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Chief Funster Challenge Day #1

Casually stroll down to Sydney Harbour and see THIS BABY waiting for us to board!

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Wondering what’s so special about this vessel? Aside from the fact that Brad Pitt was on it the day before and Lady Gaga was on it a couple weeks back, this beautifully furnished yacht would cruise us around Sydney Harbour showing us a VIP view of the Sydney Opera House, Harbour Bridge, Luna Park and other lovely Sydney homes and establishments.

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We left our shoes at the dock, climbed on board and were presented with a bit of bubbly to help us set sail through the harbour. No cloud above us that day could ruin the happiness and excitement from the exploration of  Sydney Harbour. It was an invigorating experience to pass through the harbour and gaze at the different architecture of homes that lined the shore. I’ve always been a fan of mansion touring and house hunting so it was exciting to compare the homes along the harbour to those of the notable homes I’ve seen in the US.

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There were a good amount of people sailing that day and it was interesting to see each vessel behaving differently in the wind. One sail boat was almost horizontal and looked as though it were about to blow over. I was frightened for the crew, but the managed to keep on their feet and get the sail back to it’s vertical position. I’ve always been interested in learning how to sail so I enjoyed seeing the Sydneysiders making the most of the day out on the water and relishing the wind passing their their hair.

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Me enjoying the luxurious “Ghost” vessel cruising through Sydney Harbour

After the harbour cruise, it was time to get ready for the night’s events at the Sydney Opera House! I dazzled my eyes, vamped my lips, slid into my heels and strutted on down to the Opera Bar where we met up with Ignatius Jones, one of the world’s leading major event directors, creative strategists and event script-writers.  “Iggy” [as he prefers to be called] is the Creative Advisor of Vivid Sydney and Co- Creative Director of Pacha Sydney. He was also one of the Directors of the Sydney 2000 Olympic Games Opening and Closing Ceremonies. As a fellow creative thinker, I was overjoyed to talk to Iggy. It was interesting and enlightening to see his train of thought and how he painted a picture with his words of every vision I had inquired about. We conversed about all different parts of the process of creative events from how to string the lights to making sure there was a sanitary committee for garbage and toilets. It’s the small things that can make or break an event and Iggy understands the importance of event fluidity.

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Cameron and I outside the Sydney Opera House/Opera Bar excited for the night’s events!

After chatting with Iggy over dinner at the Opera Bar, we went behind the scenes of the Opera House to meet with Stephen Page, the Artistic Director of Bangarra Dance Theatre where we inquired about their latest performance “Blak” that we would shortly see. Having researched “Blak” and the Bangarra Dance Theatre prior to meeting with Stephen, it was intriguing speaking with Stephen and seeing his vision behind the performance and all the work that was put into it to make it possible.

Seeing “Blak” was a powerful experience. I am usually not much of a fan of contemporary dance, I generally prefer musicals, but I have to admit that from an artistic stand point, Blak was phenomenal! You could feel the struggle and the pain of the dancers. I don’t want to give away too much of the performance, but the coolest part, in my opinion, was at the end when the dancers had completed their final number and sand fell from the ceiling as they backed away in a single horizontal line across stage. Simply, breath taking!

But the night’s not over yet!

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After seeing “Blak” at the Sydney Opera House, Iggy took us to the Ivy for Pacha! Pacha is known at the best club night in Sydney every Saturday night and TRUST ME you won’t want to miss out on this! The DJ was bumpin hard in the main section of Pacha, but the coolest part about this club is that it feels more like 7 different clubs all in one. When you go into different rooms of the club, there are different DJs bustin the tunes to create different club atmospheres for every type of club goer. There’s your expected techno/electronica, but then enter the next room and you’ve got Kanye tellin you to “ball so hard”. Sound like a good time? Nah. Sounds like THE BEST time! Pacha, you definitely run the night as the best club in Sydney! If you stay in one of the club rooms long enough, you’ll be greeted by the sexy Pacha girls who strut the ceilings above you and put on a brief dance routine just long enough to tease you leaving you wanting to come back to Pacha next Saturday night. If I stay in Sydney long enough, I’d try to become a Pacha girl myself! What girl wouldn’t want to glam up and work it for a lively night crowd?

