So You Want to be a Mime?

Mime

Walking against the wind

Woah, just wait a minute: becoming a mime artist is not a decision to be taken lightly. Life as a mime may seem very exotic and exciting but there's a great deal to consider. We asked professional mime artist 'Bop' to talk us through some of the pitfalls but he point blank refused to speak to us and just started waving his hands about like a moron. So we left the twat pretending that he was trapped in a box and made up a few pointers of our own

1. Real Faith

Mime

At the disco

Have faith, you'll need it if you want to be a mime. You have to really believe that the objects and environments with which you are interacting are real. You have to really believe that people are genuinely impressed by your skills and don't just think you're a bit of a plank. You have to really believe that you haven't completely wasted your life.

Do it right and you'll find that walking into an imaginary wall will give you a very real broken nose - you have to really believe that and not just assume that some annoyed passer-by has just punched you in the face.

2. With Great Power
Comes Great Responsibility

Mime

Squatting over an open fire

There's more to being a mime than pretending to peel an imaginary banana - it gives you the power to bend reality to your will. Oh yes. But you must never use your mime powers for evil. It may be tempting to hold up a bank with an invisible gun, escape by running up some make-believe stairs and then launch yourself from the roof in an imaginary glider, but there are consequences. You would be breaking the sacred mime code and all the other mimes would hunt you down and kill you. With real guns.

3. Mime's Elbow

Mime

Lunging at a pig

A lifetime as a professional mime will make you prey to a number of mime-related diseases and conditions, quite apart from all the injuries you can expect from walking into invisible walls and being punched by invisible members of the public.

Many a mime veteran will recount the agony of mime's elbow, creaking spleen and chapped knees. These are only to be expected, and are a small price to pay for your art. But are you aware of some of the more debilitating disorders arising from a career in mime? For example, there is lobster thigh, a condition that results from spending extended periods pretending to be trapped in a box.

Mime

Reclining in a wheelbarrow

If that doesn't put you off, there is the misery of loose knees. Mimes need to be incredibly supple but sometimes their joints can become a little too mobile, resulting in legs that swing wildly in opposite directions, so that you never know whether you're coming or going.

But what prove to be most distressing are the delusions. Just because a mime has retired, it doesn't mean that their powerful imaginations have stopped working. Far from it - in fact they can go into overdrive, to the point where they genuinely start to believe that their inventions are real. Think what it must be like to be a frightened old age pensioner who, every day, really does think that they are trapped in a box or walking against the wind. Fucking tragic.

Your Questions Answered

I don't often see women mimes. Is it possible to become a mime if you're a woman?

Women can be anything they want to be: scientists, footballers, astronauts, leaders of nations, entrepreneurs, computer programmers, surgeons... So why the hell would they want to be a mime?

Is it true that I won't put on weight if I mime eating a burger?

Contrary to popular belief, mime burgers actually contain about twice as many calories as real ones. The also contain asbestos, which is one of the reasons why mime-eating has fallen out of favour in recent years.

How do I say 'thank you' if someone gives me a tip?

Obviously you can't speak, so the conventional way to say 'thank you' is to smile and hold both palms upwards. But seriously, don't worry about it - nobody's going to give you money.

How will I deal with the legions of fans who will mob me wherever I go, once I have become a top international mime artist?

Mimes are hot properties: mime-influencers collect millions of followers on social media and are able to command huge fees from appearances and advertising. It's no wonder that they can end up beating off over-enthusiastic fans with a stick. Make sure it's a really sturdy stick, though, and be sure to practise your swing - it's all in the elbow, apparently.

I have been an amateur mime artist for a while but I want to take it to the next level. Is there a recognised qualification?

Established in 1832, the Fair and Laudable Union of Mime Practitioners (FLUMP) has protected the interests of mime artists around the globe. It offers a number of accredited courses, including Level 2 Walking Against the Wind, advanced tuition in Descending Imaginary Stairs and a B.Tech in Being Trapped in a Box

My employer has banned mime in the workplace. Do I have legal protection from discrimination?

Yes, you can take your employer to mime court. If the mime judge finds that your employer is mimist it can result in a hefty fine or even incarceration in mime prison - which is exactly as insubstantial as you'd expect mime prison to be.

In fact, your employer is being incredibly short-sighted. Mime is rapidly becoming the new lingua franca of international business. To connect effectively with trading partners and customers around the world, mime is now the go-to option.

Can I catch scabies from mimes?

It is a common misconception that you can catch scabies or other skin conditions from mimes, most probably arising from a wave of anti-mime hysteria that swept through Europe in the late nineteenth century. When handled correctly, mimes are extremely unlikely to infect anyone - although, for a number of reasons, we suggest that you don't go around licking them.

Should I take out mime insurance?

We strongly urge anyone considering a career in mime to take out adequate insurance to cover the theft of imaginary props, trips or falls on imaginary steps, or spontaneous combustion. That last one happens more frequently than you might think.

Is it true that mime can help you to gain an insight into the balance of nature, encourage a greater appreciation of the wonders of existence, contribute towards the eternal quest for enlightenment and help you to achieve a better understanding of your place in the universe?

No.

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