Monday, November 9, 2009
•Family Business- the raising and care of the family unit.
•House Business- taking care of debt and assets, repairs and waste.
•Friends Business- taking care to meet and socialize with friends.
True, as we grow older these 'businesses' become more and more complicated--but here the line becomes drawn for the majority workers. So many Americans see work as a means to get money. But that's not enough. They are more than happy to spend time with friends and family, than to check their customer satisfaction.
My philosophy of business is that it needs to be closer to the human existence more now than ever. Too often we see dishonesty and tomorrow, our manager team begins with the Heart and Mind of the business. The first draft of the company's vision is:
"To create the premier Halloween dark attraction, that is relevant to the local community and cultural traditions, which brings people, friends and families together to ignite their imaginations and wonderment. We are a responsible high performing business."
Somewhat unusual for a Halloween Haunt, but we're looking for more. We're looking to change the way people see Haunted Attractions and Halloween.
As we continue to look for a singularity of purpose, the manager members do not want to settle for the bloody, death and mayhem themes (although in America, that is a part of Halloween) but for true scares and also something less sinister.
For my part, I would love to see Halloween return to the Golden Age, when it was more of family and friends connection. Finding this job, is a blessing. I'm not just working for a paycheck, but a way of life. A better way.
Can all American businesses do the same way? I don't have that answer. But I do know that creating a deeper emotional connection to the work at hand is becoming more important in the marketplace.
To the American worker: a solid, good working environment starts with you. It begins with integrity and trust. Be purposeful everyday and you'll find that happiness and balance. Napolean Hill once said, "No person can succeed in a line of endeavor which one does not like". I have found that my favorite holiday, with my love of human interaction makes for a solid business idea.
Have you given thought to how your business fits into your life?
- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone 3G S
Sunday, November 1, 2009
Halloween 20 years ago has drastically changed. From the decline of Trick o' Treating to the rise of the Halloween Haunt Industry. How and where will out new company fit in this unique holiday? That's what forming the company in the next few weeks will determine. The questions we hope to answer are the same questions every company must ask:
•What is our purpose?
•What is our vision?
•Who are our customers?
I also realize how much I need to change my perspective on this Halloween Haunt. After 20 years, our 'Halloween Party' returns to being a party and our Haunt now becomes a full business. I can't help but to feel a sense of loss and excitement all at the same time. WCH will take you on our journey as I turn my passion into a business. I never believed in luck, and with our talented team I have no doubt we will be successful.
- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone 3G S
Friday, October 30, 2009
Thursday, October 29, 2009
Dia de los Muertos is a wonderful Mexican holiday. There is no better place to see the traditional sights and sounds than historic Olvera Street in Downtown L.A. Olvera Street is the oldest street in downtown Los Angeles, named after Augstin Olvera in 1877.
Calle Olvera has been preparing for Dia de los Muertos for the last couple of weeks (maybe to go along side with Halloween, although the locals will remind you that it is not like Halloween at all!) with decorations, flowers, and a procession that travels down the street nightly.
The most visible aspect of this day are the calaverdas, or skulls. They take every form you can think of from sugar skulls to ceramics to paper masks. The idea is to make death less frightening and more welcoming. Dia de los Muertos is a festival of remembrance of loved ones, the enjoyment of life and the reminder that life and death are not as separate as we think they are. Skeletons are usually depicted enjoying everyday life, such as eating drinking and celebrating. A favorite (especially for my wife and myself) is the popular marriage scene.
There is plenty to eat and drink, and the environment is always fun. While in Downtown, especially in late October and November, make sure to stop by one afternoon to witness the Dia de los Muertos celebrations! Parking is only $8.00 across the street, and Olvera is located close to 101 Freeway. I recommend bringing cash for the local merchants, and make sure to buy yourself a sugar skull or two!
Olvera Street continues to be a center for not only Mexican heritage, but Hispanics from all over Latin America. This is the best place to experience Dia in Southern California! Many local celebrations occur in front of the Old Plaza Church.
Here, children from the local schools color their calaverda masks and enjoy hitting a skeleton pinata!
Saturday, October 24, 2009
Tuesday, October 13, 2009
coast. The season grows colder and the anicent celebration begins...
"Dia de los Muertos"!
Sunday, October 11, 2009
before, the river in my version is an old sewer tunnel with the souls
of the dead trapped within the pipes that run from above.
It is difficult to see, but the pipes are almost done, with slime
running down from them and faces embedded within them. Only a hand
full of pipes were PVC, while most were hand made by fellow Haunter
Michael Gilbert and myself.
Next, we'll finish up the details and add 3D effects!
Monday, September 21, 2009
I had the privilege of re-imagining the River Styx from the Divine Comedy. The vision in Dante's story is a dark and muddy river filled with the souls of the dead forever trapped in its tides.
