Episode 70 – Box of Dread, The Pyramid, Night Shift, Komnata, Blood Alley, and The Lust Experience: Anointment
In this episode, we get excited about the newest Box of Dreads. Mike goes to Escape Room LA to try and uncover the secrets of their newest escape room, The Pyramid. Russell tries a mash up of escape room, haunt, and immersive theatre at Horror Escapes LA‘s “Night Shift” and travels across the country to try out Komnata Quest‘s “Boxed Up” and “The City of Ashes”. Zombie Joe brings us horror holiday cheer in Blood Alley Christmas! Then we enter a party put on by the OSDM with The Lust Experience‘s “Anointment”.
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Links to what we spoke about:
Box of Dread – Website, Facebook, Instagram, Twitter
Escape Room LA – Web, Facebook, Instagram, Twitter
Night Shift – Web, Facebook, Instagram, YouTube
Komnata Quest Escape Rooms – Web, Facebook, Instagram
Zombie Joes – Website, Facebook, Instagram, Twitter
The Lust Experience – Website, Facebook, Instagram, Twitter
My Haunt Life – iTunes, Google Play, YouTube, TuneIn, Calendar, Facebook, Instagram, Twitter
Call or text us! 515 HAUNT LA ( (515)428-6852 )
Guys – a great podcast as always. I oddly feel the need to post because, for the first time ever, I actually disagree with you – and its on THE LUST EXPERIENCE of all things. It’s bizarre because our tastes are so aligned. So thanks for letting me comment here, and I’ll stick to my first visit only so our contexts are equivalent.
Obviously, emotional reactions are what they are, and I appreciate that you guys are so freaking honest in your responses. Hearing your scene with the singer really got me, Russell’s moment with Sabrina was MAGIC, and his moment with Mason was terrific. That, to me, is where the magic lies and not every scene can have that gravitas. And one responds emotionally as one does, that’s all there is to it.
To that end, I think the critique of the show was totally fair. I think a stronger through-line narrative was needed. From my experience, I can say that trying to craft a narrative aimed at both newbies and veterans is challenging. Having a goal for participants to achieve, even a false one, would have been helpful. And if a scene doesn’t work for someone, it doesn’t work.
However, I think what surprised me was that MHL’s reviews are always fair, and to that end, even shows that aren’t liked receive praise about the things that were good. It seemed uncharacteristic that the many exceptional parts of the show were not mentioned. It seemed like once the phone moment happened that somehow that killed the visit. I was perplexed by this, because I feel like a lot worse things have happened to you guys and didn’t kill the experience. I mean, I was standing next to you for more than five minutes in Ascension and that should have been enough to have you run screaming.
As to the good point unmentioned:
The actors – outstanding. Over 40 of them that I can think of. Not a false beat among them. They created the reality of this space. I am personally astonished that over two productions with over 75 actors, DLB and Clint and Gordon have cast to near-perfection. That’s a feat that is nearly impossible, and also speaks to DLB’s directing. These actors were walking tightropes and never tripping up. Every line delivered with clear intent, except when it’s supposed to be vague. Clear objectives provided to each character in each scene.
Location, mood, lighting, and the quality of the production…for a pop-up event? Pretty damn impressive IMHO.
I also feel, respectfully, that the review might have been missing the forest for the trees. I heard an important question asked, “why am I here”, or “what was the purpose of this scene?”. Sticking to the veteran’s perspective, since that’s what we three are, it all made sense to me.
We’ve been told repeatedly that “Power is the only law”, and here it was, in action. And look at the depraved results. Embrace the darkness? Here it is. And it’s horrifying. This was the payoff to that perverse message.
Noah told us he was preparing us to go into the lion’s den, which this was, and to be self-actualized when we did. We had to be. Because otherwise, what we saw would be the fate that would await us in life: End up either as monsters like Rico or Cecilia or The Queen that were drunk with power, or as trapped servants. That’s why Noah said what he did about finding a savior. This event paid off the ARG.
So to my mind, saying that this was not a party one would stay at had one not paid, I’m thinking, “I should hope not!” If I can use my irritating mythological analogies, we journeyed into the Underworld. It’s not a happy place.
I also think this was a reply to the whole “Where’s the sex chapter!” question. Sure, it was sometimes asked in jest. But I felt this was a response to that. “You want sex and kink and naked people? Here you go”. It’s not what people imagined, because raunch never is. It’s easy to debase ourselves with puerile thoughts. And the comical nature of The Honoring was intentional – which is why Noah showed up and said what he did.
Finding a savior means loving someone so much that you fucking hate them half the time, and sacrifice, and hard work. That was the point to the whole evening. What ultimately matters in all this depravity? True human connection. Loving. Caring. And while I may have been in the position of having someone I was truly connected to, and made that conclusion all the more powerful for me, that wasn’t necessary to get the message.
I’m curious to know what was listed as your individual “want” and “need”, how specific those were, and if they were offered in some way. I think the extent to which participants were specific about those answers, as well as realistic, may also have made a difference in their experience. Mine certainly did.
