Brad Weston’s Stagecraft: Mime

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This column explores different art-forms and the creatives who work in them. We look at how choreographers approach their work, what an improviser needs in his tool kit to do well, and how a painter sees the world. In each case, I will apply the techniques of each specific art-form to juggling and demonstrate ways in which we can apply the creativity of other disciplines to our own.

Mime: the most hated variety art-form in America. It’s also the least understood and, at this point, one of the rarest. Billy the Mime [http://billythemime.net/] is pushing the boundaries and delivering a solidly entertaining and thought-provoking show. The creator’s name is Steven Banks. I got him on the phone and we spent close to an hour talking about creativity and what it takes to be successful.

When I first contacted Banks to do this interview, all I knew about him was that he was a mime. What I didn't know was that he’s also a musician, an actor, and a writer for television and books. He had his own sitcom on PBS, wrote a New York Times bestselling book, and as head writer for SpongeBob Squarepants, he was nominated for an Emmy.

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Brad Weston

Brad Weston is a professional variety entertainer, writer, and coach. He has appeared on many national television shows including The Tonight Show, Letterman, Ellen, and Ripley's Believe It Or Not. He writes an industry related blog at www.bradweston.com/wordpress