Charlie Chaplin

As a would be storyteller, photographer, maker, I know there are different methods of storytelling. In my hopefully near future plans, I want to use all these. I am also involved in local theatre. There are many different aspects of telling a story. I once had the local theatre group set down and I told them a story and saw these grown people shrink back as I got to the scary part. Voice does have a great deal to do with it, but there is more.

I recently purchased a DVD set including two Charlie Chaplin and two Buster Keaton movies. After the day I had a couple days ago and knowing I was going to have to tell someone something I didn’t know how to tell them, I needed to laugh. So, I put in the Charlie Chaplin movie disc.

I am currently watching “The Kid”. It is funny, it is heart wrenching, it is a story told not using a single word. He was a tormented genius. He took things that tortured him and made them into stories. He produced, directed and starred in his films. He had the best things that money could buy. He didn’t have the one thing money could not buy, PEACE.

I have read his biography. I have watched the movie “Chaplin”. I see parts of this movie that are reminiscent of his life.

Chaplin’s mother had mental health issue that to a degree had an effect on him. He was put into a home when she was hospitalized. “The Kid” was going to be put into an orphanage and “The Tramp” fought to keep them together, going so far as to scale rooftops to catch up with the truck taking the child he loved away from him.

This movie/story has no words. It is a silent film. Chaplain used actors facial expressions, music and settings to tell his story.

Chaplin went into “show business” as a means to survive. He made a name for himself. He put in the work, he took risk, he did things that others would not do.

He was not one to stand for injustice.It has been suggested that  he was watched by the FBI.

This “Little Tramp” was so much more than his bowler hat, wabbly walk, big shoes and tiny mustache.

But with all this, he was still sad and broken on the inside. I think that is why he wanted to make the world laugh. He penned the lyrics to “Smile” recorded by Nat King Cole.

Smile though your heart is aching
Smile even though it’s breaking.
When there are clouds in the sky
you’ll get by.

If you smile through your pain and sorrow
Smile and maybe tomorrow
You’ll see the sun come shining through
For you.

Light up your face with gladness,
Hide every trace of sadness.
Although a tear may be ever so near

Thank you Charlie. For teaching me a little more about storytelling. Thank you for providing the world with laughter while you were crying on the inside.

Most people don’t even know how fascinating I find this man. I didn’t even know at the time why I did until I sat down and actually looked at it as storytelling. Silent storytelling.

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