Further to our report, TheGardenIsland posted their experiences of going to the Jurassic World auditions in Puhi, Hawaii yesterday. There’s no particular spoilers or anything unfortunately so the author just gives his account of his experience.
I’m sacrificing my Hollywood career to bring you this story.
That’s OK, I’m a journalist, first, and as such, I’ll brush aside any chance of stardom while protecting my sources to bring you this whopper of a story.
I saw firsthand Sunday the open casting call for “Jurassic World,” the fourth movie in the blockbuster dinosaur franchise set to begin filming on Kauai this spring.
I auditioned to be an extra.
An extra, for those wondering, is someone who stands around in the background. The company EEB Tide Productions put out word weeks ago that they were looking for all types of nationalities, not to mention military-looking types and paddlers comfortable on the water, to fill out body space in the distance while the real actors act closer to where the camera will be.
And I saw it all — every detail behind Sunday’s audition.
Sure, at least 1,500 other people auditioned, too, but they can’t write about it. They’re all sworn to secrecy. EEB had everyone sign a non-disclosure agreement, meaning anyone who tried out, let alone made the cut, had to keep their lips zipped, period.
“No Facebook, no Instagram, nothing,” one casting call organizer put it when I finally made my way through the 3-hour line to where the organizers actually were. She didn’t say anything about print, but probably because she forgot. “If you want to work on this movie, take it seriously.”
The day began at the Kauai Community College campus. The line, which began to form at 7 a.m. according to inside sources, snaked from the Performing Arts Center, past the bus stop, to just about Puhi Road by the time I arrived at 10:30.
Organizers walked up and down the line handing out the terms to the non-disclosure agreement so everyone knew right away to play it close to the vest. I didn’t blame them. Jurassic Park was the highest grossing film ever at $900 million after its 1993 release. It just made my job a little harder, is all. I mean, to be a part of something like that you have to have a workman’s discipline, though everyone I talked to — on the side, of course — said they were there for the experience of it all, not to actually crack the limelight.
Like Justin. The 30-something server and bartender on the island’s South Side initially said he was trying out for the Tyrannosaurus Rex or Velociraptor role, before admitting he just came down to be a part of the excitement.
“That’s the other reason, I’m a big fan of Jurassic Park. I wouldn’t be here for anything else,” he said, adding he’ll be first in line, too, when the movie comes out June 12, 2015.
“It’ll be cool to say you were a part of it, even the line,” he said. “It makes a story.”
A young Kauai High School junior I’ll call Corey said his dad told him to try out at the last minute, so the 16-year-old student came down and stood in line to see what the hubbub was all about.
That was the best part of the audition. Nobody needed to bring anything, just their face.
But was Corey expecting to land a spot?
“Nah,” he said. “I just thought it would be fun to do.”
Yeah, but would he tell girls at school if he did get selected?
“Well,” he said nonchalantly. “I’ll have to see.”
Organizers said they’re looking for at least 50 extras. But they wouldn’t tip their hands, either. They took the paperwork everyone filled out and said they’d call or email their choices weeks from now.
There was an excitement in line, though.
Small as it may seem, there was a thrill trying out for a world famous movie that already called Kauai home. Blue Hole, Lawai, Olokele and Hanapepe valleys and Manawaiopuna Falls are expected filming destinations for the new movie.
So nobody scattered from the line when it started to rain briefly and cheers and head nods were abound when the line moved forward and progress could be marked.
Some people did bring accessories, though.
One Kilauea woman, we’ll call her Dinka, brought her 8-year-old galah parrot, Coco Chanel, to audition with her. I realize I may have outed my source because it was probably the only parrot there, and for sure the only one named after a designer.
“They might need him for something,” she said of the jungle-looking bird standing on her shoulder. But the duo was a package deal, it appeared.
“I think we go together,” she said. “I don’t think we separate.”
Kevin, another South Side server, said he was looking for his big break.
“The hopes of being in my first movie ever,” he said of what brought him to the Puhi campus. He quickly pointed out he was joking as I scribbled notes on the sly.
“No,” he said. “Just to be part of it.”
But what’s the inside of the audition really look like? What’s the real scoop, anyway?
After soldiering through the line, the aspiring stand-ins sat down inside the college auditorium while the organizers took their info and laid down the rules.
They may or may not have snapped your picture, too.
“Thank you,” they said after you made your way through the entire process. They were very polite, it’s true. They weren’t all rules all the time, and they even had a sign out telling people to smile and have fun. “Be sure you wrote your phone number down clearly so we know how to get a hold of you.”
Then it was back outside and that was that.
The powers would decide your fate, but the experience of it was already yours.
“That was my favorite part,” said Sheila, who came down from the North Shore with her granddaughter and stood in line for 3 hours with everyone else. “Meeting all of you and talking with everyone.”
Don’t worry Sheila, your secret is safe with me.