Team building is huge for volunteer actors, one of the talks I give is on team building for your actors If I can find my notes on that I will email them to for you.... ah for get it I will post it here I found it!
P.S. These are talking notes and its an outline as opposed to paragraphs, just read between the lines and you will get the jist of it, feel free to email me if you have any questions. On occasion my notes might contain.....artistic profanity, I may not say the words while speaking but it may be in the notes, I did not scan it.
Haunted House Team Building
What makes an actor feel like part of a team?
A. Superior costumes and look/theme
1. Give them something to be proud of.
2. Character sheets will give them an identity to be proud of
3. Actors who look like part of a group will feel like part of a group
4. Customize, customize, customize
a. Don’t be afraid to repaint masks and gloves
B. Chants and call backs
1. Whose house is this?
2. Ritual- inspires belonging and fellowship
a. Sauromon at monster safari story
3. Overheard from customer “Oh shit, they’re organized.”
C .Character names
1. Character creation meetings
2. When they help choose what they want to be, they have more pride in it.
3. Give them choices that fit your theme
4. Play to their strengths (good actor, lots of energy, really tall)
a. Don’t ask a 14yr old fat kid to play Jason
b. Don’t ask a skinny bundle of energy to lay in a torso table all night
c. Don’t put a 4-year drama student in a non-speaking role.
D. Monsters don’t have problems, people do.
a. “You don’t hire people, you hire sets of problems”
b. Deep characters are an escape for the performer
c. They are almost therapy
d. Give them a story to get involved in
E. Play actors against each other (how many did you scare?)
a. Competition is good for pride
Acceptance into a group can be as simple as looking like they belong .
Themed Look by design
A. Should look like they belong to the same world
1. all of the creatures in Lord of the Rings had a certain look, they belonged together
2. You can tell an Alien creature because of Geiger’s striking design.
3. Hellraiser’s design of costumes and design themes the “box’s” look is carried over in to sets
3. Sets should have a similar look and feel
a. Design elements should carry over and bridge from one set to the next.
b. a similar level of detail should be through out the show so no areas stand out as unfinished looking.
Themed look by technique
1. Painting technique to tie costumes together
a. Dry brush- is a technique that has a distinctive look and can help tie elements together
b. Air brush- also has a distinctive look to it and it can be used on costumes makeup, and masks to make actors look good together
2. Set elements incorporated into costuming to blend the two
a. Jute mesh material is often incorporated into sets and costumes
b. Camo netting can also be used in both sets and costumes
c. Use symbols ( a corporations symbol could be placed on a lab wall as well as on a mad scientists jacket and also on the storage tank a mutant pops out of, as well as on the stationary that is in the trashed office)
B. Color pallet
1. Star Wars Movie Colors
a. Bad guys in black and white with a bit of red
b. Browns on Tattoine
c. Greens on Endor
2. Pick a palette at Home depot and stick to those colors
3. Bi Monthly Work “parties”
A. Making things:
c. Whatever you need a lot of
4.Watching relevant movies
III. Integrated Vision
A. Tell them what you want
1. I want to have the classiest, grossest, scariest, safest, family friendliest show in the state.
2. If they don’t know, they can’t help.
3. Tell them the back-story and theme
4. Tell them the best possible guest experience
5. Tell them your dreams
B. Know the roles in a haunted house
a. What does each role contribute to the show?
b. What roles are necessary?
1. Startle scare-any actor who is main role is to jump out and scare people.
a. I tend to make all my startle actors similar in theme and costume (like all trolls, all werewolves, all mutants, all redneck zombies)
2. Distraction- this actor draws attention so another performer
3.realism/depth- these actors sacrifice the glory of the big scare in order to flesh out the depth and scope of the attraction.
a. The zombie who shuffles through the graveyard slowly towards the group instead of hiding behind a nearby tombstone.
4.exposition- these actors talk to the group and tell them the rules as well as the storyline of the haunted house. A greeter or tour guide character is a good example of this.
5. Tech- not a pre show tech, but an actor tech, like a puppeteer, or a button pusher/ rope puller.
6. Chained actor- great scares but a low morale position example pile o toys guy, gut guy, and bush man.
a. Why is this low morale? (because they don’t have faces or characters.)
7. Spectacle- these are actors who have elaborate costumes and are there to add a “wow” factor to the show
a. Gore galore’s big costumes
b. Stilt walkers
c. Scare factory’s actor lifters
2. Delegated Work
a. Actor leads
b. Safety guy
c. E group moderator
b. Costume master/mistress
c. Those can be themed to your attraction
Most relationships fail because of poor communication, owner /actor is a relationship.
1. Yahoo or Google group
A. Nightly recognition by posts to the group
B. Informing your team of different groups that plan on visiting on certain nights.
C. Keep it active throughout the year
a. Have an idea thread where you discuss what is going on next season.
D. Closing and/or opening meeting
E. Who was good last night?
F. What groups are coming?
D. Report set problems, lights out and such
2. GO THROUGH YOUR SHOW!!!
E. Or have a manager go through at least once per half hour
F. Only by seeing your show do you know what its like.
G. See what your guests see and report to your actors
H. Have a clear chain of command that messages can travel up or down.
3. Off-season events
1. Inexpensive advertising
2. Keeps a core group excited in off months
3. Creates planning meetings
B. Movie promos
1. Many theaters want characters in their theaters for movie premiers especially if it is a horror movie that can tie into your show.
Even if it’s far off season give away flyers and tickets.
2. Keep your makeup staff in practice
C. Subscribe to an e-mail card service- a birthday card will be automatically sent to your actors on their birthdays, or anniversaries, and holidays.
D. Walks and other events
1. Get a group together and walk the Breast cancer walk, the Aids walk, the muscular dystrophy walk.
2. These events will get your team closer and endear you to communities and help with name recognition during Halloween time. Wear haunt t-shirts or if possible walk in full costume.
A. If it’s not fun, they won’t come back
B. Never underestimate the power of a free t-shirt!
1. Year long reminder of belonging to your group
2. Advertising-proud actors talk more about your show
C. watch out for cliques, keep groups of people integrated and feeling like equally contributing members of your team.
C. Play teams against each other
1. Competition is fun
D. Actor of the night award with prizes
1. Trade your haunt tickets for restaurant gift certificates that is a great prize.
E. Have an after party
1. Have a slide show of pictures from the season playing.
2. Have actors share their favorite haunt moments
F. Have awards at the Party.
1. Best actor in a startle role
2. Best actor in a speaking role
3. Best actress
4. Iron-man –never calls in or complains
5. Best actor in a non-startle or speaking role
6. Scariest man of the year