February 2006 (v8 i4)
Hiding in the bushes since 1997!
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There just arenít any good acting parts for zombies these days
by Chad Blaze, Zombie/Actor

Iíve been in Hollywood for the past five years pursuing my life long dream of becoming a professional actor, and Iíve come to one heart-breaking conclusion: There just arenít any good parts for zombies these days.

Five years ago, I was doing off-Broadway theater in New York to rave reviews ó my portrayal of Iago 2.1 in a post-apocalyptic version of Othello received four stars ó and I hadnít murdered a human for sustenance in 18 months. Naturally, Hollywood beckoned.

Unfortunately, I was met with a rude awakening. Zombies are treated like second-class citizens in this town, relegated to offensive typecasting and background parts. In my first year I played a mutilated corpse on all three CSIís, a burn victim on Law and Order: SVU and was part of the background entertainment for Rob Zombieís sonís fourth birthday party ó those were the gigs that paid. It was the definition of humiliating.

My classical training and tireless dedication to my craft led me to believe I had the upper hand on all the other wannabe Hanks and Crowes out there, but apparently flaky skin, unquenchable blood lust and the lack of a pulse are enough to convince directors and agents to hire a non-decomposing actor.

I finally got the part I hoped would be my big break: Flesh Feaster #2 in the low budget horror/porn Naked Zombies 3: Seduction of the Flesh Feasters. Although the part lacked the grand dialogue and character subtext for which I yearned, it did lead me to Saul Ginsberg, an agent famous for representing such notable minority actors as the demon girl from Hellraiser, Scorpion from Mortal Kombat and Lou Diamond Phillips.

Ginsberg told me to exploit my minority status to further my career, but this turned out to be a step in the wrong direction. Every part I landed was for a film that ended in ďOf the Dead.Ē My love for the craft of acting was degraded and insulted at every turn.

Apparently casting directors donít care if you have a rich David Mamet monologue prepared, they just want to see you stick your arms forward, roll your eyes to the back of your head and make gurgling sounds.

The stress started to get to me when I nabbed a coveted guest spot on Dharma and Greg, but I was fired after accidentally vomiting blood and lung tissue all over Jenna Elfman during a blocking session.

With my Broadway money nearly depleted, I was forced to get a job waiting tables at a TGI Fridayís in Inglewood to pay the bills.

As I saw my dreams of Hollywood stardom fading away before my decomposing eyes, my baser instincts started taking over. Subcutaneous pustules began to appear all over my body, my limbs began falling off during auditions and my desire to eat the brains of young children plagued me once again.

Now I just roam the streets of LA marauding for human flesh and drinking the blood of the innocent.

The visceral excitement I once felt during my three-week engagement of Waiting for Godot has withered away like my vital organs. The pool of strong acting roles once available to me has dried up much like my arteries and tear ducts. And my excitement and passion for the craft of acting is dead, just like me.
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