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Dream job: scare actor

HHN7 Sinister - The Midnight Man, Dream jobs

King Melchor Dupagan Illaga aka The Midnight Man, 32
Full-time horror performer at Universal Studios Singapore

Tell us more about the character you play...

This year’s Halloween Horror Night is themed after the incarnations of the seven deadly sins. I play The Midnight Man, who embodies the sin of ‘manipulation’. He’s a treacherous witch doctor and shaman who controls the minds and hearts of those who seek his assistance.

How did you audition to be a scare actor?

I’m a full-time performer at USS so HHN is one of the many exciting projects I get to work on. The Resorts World Sentosa Entertainment team usually organises scare auditions in June for those interested. And it helps if you’re already fit enough to take up this energy-demanding role. Other important criteria are to possess good listening skills, be imaginative and bold.

How do you prepare and get into character?

A thorough warm-up is an essential part of my daily routine. To get myself into character, I usually say a few of The Midnight Man’s key phrases. I also watch YouTube videos of The New Zealand Haka as their physical intensity is something I’d like to bring to this role.

What are some of the challenges you face?

The make-up time. On average, it takes two and a half hours to get into full costume – from make-up to dressing up in the costumes – and it’s pretty tiring.

Do you have any favourite horror films?

I’m not a huge fan of horror, but in the recent years I’ve enjoyed The Conjuring series and The Ring. I’ve also just saw the remake of IT, which is a really cool film – even for a non-horror buff like myself.  

What are the rehearsal sessions like?

We start off with getting to know more about the theme, the horror houses and what characters we’d be playing. During rehearsals, we’re deployed to certain zones within the haunted house. The best thing about The Midnight Man is that he gets to visit different parts of the house, instead of being stationed at one spot like the other scare actors!

Do you enjoy going to haunted houses then?

Working here and seeing all the effort that goes into building the houses, I’m always excited to see the final product and how my colleagues portray the different characters every year. So... yes, but I still get scared!

Get spooked by The Midnight Man at USS' HHN7 between September 29 and October 29.