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X-Treme Torment
10-15-2012, 11:24 PM
Ok, so for the past two weekends we have had a great turn out, but one of the problems we are running into is giving smoke breaks to the actors that smoke. When were slow its not bad, we just did one around 8 but when we get a line in the front should we just stop for 10 min and let the actors go outside or what? Any ideas?

SeanMassacre
10-15-2012, 11:29 PM
Rolling breaks. Where they get to take a break when the person ahead of them gets back.

Tom
10-16-2012, 06:06 AM
Rolling breaks. Where they get to take a break when the person ahead of them gets back.

I did this same thing, a couple times a night on some nights.

It's not just smokers you should be thinking about. It's all of them. Restroom stuff, girl stuff. And if they are working hard enough, they should be treated to a break anyway. Whether they smoke or not!!!

If you don't take care of your actors, you won't get their full performance.

Fairbanks Asylum
10-16-2012, 06:44 AM
I was running into a very similar problem with my haunt. I originally started giving everyone a half hour break, but I found it was way to long and the customers were waiting in the cold to long. It's a little chilly out up here in Fairbanks. So I broke it into two 15 minute breaks and that seems to be working out fairly well for us. Plus I always try to have something for them to eat or snack on and water available for them.

SCfearfarm
10-16-2012, 06:53 AM
We have a couple of que line actors during the night. When it comes break time they will go in and start giving breaks 2 at a time. Also, spots where there are 2 or more people we will let one of them take a break and then come right back and the other take a break. We found that people had rather go through the house with a few less people than wait on everyone to get a break and get back in their spots. We can give 30 people a break in the house in less than an hour using this method.

Howie Slobber Erlich
10-16-2012, 06:54 AM
On weekend nights they get two 15 minute breaks! On weekdays one. They all go at same the time. I find it easier to fib a bit to the customers and just tell them that we need to make a quick repair in the haunt. They usually buy that and as long as you get everyone back in 15 or 20 minutes the crowed can handle that. It is much easier on busy nights because it is not as noticeable. I have tried every other way to do it over the past 26 years and this seems to be the easiest way to do it. At least for me!

mrfoos
10-16-2012, 07:37 AM
On weekend nights they get two 15 minute breaks! On weekdays one. They all go at same the time. I find it easier to fib a bit to the customers and just tell them that we need to make a quick repair in the haunt. They usually buy that and as long as you get everyone back in 15 or 20 minutes the crowed can handle that. It is much easier on busy nights because it is not as noticeable. I have tried every other way to do it over the past 26 years and this seems to be the easiest way to do it. At least for me!

Hey Howie, how many hours are you open for these nights with two 15 minute breaks? Just wondering how you break up the night like that. Thanks!

Patrick

Dreamreaper
10-16-2012, 09:32 AM
We have 25-30 actors and sense we only run 4 hours and are a indoor outdoor haunt half our actors are out side doing there own thing and are able to run to bathroom or get drinks as the find time and there are only a few inside that because of what they do will call on radio for someone to give them a break..

sean
10-16-2012, 12:03 PM
We do rolling breaks but also have our zone managers go through with gatorade, granola bars, ibuprofen and cough drops multiple times throughout the night.

Tom
10-16-2012, 12:14 PM
We do rolling breaks but also have our zone managers go through with gatorade, granola bars, ibuprofen and cough drops multiple times throughout the night.

I did the same thing. And actually I myself (haunt owner) went thru with the drinks and such to greet each actor but also check to make sure their performance is not slacking off. I would observe them in action first and wait for a clearing to meet each one.

I also had a flashlight at each station for two reasons. (1) to give light in each area just in case of power outage, (2) for if there is a dire emergency/break or if patrons punching and tearing up stuff, the actor would point the flashlight it at the camera in their perspective rooms. I had cameras in all my rooms.

freak 'n' stein
10-16-2012, 12:28 PM
All throughout the night we send water, cough drops and pain relievers back to the actors. We do ONE 15-ish minute break, depending on the crowd (sometimes a little longer if we're slow). We feed the actors be it pizza, Chick-Fil-A or McD's sandwiches, or whatever we get sponsored and at that time the actors smoke/restroom break. Seems to work for us. Generally we're honest with the first few customers and say we sent the actors on break. Granted we're open from 730-12 depending on the crowd, we try to break midway through the night.

Howie Slobber Erlich
10-16-2012, 12:35 PM
Mrfoos,

We are open 5 hours on the weekends 8pm - 1am. We do a break at 9:30 and 11:30. I am curious about the haunts that do roaming breaks, you did not seem to mention (unless I missed it) what you do if the actor needs to pee or smoke, just that you come through with food and drink and stuff?

