BEHIND THE CHECKLIST: Getting it done!
A little background info:
I’ve been wanting to have my own travel tv show for as long as I can remember… I would watch CFCF’s Travel Travel and tell my parents that... THAT would be me someday… However, I also wanted to be a doctor, a lawyer, a criminologist, Miss America and so much more!
My parents loved traveling and often brought us along when the destinations where North American, plus special trips to the Caribbean. As they traveled the world for work, they always brought back souvenirs for my brothers and I – mine often being a doll or figurine that represented the country. I traveled the world in my dreams with those dolls and that is what truly sparked in me a passion for travel.
I did my first overseas trip to Greece, without the folks, at 14. School trips to Morocco and Tunisia came next. At that point, I had already decided that I was going to study abroad and was anxious to make it happen. Poitiers, France, was the city of choice for my 2nd year of university – central enough to travel every weekend -- which I did! I set foot in19 countries that year! A couple years later, after my Masters, I was given the opportunity to work a summer in China, which opened up Asia for me.
Through out the years, my desires to be a lawyer, doctor or criminologist changed and morphed into me becoming a teacher for the deaf. However, I still had that burning desire to one day have my own travel TV show and that is what got me into media! Radio was a stepping-stone that ended up being a love affair! So much so, that it took 8 years in radio for me to remember that I initially wanted to get into television! Don’t get me wrong -- I still adore radio and I don’t intend on leaving that career anytime soon, but I was ready to juggle both!
Lucky for me, that happened! While doing radio in Ottawa, I was offered the opportunity to host Before I Kick The… (Bucket) on Rogers – a tv series where I got to show that Ottawa was not The City That Fun Forgot by checking items off my own bucket list! Oh the fun! You can now watch those episodes on my YouTube Channel.
Once back in Montreal for radio, I heard that MAtv was going to start making English programming and I presented my idea of doing a similar show. Months went by without any news. I called and checked in… nothing… It was a July morning and I was shopping at the Ailes de la mode with my friend Amy when the phone rang! MAtv inquiring about my project! I was beyond excited; I actually had tears in my eyes! I know… I am such a big sook! It took another 4-5 weeks to get it off the ground, but I was now an official employee of MAtv and about to host my dream television show!!!!! (**insert screech!!)
The biggest problem that we encountered is that we were not allowed to say that the show existed (because we want to keep it a surprise, right?!), but we had to find participants… Thank God for social media! A call-out was created for a new exciting local show and emails started coming in. Now, we had to match the emails with companies willing to help us accomplish our dreamers’ activities! We interviewed participants and hoped for matches! 18 were done!
An exciting season was on the way
I was also lucky to have my friend Akilah Newton help me out on a volunteer basis as a researcher. In her first week with me, she helped me secure our two sponsors – Fig Clothing and SilverStar Mercedes-Benz! If we were going to put together an adventurous local dream tv show, we had to have an amazing lifestyle clothing brand that was comfy, elegant, a dream to wear and based here in Montreal. Plus, to enhance the participant’s experience, we had to pick them up in dream vehicles – cars that anyone would want on their bucket list! Fig and SilverStar definitely fit the bill and they felt the same about associating their brand to the show – so we had an exciting partnership set to go! **I got to say that I am obsessed with my Fig pieces – which you might have noticed from all the Instagram photos of me wearing them and my favorite car was the GLA with full windowed roof – god I loved that car!
3 months, 10 episodes, 18 participants/activities later – I feel blessed! What was exciting for me is that I’ve had a bucket list tv show in the past, but it was MY bucket list. This time around, not only was I privileged enough to help someone else scratch an item off their list, but I was lucky enough to be invited along for the ride! I got to live through their excitement and their moments of awe! It was such an amazing journey! Seeing someone so excited, nervous, scared, anxious, joyful, hysterical, brave – all because of something you are offering them, makes you live those emotions too!
The fun thing about this show is that I actually got to scratch another item off my media bucket list. This sounds silly, but when I got into media, I said jokingly “I’ll know when I’ve made it when I either interview Bon Jovi or have my face on a huge public poster/billboard in the metro or on the highway!” So, when I found out that we had to do a shoot for an ad campaign, I really got excited! Treated to hair and makeup, plus a stylist – I felt like a superstar (that leather jacket was worth 685$--ayayaille! I’ve never worn something so pricey)! To show the excitement factor of the tv show, a wall climbing facility on Papineau Zéro Gravité was chosen as a background. Great pictures were taken and then the photographer asked, “Can you wall climb? It would be fun to have photos of you suspended”. Always up for a challenge, I attempted to wall climb! It’s not an easy sport – holy! Of course, the photographer could only be next to a difficult climb and I had to use the tinniest grips! I fell halfway through and after shaking off my fears; I went at it again, this time reaching the top and in position to shoot! All I could think of was Tyra Banks saying “model head to toe and smize!” It’s not easy to be pretty while dangling from a rope, sweating and shaking! The end result is cute though and I get to see myself in the metro! Hahaha! Mom – I’ve made it ;)
The show is now ready to go! I actually had goosebumps when I saw the opening credits for the first time. I even refused to watch more than 1 episode before hand because I want to be able to share the same emotions as you – as a viewer of The Checklist! I want to see everything at the same time as you, get excited with you and, like you, start taking notes of what I should do next! ;)
Enjoy The Checklist and remember that’s it’s never too early to start scratching off that bucket list!
MY COMMUNITY'S VOICE