People often look at me with puzzled eyes when I start dusting off the Halloween house decor on the first of September, but I wasn’t always this way. In fact, Halloween was never really on my radar and scary things did what they should — they scared me. I didn’t enjoy them.
That all changed when I turned the ripe, awkward age of 16. I needed to find myself a job and saw that Six Flags New England was hiring plenty of new employees for Fright Fest. I didn’t know exactly what this job would entail, but the additional funds would certainly feed my newfound concert addiction and maybe get me a few new friends. I applied and received a call for an interview within a few days. I prepared as I would for any interview, not thinking this one would be any different. Boy was I wrong. Yeah, I answered a few questions, but I also had to read a script in my best monster voice, give my best blood-curdling scream, and run to the camera using my best zombie impression. Needless to say, I was a bit out of my element and in over my (apparently headless) head.
They called me twenty minutes after I left and found out I was the newest monster-in-training. Before actually starting my job, I’d need to attend Ghoul School, a two-week training course that would teach me all the spooky skills I’d need for the season. It was intense and intimidating, but also life-changing in a way. I was coming out of my introverted, little shell and transforming into an outgoing and outrageous performer. If I did a really good job, maybe I would even be every guest’s worst nightmare.
During the month of October, I played a number of unique roles, like Ma Cleaver, the fed up housewife who had been emotionally abused one too many times by her cheating husband, or like the nameless insane asylum patient who enjoyed torture just a little too much. Every work shift gave the opportunity to build and develop new character ideas and plot lines. The more outrageous, the better.
If it wasn’t obvious enough already, this wasn’t your everyday, typical job. I would clock in, get my makeup done, pick out the perfect costume, stretch with my fellow monsters, and head into the woods to prepare my scene. It didn’t feel like work at all. I was having way too much fun.
During that first season, my love for Halloween and all things spooky increased exponentially. I began watching horror movies for character inspiration and started visiting other haunted houses to marvel over the many successful scare tactics and techniques. From there my interest grew into an obsession, and that’s where I am today. So yes, maybe September is a tad early for plastic glitter pumpkins, cobwebs, and skeletons, but working this job gave me an undeniable love for performing and an appreciation for the odd and peculiar. So stay spooky, my friends and don’t be afraid to get a little weird, no matter the month.