Marcel Marceau, master of mime has died. NY Daily News.
I studied mime under Francois Bocquet for 2 years. He had worked with Marceau as a younger man. Francois, unlike me, was unaffected by the jokes and put downs around mime. He, like Marceau did not care much for such things. He only cared for his art. I also took lessons from Monica G-, who studied the art in France for 3 years. She took a definite slant toward ballet in her lessons.
I saw Marceau perform a matinee show about 3 years ago in Brisbane. He would have been 81 years old. He put on a 2 hour show. He did it again that night. The man was adorable, though I found some lines too fuzzy. I was overly critical, one can't help it. I sat in the front row.
At age 29, I did a 3 minute mime piece to a Talking Heads song and couldn't walk for a week after. It was a muscle in my butt that went - from my onstage 'backslide' which I had innovated for my piece. That was after 26 hours rehearsal time. Yes I counted them. Francois would have scolded me. Not for counting hours, but for damaging my bottom.
Most people have got no idea of the discipline involved in this art. I have always feared that at Marceau's death, the world would see the death of mime. We have street mimes who do no harm to people but no good to the art. We have technological world that wants quick feedback.We have a gross public opinion that is...gross.
Now we've lost Marceau, the one who represented the (few hundred?) of us who have been passionate about this old, old art.
My cousin, a former ballerina in the Queensland ballet company, who won a scholarship to Stutgartt was the only person who thought to contact me. She insists I start to teach mime at her ballet school and partake in some tributes. But I 've not performed mime in a long time, who wants to be ridiculed? Too sensitive yes. That's why Marceau will always shine out from the crowd of humanity. He did not ever or for once believe his art was unworthy.
Marcel was an ambassador for the United Nations on Aging for many years before his death.
Why did he do that? Why did he speak out for the elderly? Because he rose above his own self and life and did the job he was meant to do.There was no ego involved. There was only ever art, compassion and personal progress for Marceau.
Now that's an inspired life. He represents what happens when one finds something they feel passionate about...Passionate enough to share it with the world and to keep doing it into old age.
Makes ya think. Don't it?