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geoffgbeck
09-09-2007, 11:58 PM
If you own a haunt, I am sure you got into the business because you like halloween and enjoy having a venue where people come to get "scared". But, other than ticket sales and the fun feeling that the acting "family" has throughout the season, how do you know that the quality of your actors is truly the best it can be? Or, better yet, how can you turn your "good" acting crew into a "great" acting crew. Training is the key! You need someone who with years of experience to boost your actor's desire, skill, and continued dicipline towards the art of acting/makeup'character development. I ask this question because I bet that a lot of haunt owners don't really think about this or truly understand what this means both to the quality of their show or what an investment it is to their actors. You may have heard this before, but the true success of a company comes from the employees you hired, and not necessarily the product you sell. But, here is the "secret"-as a haunt owner your "real" product IS your actors! You need to treat your actors like a product! I mean this in the most respectful way. I am Geoff Beck-a midwest looking average kind of looking guy who looks like he may live next door to you, and maybe pick up your paper for you. But, as a product, I am a fierce, funny, finatical actor/makeup artist that will scare, terrify, and entertain huge amounts of customers. So, I am THE PRODUCT! Both as an actor you might have in your haunt, or as an acting/makeup professional that acts as a consultant for haunts. This is not a self-boosting promotional ad! Yes, I have a gig this year as the acting/makeup coordinator for Morgan Manor in WI, and have done acting/makeup seminars at over a dozen haunts accross the country. My point is to ask you-the haunt owner, "who trains your acotrs?" What IS the quality of your show? How much time, money, experience do you invest in your actors? Do you or some else train them on different acting styles? Do you do pre-season acting seminars? If yes, do you start like in august, or do you just wait until a week or two before the season starts, and then expect at least half of your actors-being completely new-to just pick up acting and makeup in a week or two and be "great", or even "good" enough to truly scare and entertain your customers (ie, your bread and butter), so you have an "awesome" show. Yes, there may be some "cynicism" in my tone here. I won't deny that, but you can't have realistic high expectations for your "product" (i.e., actors) unless you really make their development/talent a number one priority. After all, you won't have customers coming back year after year, unless you give them the best "product". TRAINING IS THE KEY! So, again, I ask you "who trains your actors?" Just some food for thought. Thanks for listening. Have a great season!

Geoff Beck
Acting/Makeup Coordinator
Morgan Manor, WI

Lord Barnabus
09-10-2007, 03:27 AM
And here I thought I was going to answer a question to help out a fellow haunter. But then the further I got into that paragraph, I found out that I was looking at someone who wants me to hire him to train my actors. Why would I do that? I train my actors. My guests get scared. It seems to work fine. And I decided to post for the heck of it.

SteveR
09-10-2007, 10:05 PM
>> I ask you "who trains your actors?"

We use drama coaches.

Jim Warfield
09-11-2007, 12:31 AM
When I first opened I did it the trully lazy , but effective way, I simply hired local old guys who all the women in town were already afraid of (for no real reason)
They were old, had strange limpy ways of walking, breathed heavilly, talked sometimes in their native tongue of "Jibberish".
The thing that always amazed me was that if any of those frightened women had their dreams invaded by the likes of these guys (to force themselves upon them), these guys were the most slow-moving, physically weak and helpless people in this town!
Maybe those slow-moving old fashioned monsters made the mental connection in these women's minds to making these guys seem scarey?

