View Full Version : I am done with gore. (Kind of)
07-26-2009, 09:28 PM
While our haunt was open for comic con i noticed something. A lot of actors, rely heavily on gore. They just are seriously messed up so the make up does the work for them. I am not going to lie, i wear gorey make up too. But i dont rely on it as a crutch, i also go without make up sometimes.
Thus me and my acting friend are making up characters, similar to Mr. Kidd and Mr. Wint from James Bond.
Creepy and generally insane. But well dressed. Creep out vibe, this is a rant slash request for advice.
ie. What YOU think will work, what would creep you out in the situation of two well dressed soft spoken psycopaths approaching you.
We will be working the que line, let me know your thoughts/ideas on the characters themselves and the use of excessive gore in haunts!
07-26-2009, 09:54 PM
Well character make up requires some talent and thought and often actors (and I use the term loosely to include scaracters) aren't "acting" per se but rather scaracterizing. They go for the carnage "eeek" instead of the more psychological "thrill"
Most characters require some depth (history or background) to them and unfortunately in a walk through haunt it's hard to develop a character relationship with the audience within a few seconds of exposure. A character would need to be highly integrated to his set (environment) in order to tell the story simply by appearance. He may also need to work the outside line before the guests encounter them inside the haunt to fully exploit the psychological impact of their character.
Then they are acting....if they can emote through a character and relate to the audience they will get a much more effective performance.
That's why I prefer make up or prosthetics to masks. An actor's only tool is his face and if you put a mask on an actor you stiffle any creative opportunity he has. An actor uses make up as a tool to REALize the character he is trying to develop.
07-26-2009, 09:57 PM
I understand that. That isn't my beef. But even the actors outside with me, or roaming the oens thati have time to develop and grow with the audience...dont. I am not bashing make up or gore, I was just making the observation (that in the haunt i work anyway) a lot of the actors set too much store or rely on their gory make up.
07-27-2009, 08:02 AM
I agree with 75% of what you say however....
" An actor's only tool is his face and if you put a mask on an actor you stiffle any creative opportunity he has."
Successful performances are not limited to the face alone, body language is 75% of your performance, how many times have you seen an actor make a good character entrance but then ruin it by changing posture when he thinks he is finished? You act with your whole body, your face is merely one of the tools in your tool box. Often the most unnerving performances are when the actors face is saying one thing but his body language is saying another.
Dr. I find that high gore content is part of the haunt actor character cycle. Just like Chain-saws, and Clowns Gore is a crutch. But it is only a crutch if the performer is still in that part of their haunt career cycle. Lots of veteran performers use gore but it has become a part of their character and what they do, they have bits and actions planned around the reactions of the patrons to the gore. Early in the cycle actors use gore just to get the reactions then they do not do anything with it, the Pro's use the gore to lead their audience down a reaction path and into a trap of some kind.
Its good that you are moving past your Gore phase, the next phase is that you will create characters that are way to deep and 99% of your patrons will be creeped out but wont get it. This can end up becoming "the weird guy on the bus" as opposed to a haunt character. Luckily you are one more step closer to scare-actor nirvana. Try out what you are thinking of, give it a shot.
I would recommend having a prop of some kind in order to show your true intention to your guests.
Sorry if Im typing in tongues here, but I know what I mean even if no one else does. This is one of those "patterns" I have seen in my career.
Good luck in your exploration this season,
07-27-2009, 10:41 AM
I get what your saying Allen. And you make good points. And I appreciate the fact that some work gore in to their characters, but they don't rely on it. It seems theres a vibe that unless you have the most gore or the most messed up make up on you cant be scary. Or atleast thats what it seems to me, and it just makes me sad. I mean look at Jim Warfields house, he scares people without make up, just with his own twisted take on things.
Also this is all from my personal experience at this haunt. This is by no means ment to be a stereotype to all haunt actors. I might have been unclear in my original post. But i look forward to fully developing a character, and becoming it. Plus it will save time in the make up room...ha
As a side note I think your observation on the actor "patterns" is really interesting.
Allen has a good point. I've gone away from gore in my haunt years ago because I choose to be effective in a different way.
Each actor has several tools. Their face, their costume, their movement, their approach and their "voice". What an actors says or how he sounds does a lot too. If these tools can be shared, practiced and demanded on for each and every actor, it makes for great scares. The big thing is getting those actors that will use every tool (abilities) and have their heart in it, not just a paycheck.
Some think they have to go ballistic or be covered up with blood to be effective. But if you show them a different approach and other tools they possess (but didn't know), they might be surprised.
I go thru this every year with new actors.
So give your thoughts a shot. Think about how you want each actor to do their part.
Just my thoughts,
P.S. The only gore in my haunt, is my last name LOL and "no", I'm not related to AL :)
08-01-2009, 11:14 PM
"A few seconds is not enough time to develope a character." Right! So spend more time with each group, tag team them if you have to, walk with them ahead of them, become "normal", give them a look at that, them slowly become off-center right as they begin to think they know you and maybe can even trust you, hold back the urge (predictable actions?) that make a character so unreal, be quieter, mellow even, insightfull and slip some strange phrases into the conversation and make them seem and sound normal as you say them. Use some uncommon vocabulary words, sound intelligent, smart, this begins to "scare" many people. ("This guy might be alot smarter than me, he might be able to do and get away with anything!!") Castles and Victorian mansions were not lived in by common types and ordinary people should have been wary of the people who did live in these large, impressive structures because...? "They might be smarter than me, and they might also just be alot more evil, ruthless?"
More spaces to hide the bodies!
Much of my "script" here was "written" for me by actual events so I am just repeating these items and using my skills deciding how to tell the stories and how to mix humor (or is that attempted humor?) with the wierd and supernatural (or are they just highly coinciDentalplan?)
"By the way, we pull or fill teeth cheaper than anyone else that doesnot use pain-killing porno distracting live -action scenes!"
08-02-2009, 02:55 PM
I appreciate the advice Jim!
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