New York Times
October 18, 2011
ATLANTA — Welcome to the Zombie Capital of the World. That, at least, is what Atlanta magazine, the glossy monthly, has dubbed this Southern city.
It’s not only that “The Walking Dead,” the hit zombie show that began its second season on AMC on Sunday, is filmed and set here. Or that Atlanta holds some of the nation’s largest zombie film festivals, zombie paradesand zombie haunted houses. Or that even the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, that staid Atlanta-based federal agency, joined in the fun with a tongue-in-cheek guide to surviving a zombie apocalypse.
It is mainly that there are Atlantans like Kevin Galbraith, a 24-year-old Georgia State University student who is one of the 6,000 people who applied to be zombie extras on “The Walking Dead.” The pay is meager, the hours are long, the weather is steamy, and even their friends barely recognize them, staggering around in the background, coated in fake blood and corpse-gray paint. And only 200 will be chosen each season. “You have to be the sort of kid who grew up practicing your zombie walk in the mirror,” said Mr. Galbraith, a lanky, 115-pound horror fan who beat the odds and was cast in both seasons. “I feel more alive than ever when I’m dead.”