geoffgbeck
09-15-2007, 12:30 AM
Just to set the record straight for Lord Barnabus who replied to my post. I was not intending this to be an ad for myself so a haunt owner can hire me as a makeup/acting coordinator. As I posted in my orignal thread, I already have that position this year at Morgan Manor. My point was to get haunt owners thinking about the type of training they invest in their acting crew, not to make them defensive. If a haunt owner trains their crew themself, then I would ask "how much time do they invest?" If the answer is one or two weeks before the season starts, then I would say "they're not qualified to train their own actors." Just because a lot of haunt owners may own or rent a piece of property, or may have a few dollars lying around doesn't make them the best person to turn their pop-out-scare actors into actual "performers." At the same time, I admit that just because I've been acting myself and training actors for more than a dozen years doesn't mean I can run my own haunt (not yet anyways). So, I ask haunt owners to check their ego at the door, and really focus on what is best for their actors. "They" should be your #1 priority, and they need seminars on acting styles (loud/violent, insanity, slow/stupid, interactive), makeup workshops and one-on-one instruction from your most experienced crew members (or maybe an outside consultant). You should either purchase training DVDs for your crew, or at least advise them how to get these training tools, so they will take it upon themselves to cultivate their skills. There are very informative books by Dick Smith, Tom Savini, and others that are also great resources for you actors to learn. You would be amazed at how much time young adults will spend on this strange art form to refine their skills. It becomes a matter of pride with them, and is also friendly competition. I suggest that if time and money allow, you should have acting/makeup seminars in August, or perhaps even in early summer, so you can give them "homework" assignments so they practice on their own. Time is money, so again, if you can get your actors to do a lot on their own, and then have a coordinator work with them throughout the season to keep them focused on their character developement, then you will "reep" the rewards of your investment. That is what your actors truly are, and they are the ones who make your haunt a REAL SHOW! Thanks for listening.

Geoff Beck
Acting/Makeup Coordinator
Morgan Manor, WI

dr0zombie
09-15-2007, 12:32 PM
I think Geoff strikes an excellent point. Most haunt owners know they lack in costuming, actor preparation, and makeup. They talk about it but rarely seem to do things to resolve these issues. Most of the really great events have these areas well covered. If this is by the act of a single person or just a great group of actors, its still covered. With all the time, cash, and effort that has been put in the last decade into various pneumatic pop-up scares, "actors" is an area most haunts could use to think about. It seems many of us have forgotten that the great cheesy haunts of our youth, that hooked us all so well, were the result of great acting...

Actors really are the key between a building filled with incredible sets ..... and an incredible haunted house.....

- dr0zombie

Empressnightshade
09-16-2007, 03:00 AM
If a haunt owner trains their crew themself, then I would ask "how much time do they invest?" If the answer is one or two weeks before the season starts, then I would say "they're not qualified to train their own actors."

Excuse me?
Geoff, I don't believe we've met, so when we do, I don't want to say something right now that might set us off on the wrong foot for later. But, Honey....I really feel you are rather off base right now for the simple fact that not all haunts are the same. We're not the perfect cookie cutter images of the haunt you described and want us to be. I know for sure my haunt's not. Many of us don't have the time and money that it takes to invest in the perfect show you feel we should give. Again, I know for sure my haunt doesn't. There are those, like us, who's actors are also the construction crew, the painters, the costumers, the makeup artists, the scene designers, the donation committee...in other words, we wear all hats. We're volunteer based, have a smaller crew and thus take on all positions necessary to put on our show.

Because not all haunts are created equal, here's another thought.....
Perhaps a haunt is built in such a way that a lot of "performing" isn't necessary or in the equation for their show. That fact doesn't make them a bad show by any means, but rather, a different one from what you described.

I give my actors two weeks of training only and contrary to what you say about not being "qualified to train" my own actors if I do so -- insert a LOUD buzzer here -- I most certainly am qualified. I have been a part of the theatre for over twenty-five years. I'm a three time nominated actress by Sacramento Area Regional Theatre Alliance (SARTA). If that's not enough, throw in my three time Gold Medals I won at the National Forensics Tournaments in college ( Forensics as in Public Speaking, not medicine :) ) Need more? I've been haunting in some compacity or another for over thirty years. Roll that all in a ball and you get me, a person qualified to successfully train her own actors.

