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Self-promotion pays off for comedian

Ex-Baldwinsville resident chosen as person most in need of reality show.
Thursday, March 23, 2006
By William LaRue
Staff writer

An aspiring stand-up comedian, formerly of Baldwinsville, has won a Las Vegas newspaper poll picking him as the person there "Most in Need of a Reality Show."

It's an honor that Jason Dinant, 24, a 1999 graduate of Baker High School, acknowledges he helped to secure. He recruited friends and co-workers to submit his name over and over to the "Readers' Choice" survey conducted by Las Vegas Weekly.

"I'm a shameless self-promoter. It's terrible," Dinant said with a laugh during a telephone interview. "I called my mom up and told her that I won, and I said, 'I feel like I'm in high school and I just won the popularity contest.' "

In announcing him as a winner last week, the newspaper noted Dinant's resume lists several appearances on reality TV shows, including A&E's "Inked" and MTV's "Fear."

"But anyone that determined for attention isn't going to stop there," the newspaper wrote of Dinant, who also calls himself "J.Son Dinant."

Dinant, the son of Bruce and Cheryl Dinant, of Baldwinsville, has a full-time job in the box office at Caesars Palace Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas, where he moved in 2004. He also performs regularly at the Funny Business Comedy Club at the Aladdin Hotel and Casino.

Although he studied improv in college and founded The Got Theatre? Project, a Syracuse theater company, Dinant said, he never considered doing stand-up until about six months ago, when a friend suggested it.

He's now developing the idea for a reality TV show in which cameras would trail him for a year as he looks to become the next Jerry Seinfeld or George Carlin.

Borrowing an idea from his newspaper poll success, he's asking people to visit his Web site,, which has instructions on how to lobby VH1 or Comedy Central to pick up his show. He also wants people to ask Ellen DeGeneres to make him a guest on her talk show.

In January, Dinant appeared on an episode of "Inked" during which he was shown getting "78784867" tattooed on his right wrist. He said these are the numbers you get when you punch S-U-R-V-I-V-O-R on a telephone key pad.

"My mentality this year is live and conquer. I want to live life with laughter and conquer the comedy world. And I want to do so in less than one year," Dinant said.

2006 The Post-Standard. Used with permission.

Copyright 2006 All Rights Reserved.

Jason the Entertainer (Syracuse New Times 09/28/05)

Fans of reality television might recognize Syracuse native Jason Dinant as "the noose guy" from the MTV program Fear. Dinant, who currently lives in Las Vegas and hosts an online radio show called The Celebrity Corner, described his fledgling television career as a series of shows wanting him to play his "character."

"My line is that Kathy Griffin calls herself the D-list celebrity, I call myself the D-list reality star," joked Dinant, who is currently in the final stages of casting to become a competitor on the gross-out reality show Fear Factor. Dinant is also a contributor to, a reality TV news site, and has been a guest more than once on cable's A&E pseudo-reality show 24/7, which uses actors to re-enact "reality" situations.

Reality shows, he said, have provided him with a good deal of fodder for Celebrity Corner. He said that contestants on these shows have a kind of underground community, and that he's acquainted with enough of them to keep him flush with fun guests. Dinant's favorite was Holly Keith, from the CBS-TV show Big Brother. "You're actually kind of afraid to ask some questions because you just don't know where she'll go with her answers," said Dinant. The show is broadcast live on the Internet, and then archived on the Web site,

Dinant said it was the decision of his producers to make an online radio show in order to reach more listeners and more markets than just Las Vegas. The show now supports direct-to-cell phone broadcasts, so that if people want they can listen on their phones, and also offers downloadable versions through the iTunes Web site.

Dinant's eventual goal is to land a job on one of the syndicated shows like Entertainment Tonight or Access Hollywood, but it seems hard to believe he'd have time to circulate his resume. Besides traveling back and forth to Syracuse to see family and friends, Dinant is hosting the radio show, doing guest spots on reality shows, writing for the Orwell Project and working with the Got Theater? project, which has been on the Hollywood Reporter's Philanthropy in Entertainment list for the past two years. He's doing a philanthropy-related Celebrity Corner episode soon, on which he hopes to feature Carol Baldwin, matriarch of the acting clan.

