View Full Version : Haunted House Acting
02-21-2009, 06:16 PM
I am 14,
I really really want to act in a professional haunted attraction, the thing is, No haunted attraction around my area (orange county, CA) hire people under 18.
I was wondering if i get a work permit from my school, and an entertainers permit from the State of California. If a haunted attraction would let me act and take part in their haunt.
I have a huge passion for this business, and i don't care how hard i have to work to achieve the certain goals needed to take part in a haunted attraction. I act very mature when it comes to this subject, i do not mess around and do exactly what everybody tells me to do. I have researched the hard work, long hours, and devotion needed to take part in these events. I'm going to train myself so i have the stamina for my age to take part in the event. I can not really explain how much i want this or how much i have a passion for this business.
So i am just looking for any advice or suggestions from people to help me get what i need to act in a professional haunted house. I am hoping that if people see how much of a passion i have, and how much work i will put into it, maybe they will hire me.
As for experience:
I have worked at a haunted house when i was 12.
I have worked at another haunted House when i was 13.
This halloween i had Designed/Built/Acted in my very own haunted house. I am happy to say that my haunted house was pretty successful. I am happy that all the time i had devoted to designing it, drawing out plans, buying wood and measuring everything, and to build the thing. AND, act in it, i think it was VERY worth it.
I have also taken drama classes at my school to learn more about acting.
Thank you for listening,
02-21-2009, 09:31 PM
I admire your drive, and Im amazed that your having trouble fining an acting job. I suppose it could be a conflict with the child labor laws and the hours of the haunts your applying at. In texas we have to let anyone underage off at 11pm even though we dont close untill 1 am. So it really isint worth it for us. I think the smaller the haunt then the less issues you will have.
Best of luck to you,
02-21-2009, 09:47 PM
On another note, if you cant find work I suggest trying to get your parents involved. If a father and son team showed up then I would be much more likely to hire them both, and you would have great dinner table talk.
Another option is to use this time to work on other useful aspects of haunting. Learn to make masks, start molding and sculpting. Learn an airbrush and start doing makeups on willing ginny pigs.
start a hobby that involves servo motors that can later be applied to animatronics.
You can develop tons of skills that will make you invaluable to haunt owners in the future.
Again good luck.
02-22-2009, 08:42 AM
Thank you so much Allen,
That is a great idea! If i do not find work i will definetly work on my make-up techniques and maybe i will look into making masks. Thanks for posting!
02-22-2009, 09:45 AM
Its interested me how many haunts havent allowed participants under 18. Here in sarasota, I act in a Haunt called the Fright Factory. We have actors from age 6 to 76 Alot of our cast is rather young. Then again, Even though, our haunt is professionally run by the county fire department, All of the acting is volunteer work. Mabye age has to do with payment and insurance.
02-22-2009, 12:28 PM
As a minor you are learning, so its easy to go from haunt to haunt and meet everyone in the local industry. Go to the haunts looking to volunteer, there are plenty of opportunities to learn something about set design and construction, prop fabrication, and make-up effects.
Gear your volunteering as a type of internship, join your middle school and or high school drama department, specifically theater tech. If you are serious about doing this, then you'll be serious about making to time to work with your theater department too.
Don't focus on one haunt, talk to all the local professional haunts and haunt owners in town or nearby cities. Every website has the e-mails of the owners and operators, as well as the actor managers. Begin meeting for tours and info sessions. Make yourself known and as you learn more about the people that run the show you can have the chance not only learn more about the businesses, but make the connections, and see the kind of people that are in charge. You'll learn so much, and by the time you're old enough to be a seasonal employee you can choose which haunt is the best place for you to dedicate your time and effort into.
Here is a short list of considerations, by no means exhaustive.
When choosing a haunt you should consider all possibilities in the companies you approach.
-Are they nationally known?
This will effect the structure of the business, lesser known haunts will be more open to accumulating talent, nationally known ones will have a stable on techs and artists they work with regularly.
-Are the locations close to you?
This is pretty straight forward, you need to be able to get to your haunt easily, and having your own mode of transportation helps things a lot. You don't want to burden the haunt employees with having to offer you rides, so be it bus or parents or school friends, your ow ride will help.
-Is this a place to stay with or learn from and take the knowledge and move onward?
You'll most likely move for college so this is almost a given that the first haunt you work with will be to learn and get experience. The second will be your choice to try and stick with through college, and after that possibly move to a city that hosts the haunt you want to work with, or save some capital and create your own. (keep in mind how stressful and time consuming any business starting is.)
-Are there friends of yours already working there?
Possibly the most important factor in choosing a haunted house, are your friends there? More importantly, will you be able to make friends with those that are there currently? Who cares how well known the haunt is in the industry or locally if you don't, or won't have any friends that work there. The people you meet and invest your time with are more important than the fame or renown you walk into.
02-22-2009, 02:08 PM
..in the dark.
Looking at the world through mask holes, walking up behind someone that may react very aggressively and "Wham!"
The odds of someone 13 or 14 getting their jaw broken and numerous teeth knocked out are greater than a person,who might be older, taller, tougher, more equal in size to the potential disrupter of the fun.
In the light that same aggressive person might actually do a few seconds of real thinking before acting (or is that re-acting?) The verdict is still out on that "Sorry I am drunk," excuse.
Some people enter a haunted attraction LOOKING for someoe to pound on, and they are not drunk at all.
My advice if you are confronted is to always have a bright flashlight ready to tempoarilly blind them with so you can then put distance between the two of you.
02-22-2009, 04:46 PM
Allen's suggestion was a good one. But like i said this is from personal experience, i got hired when i was fourteen at a "18" only haunt. Er they only hired 18 year olds anyway, not that it was an adult venue hahahah. My niece also has been picked up with an entertainers permit. Like i have told you multiple times its up to the haunt owners and the person. You might get in you might not. Go with your dad, you will need your parent support through it. And if not dont sweat only 4 years and you can act in legitametly. You can do a badass home haunt the rest of the year!
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