I'm a different kind of Haunter, Geoff. And I like it that way. I refuse to be lumped in a category amongst others. I've found what works for me, my crew and my haunt and I'm sticking with it. :)

geoffgbeck
09-16-2007, 04:00 PM
I am glad that this subject is hitting a nerve with some haunters. My mission here is again to get haunt owners who usually wait until the last minute to think about doing more with there training and earlier in the fall or even late summer like August or September. Some haunt owners may feel they are qualified and also have the desire to train their actors themselves. But, again I challenge anyone who says that two weeks is enough to train 30-60 actors and give them all the creative tools necessary (acting/makeup workshops, video demos, acting practice inside the haunt, costume demos, thrift store shopping, teeth making demos). A two week investment in a crew is not going to be as advantageous to a group of actors, as say 1-2 months. I know this is true because of my firsthand experience as a traveling actor/consultant who has seen how a lot of time and the lack of it has affected acting crews. The "proof is in the pudding" as they say, and again, the more time you (or someone else) spend with your actors training them, then the better, more well-rounded and confident they will become at the art and craft of acting and doing makeup. Thanks for listening.

Geoff Beck
Acting/Makeup Coordinator
Morgan Manor, WI

Empressnightshade
09-16-2007, 10:34 PM
I am glad that this subject is hitting a nerve with some haunters.
Hit a nerve? Yeah, you could say that. I feel it takes a lot of nerve for someone to tell haunt owners what is good for their haunt and actors. "The proof is in the pudding" -- True! The proof is in those who faint and must be carried out and those who hit the emergency exits. It is also in the compliments we receive saying we're much more entertaining than the larger, more well-known haunts.

I guess what erks me the most is your attitude that comes across in your replies -- the "My way is the best way and if you aren't doing it my way, you're only doing a mediocre job" attitude. Thanks for your suggestions, Geoff....but, no thanks. As a haunt owner of an all volunteer crew that is less than 30, I'll continue as I have in the past. Good luck in preaching your message to others.

Lord Barnabus
09-16-2007, 10:42 PM
Thank you Empress, you helped to point out quite a few points of concernment.

I may be new to the haunt industry, only having ran haunted houses for seven years, but I don't agree with everything that Geoff has said. I do take some offense to the claim that two weeks is not enough time to properly train my actors. At my haunt, I am the Lord of the House. I am in charge of every aspect of everything that happens here. I start desinging my floor plan right after Halloween, so that I am ready for the next year. I go out and purchase and scrounge stuff by myself. Anytime I go to a garage sale or flea market, or even drive by someones trash, I think to myself if there is anything I can make out of that thing. I purchase everything we need. I get one other guy to help me put up all the wall panels, props, lighting, EFX, animations, and everything else.

I design my own posters, coupons, flyers, VIP tickets, radio promo, TV commercials, get on the local news channel noon shows, print all my promo, take a crew of three to plaster promo around town and surrounding areas.

I hold Fright Team meetings up to two months before the haunt opens, so I can get all of my volunteers on the same page. We go over emergency procedures, house layout, what is expected of everyone, and more. I talk to each worker on an individual basis to get them going on what is expected of them. They get scripts for what part they are playing, to which I give them some coaching of what I would like them to do. These meetings happen once per week, and then we have actuall house training in their actual spots for two nights before the haunt opens. We have never had a problem with a shabby actor. They have always performed above and beyond my expectations. We also do surveys on our guests as they exit the haunt, so we can find out how they liked it, what their favorite room was, which actor they thought was the best, the kinds of things they would like to see us do next year.

So I do not believe we all need to train our actors so early. Some haunts do not have the time or money to do such training. We have an all volunteer crew, and most of them do not have the time to spend away from their jobs where they do get paid. And I know you are just going to reiterate your question again about how we truly need to put more into the training.

Whatever. I guess by your standards my crew can just suck. I don't have the money to pay for the extra training. And I sure don't have the time with all of my work (I do concert production, own a mobile disc jockey & karaoke service, bartend at a nightclub, and even work at a gas station to make a few extra bucks, plus my haunt).

