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Communication Through Mime

Café-Salon Philosophique #42

August 21, 1999

No. of Participants: 8

Topic of Discussion: "Communication Through Mime"

Samuel welcomed all to the Café for the evening's topic - "Communication through Mime." Deb Evans, the Troubadour Bookstore owner was introduced, and thanked for her generous hospitality for hosting the Café-Salon gatherings for the past six months. She regretfully shared with us that the Troubadour Bookstore will no longer be in the retail business, probably by the end of September.

She is, however, starting a nonprofit corporation called, The Troubadour Artist Support Services Organization (TASSO) which will provide educational and professional services for literary and performing artists in Colorado. Support services will be offered via in-house calling, through a newsletter and the internet. Educational and professional resources will also be available.

The group was then asked to pick a topic for the evening's discussion. Phuong, a newcomer to the Café group wanted to know more about mime and how it applies to communication and the "philosophy of life."

Frank started the discussion by sharing a little of what he knows about nonverbal communication. He said, "sixty-seven percent (67%) of communication is visual or images that we see, twenty-eight percent (28%) is tone of voice or auditory. Only five percent (5%) is verbal communication." Samuel says, "Ninety percent (90%) of the message one receives is from body language, and ONLY 10% of the message is received from words."

Samuel commented, "his family spoke only when it was necessary," and was taught that "actions speak louder than words." People can lie with words. Communication can be affected by a limited mindset. We must overcome and decode symbols, images and concepts which can interfere with clear thinking, focus and concentration. Physical and emotional barriers must also be overcome, so that the body may become whole through mental and physical integration. (See, "What is BodySpeak™?)

The body is a marvelous machine. We have the natural ability to heal our selves. The mental outlook affects the physical. "The body is an organism of cells organized to work on living together in spite of us. We take it for granted, not even grateful for the work that is being done. We think, act, and make mistakes. Alot is going on and we do not even know how it works. Every cell has its own consciousness. When we become aware of the work these cells are doing silently inside of us, we will begin to understand what this body is about. The day you find out what your body is all about, and stay healthy, it will be very interesting." (From the Le Centre du Silence Workbook, pg.104)

For centuries, people have followed the medical model which conditions us to allow outside authorities to tell us how to care for our bodies and be healthy. "New Age" practitioners, alternative medicine and holistic practices create rituals that divert attention away from and out of the body's natural healing ability. This would suggest one is not whole, that something needs fixing. The body is whole. Proper maintenance is needed to keep it in good working order.

The body sends you messages all the time. The mass majority of people tune out or choose to ignore the messages and signals that it receives - good or bad. We deny the truth as to what is happening internally. So how can we expect to truthfully communicate in the outer world? The true art of communication has been lost. Daily interactions are reduced to small talk.

In mime, life stories are played out before a live audience. The body becomes the vehicle for expressing universal ideas and concerns. Truth is presented for those who dare to see. Mime space and time is not just the white faces on the mall. Mime is a whole body, expressive fine art. Studying through the medium of mime can help align and bring one back into thinking, being and doing for the self.

Mime has been around for as long as man has existed, which goes back to the time even before the primitive cave dwellers. It is an art that came from both the earth and sky. Samuel says, "In the beginning was the word, before the word there was movement, before movement there was silence."

Samuel then turned to Dennis one of the participants and asked what he thought about mime and communication? He didn't know "what to think of the questions," and answered, "it is easier to provoke than to discuss." He believes communication is not that important in the scheme of everything.

Samuel commented, "Yes, from the view of the helicopter, verbal communication can be unimportant." The view from the helicopter gives one an overall, clear perspective of situations. One has a chance to think more creatively. Thinking is more objective and rational from this view, and interest lies more for in the good of all, rather than the individual.

Phuong thinks that we "totally misunderstand each other all the time." Samuel says "this is because we develop an attitude where we think we are more important than the other person." In his mime piece, "The Insect," he developed and performed this piece to show the helplessness of a small creature and to give the sense of what it would be like to be that creature, "crushed to death" by a large, looming, menacing foot of a BIG human! This piece performed over and over again illustrates the many facets of life - the fragility, vulnerability, power and strength that we are as life." We need to learn and realize the significance and insignificance of living and being.

Society encourages money and materialism, when in reality the accumulation "of things" is not where true wealth, power and joy is hidden. Phuong commented, "one has to learn to communicate with the self first, then communication is more effective with other people."

Dennis added, "when one is in alignment with the self, then you just are." Frank stated that "communication happens in stillness and silence." Here, harmony and balance come into play. Dennis said, "maybe we need minimum communication." A novelist friend of his told him, "In heaven, everything is already known." "This world is heaven. People have forgotten. Every one is a potential genius. We are here to restore and heal our selves." "One has to learn communication with the self, know why we are here, and then be able to share it in the world," says Samuel.

"What about silence? Good actors know how to use the silence. Silence is not only a lack of words, but a state of mind. To use the body in silence is a philosophy of mime," he continued. "What you are talking about is Zen," said Dennis. Phuong replied by stating, "Silence came before Zen. There was no name to silence. "Silence was before everything," says Samuel. In the silence is where things are restored. One must die into the center of silence.

"Bouncing back" to communication, Samuel says, "Communication happens when the right people come together in the right place, at the right time." This happens when people recognize each other, know and can interact. No words are needed. People need to learn to minimize the "busy" talk and learn to be "busy" really living. But most people don't know how to do this.

"If there were two doors and one said enlightenment on it, and the other said "discussion" on enlightenment, most people would choose the door that said "discussion" on enlightenment." We are conditioned to go with the masses and do things mediocre.

We need to break the chains. Frank and Phuong agreed that we need to "break away and be our selves." Samuel added that we need to "be complete within our selves before we can know the other and our self." BodySpeak™ training, workshops, and private consultations can help one to uncondition, rethink and retrain the body. One learns to unblock the thinking, so that the body can act upon doing.

One learns to stay "sane in the midst of madness." Remember, if the majority thinks it, question it. Discover your own personal power and sovereignty. Be aware of the invisible as well as the visible. Give life. Be life.

Phuong says to "be present and communicate." "Shatter judgments and attitudes." The self is in the bones. Life gives you the occasion to learn. Learn from the bones, not the mind. All of life is a circle. Continue to cycle up the spiral!

Our next Café meeting will be held September 4, 1999 at the Troubadour Bookstore located at 1638 Pearl St., Boulder, CO. Start time is 6:30 p.m.

Hope to see you there! Invite your friends.

Reported by Alessandra

"Samuel brings awareness to the soul of people and gives the artists who work under his direction the need, dedication, and love for the world of silence and the beautiful art of movement."

 

- Marcel Marceau, BIP 1961

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Lafayette, CO 80026

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About LCDS

LCDS is an independent school for self-discovery through the human Arts.  The school offers seminars and workshops teaching the concepts of Theater, Mime, and Movement.