Mercy House Casting Call

The room had about a dozen iron bedsteads and a few men were building some kind of bunk or shelving for the show. Mercy House is the upcoming PBS series that takes place in Civil War Alexandria, using Mansion House Hospital as its focus. Filming is scheduled for later this month through June in Richmond. At this point, the production company is using a large warehouse-type building on the outskirts of Richmond, where they held a casting call for extras on April 2.


I couldn't resist.

In greatest demand: thin young men with no tattoos and amputees. A secondary need: doctors, nurses, and orderlies who, presumably, wouldn't be totally flummoxed by the medical aspect, even if 150 years old. Middle-aged white women? not so much.

When I got there a little before 4 pm (supposedly, open hours between 4 and 8), a line had already formed and they had begun the call. We watched some men build some kind of bunk or shelf; over on the other side were a dozen or so metal bedsteads.

Two women took measurements (very important, as people need to fit already obtained costumes), then someone, possibly the extras casting director, took a head shots. We held a white board with our assigned number (mine was #21).

A few of the people (yes, mostly young thin men, although a few others, too) looked so convincing, even in their 2015 clothes, that I won't be surprised if I see them in the background of a few scenes when the show airs in 2016.

As for me? Better that I am a writer and not an actor. The director didn't even bother with a profile shot, nor ask my availability, as he did with some others before me in line.

Still, if I get the call....

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