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While at Pacha, Iggy introduced us to James Brown, the costume designer of the Pacha girls. This week’s theme had something to do with insects so each pacha girl repped as a busty bug. I truly enjoyed meeting so many different creative thinker throughout the night. It was refreshing seeing the similarities in myself that I shared with these key industry professionals. I often feel crazy sometimes as a creative thinker when talking to a lateral thinker, but when you get a group of creatives in the same room, you never know what you’ll conjure up! Perhaps something along the lines of Vivid Sydney? I think so 😉

Not a bad welcome to Sydney, eh? The views and experience only get better from here! So tell me. Are you thinking about traveling to Australia anytime soon? 😉

The Fun Has Already Begun!

I made it to Sydney, Australia! WAHOO! I had a flight from Boston to LA, an 8 hour layover in LA and then another flight from LA to Sydney. I spent a long couple of days traveling and am definitely jet lagged, but it’s so worth it! The fun has only just begun for me and the other Best Jobs finalists.

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View of the Grand Canyon on my flight from Boston to LA

I was welcomed to Sydney by a lovely limo driver named Ross who took me and 3 other finalists from the airport to our hotel in a sweet new Audi. On our short ride from the airport to the hotel, I asked Ross who the most famous person he’s ever driven round is and he told me that he had recently escorted Rihanna around Sydney! Imagine that! Only a few weeks before, Ross was driving RIHANNA around and now he’s escorting little old me! TOO COOL! The hotel we are currently staying at is QT Sydney and let me tell you it is quite the swanky place!

Not too long after I arrived at the hotel, I met my Tourism Australia representative, Matt McInnes in the hotel lobby then me and the other 17 Best Jobs finalists headed over to the Tourism Australia office to get started for the week! We had an itinerary briefing, media training, and some technology demos. I know what you’re thinking… technology demos? Is that really necessary? Well it sure is because we were gifted brand new Nikon Coolpix AW110 cameras as well as the new Nokia Lumia 520 so we had to be instructed how to use them. So far the Nikon camera is my FAVORITE! It was a wifi and GPS feature. I LOVE it and am psyched to have it in my possession for the week and then “real life” after that!

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Today started out very exciting with a media call with Virgin Australia! The 18 Best Jobs finalists paraded out of the terminal in our Best Jobs gear excited to finally be in Aus and rockin our Tourism Australia logos. We then had a special announcement in the Virgin Australia Lounge where they announced that there is a 7th Best Job In The World! Virgin Australia announced the “High Flyer” position. Yep! That’s right! There’s a 7th best job!

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After the Virgin Australia media call we headed to Circular Quay where we saw Harbour Bridge and the Sydney Opera House. We ate lunch outside at the Opera Bar. It was such a beautiful day and nice to be outside. Being surrounded by the iconic Sydney landmarks this afternoon was the first time I’ve truly felt like I am finally in Australia.

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There’s a TON going on and I have to admit I haven’t been as energetic as I usually am because I am still jet lagged. Hopefully I will be all rested for the morning and good to go from here on out! I am SUPER excited for tomorrow’s schedule! We are going to Taronga Zoo, which I have been looking forward to visiting since before I even knew I had made it to Top 3, PLUS we are meeting Ben Southall, the 2009 Best Job In The World winner. I am very much looking forward to meeting Ben because he was a huge inspiration to me when I first found out about the contest. I originally was going to campaign to him to convince him to endorse me in my original entry video, but then I thought if I’m going to go through all the trouble of convincing, why don’t I sell myself and convince Tourism Australia to pick me and that is the (most abbreviated version ever) story of how Send BMAC Down Under was created! I can’t wait to meet Ben in person and thank him for the inspiration!

I’m wicked tired, but we have a crazy awesome week ahead, so it’s time for me to wash up and hit the hay! Be sure to follow me on Twitter @BMACtastic for live updates from Australia as well as Instagram (BMACtastic) and my Facebook page http://www.Facebook.com/Send.BMAC.Down.Under

All 18 Best Jobs Finalists in Circular Quay today!

All 18 Best Jobs Finalists in Circular Quay today!

