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Discussion Starter #1
I am 14,

I really really want to act in a professional haunted attraction, the thing is, No haunted attraction around my area (orange county, CA) hire people under 18. I was wondering if i get a work permit from my school, and an entertainers permit from the State of California. If a haunted attraction would let me act and take part in their haunt. I have a huge passion for this business, and i don't care how hard i have to work to achieve the certain goals needed to take part in a haunted attraction. I act very mature when it comes to this subject, i do not mess around and do exactly what everybody tells me to do. I have researched the hard work, long hours, and devotion needed to take part in these events. I'm going to train myself so i have the stamina for my age to take part in the event. I can not really explain how much i want this or how much i have a passion for this business. So i am just looking for any advice or suggestions from people to help me get what i need to act in a professional haunted house. I am hoping that if people see how much of a passion i have, and how much work i will put into it, maybe they will hire me, but i'm not sure.

Thank you for listening,

Gorelust13
 

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Child of the Machine
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Hello there GoreLust13.

I've been working in a haunted house since I was 12, and to be honest- I started out small. I started working in a Non-Profit Haunt run by my friend's youth organization. The best thing that came out of that place was the talent I found that I had, and it wasn't in just acting. I did costuming, I was the head makeup person, and I also helped do set and room design.

Well, last year- I started working in a Haunted House called Dream Reapers, It's rated number 1 Scariest in Illinois, and it's basically a pretty big thing for me to be doing with my life.
I'm currently mentoring under one of the lead makeup artists, and plan on becoming one there.
And I'm only 16.

If you set your sights high, granted- you may not find what your looking for just yet. But if you start out small, and work your way up- you'll be able to train yourself better and receive better credit and talent when it's due, and comes to you.

I started working at Dream Reapers because it was a sequence of events, I didn't just show up there one day- I was asked to by the managers OF Dream Reapers. They saw I could be doing so much more, and using my talent wisely.

So, My advice to you is to set your sights a little lower- you may never know what will happen. Fate is a remarkable thing. :]

Take care, and Good luck
-Anthony
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Thank you Anthony

Thank you bud,

I did forget to mention that i worked in a haunted house when i was 12 and 13, And i designed/built/acted a whole entire home haunted house. It was a very successful haunted house, and i was excited that all my work in designing, building, and acting had paid off in the end. I am just trying to go one step further.

I have also taken and currently in drama classes at my school to learn more about acting.

Thank you for taking a quick look,

Gorelust13
 

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ur in luck if you dont mind a bit of a drive...

the haunt i run with my parents is about 25 min away from orange county.

ur more than welcome to help us out if u really want. we dont pay though, were just a non-profit deal and we donate proceeds to a local hospital.

but we need more people. click on the link in my signature if ur interested :) it shows a map and a video to show you wat its like
 

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We could use you here in Ohio....ha. I've been using boys from 10 to 14 for 4 years now. Some under act and some over act of which neither is very good. I have a few good ones who stay in their scare zone's and I have one adult is is very good along with myself. It takes a certain temperment to do it well and don't break character when friends come in to heckle you. The best places to go to study good actors are you local hayrides,houses and amusement parks but keep in mine these are older bigger teens 16-25 who are more imposing in height and statue so their scares can be more effective. Its an art that takes good pratice. last year I handed out ribbon awards for best costumes and acting and to my surprise my smallest youngest and totally new to scaring folks did one of the best jobs. His dad came by to see him in action and told me later on that he would not say hi or break character what-so-ever. He was into it and made his dad proud because he had never done anything like that before and didn't know he could !
 

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Bringing the Dead to Life
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I would definitely try to apply to a non-profit haunt instead of a professional one. Non profit haunts seem to be more accepting of age. I'm 16, and I worked at a non-profit haunt when I was 13 after the professional haunt would only accept 16+ people.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
See i can understand why professional haunts might not want kids under 18 because of the maturity level...but

I think they should atleast take applicants for younger ages to see if they HAVE the maturity level, or have the passion that it takes to work these haunts.

I agree completetly that younger kids can be pains in the ***, trust me i ran my own haunt.

