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Living Statue Contest

Be a performing artist for a day! Saturday, August 26 from 10:00 – 11:30 am Cash prizes will be awarded.


Contact Sally Jeppson at sjeppson@jamestownarts.com ) for more details and to register. Free to participate. Contest will begin August 26th at 10:00 am in the Hansen Arts Park during the Downtown ArtSpark festival.
A little advice:
Human statues have a long history in the European street theater tradition. In many large cities worldwide, you can see human statues busking for money with great patience and physical control. If you would like to become a living statue, you’ll need to decide on your theme and create a costume, then practice keeping still on a public street or square.


Develop a character. The character can be based on a real person or well-known literary or mythological character, or created along common character tropes. Common character ideas include: robots, astronauts, literal statues (e.g. “The Thinker”), and mimes.


Make a costume. Start by visiting costume stores or novelty shops to find the necessary wigs and clothing for your costume. If you’d like to custom make your own costume, you can visit a fabric store to purchase an appropriate color and style of fabric, and then sew your own costume.


Accessorize your character. To flesh out your appearance as a human statue, you can accessorize with objects to wear and hold. Look for objects that match your overall theme: if you’re a robot, hold an imitation computer; if you’re a statue, hold a book to “read”; if you’re a pirate, hold a plastic sword and hook.


Apply makeup to flesh out your character. Many living statues cover themselves completely in makeup, to give them the appearance of being a statue, robot, or other non-human character. Depending on your natural skin tone, white makeup works best; copper and silver are other popular face-paint colors. You should be able to find costume makeup at a costume or hobby store, or through most online retailers.


Find a pose that is easy to maintain. Since you’ll largely be standing still, you need to find an easy pose, at least at first. Exert only a small amount of energy by relying on your bones to hold you up, instead of relying on muscles to keep you in a contorted position. Keep your arms low and close to your body, feet shoulder-width apart, and avoid contorting your torso.


Change your pose often. Although a practiced living statue can hold a single pose for over two hours, a beginner will find it difficult to hold a pose for 15 minutes. You can make gradual movements to switch poses: lower or raise your arms, bend at your waist, straighten your back, or try innovating new positions on your own. Shifting poses frequently will prevent you from developing cramps or falling over.


Breathe deeply and without movement. Control your breathing when you’re trying to hold a pose for a long period of time. Breathe deeply and slowly into your abdomen, then your chest. As your breaths slow, it will create the illusion of total immobility, which will impress audience members.


Choose an action to perform. When a human statue comes to life, it’s common for the performer to perform an action or give something away. What you give away doesn’t have to be tangible; it can be something as simple as a glance or gesture. However, your action or gesture needs to be meaningful; it should be a moment in which you connect with the human being in front of you and look them in the eye.


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