This past October 11th, central Londoners may have spotted some rather peculiar zombies among the usual undead horde at World Zombie Day. Rest assured, it was only members of State of Bliss going out for a leisurely stroll.
State of Bliss was featured on Hook Life back in April 2013 with an artfully executed coma conceptualized by Tam Smith. It is wonderful to see that they continue to be involved in all facets of suspending; whether it be private, guerrilla, or performance. Their past and recent participation in London’s World Zombie Day highlights their versatility and professionalism. After sending Tam a barrage of questions, he was gracious enough to let me in on some details of the event.
“There were 6 zombies and 8 handlers, made up of a mixture of team members and regular suspendees. Holly Pyman, the girl in the wheelchair, is one of our regular suspendees and soon to become a trainee with the team. She had an absolute blast and has demanded a team to pull her around regularly.”
Along with the zombies walking above ground, an impromptu suspension was also facilitated on the underground with member Liz Horton. “It wasn’t planned, it was a case of; Well, we are here, I can rig you quickly, why don’t we just go for it? She totally loved it and suspended beautifully. ”
Several pulls involving each other, trees, and railings kept things interesting for everyone. A few words of advice though, “Just don’t attach yourself to Dan, he is as strong as an ox, he managed to pull four of us off our feet.”
The safety of each zombie was ensured with the presence of their own handler. This was a precaution to deter people “who will try to look with their hands, and while asking if it is real, will try poke their fingers into an open wound. So the handler’s job is to take their pet zombie for a walk and to help set a boundary between the general public and the zombie on hooks.” Reactions were generally positive, with onlookers taking opportunities for questions and photographs. If you would like to see more, Elena Isac followed along documenting all their varying reactions, like the one pictured below, in this gallery. At the end of the day, it looked like everyone involved had a lot of fun.
In addition to participating in the zombie walk, the team held a Sunday suspension the very next day. There is no doubting the amount of dedication that teams like State of Bliss put into making events run smoothly. A great deal of time, energy, and finances go into making it all happen. While gathering information for the post, I discovered Tam has been putting off his last stages of gaining citizenship in favor of supporting State of Bliss. His team meanwhile, has set up a “Go Fund Me” for the remainder of the expenses. Details can be found here if you would like to learn more or make a donation.
Best of luck to Tam, and we hope to see more from State of Bliss in the future.
Submitted by Joyce Low
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