Behind the Scenes with a Halloween Horror Nights Scare Actor

Robert Stark, Contributing Writer

Ever wonder what really goes on behind the scenes of Universal Orlando’s Halloween Horror Nights? Valencia College student Tanner Kaiser shares his experience being a ‘scare actor’ at the premiere haunted house event in Central Florida.

Scare actors are the characters who walk around and are also in houses throughout the park. Some would stay until close while some would get there early to put the horror into Halloween Horror Nights.

“I always thought it was the coolest thing how these people can become a monster or some sort of creature,” explained Tanner Kaiser, former HHN scare actor and Valencia College student. When asked about the process of getting the make-up done Kaiser explained, “Make-up can take a long time depending on who you are.”

There are four different casts that play a role during the event. A, B, C and D groups fill the streets with chills and thrills. At one time there are 45 actors who rotate on and off throughout the evening into and into the late of night.

“Clock-in for the A group starts at about 4:30 pm and can last until 11:15 pm if the park closes at 1am, or until 12:45am if the park closes at 2am,” said Kaiser when asked if the hours can be long. “The hours can be bad but it’s interesting and fun because your adrenaline is pumping.”

While Kaiser did share some interesting stories; one of them has really stuck with him. He explained there was a little girl named Bella that he would always look forward to seeing. “Every time she was there we would play” explained Kaiser when asked about their relationship. “Till this day I’m still friends with the girl and her dad.”

Sure, all of this seems like a fun and exciting process, but how do you get involved? When asked this question Kaiser explained that going on Universal Studios career website and sign up for audition slots.

“You get your slot and then you have to have a head shot and a professional resume,” Kaiser added. Once your application was reviewed the next step was to get casted for a part. There were three judges; one for a house, one for the streets and one entertainment judge. “They’ll ask you a really random question because they’re just trying to gauge your personality.” Said Kaiser.

Once a part was handed out to an actor they were told to rehearse their part at their home to give some thought on what makes their character the way they are.

Kaiser was thrilled to share his experience about the HHN acting experience. He did get casted last year with a character named smiley but unfortunately was not casted this year and was grateful for the experience. He plans on continuing to audition in the coming years.

Halloween Horror Nights runs now through November 4th at Universal Studios.