Getting made up at Kennedy’s Public House on West 57th Street. (more…)
No Zombie Love at the W Hotel.
The Zombies invade Grand Central and do the Chiller Dance.
The Zombies hit Times Square, Sephora and Halloween Adventure.
Halloween and Zombiecon are coming up. I decided to go with a mask over that damn bloody make-up I’ve been doing for the past couple of years. This is paper mache formed over a balloon, and cardboard. It is not quite done.
My first task when I make a mask is to insure good visibility. The holes are covered with black scrim to hide my eyes and face, but because the eye holes are so large, I can see I can see pretty well. Peripheral vision is very important in a parade mask. The small holes below the right eye in the photo are there to allow me to see where I place my feet, which is also very important. The jaw will eventually be operated like a rod puppet.
I added more holes for added vision and ventilation. I think it adds a bit to the look as well, like the bone is rotting. The mouth can now be operated by pulling a string.
This is a 90 second unedited clip of the Zombies coming down the escalator in the mall where Gimbels used to be. You can see a Flickr slideshow of my photos here, but mostly I shot video. I caught a lot of wacky stuff, there were few slackers, everyone put on a show.
Zombiecon ’08 NYC is this Saturday. I wasn’t feeling particularly zombie-ish until this evening, when I bought the beets to juice for their blood. From bottom left to right: a Humerus trumpet (made from pvc pipe, masking tape, rags and paper), a dead-hand goblet (latex, cast from my hand several years ago), a bald-cap that has seen many Halloweens, (now with disgusting bloody hair). All these re-purposed within 3 hours this evening. I guess this means I must go.
In the background are a couple of the beautiful people who participated in last year’s Zombiecon.
I was asked many times during the parade how I make the arms move. People kept looking for puppet strings. There are no strings, the arm pivots up at the shoulder joint when I pull down on a wire attached to the top of the arm. The elbow, wrist and finger joints are made springy using heavy piano wire. The harness rests on my shoulders and is cut from sheet metal padded with a covering of black duct tape. No straps are needed, it is good to be able to get in and out of costumes quickly.
The arms are relatively light weight, and are padded especially well at the fingertips. It would be easy enough to hit someone in the face, especially in the crowded pre-parade participant cattle pen. Also for safety, this time mine, the shoulder joints are designed to come off and not drag me with them if they get grabbed by something or someone dangerous.
The feet were attached to my black sneakers with elastic. The one on the right still has the litter it gathered from the parade route stuck to it.
More how-to, when I get around to it.
I’ve yet to find a photo of me from the parade on Flickr. Though I was stopped innumerable times to pose. If you know of any photos or video of me, please let me know.
A test of some zombie makeup. It’s all natural: boiled mochi rice flour and green clay, with streaks of burnt cork for that Bar-BQ taste.
It washed out nicely with warm water, Dr Bronner’s and a scrub cloth, leaving the skin refreshed and my pores clean.
Here’s the disgusting effect in use, yesterday. The red is beet juice mixed with boiled sweet rice flour. I streaked burnt cork directly on my skin before applying the rice and clay goop.
Photo credit: unknown zombie
All Natural Zombie Makeup Recipe:
Mix 1/2 cup of mochi rice flour, with 1 cup of cold water, eliminate any lumps with a fork. Slowly pour into 2 cups of boiling water. Stir constantly for about 2 minutes over a low flame. This is easiest if you have two people, but can be done by one with dexterity. Take it off the flame and stir occasionally until it is cool.
Be careful, keep the pot on low flame, this starchy pudding will bubble like lava and burn you badly if your hand is too close to the surface. It is hotter than boiling water, and sticks to your skin. Use a long wooden spoon, kitchen gloves, long sleeves, safety glasses, lab aprons, or bio-hazard suit, whatever your adult supervisor thinks prudent.
You can mix this half and half with beet juice to make thick sticky edible blood. The beet pulp also mixed half and half, made a fine sticky scabby looking mess for applying around fake wounds. Beet juice will stain your clothes, but it hasn’t left a stain on my skin yet.
Mix in about 4 to 6 tablespoons of green facial clay with about 1 cup of the pudding for the basic zombie skin. This will stick very firmly and shrinks as it dries. wrinkling your skin hideously in the process. Then slowly, bit by bit it cracks and falls off, leaving you probably unwelcome on a friend’s couch without a prior shower.
You could probably substitute high-gluten wheat flour, corn starch, or even any old flour in your kitchen for the mochi rice flour, probably with the same proportions. But that is your experiment. The result should be sticky, smooth and translucent. It’s a starch pudding without the added sugar.
Everything did wash off, with scrubbing. The rice gluten in my hair required two showers. The burnt cork around my eyes gave me the hardest time, considering I had to use soap to rid myself of the raccoon eyes.