View Full Version : Breaks and Green Rooms
09-27-2010, 03:09 PM
How many actor only or staging areas do you have within your haunt? Are you a fan of the floater break system or the everyone takes a 10 minute break at the same time system?
If you use the floater system how many floaters do you have?
Do you keep food and water in all of your staging areas or just one of them?
Apologies for all the questions but I'm the point in the build that I am fine tuning everything so it flows somewhat smoothly.
09-28-2010, 09:30 AM
We use the floater system and have anywhere between 5-10 floaters that rotate breaks.
The upstairs of the haunt consists of the makeup room and lounge and then we have a garage area downstairs that tends to be the popular break room. We keep food and water in the garage area, and we have a "water crew" that goes through the haunt every 20-30 minutes to give actors water and cough drops.
09-30-2010, 08:55 AM
I have bathrooms for both male and female, a large breakroom with couchs, chairs, snack table, refrigerator. I supply soft drinks and water in the breakroom and since I have a food concession and only pay them $8.00 an hour I feed them for free. I also provide all of them with a company TShirt to wear when they aren't working.
Floater system for sure.
And we provide drinks and snacks/candy which they take to their hidden area. Of course there are rules they must follow or the priv is taken away, and they know that.
10-01-2010, 08:40 AM
I plan on using the floater system, although I dont know what is so hard about not peeing for 4 hours... lol. Then again, when I act? I drink only what i sweat out, and visa versa, so I dont have to go anyways =P
10-03-2010, 12:15 AM
for the screamers. lots of bottled water. take care of your actors, they will take care of you and your haunt. most actors really love their jobs, but you have to praise and take care of them if you are the owner of the haunt (especially, volunteers) just my opinion.
10-03-2010, 09:44 AM
Everyone breaks at the same time here. We do things to entertain the crowd, sometimes its a giveaway with trivia questions, sometimes it's something the outside actors make up and do, but it's just easier to keep track of who got a break this way, since we're dealing with volunteers and fresh actors.
10-03-2010, 11:33 PM
Thanks for this great feed back. Especially the part about cough drops. I for some reason have never had them before. I think if I get enough of a crew I'll have a water crew this year too.
10-04-2010, 02:08 PM
none of the above. We have support staff that comes through and brings us food and water since we are an outdoor event. We rest and break between groups.
Hundred Acres Manor
10-04-2010, 02:31 PM
Now, this may sound a bit "Haunted-Hitlerish" however the actors are only in the haunt from opening to close so roughly four hours at most on a Friday or Saturday evening. You do not get a "break" at McDonalds after four hours of work. We do allow our actors to "break" if they need to go to the bathroom, however, that is it. To the bathroom, do your business, then back to your spot. The last thing I want is an actor peeing themselves or being uncomfortable. I certainly want this to be a fun and enjoyable experience for them as well. When it comes down to it though, (even though our actors are volunteer), they are "at work". We also bring drinks and candy to the actors during the night so they do not have to leave their spot. This sooths their throat and assures that they are hydrated, after all, if you are doing your job this is of great benefit to you. They are permitted to drink ONLY when patrons are not in the room and instructed to remove the beverage from patrons sight. We do provide time prior to opening for the actors to amp up and learn their position (read my post: http://www.hauntworld.com/haunted_house_forums/showthread.php?t=9565 Improve your volunteer acting staff) as well as a snack at the end of the night from the concession stand.
It is important for me to assure that each patron has the same experience from the first group to the last, hence my response to this post. It seems to work out as long as the actors know EXACTLY what they are getting into prior to placing them in the house. =) It certainly agree that taking care of actors and understanding their needs is very important. Without actors the haunt is nothing. If your actors are unhappy, then they will not do their job so what is the point? If someone TRULY needs a break, then yes they can have one. It is difficult in a volunteer haunt for this not to be taken advantage of so we try to limit as much as possible but I would rather have someone take a breather and recoup then flat out conk out. I DO want our actors to come back after all =)
10-04-2010, 03:28 PM
I have acted for Ethan plenty of times, and this system works for actors that are dedicated and willing to put on a good show. Obviously there are those that are always looking to whine, but you always have that with people who are there for community service, etc. But an occasional drink for us halfway through the night is more than enough for me. =)
On the USS Nightmare we use the floater system, with 4-6 'breakers', depending on the night. Generally, our breakers are seasoned actors who know the boat, know the scenes, and can fill nearly any spot. It's kind of an 'honor' to be used as a breaker.
We have a break deck at the back of the boat. Picnic tables for seating, snack foods, and, of course, loads of water and cough drops.
10-09-2010, 03:50 PM
I have used many different methods to break my actors throughout the night and I have to say balancing throughput and actor happiness is dependent on the design of your haunt and how you accomplish it. My favorite system if you can make it happen is to offer a very precise whole haunt break where everyone gets a half time talk from the coach and you can get a feel for how your actors are holding up. During this time it's important that your line either doesn't know you stopped (careful manipulation of Que lines can allow you to move people forward throughout the break) or line entertainment. Our most successful break time line entertainment involved a live band that played a set. Actors are your most valuable resource so keep 'em happy, fed, entertained, and laughing. :D
10-09-2010, 09:06 PM
Now, this may sound a bit "Haunted-Hitlerish" however the actors are only in the haunt from opening to close so roughly four hours at most on a Friday or Saturday evening. You do not get a "break" at McDonalds after four hours of work.
Actually, in many states, 4 hours of work by law requires a 15 minute break. 8 hours requires 2 15 minute breaks and a 30 minute "lunch". So I think you'll find that at McDonalds, 4 hour shifts will include a break.
10-11-2010, 02:41 PM
I only run my haunt on the busiest weekend of the season as we are at a University and can't run the entire month so we are actually open for about 6 hours a night. Believe me we pump so many people through that these guys HAVE to have a break. I'll probably use a mix of the floater system and then do like a half time break each night as long as our lines aren't long at the time of a whole haunt break. Thanks for all these great suggestions and for taking part in the poll!
11-14-2010, 12:26 AM
to respond to haunted Memphis : for many years my largest job responsibility was ensuring dept. of Labor (DOL) guidelines were followed. These rules vary from state to state drastically! However I do know that there are some nasty fines in all states. If someone complains that they were not given a break when they were supposed to have one you WILL be audited and that means every employee gets spoken to and they WILL find something to cite you for. California is by far the worst we would have annual audits were DOL Nazis would come interview our staff and they were strict. A lot of this can be gotten around with waivers or volunteer labor but I do urge everyone with paid employees to check with their local DOL or potentially suffer some really bad financial blows.
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