Tilt Cove — Canada’s smallest town, Tilt Cove, N.L., is taking a big gamble to attract more visitors and residents. In the past couple of years, the population has dwindled to a mere 4 residents. According to Mayor Don Collins, this decline has served as a wake-up call that they need more taxpayers and tourists to keep the town afloat.
“We knew we’d have to do something to make us look like a busy, happening spot. Near-empty streets are not how you attract visitors or future townsfolk,” explained Collins. “Our town looks pretty, all 4 locals are friendly, but there are tons of places like that that already have way more people than us.”
After brainstorming various solutions from building the “world’s largest anything” to “filming a town-wide lip-sync music video,” council settled on a simpler idea that has the added benefit of creating jobs: hiring extras to act as townspeople and “fill out” Tilt Cove. Extras are actors who are paid to be in the background of shots in movies and shows while the main characters do their business to further the plot.
“We got the idea while watching one of the historical reenactments we host during the summer,” said Collins. “The packed crowd at the reenactment was largely made up of the performers from away. Everything just clicked. We quickly hired a casting agency to find us extras who look like believable townsfolk while still being talented and attractive.”
Global Talent Acquisitions Inc. casting representative Taryn McCloud said that their search for extras has already been successful. “We have already confirmed 50 extras from the hit TV series Gilmore Girls. They are experts at looking busy and happy, which will surely help Tilt Cove be the happening spot in Atlantic Canada this summer,” explained McLoud.
“We’ve also got extras from The Walking Dead, Big Bang Theory, and even a few foreigners from shows in Europe. Some people might even visit Tilt Cove just to see some famous background faces!”
Mary Fairweather, a background actress on Big Bang Theory, said she and her colleagues are excited about their new casting assignment.
“It will be like live theatre, but a show that never ends! Every thespian’s dream,” said an exuberant Fairweather. “The challenge will be remembering that we can actually make noise — when we’re filming we just silently move our mouths so we don’t interrupt the main actors. That might creep people out in Tilt Cove, though.”
The town will have to sell their snowplow to be able to make room in the budget for all the extras being hired, but council members agree that seeing the many new smiling faces makes it well worth the sacrifice.
“I just love my new home here in Tilt Cove,” said new resident Percy Shaw. “I get paid to drink coffee all day and once per hour I take a ‘phone call’ from my mom if any main characters like the mayor or the postman walk by. Best place ever!”