What does it take to survive the Zombie Apocalypse? Weapons? Combat training? A bright yellow humvee with a backup supply of fuel? An underground bomb shelter fully stocked and able to support at least twelve lucky survivors for an indefinite period of time? How about the ability to rub two sticks together and produce a flame? If you answered yes to all of these things, you’re not incorrect… but you’re missing the two most important items for your best chance at ZA survival: friends, and a go-bag. The go-bag is a separate matter entirely, so let’s focus on the other.
Friends are the difference between those who watch your back and those who might trip you to escape a sticky situation themselves. Friends are the most valuable of all your survival needs, and this week’s Commander Monday spotlight is on one of the Zombie Survival Crew’s most devoted and loyal friends, Red Brigade’s First Lieutenant Neil Brown, Jr.
Actor, martial artist and self-proclaimed “knucklehead,” Neil hails from Orlando, Florida and has studied Shotokai Karate, Jujutsu, Judo, Tae Kwan Do, Capoeira, and many more disciplines that this writer cannot pronounce. He bobs, he weaves, he dodges and roundhouse-kicks better than Chuck Norris on his best day. It is a little-known urban legend that at the age of four he roundhouse-kicked a car and walked away with little more than a few bumps and bruises.
Neil’s extensive martial arts training unexpectedly paved the road to acting when he appeared on the TV show WMAC masters at age 14. In addition to portraying Guillermo, the unlikely leader of a band of survivors in The Walking Dead, Neil has appeared in multiple television roles, including the series Harry’s Law, Suits, Castle, Borderline Coyotes, Weeds and more recently on NCIS. He has also done his part to save the world from aliens in Battle: Los Angeles.
Between acting and roundhouse-kicking, Neil devotes time to his family and friends, and can also be found making appearances on the comic-convention circuit. Keep an eye out for Neil in Bayou Tales, currently in production. Don’t forget to stop by his website to see what’s happening, and above all don’t miss out on the ongoing web series Heroic Daze!
__________________________________________________________ If you are just joining us for this series, please check out our previous Commander Monday reports!
We’re giving you another excerpt from the debut Zombie Survival Crew Anthology: Undead Is Not An Option, but don’t forget, YOU can be a part of the second anthology!! Click here for more details.
Zombie Survival Crew First Lieutenant Neil Brown Jr. has got the survival gig down pat. You may know him for his on-screen characters’ fights with zombies or aliens in productions like The Walking Dead and Battle: Los Angeles, but this wise-crackin’ vato has got skills – and the Katana to back ‘em up. This son of a marine takes a look at what we should all have pre-packed in our go bags for the kind of day we hope never comes.
Grab Your Go Bag (…and get it right!) By Neil Brown, Jr.
Dad always used to say “police your brass” and “you need to know whether you’re hurt or injured.” And that’s just the way he raised me—to live a clean life, depend on common sense and preparation to get me through life’s bumps and bruises, and develop the mental fortitude to push through the hurts.
Served me well even from a young age. When I was about 12, on one of our many family salt water fishing trips, I tumbled off the side of the boat in the early morning while everyone else was still sleeping. I know, I know. Shouldn’t have been hanging over the side of the boat in the first place.
Even though I was terrified and screaming like crazy, I remembered what my dad taught me—tie the ends of my pants together, lift the whole thing up over the water and push down to grab the air and make a mini-life preserver. It worked. I bobbed in the water for several minutes before my dad dove in to rescue me. And it was about ten years before my dad or I told mom about the incident. What? She never would have let me go on another fishing trip.
It was common sense and preparation that saved me all those years ago, and that very same combination is our best shot during a cataclysmic event, like a Zombiepocalypse.
As for me, I can catch a rabbit, squirrel or fish in the woods faster than I can find you a gas station, so my go bag is naturally geared more towards hunting and gathering—even so it’s a combination of items that will serve any would-be survivor well.
Albuquerque Comic Con set the bar pretty high for our 2012 convention season. Before I forget, we have to thank Jim, Cody, Alfred, and the small army of volunteers that took care of us during three very, very crazy days (and one very special 11-year-old girl who was Jinxie’s helper throughout the weekend). Without them, your brave commanders would’ve ended up hiding under a table or trying to melt snow to obtain drinking water.
Wait . . . snow?
Yes, you read that right. When Juliette, Jinxie, and I got to town, we were greeted by a sight very few of your commanders have seen lately—snow on the ground. There wasn’t much—or we’d probably have snowball fight pictures for the gallery—but there was enough to make it really cold. Thankfully, the Hard Rock Hotel and Casino stayed toasty warm over the course of the con.