Lord Barnabus
09-16-2007, 10:50 PM
Oh and I forgot to mention, not all haunts have a crew of 30 to 60 as Geoff has suggested. I think that haunts that use that many actors, probably already have a way to train that many people. I would be so tickled if I could get a crew of 20 people. My haunt usually runs on a skeleton crew of 8-12 people at the most. A lot of the crew member double up and even triple up in areas of the haunt, meaning that a person running controls in the first room, will be an acor in the third scene, and end up being someone else in about the sixth room. And we have a few select people who can pull this off, without getting paid.

But I guess I should get that extra actor training since my actors have been proven like pudding to basicly not be as good as they should be.

My nerves are hit. I gotta go grab a Coors Light from the fridge.

Tater
09-17-2007, 11:44 AM
I thought I would throw my 2 cents in here. As far as Haunt acting training goes i have never had any besides the class I took at MHC with Geoff Beck and Todd Poole teaching. I feel that all actors should be given a brief class on how to improv that way they feel alil more comfortable doing the job that you want them to do. Now the question is, Would you rather spend money on Actor Training or Props for your house? Both are really important in getting the effect you are looking for. I was also wondering if Geoff Beck Slices, Dices, and Juilannes fries.

virgil
09-17-2007, 12:00 PM
Just to drop my 2 cents in here....for what it's worth.

Geoff did a actor's workshop at my "Night Sins" CD release party
and it was fabulous; IMHO.

Tater
09-17-2007, 12:52 PM
Just to drop my 2 cents in here....for what it's worth.

Geoff did a actor's workshop at my "Night Sins" CD release party
and it was fabulous; IMHO.


Oh yeah geoff does great work..I've just gotta poke some fun at him its in my contract

Empressnightshade
09-17-2007, 02:32 PM
The greatness of Geoff's work has not been the issue here -- it's the greatness of OURS that has been questioned.

slash
09-17-2007, 03:07 PM
Geoff,

By saying our expirience and training for our actors sucks, you're saying that you are the most expirienced on here. I'm missing your point. Did you just come on here to stir up some trouble? Are you trying to guilt us into your buying actor training products that you may have? Well guess what, we're not shaking in our boots.

We run our haunts the way we want to run them, and that's it. Hauntworld is a great place to share ideas, and make suggestions, but you will never hear me say that I am more qualified than someone else.

Empress has a very good point, not all haunts are created the same. In my haunt, there are two "acting" positions and the rest are scares. I feel two nights of training is sufficient enough. Our two "real actors" have previous expirience, they know what they're doing.

Our haunt is volunteer also.

virgil
09-17-2007, 04:58 PM
The greatness of Geoff's work has not been the issue here -- it's the greatness of OURS that has been questioned.

Er.. um... oh!

Nevermind....

(sound of Virgil going back to filling CD orders)

Empressnightshade
09-17-2007, 05:11 PM
Er.. um... oh!

Nevermind....

(sound of Virgil going back to filling CD orders)

Forget this thread.....
Can I come fill CD orders with ya? ;)

virgil
09-17-2007, 05:36 PM
Forget this thread.....
Can I come fill CD orders with ya? ;)

LOL!! Sure.. come on over...
I can sure use the help ;)

screamlinestudios
09-18-2007, 11:48 AM
Woah, woah, woah - I must jump in here and defend the Geoff Beck that I know. I think there are some over reactions going on here to some good points.

Geoff may come across the wrong way to some people, but arrogant and mean spirited he is not. I don't even know how to explain things about Geoff, you just have to know him. His passion for this industry is second to none and his drive to want everyones haunt be the best it can be may just get him into some trouble sometimes.

Please don't take offense to him wanting your actors to be brilliant and be the best they can be with their God given talents. It's not a cut on you as a haunt owner, its a perspective from the actors point of view. I understand that if you are a non-profit haunted house with Volunteer actors and actresses you are already broke and don't have the money to increase their abilities other than to train them yourself. I don't think this thread should apply to you, except that it is an interesting topic to think about if you are looking to make future improvements. I am sure you do a great job with what resources you have. I wouldn't expect you to take his comments personally if they don't apply.

