You might have heard of Universal Studios Singapore’s annual Halloween Horror Nights event, also known as HHN4. Heck, you may have even ventured in and conquered the haunted houses for good. Whatever it is, here is some insight and perspectives of a scare actor.
Long story short, I first went through walk-in auditions to apply. Even if you have what it takes, they still need to know you in order to fit a character to your physique. A month later and you get in. Couple weeks later and ta-da! It’s the rehearsals. Fast forward about a fortnight and it’s showtime for 13 nights!
Here’s a lowdown on HHN4: 1 Opening Scaremony, 4 haunted houses and 4 scare zones. Among the haunted houses, there is one where alien activity takes place, and it is none other than The Lab, where I am in.
Certified by Dejiki as the scariest haunted house in HHN4, kudos to you if you braved the long queues and made your way in! If you’ve been there, I’m the first in the room filled with aliens in glass capsules. The one whom you thought was stuck in a glass casing and can’t reach out to you. Hope I jolted a memory.
As a scare actor in The Lab, one of the 4 haunted houses in HHN4, scaring the wits out of guests is clearly not too difficult. It also helped that my room has a random lights out effect, which is a moment in pitch black amongst aliens. What’s worse than that, right?
On the other side, scare actors rotate amongst 2 performers each, both on 30- and 45-minute shifts. While you rave about your experiences with aliens in The Lab once you make your way out, performers also laugh about hilarious moments when scaring you guys in there. Such as when someone falls down, gets tricked or tries to interact and be funny with us. While it’s our discretion to interact with you, we are advised not to. So count yourself lucky if we shook hands or took a selfie.
Seeing lines of crowds coming through our doors hour after hour, I soon figured out the different types of people to scare, and ways to scare them. The crowds comprise of the R.I.P tour groups, the couples, the families, the group of friends, and rarely, the soloists. Some are easily intimidated, others put on a brave front, and the rest presumably have no emotions.
At peak periods, there are times when the crowd just slows to a halt, and we end up staring at each other. Awkward? Maybe. Scary? Totally, as that’s when I have your full attention and can pull all scares on you. I may do the same acts each night, but my interest stems from the new faces I see each time. The raw fear gives us the motivation to continue, and relish in your screams.
While it gets busy in peak periods, there comes a time of loneliness when nobody comes through your doors. It happens, especially towards the end. The feeling of isolation and slight trepidation is real and ever present. Having gone through The Lab myself, the place does feel scary. From the alien costumes to the special effects and props, everything fits into place perfectly.
Being in a glass capsule with nowhere to go and surrounded with other aliens, it did feel creepy the first time I stepped in my area. Of course none of them came to life, thank goodness. I won’t say what I heard about other areas though.
As I write this post, it is November 1st, the last day of HHN4. I love my job, my alien character, as it’s the only time you get to scare people. All good things come to an end, and that end is today. The experience so far has been nothing short of fulfilling, made even more memorable with the friendships forged among performers.
Think you have what it takes to scare? Go on and try for it next year!
Disclaimer: These opinions are entirely the writer’s own and do not represent the views of Resorts World Sentosa and Universal Studios Singapore in any way.