Casually stroll down to Sydney Harbour and see THIS BABY waiting for us to board!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
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?
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? 😉
This past Wednesday Massachusetts State Representative Jeff Roy invited me and my family to the State House for an official “send off” of me to Australia! It was quite the day! My family and I got the royal treatment once we arrived to the State House. Jeff and his assistant, Chris, met us in front of the State House at noon where we took a few pictures outside of the building. One of my favorites from the day is Me, Jeff, my mother, father and best friend Pats all holding the “SEND BMAC DOWN UNDER” sign in front of the State House! Check it out!
Next, Jeff gave us the grand tour of the State House. I felt like royalty! I got to meet everyone we walked by. I was introduced to many different state representatives and other officials in the building. Jeff had informed everyone in the state house about what I’ve been doing with Send BMAC Down Under for the Best Jobs In The World contest. It was really cool to have so many people already know what I have been up to and congratulating me on my accomplishments! I was scheduled to meet the Governor, but sadly he was not in that day. I did, however, have the privilege of being taken out onto the Governor’s balcony where you can see, as Jeff put it “the best view of Boston”
Not a bad view, huh? (And I’m not just talking about Patrick 😉 ) The house was in session on Wednesday so after this, Jeff took my family and I into the House of Representatives chamber in the state house. Once inside, I continued to meet state officials and spread the word about the Best Jobs In The World contest and my quest for Chief Funster. I was then introduced by the Speaker of the House for all of my accomplishments thus far in making it as a Top 3 finalist for Chief Funster. The chamber was buzzing with conversation and it didn’t appear as though anyone was even really listening, but when the Speaker of the House finished speaking, the chamber erupted in applause! I was overjoyed with excitement. I received a standing ovation from the House of Representatives in the Massachusetts State House! WHOA! I don’t think I’ve ever smiled so largely in my life! When we left the chamber, Jeff told my family and I that it is rare for the house to give a standing ovation. I have never felt so special in my life the way I felt when I was in that room.
Next on the agenda, Jeff, my family and I had an official photograph taken of us with the citation that Jeff presented to me on behalf of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. The citation congratulates me and recognizes my achievement of making it as a Top 3 Finalist for Tourism Australia’s Best Jobs In The World contest. Now that’s an official document if I ever saw one!
It was an incredible experience being at the State House where so much important history has taken place and knowing that I am also making history. There were many rewards from this special day in my life and I’m going to tell you the two biggest ones [in my opinion]. The first happened at the conclusion of the day when my best friend Pats said that joining my family and I and watching me earn this recognition was a huge motivator and inspiration to him. I was so happy that I could serve as an inspiration to him. I’ve always believed that if you can dream it, you can do it, you just have to believe in yourself and not set any limits. You should live life and act as though there are no limits, that is when you will find success. It’s such a rewarding feeling to know that I’ve impacted more lives than just my own with the success I’ve had in becoming Chief Funster thus far.
The second most rewarding feeling was when we were in the car driving out of Boston. I was quiet and smiling at my mother gushing over the day we just had and my accomplishments. She looked at me and said, “Brittany, I don’t think you understand how incredible of an honor you just received…” My mother was surprised at my “lack of excitement”, however it wasn’t that I wasn’t excited, because believe me, I certainly was! For the first time since I found out about the contest in March, I felt satisfied and proud of myself because I have finally seen that all my hard work and sacrifice has paid off. Of course the contest isn’t over yet and I am not giving up, but it was nice to take a quick breath and be proud of myself.
The fun of the day wasn’t over yet though, kids! After dinner, my parents and I headed to my hometown’s Town Hall where I was recognized by the Franklin Town Council with a proclamation in congratulations and recognition detailing my success and achievements thus far in the Best Jobs In The World contest for Chief Funster.
It was a jam packed rewarding day full of fun! As if it was even possible, this day really built up my excitement to head down to Australia for finals week!!! Only 2 more days now until I leave! I have purchased a few necessities ( a converter, bathing suit and a couple new outfits) but now it’s time to get packing! I can’t believe this is really happening and I could not be any more excited! (I know I’ve used the word “excited” a lot in this blog post, but I just can’t contain my excitement!!!!) I am looking forward to spreading the word even further of how fantastic Australia truly is! I wish I had a dime for every person who asked if they could come with me over the course of the day. I should really just transport the entire state of Massachusetts down under! They’re all jealous of my experience and itching to get down there! See you soon, Australia!
Soooooo first THIS happens:
Then THIS happened!
