Hiya, so I made a remark about being a former competitive mime in a SDCC thread showing some of those fancy .gifs of Deadpool being Deadpool. LINK TO COMMENT

And there were a couple people/upvotes suggesting folks might be interested in an AMA so here it is.

I don't know that I have a good way to verfiy who I am, but here's the best thing I can find quickly. Google Newspaper Link IMGUR of remainder of article My name is Derek Schmeling, you can see me in the imgur link under group mime.

The "Saturday Night Movie Mania" title references the act we put together, a split screen mime in which on person was watching TV and the other three were acting out what she was watching. I don't remember the twist off hand, but it was very well received getting, iirc, straight I's across the board.

My mime was done in High School from 2002-2006 at Spencer High School in Spencer, Iowa as part of the SHS Drama Department headed by Larry Untiet. Our groups were responsible for choreographing our own work and then practicing the hell out of it. As part of various groups I went to the State level Competition 4 years in a row for mime.

Oh yes, when I refer to competitive mime I'm referring to the fact that our works were judged against others from around the region or state depending on what level of competition we were out.

EDIT 3: Totally out of order that's right. Someone PM'ed me to ask me to make it more clear, my mime work was not professional, it was part of Large Group Competitive Speech in High School. I hope I wasn't misleading anyone unintentionally.

So I guess that's what I've got here so AmA?

EDIT 1: Alright, I have to do some last minute work stuff and then run errands. I'll try to answer everyone when I get home and maybe do a couple videos if possible! Thanks for the questions, I'll be back in a couple hours!


EDIT 4: And I think I'm going to call it with that. I have a few other questions to answer and then I'll see about posting some short videos tonight or tomorrow! Hope you all had as much fun as I did!

Comments: 1174 • Responses: 56  • Date: 

GrimeySean1142 karma


CornflakeJustice1306 karma

                                  ... "                        "

Gh0stfac3651 karma

I'm really hoping all his replies are "...."

CornflakeJustice647 karma

Invisible computer and keyboard!

fohacidal238 karma

Wouldnt that produce invisible responses?

CornflakeJustice732 karma

pops out of existence due to paradox

CornflakeJustice116 karma

That is so much better with context! Awesome.

CaptBawb92 karma

It is indeed a brave mime that breaks their code of silence.

CornflakeJustice296 karma

Remember Gob in Arrested Development? Well, break your vows to the union and you find out what happens if there's no one to hear that tree in the forest fall...

rgrossi113 karma

I have to think the Alliance is going to frown on this

CornflakeJustice687 karma

At least they won't yell at me.

Wafelijzer71 karma

That made my day.

CornflakeJustice22 karma

Glad I could help!

brenoajs481 karma

Does being a mime ever get you laid?

CornflakeJustice1545 karma

Actually it has. But remember not to take the act too far... Mime Condoms are terrible.

arnoldlol483 karma

Oh god I just imagined a mime in full makeup, miming opening a condom and putting it on, then being like SUP to his lady friend. Funniest mental image of the day.

CornflakeJustice317 karma

The next time I'm at the bars... I wonder if a woman would respect the "don't touch the mime while he's in character" rule after that...

BusinessCasualty108 karma

Can you get a friend to record you picking up a woman completely by miming?

CornflakeJustice194 karma

If I ever do I'll make sure you get to see it!

InsertDownvotes327 karma

Now introducing Trojan Mime, the most pleasurable condom experience ever!

AndyRooney194 karma

I have a sneaking suspicion this is you getting laid.

CornflakeJustice129 karma

Wheee! That's one of my favorite .gifs ever.

brandnew377330 karma

Idk this Mime condom doesn't seem so bad. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MtgHZuTxwQ4

CornflakeJustice135 karma

That guy is clearly enormous. Proof that all mime's are incredibly well endowed.

Rushm00re305 karma

  1. How do you get out of the glass box? 2. Is your favorite pokemon Mr. Mime? 3. Do you always wear black and white stripes? 4. Why the hell are mimes so damn creepy? 5. Who would win in a fight a mime or a clown?

CornflakeJustice562 karma

  1. Turn the door knob, or use a glass cutter.

  2. Pidgeot actually, Mr. Mime was super creepy.

  3. Actually we wore black from the neck down except gloves. I believe it was to help smooth out our movements.

  4. I'm not sure, I think it's the idea of something that doesn't talk expressing at you combined with the fact that most mimes really overplay the facial expressions, it's just a bit much.

  5. Clowns... Mime's aren't supposed to break the fourth wall, we like our boxes. Stupid horn honkers.

mayoandketchup217 karma

Are you willing to take requests and then make videos of you miming them out?

