In an exclusive interview, the writer and presenter opens up about his experiences ever since he joined the world of YouTube.
Jack King is a writer and presenter who launched a wrestling-related YouTube channel, Cultaholic, approximately one year ago with his friends in Newcastle, England.
While his size and appearance doesn’t quite match the likes of Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson and John Cena, Jack has successfully built a large following in the wrestling industry through his work with Cultaholic. His Twitter account currently has more than 80,000 followers whilst his co-owned YouTube channel is close to reaching 400,000 subscribers.
Nonetheless, there were many challenges to overcome before achieving such success. “I think the biggest challenge was stepping into the unknown. Before we had the security blanket of a regular wage and that sort of thing,” he says. However, Jack admits that there has been some positives since Cultaholic’s launch, “The most rewarding part has been the creative freedom. We get to cover things how we want to do and make our own content.”
Growing up, Jack reveals his ongoing love for writing but never envisioned having a job where he could write about one of his biggest passions – wrestling. “Writing is always the thing I’m always the most comfortable with, I was always interested in it in school and University,” he says. “I did English at University and never really envisioned writing about wrestling. I just wanted to do something involved with writing.”
After graduating from his English Literature degree, Jack says he began to apply for a variety of writing jobs in Newcastle where he was eventually recruited by WhatCulture. “I never even knew they had a wrestling section when I applied,” he says. “I thought that I could start writing about wrestling and the entire thing started to grow and obviously the YouTube channel started and it got big.”
It was WhatCulture’s growth on YouTube that helped motivate Jack to get out of his comfort zone and try presenting. “I knew I wanted to get involved,” he says. “When I used to do it, when I wasn’t too comfortable in front of the camera, I remember thinking I hope this is a good week. I’m glad I’ve got to the stage where I’m not really nervous anymore.”
“I never had any aspirations to be a presenter but since I’ve learned it – and hopefully improved – I’ve absolutely loved it. It was never something I saw myself doing,” he later says.
Change can always bring about fear and pessimism, but it did work out well for Jack, and the Cultaholic brand, in the end. “The biggest challenge [and fear at the time] was stepping into the unknown, the fact that it was all up to us now, and the biggest reward has definitely been the creative freedom,” Jack says.
While working independently can bring about its challenges, it also gives you the ability to do whatever you want while offering a unique experience along the way. While there are a variety of videos uploaded on the Cultaholic channel from interviews and reactions to news updates, it’s Jack’s very own “Wrestlers of the Week” series that he’s most proud of.
“I’m very pleased with how everything is going and excited about it as well as all of the responses it gets online when it goes live,” he says. “I really enjoy when I’ve been able to do a video where I’ve been enlightening or analytical in a way or where I’ve helped people learn about an aspect of wrestling that they may have not known of before [like with Japanese or U.K. Indie wrestling].”
Jack also discusses the joy he feels whenever he receives feedback from fans, like when he’s been told that he’s helped someone get back into wrestling after watching some of Cultaholic’s videos. However, it’s the more personal messages that Jack has received that makes him fully appreciate the work that he does.
“I really like it when we get messages. It’s not common but [it’s surprising] when someone says ‘you’ve helped me through some tough times’ or ‘I’ve had these mental health issues and you’ve helped me and given me something to laugh at’,” he says. “I never really thought I’d be in a job where I could have such a positive influence on other people. It’s a combination of all of these different things, but they’re all my favourites about the work I do.”
Before finishing up, Jack decided to offer some words of advice to people that were interested in following his own footsteps. “Whether it’s wrestling related or not, or whether it’s writing or presenting or whatever, it’s important to get experience. Build a portfolio and make your own blog,” he says.
“Try and find your own voice in whatever you love most.”