Thursday, May 31, 2012

My first paid Zombie gig

Voodoo Zombie
I'm very excited to report that I actually made money from my costumes!  For some time my friends have been pushing me to start making and selling costumes and accessories. Well I didn't do that, but I did get hired to dress as a zombie for a live promotion in New York City!
I received a call from a casting company looking for zombies who own their own costumes to promote a new zombie mobile game app. I am over qualified in that department. I responded with "Here are your choices: Street clothes, Beetlejuice style dress, Marie Antionette dress, Street Peasant dress." In fact I have a whole section of my closet dedicated to boxes and bags labeled "ZOMBIE". But I digress, the point of this post is I was hired to be a ambling zombie on the streets of New York City.
The day of the event, I got up nice and early for my 7:30am call time in Soho. As I walked in the door I was surprised to see my Kostume Kult friends Rocket, Tom and Mercury John were there as well. I guess I shouldn't have really been THAT surprised. If a call for costumes goes out, we are gonna hear about it. Anyway our staging location was set up in the offices of OMGPOP. They are the company behind a ton of mobile games including a personal favorite of mine, Draw Something. Needless to say being a fairly new technology company their office was super cool. It was clear that they let their employees express themselves at work to aid the creative process. Some of the earlier call time zombies were done with makeup and were practicing their zombie shuffle and groan around the office. After helping myself to some coffee and danish, it was my turn in the makeup chair. A lovely makeup artist who works at Abracadabra during the Halloween season did a fabulous job making me utterly undead. She did a great job with just a few simple sponges, making it look as if I had totally been feasting on brains. I watched her every move carefully so I could try some of her techniques at the next zombie event. TIP: Ripping a sponge makes a great tool for textures. That is how she did the blood around my mouth. After makeup it was time to zombie up my hair. Some costume hairspray in white and green with a generous amount of teasing had me looking like Rob Zombie's girlfriend in no time. I loved it. I pinned my top hat on and after some instructions from our director we were ready to go.
Before the rain flattened my hair.
Unfortunately something that no event planner can organize is the weather. Almost as soon as the zombies were ready to move, the skies didn't want to cooperate. We had just finished shooting some group shots and footage of us pouring out of the subways when the clouds rumbled and really let loose. Zombies are usually impervious to weather conditions but this was ridiculous. Buckets of rain came down and we were forced to seek shelter in the Astor Place subway stop. Undeterred we simply scared any people getting on or off the subway there. We groaned, shuffled and passed out stickers and free "blood" pops (actually a very delicious hibiscus and mint popsicle) to the best of our ability but New Yorkers are pretty impatient when its raining a most wanted very little to do with a horde of zombies slowing down their power rain walking. The zombies powered through and returned to our start location completely soaked with zombie makeup running painfully into our eyes. Then came the fun part of riding home on the 7 train by myself looking like an insane person. Not my first or last time in this particular situation.
Lastly little more about the zombie game. Its from Zynga (Words with Friends, Farmville) and its called Zombie Swipeout. As far as I can tell, it is similar to Fruit Ninja but with Zombies and weapons. Pretty cool. Check out the promo video below.

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