To continue our meet the team series, we would like to introduce you to a game host who mostly frequents The Four Thieves Pub in South London as Gabriel, Jason Lotro. An experienced actor and musician who has many notches on his belt. When he’s not guiding players through Lady Chastity’s lair, Jason is featuring in choreographed fight scenes or weaving his spell as a multi-instrumentalist. Let’s get stuck in and find out what makes Jason tick...
What does it take to pull off Gabriel’s character?
You need to be sharp, quick witted, slightly inappropriate and full of puns, sarcasm and innuendo. Essentially, it's me.
What are your favourite memories as a game host so far?
Watching a big guy try to use a sensual grape crushing technique...by sitting on the grapes and bouncing on them, rapidly followed by a female member of the team trying to squeeze them between her breasts. It was a special moment.
What qualities do you think an escape game host needs to be epic like you?
Patience. A good eye for reading your crowd and knowing when to step in and when to let them be. You have to be ever watchful. People can and will find ways to mess up your room and props.
If you could pick anyone famous to be a game host, who would it be?
Max Von Sydow. He’s a great actor with an amazing onscreen strength. His portrayal of characters always leaves a good and memorable impression.
Tell us more about your other creative exploits?
I have been in numerous bands since i was about 24. I sing, play guitars, drums, bass, keyboard, Kazoo and mouth trumpet. I mainly write dark ambient soundscapes these days, time allowing. Acting wise, I have been acting for longer than i can care to remember. I have done a lot of choreographed fight scenes in films, acted on television once. Odd thing is, I can't stand to watch myself on screen.
As a family man, how do you balance your time? And any tips for anyone else trying to do the same?
It's complicated and there is never enough time in the day to get what you need to do, done. Again, patience and being able to adapt are key to keeping yourself sane.
The team have specifically requested we ask about the goat, the dwarf and the peanut butter - what's that all about?
All I can tell you is that it was one of those band on tour moments, much like night of the banana. This will probably leave more questions, but trust me, it’s something I would say "You had to be there" to understand and appreciate fully. Maybe when I’m drunk at the christmas party.... it actually takes me back to one of my ex girlfriends, her dog, jam and her brother. Let that seduce your mind in whatever way you feel fitting. Some things, are best never spoken of.
Any specific creative projects you are working on right now?
My mind is constantly awash with ideas. Im rekindling my dark ambient music project "The black ossuary". I also have ideas for immersive theatre events, escape rooms and also, oil paintings. I like to create.
Why do you think people love escape rooms?
Escape rooms challenge us in ways we had perhaps not considered before. They can make a wonderful start to the evening, become a talking point for the rest of the night. They are, by nature, intense social settings.I think people love that intensity in a shared experience.
What makes Handmade Mysteries games unique?
I think the sheer level of dedication, creativity and insanity. Handmade Mysteries is by far, the best company I have had the pleasure of working for. We are all very unique threads in a very crazy tapestry. Great insight into the elements of making a good experience. Lady Chastity, for example, is an experience, not just a game.
What can people expect from the new game Poppa Plock?
A Periscope up the arse.....
Standard. Is there anything else you would like to add?
Smooth, not crunchy.
Well, there you have it. Jason is a man of many talents who will forever remain quiet about his experience with a dwarf, a goat and, apparently, smooth peanut butter.
If you enjoyed this cheeky interview you can also find out more about another of our illustrious maze masters Kevin Flee or follow us on Twitter @HM_mysteries for more chances to get into the twisted minds of the team behind Handmade Mysteries.
We're creating more escape rooms. If you’re interested in becoming a game host in London or Brighton just get in touch.