We recently sat down and had a chat with Tabitha Kell about how she got into scare acting and basically her journey that shes been on as a scare actor.
Hey Tabitha. Thank you for agreeing to take part in this interview. I guess our first question is a nice easy one. Could you tell us a bit more about yourself?
Hay, no worries, really happy to take part. I’ve been part of the scare industry as an actor since 2016 though I think I’ve always been destined to become a scare actor as I used to scare my sister’s loads when I was younger and found it hilarious (but always got in trouble for it).
Haha. I now have a mental image of you hiding in a wardrobe and jumping out at your sister. So how did you get into scare acting properly?
Haha it was actually at the top of the stairs where I jumped out yelling ooga booga (I don’t know why) but any opportunity I had I would take. I got into scare acting properly in 2016 when I got my first job at Hell in a Cell (a horror based escape room) from there I found out about auditions for Fear at Avon Valley, Wicked Experiences Zombie Nightmare and Thorpe Park.
We actually did Hell In A Cell in March and loved it. How did you find working there?
It was great fun and for me personally, a great stepping stone into different places (such as Fear, Wicked Experiences etc) I love the game itself but could never play it again cause I still remember all the codes and clues etc so it takes the fun out of it.
Yeah I bet it would spoil the fun. So, Fear. Tell me everything! How long were you there, what did you do. Literally everything!
I loved Fear, it was such an amazing place to work and I have so much love for UVE and Avon Valley because of it. I was first there in 2017 in my first attraction called Purgatory which is based on a prison riot. It was a lot of hard work and a very different style of acting to Hell in a Cell as we only had a couple of seconds to make the scare before they were gone and you were waiting for the next group. It was intense but I made some good friends out. Special shout out to Rhienn who was my little bundle of energy in there. In 2018 and 2019 I got placed in Street Team, in my first year I was a seer (demon child) who went around with Mama the blind fortune teller (who was played by my Show Captain that year) it was great to experience what it was like on street team as it’s very different to being in an attraction, it’s very constant even when you’ve done your scare/interaction because you are always on show where as in an attraction you would have about 30secs to a minute until the next group comes in. In 2019 I was placed in Street Team again (I was actually hoping to go back into an attraction again) which I played a rebel from the Republic of New England and also the unofficial swing actor. I played the rebel four times out of 11 due to actor sicknesses which meant I was placed into different attractions and had about 10 mins with the show captains to find out what area I’m in, how to work it, where the E stop was (just in case) quickest way into the actors run, where the tech room is (the type of things you learn in your rehearsals, I had to do in 10 mins before the doors opened to the guests, it was extremely challenging but I managed it and loved doing it.
Oh wow. So Fear really tested you but I’m so glad you loved it. I remember coming out of X4 and all I heard was you go “Wait right there Dom”. I have to ask, which was your favourite attraction to work in as a swing actor?
Yeah, it was amazing and it’s helped me grow as an actor too. You were lucky to catch me on one of the days I was playing a rebel so I could corner you. Oooo that is a tough question but it would have to be House of Clowns as I wanted to work in there from when it opened in 2018 and I got to spend three nights working in there, I was really happy to be a clown
How did acting at Fear compare to acting Wicked Experiences?
It’s very different because I had the role of a military guide, I wasn’t really there to scare but to help them through the zombie infested shopping center and find the cure which about 80% of my groups did. Where as in Fear, even when I played the role of a guard that was helping them (especially in the final outdoor bit) because I hadn’t spent anytime with them, they ended up being scared of me especially because I had a gun (it was a blank firing gun which we got trained to use)
“I took the plunge to audition for Thorpe due to the current situation the world is in as Fear wasn’t running but Thorpe announced it would be so I sent my application in, got invited to an audition”
I guess we should chat about this year. You were at Thorpe Park. What made you go for an audition there and could you tell us more about the journey through the audition process?
Thorpe Park has always been a dream of mine to work for ever since going through my first scare attraction in 2010 which was Saw Alive. So in 2010 I went to Thorpe Park with my acting course group (it was an end of year trip though for us an end of course as we had just finished) and the group I was with, we all decided to go through Saw Alive (we also got lost and managed to find the group behind us so thanks to the actors who got us on the right path) and when we came out, my class mates were like “this would be the perfect job for you Tabby” and I agreed but thought you had to be drama school trained so never looked into it but came back for the fright nights that year and went back every year for fright nights excluding 2016 absolutely loving it. I took the plunge to audition for Thorpe due to the current situation the world is in as Fear wasn’t running but Thorpe announced it would be so I sent my application in, got invited to an audition and turned up to the audition. I had Leah and Emily as my audition panel and we did the standard stuff of impact scaring, character work (eg the buckwheat’s, vampires, carny/sideshow characters) as well as a very short monologue and we learnt the first part of Amity’s dance. I got the phone call off Leah the next evening to say I had got the job (which I was so happy to hear) I got sent my contract and got my induction day date. It was at induction I got to meet my fellow cast members and got introduced to my Show Captain Chris
And you ended up working in the new area The Fearstival Arena as Pyro. What was it like to actually be there acting?
Yes, I loved my carny character Pyro and generally thought I was going to end up in the Fearstival Arena too. It was amazing to be there acting and very different to Fear in the way that we had more rehearsals and they were longer then what we did at Fear plus Chris gave us a lot of freedom to develop our characters the way we wanted. It was amazing to watch people in our cast and learn off them too, we were even lucky enough to have two team leaders come join us on different days so I could watch and learn from them.
Well I enjoyed watching you and everyone in the area act. It was such a great area and you all should be extremely proud. I guess I have just one more question for you. What are your hopes for 2021? Will you want to return to Fear or Thorpe or go somewhere else?
Thank you. I would love to return to Thorpe next year and I’m hoping that the world has a bit more normality so as a scare actor we can go closer to people and give them a more intense experience. Though I will definitely try to go to Fear as a guest as it’ll be interesting going there as a guest rather then being there as an actor.
We’d like to say a huge thank you to Tabitha for taking part in this interview