Crafting Villains with We Are The Monsters
Mary Imagination has the unique perspective of being both a scare actor and a debut novelist. In this episode you’ll hear an excerpt from her new young adult fantasy horror novel ‘We Are The Monsters.’ Then, Mary joins to discuss crafting villains for both the page and the flesh.
We Are The Monsters
About We Are The Monsters
“So We Are The Monsters is basically like a coming of age, horror story, about two teens. They’re best friends, David and Jenny, and they’re living through life in a very sanctimonious world where they’re the weirdos and nobody quite likes them for being who they are. But! A turn of unfortunate events turn their lives upside down and they discover the world is not as normal as it seems to be; a world full of monsters, madmen, and mayhem. So there’s actually multiple villains in my book because what’s more fun than one villain? So, a few of them, the main ones are the Mistress and then the Suicide Doctor. Even though she is kind of like an antihero, I still consider the character of V as a villain.”
“With the Mistress, she’s kind of like a mob boss of a motorcycle gang and she has this intimidating air about her. I made sure every line she delivers to any of the characters was always sharp and to her character. There’s sarcasm and she always has to evoke the feeling of I’m in charge, I’m powerful. That’s her basic and major motives in the story. With V she’s a scientifically modified human being. But, even though she appears to be a good person on the outside, there’s always sinister motives with all of these villains behind them. They manipulate the main characters to get what they want. In the end, in the reading that I gave at the beginning of this podcast, David, isn’t a villain per se, he’s more of an antihero that has a monster within him; kind of like a Jekyll and Hyde kind of personality. So, not every monster has to be a villain. A villain is an antagonist going against the protagonists, which are David and Jenny. They have good motives, but they don’t always make the right choices that are morally sensible.”
What Is the Difference Between a Monster and a Villain?
“I’m going to compare Graceful Gail versus Knott’s Scary Farms the Green Witch. Now in all the mazes in all the years Graceful Gail has ever existed at The Queen Mary, I never took her as a villain. Does that make sense? She’s always been like an ethereal, mysterious presence on the Queen Mary. Not exactly coming out to attack you. If you’re thinking of yourself, the guest, as a protagonist versus Scary Farm, she’s like, “I’m coming after all of you! I’m rallying up my monsters ever going to wreck havoc!” Boom.”
What Can Scare Actors Do To Develop Their Characters?
“It starts with theme and then stories. So you have to know what kind of story you’re telling with your maze, where are we starting in the story? Like what’s the beginning, middle and end? It’s all about the theme and story and then you create the characters from that theme and story. Here’s the thing. You can’t have the character without having those broad strokes.”
“In 2014, I was the lead villain for Sinister Points Beyond the Mirror maze. I was Bloody Mary. So, I’m the creature beyond the mirror. I’m the one that’s ushering victims into the after life, other worldly, evil place. So, in my head, I go, okay, how does bloody Mary end up on this side of the mirror? Why is she so vengeful? So, I create a kind of, a little bit of a backstory for her that she was a witch, killed, and now she’s on the other side of the mirror seeking revenge to anyone who dare speak her name.”
So as a Scare Actor in a Scene, What Kind of Questions Should You Be Asking Yourself?
“What is your character feeling? What is the feel of the room? Are they a completely aggressive character? Like for Bloody Mary, that scene is mysterious and she’s aggressive. There’s a whole show that starts off where she starts off just looking at the people in the mirror. Then I come out bursting out of the mirror. It’s also, you got to think about, what is the scare of that scene? Or are you scaring it all? Or are you just instilling feelings of uneasiness? Or you having fun with them? It’s all about what’s in your environment and how is your character supposed to interact with those people. In a haunt sense, the only people that can really achieve that are, like we said, the face characters and maybe, maybe, this is a big maybe, street characters, depending on the street character. You can’t really have a slider who’s going to go, “Oh, I got to tell you my life story.” Sometimes it’s just a quick, boom, scare, move on to the next scare.”