Who trains your actors?
As an actor with 10 years experience and as an actor trainer for 6 years, I am always curious to know how you as a haunt owner go about training your actors. Do you do everything in-house or hire someone to come in and do it for you? Are there special things that you do that give your staff that extra edge? I have seen some tremendously cool haunts with some awful actors and also some very cheap-looking haunts with amazing actors.
If you would like to have someone come in and work with your haunt crew while you try to get all those finishing touches done for the season, please drop me a line or visit my website for details. Several people on this board have used my services in the past and their testimonials speak for themselves.
I hope this doesn't come off as a big advertisement for myself, but I do have a very limited number of available dates and would certainly like to talk to any interested parties. I will make a special offer to anyone who contacts me on the website and says they got this off the "HW Forum".
Contact details are all on the site below...thank you.
Why you do my dear Badger....LOL
Just a plug for Badger he is coming back for the second year to our haunt. We were pleased with him and are getting ready for his return. My actors gave him a thumbs up and asked that I bring him back this year. His support isn't just that day but he keeps in touch with you throughout the year.
He is filling up, it was a little difficult to get him this late in the season (I waiting to book my date). See you in September!!
what is the best way to find actors that will do a good job?? is it better to have paid help or volunteer help???? I have tried a web page for help, but I get allot of young people... rather have a older work force... how can I get it or what is the best way?
The haunt I work at usually puts an ad in the classifieds help wanted in early sept. we have an open house and take applications. If someone says "I just need a job." We probably don't look at them. If they come across as enthusiastic, even showup in costume, they have a pretty good chance. I've been doing a lot of planning and research for this year and since the owner always tells me about how great a job I do with my acting I'm going to work with the other actors to bring their techniques up.
One of the haunts I work for has done a combination of ads in entertainment newspapers (weekly free entertainment publications), Facebook, and even Craigslist, coupled with auditions, or over hiring for first weekend and doing live tryouts with cuts at the end of the weekend.
Originally Posted by Trail of Terror
On the volunteer vs paid actors...In being in this industry 19 years now I have seen a good mix of paid and volunteer actors not only as an actor myself, but a patron and personnel manager. You have passion on both ends, but you get a lot more of the people that "want" to be there in the volunteer scenario, because after all in this day and age it is a lot harder to get someone to do something for free if they don't really want to, even if it is volunteer and charity for a good cause. I worked for one volunteer haunt that had a full workforce of regularly over 100 actors, but most nights you were lucky to have 50-60 actually show up at a time. In my experience I have seen better individual attendance in the paid scenario, because if they are partially motivated by the pay, they are more likely to feel obligated to come, especially if attendance bonuses are offered. Also it in my experience it feels a lot more difficult to "fire" a bad actor in a volunteer scenario. Regardless of pay or volunteer, you will generally always have a mix of good and not so good workers, just like in most any company in America. You just need to be good at weeding out the bad ones for the best success.
Hope this info is helpful!
Mike "Pogo" Hach
thanks for the info... I like the idea of having a training day and making cuts... I been doing this for awhile too.. and have notice that you get more dependable workers if they are paid help.. and less stress worrying if you are going to have enough workers to show up...
I would check out Allen at stiltbeaststudios.com He is an amazing resource when it comes to training haunt actors. He trains/ runs one of the largest haunted complex's in Texas and has tons of experience.