A Zombie Jamboree – May 2012

me creating zombies

It’s been a while, but my trusty bottle of blood has once again proved its worth. This month saw the arrival of 2.8 Hours Later in Liverpool. It’s a live action zombie chase across the city. Participants are given a series of instructions and have to make it to their final destination without getting infected. If they do get infected, they are also turned into zombies at the end (for a big zombie piss-up). I volunteered as a make up artist for this. I was aware that, having applied late I wasn’t going to be paid, but was rather surprised on arrival to discover that the majority of paid make up artists were not in fact qualified make up artists. Still, I thought, if I don’t volunteer, somebody else will and I’ll miss out on having it on my CV. That’s the problem with this industry, too many of us think like that. If all make up artists decided that we would no longer do anything for free, we would start getting more paid work. Yet there’s always somebody out there, looking to enhance their CV who will work for free, or for expenses which means there is always cheap labour available. I’m as guilty of this as anyone, but I’m still aware of how unfair it is, more so when paid work is being given to unqualified people.

As I wasn’t being paid I decided only to volunteer for the early shifts, from 3.30pm to 7.30pm. This involved getting the zombies (some paid actors, some volunteers) ready for their performance. There was a group of female zombies out on a hen night, dressed up in ripped fishnets, feather boas and animal print. For the first time ever I felt it appropriate to do a ‘scouse brow’ on one of these girls. Somehow it just seemed fitting.

zombie hen party

The second shift, from 8pm onwards saw the make up artists transported to the party destination where they had to turn infected participants into zombies. After the first day I was so glad I hadn’t volunteered for this shift. The make up artists had been rushed off their feet, no chance for breaks, food or drink. their clothes were stained with the fake blood used (home-made, inedible, bright, almost neon red) and yet they all said what a great time they’d had. The volunteers were all quite happy to have inedible face paint in their mouths, some even requesting it. Some even flew over from Belfast to take part. And in the darkness of the night, the neon red colour looked sinister and appropriate as blood.

2.8 Hours Later left Liverpool last weekend and is, I believe, travelling on to Leeds, Manchester, Brimingham and London. Keep your eyes and ears peeled…they’re out there and they want your brains!

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