BrotherMysterio
10-16-2012, 01:25 PM
If you don't take care of your actors, you won't get their full performance.

. . . and they won't take care of you. ;)

C.

SeanMassacre
10-16-2012, 01:55 PM
We are a high volume haunt. A few years ago, we tried doing one big break and our actors took advantage of it. They would take their sweet time getting back and then the customers don't believe the fib anymore.

The rolling breaks are the best. We do a 5 minute break at least twice a night. We run about 4 actors and are able to bring them small bottles of water and life saver mints as well. Cough drops with alcohol dry out your throat. We have lots of veteran actors that give their input.

The rolling breaks allow you to keep your haunt open and running and keep your actors happy.

This is a big thing that we always look for new ways to improve this.

Tom
10-16-2012, 02:46 PM
Mrfoos,

I am curious about the haunts that do roaming breaks, you did not seem to mention (unless I missed it) what you do if the actor needs to pee or smoke, just that you come through with food and drink and stuff?

The roaming break (10 to 15 minutes) would include restroom, drink, eat and rest all in one for each person.
A good thing about this is, other actors are waiting their turn. If an actor takes longer than scheduled, the other actors will let that actor know about it and correction is often avoided. This helps to keep all actors thinking about the other actors and their breaks. Takes the burden off the boss. I loved it.

In between breaks (if there is more than one) I will hand out drinks/candy and ask how they are doing. Again, this is a way I checked out how everyone was doing a couple times a night. Seeing the boss come thru a haunt a couple times a night and tending to their needs shows appreciation to the actors. It puts the boss at their level. I find this very effective.

We had to do roaming breaks to keep the haunt going or extra long lines would build up too fast. Especially on weekends and when it gets close to closing time.

Tom
10-16-2012, 02:48 PM
we tried doing one big break and our actors took advantage of it. They would take their sweet time getting back and then the customers don't believe the fib anymore.

Amen brother



The rolling breaks are the best. We do a 5 minute break at least twice a night. We run about 4 actors and are able to bring them small bottles of water and life saver mints as well. Cough drops with alcohol dry out your throat. We have lots of veteran actors that give their input.

The rolling breaks allow you to keep your haunt open and running and keep your actors happy.

This is a big thing that we always look for new ways to improve this.

Absolutely!!!

Badger
10-17-2012, 10:39 AM
I have worked as a swingman in a haunt and took over 4 actor's spots for 15 minutes at a time, twice a night. I would take over the spot in room 1, then 2, then, 3, then 4, then took my own break. After an hour, I would repeat the cycle (at 8:30 and 10:30) The swingmen at the haunt worked corridors that did not necessarily need an actor. I would wear a generic costume that worked in all the rooms and only had to don a mask in one spot. We never had any issues and if an actor's break ran late, that person would have the next break cut that much shorter.

There was a small area in the back that was the break room with a cooler, cups, a fridge and microwave, and candy/salty snacks. The entire season, there was never an issue and I highly recommend swingmen to anyone...

BrotherMysterio
10-17-2012, 11:39 AM
I have worked as a swingman in a haunt and took over 4 actor's spots for 15 minutes at a time, twice a night. I would take over the spot in room 1, then 2, then, 3, then 4, then took my own break. After an hour, I would repeat the cycle (at 8:30 and 10:30) The swingmen at the haunt worked corridors that did not necessarily need an actor. I would wear a generic costume that worked in all the rooms and only had to don a mask in one spot. We never had any issues and if an actor's break ran late, that person would have the next break cut that much shorter.

There was a small area in the back that was the break room with a cooler, cups, a fridge and microwave, and candy/salty snacks. The entire season, there was never an issue and I highly recommend swingmen to anyone...

Brilliant and practical idea.

C.

Tom
10-17-2012, 12:45 PM
I have worked as a swingman in a haunt and took over 4 actor's spots for 15 minutes at a time, twice a night. I would take over the spot in room 1, then 2, then, 3, then 4, then took my own break. After an hour, I would repeat the cycle (at 8:30 and 10:30) The swingmen at the haunt worked corridors that did not necessarily need an actor. I would wear a generic costume that worked in all the rooms and only had to don a mask in one spot. We never had any issues and if an actor's break ran late, that person would have the next break cut that much shorter.
There was a small area in the back that was the break room with a cooler, cups, a fridge and microwave, and candy/salty snacks. The entire season, there was never an issue and I highly recommend swingmen to anyone...

I had one "roaming actor" (aka swingman) that did the same thing but for 12 actors twice a night. Had a generic mask that fit in any part of the haunt. This way that scene or room wouldn't be left without an actor. That alone was pretty much a full time job. We would start at the beginning of the haunt the first round, then start at the end of the haunt for the second round.