By: Taylor Anthonsen (@TaylorAnthonsen)
“I wanted to check in as I hadn’t heard from you regarding the People’s Ultimate Red Carpet Sweepstakes, which you entered. You were randomly selected for the Grand Prize which consists of one (1) pair of bleacher seat tickets to the Oscars at the Dolby Theatre in LA. Also, you will receive admission for two to the official “Red Carpet” viewing party and a Fan Gift Bag…”
That was about as far as I got in the email before I passed out.
Just kidding. But I did grab my phone, run out of class, and call my mom while screaming like a banshee outside of Sage Hall.
In September, I entered this sweepstakes on Facebook through People Magazine and was chosen as one of 50 grand prize winners out of more than 10,000. It all sounds like a cakewalk doesn’t it? Enter your information into a form, they draw your name, and shazaam, you’re on a plane to Los Angeles.
Yeah, right. Airfare and hotel were not included, so the trip still cost a decent chunk of change for my mom and I to attend. In addition we had to pass background checks before officially considered winners. Anything more than a minor traffic violation could nix our win, so let me tell you, I spent a lot of time pondering all of the potentially bad things I had ever done. Luckily, my mom and I are both apparently upstanding citizens.
Arrival times and seating arrangements were randomly assigned, and we received the earliest one, 8:30 a.m. which turned out to be a good thing. You get there, sign in, and then have the opportunity to snack on goodies from the breakfast buffet, get massages from Olay, hair styling from Pantene, and makeup done by Covergirl. The only thing missing was a large tray of mimosas.
After all of our pampering and bonding, we moseyed on up to our seats, which was directly behind the ABC stage where the beautiful Robin Roberts would be interviewing the stars. It had rained the entire weekend we were in LA. But when it came time for the red carpet to begin the sky literally opened up, the clouds cleared, and the sun came out at 3:00.These people cannot have a bad day.
I was pleasantly surprised to find that every celebrity took the time to pose for pictures, wave, and answer wild mating calls from the fans. The only excepttion was Lady Gaga, who refused to even give a glance in our direction. I was most impressed with a select few who went the extra mile: Julia Roberts, Meryl Streep, Jennifer Lawrence and–drumroll please–Bradgelina. Jennifer was her usual outrageous self, and as for Brad and Angelina, the rumors are true: they are flawless. It’s like they’re not even human, but they posed and smiled for longer than anyone else on the carpet.
Oh and let’s not forget the prince of sexiness himself, Matthew McConaughey. He was the only star who jumped the ropes and came over to the crowd to physically introduce himself to the lucky service men and women in the front row. He took the time to shake every one of their hands and thank them for the service to our country, which I thought was a phenomenal gesture. Jennifer Garner replied to my “I love you Jen!” with a wave and an “I love you too!” Then, a few minutes later, Leonardo DiCaprio said hello and posed for picture. And then, it happened.
I should first point out that I am the biggest Harry Potter fan on Earth. I was in line for opening day at The Wizarding World of Harry Potter at Universal Studios, I flew to New York City on a whim to meet J. K. Rowling at a book signing and my bedroom walls may or may not be painted in Gryffindor stripes.
I didn’t believe it was her at first, but then she laughed.
It was Emma Watson. I may have cried.
Okay, I cried.
After the final celebrities made their way toward the Dolby Theater, we had to accept that it was over. I am surprised officers weren’t needed to remove me from the premises. Even though we weren’t supposed to, we got to walk across the red carpet and pose for a few pictures.
The Oscars experienceat the El Captain was superb. A variety of buffets and plush theater seating was available while we watched the show; it really felt like you were there. Everyone in the audience laughed at Ellen’s jokes, clapped for the winners, and cried at the acceptance speeches as if we really were there.
The day at the Oscars was the best day of my life, but how do I top that? Only time will tell, but you bet your sweet bottom that I will be reapplying next year. I would encourage you to do the same, but then that would lower my chances of winning.
Click here to read more about Taylor’s journey in they eyes of her home town.
Thank you Taylor for the great post and sharing your once-in-a-life time experience!