A finance worker bored with the soul-destroying tedium and sheer vacuous mundanity of the weekly nine to five grind has jacked it all in to become a full-time zombie.
Wales Online reported that horror fan Alex Noble took a rare delight in telling his bemused boss that he was quitting his job to join the ranks of the undead.
The 26-year-old from Cardiff has now shuffled off with the ungainly gait and lopsided limp of the undead to star his new job as a trainer with Slingshot, the company which runs zombie chase game 2.8 Hours Later.
In the game, players are 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. For Alex, getting the chance to appear in a zombie apocalypse is a dream come true.
“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. It took quite a bit of explaining – I don’t think my boss really understood.”
Making ends meet as an animated corpse has long been a burning ambition for Alex, and his favorite film is Day of the Dead. Alex spent five years volunteering as a zombie extra in films, tv and games before being offered his dream gig with Slingshot.
“I started off doing quite a bit of extras work. Most of it was unpaid, but then my hobby grew into a job. People started noticing me, because I was doing things differently. I had a niche look and I was doing the movements and noises differently.”
In his new role as a zombie tutor at zombie school, Alex is in charge of teaching people the responsibilities, skill, and privileges involved in being one of the walking dead.
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. And with 200 zombie hopefuls eager to learn how to walk and act like a rotting corpse at each school, Alex takes his macabre craft very seriously.
“Health and safety is paramount. 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.”
Yet Alex has a word of advice for anybody thinking of telling their boss to go to hell and strutting out the door to become a free-walking zombie instead of an office bound one.
“It is quite physically demanding – I do training in the gym to keep fit. 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.”
Alex admits he has no regrets about becoming a zombie and explains there is a great deal of community to being one of the walking dead.
“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.”
[Image Via twtrland.com AND ukzdl.co.uk]