This past weekend marked my second year working as a freakishly deformed camp counselor at The Great Horror Campout--which this year has become a three-month-long tour. From dusk ‘til dawn, my fellow creatures and I scampered about Griffith Park, tormenting innocent people who pay money for this sort of thing for some reason. The response was wonderful, and I had the pleasure of working with some truly fine and talented individuals (both performers and behind-the-scenes folk).
Some highlights from this past weekend include:
Being the first creep to get all up in Andy Dick’s face. As he passed through the main gate, I got right up in there and started growling at him, at which point he recoiled and cried out, “Oh, no, no, no -- get it away!”
Sadly, I wasn't even in makeup yet.
Telling Elijah Wood to put out his cigarette. Griffith Park is crazy strict about not smoking on the property (I’m told the fine is $10,000. They don’t fuck around.) I didn’t even recognize who he was at first--I just didn’t want him to get fined (although, he probably could have paid it with whatever was in his pocket). Anyway, he politely obliged and put out his cigarette. Then, later, my good friend and fellow camp counselor Brett Hunt dumped a bucket of blood on top of Mr. Wood, and then flipped him off. He got a hug. I saved him from a fine AND cancer and I got squat. If he and Macaulay Culkin were hanging off a cliff, I know which one I’D let die. (Just kidding -- I love you, Frodo.)
Being able to see for the second evening. While my makeup was arguably cooler looking the first night…
…once the sun went down, there were numerous areas of the park where I was completely blind due to my limited vision. I got lost easily, my mood was lousy, and I know my performance suffered because of it. At one point, I led a guest with a bag over her head into a dark, uneven, wooded area and thought, "Huh. Neither of us can see. I do believe we're going to die." When I reported this to the production team the following morning, half expecting that there really wouldn’t be a solution, they were quick to respond, “Oh, then we’ll change your makeup. You gotta be able to see, dude. Obviously.” (I’m so grateful for how well these people take care of their performers. I’ve worked with people who don’t.) And thus, Camp Counselor 2.0 was born. The second night was infinitely more enjoyable for me.
“Locking” people in the cages of the old Griffith Park Zoo. These cages no longer serve any purpose other than to look creepy, and guests would wander in to see if there were any items from the Hell Hunt (our all-night scavenger hunt). I’d pull the door shut behind them with a clang and then taunt them to find a way out. You’d be surprised how many people didn’t think to try just opening the door (as I had no way of locking it).
Hearing my trivia questions at the morning ceremony. I had asked our illustrious director Justin Meyer before the campout if he would accept suggestions for our horror movie trivia, and then went a little crazy and sent him something like twenty hardcore questions (examples including “What was the name of the 1980s TV series hosted by Freddy Krueger?” and “In what horror film does Vincent Price sing ‘Somewhere Over the Rainbow’ over the end credits?”) Justin ended up accepting most of my questions, which comprised about three quarters of the overall list. Every so often, being an anti-social, friendless, and sexually frustrated horror movie fan pays off.
Please love me.
Despite being a bit sore in the throat from two consecutive nights of rasping at people in a sorta faux-Freddy Krueger voice, I am very glad to be back working with these groovy people, and look forward to the upcoming few months with them. Anyone interested in this all-night celebration of the macabre, we’d love to see you at one of the cities on our tour. Details at www.greathorrorcampout.com.
Peace out, creeps.