My Walking Dead Screen Test
Some time ago, shortly after medical school, a patient approached me to act in a TV series. He was a short German man with a disintegrating nose and a limp, and claimed he was directing a new television series based on the infamous “Night of the Living Dead,” one of the most famous zombie movies of all time.
I was in the middle of examining him when things became strange.
“Your blood pressure is good,” I said.
“It must be better than yours,” he said. “You look barely alive, like the zombies I’m filming for my TV show.”
“I feel like a walking zombie,” I admitted. “I was on call last night. Sorry about that, though it shouldn’t affect your treatment today.”
“I don’t care about my treatment. I’ll be fine. But, I want you to try out for my TV show. You seem like you’d be comfortable around my zombies.”
I consented and he arranged for the filming of my screen test in a wooded area of Queens, New York, just off the Grand Central Parkway.
A few days later I got a phone call from the director’s assistant.
“I’m sorry you didn’t get the part.”
I sort of felt relieved. “That’s okay.”
“Weren’t you his doctor?”
“Yes. Why do you ask?”
“The director’s illness has progressed. He was moved to a leper colony.”
“I’m sorry to hear that,” I said. “That seems quite unusual.”
“Can I ask you a question?”
“Did you check him for Leprosy?”
“No, I did not.”
“Leprosy is common in zombies,” the assistant said.
I paused for a second to let that sink in. “Ok, but he was a director, not a zombie.”
“Maybe that’s why the show failed.”
A few weeks later I received a package. Inside was a video of my screen test. There was no return address.
I never heard from either of them again.
© Richie Smith
© Richie Smith