The Chief Funster challenges start on Saturday! WOOHOO! Which reminds me…guess what? I have 4 extra tickets to the FIFA World Cup Asian Qualifier game of Australia vs. Iraq! Interested in going? Send me a message through my Facebook page convincing my why I should take you and you might just get a ticket!  OH and if I choose to pick you, you’re also having dinner with us prior to the game. This is part of one of my challenges to prove to Destination New South Wales that they should hire me as their Chief Funster. I am judged based on who I bring to the game and the story of the person of why I picked them to attend. Holla at ya girl if you’re in Australia and think you deserve this experience!

Sydney Fun Facts & Must Do Attractions

Ok, BMAC, we get it, you’re obsessed with Australia and becoming the Chief Funster. What’s so awesome about Sydney anyways? Well, let me be the first to tell you! Here are 5 of the “must see” attractions and some fun facts! For more information, be sure to click on the hyperlinked words embedded in this post to take you directly to the official websites for these places.

Sydney Harbour Bridge

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The Sydney Harbour Bridge is one of Australia’s most well known and photographed landmarks. It is the world’s largest (but not the longest) steel arch bridge with the top of the bridge standing 134 metres above the harbour. The top of the arch actually rises and falls about 180 mm due to changes in the temperature!

Fondly known by the locals as the ‘Coathanger’.

The Bridge has an interesting past including its official opening on 19 March 1932. Before the NSW Premier, the Honorable John ‘Jack’ T. Lang, could cut the ribbon to signify the opening of the Harbour Bridge, Captain Francis De Groot of the political group The New Guard slashed the ribbon with his sword. Captain De Goot believed that the only person to open the Bridge should be a member of the Royal Family. Captain De Goot was detained, the ribbon tied together, and the Premier then officially cut the ribbon.

Since 1998, you can climb the bridge during the day, twilight and night. A group of 12 will leave for a climb every ten minutes. The safety precautions taken include a blood alcohol reading and a Climb Simulator, which shows Climbers the climbing conditions that might be experienced on the Bridge.

Sydney Tower

Sydney Tower EyeSydney’s tallest free-standing structure, the second tallest in Australia.

Ranked as one of the safest buildings in the world, the striking design has made the tower capable of withstanding earthquakes and extreme wind conditions.

If you visit the tower, the SKYWALK is a “must-do” attraction! You’ll be walking on air 268 metres above Sydney with the streets directly beneath your feet. An experienced guide gives you an insider’s commentary on the amazing sights and landmarks of Sydney, plus the opportunity to have your photograph taken on the glass platform with the harbour as your backdrop.

Sydney Opera House

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The Sydney Opera House is a multi-venue performing arts center. It is one of the most recognizable images of the modern world and has come to represent Australia. More than 7 million people visit the Opera House each year, 300,000 o whom take a guided tour. It was designed by Danish architect Jorn Utzon and was opened by Queen Elizabeth II on 20 October 1973. Its first performance was The Australian Opera’s production of War and peace by Prokofiev. The Opera House is home to 1600 performances each year including ballet, opera, theatre, dance, music, comedy, kids shows, talks and more.

Bondi Beach

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Bondi Beach is one of Australia’s most famous beaches and well-known worldwide. It has probably featured on more postcards and more television shows and films than any other in Australia. Each year tens of thousands of people, from backpackers to billionaires, take to the golden sands of this wide, one-kilometre long city beach expanse to walk, jog, or just soak up the sun. Being only 10 kilometres from the city centre, Bondi Beach is one of Sydney’s busiest beaches. There’s a host of events held here all year round from community art shows to city to surf running marathons.

Sculpture By The Sea

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Sculpture by the Sea began in 1997 with an exhibition held over one day at Bondi Beach and is now an annual event, held over the first three weeks of November. Every year the coastal walk is transformed into a seaside art gallery as the works of sculpture are spread across the cliff from Tamarama Beach to Bondi Beach. Over 100 sculptures are exhibited in the background of sea and the coastal landscape along the two kilometre coastal walk. Sculpture by the Sea at Bondi attracts an estimated annual attendance of 500,000 people each year to view the sculptures.

I hope I’ve been able to teach you a few things you didn’t know about Sydney and shown you what a desirable location it is for your next vacation! Send BMAC Down Under so I can get first hand experience at all of these places and learn all the ins and outs of being a Sydneysider to give all of you the best advice for visiting Sydney, Australia!

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**Most of the writing in this blog is not my own and was taken directly from the websites that are hyperlinked in this post. I got the photographs from both Google images and the websites that are hyperlinked in this post.