Monday, September 9, 2013

Life mimes: creating a way when there is no way

"So we arrived in the Old World full of hope," she told me. "It was our honeymoon year and we planned to spend it touring all over Europe. We didn't have money but we had our creative gifts. What we were really good at was designing and making jewelry. We had brought a big suitcase full of our pieces, and I knew people would be wild for more when they saw how original and lively they were.
    "That first night in Barcelona, we were robbed of everything. Money, passports, and all the jewelry. While we waited for the embassy to get us new papers, we didn't know how we were going to eat.
    "Then I remembered a television show that was all the rage in Brazil, where we come from. It showed mimes made up as clowns who follow people in the streets, imitating their body language, until they get a handout.
    "I told my husband, We can do that.
    "He wasn't so sure, but I said, What do we have to lose?
    "We got some clown makeup and clownish rags and we took to the streets, copying people's walks and how they gesture while talking on their cell phones or look at girls or pat each other's bottoms. We drove people crazy - crazy enough for them to drop pretty big tips, pretty fast.
    "We lived like that, as mimes on Las Ramblas, for three months. I guess I knew after that that when life throws me a punch, I'll always figure out how to roll with it."

- Recently I asked members of one of my playshops to come up with a memory of a moment of power and healing from their own lives. This was my favorite story shared that day. No small achievement, to live as a mime for three months in Barcelona, a city famed for its mimes. The photo is of a mime I observed in frnt of Gaudi's unfinished cathedral in Barcelona last February.

1 comment:

Patricia said...

Inspiring story. I'll will be reading to my son today. Thank you Robert.