This year, we’ve learned that the most terrifying thing some people can imagine is a clown slowly stalking them from a forest. For others (me), it’s the thought of this election being stuck in a Twilight Zone-ish scenario that actually doesn’t end on Nov. 8 and carries on forever until the earth is mercifully swallowed by the sun. But for others, the most terrifying thing they will face this Halloween is having a service industry job. [Warning: mild spoilers ahead if you’re planning to see Doomocracy.]
Being forced into a catering gig is one of the standout parts of Pedro Reyes’s Doomocracy installation at the Brooklyn Army Terminal, an immersive horror house that’s part dystopian political satire and part Sleep No More. At one point, you’re shunted from sitting around a table in a mock Halliburton conference room, forced to climb four flights of stairs and immediately handed an apron and serving tray as you’re berated by a catering manager in English and Spanish. Then, you’re shoved through a door into a mock art gallery party, where you’re forced to circulate among socialites, who, by design, treat you like animated furniture. The experiences is disorienting, humbling, slightly annoying — and too much to handle for some guests.
“The first night we ran people through was for patrons. People were really mad,” director Meghan Finn told Brokelyn. “It is strenuous to get all the way up to the top. … There are people who protest, refuse to serve.”
The idea is to flip the script on art patrons and drop their status from attendee to server. But thinking that some people being too freaked out to hold a catering tray for a few minutes is actually scarier than the scene itself. (more…)