Wanted: 700 Zombies to Scare the Daylights Out of Theme Park Visitors
[Ed. note, Aug. 1: Audition deadlines and hiring locations have been updated.]
You might be able to relate to the humans fleeing the zombies on "The Walking Dead."
But have you ever thought about being one of the zombies?
Now’s your chance to find out what it’s like to be a flesh-eating, undead creature -- and get paid for it.
This could be your time to shine. Or grunt and ooze fake blood.
How to Land One of These Busch Gardens Jobs
People flock to the award-winning Howl-O-Scream event for scares and thrills and maybe some pants-wetting.
It was the thing to do when I was in high school, and it scared the shoes off me. Really, that happened one time. I had to tearfully retrieve my abandoned flip flop from a chainsaw zombie clown.
But it was a darn scary clown, and that’s where you come into the scene.
Each night, Busch Gardens’ makeup artists will transform you into a scary, undead creature. You’ll be placed in a dark haunted house to scream at, follow or taunt the visitors who wander through.
You don’t have to have any prior zombie -- or acting -- experience to snag this seasonal gig.
You must be 18 and be available to work from 5 p.m. to 3 a.m. on event nights -- Thursday to Sunday from Sept. 23 to Oct. 30, 2016.
Costumes are provided, though you need the staples: a pair of black pants and black shoes.
There are some physical requirements -- a lot of standing, walking or strenuous activity at times. No matter which outpost you’re assigned to, you should be able to perform your character for up to two hours at a time.
Ready to Become a Zombie?
Complete the online application. It only takes about 15-30 minutes.
Then show up to one of the open auditions held now until early September. Arrive in comfy clothes, and hold off on zombie clothes and makeup; you’ll be asked to wash it off.
Step behind “The Gauntlet,” a wall flanked with secret windows that slam open and shut. Your job is to jump in and be that creepy, lingering zombie with perfect timing.
You’ll also participate in some improvisational games. Ben DeWitt, the Howl-O-Scream Entertainment Project Manager, told Bay News 9 it’s not uncommon for would-be zombies to be asked to act like something totally silly, like an octopus that drank too much Red Bull.
If you can pass the fear and fun tests, you’re hired. You’ll go through a series of trainings to become your best possible zombie-self. You also get a backstory, which will inform you how to act, walk and what noises you make.
Don’t live in Tampa? No worries: SeaWorld Parks and Entertainment is hiring zombies in San Antonio, Texas; San Diego, California; and Williamsburg, Virginia, too.
The starting hourly pay is $9.75. Not too bad for a zombie, right?
Your Turn: Do you have the guts to work in a haunted house?
Carson Kohler (@CarsonKohler) is a junior writer at The Penny Hoarder. After recently completing graduate school, she focuses on saving money — and surviving the move back in with her parents. If she can’t, she might become a zombie.