It’s been a VERY busy couple of weeks, SBDU fans! Now it’s time to dish out how it all went down…
Second semester senior year of college. It’s finals week. The Top 3 announcement of Chief Funster is scheduled to be anytime between 4:30-6:30am in the morning on Wednesday, May 15th. Do I stay up and wait for the announcement? DUH! That is the obvious choice! Who would be able to sleep through that kind of thing anyways?! But if I don’t go to sleep, will I be able to focus during my group project for my final presentation? Decisions, decisions, decisions! I tried to stay up all night and made it to about 3:30am before I dozed off because my anxiety over the announcement was through the roof and it put me to sleep. Next thing I know, I wake up and roll over to check my phone and it had already started blowing up. It sort of felt like a dream as I was first opening my eyes and awakening from sleep to see the email from Tourism Australia that looked a little something like this…
OH. MY. GOD. I MADE IT TO TOP 3 FOR CHIEF FUNSTAHHHH! I immediately called my mother and when she answered she said, “NO. WAY.” before I even said ANYTHING! Then I hear her waking up my father saying, “Malcolm, WAKE UP! Brittany made it to Top 3 for Chief Funster!!!!” I wasn’t able to talk to my mother long before I get a phone call from an unknown number. I answer , “Hello?” and hear, “G’day, BMAC! It’s Matt McInnes from Tourism Australia! Congratulations on making it to Top 3 for Chief Funster!”
Let’s just rewind for a second…
First I wake up to find out that I made it to Top 3 for Chief Funster and now AUSTRALIA, my dream, is CALLING ME at 5am to CONGRATULATE ME on getting the opportunity to go visit THEM?! How many awesome things can happen in one day?! Try how many awesome things can happen in 2 weeks!!! Ever since this moment, my life has been a whirlwind and I’m loving every moment. Each day I lose a little more sleep, but I gain a little more excitement! I DID IT! I’M GOING TO AUSTRALIA! WAHOO!!!!!!! I got countless texts, calls, tweets, likes, posts, etc of congratulations and they are still coming in! I am very proud of myself and am thrilled that Australia has selected me to go down undahhh to interview with them in person.
For all of you who were worried about me during finals week… I made Dean’s List, so I must’ve done alright! OH, and I graduated from Marist College this past Saturday with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Communications- Advertising and a minor in Business. Not too shabby, huh?
But the fun is not over yet! I met with President Murray a couple days before graduation to tell him about my success in being Top 3 for Chief Funster thus far and check out how we decided to celebrate…
YEP! That’s my ENTIRE graduating class right there SCREAMING “Send BMAC Down Under” and doing the Aussie cheer! I graduated with over 1,400 people and ALL OF THEM are represented here [although we couldn’t get a wide enough angle to show everyone] and how fabulous does that “SEND BMAC DOWN UNDER” sign look?! Thank you, President Murray for ordering the sign and getting the Marist College graduating Class of 2013 to celebrate with me!
I was also featured in follow up articles with The Boston Globe, Newsday and The Poughkeepsie Journal. Tomorrow morning I am going to be on Fox 25 News where I will be interviewed by Gene Lavanchy about The Best Jobs In The World contest, Chief Funster and Send BMAC Down Under! How cool is that?! I am BEYOND excited for my television debut! But what shall I wear? Find out tomorrow morning at 8:55am on Fox 25 news!
Catch ya later SBDU loversss 😉
The announcement for the Top 3 Chief Funster finalists is just a day away!!! Tomorrow evening I will know what my Chief Funster fate is. If I make Top 3, this means that I fly down to Australia for a week in June for final interviews.
It’s a crazy feeling knowing the reality of my future is so close. My heart has been racing all day today with the anticipation of tomorrow’s big announcement. The doubt has started to set in where I feel like I didn’t do enough and/or should have done even more to express my excitement and passion for the position of Chief Funster. I know this is a normal feeling leading up to such a big announcement like this, I just have to keep thinking positively!
I do happen to have a challenge for YOU, my wonderful Send BMAC Down Under followers, should you choose to accept it!
We need to show the contest all of the people who support me and believe in me for the position of Chief Funster. I need you to engage with me on my social media pages and show your support to Send BMAC Down Under!!! This means tweeting to me, posting on my Facebook timeline and sharing my blog. I encourage your creativity for a tweet and Facebook post!
Tweet @BMAC_DownUnder using #SendBMacDownUnder and your personalized message to me! Tell @Australia and @ChiefFunsterNSW why they need to pick me!
Post a message on the Send BMAC Down Under Facebook wishing me luck and why you believe I would be THE BEST Chief Funster IN THE WORLD!!! Pictures are encouraged 🙂
I really need your help for this one! Please rally and support to help me show Australia that I am the one they need to bring tourism to Australia and live the life of a Chief Funster!!!
Dear Tourism Australia,
I would describe myself as a competitive person because once I have my sights set on something, I do whatever I can to reach my goal. After the shortlist announcement and the reality set in that I was in the Top 25, it was time to scope out the competition to see what I was up against.