But if you are a Haunt in the business to make money, then there is little I can disagree with in what has been said. In the end the ultimate winner is the Haunt owner as their profits can soar with some investing in their actors. If you are a haunt owner who hires people to handle your ticket booths, your scene designs, your set construction, etc, then it makes perfect sense to hire someone that specializes in actor development.

Here is hoping that no matter what kind of haunt you have, it is the best it can be this year and you have a wonderful safe and enjoyable season.

Frankenhausers
09-18-2007, 01:51 PM
I quite agree with Steve. Since I see things from far away all I can say please,
please people calm down. I think it was not meant to insult actors or haunt
owners in any way. I agree, if you read it first it may blow your top. But all
Geoff is asking is: are you completely satisfied with the way your actors get
trained. And I see from all the replys that there is a big world of YES out there.
And that should make all of you who answered this question with a "why, I do
it and I do it damn good" very proud. Because in the moment you read it, you
got angry AND you were sure that you did everything right. And when you felt
that you did it the right way, then everything is exactly the way you want it
and YOU are the owner and YOU know your haunt and it's "show" and YOU
know- and that is by far the foremost- know what your audience would like
to see. So just lean back and relax cause this can't touch you and it certainly should not touch you at all All Geoff says is just if you read it and you get the feeling that you maybe should consider a consultant - just as you do with your music and your masks and costumes and props and what so ever, you should do so. Because
and there again he is right, they bring it all to live - but I am quite sure you
don't need me to tell you so. So please let's go and scare the costumers
instead of the fellow haunters.

Empressnightshade
09-18-2007, 02:40 PM
I quite agree with Steve. Since I see things from far away all I can say please,
please people calm down. I think it was not meant to insult actors or haunt
owners in any way. I agree, if you read it first it may blow your top. But all
Geoff is asking is: are you completely satisfied with the way your actors get
trained. And I see from all the replys that there is a big world of YES out there.
And that should make all of you who answered this question with a "why, I do
it and I do it damn good" very proud. Because in the moment you read it, you
got angry AND you were sure that you did everything right. And when you felt
that you did it the right way, then everything is exactly the way you want it
and YOU are the owner and YOU know your haunt and it's "show" and YOU
know- and that is by far the foremost- know what your audience would like
to see. So just lean back and relax cause this can't touch you and it certainly should not touch you at all All Geoff says is just if you read it and you get the feeling that you maybe should consider a consultant - just as you do with your music and your masks and costumes and props and what so ever, you should do so. Because
and there again he is right, they bring it all to live - but I am quite sure you
don't need me to tell you so. So please let's go and scare the costumers
instead of the fellow haunters.
Okay, Sweetheart. :)

