Fully Infected—My Zombie Makeover

Long before the days of The Walking Dead, I went through a hardcore transformation—a legit zombie makeover that spanned several weeks. Repulsive, jagged fangs and eerie glow-in-the-dark contacts coupled with blood-drenched hair and chunky prosthetic guts that took hours to remove. There’s nothing else like it.

It was funny to see my friends squirm when they first saw me—even my boyfriend couldn’t look me in the eye. I wondered if he’d get past it once I scoured the zombie-ness off. Was he traumatized by coming face to face with my hideous inner demon? Would he be plagued with nightmares of me dismembering him in his sleep? Whatever—he was going to have to suck it up. People who came to visit the set of The Convent could barely look at me during meals. Was it the blood caked onto my eyelashes that obliterated their appetite? Or did the fake guts dripping onto my chicken Shawarma nauseate them? I’ll tell you this—my gory appearance never stopped me from inhaling an ahi sandwich or drinking a chocolate milkshake. Being a zombie requires proper nutrition.

Transforming into a member of the undead is, bar none, an unparalleled experience. For me, it started with a torrential blood shower lasting so long that red corn syrup was embedded in my skin and my highlights turned pink for a couple of weeks. Getting showered with 500 gallons of recycled fake blood over and over again for the duration of 10 hours really puts you in a zombie state of mind.

Once my bloody death shower was over, it was time for the metamorphosis to begin. I sat in my throne of zombie genesis and waxed nostalgic about the days when my skin wasn’t inflamed from having prosthetic guts glued on and ripped off daily. Then randoms with dirty little fingers stuffed blinding, fluorescent contacts into my virgin eyes—is that what they call eyes that have never seen the likes of contacts?—and I was airbrushed with ghastly white skin and ugly blue veins.

I was now fully infected.

Once my zombie makeover was complete, the stunts began. Breaking through doors and tearing fake heads off bodies is awesome and intoxicating. A truly natural high. Growling and lunging at other actors was weird at first, but then some predilection took over and my inner zombie fully unleashed itself. I clawed my beautiful friend’s face off—no problem—and viciously shredded and devoured a hot boy’s abs. I split open the head of a close friend’s husband with a baseball bat, just months after serving as a bridesmaid in his wedding, and savagely brutalized anyone else who got in my way.

In reality, this metamorphosis was extremely cathartic and felt a lot more natural than it probably should have. It was an opportunity to be raw, primal and just a little bit cannibalistic. I could purge every shred of anger and stress and strip almost everything human from my conscience. It was pure and exhilarating, and at the same time, fully exhausting.

I would do it again in a heartbeat.