Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Petrified Forest is Orlando's premire scare trail.

On September 6th I went to sketch auditions for scare actors at Petrified Forest located on S.R. 436, just 1/4 mile West of 17-92 (1360 E Altamonte Dr, Altamonte Springs, FL).  I sketched inside this maze of horror last year and it really is an amazing experience. Silvia Viles Vicchiullo, the show director was in charge of the auditions. DJ the actor trainer and Stitch the tech also sat in. A video camera recorded each audition for future reference. Actors sat at picnic tables filling out forms and then they entered this fenced in corner area for the audition.

There were props available like a scary clown mask, a golf club and several hats. There was a stool, but it was there just to cover some broken glass. Nicole Scott's children were recruited as the willing victims. Their job was to walk past the actor. These two had seen it all, so it would take a miracle to scare them. The more uncertain actors would use the masks. One actor admitted that he had never been to Petrified Forest before. "You're breaking my heart!" Silvia responded.

This is the seventh year that Petrified Forest has been frightening Floridians. Some actors were clearly returning having participated in previous years. They were greeted as friends. One actor took a two by four and started pounding it on the ground as hard as he could before his audition. The wood split in two like a baseball bat and he then had a very deadly stake. I started to wonder if anyone had told him he shouldn't kill the children. He restrained himself but when the audition was over, he stabbed the stake deep into the ground. Each actor had to write what they find scary on their form. One wrote, "Someone who is unpredictable." Silvia told him, "You probably picked the wrong place to work."

The most impressive audition was from a young girl who walked around in a crap like stance and then she rotated her whole body until she was moving around in an inverted stance with her belly to the sky. She could also rotate her arms out of joint which made me a bit queasy. The young actor I ultimately drew was a returning actor who joked around and gossiped for quite a while before auditioning.

Mark Your Calendars! Petrified Forest opened on October 3rd! Check their online schedule and be sure to experience this amazing scare trail. A single trail is $15 or both trails for $25. Tickets can be bought online or cash only on site.

Prints are available for each sketch for $250 and many originals can be purchased for $400. White museum grade shadow box frames are $100 more. You can e-mail Thor at

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