“I’m a workshop and installation team leader at Merlin. I work with lots of theme parks, but right now I’m working on Scarefest for Alton Towers. I manage the team of eight that construct the mazes.
During my first year, I just worked on the construction side of things, so I was given jobs to build. This year they promoted me and I learned quickly on the job. This year has been more about risk assessments, CDM Regulations, wood orders and fabric orders.
To create the mazes, we go through and design each room working with the technicians and we ask a lot of questions. What effect will be here? Will there be a drawbridge or steam vents? We think through locations for the actors as well. We need to keep coming up with ways that the scare actors can jump out and scare people without it being the same old thing every year.
The business of fear is interesting. The biggest thing I’ve learnt is to prey on the fear of the unknown. If you dress a pile of fabric to make it look like there is somebody under there, the subconscious mind will do the rest of the work for you.
Alongside my full-time work, I still run one of my projects from university – creating custom silicone prosthetic limbs with laser etched tattoos. I never wanted to give it up.
I got told that you couldn’t laser cut silicone and I proved people wrong. Don’t let anyone ever tell you something isn’t possible.
I like to keep doing it because people still need to become desensitised towards prosthetic limbs. I don’t charge massive amounts to make them – it’s more like volunteering and a donation is fine. The whole reason I do it is so that people can feel more comfortable with their prosthetics.