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Jim Warfield
07-21-2008, 12:08 AM
As told to me tonight by a haunt actor in his now 5th season.
He was dressed as a clown, pretending not to be a real person and not wishing to break character, he took a solid punch into his masked face, but began bleeding.
So he meanaced the puncher , who collapsed on the floor in a ball begging for forgiveness!
Mr. clown said something like:"I was told I couldn't punch back or touch you, so I won't."
Then he lifted his mask and alot of nose blood ran out, landing all over the cringing puncher/customer.
He also got kicked where it Really hurts by a girl.
Poor vision out of that mask and being too close to the customers were to blame.

Tom
07-21-2008, 06:29 AM
Poor vision out of that mask and being too close to the customers were to blame.

You're absolutely correct Jim.

I tell all my actors, "If you get punched/slapped, you were too close".

This past Friday was a full moon and it seemed like it too. My actor hadn't been punched all spring/summer then gets punched once and slapped later in the same day. With the customer that threw the punch intentionally (not a reaction to fear), we stopped the ride and escorted him out of the ride. I explained to him the rules as stated to him when boarding the car at the entrance and told him we have no tolerance for acts like this. Then I told him he was very lucky my actor didn't punch back as a normal reaction to being punched. But my actor stayed cool and heeded the rules of an actor. The girl slapped out of reaction.

But both times could have been avoided. If an actor gets punched/slapped, then yes, that person got in the customers personal space, which is the risk we all take in delivering the fear. You could almost call it a game of Hockey at times :)

Bryce, my actor has been with me since 2006 and is very effective, which increases the odds of getting smacked eventually. But then again, you just can't stand 10 feet away and say "Boo".

Thank goodness there is only one full moon a month (LOL).

Howie Slobber Erlich
07-21-2008, 07:19 AM
In case you don't know, my haunt is known for it's "in your face" style. I have always told my actors that if you are not getting punched or kicked, you must not be doing your job. LOL! Different strokes for different folks!

Howie "Slobber" Erlich
Owner
Deadly Intentions Haunted House
www.deadlyintentionshaunt.com

Dr. Giggles
07-21-2008, 03:11 PM
I agree with Howie, the haunt i run is also very in your face status. However i dont tell my acotrs that if their not getting punched then they arent doing there job because they might take it literally and get a little TO in your face. I mean usually you can tell which person will react violently, thats why actors have to keep a cool head most of the time. But then again there is always like a little girl that can really pack a punch ((or a kick to the nuts)).


-Zackary J

Smiley
07-21-2008, 03:57 PM
We've had a few attacks on our actors. Word travels fast through them on any approaching drunkards via telephone (the kids game, not an actual phone), which is a good enough system. We get warned, we keep our distance. On rare occasions there will be a person that gets scared too much and has a somewhat violent knee jerk reaction. It's nothing we analyze too much, they didn't really mean harm and those punches and slaps aren't very powerful when they're not intentional.

But sometimes people don't need to be boozed up to act like complete feebs. I recall one night, an actor was in a cell with her head and hands drooped out of a gap between the bars (as if she were in ye ol' stocks). All of the sudden some dolt walks by, talks to his fellow chaps and questions weither or not our actor was a prop. He decides to find out for sure by kicking our poor actor in the head.

We can't really watch out for those kinds of people because there's not much of a red flag to spot. But when we do find them strolling about, hitting actors, we're more than ready to escort them out...and over to the police.

Dr. Giggles
07-21-2008, 04:00 PM
Jesus, was she ok? Something like that happened to one of my actors, infact he was pretty high up to. How the drunk kicked him in the head i wouldnt know, but he cracked his head and he had to go get stiches and it was big drama.

Smiley
07-21-2008, 04:11 PM
Jesus, was she ok?

No damage to report, not in any physical sense. It really (pardon the expression) kicked her spirits down a peg for the rest of the night. Can't blame her, I'd be upset too. But she was a real trooper about it and went back to acting soon after.

Dr. Giggles
07-21-2008, 05:09 PM
Very cool. That reminds me of a time when this fellow came in punched one of our actors ((not out of reflex)). And when we asked him to leave he pulled out a gun. It was pretty tense, but yeah it was resolved with out to much problem.
But yeah there are some real jerks out there.

