Larry Wilson

Larry had been appearing for years in Las Vegas, Lake Tahoe, Reno and Atlantic City, doing his comedy-magic act, and as an Emmy-nominated performer on television, when executives at Caesar’s Entertainment approached him in 1991 about producing a live show for their Lake Tahoe property. The Caesar’s people knew that Larry had been writing and creating his own shows for years and it seemed like a natural progression to move up to producing shows for major resorts. Thus was born Just Add Water, which led to a string of his own productions including The Super Heroes of Comedy, Madcap Magic, and ultimately to his most recent success, the award-winning hit, Wonderland. Larry was convinced that a huge market segment had been ignored by the entertainment idustry—Baby Boomers. His response was the psychedelic comedy-revue for Harrah’s Reno, which Northern Nevada’s Best called “the break-out show of the year!” Larry’s ability to create shows specifically for niche markets is exemplified by Dr. Acula’s Haunted House Party. His hilarious spin on the voracious demand for Halloween entertainment is guaranteed to be one more in his long line of hits.

Merissa Ann

Originally from St. Louis, Missouri, Merissa has trained, competed, and choreographed all over the United States winning numerous awards and gaining recognition. At the age of 14 she began touring as an assistant to a world-renowned choreographer. Since then, she moved to Los Angeles to pursue her professional career as a dancer and choreographer, where she signed with MSA Dance Agency. Her recent credits include Principal roles in Soulescape Dance Company and IV Dance Company. She also was a performer in New York’s Elan Awards, Choreographer’s Assistant for Justin Timberlake’s Damn Girl performance on F.S.L.S. tour, and currently a back-up dancer for the Beatle’s ultimate cover band The Fab Four. Merissa is a fresh new face in the world of choreography, a world she has taken by storm with her unique movement, staging, and musicality. She is fearless in her pursuit of genuine artistry and unceasing in her desire to create truly original choreography which is amply demonstrated by her work in Dr. Acula’s Haunted House Party.

Rod Maxwell

Rod’s expertise in multiple disciplines of the visual arts made him the perfect choice to take the helm on Dr. Acula’s Haunted House Party. A Boston, MA, native who came to Los Angeles to pursue a career in FX make-up, Rod quickly blossomed in his new creative environment and rapidly developed his abilities in computer animation, sculpting, improvisational theater and directing. He studied many disciplines of acting, including the intensive method of Meisner, Improv and others, and now teaches at Brian Reise Acting Studios. He is best known for his multi-award winning film, The Wishing Well, where he painstakingly created prosthetic make-ups which allowed him to play all 29 characters in the film—men, women, children and octogenarians. He is the epitome of the Renaissance artist who can do everything and do it exceedingly well. Rod brought his love for Halloween and monsters to this production and it shows his touch in every detail.

Jayme Kavanaugh
Make-Up Artist

Jayme is originally from Santa Fe, New Mexico. She began her make-up interest around the age of 3, or just around the time she was capable of sneaking into her mother's purse. Shortly after she single-handedly was responsible for making chapstick/lipgloss prohibited (without a signed permission slip) at her elementary school she realized that make-up was her main interest and niche. In high school she became involved in theatre and excelled in the theatre make-up section realizing this is what she wanted to do in the future. Shortly after high school Jayme decided it was time to move to Los Angeles where she attended Make-up Designory (MUD). Shortly after graduating MUD she had what she deemed her most exciting job—doing the make-up for a photo shoot of Hollywood producer and 1950’s film star Mark Damon. But she is quick to point out that Dr. Acula’s Haunted House Party is her first ever opportunity to make a hunchback and a hip hop werewolf.

Chandra LeWood
Make-Up Artist

Chandra is originally from San Diego and moved to Los Angeles in 2008 to pursue her career as a make-up artist. She has had an avowed passion for make-up since she was 11 years old. She began her career in make-up and esthetics when she was 17 years old and has never wanted to do anything else. Chandra moved to Los Angeles specifically with the intent of attending the prestigious make-up school Make-Up Designory where she received instruction from what she considers to be some of the best in the industry. Her teachers have worked on countless films and tv shows, and their hands-on experience played an important role in Chandra’s education. She attended the Master make-up program there and is proficient in any make-up from fashion to SPFX prosthetics. She has worked on a variety of jobs including Fox Racing Fashion Show, USC films, and also volunteers her make-up skills to organizations that put on events for adults and children affected by cancer, illnesses, etc. Being able to dedicate her time to brighten someone else’s day makes all the difference to her. Make-up is Chandra’s passion and the creative art to her soul.

Danielle Holcomb
Make-Up Artist

After entering the Witness Relocation Program, Danielle Holcomb has been unable to work under her real identity. An unfortunate incident involving Anthony 'Big Mouth' Silano and a defective "temporary tattoo" ink resulted in the mobster having the word "RAT" emblazoned across his forehead. Danielle looks forward to the day when she can return to her life of domestic tranquility amongst the indigenous natives of New Jersey.

Producer's Note:
The Producers wish to acknowledge the contribution of Make-Up Designory, and in particular, MUD’s Director of Career Services, Amanda Brass, for her invaluable assistance in providing the very finest make-up artists available for this project.

Craig Dickens
Illusion Design

Dickens Custom Illusions rank as one of a handful of fabricators in the world who are in constant demand by magicians everywhere. Dickens’ work can be seen in almost every showroom in Las Vegas, on Broadway and on television. In a world of increasing specialization, Dickens creates, designs, engineers, constructs and art directs his own work to ensure that they perform exactly as he has intended. He is never satisfied until he feels that every conceivable approach has been explored to maximize the entertainment value of one of his illusions. The proof rests in knowing that performers who own Dickens Custom Illusions guard them jealously, and rarely part with them at any price.

Butch Young
Illusion Builder

Originally, a restorer of classic cars, Butch got his first taste of the weird world of magic apparatus working on the award-winning show, Wonderland, at Harrah’s Reno. Since that time he has devised his own refinements on several classic magic effects (and invented a couple of new ones in the process.) He still loves his cars, but he finds that the world of illusion is a never-ending succession of challenges and surprises, and a continuous source of delight.

Mark Van Dyke
Production Manager

Mark holds a master’s degree in Chemical Engineering from University of Nevada at Reno, thereby earning him the distinction of the most over-educated member of our Production Team ever. He toured throughout the Midwest before joining Sleightly Askew Productions last year as Production Manager for Madcap Magic on the road. He mistakenly believes that the cast and crew of Dr. Acula’s Haunted House Party are all extremely “artistic.”