I am a school teacher in Wisconsin. While I was doing my student teaching, I thought it would be fun to audition for scaring people! I became a Zombie Cop at Six Flags in Gurnee, IL.

My Proof: http://imgur.com/CgYcL75

Edit 1: http://imgur.com/xcKwA1K - another picture of myself and another character

Edit 2: Off to teach some 5th graders how to do school. Firewall is blocked at work. I'll respond after 4:00 p.m CST today! Keep the questions coming.

Edit 3: Back from work - Sorry for the mixup on assault/battery et cetera. I'm not in law school, I'm only as smart as a fifth grader.

Comments: 67 • Responses: 19  • Date: 

Uncontrol11 karma

Why is it OK for employees to dress up as dead cops, but I can't wear a mask to the park?

apks1010 karma

That is a great question. The reason is the same as the reasoning you can't dress up to come to Disney. The park is in charge of the characters and scareactors. First off, they have a contract with specific companies to use specific characters. If you were to go walk around Disney World dressed up as Mickey Mouse, it would be a false representation of the park. We are trained by the institution and represent it in a certain manner. If you were dressed as a scareactor and ended up hurting someone, using expletives, or anything else... It would be representative of Six Flags as a whole. Save your costume for other areas!

rconnelly207 karma

What do you do if you scare someone so badly you feel bad about it? Just stand there awkwardly or move on...

yeahnoduh24 karma

When I was a kid I went with my buddy and his mom. She insisted on holding our hands through the super dark haunted house so we didn't get separated. Well, that's not completely feasible when you're getting scared left and right, and at one point I lost her hand for a second when a zombie jumped out at me or something. So I immediately put my hand out, and her hand grasps mine, and we're walking for a few seconds...and then I look at the hand holding mine. It's glowing. So is the person's face. Someone wearing a scary glow-in-the-dark costume had taken my hand and had patiently waited for me to discover it on my own, knowing that would be 10x scarier than a "BOO!"

I flipped the fuck out.

And as soon as this guy realized just how utterly terrifying that was to an 8 year old, he was super cool. He took me out the nearest exit, sent someone in to find my buddy and his mom, and let me try on the gloves and mask. He made sure I was calm and smiling again before leaving to go terrify other little kids.

TLDR: if they do a truly good job of terrifying you they'll make sure you're okay before going and fucking with other people.

apks1021 karma

My most vivid memory of a crying kid will never leave my memory. A little girl was crying there with her mom from some of the other monsters. I took off my gloves and showed her my wedding ring. I explained to her that I was married and had a wife. I told her I was a teacher and that I was just playing a game of dress-up. She thought that was so funny, and they were able to exit without any more incidents.

Edit: I said I was married and was a husband. Redundant. Whoops.

iaintpayingyou-8 karma

How does being married calm a scared child? I'd be even more worried about zombie babies biting my ankles.

apks1011 karma

It let her know that I was a regular person. It wasn't so much the fact that I was married or not, as much as she could see a tangible thing that helped shed the thought of a zombie.

apks107 karma

It depended on their age et cetera. There were times that kids came through, and got scared without us even doing anything. We have staff members around that we can quickly run to and ask them to escort the customer out if need be. That being said, you ARE coming to a haunted park...

brainobrainz7 karma

Has anyone ever tried to hit you or even end your life? Dark but im curious

apks1013 karma

Hit me? Yes. End my life? No.

I was punched twice in the season that I did it. What's funny is that I was a police officer as my character. I would "break character" and escort them over to the Gurnee Police Department cops that were there. Assault is assault. If you punch a person in the park, you are arrested and banned from any six flags park for life.

angrypotato1-5 karma

Seems a little extreme

apks1013 karma

I'm sorry you feel that way. If someone came up to you on the street and punched you because you gave them the creeps, they should be charged as such. If you can't handle yourself at a family park, you don't belong there.

angrypotato1-5 karma

Can't control reflexes

apks1010 karma

I agreed, and that is definitely talked about in training. We keep 2'-3' from nearly every customer. If we are closer we are liable for ourselves. Both times that I was assaulted, the individual came from behind me and administered a blow to the back of my head. It was not from a "reflex", but intentional in thinking it would be great fun to hurt me.

ARobotElephant7 karma

Did you ever get a legendary reaction from scaring someone?

apks1016 karma

We had what we called "yellow cards" -- This entailed people urinating themselves. It was easy to tell tell the difference between a teenage scream about it, and a genuine person who started crying and had to hide in the corner until they figured out how to take care of it.

