Archive for Daffodil

Sinful Sunday

Posted in SIN Chronicles with tags , , , , , , , on October 18, 2016 by bluefall8

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It’s no secret that Sundays are much slower than Fridays and Saturdays but ticket sales were up noticeably from one week prior and a couple of noteworthy groups kept things interesting. All in all, it wasn’t a bad few hours of haunting.

Once again I was charged up upon arrival and beat a hasty path to the front of the house but discovered no guests present at the ticket booth nor inside haunt zero. However, I did note that Brother James was not at the entrance of the haunt, his usual post. Instead, we were joined for the evening by Sister Nena whose lashing tongue and no-nonsense attitude were a welcome addition to the SIN brood.

SCARE TACTICS

Devoid of playmates, Vermin forcefully exited the front of the building and dared somebody to look at him. This is one of the routines I love to employ when the house is empty. I bust out the front doors with purpose, like a man on fire and the first person to look into my eyes becomes the target. In most cases the person in question first has a look of apprehension and fear in their eyes and then they retreat a few steps before attempting to clarify my status with the haunted house.

I think it works well for three reasons, the first is the crazed state — I can draw up real anger and I think people sense that. The long, wild hair whipping about my face doesn’t hurt either. The second reason is my costume or more accurately, my lack of a traditional costume. I’m basically in street clothes so it’s reasonable to believe that I may just be another customer or some unknown guy who’s upset about who knows what. Third, and this is key, the customer cannot yet have interacted with me. I’m a total stranger looking pissed off and unkempt and I’m coming right at them. I think people know fairly quickly that I’m likely a part of the show but when combined the aforementioned elements are enough to plant that seed of doubt and that’s all it takes. It’s a rush to pull off this scare.

BEING VERMIN

Daffodil was already engaged with a group of three, two tall males and a female who all looked to be in their early to mid 20s. One was quiet and standoffish while the other two were talkative, affable and primed to be scared. Vermin was all piss and vinegar, issuing insults and commands. I specifically targeted the tall, dark-haired male who talked too much for his own good. He compared me to the character Jesus from The Walking Dead as he spoke to his friends as if I wasn’t present and after a few iterations of the comment I got in his face and said, “Call me Jesus one more time, boy.” He was nervous but I could also tell he was enjoying the whole routine and wasn’t likely to swing at me which isn’t true of all customers. After some additional interaction from Daffodil and Vermin the trio entered SIN.

When they had exited the attraction, we picked up where we had left off. Daffodil introduced a gagging bit in which she coughed up blood and then ran off frightened. Two of the three expressed genuine concerned so of course I just played along. Truth be told I was momentarily confused myself because Austin, the actress behind Daffodil, has had a sinus infection in recent days. By the time she had run away I was certain it was all an act but the knowledge of her recent ailment did give me pause if ever so briefly. Regardless, she pulled it off well and then reemerged and chalked it all up to an absurd condition called, Clownitis.

As it was slow at the moment, we continued to entertain the trio. I inquired about a necklace that Jabber-Jaw was wearing and he began to rattle off facts about something that vaguely registered as anime. I’m not a big anime fan so the reaction to come was one of genuine boredom and borderline contempt. I held my right hand near his face, cut him off mid-sentence and said, “Stop talking.” His friends laughed as if they too found his love of anime tiresome.

The tall quiet one was getting a bit antsy, he was named Malik. I dropped his name and he seemed surprised. The female in the group reassured him that I had probably heard them use it which was of course how I knew it but they didn’t know that. She turned to me and with a hint of pleading reassurance said, “That’s how you knew it right?” Whenever I can I like to use the neither-confirm-nor-deny strategy because I feel to simply imply something is much more unsettling than plainly answering a question. I issued that strangled Vermin laugh and said, “Yeah, let’s go with that. Whatever makes you comfortable.” People are supremely weirded out when you possess knowledge that they think you shouldn’t know. It’s a beautiful thing.

