|Scare Actor Tips And Tricks
Here is a few tips and tricks to help you in becoming the perfect scare actor.
ACTOR TRAINING VIDEOS:
Know Your Part
You have a specific role to play in the attraction. Be sure you understand what it is and put
some thought into how you should behave in that role. Are you a zombie? Don't talk (well,
any more than to maybe groan "Brrraaaiinns!!!") and master the shuffle of the undead. Are
you a mad scientist? Learn to laugh insanely. Are you a witch? Work on that voice that
creaks like a rusted gate hinge and learn the names of all the disgusting things that go into
any self-respecting cauldron of brew: eye of newt, fat of a newborn, etc...
Your haunt may or may not have a script, and your director may or may not need you to
stick closely to it. There is usually room for ad-lib, in fact it almost always necessary to
deviate a little from the written lines as you react to guests who may talk back to you or
move slower or faster than you expect through your room. Spend some time thinking about
your character, and contemplating how you need to act to be convincing in that role.
Stay In Character
You have an important job to do. Your job is to scare people. Your job is to make grown
men cry and teach little kids that haunted houses are not for bedwetters. Nothing ruins a
good scare faster than having an actor "drop character" and suddenly be a smiling, good
natured, oh-sorry-I-startled-you guy in a rubber mask. Remember, these people came here
to be scared, and if you don't scare them you aren't doing your job and they aren't getting
what they paid for.
Obviously, you don't have to be cruel about it. If someone is really freaking out and just
trying to find the shortest way to the exit, back off and let them go. However, unless you are
facing a true emergency situation like someone throwing up or passing out or something
catching fire (we'll get back to that later) you should remain in character at all times, even if
you see your middle school guidance counselor coming through in his underwear and
Mickey Mouse ears.
Timing Is Everything
If you need to pop out of a corner and yell to give people a scare, it's not going to work if
they're still coming in the door at the other end of the room or if they've already moved on
to the next. Understand what you need to do and be sure to do it at the right time to get the
Stay In Your Room/Area
Do not follow the guests into another room unless it is part of your scare. If you get a break
in visitors do not roam through the house. Allways be ready. Do not go more then one
room back or one room forward. If you have an actor's hallway in the haunt then that is
where you shoud be. Listen for the rooms that have guests. You shoud be in place and
ready when the guests are three rooms before yours. If you need a break, restroom, etc.
contact one of the house managers. Do not leave your spot untill they OK it first.
Don't Touch The Guests
You don't know the people who are coming through your haunt and they don't know you.
Even if they do, they will be high on adrenaline and (if you are doing your job) more than a
little freaked out. An unexpected grab or touch can result in a fight-or-flight reaction that
can endanger yours and the guests safety. Also, if you grab or touch someone the wrong
way, there can be legal implications of assault. Your attraction should have signs posted
advising the quests not to touch the actors, and the actors should all understand not to
touch the guests.
It Needs To Look Violent, Not Be Violent
Unlike quests, you may be cast in a role where you are to touch other cast members. More
than likely, given the nature of the attraction, the way you touch them is expected to look
violent, dangerous or otherwise unpleasant. This does not mean you should hurt your
fellow cast members! That will bring a sudden end to the fun. Remember assault is assault,
even if you're playing an assigned part.
The good news is that with a pumped-up audience, darkness, strobe lights, and other
distractions, you can make it look violent without actually hurting anyone. If you have to
swing an axe or other weapon, give yourself plenty of room to ensure you miss. If you have
to grab someone, move slowly (the lighting will help it look more dramatic than it is) grab
them gently and practice! Think of it as dancing.
Leave Your Toys At Home!
No cell phones, video games, etc. while you are working. An actor texting on a cell or
messing around with a video game can totaly blow a scare. BRB. GOTTA SCARE. Yeah,
right! The light from the phone alone will kill the effect. Leave the iPhone in your pocket or,
better yet, outside the haunt!
You are going to be running around in a dark, noisy place with things hanging from the
ceiling and all over the walls and floor. Don't turn an imaginary house of horrors into a real
one by breaking your real leg instead of the foam rubber ones! Keep your head and
consider that no matter how good things are going, you are not immune to the hazards of
everyday life. You could have a guest (or castmember!) with a medical emergency or a fire
or other unpleasantness interrupt the fun. Be ready for anything. Know where the light
switches are and how to get yourself, your co-workers and the guests out of the haunt if
anything goes wrong.
Scaring people is fun, and though it's a lot of hard, exhausting work, you should enjoy
Types Of Scare Actors - What Role Works Best For You:
Wants to give the patrons something horrible they do not want. “Wanna pet my snake?”
“Here. Take this. Take IT! TAKE IT! NOW!” “I want to show you something…come with me.
It’s a secret. I promise not to hurt you…” This also works great if you have nasty props that
no one wants to touch.
Tells the patrons to do something horrible they do not want to do. “Touch me….I want to
touch you…they tell me if you touch me that I can touch you!” “Get in the coffin. Uncle Bud
don’t need it no more..GET IN!” “Kiss the pig. Let me hear you squeal like a pig!” “Give me
your shoes. I want your shoes!” Be prepared for your customers to follow your commands.
Asks patrons questions they do not want to answer. “What’s your name? What’s your friend’
s name? Does she like dark places? Are you scared?” “What do your insides look like?
Purple or red…let’s see!” You might have to tweek this one a bit because many people
have their heads down just trying to get through. If you want them to answer you find a
creative way to keep them in your area until they give you one.
Begs the patrons not to do something. “No. Don’t go in there! Please! Don’t leave me
here!” “Don’t look at me..please I’m disgusting. Don’t look at me….” “Stay here with me. I’m
scared. Please stay here..they want to hurt you…” This is the play on reverse psychology.
You’re kinda letting them know that you warned them and BOOM!
The Threatener: “I’m going to _____you” “I’m going to find you in the dark…” Make sure
when you threaten that something happens to them soon afterward.