I've checked off #14 on my list of Thirty Things I Love for My Thirtieth Birthday: doing something new and random, just for the heck of it! I decided to spend the day as an extra for a new Tom Hanks-produced movie about the events surrounding the assassination of JFK and his subsequent treatment at Parkland Hospital in Dallas. Parkland (starring Zac Efron in a real big boy role, as well as Colin Hanks, Billy Bob Thornton, and Paul Giamatti) is set to be released this November in time for the anniversary of JFK's assassination.
Though I would've gladly been an extra in Friday Night Lights had I watched the show when it was actually being filmed here and/or knew when they were seeking extras, I was mostly interested in this because it meant getting to dress up like a nurse from the 1960s!
And it was also being filmed at Austin State Hospital, the psychiatric hospital where I used to volunteer! The campus is huge and only a small part of it is currently used as a hospital. However, many movies have been shot in other wings. According to my friend who works at ASH, part of this film was being shot in the old lobotomy department...
Even the area surrounding wardrobe and makeup had some creepy spaces to explore, including an "interrogation" room and this visitation window, which looked into what appeared to be an isolation room of sorts-! Yep, I'm pretty positive this place is haunted.
After several hours of getting us all into costume and makeup, they fed us a buffet of food and sent us back for touch-ups. Then we all piled into shuttles to go to the actual set. After some more waiting around, we were finally called up into a hallway, which was smeared with blood, carts and supplies knocked over everywhere. While I was hoping to be in an action-packed scene like the one they'd just filmed, at least I know the scene we were in is an important one and not likely to be cut!
After all that primping, we were a part of about seven or eight takes before we were cut for the day! Oh, show biz! It was fun though, and I was especially glad my friend Tori did it with me.
Afterward, we found ourselves looking for a place to get a bite to eat and share a bottle of wine (a harder feat than one would think...not many BYOB places in Austin!) We ended up at Garaj Mahal, and I got the tasty lamb samosas above. We passed by The White House, a place I'd been hearing about... apparently they are trying to be the Buffalo Exchange of bars, where patrons pay at the door for an open bar and receive a ticket which they designate for the non-profit of their choice.
An attempt at squeezing good from the amount of alcohol imbibed by Austinites each weekend? Orrrr a clever way of opening without a liquor license? I'm still trying to figure that out myself...
Tori with beehive still in tact while I point to our beloved JFK above