Man Quits Finance Job To Become Full Time Professional Zombie
A finance worker has swapped his steady job to become a professional zombie.
Bored of crunching numbers, horror fan Alex Noble took great pleasure in handing in his notice, telling his bemused boss he was off to pursue a career with the undead, reported Wales Online .
“It took quite a bit of explaining – I don’t think my boss really understood,” he said.
“When I told my friends, they thought I was giving up a stable career on a whim. A lot of people will be happy doing their job for 20 years, but opportunity only knocks once.”
The 26-year-old from Cardiff is now employed as a trainer by Slingshot, the company which runs zombie chase game 2.8 Hours Later.
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Players are given a scenario and a mission to complete, which sees them stalked across their hometown by hordes of the undead.
“I have always been into zombies,” explained Alex, whose favourite film is Day of the Dead.
“I started off doing quite a bit of extras work. Most of it was unpaid, but then my hobby grew into a job.”
Alex spent five years volunteering as a zombie extra in films, tv and games, before being offered the position with Slingshot.
“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.”
He is now responsible for running “zombie school” for the volunteers taking part in the game.
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There are 60 volunteers for each night of the event and with the tour spending several nights in each city, that means around 200 zombies at each school.
Zombie training takes place the weekend before the event and involves a presentation about the game, plus a choreography session and a health and safety briefing.
“Health and safety is paramount,” explained the zombie tutor.
“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.”
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The event will take place in Cardiff in March and 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 the zombies to rescue the only uninfected children on earth.
“It is quite physically demanding – I do training in the gym to keep fit,” said Alex.
“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.”
It takes a big team to host a zombie apocalypse.
Each event requires 60 volunteers, 12 actors, 12 stage managers, five make-up artists, 10 members of production crew, security staff, plus bar staff for the zombie disco after-party.
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More than 600 players take part each night, with the event attracting about 2,000 participants in each city.
Each night, the volunteers are attacked by the make-up artists – a gory process.
“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 theatre blood over them.”
The tour will start in Cardiff, before heading to Birmingham, Manchester, Glasgow, Liverpool, Leeds, Sheffield and Bristol.
“The event has really grown in popularity. This year, we have doubled the number of cities on the tour,” explained Alex.
“There is a great sense of community on the volunteering side. A lot of our volunteers come back every year.
“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.”
* 2.8 Hours Later will take place in Cardiff in March. For more information, visit www.2.8hourslater.com