Care Center uses Bryan 'actors' in commercial series
October 18, 2010

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Couch potatoes remain seated. Channel-surfers put down your remotes. Familiar faces are now appearing on televisions across the region as many from Bryan are involved in producing and starring in local commercials for the Women’s Care Center of Rhea County.

The media project, produced by Bryan alum Taylor Hollingsworth, has used nearly 30 student, faculty, and staff volunteers over the two-year period of filming. The project includes eight one-minute commercials, a 30-minute promotional film, and a 12-part web series for The EDGE, a teen risk-avoidance program established by the Care Center.

Five main stations are currently showing the commercials through Charter cable: ABC, TBS, MTV, VH1, and USA. The Care Center has also purchased audio spots on Christian radio station J103 and Rhea County Radio that will play throughout the fall.

According to its website, The EDGE “initially began in 1993 to equip the youth in Rhea County with information so they would not find themselves in an unplanned pregnancy situation. It has grown into a program that not only encourages abstinence-until-marriage, but also helps youth make smart decisions in all aspects of life.”

Current students who were involved in this project include seniors Jason Hundley, Emily Hendrix, Taylor Gentry, Justin Winters and Xaverian McCall; juniors Yuri Lopez and Nick Tuttle; sophomore Emilie Belisle; freshman Jake Ricketts; faculty members Dr. Randy Hollingsworth, Dr. Ken Turner with wife Reagan, Mr. Chris Clark; former Bryan history professor Dr. Jack Traylor; and staff member Ms. Paulakay Ricketts.
"Parents, Talk to Your Kids," one of the eight commercials now airing 
See other commercials >>
According to Connie Arnold, education director for The EDGE, individuals were mostly contacted by word of mouth, with emphasis on prior familiarity with staff members, though auditions were held last summer for the film “The Ripple.”  I don’t think hardly anyone turned us down,” Arnold said with a laugh. “The staff wrote all the commercials, and it was about who they knew who fit the part.”

Justin Winters, a senior theatre major who starred with Dr. Turner in the spot titled “Parents,Talk to Your Kids,” commented that while the commercials were good experience for his future, he also enjoyed participating for larger reasons.

“I did it because I love to do it.  Of course, it was motivated by vocation; but with that I don’t want to lose the important things. If there’s meaning, if something carries weight or is significant, that’s the thing I want to do. It makes my day,” he said.

Dr. Turner said he found the message of the commercial a worthwhile lesson for modern society.  "The punch line was if you don’t listen to your kids, don’t be surprised if they return the favor. I don’t worry about that with my kids so much, but I come from a background where I was neglected. Now that I’m a father, I find myself to be very critical of today’s parents; so this is a message I think a lot of people should hear.”

The Care Center has no future plans to continue producing videos but will continue releasing installments of their web series, “Boyfriends of Genius,” each month for the next year.

“And who knows?” Arnold said. “God can do amazing things. This media has related to kids on a new level; it’s bridged the gap and they need that.”

"Volunteering with Your Girlfriend"
See more from the web series "Boyfriends of Genius" >>
SOURCE: Adapted from the 9.29.10 story written by Krissy Proctor and published in the Triangle.