Mime is to mimic, to copy. The ancient parallels to the modern day mimes include West Indian Priests and Priestesses who would non verbally communicate to humans, messages from the Spirit realm.
The Heyoka, the people of Indigenous tribes who would paint themselves and adorn costumes to poke fun at society and challenge people to think about themselves differently, giving antics and parables to show exaggerated examples of political and social hypocrisy and satire.
Marcel Marceau of Paris, France popularized mime in the 20th century. Someone once asked me if he was really all that good at what he did.
I reminded him of a paraphrased version of Maya Angelou’s famous quote, “People don’t always remember what you said, but they will remember how you made them feel.” I went on to say that it’s possible that Marcel Marceau’s technique wasn’t superb, but the way he made his audiences feel encouraged the rumors about his effect on people grow far and wide.
My mime is for feeling, not showmanship. Not for ego, but for the expression of love. I believe musical artists capture songs for us to fully ingest. Deep down. Whether the song is positive or not, when we hear music, it becomes a part of our DNA. The words and vibrations attach to our cellular memory.
I believe that the messages within music can be amplified by adding another art form to run alongside it. And when I say run alongside, I mean really ride with the energy and flow of the music. Mime artists can fully interact with the music in a way that highlights the emotional content of the song. E-motion. Energy in Motion.
Mimes have been in existence for centuries but the most popular style of mime for current African American artists is gospel mime. There is a grand population of Black, Nubian, African American mime artists in churches and gospel event across the world. The two most famous mimes in the gospel arena have been twins from Pittsburgh Pennsylvania, named Keith and Karl Edmonds. Better known as K & K Mime. They humbly receive the credit for popularizing gospel mime to the world in the 1990's. In, 2012 they received the Trendsetter Award from Vivica A Fox at he AllState Gospel Superfest (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oevSaJEOrXo). They are the heroes of this art form, and since then, they've gone on to perform and teach thousands of artists much like themselves.