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the ogre
05-06-2010, 08:42 PM
better late than never but this year the boss finaly agreed to use line haunters! LOL I know a few years late. I was wondering what you look for in a cue line haunter? What type of characters work best? What are the dos' and donts. I do all the actor training but with this I'm alittle out of my element. Any an all input is welcomed. Thanks.

Tim

Allen H
05-06-2010, 09:40 PM
What do I look for in a cue line character?
Someone who can think on their feet
Someone who knows not to take it to far
Someone who I trust
Someone who understands they can never break character when in the public eye
Someone with good communication skills
Someone with a ton of patience and is not easily offended (teenagers are awesome)

What type of characters work best?
Caharcters with wow factor (stilts, silicone masks, Great actors)
Humor works well in the cue, if they can turn on a dime from humorous to scary even better
Characters that guests will want pictures taken with (everyone has a camera now a days)
Talkers are better than non talking characters

What are the dos' and donts.?
This is what I tell mine
Dont take more than six steps if your chasing someone
Stop scaring them if they cry (tough call on that one)
Dont scare them before they have paid
Dont scare them when they are about to get food or pay for something
Dont scare them when they are holding hot chocalate
Dont scare anyone who is under the age of ten (ish)

Im sure more will come to me and I will edit my post when it does, good luck with them!
They are a great asset to a show and often act as the face of the attraction.
Allen H

Front Yard Fright
05-06-2010, 09:52 PM
Very good list Allen.

I'd make sure you spend more time (and or money) on the masks/costumes your queue line actors will use. You can spend more time on the makeup and do some fine details that normally would go unnoticed in a dark haunt.

And I agree with Allen about using humor only to switch on a dime - I do that at my haunt all the time and it works great!
:).

unihaunter
05-06-2010, 10:23 PM
Everything Allen said plus a good line worker will pick out problems before they get in the haunt drunks,rowdy teens,rowdy adults and if your haunt does names calling inside he radios in the girl in the red shirt name is Suzy and the actors can freak her out by knowing her name inside.

jakprintsHAUNT
05-07-2010, 01:13 AM
All of Allen's suggestions great!

Here are my personal opinions:

Though you never know talent till you see it in action...in attractions I have done staffing for, I have always found it best to have people with prior haunt acting experience as the "roamers" as I like to call them. Someone who knows their limits, and can pick out the people most likely to react in the group just by looking at them and knowing who is going to have the best affect by their mannerisms. Also someone who knows to spot a "swinger" and to keep their distance to keep from getting hit. I always try to pull from the "best of the best" actors first for roaming, but not taking too many of them out of the attractions as to make them suffer, as you dont want all amazing actors outside, and then show to be lacking of the best talent inside...its like false advertising/hype.

From personal experience line acting myself...again going with knowing what to look for, when you go after the right people...it entertains everyone else around them as well... It also helps to have someone creative with a lot of dialogue or different gimmicks...you can only say the same thing so many times going up and down the line of the same people....especially if you are a busy attraction and the customers are edgy already due to long lines. Then again...getting the same person with a scare 2 or 3 times also is great for entertainment value. I go by the rules of (not necessarily in this order) if you cant scare em, gross em out, if you cant gross em out make them laugh, and if you cant do any of the above at least entertain them somehow.

On the subject of chasing...again you have to know your limits, and be careful. While I dont chase a ton, nothing beats a customer screaming down the line of people with you running close behind to get the whole crowd in a fun mindset. Again you just have to know your limits to not appear winded (reminds me of the movie Behind the Mask...if you havent seen it check it out!), then also to know what to do and not to do to keep things safe. To avoid accidents completely you can go by Allen's rule of not going past 6 steps...but I like being part of and as a customer seeing the chases. Thats not to say I have not seen (or caused) some serious wipeouts.

I think everyone has a little different style..best thing is to make it your own and keep your audience and staff in mind.


Mike "Pogo" Hach

The Nightmare Factory
05-07-2010, 01:14 AM
What do I look for in a cue line character?
Someone who can think on their feet
Someone who knows not to take it to far
Someone who I trust
Someone who understands they can never break character when in the public eye
Someone with good communication skills
Someone with a ton of patience and is not easily offended (teenagers are awesome)

What type of characters work best?
Caharcters with wow factor (stilts, silicone masks, Great actors)
Humor works well in the cue, if they can turn on a dime from humorous to scary even better
Characters that guests will want pictures taken with (everyone has a camera now a days)
Talkers are better than non talking characters

What are the dos' and donts.?
This is what I tell mine
Dont take more than six steps if your chasing someone
Stop scaring them if they cry (tough call on that one)
Dont scare them before they have paid
Dont scare them when they are about to get food or pay for something
Dont scare them when they are holding hot chocalate
Dont scare anyone who is under the age of ten (ish)

Im sure more will come to me and I will edit my post when it does, good luck with them!
They are a great asset to a show and often act as the face of the attraction.
Allen H

This really sums it up. Our QUEUE line actrs have a covited place in the haunt, so we have auditions for the parts.

I'd also add, that the characters need to tie into the haunt some how.

We have a pool to choose from, they change up from night to nght, and onbuy nights we rotate them and keep the line guessing, and nervious!

My charater is Candy and well he hands out candy on halloween night, other nights too, but Halloween Candy has the candy tolley of doom.

the ogre
05-07-2010, 05:02 AM
wow thanks everyone. Keep it coming this is great

Badger
05-07-2010, 07:23 AM
I've always recommended that your best improv actors should work the queue lines. They need to be the most knowledgeable about your haunt as they will constantly be bombarded with questions. they need to realize that they will have little chance to hide and take a break so they must keep in character constantly.

When I used to work queues I had a combination of fright and humor that I used and always posed for pics when asked. It always seemed like they get less flack from potential troublemakers because they're always visible.

Other than that, I defer to Allen and his extensive list...

soultrkr
05-07-2010, 07:35 AM
I would have anyone interested try it out on you. You want them to be entertaining and memorable. I think all the other points were covered very well in previous posts. I can not stress the ability to improv though. a great improv artist can do tremendous things with an audience to interact with.

Jim Warfield
05-07-2010, 08:37 AM
Trash to possibly trip over? Loose gravel? Sweep it !
Weather conditions? Slippery when wet?
Inside the house a scared customer takes 3 steps backwards for each step the meanace takes.
How spacious is the inside of your room? What will they be backing into? Will it injure them? Severely?
Falling is never fun.(Unless you are naked falling into a vat of warm pudding under private circumstances. No videos Please!)
One year I threatened (or promised?) to make a bulletin board featuring my employees faces, e-mail accounts, phone numbers for the waiting customers to see so possibly the young men here could then keep their masks on, stay in character.