Sunday, September 23, 2007

A Moment of Silence

Marcel Marceau, who revived the art of mime and brought poetry to silence, has died. He was 84. - From the MSNBC story.

"In one of his most poignant and philosophical acts, “Youth, Maturity, Old Age, Death,” he wordlessly showed the passing of an entire life in just minutes." Marceau likened his character to a modern-day Don Quixote, “alone in a fragile world filled with injustice and beauty.” - from the Associated Press story.

I saw this piece at The Geffen a few years ago, and was able to meet Marcel after the show. And for a mime, he was quite chatty. For some reason, I just assumed he would continue the performance after the curtains closed, like a vow of silence, but nope, he talked and talked and talked!

There was a certain sadness, like his mentor Charlie Chaplin's work, that I found enchanting. Marcel's father was murdered at Auschwitz, and Chaplin's mother was a prostitute and he and his brother grew up in an orphanage. I think because of these tumultuous childhoods, they were able to sculpt the raw beauty from life, not extracting it from the negative, just incorporating the two. They lived in the silent details, and showed us how a walk in the park, acting like a child, or growing old, are indeed art. Let's take a moment of silence for someone who knew the importance of shhhhh.


Anonymous said...

I forgot that you met Marcel. Cool. The most famous person that I've met besides the (in)famous G.B. was Art Linkletter and all he wanted to talk about was how much veterinarians charge. grrrr.

Beverly said...

I saw your comment on Lauren's blog and came by to visit. I had the opportunity to see Marcel Marceau once when I was in college. That was a very long time ago. Thank you for the brief biography and the mentioning of his father.

My granddaughter who is 14 months old has cf. I understand your frustrations and anger at this horrible condition. Have you visited the website, There is a good support group there. It sometimes get quite feisty, but generally good.