Exactly, nothing worse than actors running around and ruining other area's scares or just setting there texting. I have had a strict policy that does not allow actors to have cell phones and to take it one step further not to ever break character. If either one are done then they are asked to leave for the night.
Is it harsh? Some would say yes, but your haunt's success is dependent on the quality of the haunt.
Again, just my thoughts...
They're making $7 an hour. You are making bank for the next entire year . . . money you need to live on, as well as have something left over from which to work on next season's haunt.
Ergo, I think we are entitled to expect a certain level of professionalism from our professional actors . . . which is precisely what they are if we pay them. After all, would they expect any different in any other job setting . . . even a fast food place?
WE WERE PAYING OUR ADULT ACTORS $10 AN HOUR .. and still had many of the problems already mentioned here in this thread.
My biggest personal overall dissappointment has usually been no matter how old a actor is, that they have such a minimal enthusiasm for Halloween and scaring people.??
Many go from being "Bored" to "Over-worked" in half a second. Too much to do, to loitering...
I would design scare options and then it was too much "work", I made it super-simple, then they were bored...
And then.. add to this the "He-Said-She Said" drama between employees and you just want to scream and pull hair! (I want to pull theirs!)
One very busy night as I was about to open the front door to a parking lot packed full of eager customers one of my actors begins telling me about some stupid crap he saw on television recently, as if he , we , had all the time in the world to yammer at That Moment!??
The kick-in-the-butt about all of this is, this can all be So simple, just do what I have told and shown you to do! When you are expected to do it!
Hiring advice:Don't think you have found a good employee if they have figured out how to live on $5. a week and sleep on "Momma's couch. The first paycheck , and they can retire til Spring! I have always felt compelled to pay people I owe in a timely manner because I spent yrs. on the other end of such deals when I never got paid on-time and sometimes never. I'm not doing that to anyone else. Wonder why my House is open every night of the year? I get to do it all (with my Wife's help for large groups) but then I have always had enthusiasm to entertain, scare despite the money factor.
I have always fished out the drama departments at the colleges/universities. I'm going to be blunt for a moment with hopes of not hurting anyone's feelings. Actors that are inspired to do their best are not low maintenance. They crave attention and want to be the center of attention. As a producer there is nothing more scary to me than to be in a room with 50 high maintenance actors that crave attention. For this reason I hire in a casting director/coach (usually a drama teacher from a high school). It keeps the "needy" actors out of my way and the casting director will coach them and check up on them through the night so I can focus my attention where ever I need to. This is just my experience.
Hope I didn't hurt anyone's feelings though...
One of the owners at that haunt used to laugh at how I let myself "get caught up in the drama and minor grievances" of the relatively young cast, until one of those "minor grievances" reared up and bit her on the ass, causing some serious problems that had to be dealt with. Funnily enough, since I paid close attention to the "minor grievances"and little "petty goings-on" that took place, I saw it coming a mile away, but she disregarded my concerns outright from the start.
It definitely pays to be tuned in, especially when it's your finances (and possibly your life savings) on the line.
"He-said-She-said" was always a romantic friction and episodes from a soap opera in which they thought we needed to be involved in? No thanks. sort it out yourselves...haha!
It would be nice to have some prima donas here... besides,, me? hahaha!
Filming onesself removes much of any over-ego levels I may have once had. My mind is usually working too fast to be bothered with ego. I am shifting gears quickly and physically moving the whole time for usually 90 minutes/per/tour, or more.
MY ad-libs seem to entertain and amuse most of my patrons and these only really get cranking from myself getting inspired by certain groups.
My first room routine can go on for many minutes, 45 , 60? And I do cover a lot of "Ground" when I do this making the haunted history of this house have some attempted humor interjected to give the timid something to grab on to and then ignore the scary parts.
I have So Much material !
25 years ,open every night (And Sat. & Sun. afternoons)
If they don't need the haunted history, don't like my attempted humor, I can still entertain them retelling the fun, funny things other customers have done and said throughout this house!