After checking out the competition, what’s cool about all of the Chief Funsters who were shortlisted is that we all took a different route of how we would get to Chief Funster. Everyone has a different personality. This makes the contest fun and diverse and I can only imagine how hard it is for you to have to compare apples and oranges to pick your Top 3 “shining stars” for Chief Funster.
I have been following my competition closely and it’s been challenging for me because although I truly want to be Chief Funster, I have to admit that the competition is fierce and I really like what some of the other contestants have been doing. I keep wondering who will make it to Top 3 and if I will be one of them. If I am, how will I feel about the other two people who would stand beside me? Although one of my favorite parts of life is meeting new people, I never expected to find a friend in this contest. Over the past week I’ve gotten to know Shay Mirza and if there’s anyone I’d like to see in Top 3 with me, she is one them!
Shay is glitz and glam, which makes her perfect for the eye of the public, but the best part about her is that she is authentic. I never expected another contestant to be so supportive of everything I am doing to win especially when we are competing for the same position. Shay has been such a great team player supporting myself and a couple other Chief Funsters while also doing what she needs to in order to make it to Top 3.
Shay and I have been talking non-stop about the contest about all the “ifs” plus next steps. It’s been very nice to have someone in the same position as I am to talk to. I keep forgetting we are “against” each other. I wish we could both be Chief Funster.
If I had to describe Shay in three words they would be thoughtful, thorough and fabulous! What I respect most about Shay is how she composes herself and her resilience. What most people probably don’t know is that Shay has been receiving cruel messages on her blog from an anonymous commenter. Shay has not let this bother her or get the best of her. Obviously getting nasty messages from someone who doesn’t even know her is not a comforting scenario, but Shay has risen above this radical behavior and has only let it make her stronger and more confident in this competition.
I know Shay would make a fun-tastic Chief Funster, which is why you should to pick Shay Mirza to advance to Top 3! I’m on #TeamShay!
Andddddd CUT! That’s a wrap, folks! Round 2 of the Best Job In The World contest is officially over. Yesterday I submitted my final official report to Tourism Australia of all my efforts and everything I accomplished in round 2. I tried to make it crisp and to the point. Here is a piece of what I sent in with my report. Click below to see the video I made summarizing my efforts for this round of the contest!
There was a lot that I couldn’t fit into the video or wasn’t meaningful enough to report to Australia. I wish Australia could’ve seen my phone ringing off the hook the whole 2 weeks of different people and places calling me back and making moves for this round. I transformed from a “regular student at Marist College” to the CEO of my own PR agency handling my number one client “Send BMAC Down Under”. For an advertising major, I certainly learned a lot about public relations these past 2 weeks. I had dabbled with PR before, but I would say I’m efficient in it now.
I had so many things running through my head before I pressed the “send” button, as I’m sure all the other Chief Funster candidates did. I had so many thoughts and yet none at all at the same time. My mind was blank. I was just staring at the screen. There was nothing else for me to include. I knew I covered everything. My heart was pounding like a drum and I could feel the energy rush through my finger tips as my pointer finger hovered over the “send” button and then *click*… it was gone. My entire report sent into cyber space and in the hands of the contest judges. It’s up to them now. My future is in their hands.
I’ll tell you what friends, I’ve never wanted something so bad in my life. I gave a speech in Toastmasters last week about success and I wrote it based on my feelings and procedure of the contest. It went a little something like this…
When you want to be successful as much as you want to breathe, then you’ll be successful. First you have to want something. Really want something. When you think of this “thing”, you feel the burn in your body. The fire ignites in your stomach and spreads out to the ends of your body. You fall asleep thinking about this “thing” and wake up with the same thoughts on your mind. It’s similar to the way you feel when you’re in love.
Next step: do whatever it takes to get this “thing”. Don’t let ANYONE stop you. It takes 8 “no”s in sales before you get 1 “yes”. Let me just tell you what that sounds like… No. No. No. No. No. No! No! NO! yes. People are always waiting for you to fail. No one wants to see someone else succeed. It’s a dog eat dog world out there. People only want what is good for his or herself. My advice to you? Be relentless. That’s a powerful word right there. Do it. Be relentless.
But don’t do anything that doesn’t seem natural. Do you. Be you. No one else could possibly be you, so do you.
The ultimate key to success, you ask? Do what you love. It’s what you want to do. Everything else will fall into place from there. It’s true what they say, when you do what you love, you never work a day in your life. So do what you love. I really love social media. What I love even more than social media is having fun! Half the fun of social media is showing and talking about how much fun you had living life to its fullest.
