When I visited LA a couple of years ago, I met Barbara, a tour guide at the then-Kodak Theatre. She took my friend Stephanie and me on a tour of the hallowed grounds that are the home of the Academy Awards. It was an amazing experience being in that building and getting Barbara’s insider’s perspective. She told us about the Red Carpet bleacher seats and how the Academy chooses lucky fans via lottery to occupy those seats. (I suspect one would have an easier time getting into Harvard then winning one of these highly sought-after seats.) Ever since then, I had hoped that perhaps one day I’d get the chance, but I didn’t expect it to happen so soon …
This year, the Academy (AMPAS) decided to change things up a bit. Rather than do its annual lottery, the organization decided to sponsor Academy Fan Appreciation Week. Several weeks ago, AMPAS posted questions on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Tumblr, asking things like, “If you were to win an Oscar, what would your speech be?” or “If given the chance to sit in the Red Carpet bleacher seats, what would you wear?” Since my day job is as a social media manager, I knew that my chances at winning would be greater if I really made a splash—to me that means leveraging as many platforms as possible and submitting thoughtful answers and pictures for all/most questions. My efforts paid off because I was informed today that out of thousands of entrees, few won—and I’m one of them! (It’s ironic that during the day I’m usually the one planning these social media contests, and now I’m actually winning one.)
I’ll be in LA at the Dolby Theatre this March for the Academy Awards. I’ll be sitting on the Red Carpet and will then be admitted to the storied El Capitan Theatre across the street to watch the ceremony on the big screen. And, of course, I’ll be live tweeting the entire experience @dan_quiterio. What a great start to 2014!
This will undoubtedly be an amazing experience and I thank the Academy for it (I just thanked the Academy for something!). However, I’m not content with my Oscar experience ending here. I WILL step foot on that stage at the Dolby one day with an Oscar in hand. That’s a promise.