Man Posed as a Dead Body for 321 Days, Then Landed a Role on CSI

Josh Nalley posed as a dead body on TikTok for over 300 days

On October 24, 2021, Josh Nalley posted a TikTok of him lying face down in a small river. In the background, two dogs played in the water. Nalley provided no explanation and used random hashtags, presumably to get views from trends. While this slightly concerning TikTok might seem unassuming by itself, it’s actually the beginning of an almost-year-long body of work Nalley created, resulting in him landing a role on a major television show.

Three days after the first video, Nalley posted a video of him, once again, lying face down. This time, the first-time actor was lying on grass as a lawn mower passed by directly in front of the camera, blocking the viewer’s sight of Nalley for a majority of the video. The caption reads, “Day 2 of playing dead until I’m cast in a movie or TV show as a dead body.” Nalley continued this trend, posting a TikTok every day for a grand total of 321 days, evolving his craft with each post.

Why play a dead body? “I don't like speaking on camera, but I can lie there and act like I am dead pretty easily,” Nalley explains. The restaurant manager showed off his macabre in various locations: on a lawn, in the snow, at a local park, in a warehouse, under a tree. His poses and camera angles vary as well; sometimes he is facing the camera with his head slumped on the side of an object, other times the camera gives an aerial view of the ghastly scene. Nalley’s repetitive work proves that practice makes perfect. “Having done more than 300 of these posts, I have progressed and gotten better,” he says.

Along the way, Nalley has learned what makes his videos more believable. “At first, you could see me breathing, or the fake blood looked really bad. I have gotten rid of using the blood and gotten better at holding my breath.” In addition to his breath, he says, “I have figured out that it's best to have some kind of movement in the videos so it doesn't look like a still photograph.” While movement does add to the validity of his morbid moments, it sometimes comes with some adorable distractions. On Day 27, Nalley shares, “One of my dogs still seems curious about what I am up to. The other one just kind of wanders by and then wanders off.”

Finally, on Day 321, an unexpected comment appeared under his TikTok. The verified CSI: Vegas TikTok account asked, “You free this week…?” to which Nalley replied, “Yes I am…..” The soon-to-be TV actor exclaimed, “I got an email from CBS that said they'd seen me on TikTok and wanted to offer me the part.”

Nalley admits, “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.”

For his next TikTok, Nalley was posing as a dead body next to previous CSI star Marg Helenberger’s star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. The caption announced he would be on CSI: Vegas’ second season, which premiered on September 29, 2022. He assured fans he would continue to act dead even though he landed a role, and he kept his promise. Every day, the auteur posted new TikToks, this time leading up to season premiere episode of the series he was casted on.

His latest video celebrates the upcoming episode Nalley will be in, telling fans to see his work on the small screen in just a couple days. Nalley’s story proves that with determination and dedication, you can achieve anything you set your mind to. Even if it’s to act as a dead body in a television show.

You can watch Josh Nalley on CSI: Vegas on CBS on November 3, 2022.

On October 24, 2021, Josh Nalley posted a TikTok of him lying face down in a small river with no explanation.

@living_dead_josh ##KFCSecretMenuHacks #fyp #themountaingoats ♬ original sound – bleu

The next day, he explained that he would be posing as a dead body until he lands a role in a show or movie.

@living_dead_josh #KFCSecretMenuHacks #PradaBucketChallenge #fyp #acting #actingskills ♬ original sound – PAMÉ

Along the way, Nalley learned different techniques to make his videos look more realistic.

@living_dead_josh #ASOSChaoticToCalm #fypシ #fyp #foryoupage ♬ Theme From Peanuts (Linus And Lucy) – Knights Bridge

Some TikToks would feature his pet dogs.

@living_dead_josh #ASOSChaoticToCalm #foryoupage #fyp ♬ Running Away – VANO 3000 & BADBADNOTGOOD & Samuel T. Herring

His morbid moments utilize different angles and settings to diversify his content.

@living_dead_josh #AlaskaAirCAREoke #foryoupage #fyp ♬ School Rooftop (Intro) [Slowed Down Version] – hisohkah & WMD

@living_dead_josh New merch! Link in bio. #fyp #foryoupage ♬ Fake Shark Attack – TikTok

@living_dead_josh #TopGunMode #foryoupage #fyp ♬ Polozhenie – Izzamuzzic Remix – Скриптонит

Nalley posted nearly every day, gaining an online following that hoped to see his dreams realized.

@living_dead_josh @dirtnwater #foryoupage #fyp ♬ original sound – Joe Morgan

@living_dead_josh @rea_daugherty #wickedeyedwoman #findyourgrace #foryoupage #fyp ♬ Blinding Lights – The Weeknd

Finally, on Day 321, the verified CSI: Vegas‘ account commented to ask if Nalley was free that week.

@living_dead_josh #foryoupage #fyp ♬ Possibility – Lykke Li

The show had emailed him to ask him to star as a dead body on their second season.

@living_dead_josh Tune in to the Season 2 premiere September 29th @csicbs #csivegas #cbs #dreamcometrue #goals #fyp #foryoupage ♬ Who Are You – The Who

Nalley promised fans he would continue to post. He kept his promise by posting in anticipation of episode premieres of CSI: Vegas.

@living_dead_josh #csivegas #foryoupage #fyp ♬ I Hope to Be Around (Live) – Men I Trust

His latest TikTok is in celebration of the premiere of the episode he will star in, which will air on November 3, 2022.

@living_dead_josh #csivegas #fyp #foryoupage ♬ Survivor – Destiny's Child

Nalley's determination and dedication prove that you can achieve anything you set your mind to.

@living_dead_josh Tune in September 29th for the season 2 premiere of CSI:VEGAS #foryoupage #fyp #csivegas #thankyou ♬ original sound – Josh Nalley

Josh Nalley: TikTok
h/t: [LADbible, Courier Journal]

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Madyson DeJausserand

Madyson DeJausserand is a Video Editor at My Modern Met Academy and a Contributing Writer at My Modern Met. She is also an award-winning filmmaker who graduated from Oakland University with a BA in Cinema Studies with a specialization in Filmmaking. Her passions for filmmaking and art bleed into her everyday life and she devotes her time to developing her voice as a filmmaker, writer, artist, and editor.
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