By George Lewis, 1991 Seattle, WA
"Sam's teaching was-is-procreative in that way, profound in that it rejects easy answers and immediate gratification in favor of a healthy process, a learning to live and breathe fully with things and people. It goes from mime to theatre to life and back again. He still bugs me beyond belief."
I worked closely with Samuel Avital from 1971-1974; it was the beginning of my career in theatre. One of the qualities a great teacher - or true teacher has - is the capacity to plant seeds that he or she will not be around to see flower. Maybe a better image would be planting 'time release' capsules, because ideally there is some recognition on an immediate level: some understanding and manifestation on the spot, that encourages the students to go on, to go deeper.
Then a little time goes by and something kicks in on a deeper level: Something that was said and not understood makes sense all of a sudden.
Sometimes these little 'time bombs' go off ten years later, and one says, 'oh, that's what he meant'. Then you see the thing everywhere, like it was there and you never noticed it. Like a little irritation rolling around in a man of an oyster and then one day it is a pearl.
Sam's teaching was-is-procreative in that way, profound in that it rejects easy answers and immediate gratification in favor of a healthy process, a learning to live and breathe fully with things and people. It goes from mime to theatre to life and back again.
He still bugs me beyond belief.
George Lewis began his Mime training with Samuel Avital and performed with the Boulder Mime Theatre at Le Centre du Silence from 1971 to 1974. In the fall of 1974, George went to Paris France to study corporeal mime with Etienne Decroux. He supplemented his studies with with gymnastics, circus skills, and acrobatics at the National Circus School.
In 1977, George joined Mime Omnibus in Montreal, Canada and performed with them for two years. He co-founded the Mirage Mime School in Boston where he performed, directed and taught for ten years.
In 1984 he participated in the 'Your Place or Mime' celebration of the 10th Anniversary of The International Summer Mime Workshop in Boulder, Colorado.
Currently, George ('Outrageous George' as he is fondly called) is performing, teaching and directing with the Seattle Mime Theatre in Washington.