CornflakeJustice283 karma

I would love to! I won't be able to post any of them for awhile as I'm at work until 5ish pm eastern and then have errands to run, but if you post requests I will try to do some of them!

woeb0t73 karma

You should do walking down stairs. And walking into a wall you didn't see. Also the trick where your hat keeps getting away from you like in Benny and June (sp?). Then, I think maybe I will be satisfied. Maybe.

Also, I wanted to ask: how does it feel getting good at something that seems to be the laughing stock of the performing arts world? I've always been a fan of mimes and never understood why so many people seem to hate on them.

CornflakeJustice167 karma

I think it's really fun to turn something like that back on people. They give me shit for it and I show them what mimes do. Sometimes they try it and realize that it's a lot harder than it seems to be and it does take skill. Plus it's really a true classic form of performance and knowing that I can do it means that it's another piece of history that's still alive and well.

I will give some of those things a try!

whatdc53 karma

Miming a bear attack would be great!

CornflakeJustice124 karma

Miming an attack would be awesome, but I'd have to put some work into showing you that it's a bear. Actually, I think I know how I would do that...

MistressWombat211 karma

Do you get angry when people suck at charades?

CornflakeJustice391 karma

Not at all! Physcalising something is tough, but I certainly make fun of people for sucking.

whatdc282 karma

TIL the word physicalising.

CornflakeJustice312 karma

I'm not entirely sure I didn't just make it up, but that's how language works right? Right?

italia0682383456 karma

Follow up. When you play charades does everyone want you on their team/are you clearly the best?

CornflakeJustice91 karma

I'm not always the best but I'm usually very good.

PygmalionJones22 karma

How are you not the best?!?!

CornflakeJustice54 karma

I'ts what Pidggit and Mixin_Up_Yer_Crayons said, presenting an action or a story is one thing but charades can be wildly different. Plus there's usually drinking involved and that can alter the game.

xykon_fan42 karma

I was a mime a while back as part of a silly organization, etc...anyway, that's not important.

Playing Guesstures with these people was too easy. The game was ruined because everyone could act it out well enough that we got even the hard ones in seconds.

And our parents challenged us to a game...roflstomp.

Probably worth noting that OP certainly has more training/is better than I am at this stuff. I'll bet you get picked first for every charades game. :P

CornflakeJustice37 karma

Awww, thanks! Charades is always fun, and it's one of the few things that I do often get picked first for!

slayinvain159 karma

If a tree falls on you in a forest, do you make a sound?

CornflakeJustice298 karma


ThatsYourOpinionMan136 karma

Does the sport draw large crowds?

CornflakeJustice188 karma

Surprisingly yes, I don't think we ever performed or competed for fewer than 30 people excluding the judges. The viewers were often other parents of drama kids, other competitors, or just people who enjoyed watching antics set to music without words.

ILL_Show_Myself_Out93 karma

Why did you give up being a mime? mimeing? miming?

CornflakeJustice135 karma

Mostly because it wasn't something I wanted to do professionally, I took some clowning classes in college, but I don't suspect that I'm really the sort that would make it in the world of professional theatre. Plus I'd like to get a psych degree and do some good works.

Also, there wasn't really a mime program past high school so I only really was able to do it for fun and when I wanted to.

hothrous195 karma

A mime with a psych degree sounds dangerous. Do you plan to get into organized/unorganized crime after college?

JayK1026536 karma

I am totally writing this movie.

In a world, where competitive miming doesnt pay the bills.... ONE MAN... takes his mysterious talents to the criminal underworld! What happens next will leave you....


The CornflakeJustice Story

Produced by Fox Searchlight Pictures & Winner of the coveted North Korean Film Festival's Gargling Swallow Award

This summer, justice is not only blind.... it's also mute.

hothrous102 karma

I want an executive producer credit.

JayK102645 karma

Totally. If you want, you can do a Stan Lee-esque Cameo too.

Ted41729 karma

Talking about Stan Lee cameo, I really liked his cameo on the amazing spiderman. Hilarious.

CornflakeJustice29 karma

Definitely the best cameo yet if you ask me. I loved it.

CornflakeJustice25 karma

Shhh. C'mon Hothy we don't talk about that sort of thing 'round here. Ya never know who might be... Watchin' in...

bummerville34 karma

Transfer to Tufts University in MA, they've got a traveling mine troupe.

CornflakeJustice24 karma

I did not know that!

AndyRooney22 karma

Bro, you've blown a golden opportunity to be able to list "professional mime" on all your official documents/passports.

CornflakeJustice31 karma

Clearly it's time to get certified. You may be onto something here.

Mostly_Invisible_Man98 karma

Can you do "walking against the wind" for us as further proof?

CornflakeJustice128 karma

If I can get ahold of a camera I'll try and post one later tonight when I get home. Wind wasn't my specialty, but I can certainly give it a shot.

almightyfoon75 karma

What is your specialty then?

