They’re everywhere…statues coming to life!!!
Okay, nobody panic, this is not a sci-fi movie come to reality; rather this article is about the type of performance art in which the actor portrays a statue. Most of us have seen a mime perform, somewhere in the act most likely they do a piece where they hold a certain post for a period of time as if to be a statue. An artist doing the living statue is that and more! Not only do the act like a statue, but also create a wardrobe and wear makeup to give the illusion of actually being a statue often including props to enhance the effect.
Some performers go for the ivory or stone look, but more popular seems to be the bronze or some other form of metal statue. The photo above is a statue performer in Mackinaw city Michigan, a popular tourist town. One of my girls is posing next to him. As you can see, this actor chose to add a bike and dog as props to enhance his setting. These artists hold various poses for seemingly impossible periods of time and then move to change positions, once again freezing their pose. I too perform as a living statue but do more live looking characters giving resemblance of a mannequin. When I was younger, it was popular for department stores to hire models as a living mannequin to display the clothing; this was very popular especially in the shopping malls. The models would be in the front window of the store often with real mannequins. As a passersby would look at the display, the live mannequins actors would change poses thus drawing attention to the store. The goal was to entice shoppers to enter because of this novelty concept of displaying the clothing line. Being hired for this type of work is where I got my start as a living statue.
More common today we see these performers at festivals or as street performers in a big city like Vegas or at a tourist town like Mackinaw. This young gentleman seen above works many festivals in my area, both in a silver and white character. He stands on a pedestal with a tip box below, he will change positions when someone drops in some money. He is also generous with posing for photos with the audience. Sometimes he uses props like an umbrella or silver contact juggling balls in his routine. The crowds just love his performance and he has invested great time in wardrobe and honing his craft.
Can anyone do it?
Thinking of trying your hand at this living statue bit? A physically and mentally demanding style of performance for sure. Try standing and holding a position for more than 15 seconds without moving. Now try 30 seconds, a minute, even longer. Working as a living statue the artist must hold a pose for considerably long periods of time, a 10 minute pose is not unheard of. Next, can you keep a straight face when a spectator tries to make you laugh or is closely examining you to see if you are real? Just a couple of the challenges of being a human statue. Not to say it is impossible, but just like a juggler, face painter, magician, clown; one must practice and gather experience in order to be good at their craft.
I certainly suggest one does not skimp on the makeup, a quality makeup will help ensure the best possible look for your character. We have a large selection of metallic makeup if you were interested in the metal statue look. Graftobian Pro Paint is one of my personal choices. Using your favorite clown white makeup would be a good choice if trying to achieve the ivory look.
The adventure has just begun if you pursue work as a living statue. Wardrobe, props and active skill sets are still ahead of you. Hope you have fun exploring this unique field of entertainment.