Au Revoir, M. Marceau
Marcel Marceau died yesterday, and the world is a sadder place for it.
The only real response to Marceau dying can be this
” ! “
He was a true master of his work, and he popularized (and romanticized) the work of mime to an unbelievable degree. there’s no question that nearly every clown or mime performing in the world owes something to Marceau. And every mime-bashing joke also owes Marceau too. He didn’t invent mime (he was a student of Etienne Decroux, widely considered to be the father of modern mime), but he turned it into something that has become part of our national zeitgeist. Everybody has a feeling about mimes (usually bad ones who were imitating the Master)
I saw Marceau perform three times, and saw him teach once (he gave a demonstration at a master class that I was in.) Popped in unexpectedly. He demonstrated the Ages of Man (an exercise in which you start as a baby and transform into an old man slowly going through life)
He was a fantastic performer and a generous teacher, and someone who did what he loved to do his entire life. I saw him last in the late 1990’s, and he performed his computer dating bit, and while the material itself was dated, he was fantastic in it.
He had real heart and soul, and the world is poorer (and strangely louder) because of him.
BBC OBITUARY: http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/entertainment/7009040.stm
REUTERS OBIT: http://www.nytimes.com/reuters/news/news-arts-marceau.html
MARCEAU INTERVIEW (CSM): http://www.csmonitor.com/2007/0923/p25s01-almp.html
INFO ABOUT MARCEAU’S SCHOOL: http://www.mime.info/EIMP_help.html
I was fortunate enought to have scribbled down some account of having met Marceau back in 2004 after his show and so had something to post in tribute on my blog.