As an avid fan of all things “The Walking Dead,” it was a pleasure and a privilege to be able to head out to NYC this weekend to participate in last night’s official “Walking Dead Escape” run & obstacle course at the Intrepid Sea, Air, and Space Museum. I had a bloody (emphasis on bloody) good time performing as a walker- which come to find out- is a lot more difficult than you’d imagine. After a pretty intense and sticky makeup and gore application- myself, as well as a group of other walker participants- received training on how to walk/limp/crawl and growl/snarl/groan like the walkers on the show before being placed in different areas around the course.
We were told that in order for the experience to be as authentic as possible, we couldn’t break character. Naturally, walkers don’t know how to use cameras or cell phones- so I don’t have too many pictures from the course itself apart from the ones I took before I went in for hair & makeup of a group that were doing the run before I started, and afterwards when my shift was over. I’m sure there will be plenty of pictures and YouTube videos up soon, though. A lot of the runners (“survivors”) I saw were snapping and recording away with their cameras while they ran for their lives to the finish line.
I was stationed up on the flight deck of the Intrepid by a bunch of military helicopters and planes, in between other walker participants and volunteers dressed up as soldiers and Special Ops with an incredible view of the Manhattan skyline. As people ran through my area in groups or clusters, I would stumble towards them, reach for them, bump into things, bump into other people, and occasionally grab anyone that got too close until they broke away and bolted. I have to say, it was quite a thrill scaring people. The amount of grown men I heard screaming like little girls when they would come around a corner and I’d be standing there, or hiding next to or inside strategically placed MEDICAL SUPPLIES or FOOD RATIONS boxes was so unbelievably funny.
The only semi-bad incident that occurred was when a woman who was already pretty freaked out when she ran around the corner where I was standing and nearly collided into me smashed me in the eye with her rolled up sweatshirt pretty hard as a reflex. She kept running, but her friend stopped to make sure I was alright. Not wanting to break character, I just groaned and growled. My eye was still a little sore this morning, but it’s doing just fine now. Lesson learned: next time- wear safety goggles.
I got the above-photographed poster as a souvenir, and would have kept my tattered and bloodied t-shirt as a memento if it wouldn’t have ruined the rest of my clothes in my bag. If “The Walking Dead Escape” returns to NYC next year, I’d love to run through the course and give other walker participants the chance to have as much fun frightening me as much as I enjoyed frightening others last night.
It wasn’t ALL blood and gore in NYC, though. When I wasn’t trying to take a bite out of people or scrubbing the airbrushed bruises from my skin, I also enjoyed a couple of beautiful Autumn afternoons by Strawberry Fields and in the Lower East Side.
And now, to end this most fun and wild weekend, I’m off to prepare for the season 4 premiere of “The Walking Dead” tonight. 9 P.M. Don’t miss it!