-Zackary J

Smiley
07-21-2008, 05:24 PM
Very cool. That reminds me of a time when this fellow came in punched one of our actors ((not out of reflex)). And when we asked him to leave he pulled out a gun.

A gun!? That's quite serious. Perhaps we should stop using foam filled axes and knives and start using the real thing.

Scares the public and protects against would-be attackers. :D

Dr. Giggles
07-21-2008, 05:29 PM
Exactly, then all we would have to worry about is an accidental discharge or something silly like that. Hahaha but thats only a little thing, and yes it was quiet serious. But another actor who was in the same scene, or room when he pulled out the gun tackled him from behind and wrested the gun from his grip, it was all very herioc hahahaha. But yeah if it wasnt for that lone actor bad things probably would have happened that night.

Jim Warfield
07-23-2008, 04:02 PM
A few years ago as I was standing beside the front door watching the next group enter the house one young man mumbled under his breath,"I'm gunna Kill one of those SOB's!"
He had been arguing in the parking lot with some people who happened to also be included in the group coming in the house.
I never took my eyes from him for the first two rooms. He never smiled , never talked to anyone else , looked very serious and never took his one hand out of his pocket.
The Police surrounded him and handled that situation rather well. I think he was surprised we were paying that much attention to him too.
When surounded by uniforms he really still had to work at faking a smile, he resisted emptying his pockets but eventually did.

The frightfull trick here is to seem as if you are right in their face yet not be availble for those quick dental adjustments or a painfull nose-flattening.
I do this many different ways, mixing it up so the customer/victim is off balance and will not be anticipating the next upcoming scary confrontation.
This is not really so hard to do when a tour here almost always runs 90 minutes.
Plenty of time between such events to lull almost anyone. And of course this also usually allows me to spread the fun around from front to back, middle, newbie, returning patron who even though they have seen the scare before might not know I have more than one way to effect it in a given location.
I love it when the returning patron acts so smug then is the first one genuinely screaming!

phreakout
07-24-2008, 06:47 PM
One of my fellow actor friends had a big problem with a group of people one night.

it was the week before halloween, and attendance shot up, so of course this meant our doors stay open longer. one night, somehow a group of drunks were let into the house, as some of the workers couldnt detect wether they had anything to drink or not.


a few rooms before me, a friend of mine was an actress in our "saw" room. she's an actual amputee, and wore a prostetic leg. when customers entered, she began to saw off her chained leg and crawled towards em. this honestly was a disturbing effect, and she did a great job.

anywho, when the drunks walked in, before she could even begin her act, one of the drunks remembered the room (i guess he had been in before) and PULLED OFF HER LEG. She immediantly broke character and tried to get help, but the pushers didnt see it happen. they were way to far ahead to see. The pushers didnt even know it happened till we had a break.

When they entered my room, I knew to stay back from these guys, as they may try to swing or do something. I was freddy kruger, and was behind a wire fence on a stage to lunge at people from. one of em even tried to climb the fence but I hit his fingers. he didnt say anything actually, and kept on moving.

amazingly the drunks still lingered around and were arrested for disturbing property. whats worse was I could hear the entire thing happen since we share the same wall, but the back door to get to her was too far and I couldnt leave my spot.


needless to say, both me and amy (saw girl) jumped the pushers butt on not protecting us, and not making sure that we are safe.

Jim Warfield
07-24-2008, 10:22 PM
"Larry" a man older than even me vanished from the backyard after a tour one night, quite a mystery, this wasn't like him at all?
Maybe 45 minutes later he regained consciouness, crawled up and out of a grave where he landed when someone punched him as he wore a mask.
He never saw it coming, or at least couldn't remember seeing it arrive?
One large haunt had catwalks above everything for the guards to walk on watching everyone and even yanking an actor up and out of harm's way when a group became too aggressive toward the actor.
It was his only escape path, straight up!
(But at least he had a place to escape to!)

FrightWorld
07-28-2008, 02:09 PM
So are you blaming the actor? It's definitely not his fault. Yes your not suppose to get close to people but they have no right to punch or do any physical abuse to the actors. Where i work, they don't take kind to this stuff and they prosecute the customer if the actor decides to press charges. But thats pretty bad. I feel bad for the actor more than i feel bad for the customer. Actor was just trying to do his job.

