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Scare Acting at Halloween

Posted on 3rd September 2014
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Scare Acting at Halloween

Clown Logo of Karnival Costumes your Halloween specialists for Fancy Dress and Costume Accessories
Do you ever wish that you could find that extra something to really give your haunted house or Halloween display that extra lift? Well, if you do and you’ve ever been to a scare attraction where somebody has scared the heck out of you, then a quick lesson in Scare Acting might just be for you!
According to The Scream School, who offer a one-day course on the subject, a “scareactor’ is a theatrical performer who portrays horror characters and engages audiences in a scary entertainment environment, such as a scare attraction or live horror experience”.

In the purest sense of scare acting or scareacting, they identify that it’s not suited to everyone, but for those with a talent for terror it can be both fun and a lucrative occupation. So what type of person makes the best scare actor, well again according to the guys at The Scream School, it’s those with experience of performing in murder mysteries, street theatre or improvisational theatre who usually adapt most easily to this very unique style of performance and it should be remembered that scare acting is very different from traditional forms of performance as scareactors often perform in extremely challenging environments which can be both physically and mentally demanding.
And this is where we think there is a cross-over point between undertaking scareacting within a professional haunted house or scare attraction as you would be capable of doing following their training and recreating the same experience within your own Halloween environment or party.  Unlike these trained actors who may find themselves working in darkness, claustrophobic conditions, strobe lighting and heavy fog, unpleasant theatrical scents, very loud soundscapes, sometimes wearing false heads or extendable arms, oversized costumes, latex prosthetics and heavy makeup, you would have total control over the environment and character you create. 
So where do we think you should start? Well, like everything, the success your success at scareacting will come down to the level of planning that you undertake.  Scareacting at any level is not just about wearing a Halloween costume and shouting ‘Boo’ at people – although that can be quite fun as well.  It’s about taking care of the details and adopting a character who can be integrated into your haunted house environment.  As part of the planning you should be looking to determine where your Halloween props and decorations will be placed, how they will be lit etc and then choose your Halloween costume to best reflect the character you’ve chosen to be. 
Foe example, if you’ve collected a lot of Halloween gravestones and tombstones and the environment you create represents a graveyard complete with rolling fog and eerie noises then it’s probably best to select a ghoul or ghost costume.  If you’ve created a mad scientist’s laboratory with severed body parts and brains in jars etc, then you could opt for a mad scientist costume or even a blood soaked surgeon’s outfit.    
Now having established where you will be located and the character you will portray including any make-up effects, you’ll need to establish just how you will entertain and engage your audience.  Favorite here would be to try and master the art of a delivering your scare in a controlled fashion. Close interaction with audiences requires confidence, timing and pace, plus an ability to ad-lib around a story structure.  This is okay for the professionals so we believe that it’s best to deliver any narrative through short, well rehearsed scripts.  Part of the reason for this is that if it remains unscripted, time will fly by and the number of scares you can deliver will be limited. By strictly limiting the time spent on each scare and then returning to your start point, hopefully out of view or in deep shadow, you’ll be able to concentrate on delivering the most fun to the biggest audience.

When planning the set-yup for your own scare attraction, try to include any animatronics or mechanical props with easy reach so that you can set them off either as part of your overall story-telling narrative or as an additional scare. Here we would include items like our 7ft tall Reanimated Monster Halloween prop or something similar. As a bonus you’ll be able to keep a watching eye on it so that it doesn't come to any harm.

And if you enjoy the experience, who knows you may even want to attend the Scream School course and look to work in this most unusual but very rewarding of jobs!
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