geoffgbeck
09-27-2007, 12:21 AM
Hello, as my friend Steve Martini suggested earlier, I am not saying that non-profit haunts should blow money they might not even have on actor training. Empressnightshade, your 25 years of theater sounds to be a great asset in training your actors, and Lord Barnabus, the meeting with your acting team two months in advance of your show, and then the additional meeting two times per week sound very good for your staff, as well as the meetings with all the other important staff members you have. That is what I was originally asking-"how much time do you spend training your actors?" I also was making a general statement that actors can never have enough training. And it is always good to talk to other haunt owners and see how good their haunt is and ask how much training they put into their actors. So, those of you mentioned above, keep up the good work! Now, for Slash, I never said that all haunts that don't do things the way I do suck! But I will say that "No, my intent is not to stir things up", but Slash, sometimes stiring things up is not necessarily a bad thing, especially when it comes to training actors (your bread and butter). It just seems to me that "in general", a lot of haunt owners seem to think of the topic of "actors" with a very narrow mindset. Why would you only train two of you staff members to be what you call "real actors" while you consider everyone else in your haunt to be "pop-out scares?" It doesn't make any sense. And if my comment here stirs you up, then good! Why not take the time to teach them to be "real actors" too. That way, after they pop-out and get the initial scare, then they will have the tools to perhaps do a little dialogue and improv? That is what costumers expect, and that is what the "big boys" do. Any haunt owner who looks at their actors like performers, and not just pop-out scares has an edge in the market place. Now, you can play it safe, spend your two weeks training, and tell me to jump in the lake, and cook smores over the camp fire with your crew at your next gathering and feel the "warm bubblies" in the presense of each other's company. Just be relieved that you're not in the same market as the other haunts who really give their actors the appropriate tools to be performers, and not just another kid jumping out of a hole in the wall saying "boo." By the way, if you pick up on the cynicism in my voice, I ask that you take it as humor. This is not personal. Most haunters I've ever delt with are nice, and good-natured people. I am too. I just happen to be very passionate about acting. Don't accuse me of saying "You suck, and I know everything", when at the heart of that reaction is really just an inability to realize that maybe someone suggesting that you do more to make your haunt better is a good thing, and not
a personal attack, or an attempt to make you feel defensive and lash out. Please don't burn my house down! I hope at the very least, this thread has shed a little more light on the topic of actor training. If this means that I have stirred things up, then I am (happily) guilty as charged! I hope that all haunters continue to make their actors the best, and not just in their makert place, but in the whole haunt industry. If you don't aim for the stars, you'll never make it to the moon!

Geoff Beck
Acting/Makeup Coordinator
Morgan Manor, Waukeshaw, WI

screamshow
09-27-2007, 11:15 PM
I think Geoff's point might be made with a couple quick questions...

How much did you spend on this year's new haunt props?

How much did you spend improving your actors?

Perhaps this question is more interesting when answered by the larger haunt owners. Some of them might well have thought nothing of dropping a quick 20K at Transworld for the latest greatest Scarelator Deluxe Karioke animatronic -- a toy that will explode into smoking wreckage the first week of use. Yet that same haunt owner might well cringe at the thought of investing two or three or five grand to provide training seminars for their entire crew -- training that will last them their entire career at the haunt (along with increased job satisfaction and potentially reliability).

This is not meant to be a criticism. In fact, I will answer the questions myself. We spent almost nothing on new toys for this year (we are changing locations and don't have any money to spare). Regardless, we also would not have spent anything on actor training -- and our actors NEED it. Nor do I suspect that we will have much time to provide it.

Perhaps our haunt is the exceptrion, but I doubt it. I have heard many haunt owners express the sentiment that the chief attribute they look for in an actor is a pulse. Heck, I often feel the same way. I try to design around (to put it bluntly) incompetence.

I think it's easy to forget that what we are doing is show business. I doubt that I am the only one here who sees the haunt as a collection of panels and props, artfully assembled and decored into a linear progression of story and scare -- a giant machine that processes customers efficiently. Yet it is show business, or it aught to be, and I believe that it is easy to lose sight of this. Imagine a movie or a play in which no one rehearsed their lines, their wasn't even a script, and the actors were whoever happened to show up that evening, and instead all the producers were concerned with were how pretty the sets were.

Again, not meant as a criticism of anyone here at all. I understand that the respondents in this thread all have crews of highly trained thespians. But I am guilty. Thinking about it now I have seen Broadway plays in which there were no sets, just a single person on stage telling the story, and I was entertained. Amazed. That's the power of a great actor. An entertainer like that might be worth his weight in Buckies to a haunt owner who discovered that talent and developed it.