Lillian Vanderdark
07-28-2008, 05:47 PM
I'd say the most bizzare thing I've had happen to me was last season when I was in the first room of the haunt, before becoming Lillian. I'm sitting on the floor, chained to a laundry cart, pretending to be a prop and minding my own business. Some guy who had obviously had a few comes in with three other people and I guess thinking it would be funny decided to shove both of his hands under the skirt of my dress. He must have honestly thought I was fake (I hadn't had the chance to move yet), because when I started talking, he looked terrified. Now, we pride ourselves on the "in your face" scares at the morgue, and we are all prepared to deal with rowdy customers and dodging blows from them. But this? I don't think anything could have prepared me for it.

Jim Warfield
08-03-2008, 03:42 PM
If you are male and don't want some customers touching your butt, then give the bachelorette party over to someone else!
Plan ahead, decide what you want or don't want and act accordingly.

phreakout
08-03-2008, 10:30 PM
what worries me is that in the house i am at, they have volunteers from local high schools to come and help. its not all teens though. theres still 3/4 of the workers who have done acting before and understand the possibilites of being struck, but i'd hate to have a teen actor strike back if attacked. ive explained to them that theres a possibility that i can happen, and i try to show them diffrent ways of getting close without being hurt.

even without being punched, i was very sore when we finished up the 07 haunt i was at. my arm was in pain due to my stupidity of using wood blocks to cause noise startles. after so many time of hitting wall with a brick sized peice of wood, you tend to get some pain in the arm. not only that, but countless times of almost tripping and getting splinters.

UndeadProd
08-04-2008, 08:13 AM
I know this is a stereotype, but honestly most of our problems don't come from the drunks ... they come from the overly-testosteroned teenage boys in ball caps.

They'll get startled or scared - which offends their thin-skinned machismo - so they feel the need to retaliate by confronting the actors ... or they think it would be fun to try and smash as much stuff as possible ... or they will yell all kinds of profanity at the actors (with no regard for anyone else in their group)

I've had friends who were/are bouncers at local bars and they have all said that you'll see much more fights, agression, and destruction at the non-alcoholic "under 21" nights and clubs than at most adult bars.

One of the best pieces of advice I ever received was to buy a infra-red video surveillance system. Before people even buy a ticket, they see the monitor showing 13 camera views through-out the entire attraction (and have likely seen our police and security presence outside) and it greatly reduces the amount of incidents.

Jim Warfield
08-04-2008, 08:35 AM
Just last night I had to tell too wild teenage boys to "Settle down" and they did.
You can tell a drunk something but there might be nothing inside their head comprehending anything. Sort of similar to the "Father Jack" character on the TV show "Father Ted", who sat in a stupor with a very limited vocabulary of "Fek!" "Drink!" Women!" Nunns!""Arse!" ("Nunns" was always spoken with extreme fear in his voice)

damon carson
08-05-2008, 02:13 PM
Jim head this warning! Never leave home without your pumpkin jack knee pads and nutcup! Or eat sleep and whatever else you do in them. Ha!
Damon

phreakout
08-06-2008, 06:55 PM
Jim head this warning! Never leave home without your pumpkin jack knee pads and nutcup! Or eat sleep and whatever else you do in them. Ha!
Damon

LMAO

I have never heard a strap being refered as a "nutcup".

that seriously made my day

Jim Warfield
08-07-2008, 09:34 PM
It would be a "Nut Cup"?
Mine would have to be a "Nut(s) Cup".
Cuming up short again?
Or maybe mine would be a nut(s) Steine?
My new haunt character" Franken weenie-steiner"!
("He's a BIG "Drink"!)

Damien Warwick
09-26-2008, 08:40 PM
Ive had my share of cheap shots (it was my first year I didnt know any better), but there was only one time that I'd actually consider it assault. This group of bikers, you know the type decked out in leather thinkin theyre tough crap walk into my room and they know im there i step forward and the guy stares at me....all of a sudden he takes a swing. Well, I've been trained in self defense so I counter and slam him into a wall. Thank God the other 2 decided not to attack lol...I know it wasnt the best thing to do, but it stopped there. I asked if he was gunna calm down or if I had to get security (which would be local police). He said no and I let them on (of course I alerted a hallwalker to keep an eye on them)....I know I'm not supposed to attack the patrons but....idk....it seemed like the right thing to do at the time i didnt feel like been KOed

AnandaHexen
09-29-2008, 09:47 AM
That sounds much better than the way you phrased it in the other thread. In that situation, it seems you did the right thing.

