I think it was in 2012 when I first heard that my friends B&B were recruiting haunters to come and audition to work for a show in Australia. There were multiple opportunities lasting from 3 weeks to 2 months and I was so very curious…I remember taking to Bones about it, trying to figure out the logistics, and ultimately I just wasn’t sure it was practical. Or that I was fit enough. Or young enough. Or a strong enough actor.
The following year, I thought about it again, but not as seriously. Then the China gig came up, and I jumped into that experience with absolutely NO idea what I was really getting into.
I came back and told Bones, “Ok. The need to go to Australia is out of my system.”
…Which made the universe sit up, take notice, and ask, “Oh, really?”
B&B knew I’d been to China – we had discussed it very briefly, and they know J, the guy that hired me on. And of course they knew I had an interest in Australia.
– I mean, what no one has known until this moment is how many sweepstakes I’ve entered where a trip to Australia was the grand prize. When The Bloggess wrote about going there as a result of a “bucket list” contest, I looked into that. I have had a long obsession with the wildlife. I’ve been trying to get Bones to agree that what we really need to make our lives complete is a wallaby butler and a platypus to keep him company.
So you could say I’ve put a LOT of energy over a LOT of years manifesting this opportunity.
…Anyway! Earlier this year, I received an email from B&B asking if I knew anyone that might be interested in going to Australia in March. I sent a few emails to people I thought would be AMAZING candidates…and then, after talking to Bones, I took a deep breath and filed out the application myself.
After several emails about gig details, asking for a bio, and photo requests, I learned (a) I was their runner up choice for their team of three, and (b) one of their three wasn’t able to make it. What followed was a long honest discussion with B&B about the logistics of this trip..how hard it was going to be..how serious I was about going.
Here’s the deal: Most haunts operate for a few set hours a night. Yes, there’s hours of prep involved, but actual operations are not that long, and usually they’re focused on weekends. This gig? It’s a whole different animal. It’s set up/training actors/running the show for 14 days straight, 10-12 hours a day, starting at 9am/tear down/go home. It’s set up in something that’s sorta a county fair on steroids, which…I’ve worked a haunt at a county fair before. It’s probably a lot like working a haunt on the Jersey boardwalk. So you’re talking hot and sun and rain and nonstop work.
So, not a cake walk.
But. But but but…AUSTRALIA!
Did I have any health concerns? Well, yes. My feet. My feet are a recurring issue for me.
Was Bones ok with me going? Yes.
Do I have a valid passport? Yes.
Have I ever worked with a microphone before? Yes. Granted, not in a haunted house, but if you can talk on headset answering visitors’ questions while working in a minizoo with a screaming parrot and a gaggle of teenage volunteers, you can probably handle being on headset at a haunt, yes?
Have I been in costume for 12 hours? Ummm…sorta? Does a ren faire count?
At the end of the call, I was advised to go talk to Bones some more and spend some more time thinking about everything that had been discussed in the past 30 minutes, and to let B&B know in 24 hours if I was still in or not.
…I didn’t need that much time to email them back and say, ‘Yes please!’
*cue the panic to get everything done and documented at work so that Bones will be in the best possible position for me to be gone for 3+ weeks*