At first, the entire zombie mob was completely awkward. There were a couple people whose makeup was fantastic, while there were others who just dabbed some blood on their faces and called themselves zombies. Either was fine really—a convincing performance is still necessary, however.
In the first half of the walk, the performance was not that spectacular, to be honest. Maybe three people were fully committed to the role. Everyone else just seemed kind of embarrassed to be participating. They had to be encouraged from the director of the walk to moan and groan, and to look undead in general. The major problem was that there weren’t a large number of students participating. I feel that if more students were there, everyone would have felt freer in their acting. There were actually remarks from some of the onlookers that they were expecting more people in the mob.
But slowly, the group started acquiring more zombies as various people from Troy began joining the mob. As the mob got bigger, the zombies began to get more comfortable with what they were doing. They started chasing after little children, stopping to take pictures with onlookers, screaming louder, and actually looking like a mob of the undead. Also, the group spread out more, looking a lot bigger than they actually were, which helped. Something I found interesting was the fact that the mob would go slower and be louder when there were more people around. That seems kind of obvious, but the group did it subconsciously, which I found was just kind of funny.
By the time the entire mob made it down to River Street, I would say that everything was in full swing. There was a large group of people waiting to watch the mob, actively participating and enjoying the show. It was a great chance for the RPI students to interact with the Troy community.
Some of my favorite zombie moments were when some of the zombies saw a dog and started screaming, “Doggie yummy!” I have to say that definitely gave me a chuckle. Another extremely amusing moment was when one zombie started “attacking” a city bus while it was at a stop light. The faces of the people on the bus? Priceless.
When we finally made it down to our destination, where we gathered for a bit of a dance party, I was having some fun. It was extremely amusing watching the zombies chase after young kids and pre-teens. I could tell that this was something that those kids loved and would remember. It was kind of adorable, to be honest. For example, the dance party was essentially all little kids jumping around screaming. Of course, when “Thriller” came on and some people wanted to actually attempt a group dance, the little kids just kind of got in the way. There were a couple times when all I could do was cringe because I thought some little four-year-old girl was about to be trampled. But still, the entire dance party was cute.
Overall, I believe that this entire project could be fantastic, if only there were more students there to participate. I saw a handful of RPI students actually acting with dedication. They were into playing the part of the undead, while some of the others just kind of shuffled along. One thing that really bothered me about the mob, however, was how fast they were going! Zombies should just shuffle along! But I actually had to walk pretty fast to keep up with this horde of the undead. I felt like they just wanted to speed through the walk.
Still, I believe that the entire idea of the zombie mob is fabulous. It gives a very festive mood, causes interaction between the townspeople and the Troy college community, and just seems fun and quirky in general. Of course, it would probably have been better if more of the college community participated! The people of Troy were there and completely participating. The colleges, not so much. Maybe if there were more fliers around campus, more promotion of the event, then it would have been a little better. What could have also contributed to this factor, however, was the fact that the event had been rescheduled due to the weather. This may have caused people to not be sure of the date, or to not really be sure of what was going on. Overall though, it was a beautiful fall night that could have been so much better if there was more participation. I would definitely recommend going to this event next year, though.