Last week Chris Doulis was just a normal quality-control inspector for Pitt-Des Moines Steel in Provo. But today, he's a celebrity - just because he called Mountain Fuel to have a gas meter installed at his Mapleton home.
At the time, Doulis had no idea he had done anything significant. But in December, a representative from Mountain Fuel notified Doulis that he may be the company's 500,000th customer, a milestone the company had been promoting for several weeks.On Jan. 10 it became official: Doulis was indeed the company's 500,000th customer. At first, Doulis thought it was scam. But when company officials showed up at his door and asked if they could film a commercial in his home, he knew the distinction was legitimate.
"I said, `Sure, why not, I can be a star for a day.' And now I regret it," Doulis said jokingly.
The first public announcement of Doulis' accomplishment didn't come until last Sunday. Doulis has since appeared on television several times a day in Mountain Fuel's latest commercial. He is also seen in his favorite lounge chair in a full-page newspaper advertisement. He is now a celebrity among fellow workers, friends and family.
"It's exciting for my friends to see me on TV and come say to me, `Hey, I saw you on TV and I couldn't understand what you were saying. Why didn't you take the marbles out of your mouth,' " Doulis said. "I say, `No, that's not me, it's my twin cousin.' "
Doulis' daughters have been told several times over the past few days that they have a movie star for a father. His wife, Kim, has also been approached several times at work about her celebrity husband.
"It just as much fun for them as it is for us," Kim said. "It's fun for them to see somebody on TV that they know."
Doulis said the experience has been exciting, but he would not like to be a celebrity forever. And he definitely does not want to be an actor. He said making the commercial was a frustrating experience. The 25-man filming crew was in his home for about 12 hours and shot about 30 takes before getting one they liked. They even purchased four new shirts to use in the shooting, only to end up using one that Doulis had worn to work the day before.
"They asked me if I had any good shirts and when I pulled it out they said, `Perfect, that's what we want, a stinky shirt.' "
For his accomplishment, Doulis won a gas range, a gas grill, a gas dryer, a gaslamp and a gas fireplace insert. He says he will use his old appliances in a a second kitchen in his basement. And much to Mountain Fuel's liking, Kim Doulis said she now prefers cooking on a gas range. Hopefully she feels the same about the other new gas appliances also, because undoubtedly she'll be getting a new gas bill to go along with the appliances.