Let’s Yourself Go and Your Mime Will Follow

18 May

I spent my weekend moving in a Neoclassical Mime intensive taught by James Donlon of the Flying Actors Studio in San Francisco. It was wonderful and comprehensively kicked my butt, putting the ‘intense’ back in intensive. That muscles-I-didn’t-know-I-had kind of sore.

The class gave me a large number of exercises in fixed point work, isolation, neutrality, energy, and the dynamics of creating physical work for the stage that went above and beyond conventional stereotypes about mime. Additionally, I learned a lot about myself, my strengths and weakness. A quick list:


  • Energy: I have lots of it (p’duh). This wasn’t surprising but I continue to learn how it differentiates me from others.
  • Clarity: I have the the ability to make my movement clear and precise and to tell a story.
  • Rapport: I’m excellent at matching and sharing energy with those I’m working with.


  • Economy: I make things too complicated and unnecessary. I often struggle to get to the essential.
  • Levels: Related to my top strength, I tend to default to full-tilt. I need greater dynamics and especially need to remember to start out low, so I have somewhere to go.
  • Neutrality: What I think of as body neutral is not. I lower my chin and tend to take a power stance when standing, and move my arms unnecessarily when walking.

I’m excited because I can already see how this is going to apply to my solo performance and storytelling work. The class was reasonably priced (worked out to about $11/hour) and a great survey of techniques and concepts.  Recommend it in a heart beat if your interested in performance work.



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