So Nightmare is a completely fluid art installation. We are not graced with any preview period before people start chiming in everywhere about how they feel about it. We do previews with small groups of people before we open, but nothing prepares us for what people think about it until we get a real crowd. You see, I used to think New Yorkers were too critical for me to just do the same house every year. They needed a new show to keep them coming back. So when i create a wholly new haunted house, it is an original piece every year. Without having been tested and trialed. The more I do this, though, it seems like i should just do what other haunted houses do and basically do the same thing every year with a few minor tweaks. If it ain't broke, don't fix it. I should just take the best moments in all of the houses i have created and just make one house that i do basically the same every year, right? One that takes no chances and I know works because i have already done it. I say this because if i ever read another comment that doesn't appreciate the fact that we rebuild this thing every year so that you have a completely new and different experience, then i am going to punch someone in the face. I build an entirely new haunted house EVERY YEAR with new props, new set pieces, new costumes, EVERY YEAR! I do not recycle much of anything at all, save a few set pieces. Does it matter?
That said, every single day we are adding something new. sometimes it is something small, sometimes it is something that doesn't work and we get rid of it, but never does my team and I stop working on it. This past weekend we added several very successful scares. The Billy Goat in Billy Goats Gruff has a new friend and a new routine, as well as a new costume. He is pretty terrifying right now. There are more wolves and bears than before, and the final descent out of the forest has been more fleshed out to look like a forest and is now teeming with more animal attackers. why did it take me so long to do this stuff? Because our haunted house is a living, breathing organism. we need to see what happens and let it grow. We added things because we learned that we needed to add these things. We are never satisfied. Come Halloween, hell, come November 5th, the house will be a different creature from day one. We obviously hope for the better. Clearly it is our intention to nail it from day one, but when you create an entirely new experience every year, you can't know if you have until you do it.
My big question is, should I just do a house that i know works from year's past, or should i continue to do a different house every year? please chime in.