Self-editing is overrated. Or is it?

Friday, January 20, 2006

Living the dream, dead as a doornail.

All right, I know I’ve had a lot of things this week about death, whether it’s about talking to the dead, the death of the record store, a guy mistaken for being dead, a woman ordering a hitman to make her dead, or Pierce Brosnan. Honestly, I have NOT become obsessed with death, it’s just how the week has gone.

Nevertheless, this will be my last story for a while about death, I swear to god. Whoops. Well, maybe not.


OK, so you may have heard about this guy named Chuck Lamb, but in case you haven’t, let’s review.

We all have a secret wish to be famous, to be remembered in some way. Some people achieve this goal in a big way, some people achieve this in a small way, some people never achieve it at all. For Chuck Lamb, a 47 year old computer programmer for an insurance company in Columbus, Ohio, the moment of truth was at hand. He had begun to realize that his options for fitting into one of these categories were starting to narrow down to a certain inevitability.

But Chuck had one long-hidden dream; to appear in a major Hollywood movie.

There were only a few major obstacles in his way:

1. He was a father of 6, working for an insurance company in Columbus. Not exactly a prime place to be discovered for the movie business.

2. He did not have what could be defined as “Hollywood good looks” or a true charisma for the screen.

3. He had no acting experience whatsoever.

But in the truest embodiment of The American Dream, Chuck found a way to market himself towards his greatest fantasy. He would become the ultimate corpse actor.

Dead people are part of films and television all the time, right? Somebody has to act like a corpse for these things. Why not Chuck Lamb? He could live out his dream by playing a dead guy in a movie.

Play to your strengths, my mother always said.

So, on Dec 5, 2005, Chuck started a website called The subtitle read ”Help me live my dream, let me play dead”.


To help people visualize how well he could play a dead body, his site provided a wealth of information, including numerous photos of him pretending to be dead in a wide variety of circumstances, as well as list of 10 reasons why he would be the perfect dead guy. (An example would be his pasty complexion, something that already made him naturally resemble a corpse.) His wife, Tonya, helped out by making fake blood and taking the photos.

People started stumbling over the site, and sending it on to their friends. Within a month, Chuck Lamb was the talk of the internet. Over a million people from all over the world had visited his website. The morning news programs started featuring his story, then The New York Times did a profile piece on him. He was featured on television, radio and newspapers across the country, and even around the world.

But the dream job hadn’t shown up. Until yesterday.

As reported by The Associated Press, Chuck Lamb was offered a role in "Stiffs" on Wednesday night during an interview on MSNBC's "Rita Cosby: Live and Direct." Kevin Fennessy, the casting director, called into the show to offer him the part on the air.

“Stiffs”, an independent film which stars Danny Aiello, will be shooting this spring in Boston. For Chuck’s role, he'll get his wish and play a dead man in a body bag.

The catch? Because Chuck is over 6 feet, they have to get a special body bag big enough to hold him. The production is already working on it.

For Chuck, it’s the role of a lifetime.

"It's like a big bomb to me," Lamb said, clearly inspired by his success. "I want everybody to know that you can do this, anybody can do this”.

Well, yes. But will they? We’re gonna need to form a corpse extras union if they do. Either that, or a lot more people need to get killed off on television.

Hey, wait a minute, that’s not that bad of an idea. When do we start?


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