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Guy Quits Office Job to Become Professional Zombie

When 26-year-old Alex Noble realied that his job in finance was taking the life out of him, he decided to quit and pursue a career with the undead. The horror fan from Cardiff now works as a professional zombie – in case you’re wondering, that is a real job.

Alex explained that he has always been interested in zombies. For five years, he worked as a zombie extra in films, TV, and games. He mostly worked for free, but the experience finally paid off when he was offered a position at Slingshot, the company that runs the zombie chase game ‘2.8 Hours Later’.

“People started noticing me, because I was doing things differently,” he said. “I had a niche look and I was doing the movements and noises differently.”

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So when he was offered the job, Alex realized that it was the opportunity of a lifetime. “When I told my friends, they thought I was giving up a stable career on a whim,” he said. “A lot of people will be happy doing their job for 20 years, but opportunity only knocks once.” He also had a tough time breaking the news to his bemused boss. “It took quite a bit of explaining – I don’t think my boss really understood,” he said.

Alex now works full time at 2.8 Hours Later, a UK company that organizes nightly events where participants are chased by zombies. Each event requires 60 zombie volunteers, 12 actors, 12 stage managers, five make-up artists, 10 production staff, security staff, and bar staff for the zombie disco after-party. Over 600 players take part in each zombie experience, and the event attracts at least 2,000 participants per city.

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This year, players will be told that the human race is dying out as the population succumbs to zombie infection. As part of a resistance group, they will have to break into a quarantined slum, outwit criminal gangs, and outrun zombies to rescue the only uninfected children on earth.

Given the scale of the operation, Alex’s job is quite important; he trains at least 200 zombie volunteers at the ‘zombie school’, the weekend before the event. The training involves a presentation about the game, a choreography session and a health and safety briefing.

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“Health and safety is paramount,” Alex explained. “I always try to identify the alpha males because they can get too competitive. If you give them a mask, cover them in blood and ask them to chase someone, they can get carried away. The best zombies might not be the fastest, they are the ones that make the character really real.”

Once training is complete, the volunteers are ready to chase players in events every night, but only after they are turned into zombies by makeup artists. “Firstly, we make the skin pale and add shadow to the eyes to make them look really ill,” said Alex. “Then we add veins and splatter them with blood in our splatter booth, which is like a field hospital tent where we throw theater blood over them.”

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“It is quite physically demanding – I do training to keep myself fit,” added Alex, who apart from training, takes part in the zombie chase himself. “Some actors who are used to working in movies find it difficult, because with a film, you shoot your scene and that’s it for the day. In this game, you have 600 plus people sprinting around at full pelt for three hours and you can’t break character at all.”

This year’s 2.8 Hours Later tour will begin in Cardiff in March, and then move on to Birmingham, Manchester, Glasgow, Liverpool, Leeds, Sheffield and Bristol. “The event has really grown in popularity,” Alex said, proudly. “This year, we have doubled the number of cities on the tour.”

 

“It is an experience unlike any other. A lot of our players are looking for something a little bit different to do and being chased by zombies in your home city ticks that box,” he added.

Real-life zombie horror games have become really popular in the UK. In recent years, we have written about the popular 2.8 Hours Later chase, but also about the Zombie Boot Camp and the Overnight Werewolf Hunting Experience.

Photos: The Zomboss/Facebook

Source: Wales Online

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