I proceeded to take a thoughtful, purposeful look at the license plate of their car which drew a reaction and then ripped an impressive chunk of my hair from my head and gave it to the female as a memento. It freaked her out, she asked me to stop while the act was in progress and even stepped back several paces. As I handed it to her she questioned the authenticity of it. It was real and it was more hair than I had planned to yank out of my head. I don’t believe I’ll be doing that again.

The group paid Daffodil and myself a lot of compliments and I was flattered but I wasn’t about to let it show on my face. Talking Tommy repeatedly asked about our accents and seemed determined to examine the folks behind the characters but to pull back that curtain so cavalierly would only have been a disappointment and neither of us seemed inclined to oblige. We took a picture with two of the three (mousy Malik snapped the photo) and then they departed. I liked them, they were good people.

ENTER THE TWILIGHT ZONE

The night was drawing to a close when a group of five turned up. I was just inside the door of haunt zero when I spotted them at the ticket booth; four girls and one guy. I estimated that they were all in their late 20s to early 30s. I sauntered over as only Vermin can saunter and I eyed them creepily, the way a mangy wolf might look if you substituted hunger for perversion.

Ready to savor the interaction I noticed an attractive brunette among them and as I looked closer I became slightly unnerved and then fascinated. Why, you ask? Good question. I managed to remain in character but the scene spooked me. This woman was the spitting image of a good friend of mine; it could’ve been her twin sister. Granted, her build was slightly different but the hair color was the same as was her complexion. She had the same eyes, same smile; she even possessed a few shockingly similar, minute mannerisms. It was freaky as hell. I thought I was staring at my friend and it was definitely not my friend for those of you who may be wondering.

As Vermin I informed her of the striking, spooky resemblance and even dubbed her, Doppelganger. I stalked circles around her so that I could examine her features from all angles. I was legitimately mesmerized by this woman who said her name was Lena. When her group had emerged from the house after being chased by Edward and his chainsaw that is — I examined her face further and elaborated on her unbelievable resemblance to my friend.

She and her friends prodded me for more information and I joked that I would contact them through social media. You see, they’d already let slip their names, employer and the city in which they lived. When I strung all of that together and flatly stated that it was more than enough to find them, they exchanged amused but slightly concerned looks as if it had just dawned on them that indeed, the information was likely sufficient to track someone down.

As I write, I’m not convinced that this Lena and my friend were not separated at birth. The resemblance was truly surreal and it gave me goosebumps.

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Lunatic Fringe

Posted in SIN Chronicles with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on October 15, 2016 by bluefall8

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PSYCHO PROPANE COCAINE CRAZY

I rolled into SIN on Friday night like a storm. I wasn’t able to arrive until roughly 9:30pm because of work and indeed it was due to an incident at work that had me supercharged and on fire. Some of my fellow actors were in need of bathroom breaks so I spent the first half hour or so rotating between several rooms — first Bundy, then Ramirez and finally, Dahmer. I paced the floor and pulled at my hair because that energy had to go somewhere.

In Bundy I disparaged an attempt at humor from one group and punctuated the point by booting a chair across the room. Once in Ramirez I absorbed the space and crafted a few scares; I was so psyched up I begin jumping on a bed that was located in one corner of the room. I wasn’t aware of it at the time but a fellow actor from an adjacent haunt had poked her head into the room at that moment, witnessed my frenzied state and slowly backed out. We shared a laugh about it later.

When some guests did arrive in Ramirez, I commanded one of them to sit in a chair, placed a troll doll at their feet and demanded it be worshiped as a God. There was hesitation of course but at least one of them eventually complied with the absurd demands just in time for one of my co-workers, Danielle, to enter and witness the odd scene. The trio soon fled led by a visibly shaken teenage male named Fidel, oh Fidel was a great target indeed. Danny and I shared several laughs about that moment throughout the night.