WickedWoodsHaunt
10-13-2008, 08:49 AM
we seem to have a hard time since our haunt is outdoors, by the time the security finds the person that they thought punched our actor, theyre already out and into their car. Walkie talkies don't even help alot when it comes to this problem. We have warning signs all over, a decoy cop car and 3 security guards and a camera out front, yet still people feel they can get away with this. What is wrong with the public?

Last year a big guy punched my wife right in the face (I wasnt there at the time) and she had a plastic axe and hit the guy right in the face with it (i dont blame her) out of reflex. i told her she shouldn't have hit the guy, but I tell you it was effective because I know it &*^% him up. We are very brutal and in your face at our haunt (in my opinion thats the way haunts should be) and I guess the public just can't deal with it. people suck!!

However, I noticed intimidation works.. if you put a big guy at your first scene doing something violent (like slamming the wall full strength with a wooden weapon that makes a violent crack) people get the picture THEY can get hurt too if they're going to mess around and punch us. Ever since I started doing this it may have seemed to help (who knows for sure though) but there's always some ass thats ready to show off and cause trouble.

Best weapon of chose is a automatic paintball gun that shoots air blasts.. the guy using that has never even been threatened of being punched lol. Wooden weapons work well for the other actors.. you just have to trust YOUR actor with it!

Tom
10-13-2008, 08:40 PM
people suck!! ???

Remember who you make your money from and why you're doing this.

I'm glad we don't have to resort to violence. We have security to deal with it here.

Damien Warwick
10-15-2008, 02:03 PM
we have security too unfortunately the town's finest usually can't get there fast enough...and most of us dont resort to violence unless its neccessary (ex. my biker incident). and for the record...im a volunteer which...according to the Jaycees...means that I dont get paid....but I'm also required to be there or I'm hated...great eh?

Damien Warwick
10-20-2008, 04:54 PM
here r my weekend punching and kicks....some more pleasant than others....first the crappy ones lol

Friday: smartass teenage male goes through with his family....grabs one of my female hallwalkers around the waist....hes warned....still comes into my room grabs my monsters mask (im not aware of the previous incident) i warn him, he then preceeds to grab my shoulder and spin me around, I tell him he'll be removed as soon as I find security, HE SPINS ME AROUND AGAIN, i make then stand there and wait until the security comes to take them...AND THE MOTHER STILL DOESNT BELIEVE HE DID IT!

Sat: people are so eager to get around me that im: elbowed 2 times in the gut...3 shots to my bad knee lol (i was dying lol)....

And the good ones: (I have yellow contacts and get in peoples faces for the distraction/freak out)

Friday: Im doing my thing when a girls like, "you're cute" and leans in and gives me a butterfly kiss (needless to say, she was gorgeous so i didnt kick her out lol) I somehow managed to stay in character lol

Sat: A girl leans in and is like "you're beautiful" and tries to kiss me lol

so....well....GOOD TIMEs...I guess...my knees still swollen lol

machetemachine
10-22-2008, 01:09 AM
So I am in the back third of the house this year and its def alot less violence, customers prone to it seem to make themselves known in the first few scenes, hopefully cause we are that good heh?

The record for ejection was set this weekend with security having to eject some violator who kicked the half door we use to queue people BEFORE YOU EVEN PAY.

After doing this a while I have started to be able to mostly guess based on posture and expression what people are going to do with a good degree of accuracy. When doing a scare I glance at their legs when I get into "american personal space range" gauging and reacting to crowd after crowd will eventually give you a better understanding of what to expect from your marks.

Good security - especially if your haunt is near popular bars is essential. Learning how to work with your security to not ruin scares is also something to consider. I used to get mad when security would enter my scene because I thought they would blow my character simply being in sight, but I learned to work with them in the room and play off their presence. Your security guys should be plenty paranoid imo.

