Dreams really do come true! Just ask 42-year-old Josh Nalley from Elizabethtown, Kentucky. The restaurant manager is a big fan of fictional crime television shows like CBS’s long-running hit drama “CSI: Crime Scene Investigation.”
Nalley wanted the chance to play a role on a crime show like “CSI,” but not just any role. He didn’t seek a starring role or even a speaking part. Instead, he wanted to play an “un-alive” person. Yes, he wanted the honor of playing a dead victim at a crime scene or in the morgue.
So what did he do? Nalley decided to use TikTok to show off his skills at playing dead. For the last year, Nalley has been filming himself in various poses and in various states of demise in order to prove to crime show producers that he has what it takes to be “Dead Guy #3” or similar on these popular TV programs.
Here’s his TikTok from day 275 of his attempt to get Hollywood’s attention:
Nalley got the idea of using social media to show off his skills from another TikTokker, who parlayed her love of hot sauce into partnerships with hot sauce companies.
“I originally got this idea after seeing a woman on TikTok posting about hot sauce and then she got offers from a bunch of hot sauce companies,” Nalley told the Louisville Courier Journal. “I thought if I was creative enough playing an un-alive person, I could get the attention of a television show or a movie production company.”
He says he got progressively better, learning how to look more natural and to hold his breath longer. And his plan worked! “CSI: Vegas” noticed his TikTok channel at @living_dead_josh and decided to reach out and give Nalley a chance.
He announced his involvement with the show in late July and has been promoting the episode ever since. He even posed with “CSI” legend Marg Helgenberger’s star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame at producers’ request, as shown in the post below.
“I got an email from CBS that said they’d seen me on TikTok and wanted to offer me the part,” Nalley explained to the Louisville, Kentucky publication. “At first I didn’t believe it, but they flew me out to California. It turned out that Mario Van Peebles was the director for that episode so besides getting cast in the show, I also got to meet him, which was great.”
Nalley got the full star treatment, spending two hours in makeup for his role as a body laying on a gurney. Laying perfectly motionless for several takes might be a challenge for other actors, but for Nalley, it was a breeze thanks to his many months of TikTok practice. However, not everything went off without a hitch.
“We had to redo one take because I had my phone in my pocket and forgot to turn it off,” admitted Nalley. “Of course, it was a telemarketer calling. That was kind of embarrassing.”
Josh Nalley’s on-screen debut on “CSI: Vegas” will air on Nov. 3 at 10 p.m. ET on CBS. He says that many other producers for low-budget movies have also reached out, so this may not be the last time we get to see Nalley dead as a doornail.