Priscilla Salazar is one of hundreds of extras getting ’60s-style hair for the movie “Believe in Me.” Salazar was getting her hair styled Monday by Instincts Salon owner and stylist Elizabeth Ware. (Staff photo: Mike Linn)
By Mike Linn: CNJ news editor
With locks stretching like cotton candy over their beady heads, a group of female customers at a local salon joke they resemble their mothers.
Their hair sticks to the tops of cars, is held to together with a lacquer-like hair spray and can’t be washed.
Not until filming is over, at least.
Instincts Salon is one of many businesses profiting from the movie “Believe in Me,” a film that has sent a group of eastern New Mexicans in a time machine back to the ’60s.
“If I didn’t look like my mother before, I sure do now,” Priscilla Salazar said after getting her hair styled Monday at Instincts.
Salazar, her husband Willie, and her 8- and 11-year-old daughters landed a brief role in the movie being filmed in Clovis and surrounding communities. She is one of about 100 extras and 20 actors who will descend on Floyd’s United Methodist Church on Wednesday for a scene in the $8 million feature film about an Oklahoma girls basketball team’s run to the state championship.
Instincts owner Elizabeth Ware said she was awarded the bid to style the hair of between 300 and 500 extras.
That means crewcuts for the men, and bouffant styles for the women.
“We’re getting back to using rollers — we had to dig them out. I hadn’t used them since beauty school 24 years ago,” Ware laughed. “After we get finished fixing someone up we just crack up because it looks so funny.”
Ware said the deal doesn’t pay much, and the salon will be open seven days a week for about a month to handle the extra load of customers.
Even so, Ware said she’s having a blast, adding that she was a “little rusty” at first after learning hair styles from a 1964 Portales High School yearbook.
“It makes their faces look so small,” Instincts stylist Jennifer Parks said. “It’s hilarious, I can’t get over it.”
Other businesses are also profiting, officials say.
John Thornton, owner of Bob’s Upholstery in Clovis, has been covering sofas, dining room chairs and restaurant booths for some of the sets.
Randy Petty, general manager at Triangle Home Center, said set builders for the movie have an account at his store.
“We are seeing some business off it and we are appreciative,” Petty said.
Angelique Midthunder, the extras casting director for the movie, said she has chosen the extras for most scenes. However, she is inviting 2,500 residents to be a part of a game scene on Sunday at Portales High School gymnasium and about 3,000 for an Oct. 23 scene at the Clovis High School gymnasium.
She said many of the Portales salons are also giving extras and potential extras that authentic 1960s look.
Those who dress the part will get preferential seating during the game scenes, she said.
“There’s an opportunity for Portales and there’s an opportunity for Clovis to come out and show their support,” said Midthunder, who added that prizes will be awarded to those who have the best ’60s look during the two scenes.