Asking the actors what they want...
First a bit of background, the haunt i work at is a commercial haunt here in Bakersfield and is about a 30 min walk through maze. We employed roughly 40-60 actors and had a complete make up department, front of house and security. This past season was my first acting and in the industry and i loved every second of it. This season I am taking on much more responsibility, helping with construction and design, building some pneumatic props and a ton of other odds and ends. One of the things I want to do is help my fellow actors out this season and get us as a team better organized. Our owner was so busy this past season he relied on the more experienced actors to mentor the new people and that was an unorganized mess. So back to the point, as an actor what would you like your haunt to be/do what ever.... What I'm saying is would you like a bbq say in July or August to get everyone back together and start bringing the new people into the family, would you like classes on scaring in a haunt, time in the haunt with lights on to practice and get to know your area, an actual handbook on do's don'ts and how to's for acting. How do you like the haunt actors organized withing the haunt itself ie senior members get the pic of the spots, assigned spots as apposed to roaming around freely? We had three different themes and everyone was assigned to a room and only 4-5 actors in the whole cast could roam the haunt or go out into the que. What would you like in terms of nightly accommodations, are you ok with a single bathroom brake and a bottle of water or would you prefer an craft services table with food and what nots that you can much on on your brake? We were allowed brakes about 2-3 times a night or if you needed one. I personally never used the brakes i didn't want to miss the scares, and i had a bottle of water stashed in my room so I was fine. For after season activities what would you like? I've seen haunts do awards dinners and the like which might be fun. We do pay our actors and had a pizza dinner a few weeks after closing and that seemed to fit everyone just fine but awards could boost moral. Do you want t shirts or something of the like or just a paycheck dinner and some good laughs? Let me know what you all would like out of your haunt for this upcoming season. I want to make things fun and memorable as well as easy for our actors.
through out your tips and tricks for new and old actors
I also agree on the formal class issue, every haunt is different so unless your owner is the one teaching the class then all information from the instructor will be fairly vague when it comes to your haunt or you specific room or scare. Speaking of this what 2 or 3 things would you say to a new actor at your own haunt? If no one minds I would like to compile a handful of basic tips and tricks that seem standard across the industry.
I would tell them to wear good shoes (you spend all night running, jumping and standing on your feet so take care of them)
Have some time set aside before opening night to go through the whole haunt to get a basic idea of where everything is. (this is more for safety and general knowledge then finding all the scares in the haunt but do take extra time near your area to learn several different hiding spots or scares just encase you need them and to know where any hazards are near your area.
DON'T DO THE SAME SCARE ALL THE TIME. don't be afraid to try new things especially as a new actor, even if you screw up or it doesn't work how you thought then you get a do over in less then a minute so try something else.