CornflakeJustice137 karma

I was reasonably good at windows and doors, I also really nailed some work in creating curved surfaces. My best work though was probably expressing characters through consistent and appropriate facial expressions. Making them big enough to be seen in the back of a theatre, but not so big as to seem off putting.

johnny_ringo52 karma

bet you could mime some amazing architecture

CornflakeJustice104 karma

Gargoyles! Miming architecture is fun for me because I really like it. So I get to imagine these gorgeous buildings, then turn around and pretend I'm touching them!

imag1nat1on38 karma

I'll be monitoring this thread for your gifs/videos. Don't let me down!

CornflakeJustice35 karma

I'll try hard!

[deleted]48 karma

I'm assuming you didn't do the classic "I'm in an invisible box" and "I'm pulling on a rope" bits, so what types of routines did you do?

CornflakeJustice116 karma

Actually we did those! But we did them as part of a routine called "The Mime Olympics" which was stolen by some dirty bastards from another school who sucked!

I also did the "Saturday Night Movie Mania" one mentioned in my original post, one called "Wacky Window Washers" about three window washers at work who get themselves into all sorts of trouble, we even fenced with squeegees! I got stabbed! And the last year was one about Frankenstein, Frankenstein's monster, and his terribly frustrating wife who keeps getting in the way of the brain transfer! Eventually his wife's brain wound up inside the monster.

Atom_Lion91 karma

A rival school stole your mime routine? Is anyone writing a screenplay about this yet? Dibs? Can I call dibs?

CornflakeJustice51 karma

Please do, oh please do. That would be awesome!

But yeah, as absurd as it sounds it's a true story. But they did actual olympic events like hurdles, javelin, shot put. It was pretty bad compared to ours where the events were mime yourself out of a box, lasso something, and demonstrate something.

NateTheGreat2614 karma

That second paragraph is very disturbing out of context.

CornflakeJustice18 karma

Isn't there an /r/nocontext somehwere?

shog1638 karma

What was the scoring based on? (were there scores given?)

CornflakeJustice46 karma

It's been awhile, but as I recall you were scored based on your concept, how good or original it was, performance, did you make noise, did you touch people, did you get your idea across, and I know there was a third one, but I can't remember the category.

Scores were given on an overall III point scale with a "I" (1) being the best score.

bates_to_everything34 karma

What is one of the most difficult 'moves' to perform whilst miming?

CornflakeJustice37 karma

Anything involving leaning can be tough. Stuff like the "fighting against the wind" routines because you tend to need to lean farther over than you'd like to and learning how to do that center of gravity shift without falling over takes time and muscles.

tommybread28 karma

How bad does the heckling get? Did you ever feel the need to squeeze out a single, silent tear?

CornflakeJustice63 karma

It can get frustrating, but I was pretty good about brushing it aside. I'm a staunch believer in never breaking when performing. What's the worst a heckler can really do? Say something mean and really, that just makes them an asshole so I win in the long run, besides. I'm at least having fun.

k3rmatron27 karma

What sparked your initial interest in becoming a mime? Were you a standard black and white striped shirt mime? Last one, do you still mime? If so, when and where? If not, do you miss it?

CornflakeJustice47 karma

I was always a theatre kid growing up, I think I was maybe 10 when I first got involved doing set construction for "The Lion, The Witch, and The Wardrobe" at Spencer Community Theatre so when I got to high school getting involved seemed like a great idea. The head director pointed me towards mime because I was enormously expressive, not quite as rubber faced as some folks, but I was great at performing "big" roles and projecting. Plus, I was a loud person and it was fun to try and perform without ever saying a word or making a sound.

Our outfits were actually black from the neck down except for our hands. The white face paint you usually associate with mime was actually disallowed (I was told it was because it was racist but I have no idea if that's true or not).

I do occasionally do it for friends or just playfully, nothing serious. I always really enjoyed performing and I definitely miss it. Just something wonderful about portraying an idea through motion and expression only without words or noises.

k3rmatron8 karma

Thank you for a wonderful reply! I can tell through the response you've crafted that you are passionate about it!

CornflakeJustice15 karma

You're very welcome! Performance has always been a passion of mine, I'm hoping someday to pass that passion on to my family should I ever get one!

alienbringer25 karma

Who would win in a silence off between a Mime and British Royal Guard?

CornflakeJustice44 karma

I think they'd tie, both are in a character and breaking is against the rules. Though if something catastrophic were to happen next to a Guard, the mimes would totally win.

erock054619 karma

What is your favorite thing to mime? Or what is the hardest thing for you to mime?

CornflakeJustice46 karma

My favorite thing to mime is opening one of those windows that open from the bottom out and then ducking out the window, incidentally, that was one of the toughest because maintaining the consistency of the wall and window was really hard.

Frajer15 karma

Why do people hate you guys so much?

