Forum: Arts / Acting

Ghost Tour Guiding
By KaydeeJayde Comments: 190, member since Thu Jul 21, 2011
On Sun Sep 23, 2012 09:33 AM

I’ve just gotten a job as a ghost tour guide at a historical prison. It was advertised as an acting job, it’s going to be amazing fun, and I’m so excited to have this, it's the perfect job for me. I do have a problem though, which I hoped someone here might be able to help me with. The other guides and I have been trailing the bosses watching how they do things and learning the script. It's super creepy and awesome, but the problem is, they do things really gruffly and scary-like because their characters are convicts/prisoners. The rest of the guides and I are girls, and our characters are matrons so doing things the way they do isn't going to seem or look right. Does anyone have any suggestions how to make the matrons as creepy as possible and how to kind of... feminize the script? They haven't given us any guidelines except to say to manipulate as we see fit as long as the stories and locations stay the same.

6 Replies to Ghost Tour Guiding

re: Ghost Tour Guiding
By Tishwah Comments: 588, member since Sun May 17, 2009
On Mon Sep 24, 2012 01:37 AM
I don't know that I would make the Matron "creepy", I would either go motherly, motherly and telling the storied with a sence of warm and rememberance, or the hard nosed type, not believing in the ghosts and taking no guff from anyone freaking out?
re: Ghost Tour Guiding
By KaydeeJayde Comments: 190, member since Thu Jul 21, 2011
On Mon Sep 24, 2012 05:59 AM
I had considered that as well, so I emailed my bosses about it, and they would prefer creepy. I'm definitely going to go for the stern angle, not taking anything from people freaking out and i emailed someone that has a blog which focuses on the feminist side of horror movies who's studying theatre, and she suggested some subtle sexuality for the character. I guess my question now would be to you guys, if you were on a ghost tour, what would most creep you out or strike you as weird and bizarre about a matron character aside from the old hide in doorways and wait for people to come past?
re: Ghost Tour Guiding
By adageacemember has saluted, click to view salute photos Comments: 3982, member since Thu Sep 01, 2005
On Mon Sep 24, 2012 09:06 PM
I was thinking about this earlier, and the first two things that sprang to mind regarding creepy prison guards/matrons were Mama Morton from Chicago, and the film Das Experiment (about those famous prisoner/guard psychology experiments in the 70s).

Would it be possible for you to play it kind of corrupt? Generally stern and reminding people of your 'authority' (maybe reminders to keep up and suchlike) but picking a 'favourite' or two from your group of guidees. Think how someone would act if they were trying to get something out of another person. Basically give the impression that you can be nice or mean depending on whether you like them.

You could also generally drop in 'helpful advice' to people with a threatening undertone, "best keep away from any dark corners, it's a prison after all and we wouldn't want anything to happen to you..." and that sort of thing. Just an idea off the top of my head, as I was at an English civil war museum once and the guide told a guy with an ostentatious watch that he was very brave to wear his valuables so much on display in such turbulent times (shortly before telling me that the reason I wasn't married yet at 20 was that I didn't have childbearing hips!). So that might be something you could adapt.
re: Ghost Tour Guiding
By KaydeeJayde Comments: 190, member since Thu Jul 21, 2011
On Mon Sep 24, 2012 11:23 PM
Ooooh, The Experiment! I just got that film and I didn't even THINK to watch it for this purpose. I'm definitely doing that later! Mama Morton would be really helpful too, I didn't consider Chicago!

Picking favourites is a brilliant idea. The bosses do that, but they make them walk at the back of the group and carry the light and make them go into cells first and the like. And I LOVE the line with the watch! The prison is close to a rather affluent area, so we get lots of people wearing over the top jewellery and carrying expensive bags and wallets and stuff, I think I'm going to add that into my little book.

Thanks so much! That's super helpful!
re: Ghost Tour Guiding
By schuhplattlerPremium member Comments: 3041, member since Sat Dec 23, 2006
On Tue Sep 25, 2012 12:58 AM
A woman can come on as tough too. How long would it have taken to cook Margaret Thatcher?
re: Ghost Tour Guiding
By KaydeeJayde Comments: 190, member since Thu Jul 21, 2011
On Tue Sep 25, 2012 06:03 AM
Oh, no doubt women can be tough, but the way they play it is really specific to convict, so if the characters were female convicts, it would be perfectly fine, but they wanted to change it up and have us as the matrons. They'll definitely either be tough, hard, creepy matrons or kind of quietly maternal but creepy matrons. As long as they're creepy, I guess :)