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Family Man 10-4
There's an art to being a mime
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I can now sympathize with you ladies. It’s hard to get makeup off your face, no matter how hard you scrub. Frankly, I don’t see how you do it every day. It’s a long, arduous task putting it on, making sure to get every single pore and then it’s an exercise in frustration getting it off.
As I’m writing this on Monday, I’m still finding makeup on my face from Sunday morning despite my best efforts, making me almost to contemplate turpentine to help remove the rest of the white paint. I’ll resist that idea, however, and hope the rest will eventually just fall off.
Oh, I guess since I’ve written a long paragraph about me wearing makeup, I should explain exactly why I was wearing it in the first place. No, I haven’t become a fancy man, wearing makeup, eating Gray Poupon and riding in a limousine. I’m proud of my combination skin.
Actually the reason I was caked in makeup Sunday morning was for the last thing most people who know me would figure. I was playing a mime. Yes. One of those people who don’t talk and have painted, white faces.
It all began when I agreed to attend a workshop put on by a youth pantomime group that was coming to my church for homecoming. How hard could it be? I'd just be painting my face and making some facial expressions. Wrong.
My back still hurts and I think I pulled a hammy. However, what was most painful about the whole thing is not being able to talk. That’s the thing about mimes, they tell the story with their face and body movements. For a guy like me who has a big mouth, that’s a challenge. It’s like telling Tom Brady to throw a touchdown pass with his left hand.
The thing I didn’t figure when I agreed to participate is that pantomime involves choreographed dance moves. Folks, I can do a lot to things and even excel in some of them, but dancing isn’t one of them. I’m 6-foot-2, lanky and uncoordinated. My karate instructor tells me I’m the stiffest person he’s ever worked with and he’s worked with a lot of people.
So there I am, like a wounded goose trying to learn the moves, the big goofy guy in the back. Bless their hearts, they tried to teach me to be graceful.
“This is where you flourish with your hands,” the instructor tells me as I give him a hollow-eyed look.
“I’ve never flourished in my life,” I indignantly respond, my sciatica already acting up from hours of practice.
“How old are you?” he asked.
“I’m 52,” I replied.
“Then it’s time you flourished,” he declared. “Now flourish!”
I flourished, but against my will. I don’t plan on flourishing again anytime soon. But it was homecoming.
After one night of practice we performed with the professional group and didn’t do half bad. The kids from Anointed Mime were truly talented and great ministers and despite my reluctance, I’m glad I did it. Performing gave me confidence. Who knows what’s next? Dancing with the Stars?
Standard reporter Duane Sherrill can be reached at 473-2191.