f you’ve just started getting your mime on, you might be wanting to stay inspired, see other mimes perform, consider performing yourself… and that all starts with being in the know.
Here’s our handy guide to plugging in to the scene. On Facebook anyway.
This list will grow over time, so if you know a really good account to follow that we’ve missed, please tell us in the comments below.
1. Les Bubb School of Mime
Ahem! If you’re not already following us on the old bookface, then please hit that like button. It really helps us spread the word, and we like to think we post interesting things to keep you on top of your mime game.
2. London International Mime Festival
Ahh memories. This is where Les and I met. It’s a really good way to see what’s happening now in mime and meet the people with the passion. The festival itself is at the start of each year in London and it’s a really inspiring event that’s been running since 1977.
In 2021 the festival went virtual over 14 days and received over 100,000 worldwide views. You can read an interview with Helen and Joseph who put this amazing event together year after year.
Throughout the year the page shares posts from companies who’ve performed at the festival which includes about job vacancies, upcoming festivals and events, course and workshop places, blogs, funding opportunities and of course, a lot of great content about the festival itself.
3. Circus Resources Group
Mime is an itty-bitty part of theatre, and it’s nice to have friends, so we’ve shuffled ourselves under the circus tent.
This is a fantastic group for people looking for funding, performance opportunities, books, networkers, summits, events, jobs, and well, general resources...
Why are circus performers often stressed? Because their job is in tents.
4. Cockpit Theatre
I love these people. Their monthly Happy Hour is great, they have scratch nights, aren’t afraid of the digital world and really put theatre makers first. Bang in the heart of London, it’s a joy to find a radical theatre in the middle of things. They have a very active facebook with (at the time of writing) over 6,000 followers and if you like what they’re selling, you’ll want to be one of them.
5. Bristol Comedy Open Mic Night
If you’re in this neck of the woods and want to show your stuff to a (hopefully) sympathetic crowd, this page is a great one to join as it lists open mics for every night of the week and who to contact to book your slot. They also post a few socials and paid gigs
6. Arts Jobs
The mecca of everyone in the arts world, The Arts Council have been running this service for years, and as it’s free to post, it’s one of the best jobs board to be signed up to. Now with a Facebook group, you don’t even need to check your email to see what’s new
Google translate tells me Facciocose is Italian for ‘I do things’ and Monica Gravagno the Lecoq powerhouse definitely does. This is a great resource for keeping an eye out for resources from the company which include posts about mental health in the arts, offers free classes for performers, has workshops on how to produce theatre online and offers mentoring for theatre makers - oh and they love a good ol’ competition to win free access to all of that. Don’t let anything stop you doing your thing seems to be the message and it’s a good one.
“How long is a piece of string?” is an idiom that dates back to 1885 and it’s also the answer to how many festivals are there. Please do let us know in the comments any you know are friendly the odd mime and we’ll add it when we update.
I’ve included ones I have had personal experience of (and recommend). If you’re interested in a more in-depth guide to performing at festivals, let us know in the comments.
8. Burning Nest
If you want to get into the general festival scene (rather than theatre festivals) then this is a fantastic gateway event. It’s a DIY arts gathering where anyone can bring anything they’re prepared to organise. There’s no division between attendee and organiser, everyone contributes something of value and there’s no commerce on-site. There are generous arts grants and it’s a great place to generate seed funding and work on proof of concept with friendly audiences before pitching to larger festivals with your newly acquired festival XP.
As it’s all run by volunteers, you may need to be very proactive in applying and getting in touch if you want to go down this route. I’m often doing something there, so you can always pop me a line if you want pointing in the right direction.
9. Lift Festival
Always, always interesting, LIFT festival gathers ‘daring and relevant culture’ from around Europe every two years and is another strongly pro-artist organisation that it’s worth keeping an eye on.
10. Vault Festival
I am such a fan of Vault Festival (not to be confused with with the venue they perform at, The Vaults, which is actually equally awesome - oh and you should definitely check out their bar). They believe in putting ‘fringe’ shows and performers in front of a mainstream audience. Very commercially minded yet they don’t cop out artistically, they are up for the weird and wonderful and getting you in front of the right people. I took a show there and was able to attract a reviewer from the Independent alongside a number of industry heads and a more mainstream audience.
They use their Facebook page for announcements about the fest, but also with job openings and call-out for performers, applications and schemes.
11. How The Light Gets In
Philosophy anyone? This is indeed a philosophy festival and does indeed draw a less than usual crowd, however, with all the thinking going on during the day, a lot of wind down is needed at night and they have a flourishing line-up of bands, performers and the like. So, if you fancy pootling on down to Hay-on-Wye then this might be a good gig.
The facebook group is worth joining because it’s just pretty damn interesting...
12. Festival Performers' Listings
Exactly what it says on the tin. This is your bible for the small festivals. Usually comes with a free ticket, so if you fancy a working holiday, it can be very fun - especially if you link a few together and have yourself a little summer tour.
13. International Theatre Institute
If you want to move and shake on the world stage, you better know what’s happening on it. This is where you can keep your ear to the ground about UNESCO Cultural policy, grants, initiatives and events. I don’t think they’ve quite cottoned on to how social media works and they love their PDFs, but hey, at least it won’t clog up your inbox.
14. Pantomime Mime
Run alongside the portal of the same name and run by mime Pablo Zibes, this is a great way to find out who other mimes are in the world, see what they’re up to and say hi. The group’s aim is to be a showcase of the diversity in mime, it has call outs for courses, workshops and opportunities, but I like best the little videos of people’s latest works which is quite fun.
15. World Mime Organisation
The progenitors of World Mime Day and the representatives at the International Theatre Institute, these are the guys you want to pay attention to if you want to get stuck into the craft globally. There’s not a huge amount happening on this group, we must admit, but there are some great history posts every so often and when there is news, you’ll want to hear it. Consider becoming a member via the website if you want to be in the directory and access the global discussion.
16. British Council
If the Arts Council is MI5, then the British Council is MI6. If you want to represent the UK, collaborate with artists internationally and travel in an official capacity then these are the people you want to be talking to.
Their facebook page promotes the work they do - but it also is a great place to hear about their initiatives that you can get involved with
17. Arts Council
Being part of this group is probably the easiest way to osmose what the priorities are for government funding of the arts. Here you’ll find highlighted projects, call outs and a lot of back-patting, but hey, if you’re going for a grant, this is a great place to start.
18. Your Classmates
Show some love to your fellow students. Getting like and follows sadly is an important metric in the nowadays and while you want your Facebook page to be full of audience members, getting the odd post from a confrere is always nice. Give some love, get some love.
We, the Les Bubb School of Mime, grant you permission to shamelessly plug your thing in the comments below: