JULES LUND - THE PRESENTER (Part One)
Jules: The first gig was quite a strange experience because it was an audition. I had gone through the selection process - there were five of us who went up to Sydney. We had four hours each to make up a story, on the spot at Fox Studios. So we all did the same sort of things. And I got through that and they wanted to take me to the next level. And my agent asked who else was going to the next level and they said, "Just Jules." So, I knew that it was narrowed down to me and it was close. But they wanted to see if I could hold a full story - a full day. So they flew me up to New South Wales again to the Hawkesbury River for water skiing.
Now, I am nervous as hell, 'cos a few days before this I got a call from one of the bosses - the Head of Life Style at Channel 9 - saying
And I had remembered his name because I had taped the programme credits to start a database so I could send out all my show reels.
"Mate, I just wanted to say congratulations, you got the job."
"I am going away on holiday. I just didn't want to give you the good news, so congratulations ..."
But I was confused and I asked, "What's Thursday about? I am about to go up and do this audition?"
"Don't worry about it, mate. Just don't stuff it up," he said - as a bit of a joke.
And I thought, "I like this guy! And I like where this is heading!" So, I was just lying on my bed in shock because I had spent a few weeks and months leading up to it just thinking "imagine, if I could actually have this job." And then here it was in reality.
So, I went out there on this first gig, sort of knowing that I had it but I still had to prove myself. And there was this amazing moment here I am learning to water ski for the first time and I am on this beautiful, sparkling just stunning, freshwater river. There are green forests on either side, it's a sunny day, there is no wind its just peaceful. There I am getting up for the first time on this water ski - which is exhilarating in its self - and I look over and there's a boat next to me. It has a soundman in it with a boom over my head. And then there's my producer yelling out, "Give me an 'after the break'." So I shout, "After the break I carve it up water-skiing on the Hawkesbury River New South Wales." It was just a magic moment. "This is insanity," I thought. "This is going to be my life for a while."
And it hasn't changed since. It has even got better. To the point that I have never been happier because now a few of the things are coming to be a bit more second nature. So, now I have the presence of mind to absorb it and be a bit more creative - know what artistic license I have and so on.
Richard: What sort of things are becoming second nature, so that you don't have to think about them much anymore?
Jules: Just the relaxation, I think. This is so important with presenting. In acting it's incredibly important. But with presenting you have to be 'you on TV' and in every day life I am not all that tense. So when the camera is rolling and the microphones are pointing at you - you just have to block that out and concentrate on communicating with your audience. I am still learning. Sometimes everything seems to go wrong and it might take six or seven takes to get it in the can. Lots of things are happening. I mean I might do four perfect ones but maybe the sun went behind the clouds; or I tapped my microphone; someone walked past in the background; the producer wasn't happy or something was out of focus. There are just so many things that can go wrong three takes might be you stuffing up and the rest might be the environment - so just focus. Focus on what you have to do and have to say - doing that's got easier. And just 'being' - that's got easier.
But I do still have moments where I might be a little bit tense. What's tricky about it is, I have a big break in between each gig. So, I can't get into a good rhythm. It's good and bad, in a sense. I get a break to wind down, that's a luxury and then I have to get my head around the next trip. So, I am not in a rhythm. It takes me a couple of days to really 'be' in front of the camera again, rather than being in too much of a performance mode.
Richard: You set out through The Rehearsal Room workshops to explore acting, even though your goal was to be a presenter and now you have achieved that, can you define the difference between being an actor and being a presenter? Is there one?
Jules: Well presenting is acting, I believe. You are not being someone else but the true art of presenting is being able to be spontaneous seven times in a row. And that is acting. You can be spontaneous once, because its real, and then you have to do it again and again, and again, and again and again and again. So you have to know how to do that. Sometimes you are faking surprises. Sometimes you are just lifting your centre of gravity, because you have heard the answer and it surprised you the first time because it was exciting or it scared you, but now its no longer exciting or you are no longer scared, so it doesn't surprise you any more. Then, you really have to add that surprise back in. And the audience can't know you have already heard it before. So, you are definitely acting.
But for me presenting is really about faking your energy levels. You have to turn your energy up. You have to be yourself, as you would be ordinarily, but the energy is what you have to fabricate. You have to give it a boost.
Richard: And that is acting too?
Jules: Yes, it is absolutely acting. In a sense they are really similar.
In Part Two of this interview Jules shares his perspective on the job of being a TV presenter.
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