Haunted Basement is closed! Long live Haunted Basement. Maybe; next year is extremely up in the air right now. Like, more up in the air than last year, when the Soap Factory announced massive financial troubles just after we closed. But we got through the 10th anniversary year, and it was a huge, exhausting blast.
Designing a room was definitely an experience this year. Not one I'm likely to repeat; although I'm not upset with what I created, it wasn't close enough to the desire in my head for my satisfaction. That just isn't a talent I really have, nor do I want to put in the time to see how much better I could get. Still, now I've done it, and I'm glad I did. The room was the 'Tactile Tunnel'; a narrow hallway in a mazelike section of the Basement that forced people thru an area with obstacles, stacked carpets to act as a ramp, a boarded-over window peeking into another room, a secret door into yet another, and plastic torn up and hanging down from above. It wasn't as dark or narrow as I would have liked, and I never did find a source for the hair that I wanted as an obstacle, but it still looked pretty cool, and a friend got an Uncle in there.
Then, I worked as a Tier 1 actor, which was this year's term for a stipend performer with a minimum number of required nights. At first, it was 23/28 nights, but they cut a preview, so it became 22/27 nights. I say this every year, but I really need to cut down. As great as it was, I was exhausted and ruined by the end of it. At least this year I was smart (and had PTO left over), so I took a bunch of days off work as well, so most nights I was able to get a proper sleep afterwards. And, as tired and in need of days off as I was, I was a bit sad to hear about the cool things that happened the nights I had off.
Also, it was celebrity year! Carrie Underwood came thru on the night before she had a concert in town; I was there, working as a nun in the classroom, but I didn't see her at all. I was solo, so a lot of folks slipped past me, but honestly I wouldn't have recognized her anyway. Even in context, I don't get her face every time, and out of context she would have been just one more attractive blonde lady. Still, I hope I pinned her against something and yelled incoherent nonsense at her. Whether I did or not, kudos to her for being a good sport- we had a station upstairs this year where you could choose to add paint to your face in the hopes of getting a bonus interaction downstairs, and she chose all 4 colors. That takes guts. Secondly, and this happened on a night I was off, Kevin from "Welcome to Nightvale" came through, and was apparently a fantastic patron. So much so that folks printed off posters with his face and "Why Can't They All Be Kevin?" printed on them, one of which ended up posted in the schoolroom. He responded to e-mails thanking him for coming, too. So neat.
Assorted other memories- spent more nights as Surgeon than any other one character, mostly paired with Becci O as the Salon worker for Blind Invocees. Blind Invocations were the more expensive tickets, who got a couple extra rooms and a more intense experience, guaranteed. Becci ended up as my Show Girlfriend thanks to how much we were paired up, and we got a really good dynamic going. Best Blind Invocee was probably the one who was incredibly twitchy and freaked out; he'd worked out a deal with his friends where he'd yell "Hoodie-Hoo" as a Marco/Polo thing to find them. He didn't know that they were being dropped much earlier in the Basement than the special rooms were. After doing my schtick on him, I led him (still blindfolded) out of my room, and who happened to be passing just then but his friends? We couldn't have timed that better with all the practice in the world. So, he got to interact blindfolded with them for a half-minute, they got to laugh to see him shirtless and covered with glitter, blood, and shaving cream (Becci and I got a REALLY good dynamic going), then I led him away and dropped him back at the beginning. Great times.
And, finally finally, part of what makes next year up in the air is my own involvement. I'll be doing the whole wedding/honeymoon thing for about a month of Aug-Sept, so even if I wanted to build a room that idea is right out. And the space itself is... that's not yet public, but it's likely to be very different. But if it occurs, I'd like to move up the ladder, to a leadership or AD position. And after speaking to the artistic director about it, that's a possibility that's on the table. Something like 3 huge things have to settle before we can even revisit the possibility, but it's there, and I'm excited to explore it.
Other things that kept me busy in October- two sold-out shows for Transvestite Soup (yay!), both of which went hella smoothly and included a costume show (yay!), three press interviews about Transvestite Soup re: the FOX RHPS remake (I was on the damn news!), and the full run of Masquerade at Bernard's (which I only got to once, due to everything else, but I loved it). Life is full, and keeps on rolling.
( The List, Day 379 (11/6); 10/101 DoneCollapse )