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Thread: Thoughts on character development

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  1. Default  
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Lock Haven PA
    I also used Allen's two videos which helped with giving them something to go off of. They seem to like the fact he gives ideas and showed them the different scares.

    When Badger came he made us all go down the line and act. I think it helped with bringing them out of their shells.

  2. Default  
    Join Date
    Nov 2004
    Cleveland, Ohio
    Quote Originally Posted by NightmareOnYourStreet View Post
    jsut be sure to give the actors some room for improv. improv makes it more fun for the actors and a different experience each time someone comes through. also it helps if the actors need to fill in in other places. being good at improv will not only help them but help you be more comfortable and not nervous if an actor doesnt show up you have someone that can fill their spot well.
    I agree with you. I'm a huge fan of improv and I find that the skill truly makes for a great character. It is very obvious to the patrons if an actor is using canned dialogue, especially if they go through the haunt again and witness the same performances each time. Improv also enables the performance to be interactive, as opposed to making the customer feel like an audience at a play.

    With semi-scripted haunts, I find that giving the actor the basis of the character (ex. Doctor, nurse, hillbilly) and allowing them to create the character (name, age, background, dialect, quirks, movement style, vocal pattern, etc) really allows the actor to feel that they contributed and creating something truly unique.

    Admittedly I'm a huge of changing things up, and I like switching actors up because it means the show is never the same (which means that the actors aren't bored and neither are the customers). It also allows actors to work with a variety of acting styles (ex. crazy in an insane asylum, a slow and stupid zombie in a morgue, heavy dialogue in a Victorian parlor, loud and violent in a slaughterhouse). I think improv and the ability to change things up constantly is the best way for actors to grow and improve their performances.
    Katie Lane
    Raven's Wolf Art Productions (www.ravens-wolf.com)

    Bansheette Morningstar (www.bansheette.com)

  3. Default It Seems To Be A Thin Line 
    Join Date
    Aug 2003
    Ravens Grin Inn, 411 carroll st.mount carroll ill.
    "I'm bored."
    "This is too hard!"
    I would try to make something easy=Bored .I tried to make it more interesting="This is too hard."
    Very frustrating, especially with a very small number of "bodies" to ever choose from.
    The core crew here have been here in Octobers for 6 -7 yrs. They evolved, matured, found their own individual "way" of overcoming shyness and personal issues or confusion.
    When it came to dialog, at first they mostly said what I had said, then they began improvising by making fun of me! Which played pretty well with the customers! Great! Go for It!
    I love those "Happy" customer$! We all do.

  4. Default  
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Flora, illinos
    I just wanted to clarify that in no way would we try to limit an actor's creativity - but since we have so few experienced ones, we are just trying to find ways to give the shyer or less creative ones some additional direction.

    Right now we are planning on holding auditions this year, having a few training meetings to screen Allen H's dvds, and some of the training audio from RFR. Then we'll just let the actors realize what is expected from them and allow them to get comfortable with their characters.

    And in the future, once we have a better talent pool to select from, perhaps bringing in a consultant to boost us even further.

    Thanks to everyone who posted on this. I really appreciate the help.

  5. Default The Most Dificult Thing Is. 
    Join Date
    Aug 2003
    Ravens Grin Inn, 411 carroll st.mount carroll ill.
    For most people is, "Public Speaking'. Maybe wearing a mask or heavy, obscuring make- up may help elieviate this some for some.
    Freedom, creativity, Ad-libbing? Many new actors I have seen would almost run out the door screaming when such things get mentioned.(Which all by itself would be a decent scary act !)
    Asking or even hinting they might try to do such things would be like asking them to fill-in for the surgeon when he begins to operate on their Mother!
    "I just Can't do This!"
    Once they feel somewhat comfortable just being around customers , then is the time to put more on their "plate".
    I have it doubly difficult here because my house is haunted and some people will say it doesn't affect them or they aren't upset or scared by such things... then two hours later I realise they left without saying good-bye.

    "Can you work in the backyard? You should dress warmly."
    "I love the outdoors, the cold doesn't bother me at all!"
    Then she doesn't even show up because "The cold bothers her joints,bones". Whatever?
    Over the years most of my frustration has been trying to get people to work for me and be predictable as far as just showing up when they are supposed to be here.
    I was once told if you need someone to work, find someone who already is working, not camped out on Mommie's sofa for the winter.(They already have things figured out for themselves!)

  6. Default  
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Around Cape Girardeau
    Giving them a back story on the charactor is a good way for them to devope that charactor and inprove it.

    When you do go for consulting talk to Badger or get a hold of Bob Turner from The Haunted Hydro in Ohio.
    Bob does the Hauntainer University class. And has a two set dvd called Haunter-U that you can by.
    I have a copy of it and find it very informative.

    a.k.a. The Butcher
    a.k.a. Hauntlord

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