Ice cream on screen: Students record commercial for Blue Bell

Lucy Raleigh

As a Texan, sitting around a bowl of Blue Bell ice cream is nothing short of normal. Whether it be enjoying a sweet bowl of the Great Divide, or sobbing into a half-gallon tub of Cookie Two-Step, Blue Bell is as much a Texas symbol as bluebonnets, armadillos, or cowboys. Two seniors, Caleb Duane and Kassie Gough, earned the opportunity to be a part of the Blue Bell revival after the listeria outbreak damaged their public image. Both students enjoyed the experience as it combined one of their favorite foods with one of their favorite hobbies.

“The commercial was a lot of fun,” Kassie said. “A bunch of people were there for just us. The crew was there to make sure everything was perfect, and I felt really important.”

Though the commercial was a unique and enjoyable experience, it still posed new challenges for the actors.

“The commercial was overwhelming because going into the audition, Kassie and I were just like ordinary people,” Caleb said. “At the shoot there were thirty tech people while Kassie and I were the only talent, and they were all over us making sure we were comfortable.”

By experiencing a different method of acting, Caleb and Kassie have gained more knowledge and expanded their talents.

“Acting for TV is different because when you’re acting on-stage, you don’t really have to do anything with your face,” Kassie said. “Acting for TV is a lot more difficult because there’s less movement and everything focuses on the face.”

The pacing of the commercial posed the largest challenge as it differed from the style both Caleb and Kassie are used to in theater.

“We didn’t really do a lot of acting for the camera in the commercial, but in theater you’re going and going and you don’t stop,” Caleb said. “With film and stuff like that it’s go and stop, go and stop, and you do the same thing forty times. We did a 20-second scene for four hours, the same thing over and over, just walking down the road, over and over.”

Kassie and Caleb aren’t the only ones who recognize the knowledge they gained, but their added experience is noticed by their advisor.

“On-stage acting has helped them with the commercial,” theater teacher Jacob Justice said. “I think that because they have the experience of acting in front of a live audience, which requires a lot of effort and energy, they were able to excel in the roles for the commercial.”