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Lights, camera, Hope and Brooke: BSU pair creates entertainment show

Bemidji State University seniors Hope Slusar, left, and Brooke Duevel, right, have developed an audience for their weekly entertainment segment “The Hope and Brooke Show,” which airs at 7 p.m. Tuesdays on KBSU Channel 17. JILLIAN GANDSEY | BEMIDJI PIONEER

Two Bemidji State University seniors have discovered what it takes to create their own half-hour entertainment television show.

Hope Slusar and Brooke Duevel produce, write and edit the “The Hope and Brooke Show” which airs live at 7 p.m. Tuesdays on KBSU Channel 17.

“Doing this, I have learned that it takes so much dedication,” Duevel said. “Everything is me and Hope.”

The pair meets Monday evenings, searching the Internet for entertainment stories interesting to them. Then, they will decide where they would fit in the script and plan their show.

“We started going to restaurants so we can eat and talk,” Duevel said.

From there, they will write their own stories. Hope will email hers to Brooke and she will put the script together.

“It’s pretty chill and relaxed because it’s just us two and we run the whole thing,” Slusar said. “We don’t have to get anyone else’s approval.”

The station manager at KBSU, Tricia Tuntland, provides Hope and Brooke with a volunteer crew for their show.

The crew includes a teleprompter operator, a graphics operator, an audio operator, a director, two camera operators and more.

“It takes everyone to make a good show,” Duevel said. “We do appreciate our crew so much because I know when I was a freshmen, I didn’t want to come.”

The volunteers aren’t always the same students each week and sometimes they switch positions, which the duo admits can make things difficult. The only position that does stay the same is their director.

After they shoot the show live, Brooke will edit the different cuts and segments together and put them on her YouTube channel.

The “Hope and Brooke Show” has a total of seven episodes that can be found online.

“I think social media and promoting is really big,” Slusar said. “I’ve had people come up and talk to me that I never talk to but they might know Brooke.”

Posting the show to Facebook and Twitter has proven to be an important part of gaining an audience, as well.

“Even having 259 likes on Facebook is huge just for a little college television station,” Duevel said.

The idea began in a mass communication class in which the were assigned to create a late-night television show this past spring semester.

“We picked the entertainment segment,” Duevel said. “We got feedback from our teacher and classmates and they said we worked well together.”

On their own

The news program on KBSU cut out the entertainment portion of its show starting in this fall, but with the experience they gained last year, Slusar and Duevel decided to take on their own project.

The first three shows Hope and Brooke did together this year didn’t air live, but were good practice for cast and crew.

“Our first show was kind of really awkward,” Duevel said. “I know I was super nervous, but I think we’ve gained a lot of flow together.”

They’ve come along way since those first episodes, they said. “We have fun and we’re not stressed about it,” Slusar said.

For next semester, “The Hope and Brooke Show” has a goal of doing live interviews with local musicians and possibly some not so local. They’ve hope to land an interview with The Band Perry, who will be coming to the Sanford Center on Feb. 8.

“We take this seriously,” Slusar said. “It’s a fun job but we want to show everyone that we can do this.”

Slusar and Duevel are both on track to graduate in spring with a bachelor’s degrees in mass communications, and Duevel also will graduate with a degree in Spanish.

On top of being full-time students and creating “The Hope and Brooke Show,” both work other jobs, as well. Duevel works as an administrative assistant at Lueken’s Village Foods and as a graphics operator at the Sanford Center. She also directs three shows for KBSU on Thursdays.

Slusar works as a marketing assistant at the Sanford Center, bartends at Corner Bar and also is an anchor for KBSU news.

Even though their hands are full, the pair still has time to dream. Both agree that “Today with Kathy Lee and Hoda” is what they hope to achieve.

“Being an anchor for any entertainment production would just be ultimate,” Brooke said. “I would love doing that for the rest of my life.”

Jillian Gandsey

Jillian Gandsey is the Multimedia Editor at the Bemidji Pioneer. She is an Iron Range native and a 2013 graduate of Bemidji State University. Follow Jillian on Twitter and Instagram @jilliangandsey. Contact her at 218-333-9786, 218-996-1216 or at 

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