Alison Aulakh has never had a job as a fast food worker. But this summer, she helped make history by playing one on TV.
Aulakh, a New School for Drama BFA student, was cast as the counter-person in Burger King’s “Proud Whopper,” an ad campaign in support of LGBT rights that went viral in June.
“Being cast in the Burger King commercial was by far the most amazing acting experience I have had thus far,” Aulkah says. “When I originally read about the casting notice, I had no clue how viral this campaign would be and how many people would be positively affected by its message.”
The commercial, shot during San Francisco’s LGBT Pride Celebration, captures real-life Burger King customers as they discover that the inside of their Whopper wrapper is printed with rainbow colors and the inspiring message, “We are all the same inside.”
As the counter-person, Aulakh had to persuade customers to buy the Proud Whopper. Then, she had to ask them if they could tell the difference between that and the original.
“This was not your typical commercial shoot,” she recalls. “When I went in for the first rehearsal, I had no clue that I would be acting with real customers. I remember meeting the director and asking what exactly I would be doing. He then casually responded by saying that they would be opening the place up to the public and I would be improvising with real customers all while wearing a hidden ear piece and microphone.”
Aulakh’s favorite aspect of the experience was seeing the reaction of Burger King customers. Many were surprised; some were confused; still others became emotional after seeing the simple yet profound message of love and equality.
Aulakh says, “I hope this message touches the hearts of others and helps us realize that we are all the same inside.”