A lot of people get confused about the Pre-Scare Orientation. What is it? Should I go? Is it gonna be boring or will it be so much fun that I’ll regret it if I miss it? Not-knowing-what-to-expect is part of the adventure and we were very pleased to have over 60 volunteers in attendance last night who were willing to brave The Unknown.
The first part of the Pre-Scare was educational. We talked about safety and how to make a fool of oneself. We also danced. Briefly. And then groups got to make-up their own monsters and place them in one of our haunts. Volunteers got to see the costume and make-up area and then the night ended with roasted marshmallows and a Hay Rack Ride.
School District 13 Haunted Attraction isn’t just about teaching kids how to yell, “Boo!” at strangers. It’s theater. But it isn’t the same kind of theater that involves scripts and a lot of pre-performance direction. Rather, SD-13 is more like a mix between interactive theater and improvisational acting. Improv, like the comedy routines you’d see on a show like Whose Line Is It Anyway? is all about tuning into the moment and thinking fast on your feet. Interactional theater on the other hand is acting that’s done in a setting like a living museum where people act out the day-to-day routines of historical figures so tourists can interact directly with them.
By next week, when our volunteers show up for their first shift at SD-13, they’ll be given a character that’s both manageable for them, but still challenging. The idea is to push each volunteer’s threshold so that they can see what they’re really capable of doing. Every night of the festival will be different. Every night they’ll learn something new.
So the Pre-Scare isn’t just about introducing new volunteers to SD-13. It also gives us an opportunity to get to know the new volunteers so that we can find the best place for them and hopefully make their time with us positively unforgettable.