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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » Do you see what I see? » » Some Thoughts.. (0 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

MR2Guy
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Nashville
179 Posts

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I studied the Art of Mime for several years, and performed for colleges, art galleries, and in the street. In a word, Mime is hard, and should be looked upon as an artform requiring dedication. As the subject says, some thoughts

Mime is the economy of motion, not the opposite. The smallest action can convey volumes. It is not contained in the face, but the body. During my training, masks were used to fast from facial expression, and force your body to emote your intent. There are a lot of "noisy" performers, body wise, and learning about your body, it's movements, and what it conveys is a very good discipline for all performers, and especially Magicians.

That said, it's very interesting that a lot, if not most rules that apply to performing Magic well apply equally to studying and performing the art of Mime:

Practice, practice, practice.
Do not use other's routines.
Technique is only a tool used to build a routine, not the routine itself.
You must work out inside yourself what you want to convey to an audience, and why.
Did I mention practice?
Most importantly, entertain your audience.

Another area that shares common ground with Magic is the misconception people have regarding the art form, thinking it's nonsense, and revel in delight putting it down. Why?

Audiences have rarely seen a great Mime perform, and have preconceived ideas fueled by ignorance, and stereotypical thinking.

They have only seen Mime performed badly, making it harder for a true Mime artist to find venues.

There are also some differences between the two art forms as well:

With Magic performance, you have to FORCE the audience to believe. They are sceptical, and in some ways, want you to fail. It goes with the territory, and I wouldn't have it any other way.

With Mime, the audiences WANT to believe and are willing participants, ready to be fooled, and told a story. Hold a baby lovingly, and then drop it. You will hear gasps and screams from the audience. Mime being an old man, a dottering old fool, wide eyed, feebly walking. It's funny. Then raise your arms, as you are trying to save a drowning child, it's tragic. All within a few seconds. Pretty cool.

I encourage any Magician serious about his art to seek out, and learn from a serious Mime instructor.

I have seen a lot of posts here at the café running down Mime, yeah, I know, all in good fun, but I only ask that you stop a minute and think about the feelings you have when people put down the art of Magic.

Performances that I would recommend seeing:

Marcel Marceau (if he ever tours again, catch it) And no, Silent Movie doesn't count.
Blue Man Group
Buster Keaton
Veronin
Mummenschanz
Polobulus

And, if you're hard up, I'll send you a video of some of my stuff. Smile

Take Care

Jason
Question every rule.
There are no absolutes.
raycrowe
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Australia
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Jason, nice post.

Could I also add Mr Red Skelton, one of the finest comedy mimes I’ve seen.
Growing up in Australia the Red Skelton Show was only on when I was a small child, so I wasn’t really exposed to his work until recently, with the availability of DVD copies of his early shows. I loved his mime, so clear and easy to follow. I wished I had seen it years ago, it changed some of the way I thought about Mime.

Raymond Crowe.
"More than cleverness, we need kindness and gentleness." Chaplin
magicalaurie
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A good Mime is someone who is very knowledgeable and greatly skilled, I agree. Absolutely. I think many people just don't realize the discipline and intensity of awareness trained mimes possess.
rikbrooks
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Olive Branch, Mississippi
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How did Dick Van Dyke rate? I remember seeing him growing up and it seems a few times I saw him in mime paint. I think he was one of the greatest physical comics of out time. If you've never seen his tight-rope routine you have missed a thing of beauty.
LostSoul
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Dave
148 Posts

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Hi RIk,

I too, remember see Dick Van Dyke in Mime paint. If my memory serves me correctly, it was a piece in one of the varity shows. You're right about his ability, the tight-rope is great.

Dave
magicalaurie
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I concur on DVD- very talented and interesting entertainer. Smile
landmark
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within a triangle
4821 Posts

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Add Lindsey Kemp to the list.


Jack Shalom
Bill Palmer
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Eternal Order
Only Jonathan Townsend has more than
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Although Benny Hill did not perform in whiteface, he did a couple of mime routines on his show. They were flawless.
"The Swatter"

Founder of CODBAMMC

My Chickasaw name is "Throws Money at Cups."

www.cupsandballsmuseum.com
harris
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Harris Deutsch
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Silence can indeed be golden.

As I get a bit of gray/white hair around the temples, I find treasures in slowing down, takes and double takes....

Be safe, well and creative.

Harris
Harris Deutsch aka dr laugh
drlaugh4u@gmail.com
music, magic and marvelous toys
http://magician.org/member/drlaugh4u
Pakar Ilusi
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MR2Guy, it took me a long time to get here.

But now I see it. Smile
"Dreams aren't a matter of Chance but a matter of Choice." -DC-
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