Fabulous Adventures In Coding
Eric Lippert is a principal developer on the C# compiler team. Learn more about Eric.
[No technology today, so if you're only here for the witty banter about programming languages, skip this one.]
Leah and I spent the week before Halloween volunteering at Nightmare At Beaver Lake, a haunted-house-style attraction that runs along the trails in Beaver Lake Park, just on the other side of Lake Sammamish from Microsoft's main campus. I had never done any kind of acting before whatsoever and it was an enormous amount of fun to learn what scares people.
I was fortunate enough to be given my dream role every night: not just a zombie, but the very first big scare on the trail. As victims came down the trail and rounded a slight corner they saw a fog-shrouded graveyard full of glow-in-the-dark tombstones, and in the distance, a vampire-infested haunted house. They would stop to read the witty saying on the tombstone and then I, in full zombie makeup, lurched out from behind it with a big old RAAARGH!
That worked pretty well, but my co-zombies and I did a lot of fine-tuning as we figured out what scared people and what didn't. We had over 6000 opportunities over the week, so eventually we got it down to a science. As a public service to future aspiring zombies, here's some stuff that we learned works:
Anyone else have any suggestions for aspiring zombies?
Awesome blog post Eric, it sounds like you had loads of fun!
It makes me want to volunteer as a Zombie too! I bet it was really difficult not to laugh though, as you mentioned in one of the points. Did you start to get competetive with any of the other Zombies about who could scare the most people or get the loudest screams? :-) I imagine you as getting quite competetive ;-)