View Full Version : Actors

04-06-2012, 12:10 PM
Well, employees / helpers in general I guess. I searched but didn't find much.

When do you guys start advertising for needing help, like actors and such?

I'm gettin stressed out and feel SO FRIGGIN behind!
How do you guys usually put the word out? My partner wants to hit the schools for all the drama kids... I was told to stay away from them because of various issues.

I'm trying my darndest to get double scares out of the actors. My maze isn't complete yet but I'm working hard at getting double scare actors worked in. So in case our volunteers / hired actors are a bust. I don't think we'll have a problem getting folks interested though.


Trail of Terror
04-06-2012, 12:26 PM
I am the same way. So I hope you get some good advice, so it can help me with it too. I barely got enough help last year and we are adding more rooms and scares this year. Plus I had several of my workers move off, so I have to replace them to. I don't know how some haunts get 30 plus volunteers

04-06-2012, 12:41 PM
A couple of things that will help with your problems but may not solve them......

Offer your actors an incentive to stay. For instance....they make x number per night but if they attend all nights they get a $50 bonus.
I also let them get tickets for each night worked and then drew prizes at the end. So.....the more tickets they had the better chance they had to win a prize.

Also, once you get a core group of good actors who geniunely want to help you need to keep in contact with them, fill them in on stuff, get their input etc. to keep them around the haunt. Usually those people will invite more good ones.

Advertise on craigslist and in the newspaper if you have to in order to get workers.....but thats all you are generally going to get is "workers" who aren't interested in what they are doing.

It takes time to get a cast that is into it and wants to stay the whole time and keep coming back but as long as you are good to them they will keep coming back.

04-06-2012, 01:01 PM
Drama kids are typically drama kids. Stay away. That's not.always ttrue but a large group of drama kids isn't really that great.

I don't pay actors. This isn't a job. It should not be a job. I want mymy volunteers to have fun and WANT to do their best. I find volunteers are better than paid actors on almost every level. I feed them every day, they get a tton of swag, and at the eend of the season a fun cast party, a check presenting ceremony to the organizations we helped out, and a nice little awards ceremony.

Your crew should WANT to be there. Not call it a "job".

Just my two cents. My actors have been complimented for going the extra mile consistently, and they will be even better this year!! Lol.

You'll find people from ALL walks of life LOVE to scare, not just drama kids. You'll have sports jocks, EMTs, bank tellers, firefighters, statisticians, and everyone in between. Keep an open mind and you will be surprised wwhat comes your way!

04-06-2012, 01:26 PM
Thanks guys.

Bobby, I'm there with ya! We're thinking alike! I feel the same way. I don't want anyone who's only there for some quick, fun cash. So, I plan on getting Volunteers, but give bonuses as incentives, and prizes / awards for most talented etc. Best scare. We plan on having an after haunt party for everyone involved. We'll cater out, have lots of fun and talk about the scares / stories. Unannounced, the main crew will be judging the stories, and combine with what we've seen / heard ourselves to give best scare awards to etc.

However, my main question hasn't been answered yet. WHEN! lol. When do you guys start trying to get folks?


04-06-2012, 01:44 PM
I don't know, when did you think about opening up a haunt?

That's your answer.

It should be one of the first things you thought about and began doing.

You can't run a haunt by yourself or with your two or three partners...

Start an hour ago, network network network! Give yourself as much time as you can to get the best HELP you can!

Just don't forget, you're the chief and they're the Indians.


04-06-2012, 01:45 PM
The haunt I used to work for would advertise and take applications in July, start auditions and hiring in August and train in September. I have gone and trained a haunt's (almost) entire staff as early as June and as late as the night before they opened. My busiest time for actor training has always been early August to mid-September. I would recommend at the very least a 30-60 day window to get your staff hired and trained.

Feel free to contact me and I will be happy to help in any way I can.

Bradenton Haunted Trail
04-09-2012, 08:14 PM
Well my opinoin is if you are trying to make a profit for your self at a business including a haunt you should conpinsate your staff. I am not saying you need to put them on a payroll or anything. I do a all volenteer staff but with nightly bonuses, if they work every night and the bonus for working all nights wich was $150 it would just about equal minumim wage. It worked well and you would be surprised how many actors you will get when they know they will get paid. I agree most drama kids are not the best but still hit the drama clubs you will find some great ones. Most of my actors where from local High Schools and try and spead out to as many high schools as you can they will help spead the word about your haunt. Craig's list is a good start but don't exspect a huge turn out from the responce you get about 25% of the people that responded to our add showed up that responded from craigs list. You just need to get a few kids from a few high schools and tell them to ask around and you should have more than what you know what to do with. I had a acting staff of 53 for my first year haunt had Badger come train them and it worked out great. I would recomend him to anyone he helped me find out who was going to be a great actor and who was just some one to jump out from a dark area for a startle scare.


05-01-2012, 10:05 AM
That's funny drama kids were my first thought lol.

Thanks so much for the advice about starting immediately too.

05-07-2012, 06:04 PM
A lot of valid points, we use actors from a drama college this way they are old enough and we don't have to worry about the labor laws and the hours they work, drama students do bring a lot of DRAMA with them too! We too pay the actors and offer a bonus incentive if they show up every night, we feel that this has helped out, even though it is fun to scare people at the end of the day they are still young college students that miss nights at the haunt.

Mr Nightmarez
07-04-2012, 03:23 PM
A lot of great ideas and we also use to do drawings for employees. TV's a trip to TW, etc...
And feeding them for some reason brings them in also! lol That was back before we paid....

We interview/audition approximately 125 - 150 per year. (Usually in August or Late July) We hire about 70 to 75. and Train them end of Aug / Sept. And normally lose 6 to 10 in the process.
At first it was frustrating but now we have an average of 55 - 65% return. Makes it much easier.

We do a bonus for everyone that works every night plus we pay our actors minimum and return actors get paid more every year they return.

Just remember to treat your actors like you would want to be treated and you should be able to retain them! Good Luck!