Southern California

Monsters Wanted: Knott's and Universal Auditions

How's the growl? And your snarl? You could have a ghastly gig this autumn.

Auditioning can be a truly tricky thing around Southern California.

Either you have to be fully agented and managered and represented in order to visit a casting office for a chance at a role or you have to have none of the above, only a really, really good snarl.

You're in luck, snarlers: The annual autumn-eerie tryouts for the Halloween spectaculars at various theme parks around the region aren't about headshots or who-you-knows. Rather, they're all about whether you'll make a wicked werewolf or ghost over several nights in September and October.

September and October are not a long ways away, which can only mean that both Knott's Scary Farm and Halloween Horror Nights at Universal Studios Hollywood are sending out their yearly yowl in the hopes that monster wannabes and canbes show up to potentially get picked.

"Yearly yowl," of course, is the less official but more Halloween-appropriate way of saying both major theme parks have posted the audition information for their scare events.

Universal Studios Hollywood's t-t-terrifying tryout is up first, on Wednesday, July 29 at the Universal Hilton Ballrooms (a space which should give a clue as to how popular these auditions can be). Aspiring scareactors going to be asked to "demonstrate 'scare-abilities'" and perhaps engage in some improv. A headshot is requested, but not required, as is a resumé, but if you don't have either, you can still give it a whirl.

And, yes, performers are called "scareactors" at the high-on-the-hill theme park come Halloween Horror Nights time. It's local nomenclature that's both chilling and, yet, somehow adorable, too.

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Knott's Scary Farm is up just days later, with a July 31 "Maze Rehire Event" (meaning returnees are invited back) and an Open Hire Event on Monday, Aug. 3. Because this is also a popular gathering, best read all the to-knows before going Buena Park. 

If you want to refresh yourself as to past looks and costumes and ghoulies and such, the seasonal extravaganza's Facebook page has more pictures than an old attic has cobwebs. Well, maybe not that many, but plenty to get up to speed from.

The weather forecast says August might arrive with its traditional heat blast here in the Southland, so best start summoning foggy nights and chilly thoughts ahead of showing Universal and Knott's your most magnificent monster face.

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