For the last 2 weeks of October, leading up to Halloween, I was involved in an immersive physical theatre performance called FEAR at Avon Valley, as a scare actor. The event was open to the public, who willingly bought tickets to walk through scare mazes, filled with actors like myself. With the three main attractions being run by Unlocked Vision, I was placed into Anarchy: LIVE. This scare maze was created through the idea of a real life Hunger Games, with customers being the ‘fresh batch’ of contestants for each new game. The maze consisted of three roles to act in – There were the Hosts, who welcomed everyone into the maze, the Contestant’s, who had gone violently mad from surviving the maze so long, and then finally the Cannibal’s, whose only aim was to eat, attack and intimidate anyone who crossed their path. After dabbling in the role of a contestant, I was placed as a cannibal for the rest of the performances, truly finding my niche within the ‘Skinny Maze’ – a thin palette-ed maze cloaked in strobe lights, smoke and darkness.
I learnt so many new things being involved in such a large scale production: I learnt close up improvisation [having to react to every customer differently to truly immerse them in the experience], how a close knit team works under pressure [with a code word of ‘Wilson’ easily yelled and spread like wild fire for any difficult customers easily, and an E-Stop button readily available for any emergencies] and how important communication is in a high energy paced environment [with a record time of 4 minutes, a broken piece of set, smashed wall or any other safety issues were quickly sorted by the maintenance team running through the maze. after being called on the radios situated in the acting corridors].
The experience was unlike any job I’d ever had to endure – especially when the aim was to make as many people cry, scream, or wet themselves as you can. Naturally, it’s not the most common job description, but it is certainly one I will consider again in the future.