Halloween Brings The End Of 'Thriller' Season


Lots of businesses are winding down now that Halloween is over. One of the more unusual ones: Michael Jackson tribute artists and choreographers who do "Thriller" performances.

Copyright © 2013 NPR. For personal, noncommercial use only. See Terms of Use. For other uses, prior permission required.


Sorry to tell you: Halloween is over now, which means many businesses pegged to Halloween are packing up. Alec Hamilton, of our member station WNYC, reports on one of the more unusual ones.

ALEC HAMILTON, BYLINE: Thirty-five-year old Michael Jackson tribute artist Moses Harper says performing "Thriller" on Halloween always marks the end of her work rush.

MOSES HARPER: Some people call it M.J. season - Michael season, Michael Jackson season.

HAMILTON: From the June 25th anniversary of Jackson's death until Halloween, the opportunities for tribute dancers and impersonators come fast and furious. That's true for Michael Jackson choreographers too, like 31-year-old Scott Jurkowski.

SCOTT JURKOWSKI: Yeah, that's been pretty lucrative. I mean, not to say something so horrible, but him dying was the best thing that ever happened to my career, if you want to call it that.

HAMILTON: There are festivals and parties. There are summer conventions. There are wedding groups that want dancing lessons. There are flash mobs that want to perform "Thriller" for Halloween. Harper says the amount she charges varies widely, depending on what is requested.

HARPER: It's like, if you need more dancing - well, this kind of dancing, the price goes up. It's not 'cause I'm being mean, but it takes a lot more energy.

HAMILTON: Still, neither of them makes a living solely from dance.

JURKOWSKI: Making money as a dancer is impossible even when you're like, a professional dancer. Thankfully, I don't have to work at a bar at night and then dance on the bar, you know, at the same time. (Laughter)

HAMILTON: But Harper says it's about doing what she loves, even as demand drops for "Thriller" dancing until next season.


MICHAEL JACKSON: (Singing) It's close to midnight, and something evil is lurking in the dark...

HAMILTON: For NPR News, I'm Alec Hamilton in New York.

Copyright © 2013 NPR. All rights reserved. No quotes from the materials contained herein may be used in any media without attribution to NPR. This transcript is provided for personal, noncommercial use only, pursuant to our Terms of Use. Any other use requires NPR's prior permission. Visit our permissions page for further information.

NPR transcripts are created on a rush deadline by a contractor for NPR, and accuracy and availability may vary. This text may not be in its final form and may be updated or revised in the future. Please be aware that the authoritative record of NPR's programming is the audio.



Please keep your community civil. All comments must follow the NPR.org Community rules and terms of use, and will be moderated prior to posting. NPR reserves the right to use the comments we receive, in whole or in part, and to use the commenter's name and location, in any medium. See also the Terms of Use, Privacy Policy and Community FAQ.