team, you're an entity rather than just one, one person. So, yeah, I was always very shy All through my work life as well, and I think Voice over plus running a business is what has really grown me, because I've had to.

Speaker 1:

I haven't had a choice. I jumped into a career that demands speaking. There's what it is, and before that I didn't like speaking to people. But with with running a business specifically, you know I have to get out there and meet people and as soon as I started doing that and seeing that everyone, no matter what business they're running, everyone's in the same boat and on the same level and all ages as well. I know people who are running their own business at 22 people in their 70s running their own business and it's just not a daunting place. Everyone's in it together, I think and that and that has really helped surrounding myself with, you know, other businesses as a network has really helped my confidence to realize that yes, I am, I am actually doing this. It's not a dream, it's not gonna fail tomorrow, it's happening. But yeah, I think Talking every day obviously helps. I think that the bigger part of it is running the business has given me that confidence. I've just had to get out there and do it and, by default, I've grown as a person.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, perfect, let's go back then. What does? What does a job look like when somebody wants to employ a voice over artist?

Speaker 1:

Yeah, so I'll try and keep it as I mean. It's probably not gonna sound that interesting, depending on what type of job I my pick. Let's have a think here, because there's lots, so many different types of voice over job. It could be a telephone message that someone asks for, or it could be a character in a video game, so both of them will be completely different things. Let's just say let's take a narration for a piece of software that a company is teaching their staff how to use some new software, something like that. So if they don't come to me direct, if I haven't already got that relationship, they might come through my website, which is thanks to my SEO man. He's done a very good job. Or I will Find auditions for work as well. But let's just say it's a direct relationship.

Speaker 1:

So they sent me a script. I Will check through the script to and it sounds bad. But I have to check the script for spelling mistakes, grammar mistakes, punctuation, all that sort of stuff, in order to limit the amount of mistakes that I could potentially make when I'm recording, because I don't want to get to a bit I mean, oh, that's, that doesn't sound right. I need to make sure it's. It's gonna flow. So go through the script like that, first of all in a very analytical way, and then I will look at it in a more human way, so working out what they're trying to say, how it should be said. The message is the meaning. I should have picked a commercial, really, because there's not always that much emotion and meaning behind a piece of software Training, but it kind of works for all scripts. You got to work out who you're talking to, so who it's for. You got to work out who I am and my member of staff for that company, because I should never be me I, because I have to embody that company's history, the ethos, the ideas behind it, all that sort of stuff. So I'll analyze it twice and then I will go through marking up the script. If it's thousands of words long, I don't do this. I will sight read it and just voice it the first time I see it sort of thing. But I will go through the script and mark bits where I should pause, where I should go up or down, maybe add in a piece of emotion, that sort of thing or a little chuckle here and there. If it's e-learning again bad example. But commercials or video games, you can add things in like that to make it more real.

Speaker 1:

Decide on how you're going to speak it, depending on the company. If they're. I don't know why I'm thinking of this example. I don't know why they would need it, but piece of software training for Funeral Parlor might be voiced in a different way to a piece of software training for a cool new high-tech company in the middle of London, for example. They're going to want a different style of voice.

Speaker 1:

So, yeah, it's really just about a lot of thinking before and during the job. It's not just getting behind the microphone and talking, which I think a lot of people think it is, and then after we'll ignore the talking part because that's self-explanatory. But then afterwards there will be an element of editing. Some jobs require you to edit it completely, so you produce it, taking out any mistakes as you will know from an editing podcast, coughs, that sort of thing and sometimes editing it to the time of a video as well, so that it all syncs in with bits and pieces, and then sending it off to the client. Sometimes people dial in to listen while I'm doing it, to give direction as well, because a lot of it is left open to my interpretation and some people don't want you to get that wrong, so they will tell you straight away on the line no, let's do it this way, and then you get that process of completing it finished quicker. I hope that explains it in a way.

Speaker 2:

Definitely the most interesting thing about it to me because I'm an editor, but just generally, it's the interpretation of it. It's not just a matter of getting some words on a page and then just reading it. The interpretation, the adaptation, whatever needs to be done, I think sounds really interesting.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, maybe pick up on that. But there's a TV commercial airing in Greece at the minute, the fame TV in Greece, a vodka advert that I did some voiceover for, and it's just three words at the end of the advert and that sounds like nothing. But it's all about how you're interpreting those words to fit with the music, the video itself. So it's a party, this really cool hip party. People were dancing and someone's got a big dog head on in it. So it's kind of edgy, cool, weird for this vodka brand.

Speaker 1:

And when we was doing the recording they were listening in and it was a. I started doing it in the way that I'd interpreted it and they went, oh, can we do it a bit sexier? So then obviously you have to become this cool guy at the party maybe who is yeah, so it was. Instead of just sarcophah, it became sarcophah, that sort of thing. Yeah, so it's Because obviously when you interpret a script, I've got an idea of how it should sound, but then the client and the director has a very distinct idea and if you don't get it, then they will tell you, you know, and that's how it works, and you can't be right the whole time, and especially for things like commercials. They need it to be spot on because they're trying to sell stuff.

Speaker 2:

Ultimately, that's really funny, that's really interesting with you. How do you interpret it? Three words.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, and that's it. But that's one of the things that has always drawn me to it, I think, is being able to get that message across in such a short amount of time, because you can just say I think it was sarcophah, pure greatness, and that's all it was, and you could do it. You could just say it straight sarcophah, pure greatness. They said, oh, let's try this. Sorry, that was my comment. I hope you can edit that bit. But yeah, it's just playing with the words rather than just reading them. I think it's the way to look at it and you can. You could say, right, do it sexy, like they said, or do it aloof, or do it really bubbly. You know, there's so many different ways you can say the same thing, and the example I always think of is the phrase I love you. That could be said to your partner because you love them. It could be said to your partner as they're carrying their bags off down the street after ending the marriage. I love you, you know. But then it just depends what it's for.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, brilliant, fascinating. Thank you. What plans do you have for the future?

