In today's drama class, Múinteoir Clíona talked about the famous French actor and mime artist, Marcel Marceau.
A mime artist is someone who acts out a story without speaking. They use their body, hands facial expressions and imagination. One of Marcel’s most famous characters was Blip the Clown.
To create the character, Marcel wore a striped jumper, white face paint and a hat with a flower sticking out of the top.
But did you know that Ireland had its very own famous mime artist?
Thom McGinty, who was also known as The Diceman, was a famous mime artist who performed on the streets of Dublin. There he is above on Henry Street in Dublin surrounded by crowds of people.
The Diceman could be spotted walking down Dublin street in complete silence in the 1980s and 1990s. Large crowds would gather to watch his performance, even though he never said a word!
He once dressed up as the famous Mona Lisa painting, including the frame, called himself Mona McGinty! Thom was so well-known that he even appeared on The Late Late Show. He was an accomplished actor too and appear on stage in many of Ireland's theatres.
You can download the activity sheet here!
How to be a mime artist using illusions! Today we are going to practice some mime techniques.
These lessons are what real mime artists use to create illusions and can be very funny! You can wear a striped jumper and a hat to look like a mime artist if you want!
Pull an imaginary rope!
This is where you pretend to pull an imaginary rope! Put your weight on your backfoot so that you are leaning backwards. Don't fall over! Now place both of your hands in front of you at the same level with your fists open. Use your face muscles to pretend you are really struggling! Like the picture above. This gives people the illusion that you are pulling a rope!
Let's pretend you are walking on a tightrope way up in the air! As you walk, keep one leg off the ground and pretend you are struggling for balance. Then wave your hands around in the air so it looks like you are struggling to stay up. Use your face to pretend you are worried about falling.
Pretend to push a heavy balloon!
This is very funny! Get a balloon and pretend to push it! This is like the rope illusion but you are now leaning forward! No matter how hard you "push", the balloon shouldn't move.
Pretend to be on a motorbike
This is hard as you cannot make a sound! But imagine what it would be like to sit on a motorbike. Use your hands to "grip" the handle bars. Every time you twist your grip, use your body to pretend you are zooming along!
Lean against an imaginary shelf!
You can do this anywhere you like! To really make the illusions, cross your feet and put your other hand on your hip!
Pretend you are in a hurricane!
You will need an umbrella. Put the umbrella up and pretend a wind is blowing so hard, that you are struggling to walk forward! You really have to lean backwards to give the impression the umbrella is pulling you back.
Each step you take forward is really really really slow and every so often step backwards again to pretend the wind has beaten you back!
Pretend to be a famous painting!
The Diceman in Dublin pretended to be the Mona Lisa. Using an empty picture frame, ask permission first!, pretend to be a famous painting. You can paint your face or even wear fancy dress!