We also had brown cards...

Wdwdash4 karma

Would you scare little kids? Like was there a policy against it? I ask because at busch gardens, where I live, they don't seem to scare my family when we all go (10/6/4 yo kids) but of it's just me and the 10 yo they will scare the piss out of us.

apks105 karma

That comes down to a personal choice. We are a family friendly park, BUT... you're at a haunted park. We stay family friendly until around 6:00 p.m. We have characters out before then (not scareactors). Pretty much anyone is free game. That being said, most us aren't jerks. We're not going to horrify a little 4-year-old.

OsamaBinLlama201 karma

What if they're in the haunted house? They went into be scared!

apks101 karma

I was not in a haunted house. I was in the haunted walk. But yes, if you go to FRIGHT fest... you're going so that you get scared. We will do our best.

frofroggy4 karma

How mobile do you get to be while scaring?

apks104 karma

It depends on what area you are in. I was in what is called Necropolis. Within that, most characters had to stay within their specific area. Because it was a whole city, my character as a cop was the only one that got free range of the entire "city". Other areas of the park are specific to that theme. For example, a cop wouldn't be a good fit for the seven deadly sins. I also wouldn't have fit in with the clowns.

mixitup20064 karma

Did you ?

apks104 karma

Typical protocol was to try and stay about 2'-3' away. There were times that didn't happen, in which case 6 Flags essentially wasn't liable for anything that happened to us. Especially as a public school teacher, I tried to steer clear of any negative ramifications.

Edit: /mixitup2006 originally asked if I ever accidentally touched someone's boob.

rconnelly203 karma

Best/worse experience on the job?

apks107 karma

The people that I worked with were absolutely amazing. Everywhere from people like me who are teachers, to people who work at the renaissance fair, or comedians, actors, students, everyone! We all had a common interest - having fun and scaring people.

Worst experience of the job were the long hours, especially in the cold and the rain. On top of that, I would say the people that come through trying to act tough or are complete jerks. We put it on to be fun... don't come be an asshole to us.

mudprint3 karma

How did you select who would be your next target?

Melenasoup3 karma

I imagine it was like this: is someone in front of me? Then jump at them. If it's a couple, go for the girl. The guy will prefer to look brave and comfort her.

apks109 karma

^ pretty spot on. Easy to pick out who you wanted. Girls scared the easiest. Also fun to hide and pick out the men/boys that you could make scream like girls. The general way you carry yourself when walking through shows us a lot. If you're cocky and confident, we're not going to waste our time directly. In that case we will try and sneak up on you. If you are visibly trying to hide behind someone, we will come right up to you knowing that it'll be an easy scare.

funkyfresh21 karma

Does park management suck as much as it did when I worked there 6-7 years ago?

apks101 karma

I'm not sure what park you worked at, or what location you were in. There is a very big difference in management within entertainment (scaring), operations(rides), and Hurrican Harbor (lifeguards). Lifeguards are treated the best (can attest - wife worked there for 5 years).

brashba1 karma

Has anyone ever refused to move after you scared them or been paralysed with fear?

apks101 karma

A lot of people would stop and try to stare you down. If that's the case, I simply moved onto the next person. Think of the BUSIEST day at 6 flags during the summer. Take that times 1.5. The park reaches capacity every Friday and Saturday of Fright Fest. It always exceeds the record of attendance set for any day during the summer.

Pheyra1 karma

How were the auditions?

apks106 karma

Weird. Fun. You sat in front of a panel of 3-4 people, and they gave you different situations. "Give me your best scream." "Be a scary clown." They know what scareactors they are looking for, so they give you the different scenarios based on that to see what you would fit.

mrkruk1 karma

Have you ever scared people and had them accidentally hurt themselves? Like...they jump away and trip on something, or a friend?

apks101 karma

Absolutely. Most notably, we had a haunted porta potty. When people opened the door, water sprayed everywhere. This creates a very slippery mess. To top it off, the water puddle is at the bottom of an asphalt hill. Cue the cartoon music of people slipping and sliding.

txbluejay1 karma

Were you assessed for job performance? If so, how?

apks101 karma

There is constantly a "lead" nearby. They are monitoring what you're doing and how you're doing it. It's mostly for the safety of the scareactor. If you do well, and remain a scareactor for many years, you can move up to a static attraction. The guy in the picture with me up top has been there for ages. Some of those masks run in excess of $3,000. People like me just starting off simply get the traditional make-up tutorial and an outfit.