In spite of his hectic schedule and his success --his show is the most-downloaded program on his radio station's site --he can't keep out of Syracuse for long. He's even trying to incorporate the city into the show, having asked Mayor Matt Driscoll to guest on an upcoming episode of The Celebrity Corner, which will feature the mayors of three cities and the stars who live there. Dinant hopes that New York City and Las Vegas will also participate.

--Russell Burlingame


(Agent News January 2004)

As many of you loyal readers know, one of the most creative and effective ways to promote yourself is to write your own productions. I want to mention two exceptional actors who are doing that and laying the groundwork for success.

One of my site visitors from Minneapolis was faced with the
disappointing experience of discovering that his values as a Christian tended to clash with the scripts and opportunities available in his area. With some divine inspiration, he took matters into his own hands.

To further his own acting and writing career, Travis formed a Christian Theater production in Minnesota and is currently producing a play that he has written called Purified.

Further East, another writer named Jason Dinant has formed a site called Got Theater Project,

Jason is an up and coming young writer who founded GTP in Syracuse, New York. A second branch is scheduled to open in Las Vegas this summer. The GTP works with writers and actors to produce plays and support local charities. If youre a writer or an actor in the Syracuse area, this is exactly the type of group that you should approach as you try to break into the business.

As you read about people like Travis and Jason, you might think, So, big deal, theyre writing plays. They arent stars and they arent famous. Remember that the key to success is to stay involved and to continually seek opportunities. Those who make it or find success in other ways are those who are always trying to do something, and those are the types of people you want to associate with.

Im always trying to remind actors and writers that as long as they are doing something, the next opportunity will reveal itself. In other words, if people like Jason and Travis continue to write and produce work, theyll network with people, theyll gain exposure, theyll make friends, and theyll constantly be involved with others who share the same interests. This is how opportunities are found.

If they simply said Nah, Im not gonna write anything, I just want to be a star, then they end up sitting in their rooms or watching TV and nothing happens that way. Let people like this inspire you to accomplish things in your area.




Got Theater?
by Sarah Stone (Syracuse City Eagle May 2004)

