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Thread: your first year

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  1. Default  
    #21
    Join Date
    Aug 2003
    Location
    Tyler, Texas, United States
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    2,614
    When I had the charity haunt, every year they would hand me some money and I would let them keep a certain amount of the props and masks. I saw it as being like a party rental business and you get to steal the centerpiece. Most of the expensive props I have never went into the haunt to get destroyed or grabbed.

    So I have a coffin, a nice werewolf, a mannequin girlfriend, a saw blade collection, 100 stryrofoam wig heads, 2 dogs, a company that has become more like a job only with no regular pay check, a debt and somehow I became old and retarded. We are in a recession, The local McMansions all have for sale by owner signs on them and the concrete design business instead of doing fancy designs and luxury cover up of concrete does repaints and pressure washing, cleaning off dog poop so people can sell their house or a hotel just doing a paint job on their pool instead of really fixing it. It has gone through a full cycle. We began redoing everyone's old poorly done jobs and this is where it is at now.

    Yet, these young guys have proved to me the haunt market still works no matter what. Even in a down economy and maybe especially in a down economy. People go to be entertained to forget the real problems in their life even if it is only for 20 minutes.

    Being a business owner, in all the different forms I have been, You kind of for go all the fancy expenses anyhow and put everything into your business. When times are tough people are crying and you have already gone years and years not having all this stuff they are whining about. It doesn't matter if you are making $8,000 a week or $300 a week or $700 a week or making someone 10 million dollars a month, you generally live on about $20 to $30 a day and everything else goes into overhead or investment that either may prove to be something or is just expected behavior.

    With my current business I can run around and weasel $1000 in materials and go to work and have maybe $2500 in a few weeks. With a haunt, that $30 you spent might not get paid back for 5 years when it is actually out there a few years and customers have leased it for 3 seconds. The scale of justifying savings, investment and when you are going to get paid and paying storage on something that may never happen to the level you want it to is a hard road.

    I miss my hearse. I miss the haunted house but someone took the market I helped develop and went with it. Plus even though their income sounds impressive, it really isn't. They were young advertising guys, expected yearly income between $50,000 and $100,000. With their extremely successful haunt and the advertising company nearly down the tubes maybe because of having a pro haunt and the feeling there was something more fun to do with their lives, I'll bet they are down to about $25,000 per year or less. They have gone from working for someone, to being self employed to doing what gypsys do entertaining the drunken villagers just crazy enough to go to the outskirts of town or to the wrong side of the rail road tracks. How is that a real business? Certainly that is what some $18,000 per year bank loan officer has been trained to think.

    It isn't a business actually. Although everyone ries to make it all "industry" sounding. It is a life style. Or at the full on million dollar levels it migh be a quick promotion that is only going to last a year or two and never pay everyone. The other night on Hulu I found an episode of Shark Tank. These two old dude magicians wanted 1.4 million dollars to build a 25,000 SF event right on Times Square, how much does it cost in overhead per year? 7.4 million. FAIL. Yet I'm sure they got those numbers somewhere. I'll bet they even paid a consultant with some kind of vetting $25,000 to put all that in writing. Who cares no one will ever do it, here is a book of numbers that will be $25,000, it isn't my ass on the line. Fail again and there might have been no warning that it wasn't the right thing to do. Sure it will be the first EVER, no one has done it before! It will be stupendis.


    Another fabulous post from the U.S.Department of Wild Imaginings, now in spectaclar stereo, sponsored by the Adhesives and Sealants Council, suggesting ways to stick things together since the 1800s. Not fabulous in a gay way. Your results may vary. Illinois residents add 8% sales tax. These posts have been made by professional post makers, do not try this type of posting on your own without extensive training, lovely assistants and a trusty clown horn.
     

  2. Default  
    #22
    Join Date
    Aug 2003
    Location
    Tyler, Texas, United States
    Posts
    2,614
    But, if you really want to, you can make money from anything and save as much as you want. You can spend a hundred years living on a fixed income and everyone thinks you are rich while they go to the movies and you sit and think about how to make money or what things should look like and how to build things. Can you find the time, the few spare dollars and pay for the storage for say 10 years?