But i think they should take more interviews from younger people. Because i think younger people have the potential to be VERY scare if they can act...especially little girls...creepy little girls creep the heck outa me! LOL

Lemme know if you agree

-Gorelust13
 

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It all comes down to one thing.....insurability. When it comes to running a professional haunt, you need to have insurance.....really GOOD insurance. Most companies are hesitant to provide insurance to professional haunts whose actors are under the age of 18, as the liability factor involved. In some rare cases, they will grant a waiver for a haunt that employs individuals at least 16 years old. In that instance it is up to the haunt owner to decide if they want to risk hiring someone so young. Yes, a waiver is granted, but it can cost the owner extra $ on their insurance premium/payment.

Although you may be a good haunter.....are you worth a professional haunt spending the extra money to cover you...?
 

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Discussion Starter #9
I know but, if i get a workers permit from school, and an entertainers permit of the state of California it grants the waiver and covers if i accidentally hurt somebody that's why professional haunts require these if they even consider hiring a person under the age of 18.

But, i think it IS worth the extra money if the young kids will be reliable, and if they will do whatever it takes to be a good actor. I really think it's worth it...
 

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I went though a pro haunt last season (2008) that the pro haunter had teamed with the local boy scouts and the entire staff of actors were boy scouts. it was neat to see and was the setup for quite a few scares, as you would think that there is no way that could be a person it must just be a small prop and then SCARE!

I guess what I am saying is don't give up, keep trying and somebody will eventually hire you.
 

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Hey buddy. Nice to see you are interested it is a lot of fun. I work a Dungeon of Doom in Illinois. I didn't start working for money until last year. I worked at a charity haunted house for 7 years before I switched. No worries, something will come ur way
 

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The Halloween King
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I'm just gonna repeat the whole insurance thing as rightly said by Madmike.

It's not so much a case of matureness level, things like that can be determined in a simple pre-hiring interview.

It's a case of the line of work involves what's known as hazardous working conditions. Most of the time your working in the dark, poorly lit, often cramped and unstable spaces with a high chance of injury from the workplace and possibility of injury from members of the public, either them on you, or worse for the company, you on them.

Not sure what your work permit and school permit covers, but unfortunately for you i doubt it covers any of the really high end lawsuit stuff like injury to members of the public.

Like others have said though don't despair, just staff off small and local and by the time your 16-18 you'll be legal AND have a whole lot of experience to put on your CV which will put you ahead of other candidates for those big commercial jobs.
 

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Reaper
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I'm not sure about California, but here there is a Haunted Prison, the Mansfield Reformatory, they only take volunteers and they have to be 18, or at least a few years ago when I checked, because of the liability- the place has lead paint, uneven floors, wobbly stairs, etc. There are local low budget haunts who are always taking volunteer actors. There was also a haunted woods type of thing that takes kids under 18, but i'm not sure how young they do accept. Maybe you could find something like that? If nothing else you'll have to wait a few years :(
 

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Lord of the Cemetery
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Legal aspects aside, one of the best actors I ever had in my home haunt was 5 years old.
Little Alfie is my friends nephew, and was the star of a stunt which we called "disappearing Alfie". Alfie would mingle with a group of TOTS in his cutesy little halloween costume, and at a signal would seperate from them, go to a predetermined spot and pretend to cry (which he did most convincingly). Invariably a well meaning adult, usually a woman, would start towards him to see what the matter was at which point a slide door would open and my son in full zombie or Michael Myers make up would burst out & snatch Alfie from behind accompanied by a loud blast from the Zombie siren and flashing strobe. the door would then slam shut and Alfie could be heard screaming inside. The whle effect took only around a second or two. Door, sounds and lights were operated by another person behind the false wall. the shock factor of this stunt was amazing, and on more than one occasion we had to actually prove to people that Alfie was really o.k.
The only drawback was that Alfie laughed so much that we had to give him time to re-compose himself before the next lot of TOTs came through..
Unfortunately my friends brother and his wife moved away earlier last year, and I have yet to find another "Alfie"..:(
 

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Lord of the Cemetery
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Baron, I am so loving that! We use "planted victims" as well....really ups the freak-out factor.
Sure does, Mike! The point I'm making is that the age of the actors is immaterial really. It's how dedicated they are to the role they're playing for that couple of hours or so. Whilst a 5 year old can in no way be described as mature, I've had several of my son's friends in their early 20's who would break character any time a teenage girl glanced in their general direction..
A real pain, as I had to take several minutes of valuable haunting time to batter them around the head with my cane to get them back into character:)

And yeah...little kids, especially girls, can be as creepy as all hell.
 
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