BWW Blog: Eric Ulloa of Goodspeed's THE MOST HAPPY FELLA - Moments In The Woods
Ham and Cheese. Balsamic Vinegar and Olive Oil. Peanut Butter and Jelly.
These are things that nature intended to walk and flow together in perfect harmony, but none as perfect as the marriage of Halloween and Actors.
Yes, Halloween found its way to East Haddam and our cast embraced the holiday spirit from the first click of 12 am on October 1st. Mini pumpkins found themselves on everyone's dressing stations, candy corn flowed until we all wanted to vomit from overeating and Freddy Krueger graced the door of the men's dressing room with new accessories added each day (thanks John Riccucci).
As the big day drew near (and after I sang the full score to "The Nightmare Before Christmas for the hundredth time) we all began to crave a little more excitement to make this time of year extra scary.
Cue the abandoned village, only ten minutes from Goodspeed, known as Johnsonville. From what I have been told, Johnsonville was a village created by a multi-millionaire (who made his fortune from inventing the soda can pull tabs) and was once very popular for weddings and other events. Tough times eventually closed the multi acre, multi structure "village" and it has been abandoned for the past 30 years.
Mention of a trip to this abandoned village the night before Halloween drew many cast members onboard for the adventure/possible trespassing arrest. As the show played on that night, one by one people started to become "tired" and "worried about two-show days" and the numbers dwindled to a brave and ballsy three...Noah Aberlin, Martín Solá and me...from here on out known as the "dream team."
The dream team set off after the show leaving the others (wimps) behind and began down the dark and winding road to the infamous Johnsonville. This is where the fun ends and the fear sets in. Mother Nature, perfectly on point, gave us a moon filled drive with a mist rolling across roads that have no light on them aside from our own car. The trees become dense, the road winds and civilization begins to fade away as there is nothing out in front of us. Suddenly we begin to see worn out signs tied to wooden fence posts that state "Village Closed to Public" (I will die tonight at the hands of a serial killer) and The Shadows of structures loom in front.
Old Victorian style homes appear with ivy covering their windows and doors - nature has begun to reclaim these structures. Then suddenly we see that there is a security camera in one of the windows and it is clear that we are one of many people that have tried to scout out this abandoned find. After four creepy drive by's, the dream team (scared ----less) decided that this adventure was over and it was time to return to a better place, a place where a homicidal drifter won't kill and eat you.
Halloween scare: check.
After a few weeks of running through the same routine of an eight show week, we needed a little excitement to shake things up...enter the Halloween parties.
Not just one party, but two, hosted by our lovely male and female swing and company management and our amazing wig gal (she made Halloween themed foods that would make Martha Stewart jealous!).
It was decided a while back that our costume theme would be to take a line or lyric from the show and come dressed as that. Early ideas included the line, "Nunja go away Rosabella," and so one would come dressed like a nun with a ninja mask..."nunja." The creativity of people in the theatre can never be denied as evidenced by the plethora of incredibly clever costume ideas below. We ate, we drank, we ate some more, we had our cards read (thanks Payonk!) and we partied for two nights in two different houses that were both decked out in enough Halloween gore and creepiness to scare most small children...we're talking old "Sweeney Todd" heads from the prop department EVERYWHERE!
I think I can easily say it was one of the most creative Halloween parties I have ever attended and will attend for some time.