One last thing – it seemed like there was some disappointment that a second visit revealed additional story and character points and that this was “pay to play”. Yet this seems to me to be exactly what happened at Ascension, so I was puzzled by that.
Anyways, those are my thoughts. Maybe you should’ve just come when I was there late on Sunday. You would’ve gotten to see me naked, and that would’ve made this event the best you’d ever been to. ☺
Larry, thank you for listening and for taking the time to comment. I have to admit, this comment sounds more like OSDM propaganda than anything else, but I respect your words and opinions.
We all have things we like and don’t like in life. Things I’ve done may not be for you and visa versa…and that is ok. So by you saying there were many exceptional parts is just your opinion as my words were mine because to me, there weren’t many…FOR ME. You say we didn’t praise the exceptional parts, but we did. We praise the parts wwe thought were exceptional. All the things you mentioned such as the singer moment and Russell’s Sabrina moment, those were amazing and we said as such.
The phone moment did kill the show for me. Again, you feel that worse things have happened to me is subjective and your opinion. Sure, if we look at it on surface level being called a “bitch” isn’t as bad as being waterboarded, but the thing is, with all of the other “worse” things that I’ve done, there’s ALWAYS been a story that had the particular scene make sense. Showing up at a party, then being asked to call someone, and then being called a bitch/pussy took me out because there was nothing to make sense of it (to me). Something that could have worked for me, was instead of calling someone we knew (who had nothing to do with Lust), maybe we call one of the “handlers” relatives or friends. That would create an intense emotional attachment and we’d be calling someone who was a part of the show and therefore making the show seem more real.
Over 40 actors? That seems high, but then again, I was not on the same path that you were. I wouldn’t even think that there were 40 people there, participants included. Again, based on my show. I didn’t have a ton of interaction with any of them and the ones I did, I mentioned. I also don’t think it’s fair of you to generalize. Did you have interactions with all 40 actors? Did you hear them say every line to every person? If not, you can’t say that they weren’t tripping up. Also, DLB, Clint, and Gordon were fired from the project. Why are you dragging their names into this? Let them have their lives.
The fact that you can get that from this show is great! I’m jealous of that. I wish I had, but I didn’t and I know I’m not alone, so it’s not a “just me” thing unfortunately. Saying this paid off the arg is a stretch, in my opinion. Not really any story points were carried over. Like I said, this felt like a spin off with characters we’ve come to know over the last year.
The comical nature of the Honoring was intentional? Seriously? I can’t even comment on that because that I think you might be trolling right now. What you said about human connection, that’s my point, for me, there was none. I hated almost everyone in that show. The one connection I had was one of the first scenes and was quickly ended by moving on to the next part of the show. You have a bias opinion of this show because of Stephanie and what you were able to do. So yes, for YOU, it was about love and caring and all that stuff.
In regards to the 2nd visit. That is NOT what happened in Ascension. If you got a 2nd ticket, you got to see a new show basically. When there was a major story point, much like what happened at the 2nd MSE visit, there would be Periscopes either by participants or Tension. Whenever a major thing happened, we could ALL take part even if we weren’t physically there.
Like I said, I have faith in their writing and I’m sure things will make sense as a whole after it’s all over 🙂
Thank you, Larry, for taking the time to give your feedback. Obviously, we seem to have had very different experiences. I am definitely happy the show resonated for you on some level. Yes, I feel the cast in my show was very strong. Overall, the elements of the production were strong. I agree with your points there. However, I stand by my points that there was little emotional engagement for me. Even in scenes where I completely respect the high quality of the performance, the point of the scene was often lost on me.
You point to two specific emotional scenes I mentioned in the podcast… which made up less than ten minutes of a two hour event. Fine, not all scenes may hold such emotional fire but I spent most of the evening scratching my head in confusion and not engaged.
As far as making sense, I disagree with you. I witnessed very little information that was new and what I did seemed to only add confusion… not further any story points. If this was, as you say, a demonstration of the power of the OSDM, then do you really believe the only options for us are to end up as monsters or servants as you state thanks to the power they hold? The almost comical final sequence was a jarring change in tone and I stifled laughter at one point during it. For you to say what was said during that scene was “the point of the whole evening” surprises me since it was such a bizarre left-turn, seemingly out of character for the person delivering the message. Your logic does not make sense to me based on SCENES I SAW. You claim this event paid off the ARG, but for me it did not. The “twist” of breaking down factions which occurred before this event was only muddied by what we were told here.
You make a very valid point… a goal would have been helpful. (Other than to observe, which we were told to do… but not given a specific way to report what we saw. Or, why we should.)
Personally, I have not been asking “Where is the sex chapter?” because there is so much more that the word Lust can mean. Much of what I saw felt intended to just make the patron uncomfortable rather than make them feel any true emotion. Trust me, I do not have a problem with awkward or uncomfortable subject matter when I feel there is a point or a story is advanced. But, even in your logic this was all just a display of power, it seems.
For me, personally, this just did not move me. I did not connect. Obviously, you did. As Mike pointed out, others are expressing their confusion and lack of connection, as well. I hope this event leads to something down the line that does connect with me. Sincerely, I want that. The two scenes I mentioned with Sabrina and Mason show me that potential is there.