Lights – Action – Go North Topeka

Topeka, Kan (KSNT) – In North Topeka Monday afternoon, a rather unusual sight…


it’s always “neat” to watch a movie being made.

Behind the scenes things you never see on the big, or little, screen.

“Can you keep focus on the platform?”

But what about when that movie ruins your vacation plans?

See the guy in the purple shirt? that’s Thomas Donadeo who, along with his wife, are on vacation.

“Actually,” says Thomas “we were down here to look at the arts area and found out it was closed. But the lady that we ran into said ‘Why don’t you hang around a few minutes and you can be an extra in a movie!’.”

See, the director of a Lawrence-based production studio needed some extras for a movie he’s making of a novel by Topeka author Thomas Averill.

“It’s about a little girl who’s born in the small town of Moscow Kansas,” says Producer/Director Chris Blunk “and she has an amazing singing voice…..”

We don’t want to give too much away. So anyway, blunk needed some extras.

With the help of the arts district, he sent out a social media blast for help – and he got it.

People like 16 year old Haley Justus, who got an e-mail from mom,  “I am excited. I’m nervous, but I’m excited.”

And Jack Frost, “it’s always in everybody’s mind I think! (laughs)”

So they all signed releases, and then hung around – until…

“Maybe go to the sidewalk there,” Blunk directs the extras.

And suddenly, people like Thomas and his wife, were movie stars.

Sort of.

Says Dondero, “I’m just happy to be here! Thank you.”

The movie is expected to wrap up production this summer and be released this fall.

Maybe, says Blunk, they’ll have a special showing here in North Topeka.


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