Damien Warwick
10-26-2008, 09:25 AM
good news everyone...i was not attacked this weekend lol but I did have my share of bad customers...our walls are over 100 years old and are that nasty crumbly horse hair drywall stuff....but this jerk was going through and literally hammering on the wall cracking um for no reason....so first I asked him to please stop hitting the walls...he looks at me like im crazy and asks why....after I explain it to him he acts like a complete ass...so I get more firm and say "I don't come into your house and bang on your property and you shouldnt do it to mine" HE STILL WOULDNT GET IT but eventually left all the while complaining about being repremanded...

The sad thing is he was a grown man....atleast 45-50 years old....whats going on with people anymore....Im 17 yrs old and show more maturity than half the people going through these places...I know that they come and pay there money to have a good time, but all I ask is you obey by the rules....

Another thing this weekend: not neccessarlly a punk or kick...well not physically....but the church down the road decided to do a hell house this year. I dont care I really dont, but they came to my haunts owner and lied to him...they said they were not anti halloween....well they are lol....so Friday night they were walking down OUR lines and handing out THEIR pamphlets tryin to get people to come to THEIR HAUNT...well one person went and it turns out it wasnt a hell house...they got you in thinking that then shoved scripture down your throat...they then got mad when my boss shooed them out of our lines....

but was gets me hot (I'm a born again christian btw) is the fact that after we closed, I had to walk by them so I'm in my haunt T-shirt and makeup and they come up and start talking to me....in that clever way that apparentally I'm going to Hell for celebrating halloween...so my response was (I was already in a bad mood) "Well unfortunately for you people I'm a born agrain christian, and if on my day of judgement the only reason I'm going to hell is because I celebrated Halloween....then where are the people who condemn me going." and walked away....I'm sorry I know this isnt the right place for this post but IT JUST GOT ME SO HOT....its groups like that that give the church a bad name

WeAreTheUnion
10-26-2008, 11:33 AM
I agree with Howie, the haunt i run is also very in your face status. However i dont tell my acotrs that if their not getting punched then they arent doing there job because they might take it literally and get a little TO in your face. I mean usually you can tell which person will react violently, thats why actors have to keep a cool head most of the time. But then again there is always like a little girl that can really pack a punch ((or a kick to the nuts)).


-Zackary J

Well, as one of Howard's actors I would have to say...there really is no "too" in your face at Deadly...
Obviously we don't touch but I usually find myself WELL within the 6 inch "personal space" bubble.
Last night alone I was kicked in the shins by two different customers and got slammed into a wall by yet another (not maliciously, just an instinctual reaction), and today I discovered at least a dozen minor bumps, bruises and scratches on my legs and arms from people scrambling to get away from me.
Every group leaves my room laughing or screaming, and I don't mind getting hit cause I know it means I'm scaring the hell out of people.

harvest night
10-27-2008, 02:44 PM
we always did "no touch" haunts. one kid got knocked out cold popping out of the back end of a coffin, the girl slammed the lid on him! we told him not to do it, oh well we didn't like him anyway and he never came back. he just would not stay in character or in his scene, he was only there cuz his mommy begged us to let him do something. glad we thought to put him in a disposable spot! safety measures are always to be followed. exits cleared, full lights, and security a must. we were lucky, i have friends in a local biker gang that was our security! the worst accident was when someone got trampled in the graveyard. tripped and fell over her own feet and everyone else dogpiled her, breaking her ankle.

Damien Warwick
10-28-2008, 01:58 PM
ya I have a ? I've seen videos of some of the more "extreme" haunts and I see actors touching the patrons.....how do they get away with that....I mean the business side of my head screams "LAW SUIT" when I see it. Also, I would assume that would put the actors themselves in danger....in a haunt (as a patron) I'm not gunna try and touch the actors but if they intentionally grab me it might be on....it just seems like a bad idea

Jim Warfield
10-28-2008, 03:47 PM
What if you touch the patron with a rubber hand on the end of a stick?
(Has anybody ever responded to this question before?)
What if you stuck them with a stick held by a rubber hand?
Nevermind!

