View Full Version : advice on motivating workers

10-31-2007, 09:35 PM
how do you motivate your actors into doing a good job?
i do a small haunt in my back yard but i'm hoping to expand
and hopefully go comerical here in the next couple years and
i never seem to be able to motivate my actors to do a good

please help :]

10-31-2007, 10:13 PM
#1 design a good haunt that they are proud of being a part of.
#2 Treat them with respect. Please and thank yous can go a long way. During the night, try to watch them act and try to find a good scare that you can really praise them on.
#3 Give them stuff. Just little things mean a lot to them. Even silly little stuff from dollar store can mean a lot.
#4 If you are doing an outside haunt, are you trying to make them comfiortable and protected from the elements?

At the end of the season, I also write a personal note to each actor. Just 1-2 sentances thanking them. That means a lot to an actor

10-31-2007, 11:11 PM
Great above comments ... a few more ....

#5 Try and be in a positive mood. Not always possible, but even if things are rough try not to vent on the volunteers. Let them be happy and they will play well.

#6 Make sure they get breaks and water. Having worked for an event that gives "in place" breaks mostly and one that shuts the event down ever 2 hours regardless of the line, the actors work MUCH harder when they know they earn a true break for a smoke and a pancake..... :)

#7 AS a makeup / costume / set guy I really think what you put on and put the actors in makes a big change in how they act. Someone who looks freaky and is in a good scene will usually act up to that expectation. They will choose to become the role they see in the mirror. -- Just and aside, I do makeup because I love watching a person change as they see themselves in a mirror. Good makeup or a fantastic mask can really make an actor act. To that bad of either makes them act down... or feel blah.....

#8 Do not be afraid to let a bad apple go if you have to. Make sure your crew stays happy, if one of them becomes a problem for the rest don't be afraid to prune your group for the health of your show.

Jim Warfield
11-01-2007, 02:05 AM
Hire a sadistic lunatic, give him a cattle prod to do that there "motivating", thare yoo go.

11-01-2007, 02:06 AM
These are my suggestions. Sadly, I don't always follow them and I always regret it.

1. Tell them how scary they are. Tell them often.

2. Design scenes and costuming around their limitations. Demonstrate one or more correct ways to do the scene.

3. Immediately eliminate the bad apples, they will drag down the rest every single time. Don't give them the opportunity to get started.

4. Explain customer reactions. Many actors do not understand that a guest doesn't have to scream to be disturbed or even terrified, and that the more dramatic reactions usually accompany startle scares.

5. Try everything you can to get them acting rather than screaming, and start by telling them what acting IS -- many do not know. Help them develop a character and encourage them with whatever they come up with.

6. Be a pro yourself. Set a standard for yourself, then establish realistic expectations for them to meet.

7. Treat them like professionals.

Jim Warfield
11-01-2007, 08:15 AM
"Treat them like professionals", yes.
A school 25 miles from here was THE classic example of getting "more" from building up others.
At the beginning of the school year they once confused locker numbers with test scores on student info cards giving the teachers the false information that the whole class was very intelligent.
For a year those teachers taught and thought of those kids as being very intelligent..and the kids improved greatly from where they actually were.

11-01-2007, 08:58 AM
There are a few Haunted House Acting DVDs out there, take the best bits of these dvds that show motivated actors and examples. Even some of the best volunteers don't know what good haunted house acting is, sometimes its easier to be taught by seeing others do it. Have a meeting before the season to show them and explain what your looking for.

11-02-2007, 06:44 PM
The beatings will continue until moral improves.

Transfusion Tom
11-02-2007, 11:21 PM
I second geckofx.....better to be Caligula first and then turn into Mother Teresa at the end, never works the other way around. Volunteers are the best, however did have a few paid actors this year who were fantastic, and most certainly exceeded expectations

11-07-2007, 12:21 PM
Make it fun or use a cattle prod ... either works :p