Oh boy! Today I, along with about 600 other people, auditioned to be a regular zombie extra for a new syfy channel TV series. I have to say, it was a true blast, one I would like to enjoy every day. At this sort of late date, I have found my true career–zombie. Or rather, star of stage and screen. Yes, that. I have been bitten by the fame bug, or vampire as the case may be. Let me tell you the story.
A while back, I happened to notice an ad for extras for this new TV series–Z Nation–that will be filmed here where I live. The call was for zombie extras, and of course that perked my ears right up. The chance to be a zombie! Who could resist? So I had my sister take my head and body shots, and got online and registered at the talent agency, and oh wow, they said they would love to represent me. Visions of sugarplums!
They sent me suggestions of zombie videos to watch, to get in character. They told me that if I was chosen to audition, I would need to be able to do a zombie walk and look scary, so I started practicing looking scary (that is not particularly easy!). Oh joy, what fun! (The cats disapproved, by the way, even though I promised not to eat them.) So I was selected for the audition! Geezo, I am on the way to Hollywood.
My time to show my stuff today was 1pm. I wanted to wear my Grateful Dead t-shirt, but I couldn’t find it, so I made do with a VW bug t-shirt. Got there, checked in, #11 of Group 9, which consisted of a total of 45 like-minded folks. Doing the math (my first career was as an accountant, so I always have to do the math), I figured that about 450 people were selected besides me, and since the day was still fairly young, there would probably be another 150 to 200 after me. Of course, they all could have just stayed home, really.
OK, here we go. As you know, there are two kinds of zombies, fast (newly dead) and slow (long dead). They move differently, with fast zombies being, well, fast, and slow zombies being slow. We had been told that the key to acing the audition was to listen and follow direction. So I listened. Also I followed direction. There was a woman at one end of the room with some tinkle bells and a guy at the other end with a drum. Zombies, you know, react only to sound, so we were to be slow zombies moving to munch on the woman when she was tinkling her bells, and fast zombies moving the other way to munch on the guy when he was tapping his drum. But, we had to wait to move until the director said “go”. We were to make two walks in each direction. We went on stage in groups of five. I was in the third group. A surprising number of zombie hopefuls failed to wait for the director’s directions. I, on the other hand, am quite good at following orders (hah!).
My zombie walk was the cat’s pajamas (really fun, for you youngsters). My slow walk was really slow and nicely jerky, and my change to a fast zombie was tai chi grace in action (if I do say so myself). I did, however, forget to be scary. But I did not laugh. There were some other, ahem, older zombies in Group 9, but I was one of the few of them who could actually run, as fast zombies are wont to do. My two minutes of fame were absolutely wonderful, something I will remember always. But as much or more fun was watching the others in the group. After about the 4th group of five had done their walks, people started adding sound effects– grunts, squeals, roars and such. It was so funny, we all could not help laughing. Truly, this was something I would not have missed for the world.
The goal of the audition today was to choose 3o to 40 “regulars”, extras (no speaking role) who would appear in many of the shows. There will also be plain extras, who will be called upon more occasionally. There were five or six really good zombies in Group 9, and I was not one of them, but I think I might have a chance to be a plain extra. If nothing else, my age is a plus factor. I hope, I hope, I hope they call me!
Today was more fun than a barrel of zombies! I want to go to every single audition for any part. Where has the camera been all my life?