OdetteDespairr
01-14-2009, 03:12 PM
My home haunt is located in a tougher sort of neighborhood, so we have alot of wanabe gangster groups of kids, and alot of people after football parties let out coming through soo one of the things im most grateful for at my haunt is the Actor Saftey Course that they run a few weeks before we open. They cover everything from saftey while wearing vision imparing contacts, to having safe customer interaction in the Q-Line (which by far is the most difficult), to being safe in scenes and reporting problems. The class is mandatory for all actors no matter how long you have been haunting, and its a great reminder/refresher for some of the younger actors at the haunt. We also use wonderfuly trained Zone Capitans to keep our actors safe.

I will admit though that one of my best scares came after i got hurt by a customer. I had been in a trashed bathroom scene that was in the very last leg of their journey through our haunt. And i had sprawled myself out on the floor in a broken fashion (Im a dancer so flexibility i use to my advantage) and slowed my breathing. Due to the low flickering lighting of that scene it was hard to tell if i was real or if i was fake. Each group that came through i would pick a target and start to move or suddenly some to life.


Well about halfway through the night i had a small group of three guys and their girlfriends, i targeted the last group and waited. Just as i figured the girl started whining "oh my god i cant go through there" the guy walk in and stands inches from me and acted before i could move. He said "its a prop stupid" and proceded to kick me hard in the side. It was one of those split second descisions where i knew no matter what i was going to get it, but i also knew that if i could lay there and take it it was going to be hysterical. So he kicks me and hits right under my ribs thankfully (i was so scared he was going to break a rib if he kicked hard.) So i took it and layed there till she walked in and stepped inches from my face. I started moving coming after her on all fours like a wounded animal and making horible retching noises and she absoulutely lost it and started screaming hysterically and took off dragging her boyfriend behind her who was shouting "Ithought it was fake! Its real! its real!

probably one of the funniest scares iv ever had

be safe and sound all

OdetteDespairr

phreakout
01-14-2009, 09:07 PM
The 08 Haunt I worked at didnt have that many problems. I did have a few teens who tried to be tough in front of their parents, to which thy called me names, so of course acting as a clown, I threw some words back at them. They tried to turn back to me but the pushers kept em moving.

to Damien:

Our haunted house has done a haunt "remix" to where we change the scenery, change the start/exit of the maze, and little/no lighting. Ours was anything goes, but heres the rules

the patrons must be 18 years old, and sign a waiver allowing us to do whatver we want to them, including picking them up and holding them. When we did this, we only used actors who have worked in a haunt before, as these situations can get extreme. Thankfully we had no problems with anyone, and was a success!

Jim Warfield
01-14-2009, 09:55 PM
Do you check their ID to make sure they are 18?
" Picking them up?" Do you mean physically lifting them?
That would become just like real work after a very short time, I would think.
If you pick them up, what then? Swing them around above your head?
Tickle them? Pretend to throw them from a cliff? Squeeze the poop out of them?
Pee? Some people I have know bruise very easily and their bruises don't heal quickly.
"Look! You bruised me the other night!"
"No, that is a custom tatoo to look like a real bruise, I wondered who got that? You owe us some money for that kid!"(But don't go showing that around or everybody will want one!)

DamienReaper
01-15-2009, 02:40 AM
I've never been socked or kicked in the "damnation" but I've been slapped ,door slammed in the face I call them war wounds . I have got nose to nose with people If If I get punched or kicked, well then they go to jail. I've never touch people because we are not allowed to touch plus I don't want to touch them God knows where they have been. All you can do is call the police and have them locked up.
And the poor actor that got punched and kicked in nuts to go to the hospital,
People are very unpredictable,He can always wear a cup or if he is really sore about it he's not meant to do this type of work because like pro wrestling anything can happen you have to grin and bare it and keep doing what you do.

