Marcel Marceau

Master of Mime

This post is part of Nonfiction Monday 
hosted today by SimplyScience and joins
It's Monday! What are you reading?
at Teacher Mentor Texts

(pub. 9.1.2011) 32 pages 

A True Tale with A Cherry On Top

A uthor: Gloria Spielman
     and Illustrator:  Manon Gauthier

haracter: Marcel Marceau

O verview from the jacket flap: 

      "From the age of five, little Marcel Marceau knew he wanted to be a silent actor, just like Charlie Chaplin.  World War II came, changing Marcel's life. But it didn't stop his dream of becoming a mime artist and entertaining the world."
T antalizing taste: 

   "But in many places, ordinary men and women were secretly working to fight the Nazis. Limoges was a center of the French Resistance. Alain [Marcel's older brother] joined, and 16-year-old Marcel, using his drawing skills, began to help.
     In secret, with crayon and ink, Marcel carefully altered photos and changed birthdates on identity cards so the children would seem to be too young to be sent to labor camps...
     Marcel was scared, but he hid his fear as he guided the children across the border into Switzerland and safety ...
     Though the war continued, Marcel was able to study at Dullin's drama school in Paris. He worked under the famous mime Etienne Decroux who taught him how to use movement and facial expressions to tell stories without speaking."    
and something more: Gloria Spielman, the author of Marcel Marceau - Master of Mime, features interviews of people related to the art of mime on her blog, including Lorin Eric Salm, an American actor and mime instructor and student of Marcel Marceau. With the beginning of  a new school year, I particularly liked this tribute by Lorin Eric Salm to his teacher:  
         "I found Mr. Marceau to be a wonderful teacher. Of all the teachers one may have in one's life, it is an unusual thing to study with one who is world-famous for his work, and considered the master of his art ... "
       "He was very patient in his dealings with students, taking all the time necessary to help students understand and learn.  He was kind and diplomatic even with the most challenged students.  One of the things that made him a particularly great teacher was his ability to incorporate all his worldly knowledge into his lessons.  He would make references to all the other arts -- dance, painting, sculpture, music, etc. -- and to religion, politics, sociology, psychology, and anything else that was useful in helping us understand that mime calls on all of these aspects of human experience as its material."
       Isn't it wonderful to learn about those at the pinnacle of their art who share their expertise and passion as a teacher, especially as a "patient" and "kind" one?


Tara @ A Teaching Life said...

This sounds like a lovely find...thanks for sharing.

Jeanne Walker Harvey said...

Thanks for stopping by, Tara.

Jeff Barger said...

I bet this would be good for teaching visualizing. Thanks for the note on his teacher.

Linda at teacherdance said...

Love the ACOT-guess I've not visited before. The book sounds wonderful. Marcel Marceau is fascinating, isn't he? I'll look for the book. Thanks for telling those little parts about it. There is a class at school in mime offered by our drama teacher. The students adore it. Thank you!

Jeanne Walker Harvey said...

Yes, I wish I had gotten to see him perform. And thanks to you, Jeff, and all teachers -- true life heroes!

Jeanne Walker Harvey said...

So glad you stopped by, Linda. The students at your school are so lucky -- a class taught in mime. Wonderful!

Jen said...

Awesome. This sounds like a great book. I've totally heard the name Marcel Marceau before but I'm not sure I would have been able to tell you he was a mime. Very cool!

Jeanne Walker Harvey said...

Hi Jen! Now that I've read the book, I want to see if I can find a video of him performing as a mime.Off to investigate ...