Saturday, October 6, 2012
WALLA WALLA — In her day job, Charlie Mohrland works at the Touchet Post Office.
But on Saturday afternoon, the 20-year-old postmaster became the zombie master for the Walla Walla Sweets Roller Girls, who performed their rendition of the Michael Jackson classic zombie video known as Thriller as a pre-show to their final bout of the season.
Mohrland was brought in to turn the skin of the Roller Girls into rotting, oozing wounds. It’s a job she said she would do for free, which she did.
“I would like to do this as often as I possibly can, maybe even make a career of it,” Mohrland said, as she built up a bloody scab on the right cheek of Melissa “Reckless Abandon” Johnson.
In return, the zombie master refused to ask for the standard first born or a limb or gold and silver. All she asked was a few dollars to pay for her supplies.
As for turning those supplies into dead flesh, Mohrland starts with a cosmetic latex base made by Ben Nye. The zombie master mixes a formula made up of Special-K cereal (though she prefers Frosted Flakes because it is stickier), some corn syrup, food coloring, tissue, costume makeup and baby power.
The end product is plain old gross.
“I don’t normally do this in front of (small) children because it makes them cry,” she said.
Mohrland said she is self-taught, learning techniques by trying to replicate the pros.
“I am a nerd. So I am in love with Lord of the Rings,” Mohrland said, explaining that at 14 she tried to make her first Orc with her mother’s lipstick and a bottle of ketchup.
Over the last seven years, Mohrland said she is still learning and perfecting the art of creating an Orc, which so far has eluded her.
“I have yet to do that. I have built up on boney eyebrows. Every time I do try it, I develop more skills and stuff,” she said.
While creating Orcs is still beyond her grasp, the postmaster has managed to become quite an adept zombie master, which was proven on Saturday afternoon as she created at least 14 zombies.
“I think we have a lot of people and I am running out of time, so that makes me nervous,” Mohrland said, only two zombies completed and only two hours left to make a dozen more.
Skater after skater, bleeding wound after bleeding wound, the zombie master carried on in her work of creating either the standard undead zombie, the “sick with a terrible virus that has taken over the planet” zombie or the typical mutant zombie. And each was a unique design.
“Nobody is going to be the same zombie. Everyone is going to be different. That’s our rule,” team member Nicole “TechNicole Difficulty” Lloyd said.
Lloyd was the first team player to be zombified on Saturday, which was fitting since Lloyd was responsible for digging up her old zombie master friend when the Roller Girls decided to become the undead.
“I said I have somebody. You have to check out my friend’s work,” Lloyd said.
The Roller Girls are not the first mass zombification project for Mohrland, who once made 30 zombies for Sykes Enterprises.
There have been other group projects and even one family portrait. And all during that work, Mohrland was doing a labor of love.
“Everyone always tells me ‘thank you for coming out.’ And I always tell them, ‘Thank you for letting me do this.’”