Jim Warfield
01-26-2009, 07:46 PM
Getting perpetually physically abused while working in a haunt means something?
Maybe it's time to explore a new style of haunting? Keep your distance, let them see you, know where you are..kill the lights and simply be quiet...then make little noises.....then talk to them...use multisylable words and eloquent phrases..this scares many people, they mistake you for a mad genious who just may be smart enough to kill them and then get away with it?
(Maybe I won't be his first victim? Maybe he's very experienced and just too smooth?)
Yes, at any time any one can simply walk across the room and wail on you but then everyone will know for sure that you didnot inspire them to do this at all, at least not by the normal standards, they go to jail if anyone does.
I try to design ways to discourage people swinging and kicking with pop outs on the customer's right side making them then have to swing left handed since most people are right handed, making it all more aukward for them, physically.
There can be other ways to help the situation to be more in your favor to begin with.

damon carson
01-27-2009, 10:40 AM
Jim there has been a many a game lost due to lefthanders. LOL!
Damon

AnandaHexen
01-27-2009, 11:39 AM
While we all have war stories to tell, if you have more than one or two instances of being injured by a customer then you need to adjust something in your "acting" style. It is NOT something to be proud of.

Are you really scaring them or are you pretty much just bullying them and making them uncomfortable by violating their personal space? Do you consider that to be a creative way to scare people?

The hardcore and "in your face" haunts and the actors that are proud of their bruises and continue to put themselves and customers in a situation that begs for an injury are creating the exact kind of situation that keeps the haunt industry from progressing forward.

BruiseMuse
02-05-2009, 02:11 PM
I think most of us have been injured by a customer, whether on purpose or an accident, at one point or another. However, the important issue is not the injury, but whether you learned from the situation.

Have I ever been hit? Yes, I've had the distinct pleasure of having a grown man's fist come in contact with my face because I stopped him from grabbing a student actor. Was that the smartest move? Not necessasrily, but I'd rather take the blow then a 15 year old girl who was volunteering as an actor for the first time. I think each problematic situation teaches us to be more aware of our situations and how to difuse the problematic customers before they become full-blown problems.

I don't think it's necessarily a bad thing to exchange "war stories" and "battle scares," it's a common bond the majority of us share. I think we all have at least one painful learning situation, and it is up to us as actors to learn and grow from that injury. I think that it is possible to have the hardcore "in your face" style of acting and still be safe, it is simply a matter of being able to judge the customers. As experienced actors, most of us can tell right away if a person if a "fight" or "flight" scenario and we must decide how to scare accordingly.

AnandaHexen
02-06-2009, 11:21 AM
I didn't say there was anything wrong with exchanging war stories.

I said that those who are proud of putting themselves or others in harm's way are projecting an incorrect image onto those who do learn from their mistakes.

machetemachine
02-16-2009, 01:27 AM
I can honestly say in 10 years I have never been closed fist swung on, insert comments of me doing something wrong here.

Jim Warfield
02-16-2009, 09:25 AM
I think that when considering haunted entertaining that there are a whole lot more "right" ways to get this done than usually "wrong" ways, when those things are within reason of course and not from DeSade's cookbook or something like that.
That final vote will be made with dollars coming into your "ballot box".
The scary part for haunt owners and the haunt's planners is the lag time of how long it takes to build and try versus counting those "ballots" every October night and wondering what is going on? The weather? The Competition? Your signage? Your Price?

The amount of work that goes into building any haunt is considerable by most common standards of effort and the amount of that effort is probably closer to equal between haunts whether the ticket buying public rates the haunt high or low, excellant or a rip-off.
There should be more compassion for all of the haunt builders/owners and it should be coming first from those other people engaged in doing the same type of projects . If anyone can have understanding of this time and money put out there, gambled upon the public's whims and perceptions, then it sure should be "US".

EngineerofFear
02-17-2009, 09:31 PM
I know this is a stereotype, but honestly most of our problems don't come from the drunks ... they come from the overly-testosteroned teenage boys in ball caps.

They'll get startled or scared - which offends their thin-skinned machismo - so they feel the need to retaliate by confronting the actors ... or they think it would be fun to try and smash as much stuff as possible ... or they will yell all kinds of profanity at the actors (with no regard for anyone else in their group)

I've had friends who were/are bouncers at local bars and they have all said that you'll see much more fights, aggression, and destruction at the non-alcoholic "under 21" nights and clubs than at most adult bars.

One of the best pieces of advice I ever received was to buy a infra-red video surveillance system. Before people even buy a ticket, they see the monitor showing 13 camera views through-out the entire attraction (and have likely seen our police and security presence outside) and it greatly reduces the amount of incidents.



