I met the man just over 10 years ago. He was the teacher of one of my mentors, Rob Mermin, the founder of Circus Smirkus (in which I used to perform, as did Dragon). It was Smirkus's 10th anniversary and Marceau was there to do his show in our tent.
The memory that left the biggest impression was an incident during his show: maybe five minutes into one of his pieces our generator had a glitch and the lights went out for a few seconds. When the lights came back on, rather than start his piece where he left off, he went offstage and started it from the top. At the time I thought, what is he doing? doesn't he realize we've already seen this? doesn't he realize that we'd have forgotten all about the technical glitch if he had just picked up and continued? But since then I've realized that his perfectionism represents how much he believed in what he was doing. I think that what he possessed was not arrogance, but conviction.
I never got to speak with him directly. I was 17, and very shy to boot, and I didn't want to waste the time of this great man. And besides, he was really there to visit Rob. But from what I saw, he was very personable, very talkative (yep), and I'm sure he would have been very happy to meet this shy 17-year-old juggler.
He was a great man, and touched many lives. He will be missed.
Posted by Lisa (Member # 8384) on :
(My partner suggested that we all take a moment of silence in his memory.)
Posted by Flaming Toad on a Stick (Member # 9302) on :
Wow. That hit me a lot harder then I thought it would. God rest his soul.
Posted by Nighthawk (Member # 4176) on :
He uttered the only spoken word in Mel Brooks' Silent Movie.
I didn't know he was that old. Looking at the pictures, he looks great with makeup, but man he looks worn without it.
Posted by Ela (Member # 1365) on :
I saw him perform many, many years ago. He was great.
Posted by erosomniac (Member # 6834) on :
I have no idea who Marcel Marceau is.
Posted by Chris Bridges (Member # 1138) on :
I have to admit, my very first thought, even before I felt the sorrow for the loss to his family and the rest of us, was: "No last words, I guess."
Posted by Dan_raven (Member # 3383) on :
Marcel Marceau put Class in the Classic Mime. A million Marceau wanna-be's in white face and trapped in boxes of their imagination owe their existence to being a shadow of this man's genius.
Posted by dkw (Member # 3264) on :
I saw his show about 12 years ago. You could tell that his body was past its peak -- the two aprentices he had performing with him were much more fluid -- but he was still absolutely magical.
Posted by brojack17 (Member # 9189) on :
Posted by Samuel Bush (Member # 460) on :
Posted by Dragon (Member # 3670) on :
Thanks for starting this thread Mike, I was about to start one if no one had.
I only saw him perform once as well, in Boston several years ago though still more recently than others who've posted, and was amazed at how much control he had over a body that was clearly very old. He was phenomenal.