    Can you put yourself in the position to weasel not people but organizations to get a building, permits, fire codes, building codes, safty inspections? Can you weasel other organizations to sponsor your advertising campaign, to provide piza for your actors, to pay for your insurance? Sure you can.

    How much does it cost? Absolutely nothing, draw it out with a pen you stole off the counter at a bank.
    How big was it? How big can you make it? It should be big enough and detailed enough that people talk about it. It has to compare to ones in your area and be different somehow. It has to be better. It could be 100,000 SF of junk cars. Be creative and then cash in the scrap value every January. Or fill it with real antiques that you blow dust on for halloween and then polish and sell for $5,000 a piece, I would go with french furnitings.

    If you drive around here, it always has been, that the signs say, airconditioning and then there is a sign for taxidermy or transmission repair and arts and crafts. No one business seems to get it or occupy the income needs and so the whole family has to work. If you don't have a family you have to somehow buy every friend you can. No one is going to hang around because they like your teeth or the way you smile or the way you gas out the bathroom. Everyone wants money or to hang around because you have sandwitches. So how are you going to provide this environment that people will come to your tuperware party. This year and every year?

    For me the haunted house was the greatest thing ever because every year after setting it up all my workers would quit and I didn't have to lay anyone off for winter or have my unemployment insurance rates go up. By time the next season rolled around they would understand they were pretty much unemployable anywhere else. Get in the truck. But what they despised was not necessarily the work. Everyone quit because I was helping the community instead of handing them bigger stacks of cash. I was developing markets even though they had no understanding that the job we are jumping in the truck to go do day after day is someone I have talked to fo months or years. To an employee mind set it is all magic. You know what they say on TV about how to have a business. What some 2 year college student writting an article for Yahoo news thinks you should do to save money. How they think someone made a million dollars and you should do that too.

    Of course they say you should save up 2 years total expenses before engaging in a business. Bullshit, you just go to work. No one would ever save that much or get that much in advance even if you were in silicon valley and had a cool glitter idea for facebook advertising or the latest iphone app.


    Having your own business is more like the special olympics. Even if you win, you are still.................


    Another fabulous post from the U.S.Department of Wild Imaginings, now in spectaclar stereo, sponsored by the Adhesives and Sealants Council, suggesting ways to stick things together since the 1800s. Not fabulous in a gay way. Your results may vary. Illinois residents add 8% sales tax. These posts have been made by professional post makers, do not try this type of posting on your own without extensive training, lovely assistants and a trusty clown horn.
     

  3. Default  
    #23
    Join Date
    Aug 2003
    Location
    Tyler, Texas, United States
    Posts
    2,614
    Oh yes, just before one season at the firehall haunt, it never happened because two fire fighters died so everything was like starting out completely over again in a new location with not as much help. And the first year they thought I guess that Walt Disney himself was here to give them a billion dollars worth of crap and he could do it all himself, perhps he would call in a few imagineers to offer their spare time.

    Everybody dies. A great number of very succesful haunts have had partners die after so many years and that signaled the beginning of the end to what is once was.

    So, is this a side job? A long term investment? Dabling in philanthropy? A hobby that just means no more vacation spending? A learning experience? A taste at independence and self fullfillment? Running away with the circus? Doing something crazy with out the lasting effects of a tattoo?

    Is it a what can you get from the dumpster gameshow? What industrial waste can you make money on having customers rent to see it and then sell for scrap value? What bugs like to eat long term experiment? How to have your entire family tree freak out and think you are evil and weird and should not really be in any wills? A way to hire the most attractive personal assistant and costume coordinator? A way to provide work for people? A way to make sure other people develop some skills and self confidence as well? An opportunity to even have handicapped people scare people that other wise would never get out of the house? A way to feed a charity money that is buying things you don't even have or thought you could afford?

