COD Television Production Student Accepted into Prestigious L.A. Intensive Program

Sarah Taschetta

By Brian Kleemann

Sarah Taschetta is taking one step closer toward her dream of working in television after being accepted into the American Pavilion’s prestigious L.A. Intensive program for 2018. 

For nearly three decades, the American Pavilion has been the communications and hospitality hub at the Cannes Film Festival for American filmmakers. The organization offers an internship for students to work at the festival as well as a summer program in Los Angeles that provides information and resources to students interested in careers in the entertainment industry.

Taschetta, a Television Production student at College of DuPage, would like to work behind-the-scenes as a director or producer for a TV talk show, and being hired for the Ellen DeGeneres show would be a dream come true. In fact, this past fall her video submission was a finalist in Ellen’s 12 Days Skybox Challenge and shown on “Ellen” (pictured above is Ellen DeGeneres introducing Taschetta's video on the big screen).

Click here to view the video.  

“I’ve been watching Ellen since fourth or fifth grade,” said Taschetta, who grew up in Winfield and now lives in Glen Ellyn. “She’s hilarious, but it’s also about how generous she is to those in need, which is why I’m a huge fan. Jeannie Klisiewicz, one of Ellen’s producers, was a fan who entered every contest, never won and eventually was hired for the show. I’m going to be persistent because it could happen to me.”

Taschetta began making videos as a freshman at Wheaton North High School. After seeing other students’ videos, she initially saw herself as the school’s Ellen DeGeneres before developing her own voice. This included “minute to win it” videos, which became big hits, and segments promoting the school’s special needs population.

“I have always been aware of inclusion, and for the school’s TV show, I asked why we couldn’t have anchors who have special needs,” she said. “As a result, several were featured in this role. I also made a promotional video for the Special Olympics.” 

When it came time for college, Taschetta initially decided to pursue occupational therapy at a four-year school. 

“I went for 12 days and realized the regular college experience wasn’t for me,” she said. “I switched to College of DuPage and initially studied speech before I discovered the Motion Picture/Television program and Courier TV, the student-produced weekly news program. I took Professor Jennifer Piehl’s class and fell in love with directing.”

Taschetta started her own production company and does freelance video and photography work. She’s saving her money to eventually move to California after finishing her degree at COD, and she is excited about being part of the American Pavilion’s L.A. Intensive program in August.

“A career in television just speaks to me,” she said. “I prefer live TV and especially talk shows, for obvious reasons. I’m applying for internships on ‘Ellen’ or ‘Jimmy Kimmel’ because both have the same beliefs and use their platforms to promote positive change. I want to make a difference and work with people who are doing so.”

College of DuPage was the right choice for Taschetta. In addition to the affordable tuition, she is impressed by the quality of the resources and overall academic experience.

“It doesn’t matter that I didn’t start here,” she said. “I’m getting an amazing education and the opportunities are just incredible.”

For more about the Motion Picture/Television program at College of DuPage, visit www.cod.edu/mptv.

College of DuPage is regionally accredited by the Higher Learning Commission. Serving approximately 26,000 students each term, College of DuPage is the largest public community college in the state of Illinois. The College grants nine associate degrees and offers more than 170 career and technical certificates in over 50 areas of study.

College of DuPage

425 Fawell Blvd., Glen Ellyn IL, 60137

(630) 942-2800 (Main)

(630) 942-3000 (Student Services)

  2018 College of DuPage