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Feature: Mad Mad House

Mad cast

A new reality show that aims to test just how open we are to alternative lifestyles

I guess it was destined to happen – a genre reality show. The Sci-Fi Channel’s new series Mad, Mad House features a group of ‘Alts’ – a Witch, a Vampire, a Voodoo Priestess, a Modern Primitive and a Naturalist that host a group of 10 very unsuspecting mortals who move into their creepy house to vie for a $100,000 prize. Each week the guests are subject to constant evaluation and are judged on their openness to and tolerance of alternative lifestyles, from their participation in House activities, to their willingness to get to know their hosts – each week one is eliminated.

At the mere suggestion that they might be actors portraying characters, Fiona Horne, the Wiccan, declares, “I’ve been a practising Witch for 20 years. I’ve worked in the entertainment industry, professionally, for many years but publicly came out of the broom closet, so to speak, when I wrote my first book about Witchcraft. I’ve written seven books, and when I was invited to take part in Mad Mad House I saw it as an opportunity to show by example that Witches are not satanic. We’re not evil.”

Don Henrie, the Vampire, pasty-white from avoiding sunlight his entire life, was also quick to respond. “It seems pretty unbelievable that all of a sudden you would have people like us just showing up on some kind of reality show. We’re actually doing this to show who we are. And it’s given me a chance to come out of my coffin, if you know what I mean. My day starts about 4:30 pm Not all of the ways of being able to collect capital means is within the rat race – or as I like to call it ‘the bat race’. There’s a whole thing going on with nightclubs, and I like to be heavily involved with that kind of thing. Music is one of my greatest loves. Without that, I wouldn’t have sanctity of mind.”

“I live my life every day in the ways of the ancient African ancestors,” insists Iya Ta’Shia Asanti. “I am a Priestess in the African tradition. This is definitely not a costume. This is who I am, 100 per cent.”

by Judy Sloane

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Photo © Universal TV
Feature © Visual Imagination 2004. Not for reproduction

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May 2004
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