The "M" word: use of mime in storytelling.
People are sick of mediocre mime, so don't let on that you're doing it.
(I hope when they get sick of mediocre storytelling they don't turn ugly
on us, like they did on the poor mimes.)
Classical mime can be a beautiful thing, but in storytelling it is as distracting
as, say, ballet. Yet you need to use mime-- you have no objects, and there
are objects in the story, so sometimes you're going to have to handle, or
at least look at and react to, something that isn't there. Also, since what
you want for your storytelling style is to be yourself at your most expressive,
you should use some mime-like elements, because these are part of every-day
speech. But you should look like yourself, gesturing naturally, but with
unusual effectiveness-- showing, not showing off.
The clearest I've seen it described was in an interview with a 2nd City
member. He had studied with Marcel Marceau, and one day learned that his
old master was coming to see what he was up to these days. The 2nd City
style has several charecteristics in common with storytelling-- no scenery,
no props, no script, no fourth wall-- and many of the sketches used simple
pantomiming. Marceau loved the show, and when his old student asked him
nervously what he thought of the mime, Marceau waved and shrugged-- "Oh,"
he said, "it didn't bother me."
That's the ideal, I think.
the gingerbread man
why the bear is stumpytailed
eastern coyote productions
PO Box 522 Montpelier VT 05601