Mime Time with James Direct Presents: Get Out of Your Head!

By Ernest Kearney  —  James Royce is an okay mime.

It’s ironic in a way that he’s performing his show in the Complex’s Ruby Theatre.  It was Richmond Shepard who first began to connect store fronts along Santa Monica Boulevard and so is one of the godfathers of the Fringe.  Shepard was a pretty darn good mime, who immigrated to France to study with Marcel Marceau who was an incredible mime.

When the Complex was still under Richmond’s, stewardship I saw Flip Reed perform there.

Flip Reed was a remarkable mime and, by some, is considered one of the greatest American mimes ever.

Some believe he would have been “the” greatest if not for his disappearance off the California coast while skin diving. * *

James Royce is an okay mime and his show, Mime Time with James Direct Presents: Get Out of Your Head!, is an okay show.

There are some solid concepts, like a recurring bit of his mime persona being subjected to abuses of the voiceover commentator such as; “How many cars does it take to hit a mime before anyone cares?”

He does some fair miming with a traditional balloon, but when he tries to replicate the attaché bit from Gamarjobat, he falls flat.

Simply put, I don’t think Royce is ready to be seen by an audience.bronze ribbon - Fringe Festival

However, I always give one credit for marching out of their comfort zone, even when it’s straight into a pit.

For that a Bronze Medal.

(For tickets and show information go to:  http://hff18.org/4965 )

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  *  Reed’s disappearance came right before the camcorder revolution so there is nearly nothing of him on film.  The single clip available for viewing is from an appearance on The Gong Show made shortly before his disappearance.  It isn’t one of his classic routines, but it can give you a sense of his abilities.

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An award-winning L.A. playwright and rabble-rouser of note who has hoisted glasses with Orson Welles, been arrested on three continents and once beat up Charlie Manson. His first play, "Among the Vipers" was a semi-finalist in the Julie Harris Playwriting Competition and was featured in the Carnegie-Mellon Showcase of New Plays. It was produced at the NPT Theater in Ashland, Oregon and Los Angeles’ celebrated Odyssey Ensemble Theatre. His following play, “The Little Boy Who Loved Monsters” was produced at The Hollywood Actors Theater, where he earned praise from the Los Angeles Times for his “…inordinately creative writing.” The play went on to numerous other productions including Berlin’s The Black Theatre under the direction of Rainer Fassbinder who wrote in his program notes of Kearney, “He is a skilled playwright, but more importantly he is a dangerous one.” Ernest Kearney has worked as literary manager or as dramaturge for among others The Hudson Theater Guild, Nova Diem and the Odyssey Ensemble Theatre, where he still serves on the play selection committee. He has been the recipient of two Dramalogue Awards and a finalist or semi-finalist, three times, in the Julie Harris Playwriting Competition. His work has been performed by Michael Dunn, Sandra Tsing Loh, Jack Colvin and Billy Bob Thornton, and to date, either as playwright or director, he has upwards of a hundred and thirty productions under his belt, including a few at the Bob Baker Marionette Theater as puppeteer. Kearney remains focused on his writing, as well as living happily ever after with his lovely wife Marlene. His stage reviews and social essays can be found at TheTVolution.com and workingauthor.com. Follow him on Facebook.

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