REVIEW: Dying to Be a Haunt Actor? This Book Tells You How

Review: Author Larry R. Johnson Jr. Unveils ‘Handbook for the Aspiring Haunt Actor’

Do you love screams, laughter and once in a while, an uncontrolled pants-wetting before your very eyes? (And we’re not just talking about the kids.)

As a youngster, while the other children were dreaming of becoming firefighters or teachers, were you the kid daydreaming that one day, you’d be Freddy Krueger?

Do you live to see someone handsome or gorgeous made horrific with a few flicks of dripping home-made goo?

Then you might be just like this guy. Growing up in his North Carolina home, future author Larry R. Johnson Jr. dreamed of something bigger (and more faux blood-covered) than the average.

“I Just Wanted to Make People Ugly”

It all started innocently enough.

Or…not.

The young Larry knew he was different – and creative. His fascination with the ordinary-turned-macabre led him on the path to one day becoming a haunt actor, he says.

“I wanted to do the stuff they did in movies that made people ugly,” Johnson explains in the Introduction to his new ebook, Handbook for the Aspiring Haunt Actor.

He continues in the gotcha! deadpan you’ll quickly come to know and love, “I also wanted to be a pro wrestler. Mostly, though, I wanted to make people ugly.”

Ugly. Got it.

Grim and Gainful Employment

He succeeded. Johnson went on to become an actor in one of North Carolina’s largest and best-known haunt attractions, Hacker House.

Was it easy? Well, yes…and no. Enter Handbook for the Aspiring Haunt Actor.

In this delightful, dark and just-a-little-devilish manual, Johnson details his surprising first step into haunt acting (and what he learned along the way); his evolution since then; and every down-and-dirty detail of how to win that dream haunt acting gig of your own.

What’s Inside the Book

Handbook for the Aspiring Haunt Actor reveals all of the following, in a folksy, fun and occasional profanity-marked (we loved it) let’s-sit-down-and-talk-over-coffee tone:

  • Why a haunt actor audition really is an audition – and how to be ready
  • Getting the “scare” your prospective boss wants to see
  • Improv and thinking on the move
  • Dressing the part (and feeling comfortable while “in character”)
  • How to communicate with your interviewer so you get the gig

A Haunting Future

Johnson notes that it doesn’t all stop at simply landing the job. You’ll also learn:

  • What “oops, that’s not in my contract” work you’ll get (like hands-on set building) – and why you should be a “yes man” when it’s offered
  • Getting along with your coworkers
  • Evolving your character and refining your craft
  • Movements, sounds and your character’s “voice”
  • What to do when haunt visitors heckle, throw a punch, or just won’t give you the scare reaction you’re looking for

And can we just put this out there? The makeup and costuming tips are phenomenal. From making your own faux blood, pus and scars to dressing for scary success, Johnson doesn’t miss a trick – and he’ll definitely save you some coin, whether you’re going pro or staying closer to home to terrify unsuspecting trick-or-treaters.

The Quick & Dirty

PRICE: You can’t beat it. Currently, the book is listed in Kindle format for $1.99. (Please note: prices can change. Click the image of the book above for details.)

STYLE: Down-to-earth, occasionally crude, surprisingly funny, sneak-up-on you smart, with tons of informational meat on its bones…it’s EXACTLY what we love at Halloween Alliance.

LENGTH: It’s a very readable, totally filler-free 76 pages. No word will be wasted; even with the engaging style, Johnson gives you a bang for your buck in quality, immediately usable information.

WE SUGGEST THIS BOOK FOR: People who want to be come paid/professional haunt actors; people who want to be part of their own home haunt/scare on Halloween; people who are already haunt actors but want to hone their craft; anyone wishing to make decor, particularly moving or stationary monster or human props, look more realistic.

 

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