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Thread: What is the going rate for live actors?

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  1. Default  
    #11
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Location
    Clinton Twp, Michigan
    Posts
    407
    I agree with some of these posts as well, especially about volunteers. We make all of our full timers volunteer at least 2 nights each season. Many end up volunteering more nights just to help the cause. I use that money to help pay for a great party after the haunt is finished.

    My experience with going all volunteer actors is that a lot of them are not as good and don't care as much about doing a top notch job. Also, they seem to be a lot less reliable because it's not like they are worried about getting fired. So sometimes they just don't show up or call to let ya know they are not coming in that night leaving you without people to fill their spots and making you run around at the last minute to rearrange things. After all, they can show up at any haunt and be put to work as a volunteer. Who's going to turn down free help? so if you go that route, make sure you have a handfull of extras so you never end up with a haunt that looks short on monsters. As a customer of a haunt I hate when you enter a scene that you know is supposed to have someone working at nobody is there to scare ya!

    Howie "Slobber" Erlich
    Deadly Intentions Haunted Attraction (The Final Chapter)
    www.deadlyintentionshaunt.com
     

  2. Default Many years Ago 
    #12
    Join Date
    Aug 2003
    Location
    Ravens Grin Inn, 411 carroll st.mount carroll ill.
    Posts
    12,807
    I was paying my actors $10 an hour. Funny thing is, it seemed the more I paid them, the more problems they gave ME!
    "He-said-She said", personal bull-chitt I didnot need to know or hear about when we were supposed to be "working" thinking about what they were supposed to be doing next, you know, the reason they were getting paid to be here!
    I admit to totally ruining one young man by giving him a nice bonus at the end of a season. (He had a lot of talent)
    The next season his ego was sky-high (Too high) and he was a huge butt-pain in the house, very disruptive to the things my other employees were attempting to do.
    My main disappointment has always been hiring people who really weren't "Into It", even though all of this peculair fun is hiding around every corner waiting to happen, almost non-stop.
    I have been "Into It" from the time I was 4 years old, with no let up!
    (I have the pictures to prove it too!hahaha!)
     

  3. Default wish i had not read this:) 
    #13
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Location
    Farmington MO
    Posts
    95
    Now i feel like a cheap A$$. I pay $25.00 a night and a $100.00 bouns if you work ALL 15 nights!........oh and my makeup staff gets $20.00 on top of that. most act so thats $45.00 a night plus bonus.
    Last edited by Cliff; 08-30-2012 at 07:43 AM.
     

  4. Default  
    #14
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Location
    Clinton Twp, Michigan
    Posts
    407
    Cliff,

    Just hope your actors don't read it! LOL

    Howie "Slobber" Erlich
    Deadly Intentions Haunted Attraction (The Final Chapter)
    www.deadlyintentionshaunt.com
     

  5. Default  
    #15
    Join Date
    Aug 2008
    Posts
    104
    you get what you pay for you dont pay you dont get
     

  6. Default  
    #16
    Quote Originally Posted by Cliff View Post
    Now i feel like a cheap A$$. I pay $25.00 a night and a $100.00 bouns if you work ALL 15 nights!........oh and my makeup staff gets $20.00 on top of that. most act so thats $45.00 a night plus bonus.
    I've worked under similar conditions before. The first haunt I worked at paid $25 cash, with the potential for up to $15 in additional performance-based bonuses, per night.
    Incentive systems like that can work wonders for some people.
    I can tell you there were maybe two nights that I didn't walk out of there with the full $40, but there were plenty of co-workers who were happy just to take the $25 and do the bare minimum.
     

  7. Default It is "Funny" 
    #17
    Join Date
    Aug 2003
    Location
    Ravens Grin Inn, 411 carroll st.mount carroll ill.
    Posts
    12,807
    You pay someone $10 an hour, and they think you have now paid them to just show up, Now if you need them to actually DO something, then you should pay them some more money.
    I admit it, I come from a generation from long ago (Hatched 1949) I wil also admit to being grossly over-paid as a kid with a dollar a week alowance because movie admission was only 15cents, a big real chocolate candy bar was 10 cents, a plastic airplane model was 29 cents up to 98 cents, a tube of model glue was 10cents, Testor paint wasn't quite 10 cents yet, a comic book was 10 cents, neighborhood hooker-girls were only.. whoops! forget that.
    I have worked long hours doing strenious tasks for much less than the min, wage most of my life, but everybody who works for me does get paid because I have sharp memories of being on that other end of the brown, smelly "Stick".(That you throw deep into the woods, far from the main trail, so as not to offend.)
    I pacify any twinges of any guilt I might feel because I did build my business, doing probably 95% of All the work here it took to rebuild this old house and create all the rest of it,and contrary to some people's twisted, fantastic thinking, I am not a wealthy person, never have been, never will be unless something utterly fantastic might happen to make that happen. (Not counting on that)
     

  8. Default  
    #18
    Join Date
    Oct 2004
    Posts
    32
    We have been doing about 10 dollars a hour plus a bonus if they show up all our nights, works pretty well but they are still college kids and tend to be unreliable sometimes
     

  9. Default  
    #19
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
    Location
    Tallahassee, FL
    Posts
    334
    Some great posts here, thanks for all who contributed. I think they all have merit, but at the same time, some claims are not universal. The feeling that "you get what you pay for" certainly applies to many, but not all haunts. I'm sure I'm not the only one here who would volunteer for free and give it my all if I I didn't have my own haunt. For years, I lost money doing this kind of thing, paying for the opportunity to scare, so doing it for "free" is not an outrageous idea at all. (It would certainly be a lot less stress!)

    Most of our staff is volunteer, and one such person reminds me that there are some very well known haunts that use all volunteers, and they do fabulous work. He worked for House of Shock, with around 300 volunteers, about 200 of which return from year to year. And they take their work very seriously. That's in a major city (New Orleans) which certainly helps.

    Smaller markets have to save money somewhere, and full time staff costs a lot more than just an hourly rate. Workman's Comp insurance, paper work, social security... It can be cost prohibitive for a lot of haunts that depend on a giant staff to fill a giant area. Fortunately, haunting is one area where the biggest budget doesn't mean you have the best haunt. (If it did, Universal and Busch Gardens would be the best in the business, but they aren't.) Creativity, originality, and commitment can still trump money in this profession. Let's hope it stays that way.
     

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