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Thread: Your Actors

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  1. Default My Personal Faults 
    #11
    Join Date
    Aug 2003
    Location
    Ravens Grin Inn, 411 carroll st.mount carroll ill.
    Posts
    12,783
    Lie in the fact that I have always thought that more people were more like me than they will ever actually be as far as a natural enthusiam for Haunting. Very few seem to have such ambitions or intrests. I obviously have had way too much of what I expected others to also have, but they did not.
    I can't even begin to imagine what it would be like to actually have a large group of people to choose from to flesh out a haunt roster. To actually have competition for the spot available, needing and wanting to be here, doing it all because they want to!
    Quite a number of young male wanna-bes would walk away when I would tell them what they could not be doing here, potentually dangerous scares that could hurt some customer, well, I sure don't need nor want that person working here for me either!
    I know part of the problem here is that as a customer they see the pure fun that can be generated by the house and the show, so they tend to overlook the work involved in doing this, the actual physical outlay of time and energy which doesn't stop in a timely manner on a real busy night. such is life and work, or at least always has been for all of my life, no matter what my job was. I guess I'm old-school in this respect. Too old and my "school" can't be very popular or keep up to the recent expectations of the present generations.
    Sweat, dirt, long hours, steady physical out-put demanded by the task at hand and the Boss or customers.
    I often have felt as if I had retired by owning my haunt compared to what my working life used to entail compared to this task.
    We have always paid the help here too, in stark contrast to my own personal previous employment situations when my paycheck was the last thing to happen and often came up short which sometimes meant I got nothing.
    I was working for a close relative, I was being a "Good Boy", "Helping" like that. but I had not been a "Boy" for a great number of years. My "Helping" had me figuring the total job and doing the whole job by myself......alone.
     

  2. Default  
    #12
    Join Date
    Oct 2012
    Location
    Fairbanks, AK
    Posts
    45
    I thought long and hard about this question. As to whether it was better to have paid or volunteers for actors. I went with paid. The reason being is that I feel with any job people need some form of compensation to have a reliable haunt. I need to know that everyone knows there position and what they are doing. And it's a relief knowing that everyone is showing up and signing in and out. It cost me a good amount to pay them but they were worth every penny.

    Now on the flip side it did cost me a lot in payroll and I was thinking of trying something different next year and having some paid actors and volunteers. But even with the volunteers I would really look into doing something like the Crypt Cash and having them on a point system with cool prizes they could bid for at the end.

    Thanks
    Rob Owner/Operator
    www.fairbanksasylum.com
     

  3. Default Balancing Act 
    #13
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Location
    Raleigh, NC
    Posts
    376
    I have a few that I pay because of their commitment every year. I also use these as supervisors throughout the haunts, giving them the satisfaction of leadership and responsibility. They know our emergency plan, and they know how to manage the actors as well.

    I also have some excellent volunteers. I am very fortunate that some of them are in law enforcement, and some of them are in senior positions with big city fire departments. They look after me during the event and if anything happens, they jump in quickly to assist.

    All the other volunteers love doing what they are doing. And they love being a part of our crew. We spoil them all rotten, and make it a fun thing to do for several weekends in a row. Every year I get approached by new people wanting to volunteer so it seems I am never in short supply of workers. Except after the haunt is over and load-out begins. Seems everyone runs and hides when the hard work starts! LOL
    Travis "Big T" Russell
    President
    Big T Productions Inc

    Owner and Operator of "The Plague" and "Camp Nightmare"

    Customer Quote of the year: "Damn, I pissed myself"
     

  4. Default  
    #14
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    Location
    East Haven, Connecticut, United States
    Posts
    1,161
    The first haunt I EVER volunteered for did the half volunteer half pay thing, but they told the actors who were getting paid to be hush hush about it as to not upset the volunteers such as myself....as a volunteer, I was upset I wasn't told the truth about things...but to be honest, the people who were volunteers out performed and were more reliable than the ones who weren't volunteers...looking back at that as an owner, I wouldn't want to put my volunteers in that situation.

    It's one thing to hire some managers...but if you're able to hire managers, why couldn't you pay your actors??

    Things get tricky once money gets involved and all, hence my original arguments, but if you're crazy busy and your actors have to do more work than just have fun and go crazy, you should probably pay them, but if you aren't up there in attendance and it is more low key, benefit a good cause and take care of your actors with food and water and a end of the season party, and they'll be just as happy, if not happier, in my experience anyway.
     

  5. Default  
    #15
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
    Location
    Tallahassee, FL
    Posts
    327
    One should always be upfront if other actors are getting anything, even if it's only a bonus gift because 1.) It's the honest thing to do and 2.) they are bound to find out anyway, so you might as well make sure they have all the facts instead of just rumors. But make sure the rules are the same for everyone. The ones getting anything extra should have added responsibilities that unpaid volunteers don't have, like longer hours and less popular positions. Giving something extra to those who try harder and give something extra themselves is completely fair and should be expected. Not necessarily an hourly wage, but some sort of bonus to show your appreciation. Of course, if you can afford to pay everyone an hourly wage, go for it. But not every haunt can do that, not by a long shot.

    Ask yourself what you would be willing to do under similar circumstances, what you would think is fair, and do onto others as you would have them do onto you. Me, I love doing haunts and I not only volunteered many times, I lost money to run haunts that were fun but unprofitable. But if I volunteered for free for someone else and was one of their better actors, I would be miffed to find out someone who didn't work as hard as I did was getting paid and I wasn't (unless there was a good reason that applied to everyone, like they had to be there every night and I didn't, or they worked a technical position that I couldn't or wouldn't want to work). Common sense stuff, really.
     

  6. Default Pay me, pay me, pay me my money down 
    #16
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Location
    Raleigh, NC
    Posts
    376
    The title says it all (actual lyrics from an old sea shanty)!

    I absolutely agree. The few that get paid ar e also the ones who drive 100 ,iles one way to come work at the haunt, and the ones who are there before and after to tear down (load-out). It covers their gas, and of course, I feed everyone on my crew every night. Before and after (it's amazing how much these kids can eat when the haunting is done every night!). We are definitely going with a different plan in 2013 though, and I will be paying everyone something. As well as contributing to a local charity. It's tough being small and covering all the bases, but with a good busines plan it can happen.
    Travis "Big T" Russell
    President
    Big T Productions Inc

    Owner and Operator of "The Plague" and "Camp Nightmare"

    Customer Quote of the year: "Damn, I pissed myself"
     

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