“My ScareHouse dreams have been realized!”
As one of the new faces to the ScareHouse team this season, Alex Vogelsong just celebrated her Pittsburghaversy.
“It was a year ago this August that I came to Pittsburgh for the first time,” says Vogelsong. “I worked as a casting assistant and background actor on a film production [Ethan Coen’s Drive-Away Dolls], and relocation was already on my radar. Pittsburgh in various ways made it clear that this is the place! I moved here in January.”
The Philadelphia-area native brings years of haunt experience to ScareHouse, including work with Terror Behind the Walls at Eastern State Penitentiary and Halloween Nights at Eastern State Penitentiary.
“Right after college, I worked with a circus sideshow, and there was a cross-over with the haunt industry, and at an after-party, someone encouraged me to audition [at Terror Behind The Walls].”
Eventually, in addition to flexing her standup and improv skills, she utilized her musical prowess and drummed for the haunt’s Junkyard Jams attraction, where a band of misfits turns trash into tunes with live performances every night.
“As a musician, that was another dream gig. Hours and hours of drumming with a whole ensemble and some trash! That was a very fun blend of haunt-ship and musicianship that I enjoyed.”
So when she moved to Pittsburgh, she was excited to find something equally as unique when she read an ad in an audition group.
“[It read] ‘Weirdos wanted: ScareHouse.’ And that was the exact moment I came to know it existed, and I happened to have been wearing my old haunt shirt. Weirdo wanted? I identify as such and appreciate others who do, too!”
The Rowan University Radio Television & Film major thought her acting career was behind her, but on a whim, she auditioned at ScareHouse and admittedly got “rebit by the acting bug!” But she’s also been gaining skills in scenic painting as well as anything else the haunt throws at her. T
“They have esteemed long-time artists to do the particular detail work, but I’ve been getting to do base painting. After I painted the back of the last exit door black, then they had me on a ladder to unsnakee some cables and got into some audio stuff like checking whether sounds and speakers are working.”
At one point during pre-production, she was scenic painting on a ladder, and they announced over the loudspeakers they were turning off the lights to film promo material. Vogelsong says all the sound effects and creepy music started going off as she was still standing on the ladder working with a flashlight. Suddenly, ScareHouse Design and Operations Manager Nicole Conniff walked by with the softest footsteps and said, “Hello!”
“I’m very easily jump-startled scared!” Vogelsong laughs. “I’ve already witnessed firsthand how terrifying ScareHouse can be, even behind the scenes!”
Even though her Pittsburgh film work is currently on hold with the WGA and SAG-AFTRA strikes, Vogelsong has found herself teaching music to pre-school and elementary-aged children at School of Rock in addition to her work at ScareHouse. As for her first season aspirations, she says it can only go up from here.
“I feel like my ScareHouse dreams have been realized already! I always describe myself as having stage crew blood. As a person new to this town, I know haunt work is a great way to meet a bunch of people and unique people at that. To already be working in a production that I really respect with a business model that offers affordable tickets, any time I tell anyone I work at a haunted house, they’re like ‘Which one?’, and I go ‘ScareHouse’ and they go, ‘Ahhh, yeah! Cool!’”