Aurora Marks, owner of Morristown’s Salon Botanique Eco-Chic, was taken hostage and shot while in Hawaii this summer.
Her harrowing tale will be told tonight, Sept. 27, 2013, on CBS at 9 pm.
It’s the season premiere of Hawaii Five-O. Terrorists seize a police heaquarters. Aurora plays an office worker who is taken hostage and shot in the thigh. Actor Daniel Dae Kim (Detective Chin Ho Kelly) must whisk her to a gurney.
“He had to carry me 10 times!” said Aurora, who was an actress and dancer before motherhood and business interests took center stage in her life.
Aurora and her husband, Ron Marks, split their time between Morris Township and Hawaii, for their real estate- and lemon juice importing businesses. Ron and their children, Adrianna, Diandra and Justin, all have made cameo appearances in prior episodes of Hawaii Five-O.
The hostage role for Aurora actually came about through Justin, a former Morristown High School lacrosse player now studying TV/ film production at Hofstra University. Justin inquired about production opportunities at Hawaii Five-O, and got invited to be an extra. When Aurora took him to casting, she was recruited, too.
While it was exciting to appear before the camera again, Aurora said playing a hostage was challenging.
“It actually was kind of scary. In acting you’re trying to be truthful in an imaginary situation. You put yourself into a situation, and you never know how you’re going to behave,” she said. Her scenes were filmed over two days in July.
Aurora studied at the American Academy of Dramatic Arts, and at the William Esper Studio in New York. Her training included acting, dance, ballet and voice. As a student–appearing under her maiden name, Aurora Borelis, she was an extra in such films as Prizzi’s Honor, The Flamingo Kid and Moscow on the Hudson. She also did made-for-TV movies like the ABC Afterschool Special, and was featured in commercials for McDonald’s, KFC, Westinghouse and Bridgestone Tires.
Although her kids enjoy dabbling in acting, Aurora said, she has advised them all to study hard and have backup plans.
“I don’t do this as a living,” she said. “If it’s your living, it’s difficult. Very few people make it big.”
(Diandra is a freshman at Drexel University; Adrianna, a senior at the University of Hawaii, is studying clinical psychology.)
Now that the nest is empty, will Aurora revive her show biz aspirations?
“You never know,” she said with a chuckle. “Shows always need people who are mother- and grandmother age.”
As for Friday’s season premiere, look for the woman in khaki pants and sleeveless shirt.
“Don’t blink or you’ll miss me!” Aurora said.