NEXT099 Mimicry

Posted on : 06-11-2011 | By : Lynn | In : Humor

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My husband, good friend Kim and I watched the independent film “The Trip” starring comedians Steve Coogan and Rob Brydon as two best friends taking a road trip together to tour the finest restaurants in the countryside and along the way they drive each other crazy with their dueling impressions of various characters from Sean Connery to Al Pacino.  What I loved about this film was how it reminded me of my brother, Howdy, and I when were kids and would do various impressions  (he had me beat hands down but I’d never admit it to him). We would go over and over the same impression trying to get it just right, while showing the other one how to do it perfectly.

Our little brother, Hamilton, does great impressions too.  Hamilton can do the best Chewbaca cry ever which I cannot begin to compete with;  however, I do manage to crack him up with my pathetic attempts.

There is nothing quite as fun as practicing a good session of mimicry with someone.  My husband, David and I have created our own little dance with this such as talking with a Scottish brogue when we say “Scotland” or “Aye, we’re from Irrrreland” with an Irish accent.  In fact, we’ve been known to switch back and forth from Scottish to Irish accents all the way down the highway trying to get it just right. Just like the guys in “The Trip” movie.

What is it about mimicking someone or something that is so much fun and why is it when you hear someone imitate something perfectly, it can really crack you up?  Yet, we seem to know the difference between someone imitating us as a compliment or making fun of us. And there are some people that we don’t want imitating us at all?

I’ve always been fascinated by the different voice inflections that people have as well as their mannerisms.  I know when someone has caught my attention because out of the blue, I will catch myself doing some kind of mannerism that isn’t naturally my own and so I have to stop a minute to figure out “who I’m doing”.  I know I used to make one of my good friends uncomfortable because I absolutely loved the way she would say certain words with her Wisconsin/Illinois influenced accent.   At some point in our lives, many of us do mimic or imitate each other in some form or fashion.  I suppose it shows how we humans are much more like our animal brethren then some would care to guess because various species of animals in the wild will mimic each other or mimic a predator in some form or fashion for attracting a mate or for survival.  I wonder if animals ever laugh at themselves like we do?

I  suppose the closer we get to being able to mimic someone spot on, the closer we can get to really being able to see what is going on around us very clearly.  Some of my best “skits” have been the ones that combine various people, voices, situations that are going on in the world around me that show someone who is watching me that “I know” and that “we are connected”.

Have a little fun with mimicking and imitating someone or something to see where it takes you.  One of my very favorite instant imitations that my Dad did awhile ago was when he and I had been sitting on our living room futon for a stretch of time and so when we attempted to get up, the cushion had settled back into the crack of the futon very deeply impeding our being able to get up and off the futon with any flair to speak of much less in one graceful movement.  Instead, after I had gotten up and was turning off the lights to go to bed, a movement caught my attention out of the corner of my eye because my Dad was sitting there with his bohiney stuck way down in the futon flailing his legs just like a little bug while making an ever so soft grunting sound of effort.  It was pretty subtle but absolutely hilarious.  Guess I know where at least some of our humor comes from!

How about you?  What impressions or mimicking do you do just for the fun of it?

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