In Dahmer I paced the large kitchen like a madman. I picked up a skull and argued with it forcibly; when a group would enter I purposely ignored them momentarily but made sure to block their path by manically pacing back and forth. Inevitably my disagreement with the skull led to throwing a bowl across the room, an action that elicited excitement and fright. I also climbed a top an empty steel drum and surprised one group by leaping from it as soon as they’d entered the room.

I definitely prefer to roam but the limited time I spent in each of these rooms on Friday was a great way to channel my agitation and engage in some jump scares that are harder to come by in the queue line.

CRAZY WHITE BOY

Although that initial surge of energy was burned off a flood of adrenaline continued to course through my veins for much of the night and was probably best applied with a couple of self-absorbed rich kids from Grosse Ile. One of them actually tried to buy Farley, Murray the Clown’s signature blade and when that failed went on to brag about his Maserati and the company he owned at the age of 17. All of which was handed to him by mommy and daddy, or course. Well that’s all the ammunition we really needed, although he and his resentful buddy would provide much more fodder.

Vermin, Daffodil and Dr. Giggles assailed the duo with a hail of insults and mind games that I like to think genuinely shook the pair and gave them a taste of humility. Richie Rich professed to have a generous spirit so I retorted,  “Well then, make it rain, Scrooge McDuck.” You see, in the carnival that is my mind there is no more cartoonish representation of obscene wealth than the Duck Tales patriarch.

The line drew laughs from all involved and provided a moment of levity which was good because one of our less-than-merry band was about to get heavy. Dr. Giggles issued a harsh rebuke and informed the pair of the charitable nature of the haunted house itself. Following the tongue lashing the boys claimed that they would return to their fancy car and retrieve some money for tickets, but to no one’s surprise we never saw them again. I hope their dreams were haunted by our words.

The 11 o’clock hour brought to SIN a rough looking group from Detroit who were weirded out every bit as much as their refined counterparts from Grosse Ile. A tall, skinny 20-something male squirmed and recoiled whenever I approached him. While in haunt zero he paid me an enormous compliment aided by the use of profanity as it was, “What the fuck! You’re not even wearin’ a costume. Yeah, you’re intimidatin’ as fuck! You’re like one of those crazy white boys, aren’t you?!” Guilty. In a night that featured so many memorable moments that just might have been my favorite. It’s exchanges such as this that let me know Vermin is doing his job.

FLIGHT TO THE FINISH

Once the final group of the night had entered the house I sprinted over to the H.H. Holmes haunt to execute a scare with Grace that we’ve had success with on a number of parties. Typically, Grace plays the role of the murderous hotel magnate but for this particular scare she shed that role and slipped into the skin of a victim. I crawled under the bed and waited for my cue. When the couple entered Grace began begging for their help and spoke of an awful man who was soon to return. The terrified couple had no interest in helping the poor girl and when they attempted to scamper from the room I crawled from beneath the bed and watched two adult human beings melt into a pile of quivering goo.

The male threw himself against the far wall and then darted in front of his girlfriend. She didn’t seem to notice however, because her eyes were only half open, her head jerked from side to side like a broken robot, her right hand was held aloft and shook uncontrollably. For all the world, the only way I can describe the scene is as if I’d watch an out-of-water fish flop like it were experiencing a seizure.

And it was glorious to behold.

House of Fire

Posted in SIN Chronicles with tags , , , , , , , , on October 9, 2016 by bluefall8

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I arrived at SIN last night around 8pm and shortly thereafter the house would be rocking for the next three and a half hours. There were so many instances of quality interaction that it’s hard to keep them all straight so I’ll plunge into the highlights momentarily.

But first, a few notes on the cast and crew. When I arrive, if possible, I like to go through the house and get a feel for the vibe. As with any volunteer effort there can be a fairly significant change in crew from night to night and week to week. It is typically during this walk through that I release Vermin and I will interact with everyone as that character. If I’m not familiar with someone I might introduce myself (as Vermin of course) or else I’ll take the opportunity to mess with them.

