We’re nearly done with a Halloween season unlike ever before. Drive-through experiences are the new normal and we’re all finding virtual ways to get scared. One constant, however, is how scare-actors are undervalued and overlooked as an integral part of the horror experience.
After consulting with scare-actors from major seasonal attractions, we put together a list of considerations haunt-owners can take into account. Aside from common COVID-19 era considerations, owners should also:
Set specific boundaries with your audience AND cast - Especially when social distancing is critical, less accidents happen when roles and spaces are well-defined.
Compensate generously - Scare-acting is still acting, and these performers are choosing to share their time and talent with your production.
Be lenient with break times and scheduling - Horror roles are often aggressively physical. Everyone has a different relationship with their body, so respect their rest-periods. This is especially true for improv-heavy roles. Remember to supply water, tea, and honey!
Trust your cast - If an actor brings up a safety concern or shares an uncomfortable experience, value them by believing them.
Enforce mask policies for the entire cast AND audience - Working together is NOT quarantining together. Their families will be grateful.
Treat cast equally - Your most visible characters and lead roles should not equate to more valued actors.
Cast responsibly - Your cast (and overall team) should be diverse, so be sure to understand what story you’re telling and who should tell and portray it. Be open to feedback and consider changing content.