That time when I was inducted into the International Mime Society…


When I was in theatre in high school, I auditioned for our school's mime troupe. I had to come up with a small sketch showcasing three different mime skills. I did my audition and thought I did well, but the advisor didn't immediately tell us if we made it. 

They had a special way of inducting new mimes. 

When I got accepted, the rest of the troupe came to my house early in the morning (thankfully my mother warned me to clean my room!) and kidnapped me, painted my face with white mime makeup with the black over the lips to symbolize no speaking, and then took me and the other new inductees out for breakfast. 

Then I had to stay in mime makeup all day with a sign around my neck that said, “I can’t talk because I’m being initiated into the International Mime Society.” Well, you might imagine how well that went over in high school. I actually did pretty well adhering to the sacred code of not talking while in mime makeup.

 Except for one time.

As a sophomore, I took driver’s ed. By the end of the semester, we had to drive actual cars. I drove a small two-door school car that reeked of leaking brake fluid around a makeshift driver's course on campus. We were supposed to have our radios tuned to a certain frequency. Our teacher, in this tower above the driving course, gave the four students directions so we wouldn’t bump into each other. Well, my radio wasn’t working. I tried to signal to him that it was out. But all I could hear in the radio was more static. I parted my lips for the first time that day. “Work darn you radio, work!” I said aloud. My face burned hot, even alone in the car. 

I wasn’t supposed to talk. 

But if a mime yells at the radio and no one heard, does it really count? 

Sorry, Ms. LaForge. I didn’t keep completely silent during my initiation.

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