As a rule of thumb our outside actors and entertainers both entertain the lines as well as spot out trouble customers by their interaction as they wait. This allows us to keep tabs on the trouble customers and ensure actor safety. In the event someone is touched, they are warned. After the first warning they are escorted out. Hitting is a different offense and should be judged depending on the situation. An all out attack on an actor should be immediately stopped to ensure the safety of the customer acting, their group, and any other actors in the scene.

BruiseMuse
02-18-2009, 04:46 PM
As a rule of thumb our outside actors and entertainers both entertain the lines as well as spot out trouble customers by their interaction as they wait. This allows us to keep tabs on the trouble customers and ensure actor safety. In the event someone is touched, they are warned. After the first warning they are escorted out. Hitting is a different offense and should be judged depending on the situation. An all out attack on an actor should be immediately stopped to ensure the safety of the customer acting, their group, and any other actors in the scene.

We also use our outside actors to keep an eye on the situation; typically if someone is already acting up in the que line then they will become a bigger problem as they go through the attractions. We will also place staff that aren't acting within problematic groups to make sure their rowdiness does not escalate once they get inside.

We maintain police on site to deal with aggressive customer issues. If a customer hitting an actor was intentional (as opposed to an accident or a fight or flight mechanism), then they get escorted out to the Boys in Blue.

Jim Warfield
02-18-2009, 06:37 PM
He left here hours ago, he said he wasn't feeling well, maybe he had a stomach ache or something?"
"That has to be the most realistic looking bloody skeleton I have ever seen in a haunted house, where do you get such props, if I might ask?"
"Asking professionally, Officer?"
"No, I just am curious."
"Sorry I am not at liberty to tell you or the haunt guild would kill me."
"Mmm, looks so real!"


there are a myriad of ways to deal with aggressive patrons.

Badger
04-02-2009, 12:34 PM
Unfortunately, there are people who go to haunts JUST to cause trouble. There's almost nothing you can do if you're moving along an area and someone jumps you or kicks you from behind.

This past year I was walking though a crowd when a woman lunged out of the line and struck me full in the chest. I had no time to react. she and her friends thought it was funny until I told her I was calling security and haivng her tossed. I made her and her friends stand off to the side while my partner went to get security and had to explain to them that thereere was no touching the actors. they got all huffy and said they didn't know that (even though there were HUGE signs at every entrance). I allowed them to stay in the park after security gave them a stern warning about doing it again.

That same night we had a co-worker assaulted with a laser pointer from a girl and her boyfriend who wouldn't stop shining it in his eyes. Security had them thrown out but not before they raised a HUGE fuss and threatened to come back and beat the guy up after the night was over.

Two years ago I was standing on a planter when someone from 20 feet away threw a basketball at my head. I caught it and had him thrown out. The park had been open 15 minutes and he was upset he couldn't get a refund.

It only takes a couple bad apples to ruin an otherwise great night. Thank goodness we have plenty of security although they can't be everywhere.

SHELDON
04-02-2009, 02:44 PM
Having the disadvantage of size by scaring from a wheelchair, I get my share of patrons who insist on grabbing the handles and taking me for a ride of their own. This was curtailed by spreading Cinema Secrets blood gel (ya know, the thick stuff) all over the handles. When Johnny Badass comes out of line to mess with me and show off for his lady and friends, ewww... instant cockblock! You know she doesn't want him touching her later with bloody hands. Sorry Johnny. There have been many who have taken things much further. That's where sheer size has it's perks. Many have been bold enough to step to a guy in a wheelchair with violent and malicious intentions. That is, of course, until the guy in the wheelchair stands up and suddenly there's a 6'4", 220 lb wall in your way that knows how to push back. I don't condone getting physical with your patrons but sometimes the rules get thrown out the window and Sheldon goes from Feature to Teacher.

Jim Warfield
04-02-2009, 05:10 PM
Someone was throwing pennies at my wife as she was out in the parking lot selling tickets(that's her style) at first you don't know what's happening, little strange "pling" noises every so often, then one hits someone standing next to you and you know, they know!
People can be such idiots. It makes me want to illustrate the adage "Treat others as you would like to be treated."
Stand here, idiot, I have some small change for you, from 25 feet away. No you don't get to wear any protective gear, you just have to "rough it".