COLUMBIA — Becky Bohlmeyer’s colleagues could tell something was awry by her tone of voice as she held the receiver to her ear. An unexpected phone call had interrupted Bohlmeyer’s otherwise ordinary Thursday as a computer programmer at MU.
After finishing the conversation, Bohlmeyer went to check her email, as the woman on the other end of the line had reminded her to do. Bohlmeyer was so shaky she could barely type in her password. When she finally got through, a message lingered in her inbox that confirmed what she had just been told.
Bohlmeyer had won a trip to the red carpet in Los Angeles to the finale celebration for “The Closer,” a TNT crime drama. The show stars Kyra Sedgwick as Brenda Johnson, an LAPD deputy police chief famous for extracting crucial information from the people she interrogates.
“It’s hard to believe that it actually happened,” Bohlmeyer said. “My whole office was teasing me that I was gonna hyperventilate. I told my boss I was taking [a] vacation [day], because I couldn’t concentrate after.”
Bohlmeyer found out about the contest via Twitter and entered almost every day for the four-week duration. Her constant online clicking won her and a friend a day full of chauffeurs, a screening of the show’s last episode with the cast and even a walk down the red carpet.
“The Closer” will culminate its seventh and final season Aug. 13, but Bohlmeyer, who has been a faithful viewer since season 2, won’t be waving goodbye forever. Stacked upon her TV stand are the DVDs of every previous season of “The Closer” that has been released, and her DVR holds the rest.
“I just like the storyline,” Bohlmeyer said. “The interaction between the cast really draws you in.”
After receiving the winning phone call and hands still shaking, Bohlmeyer ran to tell her friend Debbie Bradley the news. Bradley confessed that she, too, was a fan of the show. So when Bohlmeyer asked her later to come to L.A., Bradley was equally ecstatic, but more nervous.
“I’ve never met an actress or an actor,” Bradley said. “I’ll probably just stutter and stammer and make a fool of myself. I’m nervous just because I’ve never flown before or been to California. It’s just new all around. I’ll really enjoy it.”
Before they board the plane Monday morning, though, Bohlmeyer and Bradley have their own case to solve. Each called in some experts as they searched for a fitting outfit for the red carpet.
Bohlmeyer revamped her hair and her wardrobe with help from her niece, who is a hairdresser. The two went shopping Friday, and Bohlmeyer bought the first dress she tried on. Not usually choosing black, she said she settled on a glitzy black cocktail dress because it seemed classy.
Even more significantly, Bohlmeyer must prepare for her first celebrity encounter. Just as Johnson questions criminals in pursuit of evidence, Bohlmeyer has a single goal for her time in L.A.
“I know they’re just real people,” she said. “I hope I get a chance to say, ‘Hi,’ and tell how them how much I enjoy the show.”
Supervising editor is Celia Darrough.