All of my actors are volunteers because I run a haunt at a University so I get student volunteers. In fact most of my crew is volunteer. What are some things that I can do to a.) Help my actors get into their roles and take their jobs seriously and b.) Reward them at the end of the week (we run our haunt for a week)? I can't afford to pay them which is why I use student volunteers but I want to do something to let them know I appreciate them. I also want to help them learn how act their parts more effectively.
I would do all of the above mentioned. Help them be the best actors they can be and at the end of your season reward them as best you can. We do a volunteer recognition party featuring the Golden Ghoul Awards. They love it and it gives the ones who stand out something to feel proud about. Even to get nominated.
Lots of luck to you.
1. Feed them (even if its just small snacks). Provide them water and cough suppresants during the show.
2. Try to record them by following a live tour one night. Give them pointers and tips for next time.
Give them as much feedback as possible
3. Shirts. Seriously, I was more than happy as a volunteer actor to receive a shirt. I dont know why, but the shirt was worth all the hard work
Give them a new shirt and make sure it's not on fire.
(Unless you want to fire them and can't find the appropriate words?)
As both and actor and co-producer on past shows...shirts have always been huge. I've loved getting apparel and anything I could use to share my pride for the attraction I was a part of.
It can give the actor a sense of pride to wear. Several years we offered both t-shirts and customized holofoil VIP style laminate passes with their names and photos on them. We charged what cost was on them to make and anyone that wanted them were still more than happy to pay for them....again something that allowed them to share their pride for the attraction and being a part of it. However of course if you can make them a freebie all the better.
End of year banquets were always fun too...a party to celebrate a successful year.
The shirts for some strange reason they do help build pride in the show.
Originally Posted by phreakout
I have to agree with everyone else. A tshirt is a great end of year totem. And an after-show hotdog and pop is good for a nightly award too (You never realize how good byproducts are til you destroy for 4 hours haha).
I've always thought that taking a group photo after one of the performances, then getting copies made would be something nice to present to all involved. Maybe use photoshop and put the haunts name/year/character names etc.
Another idea...you could go to the dollar store and get those cheap mini tombstones and use a mini foam cutter to carve things like, "Best use of (fill in the blank)" "Best make-up" etc, and give them out at a post-party.
Jaks is dead on about the banquet idea too, nothing beats a good celebration of a job well done. Especially when you have great "remember when this happened.." tales to share!
From my experience in running a volunteer acting troupe:
Everyone loves and appreciates t-shirts, hats, and any other merchandise with the haunt logo on it (we've done travel mugs, water bottles, hoodies, lanyards). Your crew are some of the best word of mouth and walking billboards you can have.
At the end of the night give a few awards and honorable mentions for things like "actor of the night," "makeup of the night," "room of the night," etc. I would buy certificate paper at Walmart and print a "haunt certificate" that I would give to the winners. The cost was menial, but it encouraged people to try their best to get the honor.
Food goes a long way. During set-up, have sandwiches (even simple things like PB&J, cheese, tuna, etc), little bags of chips, and a giant cooler of gatorade or ice water. Then feed your crew again after the show (hot dogs, meatball subs, any thing simple but filling works wonders).
As Mike said, an end of the year award banquet is a great way to show your appreciation. We did a formal event at a banquet hall with a catered meal, engraved plaques for large awards, and plenty of certificates for other awards.
During the year, I liked to organize outings (about once a month) to various activities: visiting year round haunts, going to the Ren Faire, seeing a horror movie, going to the zoo to study the movement of animals, etc.
Even being a paid actor I love wearing my haunt's t-shirt.
We had to pay for them, but the money didnt mean one bit to me, it was all about showing my pride for being a part of The House of Horrors.
Just getting the oppertunity to act is enough for me and I almost cant believe I get paid to do something I enjoy so much and have a passion for.
Im comtimplating buying a weeks worth of shirts this season :twisted:
If a shirt means this much to me, a paid actor, it can do wonders for a volunteer actor.
Also food and drink is a must for volunteer actors
Well, I am a volunteer actor. We get shirts, hats, personalized hoodies, banquets, parties, and free pizza after we are done on Saturdays. They all satisfy me.