During the fall of 2009, I made a decision to go to the Halloween Express store to look at their Halloween decorations, and it led me to discover my life’s passion and purpose. As I entered the store, I noticed a sign that stated they were going to have a haunted house for Halloween and it was coming soon. While I looked around the store, I saw a sandwich board, and it stated that they had held auditions a few days earlier and were still looking for cast members to perform in the haunted house. I decided to give it an honest try, even though I was terrified of haunted houses, and to do my best to earn a part in the haunted house. It was fun and informative, and I got a part and then showed up for rehearsals to learn how to act and scare people as a character in a haunted house and everything else we had to learn to do the job properly. I worked hard every night we were open and I was the lead actor and head zombie in the graveyard and helped to teach others to act and scare and kept things safe for my actors and the customers that came through. From this experience, I found my passion for acting in haunted houses, and I learned to network with others, I learned to do makeup for haunts, I learned to teach others how to work in a haunt, I worked with the children that were there, I learned so very much and how much I loved doing anything I could with the haunted house. I even did television and press releases for the haunted house with the news and local channels in Phoenix. It was amazing and fun. It helped me through a very difficult time in my life and it gave me direction and purpose, and I still follow what I learned then today. I gained many new friends and some of them are like family to me even to this day. Finally, at the Cast Party, I received the Actress of the Season Award for all my hard work and my dedication to the haunted house and those that worked there and even for those that went through it and enjoyed it. I never thought that I would find something so valuable and dear to my life and one that would help me through the toughest period in my life. This wonderful haunted house did show me my life’s passion
and future dreams that I happened upon by chance one
day while going to the Halloween Express store.
By Sydoney A.A. Banks