I found something that didn't have any of those things as requirements for participation. My friend's older brother, Wes, does parody covers of popular music. One song he re-did lately was Tao Cruz's "Dynamite," changing it to fit an un-dead theme and naming it "ZombieNight." His wife suggested as a joke that he make a music video parody to go along with the song. Wes jumped on the idea and together, he and his wife began a project to get "ZombieNight" from the sound studio into film.
My audition for a part as an extra went well, and I got an email a few days later saying that I was invited to be in the film shoot in September. Yesterday was the day! 14 hours of zombie-ness took place, and it was a lot of fun.
|Beautiful, isn't it? Kirsten, the artist who did my make-up, was very thorough|
(and no, she did not use a 2 x 4 to give me that bruise. Just paint, brushes, and sponges).
Having been involved in theater since I was 4, full-face make-up was no surprise for me. The latex stuff, however, was new. Liquid latex is cold and smells funny, and when it dries it pulls your skin tight and makes it difficult to move normally. I was given a wicked looking burn on my neck, and the range of motion in my neck was cut down by about a third! But it looked cool. It actually freaked some people out when it was fresh -- they said it looked like I'd actually been burned.
All of us zombies looked wicked disgusting, but it was really fun. Wearing shredded, stained clothes and being covered in dirt and fake blood, bruises, burns, stab wounds, bullet holes, and other various injuries really brings people together. Barriers broken, people. So funny that friendships were started by people comparing their wounds and making up stories as to how they got them. Because when everyone looks like crap, it's really easy to fit in!
(side thing: it is much less awkward to have your clothes ripped apart by a woman than it is to have them shredded by a man -- that was weird)
I should have been more mentally prepared for the physical aspect of the zombie role. I've often been a character actor or dancer actor, where most of my portrayal has taken place through my movements (as Tantomile in CATS, a jitterbug in The Wizard of Oz, a wife in Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat, to name a few). Acting like a zombie takes more energy than a person might think, because pretending not to have control of your body takes a lot of control (I'm a bit sore today, actually -- kinda out of shape much?). It's like being a dancer, but purposefully being bad at it.
I'm actually kind of surprised that the children on set weren't scared by the way us zombie grown-ups looked.
When I was a child, I probably would have been terrified. Then again, Lassie Come Home gave me nightmares, so. Yeah.
The make-up removal was quite the adventure. Don't tug on the latex (yeah, don't do it) when trying to get it off. Just roll it off and it won't hurt as much (blah).
Remarkably, this all came off pretty easily. Two or three gentle washes with shampoo and presto! Gone.
Wrap it up and send it to a baby on Christmas, folks! This sequence of production is DONE!