On to the fun parts!
We invaded the Hard Rock Friday morning with Neil, Anthony, Noel G., and Madison Lintz. As soon as the tables were set, a sea of folks swept over the convention center. I’m not even sure how many people we talked to that day. There were a lot of them and they were all So Friggin’ Nice. The highlight of that afternoon came when Brent Spiner (Star Trek: The Next Generation) paid us a surprise visit. I’ll tell you right now, it is nearly impossible to render Jinxie and me speechless. He managed to do so by saying, “Hi.” Before you all groan and disown us, we did rally and had a nice little chat with him.
Friday night we learned the secret to turning Juliette into a giddy little girl (Jinxie side note: which was hysterical). No, I won’t divulge what did the trick. (Did you really think I would? She travels with a crossbow!) After we calmed her down, we hung out and met even more new folks including Daniel Gillies (The Vampire Diaries) and Rachael Leigh Cook (She’s All That). It seemed to be the theme for the weekend—meeting really awesome people. The secondary theme was not being able to keep Juliette in one spot for more than ten seconds.
What do you mean that’s normal? No one can have that much energy!
Saturday, the floodgates opened in the Hard Rock Hotel. You think I’m kidding, but at one point we couldn’t see anything across the hall from the ZSC/Walking Dead table. Except Waldo. He’s getting really bad at hiding these days. Juliette, however, is a pro at hiding and somehow managed to disappear before Lou Ferrigno (The Hulk) paid us a visit. No cha-cha this year.
When we weren’t communicating with potential ZSC members, we ambushed cosplayers. Twice on Saturday the tables were turned, forcing Jinxie and I to save Anthony from having his face chewed off by the undead. His survival training needs to be refreshed. Obviously he’s forgotten the difference between fans, crewmembers, and friggin’ zombies! The smell is the key, dude. Just sayin’.
On Sunday, it became impossible to tell which of us at the table were walkers, and which were zombie slayers. The general consensus was the universe didn’t contain enough coffee to keep us going. Then a strange thing happened, once the fans started coming in, their energy gave us a kick in the backside. If we haven’t said it before, I’m saying it now: we could not continue to survive long convention weekends without you, the fans and crewmembers that stop by to visit with us. Thank you!
The hardest part of any con weekend is saying goodbye. We saw Neil and Noel G. off on a safe flight back home. The rest of us stayed another night and had a nice, calm, quiet dinner . . . okay, I can’t keep a straight face on that one. We weren’t quiet at all as we shared funny stories around the table. It made for an awesome way to wrap up the chaos in Albuquerque.
The story doesn’t end there. Keep an eye out for my travel post. You’ll learn what happens when two of your commanders take a road trip through the desert.
Missed out on the action in Albuquerque? Our next live appearance will be at Monster Mania 21 on March 9-11th in Cherry Hill, NJ.
With the holidays upon us, things have been a little hectic around the command center. Not only are processing all the reports coming in of suspected zombie activity, and with the cold temperatures who knows what will happen, the Oracle is dancing around sprinkling tinsel everywhere and has put up so many blinking lights the command center looks like a 70′s discotech. So despite the serious task at hand, command does have the holiday spirit.
And now to bring you a little holiday cheer is the commander of the Orange Brigade, our very own RC Murphy. And if this isn’t proof that she’s been spending too much time with the zombie bunnies, then I don’t know what is.
Walkin’ in a Zombiepocalypse (to the tune of Winter Wonderland)
lyrics by RC Murphy
Zombies groan, can you hear ‘em? On the walls, blood is glistenin’ A horrific sight, A world full of fright Walkin’ in a Zombiepocalypse.
Gone away is the old world, Here to stay is a new world Of death everywhere And being so scared, Walkin’ in a Zombiepocalypse.
On the sidewalk lays a rotting body, It begins to twitch and moan and groan. He’ll rise, very hungry We’ll arm up then And blow that sucker’s Brains all over town.
Later on, he’ll expire, As we set him on fire His face full of rage We’re saving the day, Walkin’ in a Zombiepocalypse
Everybody SING! Walkin’ in a Zombiepocalypse… Walkin’ in a Zombiepocalypse… Walkin’ in a Zombiepocalypse…
It has been a wild, crazy, and sometimes downright chaotic twelve months. For those of us who were here when the foundation was laid for the Zombie Survival Crew, those twelve months have flown by. When we sat back recently to look over the progress we’ve made we realized how truly astonishing an accomplishment this empire really is.