There were a few new faces throughout the haunt but each seemed excited to be there and committed to the act. I never did get a good look at the kid in the dining room, so I’m not sure if he was new or not, but he was a frenzied ball of energy when I escorted a trio of jumpy ladies though the attraction not long after my arrival. The hallway following the Gacy room featured several notable additions which included a green laser, a neon-colored sign that read “Clown Lives Matter” and of course, public enemy number one: clowns. Three or four big, intimating dudes considerably shrunk the available space and transformed a boring transitional passage into a high-water mark of SIN.

THE SHEARING OF THE SHEEP

I learned a lot of names last night, discovered where people lived and found that the vast majority of people I smelled had a pleasant scent. For some reason a lot of people ask if I’m wearing a wig and when they do so I encourage them to touch my hair. Sometimes I even offer them a smell although most decline the opportunity it doesn’t stop me from expressing my interest in smelling their hair and that is something that a lot of people are pretty uncomfortable with.

One quartet was from Monroe, a place I’ve lived at two points in my life, so I drew on my familiarity of the area and cracked tasteless jokes about the Custer Statue and the heroin epidemic that has plagued the county. Yeah, Vermin has no shame. I try to make a point to introduce myself to every guest waiting in line and due to wait times I generally have the opportunity to interact with the same group two, three or four times which requires a lot of improv and on occasion it affords me the opportunity to elaborate on Vermin’s checkered past.

Sometimes, I like to slip in facts about my own life to lend more authenticity to the performance and boy does that work like a charm. If you watch the body language of people and the position of their eyes, it will reveal a lot. I love to see a change in their demeanor when I go a little bit darker, cut a little bit closer to reality. You can almost see the gears in their head turning, wondering how much of this is purely shtick. It amuses and pleases me to no end to have so many customers seek clarification on my position within the haunted house and question whether or not I officially work there.

No doubt the highlight of the night came when Daffodil appeared and we worked haunt zero in tandem, we would later be joined by Dr. Giggles as well and then we really had the room jumping proper. Some teenager playfully insulted Daffodil and the no nonsense, Brooklyn girl brought her grievances to Vermin who promptly and angrily confronted the young man. I wouldn’t say the kid was scared but he was undoubtedly uncomfortable as I delivered my demands with force. We isolated him in one corner of the room and made him apologize which he did quickly, too quickly. He was then told to drop to his knees, it was there that the apology would be delivered.

There was a pregnant pause in the room, all eyes were on this poor bastard by now. He hesitated to comply and every second he delayed was further fuel for either Vermin or Daffodil. One of us was going to shred this kid in front of the whole room so I watched and waited while I blocked his path back to his friends and that’s when Daffodil went for the jugular. Without remorse, without even a hint of speculation she stated as fact that the young man should assume the position in which he undoubtedly had spent so much time. The room exploded with “oohs” and “aahs” like it had suddenly transformed into The Jerry Springer Show. Daffodil snapped her neck, popped her hips and watched that kid sink to a knee as he kissed her offered hand as an apology. A superbly timed scene that may have caused me to hide my smile behind my long locks.

SAY WHAT?

In my mind, Vermin has a New Orleans accent and some people have commented on how convincing it is, but others have compared it to a long list of celebrities and fictional characters which I find interesting, amusing and, at times, disappointing. Last night alone the voice was compared to Bill Clinton, Forrest Gump, Christopher Walken and Val Kilmer as Doc Holliday in Tombstone.

I think the Walken comparison is a stretch although I can see where someone would make the link. Clinton and Gump do sometimes come through with certain phrases and I try to limit that, but the Val Kilmer one stuck. I hadn’t thought of that myself, but I was okay with it not only because the cadence was undeniable but also because Doc Holliday was one cool son of a bitch in Tombstone.