Our 19th annual Halloween Haunt event is in full swing, with two new shows taking the stage this year. Queen Majesty’s loyal court of singers and dancers perform in what has proven to be The Greatest Show during one of new entertainment options, Heads Will Roll. Among the group of singers and dancers, you will find Jade Ross, a Performer/Choreographer who has been with Kings Dominion through many different seasons. Find out what it takes to be an entertainer during Halloween Haunt and how much work Jade has put into her positions here at Kings Dominion below!
How long have you been working at Kings Dominion?
I have been performing at Kings Dominion since Haunt 2013. I have worked every Haunt since then but have performed on and off each summer. I started choreographing and working on the PEANUTS shows in 2015 and have continued to work on other shows such as ‘The Coven’, ‘The Clown Band’, ‘Jingle Jazz’, ‘Heads Will Roll’ and a few others.
What got you interested in working during Halloween Haunt?
I grew up knowing that I wanted to pursue dance as my career. I graduated with a BFA in Dance Performance and I started working at Haunt to continue my passion of dancing and performing.
How did you find your position with Kings Dominion?
I went to an audition at Kings Dominion in 2013 and MoonMaxx Productions hired me in their show ‘Edge of Darkness’ as a dancer and dance captain. Since then, I have continued to audition and have performed in a variety of shows for Kings Dominion and RWS Entertainment group as well.
What do you enjoy most about your job?
There are so many things I enjoy about my job! I love the creative process of putting on a show. I love getting to work with and meet such talented people. I love performing and being in front of an audience. I love getting to experiment with so many different characters and styles of shows. I love seeing my vision come to life. Those are just a few!
What’s your favorite “character” or piece you’ve gotten to play/perform and why?
I think my favorite show I’ve done has to be my first show, ‘Edge of Darkness’. It’s what started my journey here at Kings Dominion and it really took me out of my comfort zone. It was my first show involving singing, my first Haunt show, my first show in heels, my first time doing a show multiple times a day, and it brought me to Virginia. Also, it was a circus/scary/rock show which are 3 of my favorite things!
What makes Kings Dominion’s Halloween Haunt event so special?
Kings Dominion’s Halloween Haunt is done SO well. Everyone involved is so talented from the makeup, the mazes, the shows, the monsters, etc. I love bringing my family and friends to the park during Haunt, it’s their favorite time of year to come! Personally, I have so many memories during Haunt that make it so special to me. I have met some of my best friends and my boyfriend during Haunt contracts. Although we work hard, we have more free time than summer contracts to enjoy the season and really take in all of what Haunt at Kings Dominion has to offer!
Favorite memory on the job?
My favorite memory during Haunt actually happened opening weekend of this year! We opened a new show on the bandstand stage (‘Heads Will Roll’) and not only am I performing in the show, but I choreographed it as well. I am so proud of this project! On opening day, we performed for the largest audience I’ve ever danced for at Kings Dominion. The crowd was so responsive, and it was such an amazing feeling to dance in front of that many people and to see them enjoying a show we all worked so hard on.
How much training went into your position here at Kings Dominion?
I have been training my whole life to perform. I started dancing at age 3 and haven’t stopped since! As far as choreographing goes, I started teaching when I was 17 and through that I have found my love for choreographing as well as performing.
What is your long-term career plan and how has your job at Kings Dominion helped with that?
Kings Dominion and MoonMaxx productions have helped with my career in numerous ways. Not only have they hired me to perform, but each year I am given more opportunities to choreograph new and exciting shows. My long-term career plan involves performing and traveling for as long as I can but continuing to build my resume as a choreographer so that eventually I can settle down and move completely onto that side of the entertainment industry.
11:00 AM - 12:00 PM- Wake up! Haunt goes so late so my whole apartment sleeps in.
12:00 - 3:45 PM- Relax with the roomies (I live with 5 other performers!), meal prep for the night, walk my dog (Charlie, the sweetest little golden retriever), pack everything I need to get through the night
3:45 PM- Head to the park
4:30 PM- Call time!
4:45 PM- Mic check and time to put our water bottles and sweat towels behind the stage (we don’t get to go backstage before or after shows to keep the magic alive so we have to place them there now)
5:15 PM- Head to makeup
5:45 PM-6:55 PM- Pin my wig with a thousand bobby pins so it won’t fall off, warm up, put on my costume, make sure I’ve eaten enough/drank enough water to get through the show, review/go over any notes, work through any reblocks or last-minute issues
6:55 PM- Places!
7:00 PM- Blood Reign starts and it leads right into our show (Heads Will Roll) at 7:10 PM
7:40 PM-7:55 PM- Try to catch my breath/cool down on this tiny little break before our next show
7:55 PM- Places!
8:00 PM- The next beheading starts and leads right into our second show at 8:10 PM
8:40 PM-9:55 PM- This is our long break! Usually we will eat dinner on this break, try to rest our bodies, or go visit family/friends that have come to see our shows.
9:55 PM- Places!
10:00 PM- Another beheading with a show at 10:10 PM
10:40 PM - 11:15 PM - Break! On this break we pack up our stuff and clean our dressing rooms so that we can leave faster after our last show
11:15 PM - Places!
11:20 PM- Time for our last show! Our show starts first on this one because of a special surprise with the Overlord at the end of the night.
12:00 AM-12:20 AM- Get out of costume, wigs, makeup and head home
12:30 AM-2:00 AM- Sometimes we will get food on the way home, sometimes we will watch scary movies at night to wind down before going to bed, sometimes we will go right to sleep as soon as we walk in the door. But always a shower before bed!
Then we do it all over again the next day!
Kings Dominion provides the framework for a successful career path, no matter what area you’re interested in. If you’d like to join our entertainment team, or browse other available positions, head over to our website and fill out an application! We’d love to have you join our team.
Halloween Haunt takes over the park every Friday, Saturday and Sunday starting at 7:00 PM to park close and is included in park admission. For a full list of attractions, including scare zones and mazes, click here.