It all started with an over-sized novelty sombrero and a penciled-in moustache. Though David has no memory of his first Halloween, he is told that he took to the streets outfitted as a tiny amigo complete with poncho and enthusiasm to spare. Despite the fact that he was not asked to offer creative input, David acknowledges his parents for instilling him with an appreciation for the irreverent and often politically incorrect spirit of the holiday. He would also like to take this opportunity to offer a heartfelt apology to any of our Latin American brothers and sisters who may have deemed his costume offensive.
Over the course of the next several years, David experienced more of the mad and macabre than should ever be expected to befall an innocent youth. He attended a fundamentalist Christian school where Halloween was outlawed in favor of Colonial Day which required students to arrive in powdered wigs and deliver speeches about the Founding Fathers. While his friends traipsed off to school dressed as vampires or axe murderers, David was forced to mope through the day in a tri-corner hat exchanging sympathetic glances with a disgruntled Betsy Ross or James Madison.
His years in purgatory forced him to make up for lost time, exploring other ways of indulging his lifelong passion for all things horror and Halloween. David’s first haunted houses were staged in his bedroom and staffed by whatever neighborhood children he could coax into participating. Theming was sparse and usually consisted of nothing more than a few artfully draped sheets and a sound effects tape which provided the requisite rattling chains and groaning ghouls. Despite the budgetary constraints and creative pitfalls inherent to being 6 years old, David believed in his vision and drummed up business via a TV tray which doubled as a makeshift ticket booth. During the off-season he was just like any other child, drafting fan letters to Jamie Lee Curtis and Robert Englund or trying his hand at writing novelizations of classic horror films. David’s bedroom haunts soon evolved into yard displays and increasingly elaborate garage mazes. Halloween preparation began weeks in advance as David took great delight in devising new ways to provide Trick or Treaters with an unforgettable experience.
David attended the University of Southern California where, perhaps still feeling the sting of Colonial Day, he opted to study both Religion and Film. He was afforded the opportunity to intern for David Foster, the Producer behind a number of well-known films including Universal’s 1982 remake of “The Thing”. David frequently participated in creative meetings and was privy to the development of several projects which involved high profile talent such as John Carpenter and Hideo Nakata, director of the original Japanese versions of “The Ring” and “Dark Water”. Since that time, David has been working for a top market research company which services the entertainment industry.
David has a great deal of genuine passion for horror and themed-entertainment, and considers Halloween an almost year-round holiday. He currently lives in Los Angeles where he has been the creative force behind a number of events based on pre-existing properties and original concepts. In 2011, he as was pleased to join the team behind the Reign of Terror Haunted House while also designing his own uniquely themed haunt--The Crawlspace. He is currently looking to parlay his passion into a full time career, and is eager to join the creative team of a professional Halloween attraction or large-scale theme park event.
During the Halloween season, things are not as they appear and the story as it is presented to us may not in fact be true. Zombies and pregnant nuns can be seen casually exchanging phone numbers. A miniature Lady Gaga might arrive at your door and surprise you by pleading for treats as opposed to her usual pleas for prolonged media exposure. Perhaps your neighbor’s lawn is littered with human remains and implements of torture, the type of thing which would normally result in a hastily placed call to the authorities, but during the month of October elicits nothing but a smile and a wave.
Halloween, horror films, and ghost stories offer a unique opportunity to touch the realm of myth and imagination, to live out our fantasies and confront our fears. But let’s not get too carried away. They’re also just plain fun.
What inspires you? Quick! Say the first thing that pops into your head. If you answered with something like, oh I don’t know, a torrid teen romance series detailing the doomed love triangle formed by a sparkly vampire, a shirtless werewolf, and a sour-faced mortal…well, your initial reaction might be shame. But why not embrace that inspiration and use it as the foundation for your next party, event, or walk-through attraction?
David’s approach to themed entertainment begins with the development of a story. A fully-realized, immersive event is then created in service to that story. David believes that consistent, thorough theming should be applied to every aspect of a haunted attraction, and insists on impeccable attention to detail. He works to create multi-sensory environments which are designed to be explored. He is heavily influenced by theme park events such Universal’s Halloween Horror Nights and Knott’s Halloween Haunt and cites them as authoritative examples of that endeavor.
David’s professional experience coupled with his passion for entertainment has equipped him with the skill set necessary to conceptualize and execute large events. He considers himself equal parts Leatherface and Liz Lemon. One part Patrick Bateman from “American Psycho”, and one part Natalie from “The Facts of Life”. He is available to work as part of your creative team, or as a Project Manager for your next event.
Think big, and don’t impose strict limitations on your flirtation with the dark side. Consider acknowledging the spirit of Halloween on days outside of those which fall between October 1st and 31st. Every occasion has the potential for horror! Chances are a delightfully unexpected touch of the macabre is lurking just beneath the surface, extending an eager hand in your direction.