View Full Version : Theatre actor trying to be a...ZOMBIE...HELP!

Damien Warwick
10-14-2010, 02:08 PM
Hello my fellow haunters! Yes it's moi again! This time, Ive got to make myself into a zombie. The only problem is, its for a new haunt on short notice, so I don't really have their mindset figured out 100% yet. I'm no tmuch of a mask guy, especially since most in my price range aren't that great. I'm really good with makeup, so I'll probably do the usual trickery: tissue paper, oat meal, gelatin, the usuals.

I've got some character ideas in mind. Since I'm still a theatre actor at heart, I like th eidea of being a man bitten by a zombie who, as I'm trying to help the people, finally turns on them.

But nows the real question...how to act like a zombie? What's more effective: the traditional "slow" zombie, or the modern quick one? Any suggestions on characters, makeup, walk, demenor, would be greatly appreciated. Thanks again guys you rock!

10-14-2010, 02:19 PM
Really you will need to talk to the haunt owner to see what his epectations are then build from the frame work he gives you. Are you having to do your own costume or are they providing?

Damien Warwick
10-14-2010, 02:23 PM
He's very freelance, pretty much told me to do what I want. This is by no means my first haunt, I've been doing this 5 years, but this is my first zombie. 90% of his people seem to do really crappy masks, which isn't my thing, he said if I want to do makeup more power to me.

10-14-2010, 05:30 PM

If the onwer .. and from what it sounds like they did.. gave you "cart blanche" to do what you want to do ...

What i woudl suggest .. and some may differ on on this .. is do a bit of "combo movments".. slow to distract then "leap" then switch it up from group to group..

This would of course depend on your surroundings .. are you in a graveyard with no strobes.. or with strobes.. are you in a room, are you a "wandering zombie" looking for you next meal? Many things have ot be taken into account to determine how you woudl move amogst the groups you are working with.

As far as makeup.. latex, corn flakes(and/ or rice crispies) and tissue paper DO WORK and work wonderfully.. you biggest expense woudl be the latex...unless you peel your appliance off from night to night and re use it then thats not that big of a deal as long as the appliance lasts for the run.

Again, given "carte-blanche" go what what you would feel as far as makeup what a zombie would look like .. look at yourself in the mirror and think " hmm how would I look after being dead for so many years.. and suddenly comming/summoned out of the grave (for whatever reason)" then go from there .

YES i know it sounds corny... but it works....

Best of luck.

Just my thoughts.

10-15-2010, 08:38 AM
Well if that is the case go for what you feel like try it diffrent styles I usually have 2 diffrent zombie styles I use the old and slow on the older folks (ala Night of the living dead) and fast on the younger folks.

For some zombie makeup on the cheap here is a video that may help

Allen H
10-15-2010, 09:16 AM
Hok the audience with slow Romero movements, that says zombie and sells what you are, then you can mix it up like Lonewolf and soul said.
As far as movement goes, try to move like a balerina thats been hit by a schoolbus.

Damien Warwick
10-16-2010, 01:01 PM
Well night 1 down...really small haunt...to be honest I miss my old one...oh well, I look at it as a way to help a haunt grow and mature in my time there...I just uploaded some pix in my profile of the makeup I did last night...check it out and let me know what you think...I wasn't a full zombie yet...I was infected and slowly becoming one

10-17-2010, 01:36 PM
Well this is my haunt he is talking about - First off I wouldn't say our haunt is small at 4500 Square Feet - we are not the largest out there by any means but a good portion of haunts stick within the 5000 square feet mark.....if they have more than that I know alot of them split it into multiple haunts.

Second point - To say my actors use crappy masks is a rough way to state that - A good portion of the masks I provide range in the $80 - $100 range and most are sold as collector pieces - the problem is they do not like wearing them due to visibility - has it hurt the scare factor...not at all.

I have found while doing this for almost 19 years that 90% of the customers do not stick around to look at the details on each of our actors...especially when they do their job right.

Our haunt is rather dark with only spotlighting in areas to provide just enough light to keep guests on the right path through - even the greatest of makeup is not seen by most guests unless you are line entertainment - even in the big haunts I have been through very rarely did I notice an awesome makeup job.....unless the haunt was so slow that I had time to stare at each actor.

We seem to come across these issues with each "Actor" we have come to us, now I am not knocking actors by any means but we are a "push forward" kind of haunt....when we are doing our jobs right the guests do not stick around to hear "Shakespeare" as the actor tries to throw out some masterful lines.

We provide an atmosphere - we do not provide a long story to go along with everthing, we have done that before and never had much luck with it, the guests always wanted to be just turned loose rather than listen to a story.

So I guess what it comes down to is if our haunt doesn't fit your style then I can provide you with a few other local haunts to check out that maybe your acting skills may be of more use...we will stick to scaring the hell out of people the way we have for years and staying one of the top haunted attractions in Northern Michigan :)

Damien Warwick
10-18-2010, 06:26 AM
Joe I appologize, I was typing that up hastily and it came across bad, again I appologize I really didn't mean it like that. Joe's actors really are passionate about what they do and they do their best. I feel quite embarassed right now at how bad that came across. Again I appologize. Joe, you do the best with what you have and you ar ereally passionate about what you do, and I greatly respect that. Again, I appologize

Dr. Giggles
10-18-2010, 10:11 AM
Nothing wrong with not scaring like its a theater performance. A lot of people pay for more in your face, intense things. As a patron I don't pay to have someone eloquently spin a character and intrigue me, I would go to a theater for that. Just my opinion, when I play zombies I'm very aggressive in your face. My mindset is I want their brains, and the only thing really stopping me is their skull, and still beating heart. This makes me seem very vicious and bloodthirsty, and the customer realizes this. Making it more intense. Because in my mind thats what zombies are, very primal. Eat, survive. In order to eat, I kill. Or in this case, scare. Well, I mean if the scene calls for it. Go for it. But in my mind zombies arent eloquent, and have spiels about it. Neither would victims. They are in pain and need help, and wouldnt understand why no ones helping them.
Just an opinion when it concerns zombies, and things of a dead and undead nature.

Damien Warwick
10-18-2010, 04:43 PM
different strokes for different folks. I think theres a lot I can learn from Evernight. I mean heck he's been in this business as long as I've been alive (sorry to show your age bro :P). I'm not used to that style, so I'm bound to learn a lot from it.

Dr. Giggles
10-18-2010, 09:56 PM
Yeah, like I said. An opinion, its what I have used. And believe me, i have used both methods. It was most effective for me. But I'm a big man and it makes me seem that much more vicious. So my body type helps.
But play with it I suppose. Wish you the best of luck friend.

Jim Warfield
10-19-2010, 06:41 PM
If I had some copies of the 1967 Mt. Carroll Senior annual , I would draw a circle around the pictures therein of the real "Zombies", zombies from many years of study, looking off into space, pushing eyes into your forearm, head down on the desk....
..and then came graduation and they all got the same diplomas!
The biggest Zombie was me as I wandered aimlessly around the school. That 13th concusion lasted awhile, all the way from football season.
"Where am I? What class did I just come from?"