    Is it something to fall back on? Something to fall forward to? Is is something to make your life a living hell because you are on the Hauntworld Forum at 4:48 in the morning and tomorrow have to paint a 1500 SF pool deck? In other words it already is tomorrow?

    If you actually have a job, you might know you have little money, even run short and some will be available again with that next check. When you are self employed every check is your last and so you don't spend it. Maybe won't spend it unless you know there is a good outcome. When you run out of money you are in trouble. You have maybe an accounts recievable but that doesn't have a real time schedule. And you never know you are broke until you are in to the laundry money, having a net worth of $14 is a normal thing. Even if there is $20,000 on paper or in future projects. It is definitely a lifestyle difference.

    Having a job with limited income and having failure doesn't work either. Burdens just pile up and accumulate over time. You can't plan for anything. The business cycles of the world in my life time have gone from every 30 years to every year. The entire global economy is working like a farmers harvest and then throw in a tsunami and some radiation.

    But as an artist, you can build things of value out of nothing. Out of garbage. It could become 1.4 million dollars. Or it could be 80 people show up and eat all the free snacks and leave. Untill you put it out there you just don't know. And you aren't land locked. They might not like it here but they love it 50 miles or 500 miles away. Even 1500 miles away. Then you have to discover things that the two extreme locations desire and trade things back and forth. Ideas from Texas might not work in Michigan. The garbage you started out with is different.


    Another fabulous post from the U.S.Department of Wild Imaginings, now in spectaclar stereo, sponsored by the Adhesives and Sealants Council, suggesting ways to stick things together since the 1800s. Not fabulous in a gay way. Your results may vary. Illinois residents add 8% sales tax. These posts have been made by professional post makers, do not try this type of posting on your own without extensive training, lovely assistants and a trusty clown horn.
     

  4. Default  
    #24
    Join Date
    Aug 2003
    Location
    Tyler, Texas, United States
    Posts
    2,614
    So who knows how money really works?

    Somehow people that are $250,000 in debt need to take a cruise to get over it. You pay the land lord and they go off for a mini vacation. You finish a job and the company you did the work for has a new truck sitting there and of course for some reason your check isn't coming yet.

    I came upon the $20 idea watching the slow operation at the motorcycle shop. The man's wide paid all the untilities, the parties were to pay the property taxes they had neglected every year, all the other buildings paid the mortgage and the insurances. So all he needed was to run his business and do just enough work to feed and cloth himself and bolt more things, paint more wild things on his motorcycle. A customer would come in that actually bought something rather than just come by to get an update about motorcycles in general and where the parties were or free advice. He would sell one thing with dismal commission and he was GONE! I would say as he left, what, did you make $20 already? Yes! so long! It was a joke but it was so true.

    Buisness property being somehow paid for with no rent seems to be a big ingredient to alot of companies mixes. They had help by parents who wanted to make sure their son or daughter who was a little off could make it. Maybe the parents got the extra $100 a month from all the rent collections? Then even in the termil of a divorce or a bankruptsy somehow the guy who set up this ig weasel somehow gets to keep his plot of land and building that represents a business and everyone else's property gets sold out from under them when they were the one's paying anyhow. Then with out a wife, the man actually has to focus on paying the phone bill, the electric bill, the insurance payments and taxes on the property. No one comes to a party and he has gone from $20 and the ability to escape for a days entertainment to $2 a day and having to go sand a motorcycle tank for someone. He goes months not having any customers or jobs he is able to pull off successfully but still he is living the life. The solution or him seemed to be to get a new wife.

    Many other businesses here work in such a slow fashion. People sit around visiting like it is the lets tell jokes part of hee haw. It realy means they have nothing to do right now and are waiting for the next thing to spring into action. I don't have that. I have rent to pay and all those other bills, there will be no jabber jawing or visiting. But I looked back in my head and precisely when these people did nothing was where the wall street journal graphs showed a recession spike. One old woman with nick nacks and a garden decor iron work stand is actually the land lord to several business and says if she had to make a rent payment, her business would not work. If you ponder this with a younger go getter kind of guy they think that is something wrong, not the way to be at all. But, the old dudes and dudettes did figure out how to not have so many payments and can get buy and keep intrested in magical products and spend the time to know their customers because they aren't burdened with the hype of do it now sales ads and a phone bank of operators standing by to take your order.

