Questions the Way Their Art is Evolving
I paint myself the same way every morning: white as the base all over my face and then triangular eyebrows above my lids. I learned this technique from another mime on the street in Paris six years ago when I traveled for business at the beginning of my career. I learn a lot of techniques from the others.
I wear the same outfit every day: black pants and shoes, a white-and-black-striped long sleeve with red suspenders, and white gloves. This seems to be the standard outfit because when people see me, they know what I’m all about. Life is a routine and I do my part by abiding by the rules. Now with new precautions on social interactions, the realm of regulations is larger than I could’ve ever imagined as a beginner craftsman.
Last week, the sun was gleaming and there were less than several individuals out in the rays. With every day getting hotter, being outside all day is more tolerable than it was in the winters of 1962. As the heat in the air increases, the glass box I am now required to mime in becomes a fiery glass case of emotions. I am trained not to be claustrophobic, could you imagine a mime afraid of small spaces? All I want is to build my own box because honestly, glass is not my medium of choice. I now need to carry my spray bottle that I was gifted in Disneyland for performing in front of Walt himself in order to stay cool during these isolated times. Schools can change math, but mimes now need to corrupt their craft with tangible accessories. I suppose this is the way the art is evolving…
When I observe the others, they’ve left blue-taped squares several feet away from each other and only allow the audience to participate from their respective locations. I’ve noticed mimes outside of the box who wear masks and practice social distancing techniques by using imaginary tape measures. I think that this technique is better than nothing at all, but it really disappoints me to see mimes not taking any precautions. I wonder if they ever want to mime again. I hope to pass along some rules for safety, but I respect the craft too much to speak.
I’m noticing less bystanders and passersby. I usually get a few kids a day, followed by their guardians yanking the opposite arm of my general direction. Nowadays, most of my audience shows appreciation from their windows. I’ve always been disconnected from interaction because I solely communicate with body language. I don’t think I mind the distance, I just want to break the glass box and run away. Anywhere I’ll go, I’ll be at risk of smelling farts.
Carolyn Langer is a third-year clinical health studies major who has spent all of quarantine making bracelets out of invisible rope. You can reach them at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Art by Art Editor Adam Dee.