Speaker 1:

A couple of things at the minute, going back to music as well. Actually, one of them and last year sometime I said to a couple of other voiceover contacts I'd be good to get together and do something about anxiety we will be creating this, this cool piece, with all of our voices in it. I think it'd be quite effective and I wanted to do it because of my experiences with anxiety. But this group that I was talking to all have or has had experiences with anxiety is rife in the voiceover industry, for whatever reason, I don't know. Also, it seems.

Speaker 1:

So we started talking and it grew into this thing where there's 10 voiceover artists. We had a script writer for it, we've got an animator and a composer for it as well. So we've created this, this three, three and a half minute piece about anxiety, where we're all playing the same character but our voices are changing all the way through, if that makes sense. So it starts with me, goes to, goes to someone else, then it goes to someone else, but all playing the same person, to try and depict that anxiety can really hit anyone you know that's something.

Speaker 1:

If we pull it off, it's with the animator at the minute and everyone's done it for for free. Everyone has offered their services up for this this crazy idea of a voiceover piece about anxiety that has grown into a visual audio experience. I could have just said I've got a video coming out, but I wanted to explain what's behind it and I've got a song in the works as well, the first song that I would have created since leaving bands all them years ago, which is really nice to have have done it, but now I know the right people to be working on it with. It's called Everybody Knows a Dave, because it became apparent to me that whilst I was networking that everybody, in some way or another, some know someone called Dave and it was just. It just became this thing, but the story behind it is that Dave is this character that everybody knows but might not know that they know him and being the person that you can talk to if you're suffering, because I know that a lot of people who suffer from mental health problems and I've been there and a lot of other people I network with have had similar problems. The opening up that dialogue is the tough part, but there will always be someone that you can talk to, whether you realize or not, and that's really what the song is trying to say. But it's a music based project. That's quite a silly happy song about something that's quite serious.

Speaker 1:

And I'm involved in a couple of podcasts, so one called Hidden by Design which is out now, and that's all about design, basically All the sort of the theory behind it, in a fun way. It's always feel strange saying that it's fun, because I find it fun. I don't know if the listeners do or not. But and another one that will be released, hopefully this year, called the A to Z of VoiceOver, and it's literally 26 episodes about VoiceOver A for auditions, b for booth and then all the way through the alphabet, but very short episodes, two or three minutes maximum each, and there I guess comedy sketches about these things, rather than just saying oh, a is for auditions. In an audition you do blah, blah, blah blah. So it's a bit of a twist on the typical VoiceOver podcast, shall we say.

Speaker 2:

Oh, brilliant, that sounds really fun.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, so lots of different bits and pieces. And again it's even though I'm scratching the itch every day with my job, I still find myself taking on these other projects to make stuff. I just can't stop. I don't think. I don't think I ever will.

Speaker 2:

Well, I think you've opened your mind to those possibilities, haven't you? And then your mind will keep welcoming the new ideas, and then go ahead and see which ones are worth pursuing. Absolutely you might even try some and then decide I shouldn't have bothered with that one.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, but I think now I'm in the position because it's all under my own steam now. I'm in the position to try things and if it doesn't work, to say, well, I've tried it, let's do something else. And that's down to me. That's my choice, you know, it's not on anyone else.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, yeah, perfect, and that's, you might try something, and it doesn't work, and it doesn't matter. As long as you are happy to say it doesn't matter that one didn't work yes, so I think it's something else instead. Absolutely fine. Love that. Tell me, Martin, how can people connect with you?

Speaker 1:

My website is martinwiskincouk. I was very inventive when I came up with my business name or LinkedIn. Yeah, it's just MartinWiskin on there. I think I'm the only MartinWiskin. And I'm on TikTok as well now, which I'm a little bit afraid of. I don't really know what's going on over there. But yeah, tiktok as well again, martinwiskin.

Speaker 2:

Brilliant Martin, do you want to mention the Creative Collective?

Speaker 1:

Yes, so I also run a networking group for creative businesses. It's called the Creative Collective and we meet every other Wednesday at 1 pm on Zoom and it's just a bunch of creative people meeting each other and then out of that comes business and everyone makes loads of money. Well, that's the theory anyway. Yeah, but yeah, so we've had videographers, photographers, photographers, voiceover artists, obviously, opera singers, knife makers, web designers, graphic designers, book publishers, authors, editors, all of that. You know, anything that's linked to the creative industries. Yeah, more than welcome, and it's all about collaboration. We want people to work with each other and we've had some great successes of people having never met before in the group. They come in the group, they meet each other and go off and, do you know, work on great projects. It's really really nice thing.

Speaker 2:

Listeners will know I'm a great champion of networking and I've been to one of the creative collective meetings so far. And I'm booked on to the next one as well.

Speaker 1:

Brilliant, because I thoroughly enjoyed it, thank you thank you, we didn't plan this bit at all. By the way, it's Thank you so much for speaking with me today.

Speaker 2:

It's been an absolute joy.

Speaker 1:

No worries, thank you very much Thanks so much for listening to Creativity Found.

Speaker 2:

If your podcast app has helped you and your podcast app has the facility, please leave a rating and review. To help other people find us On Instagram and Facebook, follow Act Creativity Found podcast and on Pinterest, look for Act Creativity Found. And finally, don't forget to check out creativityfoundcouk, the website connecting adults who want to find a creative outlet with the artists and crafters who can help them tap into their creativity.

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