    You can make a million dollars all at one time and somehow everyone hates you or decides to become you or you can make a millon dollars a little bit over time and no one knows you are holding or not.


    Another fabulous post from the U.S.Department of Wild Imaginings, now in spectaclar stereo, sponsored by the Adhesives and Sealants Council, suggesting ways to stick things together since the 1800s. Not fabulous in a gay way. Your results may vary. Illinois residents add 8% sales tax. These posts have been made by professional post makers, do not try this type of posting on your own without extensive training, lovely assistants and a trusty clown horn.
     

  5. Default  
    #25
    Join Date
    Aug 2003
    Location
    Tyler, Texas, United States
    Posts
    2,614
    On my Yahoo music channel and advertisement comes is. Airbrush action dot com is having a trade show in Las Vegas, at some specific hotel, 5 days only! You too can learn how to make thousands full or part time airbrushing T-shirts, tanning and custom automotive graphics! Seminars on how to start and tun your own airbrush business, meet air brush masters! This makes me want to throw up and take all the airbrushes I have accumulated over the last 20 years, take them all outside and melt them together into a disgusting glob.

    But, really what happens is all these people spend $1000 to get there, maybe buy $1700 worth of stuff, and have their head spinning about the wonders of making an extra $15 for 4 hours worth of work. Using paint that has been on the store shelves and in some cargo container on the high seas for a decade that won't blow through their expensive equipment and they are doomed to fail even if they are the top 2% that can actually move their hand the right way. Th hype phenomina is how I got thousands of dollars worth of airbrushes on the cheap as they never got cleaned the first time or alas the new owners were faced with the fact they had no skill and for them it meant using stencils and that is no fun.

    In reality, you only need one good airbrush, brand new fresh paint and some practice no one seems to understand. You look at pictures of what has been done since the craze of the late 50's of old dudes smoking cigarettes on their knees putting some crude doodle on someone's car. The rest is history.

    In all the scenarios I listed above for haunted house real performances, they all even when it appeared that magically their first year was stupendous? It was really about their 5th or 6th year of practicing. Experimenting with other people's money until they saw how to make money themselves. Their programs were already trimmed to what was absolutely necessary. The people that are trying to be really informative starting out telling you how they use a bug sprayer to apply blood in the movies are deemed insane and left behind.

    So one way of getting into it is obviously buying what others realized for them was going to be a dissapointment or a financial burden. In haunted houses people sell things because they didn't make enough money to keep paying storage or never got that first just right situation but the accumulation of things is easy. Making the commitment to spend a couple hours per object is artistry. At least it is the total sum of what art school will teach for a fee. If you spend a couple of hours on something, it might look like something and keep a viewers attention. But then the art teacher writes Very Good A+ right on the drawing you spent hours on and defaces it, making it total garbage. Is this what I'm supposed to lean? Don't let some bald guy touch your drawing after you spent so much time on it? Someone will think they are somebody and tell you what they think and we really haven't seen the bald guy do anything so what gives him the right. What does he know anyhow? Maybe art sucks because it is treated like it is disposable like all the thing from Walmart? You are supposed to buy it cheap, let you pet poop on it and throw it away.

    One of the funny twists of the haunted house is here, you not only don't get to buy and take away the art, you only get to pay to see it and can't see it just anywhere. Plus the final twist is, you just paid to see what you all threw ot last year and how scary that is? Being haunted by the rubbish you didn't take care of. Now it has little googly eyes and a voice and it is talking to you. It is wondering why you don't give a shit. Look deep into it's eyes.

