My first job
I will be scaring at Rockin' R Ranch (http://spookyranch.com/) this Sunday and possibly for the rest of the October season.
It will be my first job as an actor at a haunted attraction. I have a good idea on what it takes to startle guests, I am very observant and I have seen how the Haunted Hoochie, 7 Floors of Hell and Ghostly Manor in Sandusky have their actors scare. But what are some general rules I should follow? Thanks in advance =]
Do not touch
be aware of your set and your patrons before you interact with them
watch your language, very few haunts allow you to drop the F bomb to customers
maintain your energy throughout the whole night same show at midnight that you gave at seven o clock
Remember that even though you have done the same thing 1000 times for each customer its the first time they have ever seen what you do. So do it right for them.
Bring a gallon of water...yes a gallon.
have fun, many haunt actors do not get paid, those who do do not make enough for all the hard work they do.
be patient, many of the concerns that the house managers and owners have at the start of the night are life safety issues and frankly higher priority than the fact that your costume is itchy or your mask smells funny.
Remember its a business, anything that would get you fired from a regular job will get you fired from this one...no texting between groups ya da ya da ya da.
Good luck, I have not missed a single haunt season as an actor since I started at ten years old, I love the work and would not have it any other way.
Good advice Allen.... you smashed the nail on the head...
Also stay ready for the next group. Nothing more frustrating for the next group to come through after a 20 minute lag and find you and other actors out of their spots talking to only get busted and try to still scare them. Ruins the experience completely! I make loud noises to be heard throughout the haunt and still stay in character the whole time. No matter how slow we are that night. You never know who is outside getting ready to come in and may hear what your doing and get them pumped. And my favorite is you never know when staff will walk through and you can get the chance to scare the shit out of them. I enjoy scaring staff almost more then scaring paying patrons!
I agree 10000%. It is frustrating to see someone out of character, out of their scene, or just not paying attention. The reason we are all here/there is to entertain the customer. Never forget that!
Use common sense. If you have an over aggressive customer, back off.
Example, I came out from my cubby and growled and lurched toward a guy, he wasn't feelin it so i moved on to his wife I guess. Her hair brushed my face, and he shoved me and goes "Dont touch us man and I wont have to touch YOU!"
I just backed off and said "Sir, it is likely you may be touched on accident. So please be prepared, things like that happen. We WILL get in your face" And he got up in my face. So i took a step back and said "Sir, if you could step over here I will get management." I had the other actors watch him, yes a few groups passed. But personally I would rather not scare a few groups then let the other actors get attacked by this overly aggressive man.
Management comes with some security. And they talk with the guy, he is escorted out and his wife on the people with her are allowed to continue on.
So be smart.
Stay in character.
Keep up the energy.
Dont get sick, take care of yourself.
All this is great advice guys, but all this talk of violence within a haunt makes me wonder... How does the Haunted Hoochie keep their guests in check? They are an aggressive haunt, they grab at you and I had one actor push me around. Personally I think it is great stuff, but I bet they get a lot of punks ruining their show.
People push to prove their masculinity, when they know the actors can push back they dont usually mess with them I would imagine.
Edit: I have a potty mouth.
I ended up working the haunted hayride. All the advice was good and helped me become a better actor.
I never would have realized how dumb some people are though. I have had people throw hay in my face, I have had some guy grab me and throw me into the wagon / trailer. Numerous "Let's fight" comments. Everyone seems to complain about it, but it just seems to come with the job.
I usually dont have to deal with the drunks being that I cant work fridays and saturdays, but I have had a couple of groups.
Your always going to get some agressive guests, I find its best to seek them out right away and stay clear of them.
If theyre at the front of the group attack the back, just keep your distance from them.
And also I just learned this the hard way last night, always make sure youre stretching out if you go for a very physical performance.