Mime visits, entertains Mahelona residents

KAPAA — Who can resist a flower accompanied by a warm smile? Or an invitation to fly?

Residents of Samuel Mahelona Memorial Hospital waited in line after a gust of wind blew in Janet Carafa, a mime artist and yoga instructor, into the Mahelona Hospital auditorium filled with residents Monday morning.

“Do you see the interaction?” said Josie Pablo, hospital’s recreation director. “The residents are responding. Many of them are doing things they don’t normally do. They’re laughing, and all of this with no words.”

Carafa said the residents were invited to touch the invisible and listen to the silence.

“The mime performance and interaction brings joy and well-being,” she said.

Pablo said Carafa’s visit accomplished her goals of helping the residents to be active.

“And they were having fun,” Pablo said. “They were eager to participate, and the interaction was beyond words.”

Carafa worked through a scenario of being enclosed in a box, flying like a bird, being a small baby bird and picking flowers. She had the audience engaged and finished her performance by handing each resident the world.

Carafa has been teaching mime at the Hawaii Children’s Theater for five years. She said this power of touching the invisible is available to Kauai public schools and charter schools through a grant from the Hawaii State Foundation on Culture and the Arts.

The deadline for schools to apply for a grant for the 2018 school year is May 1.

The grant allows the school to set up a residency where Carafa, or any artist on the roster, offers a series of eight workshops over a two-month period for six different schools.

Carafa brings the techniques of world-class mime artists to the students.

“As a mime artist, I work intensively with children in the fourth through 12th grades,” Carafa said. “I am always delighted and amazed at the enthusiasm.”

The art of mime offers students an inspiring way to tap into their intuition, creativity and confidence to develop self-expression.

“I call it communication from the heart,” Carafa said. “It is the way human beings communicate in the larger sense. Words are learned and therefore are the secondary form of communication. Body language and intuition is first and foremost.”

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