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A walk to remember on the red carpet

Mercer Islander Beth Laschever, right, with her classmate, Melanie Ruben, were on the red carpet at Sunday’s Academy Awards. Along with fellow classmate Jackie De Tore, from Hofstra University, they were the winners of a college journalism competition sponsored by the Academy and ontheredcarpet.com. - Contributed Photo
Mercer Islander Beth Laschever, right, with her classmate, Melanie Ruben, were on the red carpet at Sunday’s Academy Awards. Along with fellow classmate Jackie De Tore, from Hofstra University, they were the winners of a college journalism competition sponsored by the Academy and ontheredcarpet.com.
— image credit: Contributed Photo

The Academy Awards are a once-a-year celebration of film and its stars, one of the most glamorous evenings of the year, attended by the most glamorous of people.

One of those people was Mercer Island native Beth Laschever, accompanied by two of her peers from Hofstra University in Long Island, New York, Jackie De Tore and Melanie Rubin.

As a team, the three young women won The Academy and Ontheredcarpet.com’s “Oscar College Journalist Contest,” a joint-promotion from the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences and Los Angeles’ KABC-TV. All three girls work for and help produce entertainment reports for Hofstra’s college radio station.

Laschever said when she was applying for colleges, she was interested in New York because she knew the theater world there was the best.

“I’ve always loved Broadway and Times Square,” she said.

Laschever said over 200 teams from all over the United States entered the contest, where they reported live from the red carpet on KABC-TV’s “On The Red Carpet” pre-show for this 84th Academy Awards arrivals. All of their expenses were paid; Laschever said they stayed at the Renaissance Hotel, directly adjacent to the Kodak Theater, where the Academy Awards ceremony is held.

“We’re all very depressed that we’re leaving,” Laschever said by phone on her way to the airport in L.A. on Monday morning. “It was unbelievable; the best day of our lives. It was just unreal.”

The team was in the press room after the show, where Laschever said it was “crazy.”

“When you go on the Internet to check who won, you don’t realize what’s going on in there,” she said.

One of the highlights of the day was meeting probably the biggest star there, George Clooney.

“He arrived so, so early,” Laschever said. “He interviewed with everybody. Me and Mel were in the front row (of the press box), and he shook our hand.”

When asked if he is as gorgeous in person, she said he looked better than ever. Then, at the Governor’s Ball after the show, the girls were able to have a few words with Meryl Streep and shake her hand. They also met Melissa McCarthy and Maya Rudolph of “Bridesmaids,” Octavia Spencer, Viola Davis and Jessica Chastain from “The Help,” and Sandra Bullock, who won the Academy Award for best actress last year.

“It’s been like a whirlwind,” Laschever said. “It happened really fast.”

Laschever graduated from Mercer Island High School in 2008. In high school, she was very involved with Youth Theatre Northwest, appearing in at least 20 productions.

“That’s where I discovered my love for the arts,” she said. She began to bring a video camera to film rehearsals, and got the bug for becoming a videographer.

And that’s what she was doing at the Oscars, while De Tore talked to the celebrities. Rubin is the team’s editor, writer, producer and coordinator. The three submitted a video of De Tore pretending to be on the red carpet, which set this all in motion.

Laschever, who will graduate from Hofstra this year, will have a degree in video television production, with a minor in drama. She also had an internship with MTV. De Tore was the one who got the email about the competition, who then found Laschever and Rubin to form their team. Laschever is happy to stay behind the camera.

Laschever said the entire experience was a huge opportunity to network with professional videographers and press people. She said she would like to stay in the entertainment industry.

“It was a dream come true,” she said. “The response from everyone has been so unreal. Everyone was so great.”

Currently, their “audition” video entry is posted online at youtu.be/m3u9UW-O228.

 

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