I’m here in Warsaw, Poland and went tonight to see my long time friend, Gregg Goldston, in his exceptional one-man mime show, Louder Than Words. (You can see a video clip on that link.) Tonight’s event is part of an unbelievable international mime festival that happens each year, one that brings in some of the world’s most elite performers.
Let me just start by saying that Gregg is not your typical street mime, so wipe that image from your mind. Anna Kisselgoff (former chief dance critic for The New York Times), reviewed Gregg’s show in the 1980s and even back then called him, “A blazing display of physical virtuosity.” Gregg is a breathtaking performer—stunning, classical, lyrical, hilarious, and mind boggling. He embodies the best of what the art of mime has to offer.
What struck me about Gregg’s show tonight—and always does—is his style of incorporating his unique gifts from outside the art of mime and bringing them into the show to create a completely unique experience…and expand the art form in the process.
Being one who loves jazz, he has woven jazz music into numerous elements of his show: in the interstitial moments between his solo pieces, in the context of his actual creations, and in the final piece where he bounces light around a pitch black stage (breathtaking) catching the ball of light in his hand like an artful juggler—all to the music of Jeff Beck.
Gregg also projects black and white slides of his pen and ink line drawings, putting into play his skill as an artist.
The result: A thoroughly original and memorable performance.
So…when’s your next performance? (a.k.a your next presentation or meeting…because don’t kid yourself…it is a performance.) How can you make it completely original and memorable so that when people walk out, they’re saying, “I’ve never seen X (insert your name) do that. Wow. That was pretty cool.”
Here’s a clue: What are two outside skills or passions you have (drumming, painting, gardening, motorcycles, photography, etc.) and how can you bring those into your next event, even in the smallest of ways?
Just think about it….If you are a former drummer, what if you started your next meeting with two drumsticks in hand and gave a demonstration of the importance of staying loose in your grip as a technique for allowing speed of movement and mastery? If you love photography, what if you brought in a lens and took it apart to explain how light reflects off the interior mirrors. How is that like your team?
Start thinking creatively.
Because whatever activity you demonstrate or prop you unveil will most likely be, as with Gregg’s performance, louder than words.