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Book Shelf Comedy Mime

Richmond Shepard, the worldest oldest mime! R.I.P.

I met Richmond a few times during mime performances he did that I photographed. I always wanted to do an interview with him but we never met up. I knew many students of his that became members of his company. I had bought his book when I was studying mime in the late 1970’s. I think he deserves some serious attention by academics regarding his historical place in the time line of mime history in America. Below is a brief history of his achievements.

Richmond Shepard (born 24 April 1929 in New York City Died July 2, 2019) was an American writer, director, producer and mime with a 50-year history in entertainment. He was one of the oldest living working mimes in show business. He built, owned and operated his own theaters in Los Angeles on Theatre Row where he produced over 30 shows. He moved to New York and worked as a theatre and film critic for WNEW, conceived and directed the off-Broadway show Noo Yawk Tawk [1] at The Village Gate for three years. He has traveled across the world performing with mime troupes and performs improvisational comedy in various clubs around NYC as of March 2011. Richmond Shepard’s most recent role was when he played the “Sandman” in Fuzz on the Lens Productions fantasy comedy “Abnormal Attraction” starring Malcolm McDowell, Bruce Davison, Leslie Easterbrook, and Gilbert Gottfried which was released on February 26th 2019

Shepard previously owned The Writer Act Repertoire, an Off-Broadway theatre located at the original venue of The Vineyard Theater,[2] 309 East 26th Street, New York City, in the Kips Bay neighborhood of Manhattan. Notable performances include the world premiere of Last Chance Romance by American playwright Sam Bobrick (June 2011) and a developmental staging of the comedy, Shalom Dammit! An Evening with Rabbi Sol Solomon (March 2012). The theater has been renamed the Write Act Repertory Theatre, owned by Write Act Repertory.

Mime: The Technique of Silence by Richmond Shepard

FORTISSIMO – A Short Film from Noah Wagner on Vimeo.

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Categories
Clown Music NY Clown Theatre Festival 2010 Performing Arts Photography Variety Arts

Shorty and Fatty’s Half Century Extravaganza – NY Clown Theatre Festival Show

The show was a collection of performers that HAD to be at least 50 years old…IF not older!

The hostesses of the show were Karen McCarty and Deborah Kaufman.

Of course the IDEA for this foolish evenings festivities came from the mind of Jan Greenfield. (over 50 too!)

I had a chance to get to the theatre early and take a portrait of the hostesses.

Deborah Kaufman and Karen McCarty Host the Cabaret

They get the show on the road by dancing a number together to rev up the audience spirits.

Are you ready for the show to begin?

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First to start the show is Hilary Chaplain with her delightfully demented piece  THE DIVA.

Uh Oh…What show must go on?

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GORK (Michael Getlan)  the stage hand helps clean up the roses.

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The next act to appear in the cabaret comes from the wilds of Finland.

LILI’s HAIR AND BEAUTY PARLOR

Lily Sukula-Lindblom and audience member Bryce Kasson.

Innocent audience member gets her ‘makeover’ and responds!

The Final Picture for Hair and Beauty Parlor

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The ‘oldest mime in the world’ is Richmond Shepard.  He was there and performed a few comic mime pieces.

Comical stories with nice funny mimetic touches.

Richmond was an inspiration for many mime performers to follow.

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The show was not without disturbances. An act titled ‘Clifton’s Senior Moment’ turned out to be an impostor.

John Leo tried to get in on the show’s action but got pulled off soon.

Out you go impostor. Stay out of here!

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THE HOLE

Next up was the piece featuring Nancy Smithner(c), Therese Schorn (r) and Bernie Kramer(l).

It was a strange piece to say the least!

The young girl is being scolded by the grandmother for misbehaving.

After climbing down a ladder into ‘the hole’ they put on mask and play. They also pull out their tails.(?)

After playing they climb out of ‘the hole’ and back to the drawing room. Grandma reads them the bible.

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WILL SHAW sings ‘This Old Man’.

Very unique discussion of the lyrics during the song! lol

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JULIE GOELL performs ‘Feminity Tonight’.

Preparing a nice facial using uncommon ingredients.

A little egg on the nose is always good for the overall appearance.

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VASES with David Sharps

Not only is David an accomplished juggler and performer he also happens to be a captain of a sea vessel.

Karen and Deborah with signs.

David manipulates the small vase.

David with the very heavy and large chinese vase.

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BERNARD KRAMER performs “My Way”.

Singing Frank Sinatra’s  MY WAY as he proceeded to visually portray his ideas about his ‘way’.

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Mildred and Foo Foo

Here we had another example of a performer trying to ‘get in’ to the show even though he wasn’t qualified. (not 50+)

John Leo was remarkable in his never ending attempts to perform in the show.

(and his never ending array of wild and funny characters! Thanks for the hilarity JOHN)

The gig is over. They found out who you really are John Leo!

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THE AMAZING ZAKAHHR

featuring Michael Christensen

Michael has had a long revered career in the NY circus scene. Having performed in Europe with the one-ring circus’  he and juggling partner Paul Binder came back to NY in 1977 and created the BIG APPLE CIRCUS. Michael also created in 1986 the Big Apple Circus Clown Care Unit. One of the first season’s of the BAC Michael performed his new act with his new character The Amazing Zakahhr.

Now many odd years later he shows us again his wonderfully creative and off beat mind in action.

“Carnavorium bloodius maximus, the Latin name of one of the most remarkable and vicious creatures of the animal kingdom, the Long Haired, Silverback, Soldier Mole! The Soldier Mole, capable of burrowing through solid granite, having no known predators, this mole reigns supreme in the vast arid wastelands of the middle east.

Ladies and gentlemen, for your safety please remain seated!

We now present

The Amazing Zakahrr

And his trained Soldier Mole, Githha!”

Karen and Deborah help Zakahhr get curtain away for the entrance of his trained mole.

His head to the ground to hear the rumblings of his trained mole.

Exasperated by the effort to keep the trained mole from causing havoc on stage.

His arm under the carpet means only one thing. He is performing the finale  ‘grip of death’!

(he is taking a huge chance not to have his hand chewed off  by the mole Githha)

With a hand bloodied he comes out from beneath the rug ‘alive’.

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Final Curtain Call. All of the performers are ready for bed!

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