One on One: 2Day brekky host Jules Lund (pt 1)
Adrian Brine is the Fox FM Assistant Content Director and Founder of Spotd, a Talent Discovery Platform that connects talent with Australia’s largest media employers.
Moments after Jules Lund (right) was announced as one of the new hosts of 2Day FM breakfast, Adrian spoke with him to discover how he got his start in the media and the journey Jules has taken to get to where he is now.
Adrian: Let’s talk about your start, is it true you decided you wanted to be on TV after an on air squabble with a Gigolo on a US Talk Show?
Jules: Isn’t that how everyone gets their start? (laughs) Yeah, that was on Jerry Springer. When a mate and I backpacked across the country as teens, we thought doing the American talk show circuit was more fun than theme parks. So we ran amok on Ricky Lake, Queen Latifa’s Show, I proposed to a girl on Sally Jesse Raphael, and Roseanne Barr paid us for all sorts of shenanigans. I remember thinking… these hosts are getting paid a fortune for what 6 billion people can do naturally: TALK. So I devised a plan to get myself a piece of that pie.
Adrian: You got your first break winning the “15 Days of Fame” Competition on The Fox back in the day, but I’d imagine that was just a launching pad…the hard work must have followed?
Jules: You bet. The idea of the comp was to take an unknown, and treat them like a celebrity for 15 days. There was the 30ft limo… $3000 a night hotel suite… $10 grand wardrobe… but I saw the education in the other elements. It was like a 2 week crash course in all aspects of the media, and I soaked it up like a sponge. I interviewed celebs, recorded a single, introduced bands at shopping centre’s, posed for fashion shoots, spoke on TV and of course chatted on radio all day, every day. It was a money-can’t-buy experience, and as a 22 year old, it was a phenomenal break.
At the time, I was already making inroads into the industry. I had an agent, and was the host of a pilot for a kids show with Eddie McGuire’s production company. But before the 15 Days had ended, the radio station offered me my own late night show – which I accepted. And Ch 9 offered me a lucrative contract – which I declined.
My folks thought I was mad, turning down Ch 9, because they knew it’d always been my dream, ever since I was a 15yr old running Reach dance parties out of Studio 9. But I didn’t want to build a career on hype. I saw how it crashed and burned for Big Brother stars. And deep down I knew I didn’t yet have the skills I needed to sustain a career, so I turned my attention to projects that would give me experience, not exposure. It was risky. But I had to believe that although I wasn’t striking while the iron was hot, I possessed the ability to heat it up, when the time was right.
Adrian: Then came a hosting gig on Extreme Games, how did that come about?
Jules: Five days after the radio comp ended, I was at St Kilda beach and a crew were doing auditions to host the ESPN X Games for an international audience. Within a week, I was in Barcelona getting the TV presenting experience I could only dream about. With $5000 spending money, and 18 months of on and off travel adventures to Brazil, Malaysia and Philadelphia, I was beginning to wonder how many little old ladies I helped cross the street, in my past life.
Adrian: It sounds like you mastered the art of presenting pretty quickly?
Jules: Quite the opposite. That trip to Barcelona was the most traumatic experience of my career. I choked miserably. And felt humiliated that I couldn’t get one simple piece to camera out. I returned with zero confidence in my ability, and spent years trying to get myself back to where I was before that trip. They say, you learn fears. And I’d just manifested a monkey on my back the size of King Kong. My mentor, Jim Stynes told me to look at fear as the anagram of False Expectations Appearing Real. Overcoming fear really is an art form. It takes practise. And whether you like it or not, it will influence your behaviour. But it doesn’t necessarily have to be a head-wind pushing you off track. Imagine living a life, having not made it, and soon you’ll be running from that. Fear becomes your motivation… your tail-wind.
Adrian: Now I love this, I heard that once your hosting gig was finished with Extreme Games you wrote down your dream job ‘Adventure Getaway Host’ in your journal and set a goal that in 12 months you would be the best host you could be. Is that true?
Jules: Let’s face it. Setting my sights on one of the most sought after jobs in the industry was naive and unrealistic. I knew, there was a snowflakes chance in hell, it’d be mine. But I also knew, that in the future some lucky bugger would be given the next job on Getaway. And that person is out there right now, somewhere in Australia, feeling just as uncertain as me. The difference is… that person ignores the little voice and charges after it anyway. So I simply asked… why couldn’t that person be me?
I then worked a couple of summers at Jetty Surf, saved $10,000 and set out to do every TV Presenting course in Australia. When I ran out of those, I turned to Acting and Voice Over courses.
I also had to look the part, so I hired a personal trainer to lose my beer pot and build muscle. I read autobiographies to learn from performers I admired. I even trained my memory. At the end of the 12 months, not only did I have a healthy body and mind, but I had a 5 min reel that would become my secret weapon.
Adrian: And then something amazing happened and you got a job co-hosting a Channel Nine music show, So Fresh?
Jules: Well, the 12 months were up, and almost to the day I got a surprise call from Mark Fennessey, the executive producer that oversaw my work on the X Games. He was approaching Ch 9 about a Saturday Morning Music Show. He already had 2 hosts in mind, but called me up on the off chance I had some footage of myself. Little did he know I’d just dedicated a year of my life to a showreel. I casually said “Yeah, I might have some footage lying around here somewhere” and sent him three copies. Two were labeled: “For the guys at Nine”. Mark rang me straight back and said, “Not only do they want to sign you up for So Fresh, but in a few months, they want to offer you a Network Contract and potentially a job on Getaway”. It was unbelievable. My showreel had allowed me to heat that iron back up. I was fully trained, and this time, I was ready to accept.
Read part 2 here.
|Adrian Brine is the Fox FM Assistant Content Director and Founder of Spotd.