You hear stories about how human beings are capable of quite incredible feats, but have you ever been able to really immerse yourself into one of these daring tales? With Wondery’s latest podcast, ‘Against The Odds,’ listeners will be able to do just that. Wondery, being the mega podcast giant it is, has figured out a way to utilize audio to paint the picture of these heroic stories through sound.
Hosts Mike Corey and Cassie De Pecol will be swapping stories, with the first done by Corey on the Wild Boar soccer team rescue from a cave in Thailand—a story that had a global following just a few years ago. The team was trapped 6 miles deep in a cave with no food, depleting oxygen levels, and no way to contact the outside world. Yet, they were rescued in a miraculous feat of bravery.
Corey is fit for the job as well. A marine biologist and BBC travel show host, his curiosity has led him to explore over 70 countries and other lesser-known parts of the world. His mantra is “face your fears” and he says that the podcast will be able to show listeners how to do just that, no matter how big or small the obstacle you’re facing may be.
Corey sat down with Metro to discuss ‘Against The Odds.’
How did you become involved with this project?
I’ve been doing travel-influencing, specifically adventure and somewhat extreme for about eight years now professionally, so it’s been a while. I’ve got some videos online. I’ve hosted a few TV shows and I’ve got a show on BBC as well called, ‘The Travel Show,’ that I’m one of the hosts on, and so basically, I’m big in the adventure space and known for doing these grandiose adventures to remote places and usually there’s some kind of survival [aspect.]
Testing my limits is what I like to do, and making myself comfortable being uncomfortable—that’s kind of my niche travel. I travel 11 months out of the year and have been traveling since July, and I got an email a couple of months ago when I was in Romania or somewhere just getting back from some trip and I saw the casting call that was looking for an adventure podcast to host for the series called “Against the Odds.”
At first, I was like eh, a podcast? I listen to podcasts, I just never saw myself as a podcast host. But it looked really interesting and I thought I’d look at the script. Once I did, it was about the Wild Boar soccer team in Thailand and the amazing rescue that happened there a couple of years ago. I’m a huge scuba diver. I’ve done about 1,000 or so, and I was immediately drawn in. What really locked me in, the storytelling was great and I did a test read and it went really smoothly.
I love the story and I love the writing and so at 3 a.m., I threw my casting call in and apparently it was a hit. So here I am, and I’m excited. The Wondery team did such an amazing job, I’ve only listened to Episode 1, but the sound design and the way that the story was written was just done so well, and I’m happy to be able to contribute my voice. But it’s a big team that came together to make something quite beautiful, so I’m excited for it to be released.
This being the first podcast that you’ve done, what was that recording process like for you?
My online alias is called Fearless and Far, and it’s not because I am fearless, it’s actually quite the opposite. I had a fear of public speaking basically my entire life, like blackout terrified to speak in public. Through some tough life experiences, I learned that if you do the things that make you really scared and uncomfortable, you can grow into things that you’d never thought you would be.
With my recording process, I don’t think I have a conventional voice—I’ve never been trained to speak on camera or speak in a podcast, I just like emotion. I like making things. I like creating things and I like making people feel things and this is just a different medium for me to do so. Especially with a series like this, where it talks about people pushing their limits and realizing their potential. That’s kind of my story—not as extreme as a cave survival—but inside each one of us is a hero and it only takes a moment of strife or trouble to crack that open and grow and rise to the moment.
So, for me, I’ve had small moments in my life, but I am so extremely happy to tell the world of big moments where others have risen to the occasion and have done incredible superhero level stuff that makes them legends. For me that’s what the podcast is about, sharing those stories to inspire people.
What does the added element of immersing the audience in the situation through outside sounds bring to the viewer experience?
Let me tell you, if you’re looking for an immersive experience, slapping on some headphones and going scuba diving in a cave in Thailand is a great way to do that. The sound design makes you feel like you’re underwater. You hear every bubble and every crack of the cave, and it’s just really, really cool. It’s a full sensory experience. I only heard the rough version of Episode 1 and I just thought wow, this is so cool. I’m excited to listen to the rest because it really takes you there and the story is so exciting with its ups and downs and twists and turns. You can’t help but feel like you’re on a sonic rollercoaster—it’s incredible.
With these stories specifically, what does it say about us as humans overall?
I just think that people don’t know what they’re capable of until they’re put in a situation where they have to do something great. It’s amazing how dynamic, smart and quick we can be in these situations to do things that we never thought that we could do, or the world doesn’t think a human can do. There are countless stories over thousands of years of people rising up to the occasion and being able to conquer some unconquerable event or crisis. Every movie we watch is about these things: A hero who faces struggle and then who’s able to overcome it.
It’s such a human thing, this idea of someone rising to the occasion. So whether it be asking for a raise at work, or lifting a car to free a baby, courage is something we have to foster inside of ourselves to hear these things, and I think this podcast will inspire people to maybe take action in their life. That’s why the podcast is called ‘Against All Odds,’ because it doesn’t seem possible. But, human beings are capable of incredible things, and while we all might not rescue boys in a cave in Thailand, there are small challenges in our life that we can rise to the occasion, and I hope that the podcast instills that in everybody.
Episode 1 of ‘Against The Odds’ is available to stream now through Wondery.