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TV Corpses Are Actors, Too

There's a fun piece in The Wall Street Journal about playing a corpse on TV, a burgeoning little corner of the acting world. Wannabe corpses do have to audition, but they don't need experience, though casting directors may ask them to "lie on a sofa and demonstrate the short breaths required [of a corpse] on camera." For their time, corpse actors are paid the SAG rate for nonspeaking parts, $139 for an eight-hour day, plus overtime, but they "make an additional $100 or so for wardrobe fittings and posing for still pictures of the victim in happier days, that is, while still living," plus "extensive makeup or getting wet (which according to a SAG spokeswoman includes being "dumped in the East River") earns an actor an additional $14 or $18 per day." Apparently playing a corpse is so demeaning, actors don't even put it on their résumés, but consider the perks: Gloriously creepy Christmas cards! [WSJ]