   Although charity and theatre don't typically go hand in hand, Jason Dinant, founder of the Got Theater? Project, has brought the two together to fill a void in Syracuse's theatre scene. Through the Children's Theatre Festival, the Got Theater? Project will raise money to benefit Central New York's Children's Miracle Network.
   "I've been involved with charity as long as I can remember," Dinant said. "Once I started doing theatre I wanted to be able to tie in charity and philanthropy somehow."
   Dinant started the Got Theater? Project in 2003. He had written a script and wanted to produce a show. To acquire theatre space and equipment, he posted signs that read, "Got Theater? Local writer looking for theatre space."
   "People started calling me and asking about the poster for the 'Got Theater? Project,'" Dinant said. "The name picked itself really. Next thing you know I had theatre space, actors and directors."
   After Dinant produced his first show, "Fish Talk," which was nominated for a SALT (Syracuse Area Live Theatre) Award, people started asking him when he was going to do something again. He decided to continue producing, and launched the Got Theater? Project.
   In October 2003, Dinant started advertising a national playwriting contest. The theme of the show had to be family or child related, and all the shows had to be appropriate for children of all ages. Dinant ended up receiving 45 scripts, some from as far away as London, Hawaii, and Florida.
   In the spring, he and a panel of judges selected four winning scripts: "The Mouser's Tales" by C. Glenn Williams of Virginia, "The Tempest" by Joe Sarncola of Auburn, "Flame" by Thomas Hund of Illinois, and "Through the Eyes of Innocence" by Bobbi Blok of Washington D.C.
   "The Tempest," "Flame" and "Through the Eyes of Innocence" will be performed at the Children's Theatre Festival May 22 and 23 at the Westcott Community Center. Tickets are $8 for adults and $5 for children under 16.
   The fourth show, "The Mouser's Tales," will be reserved for Dinant's next project: The Cutting Edge Theatre Series in Las Vegas. Dinant, who graduated from The University of Nevada - Las Vegas, will expand the Got Theater? Project to Las Vegas this summer. The series will also raise money to benefit charities. However, the Cutting Edge shows won't have the same family focus. Instead, they will reflect more modern topics, such as politics and foreign affairs.
   Ultimately, Dinant wants the Got Theater? Project to keep growing.
   "The goal for us is to have a Got Theater? in every city," he said. "We want to have one in Chicago, Los Angeles, Miami. We want to bring the essence and vibrancy of theatre back to a good cause."
   In addition to expanding the Got Theater? Project, Dinant has also started a relationship with a company in Kosovo. The company Multi Media is a center for children's theatre development. They found out about Dinant through Got Theater? Project's Web site,
   "It's a way to teach the children of Kosovo a little bit of happiness," Dinant said. "It started after their civil war ended. They wanted to bring back childhood to these kids."
   Currently, the two groups are just promoting each other's shows on their Web sites. However, in the future, Dinant wants to have an exchange program.
   "Five or 10 years down the road we'd like to bring shows there," he said. "And they can bring their shows here. They can experience American theatre, and we can experience Kosovo theatre."
   Dinant said he's been fortunate to have many services donated to him. To market the company, he has been able to trade services with many international magazines. The Got Theater? Project will get an ad in the magazine, and in return, he will post a link to the magazine's Web site on his site. This strategy has helped Dinant reach theater people all over the world.
   "I really started marketing over Internet and international magazines," he said. "We've been contacted by people in Australia, South Africa, all over Europe. It's been amazing."

Shows in Review (The Eastsider June 2004)

Jason Dinant of Got Theater Project contributed his extraordinary talents towards raising money and awareness for CNY Children’s Hospital. The Westcott Community Center served as a sponsor as well as the host site for a weekend filled by Children’s Theater Projects. Dinant’s plays were innovative and enriching for youth of all ages. Dinant’s efforts increased awareness of the Children’s Hospital and raised over six hundred dollars. We salute his efforts and tireless dedication. Be sure to log onto his website,, to find out what is coming up next.


It's Official: Our Theater Scene Has Enough Edge to Shave King Kong (Las Vegas Weekly March 2004)

New theater companies in Las Vegas never die or fade away they just fade in and out. The latest set to fade in this summer is called the Got Theater? Project ( Headquartered in Syracuse, New York, and founded by ex-UNLVer Jason Dinant, the philanthropically-oriented GTP is ramping up a "Cutting Edge Theatre Series" for us, with proceeds earmarked for "selected Las Vegas charities." Its secondary purpose, Dinant says, is to "help build the careers of writers and actors" with "new writers, new plays and fresh faces - all cutting-edge."


Spotlight on Writers
(That's Entertainment November 2003)

Jason Dinant's Got Theater? Project continues to push forward. This week, he's rolled out a new website (much easier to navigate) and is announcing the creation of a
writer's spotlight on the site! Writers are invited to submit their bios and resume, which will be posted. An actor's spotlight will be next.

GTP has an admirable mission - that is to "Raise funds for charity thru theater! and help actors and writers build careers!" Keeping that goal in mind, GTP is still reviewing scripts for the upcoming
Theater Festival for Children's Miracle Network (see above) to be held in the spring. While there is a $10 reading fee for entry, the contest winner will have their play produces and receive a percentage of ticket sales from their play.

Jason is a Syracuse native who moved to Las Vegas where he majored in theater and political science at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas. While in Las Vegas, his first major play, "The Night That Changed My Life," was produced.

Jason returned to Syracuse where he continued writing. Earlier this year,
"Fish Talk" debuted here in Syracuse. He is busy with a number of projects including administering GTP.


City Of Syracuse: Jefferson Awards Day Declaration

Jefferson Award Winner
Jefferson Award for Outstanding Public & Community Service