View Full Version : How do you do it?

12-05-2006, 02:42 PM
So, as I sit here bored out of my mind, I was wondering... How do you other haunt owners/managers work the whole providing costumes and make up and props for your actors. Do you provide or do you make the actors get their own stuff? Reason is say you have an actor that shows up the 1st night, is given a prop or costume and then never returns.

12-05-2006, 02:48 PM
Most Haunts have a cast room where they keep costumes, costume accessories and allow the actors to get into make-up. They have to sign in to get paid, when they leave, they leave the costume at the haunt. You don't let them take it home with them.

They should solve 99% of your problems with that -

12-05-2006, 02:49 PM
You have a wardrobe where Actors get dressed at the event before you go live and do make-up there.

Once the show is finished and event has ended all actors return the costumes, masks etc. to the racks.

Then you can spray the inside of the masks, and wash the costumes if needed that day.

That way your items never leave your control.

12-05-2006, 02:50 PM
Look at the post Steve, you beat me by one minute. hahahaha

12-05-2006, 03:01 PM
LOL - That's what you get you post troll -

Just kidding - you added some nice content as well.


12-05-2006, 03:11 PM
I have heard of some haunts in my area and others around the counttry that make the actors provide their own makeup and costumes. This to me is amazing because in Community theater, that stuff is provided for you. I mean, I can understand if it is a non commercial haunt, but a "for profit" haunt doing this?
Anyhow, I had a few actors break props this past season. Like my cool Terror Tools were broken the 1st night!! :evil: And a handful of the actors would leave the makeup area a mess. Blood and latex open, tissues all over the counter, crap like that. Some costumes torn to the point of uselessness to attain that "cool look" .

12-05-2006, 03:30 PM
here we utilize a series of managers to over see opperation. WE have a seperate makeup section, and another area for costumes. The one more area for sign-in,etc. Actor signs in and goes to the board to be placed. Myself, or another manager puts them in an area of thehouse. next the proceed to costumes where they tell the girl there their room, based on the person we then choose a costume appropriate for them. Props are left in their respective areas. After the costume is on, they wait in line to get into the makeup room. At our location we have a
'main" artist, who does makeup aswell as oversee the other artists. Along with the head artist there are 2-3 other artists in the make up area. Actors who we find capable may come-in at their leisure and do their own makeup. All actors must be in make up 10 min prior to show time. We shut the lights off, and send them in. Now, the main artist cleans the makeup area and watches over the actor area. This person (along w/ the costumes girl) is in charge of actors on break, and touch ups. The show ends and everyone returns costumes. (no one leaves til all costumes are accounted for. Once finish we all head to the main building for food. And the cycle continues the next day. All offices, costumes, and makeup are thier own areas, and are locked nightly, aswell as when hthey are un-staffed

12-05-2006, 03:59 PM
Our operation is very similar to Steve's.

Actors show up, get placed by stage manager. They don the appopriate costume, and get makeup done by one of our artists based on where they are acting.

We have a few staff members that we actually casted their parts with auditions and understudies and everything else. These people generally just know what to do anyway, so they write their own name on the board and get things done without assistance from the stage manager.

Some well trusted and very reliable staff members get to keep track of their own costumes, take them home and wash it, etc. They have to earn this ability with us, we don't let just anyone do it.

Finally, the stage manager is responsible for show quality throughout the night, and he works with actors that are having difficultly with their part or scares. The makeup people oversee breaks and treats.

At the end of the night, everything is returned, and we all go out and have some food.

-- I

The Shape
12-06-2006, 06:18 AM
Then you can spray the inside of the masks, and wash the costumes if needed that day.

What brand of sanitizer do you recommend for spraying the inside of masks, Lysol? Is it safe for the actors?

Ken Spriggs
12-06-2006, 07:50 AM
Ron I put a response on HC for you.

To all you people who say they give all costumes and makeup.......I gave up 4 years ago when i stood there for over 1 hour collecting costumes and spraying them lysol and febreeze.

Bring your own...i don't want another smelly wet piece of clothing near me.

Make the actors bring their costumes the week before opening for approval. Work a little magic on the people who have no clue...bingo instant wardrobe room

We have anywhere from 50 - 70 actors on any given night.

12-06-2006, 08:14 AM
All masks get sprayed and cleaned out, that is the easy part, since most people are in make-up. The costumes have to be washed every night, usually a couple of loads before we are done wraping up, and the rest when we come in the next day. Some ornate costumes are just sprayed and hung out. Lots of repair goes on during the season. We cannot send them home because we are open every night, and the people who play the roles change. It is so hot down here in the beginning of the season if we didn't wash stuff it would stink! A few actors have their own stuff.


Ben Armstrong


Jim Warfield
12-06-2006, 09:35 AM
I guess it's time to spill the beans, for the last several years we have totally eliminated all costume and make up issues by themeing the Ravens Grin as ""Naked As A Jay bird" Yup! Everyone is totally nude , doing tours in dim lighting and hussling around those corners fast.
Hey! It's supposed to be "Scary", isn't it?
Of course now when a customer hears an employee giving a smart-azz comedy reply and asks, "What kind of crack was that?" we are not sure exactly which crack they are complaining about.

Duke of Darkness
12-06-2006, 12:41 PM
When I have run a haunt (I didn't get to last year *sigh*) it has been set up very much as Steve described. One addition was that we issued Staff ID cards to all of the actors. They had to exchange their ID card for their costume, so at the end of the night we could tell who had not checked their costume back in.

As far a s actors bringing in their own costumes, we have had actors who have wanted to use their own costumes, and we allow that with approval. On the whole, however, we need to make sure that all roles are filled, and you never know if an actor is going to show up, so most of the costumes remain in house.

12-07-2006, 02:55 PM
On the whole, however, we need to make sure that all roles are filled, and you never know if an actor is going to show up, so most of the costumes remain in house.
This is the main reason why we have all costumes here. I do have a question, though...

You know the masks that have the fabric on the inside? It's usually the ones that have the moveable jaws. One of our actors was great using such a mask, but when he decided not to show up anymore, we had to put someone else in that role. Unfortunately, he had stunk up the mask so badly, no one wanted to put it on, so I had to rip the material out, toss it and airbrush the person's skin the same color as the mask to blend in.

How in the world do you sanitzed them without having to rip the whole lining out?