In the entertainment industry, it’s common for actors to be paid based on their experience, their role in the production, and the size of the audience their performance is expected to reach. The horror genre is also famous for paying performers on a case-by-case basis rather than as a group, which means that everyone involved in Halloween Horror Nights as actors or backstage crew members will get a different amount. Whether you’re an aspiring actor who wants to know how much other people in your field get paid or curious about how much those creepy characters are making this year, you probably want to know how much the actors at Universal Studios Hollywood get paid.
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What Is it Like to Be a Scare Actor?
Before we go any further, let’s talk about what it’s like to be an actor at Halloween Horror Nights. While each person will have personal experience with this, some general themes run through most of the roles you can find at the park. If you’re cast in a position that has you interacting with park guests, you can expect to be working long hours for a relatively low hourly wage. 12-hour days are not uncommon, especially during peak season. On top of that, you’re also responsible for coming up with a costume and makeup design that looks close enough to what’s expected. If you’re cast in a role that has you standing in one place for long periods, you’ll be on your feet for most of your shift and probably won’t have the option to take a break when you need one. Props and costumes are usually heavy, and some outfits are uncomfortable to wear. If you’re cast in a role that has you in full or partial costume, you’ll have to deal with a lot of heat and restricted mobility. Your outfit might make you uncomfortable, and you’ll probably have to stand still for a long time. If you’re cast in a role that has you behind the scenes, you’ll be working long hours in a cramped and hot environment. You’ll have little interaction with guests, but you may be expected to work just as hard as anyone else involved in the production.
How Much Do Actors Get Paid?
As we mentioned, every actor gets paid differently. However, as a general rule, the less experience an actor has, the less they make. Some roles pay higher than others; positions that require you to be in full or partial costume tend to pay more than non-costumed roles. The minimum wage for non-union actors in Los Angeles is currently $8.50 per hour. This amount is only a guideline, though. Each production company sets its wage policy, so you’ll want to learn more about the company you’re applying with to determine what they’re offering.
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How Much Does a Character at Halloween Horror Nights Get Paid?
As far as we know, Universal doesn’t have a specific wage for their characters. If you see a symbol at the park that has been around for a while, there’s a good chance they’re working for the minimum wage. The only exception is if they have been working as a character long enough to become a Universal Contracted Employee—not just a cast member. Universal has the policy to ensure that as many people as possible earn more than the minimum wage from working as characters. However, no information is available about how much different characters get paid. Characters who have been around for a long time likely earned a higher wage than the minimum. Characters new to the park will probably earn minimum wage for a couple of years before they start getting bumped up.
How Much Does a Scarer Get Paid?
As with the characters, we don’t have specific numbers for how much a scarer gets paid. However, we know a few things that give us a general idea of their earnings. First, scarers are typically cast as a team. They’re expected to work together and help each other out, so there are usually two scarers per shift. Second, scarers work in pairs or teams, so there’s a scarer and a spotter. The spotter is there to observe and help the scarer understand what scares each person they encounter so that the scarer can adjust the scare to be more effective. Finally, scarers usually get paid a percentage of the tips they collect during each shift. In other words, it’s in the scarer’s best interest to scare people as often as possible because a successful scare can lead to a big tip.
How Much Does a Background Actor Get Paid?
As with the other roles, background actors have no standard amount. However, we know a few things that give us a general idea of what these actors earn. First, background actors work in teams, so there are usually two people in each group. Second, most background actors are expected to come in for several shifts a week, either for a few hours or a full day, depending on the role. Finally, most groups of background actors are paid per shift at a flat rate or a percentage of the tips they collect during each change. In other words, it’s in the best interest of each group of background actors to interact with guests as much as possible because a friendly encounter can lead to a big tip.
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If you’re a horror fan, there’s no place you’d rather be than Universal Studios Hollywood’s Halloween Horror Nights. If you wonder how much the actors get paid for this spooky show, you’ll be happy to know that plenty of roles are available for those who want to earn a little cash while having a ton of fun. While the money may not be great, there’s no doubt that being a part of the action at Halloween Horror Nights is a dream come true for many people. Whether you’re a scare actor, a scarer, a character performer, or a background actor, being a part of this production is sure to be an experience you’ll never forget.