RE: Alt/Life
Nov 02, 2020

Pumpkin looking forward to next major role as rotting garbage after standout performance as Jack-o’-lantern.

But it wasn’t all scaring kids and candy fun on the set of Halloween, the actor revealed. Reflecting on becoming the face of Halloween, the orange star opened up on some of the hard times he faced.

“It was hard work," he said when interviewed. "I spent hours in make-up, my face would constantly hurt from having to frown and grin, and my throat always felt like it was on fire.

"It was tough, and at times I was really miserable. When I would sit there preparing for the show, I would often feel hollow, like my insides had been ripped out. It's often overlooked how anxiety can grab anyone, even those used to the spotlight. It's not easy putting yourself in front of so many people."

Growing up in a large family, he often felt like he was just another pumpkin in the patch. Indeed, with his whole family seen as a part of Halloween for many generations, the pressure to succeed was constant with little room for failure. Looking back to those weeks, he admits that it was a bit of luck that he was able to land the highly coveted role.

"It was harvest time, and many pumpkins had managed to find jobs on supermarket shelves, or in soup cans, but I heard on the vine that agencies were seeking pumpkins to be Jack-o’-lanterns, and I was very excited when I was given a chance to audition. I had prepared as best I could, staying in shape because I knew that was an important part of the role.

In a way, I'm glad it's over though, and to be honest I was worried for a while that I'd be typecast in this role. There are not too many major acting gigs that have a pumpkin as the lead role, and I didn't want to be seen as just a Halloween prop and little else."

The fear of being a one-hit-wonder is now a thing of the past however after landing a spot in the new run of Garbage. While not landing the lead role, he praises his new cast members and is looking forward to the future.

"I auditioned for lots of roles while doing Halloween, with positions being offered for homemade soup, meat and three veg, and for a while there I was considered for compost. But the length of Halloween meant I missed my chance at being food, and the compost role fell through due to complications with scheduling.

But I don't regret anything, and performing in Garbage is going to be so exciting and I'm surrounded by so many professional actors, the whole cast and crew. They're amazing. The leftover roast chicken will be amazing in the lead, and we're going to have a strong season with so many unique sights and smells."


However, critics have not exactly been as positive with their opinions of the recent shows of Garbage, with words like 'rubbish' and 'decomposing' making the rounds. While no official review has been released yet, rumours are spreading of there being troubles in finding adequate studios and theatres to house so many shows at this time of year, impacting the overall quality of production.

As Halloween ends and with so many pumpkins finishing their runs of being Jack-o’-lanterns, the industry is again asking for government funding to support the arts properly. Already some pumpkins are finding themselves forced to rot in the street, performing for people passing by in the hope of earning enough money for tip fees. Job security for actors, particularly for roles in short-season runs like Halloween, has always been an issue, with many in the industry saying that pumpkins are being locked as soon as their shows end.

As one insider said to us, "These actors are being left on the proverbial and literal garbage heap once their careers as Jack-o'-lanterns end. They should not have to continually be forced to vie for minor roles in Garbage shows which, and I say this with respect to the producers, is getting old and is a bit on the nose. Surely we can do better than that?"

Last year, a council raised concerns after many pumpkins were left locked out of a theatre company still dressed up as Jack-o'-lanterns and called for the government to implement better safeguards for retired pumpkin actors so that they can degrade gracefully.

The government was asked for comment.