What’s a Living Statue?

What’s a Living Statue?

by Susan Huebert
Jobs People Do | JobsPeopleDo.com

Suppose that you could make a good living just by standing still. If you are physically fit, have good self-discipline, and enjoy acting, you could become a special kind of performer called a living statue. Ever since circus performers first started acting as living statues, this form of mime has become extremely popular, especially in Europe. People like Petronella Carter of London, England have made the art of being a living statue into a career.

The name “living statue” describes what the job involves. Basically, living statues pretend to be real statues of various people, such as famous authors, painters, or characters from books or movies. They might join with other living statues to create a scene from history or everyday life or they might work alone.

Every year, living statues in Europe hold competitions in the Netherlands to see who is best in various categories. Children, amateurs and professionals compete to see who has the best costume, best act, and most interesting entertainment. Each person portrays a certain character, such as a girl selling flowers or a man carrying luggage. These competitions bring a large audience to watch both the stillness and the movements of living statues.

Being a living statue involves working on many different aspects of character, costume, and movement, according to Petronella Carter. She has been working as a living statue since the 1990s. During these years, she has learned a lot about the art and her own skills in portraying various characters.

Many living statues work at street festivals and other outdoor events, but Petronella works mainly indoors, where she has a greater range of costumes and characters to use. Sometimes, she has to spend an hour and a half putting makeup all over any part of her body that is not covered by clothes. This makeup helps her to look like a statue made of bronze or other metals.

Through her work, Petronella has developed ways of dealing with the challenges of being a living statue. She limits the amount of time she stands in one spot and has learned to control her breathing. Petronella can ease the pain of sore limbs with small, slow movements that no one is likely to notice. However, she also knows that standing still is not enough.

Movement is what makes the difference between a living statue and a stone or metal one. Most living statues make an occasional small movement or even a large action. They might wink an eye or give out flowers to people going by to show that they are alive.

Becoming a living statue does not require any special education, but it involves a lot of self-discipline and training. If you want to join this profession, you could start by learning to be a mime and by slowly increasing your ability to stand motionless.

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