True to Form

  Years ago, I was a recording engineer and producer. Seems like an eternity. At that time, i worked with bands that wanted (like all bands) to become famous. I explained one thing to them. ‘Don’t sell out!’ Which I explained, was to not change your style when asked by record executives. 

One band, that showed promise, was one of my projects. We recorded, rewrote, planned and so on. It was looking great. Then when I arranged for them a meeting with the local top talent agent (a friend of mine) i told them to stick to their music. Don’t bend. We had a tight group and great original songs. They left for the meeting. Upon returning from the meeting, they sold out. They in the course of an hour, became a top forty band. Months of work… Down the drain.

I shared this story with you because over the past few years, I have been forced to change my vision, my style, and my purpose to try to fit into what the market wants me to be here in Turkey. But now, I will turn to a page of my life that I should have kept ‘front and centre’. 

“Don’t bend. Those you do it for, just want to break you.”

I have mentioned that i will no longer persue sharing the great people I have met here. Sad, but those who limit, insult, and demean my good intentions will not win. I will hold true to my ideals and will find other ways to share positive stories. 

The Butt Dialing War Correspondent

I have a lot of stories that I want to share, but with my busy schedule, I cannot always get the chance. One story that came to mind was about the “Butt Dialing War Correspondent” friend of mine.
Let me explain…
My friend, with whom I met when he was working at CNN Turk, would travel to many places around the world. Mostly to war torn countries, he is one of those get the story and get a good story kind of reporters. One I had great respect for. You have to understand that at the time, I was the editor of a news agency’s English news department.  I saw a lot of his work on a regular basis. But what about the butt dialing?

After I left the agency and started my talk show, I would get calls from the guy (I’m purposely excluding his name). I would answer, and garbled voices, garbled sounds… emanating from my handset. The first time, I was really concerned. I tried calling back at least 5 times with no reply. A few hours later, he called me and asked what’s up. I explained and he said he did not call. I said that I thought that he was being held captive in some crazy place but no. He was teaching a class… A few weeks later, his number showed up again. This time, I sent an SMS. He replied… “Sorry, I’m safe.”  This did go on over the course of a year. I guess he replaced the phone that liked dialing my number. All in all, it was a great way to keep in contact and I think he appreciated that someone was concerned enough to check up on him… Even if it was for only a butt dial!


Thursday’s Thoughts

Well let’s start a tradition today! Thursday’s Thoughts are going to be about, well just about everything.

Today’s topic… Communication.

We all have to communicate. Talking, gestures, and even tapping on that stupid little phone interface. But what is communication? It is the art or concept of sharing ideas or needs.

With the internet as our conduit for communication, most people have lost the ability to do this. Posting a photo? Comments will be made. Yes. Oh! And likes will surely follow. But this is not communication. It is acknowledgment of the existence of the event.

So. My question here is? Do you agree with my comments? Yes or no? And… Why?

2014 Comes to a close

Well. 2014 comes to a close. In a couple weeks anyhow. Lots has happened this year and its hard to explain some of it. New programs are secret. Some projects were secret. But business was good. Having a voice that circles the globe and training projects that keep the aviation industry safe I’ve had my work cut out for me.

Working on the crossroads show has also been front and centre in my life. This has been difficult at times due to new sweeping media restrictions in Turkey. I’m still working on it however I hope to ‘retool’ the show for an international market. In fact all the programs my company is working on have all been reformatted to avoid problems that could involve incarceration or deportation. I have no political agenda. I just want to share the amazing things and people I have in my life.

So… To 2015… Let’s move onwards and upwards! And that all the hard work of planning, filming, editing, will give the world some entertaining products.

I should mention that one important factor of all this hard work coming to light is in part the help of my assistant Ayşenur and behind the camera, Zeynep. Her skills bring a welcome brightness to the process. Many others have helped out and in due time, their involvement will be shared.

– Martin

On the Passing of my Friend Dean Beitel

Well, this is a tough one.

The other day I learned about the death of a friend of mine back home in Canada.

Not a childhood friend, or one I saw everyday, but one of those people that you meet that have a lasting impression. Someone who has a way about them. You know, outspoken, but sincere, open door policy in their home, and a sense of humour only matched by their laugh.

Dean Beitel and I first met at the Fairview Pub way back in the late 90’s. I was consulting on a sound system installation and the location was decided for whatever reason. Not the usual place to have a business meeting. However, I recall it like yesterday.

I explained the project and Dean’s first question was “How much to I have to pay to get the job?” Then he smiled. The first time I saw his smile. I smiled. From that point on I kinda had a new friend in the audio business. Turns out that I had a good friend. Not one I way every day but one I would see at jobs, meetings of the AES, and later, at his home around Salmon arm, BC.

Dean was dedicated to his work, family and friends. His oldest daughter was his foreman on most projects when she was not in school. Candace was charming. Dean’s right hand at the best and worst of times.

As our work and and personal relationship expanded, we talked about many things. Dean’s drive to work hard and then drive 4 and a half hours home to the interior was commendable. Time with his daughters was important to him. We shared a lot about family life when we got together, Candace and Brittney were a huge part of those conversations.

Our first deep conversation was when I learned that his nephew had drowned. Just a young child. Dean had jobs and bills like most of us do. scratch that… all of us do. For him to take time away from making ends meet he had to make time for his family. My first action with this news was to contact the AES executive (which I was the chair at the time) and ask them to see fit to arrange a 500 dollar cheque for Dean to assist with his expenses. The executive agreed unanimously. I guess Dean was known to all and felt it was a justified expense.

A few years later, I relocated to Istanbul. Unknown to me, in the early months of setting up my “new life” I learned of tragic news from Dean. His words were “I’m sorry I never replied to your emails. Candace died.” …

My heart fell like it never had before. Candace was a gem. Talented singer, the most well adjusted teenager I had ever met. So talented that she asked me to see her musical at her high school. I drove up to see it. A year later she had just gone off to college and contracted meningitis. Dean was by her side up to the end. And then some…

Since that time. Dean never got over her death. His life, his spirit, all but ended. It took many years for him to move on. Even though in the past couple years or so it seemed that he was starting to, I guess he just never did.

I would like to share a line from a song written by Lyle Lovett. I’m sharing it not as a song lyric, but as a toast.

“When you’ve found the one that you’ve become, remember part of you is me.”

Filming Finished now to the Editing Suite

Well. The filming is finished and now to the editing suite. 

The two week schedule was quite grueling with a couple days off for bad weather.  No respite as those days were filled with voice overs and script rewrites. Even washing wardrobe.

But we got everything we need for a pilot and 5 other projects.  Lots of wrangling locations and my changing clothes for each one of them.

I’m happy with the results. Sorry, I can’t say much more about the content.  That information will come when the editing is done. Give me a week or two!



Well. We’re filming interviews for the new ‘Martin at the Crossroads program. Besides that, we are filming the pilot for another program! Details are still secret however I can say that I will be presenting the show. What’s really exciting is that I’ll be presenting it in Turkish!

On secret location

I’ll ley you know when we can share all the details!