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Senior Matthew Showers uses improv skills to land a job

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Senior Matthew showers poses in his full costume for the Lemp Haunted House. Showers had to utilize his improvisation skills during the audition to land the job.

Senior Matthew showers poses in his full costume for the Lemp Haunted House. Showers had to utilize his improvisation skills during the audition to land the job. "I can't imagine going into this without the improv experience," Showers said. "I felt confident because I was sitting there thinking that if I’m worrying myself to death about it, I’m not gonna do as well. I just kept thinking ‘I got this in the bag, I'm an actor.'"

Courtesy of Matthew Showers

Courtesy of Matthew Showers

Senior Matthew showers poses in his full costume for the Lemp Haunted House. Showers had to utilize his improvisation skills during the audition to land the job. "I can't imagine going into this without the improv experience," Showers said. "I felt confident because I was sitting there thinking that if I’m worrying myself to death about it, I’m not gonna do as well. I just kept thinking ‘I got this in the bag, I'm an actor.'"

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For most, fall means the opening of haunted houses, but for senior Matthew Showers, it means going to work. Showers spent his weekends in October working as an actor at the Lemp Haunted House.

“I always wanted to go to a haunted house, but I’d never actually been in one, so I thought I might as well work at one,” Showers said. “That way, when I do go in, I’m not as scared.’”

In order to get the job, Showers auditioned at the beginning of September, nearly a month in advance. The audition consisted of a series of scenarios he had to improv, acting them out before a pair of employers.

“I can’t imagine going into that without improv experience. I felt confident because I was sitting there thinking that if I’m worrying myself to death about it, I’m not gonna do as well. I just kept thinking ‘I got this in the bag, I’m an actor,’” Showers said. “Psyching myself up really helped me with the audition process. They said I was one of the best auditions they had that day.”

The week before beginning his job, he attended a two-hour training session where he and his coworkers were split into groups of five and led through the haunted house. In each room of the house, called scenes, they took turns attempting to jump out and scare each other, taking tips from haunted house veterans as they went.

“It was very taxing on the body because of the poses I had to get into. I had to kind of contort my body to hide behind the manikins, so I could pop out and scare people,” Showers said. “I did scare one person during training so bad that they fell into the couch in the scene. I think that was mostly because I was charging them, and they didn’t know how to respond.”

In addition to working with the veterans of the haunted house, they were also given a handful of warnings.

“A fun fact about the Lemp Brewery is that it’s supposedly really haunted. They basically told us to always be positive even if it’s worst of days because if you’re negative, you’re more than likely gonna experience something paranormal,” Showers said. “One night when I was there, in one of the empty buildings, there was a light on at the top. I joked that if it went off, it’s haunted, and maybe 10 minutes later, it turned off.”

With training complete, Showers began scaring customers, playing the role of a wolf.

“There was one couple, and when they came down my hallway, I started getting ready to scare them,” Showers said. “I punched the boxes that I stand next to and did my evil laugh. The girl let out a shriek I’d never heard before, and her boyfriend straight up left her there.”

However, fear was not the only reaction he received during his first shift on the job.  

“When I scared some people, they got really mouthy. Like, they would use profanity and start talking crap about me, like ‘oh you ain’t scary’ and it’s just really funny to me,” Showers said.

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Senior Matthew Showers uses improv skills to land a job