View Full Version : Acting and Ego

Jim Warfield
05-07-2010, 09:08 AM
You have to have a certain amount of confidence and also ego to actually "act".
These ingrediants are not in large supply when canvassing the general populace I have read, heard and discovered personally.
This is unfortunate. I don't understand it, it helps So Much in life to have alittle extra added calmness to really be able to actively think on one's "feet" in any social, business, or entertainment situation. Being timid doesn't do this, usually.
When ego gets out of control, floating away from the commonly agreed upon reality of words and actions passing between people, then problems start. Maybe it's because the audience (of even just "one") feels distanced by too much bombast, ego, which translates into being more overly concerned with ones self, one's own words, ideas, ignoring there are others within range.
I try to fuel my ego-rewards by watching those faces, listening for their reactions, laughter, gasps, screams, hopefully in reverse order with the laugh resetting their emotions.
What do I and my ego like to do best?
Set them up with the voice, acting, goofy ideas, then scare them or make them laugh with an object or a concept so simple, simple-minded, cheap, common that they have to react.....so my ego then might feed itself with the old lie that I must be smarter than you are because I scared you, made you laugh, or made you believe what I have been saying?
I sure know one thing, it is very addictive to see people almost every night of the year and get to have these types of interactions with people.
Does it get boring?
No. As long as you live you will never will have ever seen or heard it all when you are dealing with human beings.
Of course having enough ego to allow you to do or say almost anything to ellict that reaction helps too.
There are and always will be personal limits (to stay out of jail) and never give out the home phone number of your psychiatrist!

05-07-2010, 11:36 AM
As an actor trainer, I deal with egos all the time. When a haunt hires me to come train, there's alwyas a few who think they don't need to come becuse they've seen it all. I've been working in haunts for longer than most of those people have been alive and I tell them that I learn something EVERY night I'm out there.

I think everyone needs a little bit of an ego and frankly, it's hard not to get one in this business. Knowing that there are people that are literally terrified of you can be a bit of a power trip, however you need to know when and when not to abuse such power. It's just a matter of knowing when it's time to turn it off and leave your ego at the door. There will always be someone more scary than you...

05-07-2010, 02:17 PM
Loving to act in both Haunts and on the stage I look at haunts as a great chance to study human emotion in it's most primal states many time.
After all knowing how people will react and being able to emulate those reactions when a character needs it is very helpful.

But I agree you will always learn more it seems silly to me to ever think you can not learn more about haunting or acting. I almost feel sorry for those with the additude you described Badger because they have lost the child like wonderment of scaring the poop outta some one!!!!

Besides what better practice than a haunt to sharpen your Improv skills every group is diffrent and the reactions run the spectrum.

By the way Jim I am convinced you sir have the spirit of vaudeville actor. You love to entertain and it shows even into your posts.

05-07-2010, 04:31 PM
Yea I finished up my first year last season and I never stopped learning, almost every minute I was learning something new.

I always go into the haunt with the mentality "how can I be even better than last night?" or "how can I be better with the next group?"

I always know I can be even better, but at the same time I know Im going to scare each and every group, I just want to be able to drop them all to the floor.

Causing fear should always be an actors main goal no matter who's walking through.

Jim Warfield
05-08-2010, 03:13 AM
I don't feel I am attempting to instill any real levels of fear in any one here, I return to normalcy and become their instant savior, maybe saving them from..me!? Evil Jim? Good Jim?" (Keeps them guessing.)
I have many advantages here that probably none of you have but we can all work and learn to create more advantages for ourselves with what we have to work with.
Just like the old classic scary stories about the big old strange house, scary because of the people who live in it or who have once lived in it, this is what I have here in my house and of course I'm the scary, strange one because I own and live in the house.
I guess I could be called a live exhibit. Come see this strange wacky guy who lives in this goofy house! (He made all the stuff here -almost- so he must be really nuts!)
A big piece of the puzzle to draw more older customers has to do with the control factor most adults and all people develope. They are always seeking to get, hold or gain control over their lives, jobs, freedom..we threaten their control with just an unknown "round-the-corner " experience we offer them.
"It's dark in there !" (If they are in the dark at home they find a switch, of fuse.) They have little to none control in prison.

09-08-2010, 12:09 PM
When you have been around this industry for a while you develop an ego(since 1994, 6 years at a tourist haunt off season for myself). I have been in the employ of several haunts since my alma mater (Night of Fright) closed its doors. I have done virtually every job at a haunt in the past 16 years ,from actor to owner and everything in between. Do I have an ego? You betcha ! But I approach every new opportunity as a learning experience. The haunt I am working at as an artist and actor this season is bringing in Badger this weekend for his boo camp. I could have an attitude and say " I already know it all" ,but that is not the way it is. If I walk out of this training session with 1 new piece of info or a new perspective on something then awesome! I am looking forward to this weekend without a doubt.
Dave B

09-11-2010, 08:18 PM
I was at Badger's training today, and I thought he touched on a LOT of things I wish actors would pay more attention to, including not letting ego run the show.

I heard one guy on his cell after the training saying that he already knew almost everything Badger described. Even so, a reminder's not a bad idea. I hope that guy's not near my scene.

Whether Ego is good or bad, I guess, depends on what puffs up your ego. If doing a good job and having a quality scene/haunt feeds your ego, that would be good. Whereas, if your ego is fueled by selfish gratification and/or you have an over-inflated sense of self-worth, then that's bad.

09-11-2010, 08:58 PM
Badger- You rock, great info/insight today, I know our crew got a ton out of it too. Can't wait to see it all in motion.


-Bill & Jen

Springboro Haunted Hayride


09-12-2010, 07:30 AM
Man, do I really look that fat? <sigh>

Seriously though, I wish to thank Bill and Jen for the opportunity to come out and help your actors. I was a bit apprehensive since you had so many veterans coming out but many of them came up to me after the course and to a person mentioned that they had learned something. Even one of the head guys (Mark) told me that I had brought to him a fresh perspective to a lot of things that he hadn't thought about. That and of itself was a bit of an ego boost...;)

I can not wait to see the final pics of your haunt and I encourage EVERYONE who can make it out to the Springboro Haunted Hayride and Black Bog this year to do so because it's going to be an absolutely SICK haunted attraction...(and in a good way)

09-12-2010, 08:11 AM
Badger your Boo camp rocked....... I had fun and also got a bit of a fresh perspective . To me it was more like a refresher course. Thank You. I am inspired.
Dave B