geoffgbeck
10-01-2007, 07:27 AM
Thank you so much sreamshow for getting and understanding my overall point here! As you may have seen, I have been getting blasted by some haunt owners that have taken my question of "who trains your actors" as a personal assult, or a way to question their credentials or ability. But, my reason for asking this question is because I have never been a haunt owner, but I have worked for plenty of haunts as an actor, where the owners or people "in charge" didn't have a clue how to develop the talent of the most important and as you mentioned, the most cost effective element of their haunt, their actors! When I got into the field of actor/training, I really became more brutal as to what I felt was acceptable as far as the "standard" of acting should be at a haunt. As you mentioned, the big haunts spend a lot of money on big animatronics that may break down, but what about the acting? I ask the same question to haunt owners. One of the few "big" haunt owners you were eluding to that I have known and worked with as a consultant for the past 5 years is Ben Armstrong from Netherworld, and he definately treats his acotrs as performes and entertainers. Also, haunt owners like Tim Gavinsky from Morgan Manor, Eddie McClarin from The Woods of Terror, and Bob Turner from The Haunted Hydro understand what actors really mean to the overall show as well. That point that you made is what my main platform here is. Thank you screamshow! You seem to be one of the few haunt owners out there that also understand that we are in SHOW BUSINESS! Like you said, we tell stories, and the actors who tell these macabre stories are the element of a haunt customers remember the most! And, relatively speaking, they may very well be the most "cost effective element" of the show that a haunt owner can focus on, that with some tender love and care will effect the quality the most! One thing that I will say, and I dare anyone to challenge this is that a great actor's ability to perform and entertain will make the biggest impression on your customers! So, again, if you don't spend a lot of time training the most important element of your show (your actors), then you aren't offering your customers what they truly deserve! So, here we are (the first week of the haunt season 2007), and I ask you "what have you done this year differently from last year to make your actors better?" Thanks for listening.

Geoff Beck
Acting/Makeup Coordinator
Morgan Manor, Waukeshaw, WI

screamshow
10-01-2007, 02:59 PM
Thank you so much sreamshow for getting and understanding my overall point here! As you may have seen, I have been getting blasted by some haunt owners that have taken my question of "who trains your actors" as a personal assult, or a way to question their credentials or ability. But, my reason for asking this question is because I have never been a haunt owner, but I have worked for plenty of haunts as an actor, where the owners or people "in charge" didn't have a clue how to develop the talent of the most important and as you mentioned, the most cost effective element of their haunt, their actors! When I got into the field of actor/training, I really became more brutal as to what I felt was acceptable as far as the "standard" of acting should be at a haunt. As you mentioned, the big haunts spend a lot of money on big animatronics that may break down, but what about the acting? I ask the same question to haunt owners. One of the few "big" haunt owners you were eluding to that I have known and worked with as a consultant for the past 5 years is Ben Armstrong from Netherworld, and he definately treats his acotrs as performes and entertainers. Also, haunt owners like Tim Gavinsky from Morgan Manor, Eddie McClarin from The Woods of Terror, and Bob Turner from The Haunted Hydro understand what actors really mean to the overall show as well. That point that you made is what my main platform here is. Thank you screamshow! You seem to be one of the few haunt owners out there that also understand that we are in SHOW BUSINESS! Like you said, we tell stories, and the actors who tell these macabre stories are the element of a haunt customers remember the most! And, relatively speaking, they may very well be the most "cost effective element" of the show that a haunt owner can focus on, that with some tender love and care will effect the quality the most! One thing that I will say, and I dare anyone to challenge this is that a great actor's ability to perform and entertain will make the biggest impression on your customers! So, again, if you don't spend a lot of time training the most important element of your show (your actors), then you aren't offering your customers what they truly deserve! So, here we are (the first week of the haunt season 2007), and I ask you "what have you done this year differently from last year to make your actors better?" Thanks for listening.

Geoff Beck
Acting/Makeup Coordinator
Morgan Manor, Waukeshaw, WI


Thanks.

To be honest with you, I have spent a great deal of time over the last week thinking about this thread. I am glad you posted it. I think that at our show we can and will do a better job in the future -- I might just start tonight if I can find the time.

Tater
10-02-2007, 08:55 PM
Damn...he really talked his way outta that one. Does this mean no lynch mobs anymore? Geoff, it was a good question and im glad you asked it. Good points brought up by both parties and a good thread....however if you need a lynch mob i think im free