By Mike Linn
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.
Randy Petty, general manager at Triangle Home Center, said set builders for the movie have set up 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 400 residents to be part of a game scene on Saturday at the Portales High gymnasium, 2,500 residents for a Sunday scene at the PHS gymnasium and about 3,000 for an Oct. 23 scene at the Clovis High School gymnasium.
“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.
“What we’re doing is we’re making it really simple,” Midthunder said. “As long as they make an effort not to look modern, it’s pretty simple.”
Midthunder suggested button-up shirts, T-shirts or western shirts for the men and turtleneck sweaters and long skirts for women. Midthunder said Web sites are available (www.bettermix.com or www.pamatherton.com) to help people with the process.
Those who dress the part will get preferential seating during the game scenes, she said.
The filming will start at 9 a.m. both days. Midthunder said more people are needed for Sunday because they will use that day to film crowd reactions. The group on Saturday will be concentrated into smaller areas during filming.
Midthunder said activities would be ongoing throughout the day, and several prizes will be offered to extras throughout.
PNT Managing Editor Kevin Wilson contributed to this report.