After much brainstorming, I decided to take a modern look into the river. Natural rivers are a little hard to do in the amount of space I have available (a corridor about 6 ft by 3 ft). I remembered a great documentary I saw about man-made rivers such as the New York underground tunnels and sewers. In taking this idea to our Haunt, I wanted to update the Styx and make it more relevant to today's audiences. If you look closely, you'll see old portraits of Dante's river as a homage to the original. I still wanted the souls trapped in the "river", so I designed them to be trapped in the pipes and ducts running back and forth in the sewer tunnel. Keep checking up for updates on the progress of this room!
Thursday, September 17, 2009
Halloween Dominion's 2009 Haunt has many talented Haunters working on attraction. I'm in charge of a few rooms and corridors within that Haunt. One of those rooms is called the River Styx, after Dante's Inferno. I will post the progress of this room and final product here on West Coast Hauntrepreneur.
Sunday, September 13, 2009
Without giving too much away, here is a look at one of the rooms in
the 2009 Halloween Dominion Haunt! The lighting is not complete, so to
see the final effect make sure to stop by "Dia de los Muertos"!!!
decorate their theme park. I wanted to share this wonderful scene
display at Disneyland California Adventure Park, near the Hollywood
Tower of Terror. A very great reproduction of classical Golden Age
Halloween. Check it out yourself at Disneyland California!!!
Tuesday, September 8, 2009
- Reserve: start to save now, for your Haunt.
- Invest: purchase (wisely) items that can be reused over and over again.
- Plan: plan every detail of your Haunt, so you have a goal of how much to save, and how much to spend.
Sunday, September 6, 2009
favorite foods are associated with this time of year. So a new section
of this blog will introduce you to several of my favorite dishes that
I hope you'll enjoy. And I invite you to share some of you own
One of my first traditions comes in the form of Starbucks Coffee
Company's Pumpkin Spice Latte. This blend of espresso, steamed milk,
Pumpkin Spice Sauce and whipped cream is the perfect balance of sweet
pumpkin pie flavor and coffee. The best part is that you can customize
it the way you want it.
As a home haunter, October is a busy month, usually with long nights
and early mornings. A little coffee break is much needed during our
long building night. I customize my latte with non-fat milk and no
whipped cream. Depending on my mood, I might add an extra shot of
espresso. I truly believe that the best way to serve your customers is
to be alert, awake, and healthy at the same time. Have this drink with
low fat or non fat milk and maybe a less pump of that delicious sauce
for a healthier alternative.
Interested? Click the link below for the nutritional information. I
hope you enjoy Starbucks Pumpkin Spice Latte, and don't forget to tip
Saturday, September 5, 2009
Thursday, September 3, 2009
great, but would I have to pull a "Spock" and die saving a starship to
be in one?
For most people, death is a serious and sad stage of life. However, it
can also be a celebration of life and all the wonderful things we
enjoyed. My mother-in-law reminds me that the Irish celebrate and
remember the dead through lively wakes. I'm sure being in tomb in a
Photon Torpedo Casket would take the edge of another wise morbid event.
Check out Eternal Image, if you love Trek consider one of their urns
when you bodly go....
Sunday, August 30, 2009
Help support Halloween Dominion 2009! Our celebration this year is Dia de los Muertos, a Hispanic celebration of life and death... with a twist! We're also partnering with Costumes for Kids, a great Halloween Charity! Costume for Kids helps bring new or used Halloween costumes to disabled children, to bring them the Halloween they deserve!
Sunday, August 23, 2009
In the 1880s, immigrants from Europe brought their Halloween customs and traditions to the states. The first celebrations were considered "play parties" and public harvest events held in New England. The Potato Famine of 1846 brought many more immigrants, especially Irish immigrants, and helped bring Halloween celebration to the national stage. The American Halloween tradition of going door to door asking for money or food later became known as "trick or treating", a tradition that is practiced today. By the late 1880s, Halloween was more about community and neighborhood socials than about ghosts, ghouls and witchcraft. Diane C. Arkins, author of Halloween Merrymaking, describes this period as the "Golden Age" of Halloween. Arkins describes the traditional Halloween gatherings as " fun, food, and frolics served with a side of mild-manner seasonal frights." Parties during this time focused more on stylistic costumes rather than gory, bloody or horrifying costumes. Even the old Celtic beliefs of fortune telling became more of a game rather than actual future predictions. Arkins describes a popular game involving cleaning out walnut shells, filling them with a paper fortune and having guest chant "Elf that haunts the walnut tree, what has fate in store for me?" Modern Halloween traditions that originated from the Golden Age, include:
- Parties and social gatherings
- Halloween theme food
- Halloween theme games and decorations
- Pumpkin carving
Over 2,000 years ago, the Celtics lived in the lands of modern day Ireland, United Kingdom and France. During the month of October, the Celtic tribes celebrated Samhain (sow-in) which represents the end of summer and the beginning of the harsh winter. On October 31st, the Celtics believed that mischievous spirits of the dead returned to earth. They believed during this time that it was possible for the living to predict the future. Crop and animal sacrifices were offered up to the Celtic deities, while tribe members dressed in costumes made of animal skins.