The Phyzgig Festival is under way — in a big way

By Jeanné McCartin
It’s year four for the five-day Phyzgig Festival South, presented by Pontine Theatre — a whiz-bang event that will delight all ages.

Juggling, magic, slapstick, clowning, vaudevillian acts and other circus-style arts will fill the black-box stage at West End Studio Theatre. There’s even a Yoyo-man.

“In another life I would have been in a circus,” says Marguerite Mathews, Pontine’s founding co-artistic director. “I love being at a circus, hanging out with circus people. They’re just the greatest.”

And most entertaining, she adds.

Pontine’s Phyzgig is the “southern” version of the 14-year-old Phyzgig Festival in Portland, Maine, says Mathews. The area has a strong base of circus-skill artists because Tony Montanaro (1927-2002) one of the greatest mime artists of the 20th century, founded the Celebration Barn, a world-renowned theater/school of mime, and other performing skills in Paris, Maine, she explains.

“And so tons and tons of people were his students. …; Now they enjoy the opportunity to get together. It’s a reunion for them around Christmas,” — one the audience gets to take part in.

Many of these artists come from a background of busking, “making money on the street,” says Mathews. “They have this way of interacting with the audience that is skilled but casual, friendly and engaging to the audience. It’s a performance style that’s not seen very much anymore. And in a space like ours, an intimate space …; they involve the audience in what they’re doing. It’s great for the audience members.”

Michael Trautman (Physical Comedy Theatre) will perform for each show and serve as emcee.

The five-day event features three performers for each show. Artists are Randy Judkins, juggler, and Phil Smith, magician, Dec. 26; Sam Kilborn and Lenny Zarcone, juggling, acrobatics, clowning and more; Randy Judkins, juggler, returns with Martin Shell, clown, Dec. 29 and John Higby, the Yo-Yo Guy, and Dan Link, magician, will perform on Dec. 30.

Mathews says she has no one favorite. She’s impressed and drawn to all circus skill (and others that defy classification).

“I know how much time and effort it takes to get good at these skills. Sleight of hand, juggling. They make it appear as if you’re doing something that is impossible. I enjoy watching it.”

She adds much of Pontine’s original work, and that of guest artists hosted throughout the year, is targeted toward an adult audience.

“It’s not interesting to kids,” she says. “So, we love having a show that’s great for all ages.”


WHAT: PHYZGIG Festival South, three performers will be featured for each show

WHERE: West End Studio Theatre, 959 Islington St., Portsmouth

WHEN: Dec. 26-30, 2 p.m.

COST: $15, tickets online at, or starting one half-hour before performance, cash and checks only.

CONTACT: 436-6660,


Sam Wills: Order of the gag

By Scott Kara


Sam Wills (The Boy With Tape on his Face) Photo / Supplied for Timeout.

For Kiwi comedian Sam Wills – aka The Boy With Tape On His Face – getting invited to perform at this year’s Royal Variety Pe Sam Wills (The Boy With Tape on his Face) Photo / Supplied for Timeout.rformance concert is a sign he’s finally broken through in Britain after moving there in 2008.

“Yeah, it’s definitely growing,” says Wills from London, whose madcap mime cum stand up act has been one of the standout shows at the New Zealand Comedy Festival in recent years.

“Last year I heard a rumour I was getting shortlisted for the performance but I didn’t quite make it. And so this year it was quite nice to get the invite, and essentially I’ve been given the nod of approval for my act.”

The annual concert, which this year was attended by Princess Anne, screens in New Zealand on Christmas Day at 7.25pm on TV One.

He wasn’t the only Christchurch native on the bill with songbird Hayley Westenra also performing.

“It was really nice to say hello to her and it was quite fun to say, ‘Hi, I’m from Christchurch too’,” he says. “She was really good, we had a little chat and talked about Christmas and barbecues.”

As well as doing shows he is currently talking to the BBC about possible TV show ideas, he will perform a new Boy With Tape On His Face show at next year’s comedy festival, and his long term dream is to do a West End-style show with “a big set, a big band, and create a little world and really build the place where The Boy With Tape On His face lives”.

But first, he had to perform for royalty …

So how did the Royal Variety Performance go then?

It was amazing. It was probably one of the most terrifying gigs I’ve ever done because there is so much history behind it as a show. It was pretty spectacular. I had to meticulously go through every little bit that I was doing so they could make sure it was all going to be fine.

What did you say – or not say – to Princess Anne when you met her?

I decided to meet her with tape on my face because we had to do the curtain call at the end of the show, and I had to do that in character, and then straight away there was the line up to meet her afterwards. And I thought realistically we’re not going to have a massive discussion so I thought it would make for a far more interesting photo with me shaking hands with her, with tape on, and not talking at all. What was really interesting was she asked me the questions any normal punter would ask me: does it hurt when the tape comes off?

Who did you meet back stage?

I got to share a dressing room with [American magicians and comedians] Penn and Teller, which was really fun because I’ve looked up to them for years. And Nicole Scherzinger, she was the act on before me. Then there were Il Divo, they were a really lovely bunch of singer guys.

How to make mime makeup

This is very simple technical mime makeup.

The most striking attribute of this theatrical makeup is the white face. All mimes be dressed in special makeup (either cake, clown white or grease white) to whiten their faces before applying a variety of black eyeliner techniques around the eyes. Using makeup specifically geared toward performers is important because your average drugstore cosmetics aren’t formulated the same way stage makeup is. Wearing makeup made to withstand hot lights and activity will ensure that your perfect mime face stays that way.

In this examlpe you will have minimum artistic skills and will use just two colors, black and white.

If you wearing a mime costume, put it on before starting the makeup. Then keep the costume from getting makeup on it with an aged button-down shirt.

