I’ve worked in many different Haunts over the last 8 years from the small budget army tents with simple tarps to the massive haunts like Knotts Scary Farm in Orange County, CA and the Fright Dome at Circus Circus hotel in Las Vegas, NV, as well as everything in between. To be a top actor at any haunt requires a number of things; passion, stamina, and at times a thick skin. I would encourage anyone looking into taking part in this lifestyle to do your homework and research, research, research. Find out what haunt you feel most comfortable with and look at previous years videos and pictures. From those you can come up with a concept of a character you might be interested in bringing to the haunt.
The best part of large scale haunts are the stroller or streets positions. They are given more room to play and tend to be the best talent. If you come into an audition with nothing but a growl or a scream you will likely be dropped into a house or maze. Creativity is what will earn their respect in that audition. If you can draw, have some concept art done. If you’ve done smaller scale acting or had a scary Halloween costume that shows your make up or costume design skills, bring in pictures. A portfolio will show them you are a serious actor and not the normal high school student who wants to earn some extra cash while doing something they think will be fun. Be ready to do some crazy things as a scare actor audition can get quite strange very quickly.
Every Haunt is different, but there are a few things that are universal through them all. They are physically demanding (most professional haunters lose upwards of 20 lbs during the haunt season), guests can be abusive both physically and verbally (this is where the thick skin comes into play), but if you lose yourself in the madness, you will have people crawling to get away from you while they struggle to remain in the reality that it is all for fun.
Schizo The Klown