Matt Bray, a Naperville resident and student at College of DuPage, filmed himself checking off bucket list item number 102: sing in front of a crowd. Bray and a friend dressed up as the iconic Blues Brothers to sing "Soul Man" at karaoke night, which he performed for his bucket list YouTube channel, ProjectOneLife.
The idea for his video projects came more than a year earlier.
In late 2011, Bray was sitting in class at College of DuPage when a swarm of floating ambitions collided into one goal. He and a few friends would take a big trip to New York, making some stops along the way while documenting the entire thing on video.
“It was insanely fun and after that trip, I wanted to keep doing that, I wanted to keep documenting,” Bray said.
The trip, and Bray’s fascination with capturing experiences on film, grew into another idea: a bucket list film series called ProjectOneLife. Since 2012, Bray has notched nearly 30 items off his bucket list, including sky diving, riding in a NASCAR, mastering the floating man illusion and giving to charity.
What motivates you to continue to pursue items on your bucket list?
Its just so motivating for me to be reading these amazing goals I have and seriously thinking to myself and believing that I can accomplish a lot of those.
I think the greatest idea I have ever come up with is making my bucket list. I feel if you have ever meet someone who doesn't know what they want to do with their life or what kind of career they want, they should write a bucket list and go after it. I believe it is the best way for people to figure out what they enjoy and experience it first hand.
How do you decide what to put on your bucket list?
Anytime I think of or see something that makes me say “I want to do that,” I immediately put that on the list, no matter how stupid or hard it is.
What’s the process like to create your videos?
Most of the time it takes about a day to shoot the videos, but I plan months ahead most of the time to figure out when I’ll do this, how will I be able to do that, how can I do this and make an entertaining video out of it, who will be there, just a lot of different factors.
For example, with my recent charity video I could have just donated some money and crossed it off the list, but when I wrote it on the list I imagined doing something big, so I came up with a good idea and went through with it.
What have you learned since you started making the bucket list videos?
I learned an extreme amount about filming and editing videos, also a lot about cameras and camera equipment. Also a lot of weird talents such as juggling and performing card tricks.
But I also learned a lot about planning and how to communicate with people in different situations. There are just so many things you pick up because of in different experiences.
What bucket list item are you looking forward to?
I’m looking forward to Jan. 25 because I’m going to be entering a ping pong tournament where I’m planning on making an amazing entrance to the tournament and also testing my skills as a ping pong player.