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N.D. beauty nails down new career

It's a Friday morning, and Carrie Roy is in her Boston apartment, finally off camera. In the last four days, she has taped two episodes of ABC Family's "Knock First," a half-hour room makeover show for teenagers. The 50-person crew finished its 3...

It's a Friday morning, and Carrie Roy is in her Boston apartment, finally off camera.

In the last four days, she has taped two episodes of ABC Family's "Knock First," a half-hour room makeover show for teenagers. The 50-person crew finished its 30th show at 9:30 the night before.

For Roy, a Lisbon, N.D., native, this show started at 5:30 a.m. Wednesday, loading a truck with furniture and supplies, driving to the location and setting up tent after tent needed for filming.

As a carpenter on "Knock First," this has been a regular routine for Roy, 24, since she was hired in July. She saw a posting for the job online while working part-time as a research assistant at the Radcliffe Institute at Harvard.

"I thought this sounded like a really exciting opportunity because I loved watching 'Trading Spaces' and 'While You Were Out' and I thought being a carpenter on one of those shows would be so exciting," she says.


With another carpenter, Andy Hampton, and one of four young designers, the "Knock First" crew redoes a teenager's bedroom in two days, first sending the parents away, then enlisting help from the teen's friends.

A silver Airstream serves as a staging ground for design discussions, a confessional for teens to air their thoughts and a sleepover party bus. The shows are filmed in and around Boston.

" 'Knock First' involves more information and interaction with the person who's getting their room redone," Roy says. "We try and find out about the teen and their interests, and how they feel about the design."

Roy says the best part of being on the show is meeting the teens.

"It's really an interesting, colorful point in one's life," she says. "Everyone whose room we redo, they want privacy. They want their own space. They want their room to reflect their personality, because they're really trying to find their personality."

One thing to another

Roy, who was married June 7, is better known in her home state as Carrie Haberstroh, the 2001 Miss North Dakota. In high school, her track and field ability drew attention and landed her a spot at Harvard University.

"It's kind of funny how one thing has led into another," she says. "The shot put and discus brought me to Harvard. I felt like I was kind of burnt out in discus and I wanted to train for something else and just switch gears for a bit so I tried the pageant thing, and that worked out. And I'm sure that pageant experience (and the Harvard background) helped me get this job."


Roy graduated magna cum laude from Harvard in 2002 with an art degree. She focused her studies on sculpture and photography.

"All my sculptures were always large scale," she says. "I had to build a lot of structures to help support them."

Through that, she gained experience using power tools and different building materials.

"That's really come in handy in these rooms because our designers aren't going with straight forward, boring furniture construction. It's always kind of wild and artsy," Roy says.

And her senior thesis project, an installation of 12- to 14-foot tall abstract Viking ship forms, was incorporated into one of the show's rooms.

Roy also learned about woodworking in 4-H. And her father, Marlin Haberstroh, was a carpenter.

"Growing up I used to help him," she says. "But I've always been very creative and interested in making things and building and making a mess."

Her mother, Cindy Haberstroh, says they knew Carrie was an artist at a young age when she would draw in three dimensions.


"We used to tease her when she got her first paycheck she was going to have to pay us back for all the paper and tape she used," Cindy says.

The Haberstrohs, who live outside of Lisbon, visited Roy in Boston this week, and will visit the set Monday or Tuesday.

Cindy says the Lisbon community is excited to see Roy on the show. "They often tell us they don't see enough of her," she says.

But mom is plenty proud of the airtime her daughter gets.

"It's nice when she's out in Boston and we're in Lisbon, North Dakota, and we can see her every day," she says.

"Knock First" has been picked up for 10 more episodes, as well as five "celebrity" episodes. The show airs weekdays at 4:30 p.m. on Cable ONE's Channel 12 in Fargo.

"It's been really exciting," Roy says. "I guess I didn't really know what to expect when I started, but now I realize how much goes into producing TV shows and I have a lot of respect for anybody on them, because it's really lots of hours, emotionally, mentally, physically draining, but also incredibly rewarding."

Some day, Roy would like to attend graduate school to study Scandinavian art history. She's been to Norway, Denmark, Sweden and Iceland several times, but would like to go back for a belated honeymoon.


"When I graduated from Harvard, I didn't really know what exactly I wanted to go into," she says. "I was just kind of open to any opportunities that came my way and I'm just really excited that this particular opportunity came my way."

Readers can reach Forum reporter Sherri Richards at (701) 241-5525

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