CornflakeJustice24 karma

I wish I knew.

[deleted]13 karma


CornflakeJustice23 karma

Some folks would yell things or make cat calls, some even tried faux flirting. I've had people in general say that "mimes suck!" or "you're shitty!" stuff like that, but I didn't break personally.

While in character as a mime never. A mime is essentially a clown without the noise and speaking while miming sort of ruins it.

Most "mime colleges" so to speak are part of a bigger entity like a clown college. There are a lot of workshops dedicated to it and there are a lot of street mimes that take on apprentices, though as far as I know that's only sort of common in Europe.

Marcel Marceau is probably my favorite mime, his work is just beyond amazing, one of the true classics.

bigdefmute13 karma

Why do Mime's always have trouble getting out of boxes?

CornflakeJustice60 karma

We have an incredible weakness for invisible cheese. Mime hunters constantly take advantage of it and we just can't stop going for the cheese.

HyoFTW13 karma

What are steps to learning how to mime well?

CornflakeJustice20 karma

Practice, practice, practice, practice, and more practice.

Do some mirror work, and work with real world objects, pay really close attention to how your move when you interact with something physically and try to recreate that without the object.

Cameras are great too because you can set them up and have a third person's view of what you're doing.

koew13 karma

What happens if you make any noise/sounds when performing in competetive miming?

CornflakeJustice37 karma

Short stuff like a "gasp" or an "aha" might not get you into any real trouble though most judges I knew docked points for it. If you were to actually say anything though you were immediately disqualified. I knew of one group that screwed something up in their performance and someone mumbled a "crap" or something and they got thrown out.

Pie_Face11 karma

When people shoot you with invisble guns, what is the average amount of time you "die" for?

CornflakeJustice7 karma

Depending on the number of guns and the types of guns, anywhere from 30 seconds to a minute and a half maybe. It also depends on how silly and over dramatic I'm being.

sty1emonger11 karma

Have you been in any non-mime scenarios where your skillz came handy? Where afterwards you thought to yourself: "Whew, all that mime training really paid off!"

CornflakeJustice14 karma

Being able to stay absolutely quiet can certainly be handy from time to time!

But I don't know that I can really say that I've been in any scenarios like that. Sorry!

its_doughy10 karma

What is your best go to trick? As in, the one you would use to impress a large crowd.

CornflakeJustice14 karma

Opening a window and peeking outside of it, usually one of the windows that opens from the bottom either straight up, or even outwards. Placing the wall, the window, and then maintaining the coherency of the wall and window with hands is always fun. Incidentally also the trick I think I do best.

malfunktionv29 karma

How do you practice miming?

Do you do it in front of a mirror, cameras, your peers?

How do they critique you?

CornflakeJustice18 karma

All three actually! Mirror work is useful because you can see how you're movements look from the other side, it's useful for practicing very subtle things like pushing your hand against a wall or making sure you're maintaining the coherence of something you're holding in your hands.

Camera work, well when we did it we didn't have HD so the video was always mediocre, was really excellent for big picture stuff. You don't really touch your partners so you have to be able to check how something looks again from a third party so you can make adjustments based on that.

And peers are just fun because they can actually stop you mid movement and make remarks about quick fixes during practice.

malfunktionv29 karma

but how do they make remarks?!

CornflakeJustice14 karma

Many of the peers aren't mimes, just other theatre junkies. Mimes can walk you through how to make better movements but regular folks can call you out for having something that doesn't look realistic.

eazyd9 karma

Have you considered learning to dance? I've seen a lot of mime moves done in modern pop&lock dance

CornflakeJustice21 karma

I've been dancing for about 6 years now? I actually do a lot of Lindy Hop and Blues. Though I do work on my modern stuff like popping and locking I've never had any real training or practice at it. It is however something I'd like to look into more.

yuki19867 karma

As a Mime, what was the funniest thing you did?

also, how long did it take you to get pretty good at it?

CornflakeJustice12 karma

I think the squeegee fencing was the best bit of mime work we did, nothing quite like miming an off balance bout pretending you're on the side of a high rise office building!

I'd say it took me a couple years to be competent, the first two were good years and luckily I had really excellent mentors. By the fourth year I was one of the best mimes in our group.

JasonPlaysSongs5 karma

Could you please describe what occurs at a typical mime competition? Such as how winners are chosen or what some of the rules are.

CornflakeJustice10 karma

Mostly it's performance, one group will go do theirs, and then another will and another. If you happened to know mimes from another school you might partake in a rowdy game of mime-fighting!

It's been awhile, but as I recall you were scored based on your concept, how good or original it was, performance, did you make noise, did you touch people, did you get your idea across, and I know there was a third one, but I can't remember the category.

Scores were given on an overall III point scale with a "I" (1) being the best score, and there were three judges.