And we couldn’t have done it without you, our ever-faithful crew members.
Day by day our numbers grow and we’re introduced to new folks that are eager, ready to take on the shambling horde coming our way with nothing more than a 2×4 and their courage to aid them. The sentiment warms our hearts. It also makes us realize how lucky we are that you all have accepted us so readily. Your support has taken the ZSC from, “I wonder if…” to reality with enough energy left over to drag us into our second year of existence.
In the last two months we’ve held some pretty epic contests. However, zombie bunnies chewed through the computer cables in the Command center and we couldn’t announce the winners… until now. We’ve banished the zombie bunnies to an empty supply closet (with plenty of, uhm, food). So now without further delay, your ZSC commanders will reveal the Be InSightful and Welcome Back-The Walking Dead contest winners!
The winner of our Be InSightful crime scene photo contest is:
Congratulations, Amy! Your prize is a Zombie Survival Crew t-shirt signed by the following The Walking Dead cast/crew members: Greg Nicotero, Norman Reedus, Anthony Guajardo, IronE Singleton, Jon Bernthal, Chandler Riggs, Neil Brown Jr., Steven Yeun, and more!
Amy had some good insight into what may happen in season 2 of TWD:
“My favorite moment… omigosh there were so many! But I have to go with Merle’s monologue on the rooftop at the beginning of episode 4. He cycled through such a huge range of emotions in such a short period of time, I was almost in shock when the scene ended. Amazing. Rooker nailed that scene perfectly.
For Season 2 – confrontations.
Rick, Shane, Lori.. not sure where they’re going with the love triangle from hell. I certainly expect one hell of an explosive confrontation at one point, maybe a nasty splintering of Rick and Shane’s friendship.
Andrea will confront Dale for ruining her suicide plan. Daryl will probably confront everyone, it’s kind of his thing. But waiting for the Daryl / Merle confrontation is killing me. It will come. It HAS to!
And I’m worried about Sophie.”
Congratulations again to our winners. Keep your eyes peeled, I’ve heard from the zombie bunnies that there may be another contest coming up sooner thank you think.
And a brief, but heartfelt thank you to all the soldiers and veterans out there on Veteran’s Day. ::Crossbow Salute:: from the Command of the Zombie Survival Crew!
Somehow, someway, you’ve found yourself neck deep in the Zombie Survival Crew website. Don’t worry, this is a good thing. Whether you wandered in off the street after meeting us at a convention, or had a well-meaning friend slip the link onto your Twitter/Facebook page, you are welcome and encouraged to participate and browse around the site.
You may be asking yourself, why do I need to be prepared for the zombie apocalypse? We ask, why aren’t you already? The survival skills imparted on this website will not only help you escape being eaten by a reanimated corpse, but also ensure you are capable of surviving any number of natural or man-made disasters such as flooding, tornadoes, or even a full-scale riot in your home town. You can never be too prepared, a motto we take to heart.
There is a softer, though far from cuddly side to the ZSC. When we aren’t scouring the globe for new recruits, your commanders let their hair down and get to know site members better. We introduce fans of the zombie, horror, and sci-fi genres to movies, television shows, and art they may not have been aware of before. There are also numerous contest opportunities coming up in the near future. (Our prize room is getting somewhat cluttered…)
The ZSC also does it part to help those in need when disaster DOES strike. When we can, we help our celebrity commanders pass on information and aid relief efforts the world-over.
So how do you become an official member of the Zombie Survival Crew? Our registration page is easy, straight forward, and FREE. Once you’ve signed up and confirmed via email, you will be randomly slated into one of our Brigades. Each brigade has a commander and a certain set of skills they are to master in order to help the ZSC as a whole continue to move forward with our efforts. From there on out, how much you want to participate is purely up to you. If you wish to sit back and absorb information posted by the command team, go for it. Feel like you have something to say? We encourage members post their thoughts on the articles posted. Or, if you are an artist, writer, or filmmaker, we’d like for you to contribute articles, stories, art, or videos.
Get it? Got it? If not, feel free to ask us whatever questions you have about the site. We don’t bite, honest! The Command team is here not only to teach you how to survive, but to help you.
You don’t need to carry your whole life with you. This is a short jaunt and you’ll be back in time to leave in your beloved truck for the next mission. Keep the truck packed and only bring essentials. Commercial airlines DO weigh luggage.