Start with a just now washed face. Clip hair away from the face to make applying the makeup easier.

Using  white oil base and finger, draw a line along the jaw and go on around the face, staying about an inch away from the hair.mime makup

Fill in the entire face with white paint, being careful to keep it consistent. mime makup When the white face is on, tap all face with the finger.mime makup Now, using fat brush applied powder. mime makup

mime makup

With wet q-tips you will make a border. mime makupUsing toothpick drawing eyebrows and lips.If your drawing looks badly, you  can simple fill it with white base.Mime makeup
Now you will fill lips and eyebrows. Use for this a thin brush and black paint or pencil eyeliner. For drawing thin lines you can use pinky for help.Mime makeupMime makeupMime makup

After that you will start with eyes. They may be drawn to reflect an emotion.  Draw a black line along the top lid and lower lid of the eye. There are several variations on eye makeup, including short vertical lines just above and below the middle of each line, large “eyelashes” drawn over each eye, elongated triangles under each eye, or tears underneath the eye. Be careful and shake off brush with black paint and use napkin. Your face is white and it will be very hard to clean it up. Don’t forget about pinky.Mime makeup

Mime makeup is almost done!

Mime makeupThanks a lot to Linna for material  . Original video:

All this thing’s from Amazon can help you to be a mime:

Mehron Clown White Lite

16 oz                               2 oz
This make up goes on very easily and covers great without feeling greasy. I haven’t worn halloween make up in years because most of the halloween specific stuff you find in stores is irritating after a little while of wearing it. I researched what professional actors and clowns use and this was one of the top choices. Having tried it out, this stuff doesn’t even feel like I have any make up on. I put a small amount on my finger, and dotted it all over my face for a smooth even coverage that barely used any of the container. It looks like I will get several dozen full facial coverages, if not more from this container even though the container is not that large. It just doesn’t take much makeup to cover. This is the same makeup many professional clowns use, so it is designed to resist running and turning to mess if you start sweating. Important for me being in Texas where it can still be around 100 degrees outside on any given day around Halloween. I will get a much longer test of the make up this Halloween weekend, but so far it looks like it is all that was advertised.

Snazaroo 18ml Black Face Paint Refill

and brushes:

FINE ROUND BRUSH-Black Handle Snazaroo Face Painting Brush

LARGE FLAT BRUSH-White Handle Snazaroo Face Painting Brush

A silent inspiration to others


Special to The Olathe News

James “JJ” Jones, a deaf mime from Johnson County, used a magnifying mirror to apply his makeup as he prepared for a performance last week.

James Jones of Overland Park carries a simple message: People who are deaf can do anything they want — except hear.

Jones, better known as J.J., is a deaf mime artist. For the past 12 years, has has taken vacation time from his full-time job as a deaf program manager at The Whole Person, which helps people with disabilities live independently, to perform eight to 10 shows a year at area schools.

He took his show in the road with his daughter, Juliana Jones, in September, for his first overseas performance. They made a trip to France for the World of Mime festival in Paris to commemorate the third anniversary of Marcel Marceau’s death. It was a way for him to spread the message of his art form internationally.

“Members of the Deaf community tend to view deafness as a difference in human experience rather than a disability,” Jones said in an email. “Deaf” is capitalized to refer to the cultural aspects surrounding individuals who are deaf.

Organizers of the Paris event invited Jones last spring, and visiting France was a lifetime dream for him. He performed in front of the Eiffel Tower and then traveled to Bordeaux, France, for “World Deaf Day,” an event that promoted deaf awareness.

In Bordeaux, Jones said there were people lined up out the door. The show was delayed for more than 40 minutes as organizers tried to accommodate the overflow audience.

Jones learned to mime at the age of 7 by watching “The Red Skelton Show,” the only TV program he followed because there was no closed captioning during that time. He loved Red Skelton and tried to imitate him. A few years later, an elementary-school teacher suggested he try out for the school’s talent show. He did, thus beginning his 34-year miming career at the age of 10.

He went on to attend the National Technical Institute for the Deaf in Rochester, N.Y., and perfected the art. His influences include Skelton and Marceau, both of whom he has met in person.

Juliana works behind the scenes with her dad as an assistant manager by contacting schools and building his website. On the bigger, multimedia shows, she operates the lights, sounds and PowerPoint presentations. As a little girl, she performed alongside her dad on stage and in mime.

“I’ll never forget when my girl put her first mime makeup on just before we were getting ready to go to church,” Jones said. “That gave me an idea for her to join me as a father-daughter mime show, ‘J.J. and Little J.J.’”

Grade school ended the duo, when Juliana became more self-conscious about wearing the white makeup. She felt awkward as friends teased her about having a mime for a father.

“The last thing I wanted was to be seen as a mime,” she said. “But, I don’t even think that way any more. I love the art. I love what my dad does. Maybe I will do it again with my dad again.”

She has witnessed misconceptions of miming firsthand and understands the sense of mystery that surrounds the art. But she also knows the power of her dad’s message.

“People think of the person with a white face as trapped in a box, but mime is so much more than that. It’s a beautiful art and a beautiful language. It’s being able to express things without words,” she said. “When he goes to schools for the deaf, he wants to be that inspiration.”

Mime makeup

I will explain, how to be a mime and make a mime makeup  

It’s not diffiсult 🙂
1 Сlean and dry face

clean the face

2 Shave


3  Put hair back  and leave up for performance

hair back

4 Lets go.  Outlining the face with white.

5 Powder well

white skin

6 Outline eyes and lips. Fill in lips with red lipstick.


7 Enjoy



I thin you understood, how to macke mime makeup.