Boo Who? Adventures in Scareacting

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Anyways, more people trickled into the room while I completed my paperwork.  By the time I turned mine in, there was probably a good 70 or 80 folks in there.  I didn’t know a soul, but many of them knew each other from previous gigs.  There were some career character performers in the room, and they were sharing war stories.  I tried not to pay attention, but hearing them talk candidly about performing as Darth Vader, Chewbacca, Goofy, Sweet Ums, and Beast was fascinating stuff.   I know this stuff is old hat for park vets, but as a complete noob I really appreciated an early peek behind the veil.  Seeing second and third hand accounts online is one thing, but to hear the guy who literally had to stay in character as Beast while a damn spider was skulking around the inside of the character’s eye was an entirely different thing.

Of course, I had to play it cool and pretend I wasn’t incredibly interested.  Didn’t want to seem like the creepy too-eager guy.

Eventually they called out 15 numbers.  I was one of those numbers, so I collected my things and headed out.  In the hallway, a coordinator introduced herself and gave us the very basic run down.  We were going to head over to the audition room now, and we’d meet the casting directors.  Some of us would be selected; some of us would not be selected.  If we didn’t make the cut, it wasn’t the end of the world.  Our info was going to be on file, and they continue to cast roles all the way up to mid-October.  They had already been casting for a while, so at this point they were filling specific roles.  As a reference point, our audition numbers were assigned sequentially, and they started with 1.

I was 2571.

Laser effects in Toon Lagoon at Halloween Horror Nights 15 (2005)

So it’s safe to say I wasn’t really brimming over with confidence at that point, but whatever.  It was still an interesting experience and I would be in the system in case people fell out…

We entered the audition room – it very much resembled a dance rehearsal room, with a full-size mirror running the length of a wall.  We were introduced to five casting folks, and they asked each of us to step forward, give our name, and tell them what our favorite role as a scareactor was.  For those of us who hadn’t been a scareactor before, we were just asked to make up what we would like to do.

I was in the third row, so I had time to formulate a response.  Of our group, I would say maybe a third had previous experience.  I had none to speak of (I have been killed twice on film.  Please refer to the early works of Tommy Faircloth for more information).  When it was my turn, I decided to tell them that I had never been a scareactor, but I had been one of the Director’s volunteer victims many years ago…

Infestation – Halloween Horror Nights 13 (2003)

Yeah, that was fun.

Yes, those are roaches on my damn head!

We were thanked, and we all went into an adjoining room while they made their choices.  We all exchanged nervous small talk (and I was actually surprised by my nervousness.  You know that part in A Chorus Line where they’re all like “I really need this job.  God I need this job?”  That wasn’t me.  I didn’t need this job.  Karen and I both have full time jobs and successful side hustles.   The roof is staying over our heads and the lights are staying on).  There was one kid in there that I think most of us all developed a liking to.  He was really, really excited and I think his excitement was infectious to us all.

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