Intermediate Forms: Part 2 Pantomime
Today I will be talking about the 2nd Intermediate Form of comedy juggling: Pantomime. This is the least used by comedy jugglers, though many clown juggling routines follow the model.
Form 4: Pantomime:
A juggler performs a comedy routine without speaking.
This is the least used form in comedy juggling because it is the most difficult to perform. It can easily become either a clown routine or a pure juggling routine. This is also the reason it’s a difficult form to talk about: it is the most ambiguous of the forms.
If you are putting together a Pantomime routine as a comedy juggler you have to make sure that every trick in the routine is either a Set-up or a Punchline. Every trick you have that is purely a trick pushes you further down the spectrum towards a pure juggling routine.
If you made it analogous to a comic‘s set it’d be like having lines of pure text that weren’t jokes. Or helping to set up a joke. Every line that isn’t funny makes it less comedy and more storytelling. Storytelling can be funny. It can have comic elements, just like juggling. That doesn’t however make it comedy or in this case, comedy juggling.
Here is an example of a “comedy juggling” routine. Technically they are clowns but I could see any comedy juggling team working today pulling off something similar.
And here is an example of a regular juggling routine, using the exact same skill, that has some comic elements but is, at it’s core, a straight juggling routine.
This routine is difficult to pull off in live performance. It can be jarring to switch from a text heavy show to a silent routine and it’s just plain difficult to do. This form however is perfect for the creation of a new routine. When putting together a new act you can try the routine using this form. You’ll discover a lot about the routine and if in the process you find one or two gags or physical bits of business then that is a success.
The 4th Form is Pantomime
It is the rarest of the comedy juggling forms because it is the most difficult.
It’s easy to accidentally just make a juggling routine with some comic elements.
This form is best used to explore a routine while in rehearsal and can be a great tool to round out an act.