If twin sisters Meltem and Sinem Gulturk of Ronkonkoma, New York, look familiar, it’s easy to understand why. Chances are you’ve seen them — and heard their catchphrase “Awesome Sauce” — in the national TV commercial for Discover Card. Both graduated from Suffolk in 2008 and share how their careers began and what their hopes are for the future.
Why did you choose to start at Suffolk?
MG: To be honest, we weren’t sure what major we would declare. Theatre and acting were our passion but we were advised by our parents to study something with a more secure career path. So we decided to figure it out at Suffolk.
How was your experience?
MG: We really enjoyed our time at Suffolk. We found a community with friends and activities.
SG: The professors were some of the best I’ve studied under. I always felt challenged and encouraged. I liked Suffolk so much that I even became an employee. First, as a student in the work-study program and then I was promoted to a professional assistant in the reading department. It felt like home and I grew so much as a student and a person at Suffolk.
Was there anything that made a specific impression on you?
SG: The Theatre Department holds a very special place in my heart. The professors and the program helped mold me into who I am today. I learned work ethic and crafted my skills. I owe so much to professors Steven Lantz Gefroh and Jo Curtis Lester for helping me grow. They saw something in us and encouraged us to pursue acting as a career.
MG: I always say this, and some people find it hard to believe, but I really did learn almost everything I know about acting at Suffolk. Our professors were incredible! In addition to Steven and Jo, Thom Bovino, Andrew Wittkamper and Charles Wittreich were just amazing.
SG: If you love acting, never stop doing it. Find a way. Keep the passion and dream and add hard work to it.
MG: Jim Carrey said it best, “You can fail at what you don’t want, so you might as well take a chance on doing what you love.” If you want it badly enough, you’ll get it!
How did you land the Discover Card commercial?
MG: We signed with a well-known agency thanks to some workshops we attended in New York City. Their commercial department sent us an audition notice and we went for it. We got a call back and then another.
SG: Then we booked it! Woo!
Are you surprised at how recognizable you have become? It seems like the Awesome Sauce sisters are celebrities in their own right!
SG: We were very surprised! We had no idea that “Awesome Sauce” would become such a catchphrase. When we started hearing people say the phrase, we wondered if it was because of the commercial. Then people started recognizing us and saying “you’re the Awesome Sauce twins!” It’s such a flattering and surreal experience!
Did you transfer to another college after Suffolk? What are your career goals?
MG: We transferred to City College of New York. It’s in the heart of everything. We want to get into film/TV and maybe even have our own sitcom.
What is your advice for high school students who may not be thinking
MG: It’s such a great stepping stone if you are unsure of what you want to do. And, who really knows what they want to be straight out of high school? If you’re looking for an outstanding education — and a really great value — Suffolk is the way to go.
SG: There’s a great sense of community and you’ll feel right at home. We certainly did.
What are you most proud of so far?
SG: We are most proud of the goals we’ve set and met thus far in our careers. We set out to Manhattan to study acting, get an agent and start booking! And we have.
MG: It’s been a wonderful journey and we can’t wait to see what the future holds. With hard work and by fervently following our dreams, I think we will be thrilled with our future!
– Drew Fawcett
Source: Suffolk County Community College Copyright © 2016.
Find Suffolk County Community College Alumni Association online: