A mime practices an art form that is not always readily accepted by the public. Some consider them annoying as one of their talents includes mocking the actions of others. Some people see them as just plain creepy because they don’t speak and the faces are usually painted white. Others appreciate the art, talent, and work that go into becoming an experienced mime.
Mimes perform as in a pretend world where sound is out of place, only an interpretation of their performance is acceptable. There is a saying that goes, “If you want to get someone’s attention, whisper.” Because a mime takes it one step further, with no sound at all, often this makes the solemn expressions intimidating.
Although they may seem similar, mime face painting is not to be confused with that of a clown. Clown faces vary more in appearance and usually include a big red nose and furry, crazily styled wigs. Some clowns do, however, perform in silence.
Mimes have been used in Christian ministry, adding zest to theater acts and plays to further instill Christian values in a captivating way.
Aspiring college students have often donned the stark white mime face painting to practice their talents on fellow students coming and going on campuses or at city parks. A mayor in Bogota, Columbia decided to use mimes to enforce proper street crossing and safe driving habits.
A well-recognized and traditional mime “costume” is that of a white face, with black coloring around the eyes, a red painted mouth, a striped shirt, and suspenders attached to their pants. Painting a mime face takes at least thirty minutes. It’s recommended that facial hair be shaved and long hair be pulled away from the face. Apply skin moisturizer (not greasy cold cream). Outline your face in a white base, then start at the nose and work your way out to the edges.
Tip: Adding markings over cake makeup is easier than over grease makeup. Otherwise, you’ll want to lightly add white face powder to help the other paint to adhere when you apply the black around your eyes and anywhere else you’ll need it.
For best results, add markings as follows:
1. Eyebrows and other markings
2. Outline eyes
3. Add mascara
4. Add lipstick
Although not everyone appreciates miming, they have to work to perfect their performances. It takes skill to be able to get a story across to the public without using voice. A deaf mute person is forced to learn to mime to help them communicate effectively with others. This, however, is not an act, but a way of life. There is no costume or face painting. A mother has to learn to mime to her children when she loses her voice. It can be quite challenging and frustrating to be unable to communicate. (Perhaps if she put on the white mime face, she could gain and keep their attention easier!).
A mime is a silent actor, or actress, as the case may be. There are mimes that travel all over the world, who live and perform in many parts of the country. They perform live in theaters, travel to entertain school children, perform at hospitals (no worries about causing too much noise)!