Having the opportunity to be Chief Funster would be an absolute dream come true. It makes too much sense in my life right now. I am graduating college in just over 2 weeks. I would have most of the summer off then start being the Chief Funster in August (which is my birthday month! HOLLA!). Yes, that’s right, I graduate in 17 days. I wouldn’t be sacrificing my last moments and memories EVER in college if I didn’t think every second and ounce of the time and energy I’ve put into this job wasn’t worth it. Everything happens for a reason, right?
And with that, my friends, I leave you with this– the definition of a Chief Funster according to UrbanDictionary.com
Chief Funster Search Committee
Sydney, New South Wales
You have all been hearing about my daughter Brittany MacLeod (BMAC to her friends) from her co-workers, mentors, professors, Dean of the Marist School of Management and one of our State Representatives but as her mother I wanted to give you a different perspective of my impressive daughter. I know right about now you are all thinking every mother thinks their child is impressive but I want to give you specifics where she has shined and caught the attention of the world around her.
My husband, Malcolm and I knew Brittany was special when she walked at 8 months old and was conversational at 18 months old but one of the things that has continued to set Brittany apart from others is her singing. When Brittany was little, I would take her out with me shopping and Brittany would entertain herself in her stroller by singing to herself. People would stop me and ask me if I realized how beautifully she sang and at such a young age. After a while instead of just thinking it was a “mother’s pride” that thought she was special, I brought her to a vocal coach to see if there was something different about her. I came to find out she had perfect pitch at age five.
At ten years old we were visiting a historic home in Newport, Rhode Island where they were hosting a Renaissance Faire and they finished a planned event early and asked if anyone had any special talent. Brittany said she could sing and they thought they were humoring a child when they invited her to go ahead and entertain everyone. She was so much better than they ever expected that a couple of hundred people were blown away by her unexpectedly professional voice. People even came up to Malcolm and I afterwards asking permission to take their photograph with our daughter. Pretty impressive!
Brittany continued to sing and set herself apart by becoming the “go to” person in our town to sing our National Anthem at sporting events. One event in particular to be mentioned was the re-dedication of our local Ice Rink, to honor the memory a fallen Medal of Valor recipient and veteran from our town. That was in addition to performing in all kinds of music performances and venues. Brittany still performs while at college gaining attention with her beautiful voice still performing our National Anthem and performing in showcases of talented students.
I was astounded by Brittany one day when she came home from High School at age 14 and she told me she wanted to play Ice Hockey. Well, you’re now asking yourself why is this impressive? Well, you see, Brittany had never watched an Ice Hockey game before. Sure, in principal she knew what it was, what New Englander didn’t, but she had never been interested before. So she set out to play Ice Hockey and had to learn the game very quickly to be able to make the team and compete. Brittany not only made the team, she played Ice Hockey all 4 years of High School. To mine and Malcolm’s amazement, our daughter who is bright, sings and was a cheerleader for 4 years had another talent to add to her list, Ice Hockey player!
But Brittany didn’t stop there. Brittany became the voice of the student body for her High School by representing the student’s point of view at our School Committee meetings for two years as you learned from State Representative Jeffrey Roy. This was the beginning of Brittany’s foray into public speaking and this is important when you consider when Brittany went to college she joined an international organization called Toastmasters International, an organization with over 280,000 members. Brittany is on target to earn her Distinguished Toast Master (DTM) in three years. Once she gets her award, she will also become the youngest DTM ever in the world. It normally takes a Toastmasters anywhere between 5-8 years to earn this honor but when Brittany sets her mind to something there is usually no stopping her.
So now that I have told you all that, I can tell you that the reason I picked these unconnected factoids about Brittany is to tell you that she often surprises us but never disappoints. She is energetic, talented, driven, intelligent, thinks on her feet, and you would be lucky to have her representing Tourism Australia because she will give you 100% of her effort 100% of the time in communicating to the world how awesome Australia is and that everyone will want to “go down under”. That is the type of young woman she is.
I am so very proud of my daughter and all that she has accomplished! She can, and always has captured the attention of all the people who encounter her and Australia will never forget her, I promise you that!
Hey everyone! Thank you all so much for your love and support for Send BMAC Down Under so far. The second round of the Best Job In The World Contest is almost over! Tomorrow I report back to Tourism Australia with everything I have done in the past 2 weeks to show off my creativity, passion and commitment to becoming the Chief Funster by generating advocacy and media interest about why I am the best person in the world for this position. I find out May 14th if I make it to the next round of the contest. Fingers crossed.
A large part of who I am is because of how I was raised and how I grew up in Franklin, Massachusetts. Now that I’m only less than 3 short weeks away from graduating college and entering the “real world” it’s time I take all of those life lessons and values with me to tackle my next challenge and make my mark on the world. I wouldn’t have made it this far if I didn’t have my friends and family back home cheering me on to become Chief Funster. Check out my Franklin peeps showing their support to Send me, BMAC, Down Under!