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Illustrated by Kate Kwon
Leap Year
February 19, 2024

Drama Goes Behind the Scenes at Knott’s Scary Farm

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CHS Drama receives backstage information from Knott’s Scary Farm employee (picture courtesy John Zamora)

    Cerritos High School’s Drama Club recently got a behind-the-scenes look at Knott’s Scary Farm, where they saw the preparation that goes into being a scare actor and learned about the hiring process for the actors and makeup artists.

    The experience began with a walkthrough of a building in Knott’s back lot, which had rows of costumes and a floor full of tables where makeup artists and actors were preparing.

    Makeup artists could be seen painting masks and props and doing peoples’ makeup, using traditional palettes and airbrushes to create bloody, unsettling looks. One actor mentioned that they have very little say in what their makeup will look like; the artists have the freedom to do whatever they want. They can also give the actors a different look each night; it does not have to be the same look every time.

    From there, the club made their way to a room where a casting director described the process for hiring scare actors. He explained that there are multiple rounds of auditions, where actors prove to the casting directors that they are good candidates, demonstrating qualities like having depth to their characters, being unique with their portrayals, and being able to interact well with guests.

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    The casting director also explained some of their makeup artists went to cosmetology school, while others are self-taught. This means if you wanted to be a makeup artist for an event like Knott’s Scary Farm, you would not have had to receive formal education.

    After the inside look, the club went through the actual park to experience the event for themselves. Throughout the night, scare actors demonstrated the qualities the casting director discussed, such as being engaging with the guests and making the experience both scary and enjoyable for everyone.

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Diana Chaidez, Writer
Diana Chaidez is a senior at CHS, and has been interested in current events and journalism since elementary school. She is excited for her first year in journalism, in which she is on the writing team, and grateful for the opportunity to learn more journalistic skills and contribute to the school newspaper. Outside of school, she loves to bake, because it can be both a method of self-expression and a way to practice precision.
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