I’ve enjoyed many new skills I’ve learned this year, but some of the biggest surprise hits have been my new circus abilities: not only can I juggle, I can also spin plates, and make balloon animals too. Today, in my continued efforts to try clown school from the comfort of my living room, I learned to mime.
When I imagine a mime I see the black and white stripey top, the white make up, and the black beret – the look made famous by Marcel Marceau. The art of mime, exaggerated movements by silent actors, has been around since times of Ancient Greece and had maintained a steady level of popularity since. Yes, it was more popular in the silent film era when Charlie Chaplin and Buster Keaton were falling over imaginary obstacles, than it is now, but it’s always had a place in the circus.
Mime is a big part of a clown’s persona, the exaggerated facial expressions, and over the top movements being a staple of any performance. To start with, I decided to try my hand at a classic mime scenario and got trapped in a “box”.
It’s really a lot more difficult than it looks to get the movement just right, my movement was never quite right, but it’s still fun to try!
I wanted to advance beyond a box, and after watching the next video I was able to mime picking a flower quite successfully!
This was really a lot fun to do – I loved walking around my living room pretending to pick up a flower, or tugging a rope, and I was surprised that I wasn’t bad at some of it! Although I haven’t got anyone to mime a tug of war with me just yet, I’m going to keep practising just in case that day ever comes.