Twins In Running For Wrigley's Doublemint Gum Commercial

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Summer Schneider fidgeted anxiously in her seat, wondering if her identical twin sister, Heather, would return in time to deliver an all-important speech to the two girls' sophomore English class at Payson High School.

"It (the speech) was worth a lot of points and it couldn't be made up," Summer said.

As the time for Heather's presentation grew near, the anticipation in her sister heightened.

"I didn't think she was going to make it -- she was in Pine doing a play with the drama class," Summer said. So Summer decided to pull the ultimate ploy in the best interests of her twin.

As teacher Sue Wheems called for Heather to come to the head of the class, Summer walked gingerly to the front of the room to impersonate her sister. Summer knew she could fool everyone in the class into thinking she was her twin -- the two had been successful at such antics all their lives.

Just ask their mother, Renee. "In elementary school in the Valley the two switched classes for an entire day and no one ever caught on. They've done that a lot," she said.

Being identical twins, the 16-year-old Schneiders could fill piles of memory books with belly-busting, look-alike escapades.

But nothing the two have hatched has been as thrilling as a tryout they're currently involved in to possibly star in a Wrigley's Doublemint gum television commercial.

Sometime next week, on only a few hours' notice, the Schneiders will board an airliner in Phoenix and jet to either Chicago, New York or Los Angeles to participate in a second casting call for a Wrigley's commercial.

The telephone call that sends the girls to the tryout will come from Kay Millett of the BBDQ advertising agency in Chicago. Millett has been assigned the task of finding the perfect set of identical twins for the Doublemint commercial. Recently, she's shown interest in the Schneiders.

Early this week, Millett beckoned the twins to Los Angeles on one-day's notice but their mom said such a quick trip was impossible.

Millet backed off and said she'd call again early next week --she advised Heather and Summer to have their traveling bags packed.

"I guess that's the way they work," Renee Schneider said.

The casting call will be the second the girls have been involved in.

One last spring attracted about 300 sets of twins to Planet Hollywood in Beverly Hills.

On hand were TV stations representing ABC, NBC, CBS, Fox and the foreign press from France and Germany. Many of the news agencies interviewed the Payson twins, who were taken aback by the loads of attention they were attracting.

"Cameras were on us constantly. It was like a big show and tell," Heather said.

Following the casting call, the Schneiders returned to Payson to await what they hoped would be notice they'd made the first cut and were among the semifinalists for the commercial. Months went by and the two didn't hear from Millet.

"We thought we were out. It was kind of disappointing," Summer said.

But last week the much-awaited phone call came and the two greeted the news with unbridled enthusiasm.

The pair realize they are anything but a lock to ultimately be selected the Doublemint twins, but they're not ready to throw in the towel.

"I think we have as much chance as any others do," Heather said.

Summer and Heather have been told the ultimate winners of the twins derby will be announced late this summer and the commercial filmed before the end of the year.

Will the Schneiders ultimately be the Doublemint twins?

That's not yet been decided, but Heather and Summer say even if they are not the chosen pair, the casting call experience has been a thrill they'll not soon forget.

Both agree it's been even more fun than a lifetime of fooling teachers.

Which is exactly what Summer was pulling off in Mrs. Wheems' English class. Her replacement act for her sister was on track -- no one, not even Mrs. Wheems, had figured out she had replaced her sister.

But the best-laid plans of the twin began to unravel when, 15 minutes into the speech, Heather burst into the classroom, blurting out she was sorry she was late for her presentation.

Then, with a twist of her head, she eyed her twin at the front of the room delivering her much-practiced speech.

"It really surprised me when I saw her up there. I asked, 'Summer, what are doing?'" Heather said. Students and the teacher broke into uncontrolled laughter as Summer sheepishly returned to her seat, much like a toddler who'd been caught with a hand in the cookie jar.

"Well, I thought I could pull it off. At least Mrs. Wheems thought it was funny -- she didn't get mad," Summer said.

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