    Now going directly into $50,000 rent, insurance and advertising expense based in the life of crap is a very bold move. So lets say in reviewing all the scenarios of what haunts turned out to be a success, the first haunts and take overs generally only risked 5 to $10,000 and they were acculated over about 5 or 6 years. All the other heavy expenses were covered by people who somehow had money but no hands on talent. I haven't figured out how in life that happens, all the people that have money can perhaps see what they can't do and this becomes an opportunity over looked by the ones with talent? It really shouldn't have that high a value if everyone can do it but, the ones that can do it are kind of blind and confused that they actually have in their world every day skills others would pay big bucks for. Perhaps actually doing and getting money still over looks that fundamental situation.

    Well, time to go do what I think is expected behavior.


    Another fabulous post from the U.S.Department of Wild Imaginings, now in spectaclar stereo, sponsored by the Adhesives and Sealants Council, suggesting ways to stick things together since the 1800s. Not fabulous in a gay way. Your results may vary. Illinois residents add 8% sales tax. These posts have been made by professional post makers, do not try this type of posting on your own without extensive training, lovely assistants and a trusty clown horn.
     

  6. Default  
    #26
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Location
    Athens, Texas, United States
    Posts
    291
    AWESOME advice Greg. You hit the nail on the head. Everything you pointed out is so true and is a valuable lesson for any haunter.
    I'm only doing this to impress 2 people ... The fire marshal and the customer that's it !!!
     

  7. Default  
    #27
    Join Date
    Aug 2003
    Location
    Tyler, Texas, United States
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    2,614
    Oh crap, it looks like I have been typing on the internet again.


    Another fabulous post from the U.S.Department of Wild Imaginings, now in spectaclar stereo, sponsored by the Adhesives and Sealants Council, suggesting ways to stick things together since the 1800s. Not fabulous in a gay way. Your results may vary. Illinois residents add 8% sales tax. These posts have been made by professional post makers, do not try this type of posting on your own without extensive training, lovely assistants and a trusty clown horn.
     

  8. Default  
    #28
    Join Date
    Nov 2008
    Location
    Mesquite, TX
    Posts
    2,788
    Are you in the middle of adjusting your meds Greg? Some pearls in all that though...lol.
     

  9. Default My House is my art gallery. 
    #29
    Join Date
    Aug 2003
    Location
    Ravens Grin Inn, 411 carroll st.mount carroll ill.
    Posts
    12,813
    Nothing is for sale, I "Rent" them the experience. (Tee shirts, bumper stickers, a little book are for sale)
    I knew a very successful and talented artist who had much trouble from those art gallery owners (Used car salesman?)
    They would not do their part of promoting his shows, like forgetting to send him his money,or send out the invites from their customer list, good thing he told his patrons about the show and sold something like 43 works that first day out of 47 available! ( I was there with him) "Why am I paying you people?" I'm taliking about pieces that sold for $800 to $2,200! And this was 40 years ago! Yes he had much success by anyone's standards but too many art gallery people were really just wanna bees, hobbiests who had alot of money to play with, usually someone else's.
    My artist friend/mentor said "Goodby" to gallerys many years ago, now after about 25 books published of his art.....
    I am not supremely talented in any one area but I work hard, long hours and have unusual ideas that I work toward creating in this physical realm, anybody can have "ideas", and ideas is where everything entertaining starts but I bring them to life here.
    My place is not typical as defined by the current definition of the term "Haunted House", and the "Not Typical" is what most of my customers seem to like(and pay for)
    I adjust the tours to try to fit and entertain whatever type of a group is sitting there looking at me, which is fun for me!
     

  10. Default  
    #30
    Join Date
    Aug 2005
    Location
    Henrietta NY
    Posts
    153
    Thanks Greg i will have to read that one more time. but its great advice from what i have gotten out of it so far. will have to change a few things for this year have a few more things to look at. will let everyone know what will be ahead for this haunter. thanks everyone foe your input!!
    The Tallman is coming... so be very afraid!
    http://www.hauntedvoid.com
     

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