While it may pain you to leave it behind, it is best to remain circumspect with the airlines because the government is controlling the baggage, so leave the trusted crossbow at home.
You are not in control of the itinerary. The airline has commissioned pilots and they give the directions to the pilots. In fact, if you attempt to storm the cockpit to issue instructions, airplane security will detain you.
The other people on the plane are not all UGA plants (although I’m sure there will be one or two, so watch your back). Do not respond with any guerrilla warfare tactics learned from Neil Brown, Jr. if someone attempts to engage you in conversation.
Texting and calling is forbidden while in flight. This is non-negotiable. The rest of the commanders and I have taken up a collection to ensure that the regulation remains that way. It is the only time within the year where we can be certain of lack of communication from you. We’re all going to take a nap… after ensuring command is manned appropriately.
You will be involved in some social situations during your mission:
When someone reaches for you with open arms, do not run screaming the other way. They are trying to give you a hug, not chew your face off.
It is best not to enter the room throwing orders left and right to bystanders as you trundle through the crowd.
It is generally frowned upon in a social situation to run screaming in circles. If you feel the need, please excuse yourself and find an empty alley or bathroom (with lots of carpet to deaden the sound) to carry out this activity.
Smile and nod — this works in all situations.
Hopefully the chief will be able to remember these 7 simple rules… Otherwise, the next memo from the Command Center may be about taking up a collection for bail.
Our very own Red Brigade First Lieutenant, Neil Brown, Jr. teases SCIFI Mafia about what is to come in Season Two of The Walking Dead (September 6, 2011)
From SCIFI Mafia: The second season premiere of AMC’s The Walking Dead this coming October 16th, is arguably one of the most anticipated moments on television this fall season. I know you’re hungry for more zombie-action so dab those drooly chins of yours, SciFi Mafia has got the hook-up for you! We’ve got an exclusive interview with actor, Neil Brown, Jr. (Battle Los Angeles, Fast & Furious) who guest starred as Guillermo in season one and again in season two’s premiere episode, “Miles Behind Us.” Check out our conversation below as we ask Brown about how the change in showrunner will affect the show, the details on his role in the season premiere and who dies in season two!
The Fearless Leader of the Zombie Survival CrewTM, Juliette Terzieff has been rambling around the country for almost a year recruiting for the cause. She has been working tirelessly on not enough sleep, not enough food, and waaaaay too much caffeine to make sure she is selecting the best for the crew. There are those of us in command who feel that she has, on occasion, come perilously close to being mistaken for a shambler herself. This crossbow twirling leader of the Red Brigade is building up all the brigades with the right match of commanders to lieutenants and all this while dodging the attentions of the Unnamed Government Agency (UGA) who have kidnapped her on one occasion and have basically been a pain in our side since standing up operations. But since she just successfully completed the mission of securing both first and second lieutenants for all of the brigades, before she collapsed in a heap, she asked that I share the information with the entire crew.
As is only fitting, we’ll start things off with the Red Brigade itself. Capably led by Juliette Terzieff, the coffee-mainlining former war correspondent known as the chief or the boss lady around command center, this brigade is prepped and ready for action. While most consider the crossbow, her personal weapon choice, the most formidable weapon in her arsenal, those in command know better — the most feared weapon, which is deployed on a regular basis, is the tackle hug. Get caught by one of those babies, and you’ll be thankful to take a crossbow bolt any day of the week. This is how we knew first lieutenant Neil Brown, Jr. was the right man to be her right-hand man — he is trained in martial arts and can survive the tackle hug with ease.
Neil also is known as a leader who does what is needed to keep his people safe. A very important quality for the Red Brigade. On top of that, he is charming and has ably seconded the chief’s efforts at recruitment. Currently Neil is racketing about the country on various secret missions for command, but when the chief calls, he is there ready to take on more assignments. But when the tide turns and the walkers are coming, you want to make sure you stay clear of the swing of his katana.
To round out current Red Brigade command, we have one of the newest recruits, second lieutenant Viviana Chavez. While new to the crew, her enthusiasm and loyalties are clear. And she didn’t hesitate to call for the .44 Magnum as her weapon of choice. Which shows she means business and is ready to rumble to help support and save her crew.
Your Red Brigade Command
Juliette Terzieff Commander Red Brigade
Neil Brown, Jr. First Lieutenant Red Brigade
Viviana Chavez Second Lieutenant Red Brigade
Stay tuned in the coming week for more command announcements as well as further information on who makes up the leadership of YOUR brigade.