Exclusive chat with TV Host and Media Entrepreneur – Jason Dundas.
There aren’t many people out there who embody what Open Ended is all about more than Jason Dundas. Since landing his first TV gig in 2003 with MTV, he has gone on to host over 10,000 hours of primetime television across America and Australia, including shows like Getaway and the X Factor. He lives a life of travel and wellbeing, combined with a self actualisation philosophy of success, all of which is underpinned by a fierce drive and ambition that is both infectious and inspiring. Dundas has recently pivoted his focus from TV Presenting, to start production house Dundas Media, partner with some huge brands like Jaguar, Air New Zealand and Roadshow and even keynote at global events. We caught up with JD, to get some of his success and wellbeing hacks that have allowed him to crush it in the media and business worlds.
What have been the highlights of your career?
- I would say there have been three. Hosting the X Factor was one because for me it represents the pinnacle of TV hosting and I entered into the craft with the goal of reaching the top and that is a live format with a TV audience, massive budget with single host that guides the whole show. To me that is the pinnacle of TV Hosting and the fact that someone called and said do you want to do it – it really was just reaching the top level that I always wanted.
- When I was 27 years old, spending all my money and quitting the Aus market on a whim and almost going broke, then landing a job in New York which has kind of changed my life.
- Third was, I took two months off getaway in 2008 to study at theatre school. It cost 25k all up the trip, but I thought I could be a better host if I was more natural, so I figured if I was going to do it I would go full throttle. At the HB Studio in the West Village and 6 days a week. As a host, you learn to be authentic, completely slow down and command the moment and perfect the craft you know.
- If you had to nail it down, what do you attribute for you success?
- I think it all starts with growing up the western suburbs in Sydney and having a chip on my shoulder. Having a ‘fuck you I can do what I want’ mentality has really given me drive. I am a stubborn bastard and hate being told what to do, so I want to defy the odds all the time. I have chronic ADD so I constantly need to solve problems and be making things happen. Which is why I love tennis, you know, it isn’t verse one on the court it’s one in between your ears, it really is a mental game. And a never give up persistence is the key to success.
How much does health and wellbeing play a part in your life?
I got shredded when I worked with David Jones as an ambassador and it taught me that being fit and healthy can help you get razor sharp focus. After that, I went and studied at the world’s largest nutrition school for a year to be a holistic health coach, then I did a course to be a certified PT. After all of that I learnt the biggest thing is moderation, I live a nice little balance. I also really need sleep every night. 8 hours.
What is some easy, practical advice to get started towards a healthy lifestyle?
These are two super simple steps to get started. The first thing is to start with liquid. Whatever you do, for 8 weeks the only liquid you can put in your body is water. That is the easiest barrier for entry into health. No juice, no smoothies, just water and it might be a pain in the ass, but it will give you just enough discipline to make other changes. The next step, if you can do it is to drop the bread.
There are tons of mixed messages out there with diet and food, how do we know what’s right?
Eating healthy and clean is super important, arm yourself with knowledge on why certain food is good for you. The most important thing is to do our own research and read. At the Institute of Integrated Nutrition, I studied over 30 different dietary theories to learn what works for me us balance. We need to look through the noise and find what works for ourselves. The overarching tip is to arm yourself with knowledge and do what works for you… don’t listen to everything and everyone out there.
How have you incorporated wellbeing into your life?
I did, this thing called Muse. I went through a heavy breakup before I moved to Sydney for X-factor and I meditated twice a day morning and night and it was really great. Then I realised I didn’t need it. And now I have realised that my meditation is when I am lifting weights or in the shower or cooking, walking my dog, using Photoshop. I don’t have to think too much, but I allow one part of my brain to chill. Also, flying is a good one for me.
Jason, who resides in Los Angeles, is currently in production for his new series entitled ‘Hollywood Movie Minutes’ which will be produced in partnership with Roadshow Australia and his Hollywood based production company Dundas Media. He is focused on living his best life and building a global media powerhouse. You can follow Jason’s journey on insta and in the online series ‘making it’ which documents his self-made journey from Sydney’s Western suburbs to the world’s biggest stage.