Literary Scene: Mime not silent about his life’s path
“Never Give Up!”
That’s the motto of Nate Moran, known as Nate the Mime.
Moran is a dancer who tells his life story in the book, “The Mime Speaks” (Blue Heron Book Works, $20, 95 pp.).
Moran, who at one time lived as a homeless person in New York City, tells an inspirational narrative of conquering adversity and living up to another favorite saying, “Always Wear a Smile.”
Moran signs books and performs with saxophonist Barry “Bee,” 7 p.m. Dec. 3, The Bookstore Speakeasy, 336 Adams St., Bethlehem.
Moran says his dancing is “telling a story in song.”
Wearing the white makeup of a mime and a variety of striking costumes, Moran expressively uses his body, accompanied by a range of music that includes Gospel, R&B, rock, Country and hip hop. His style of dancing has given him the nicknames “Robot” and “Mr. Wiggle” over the years.
You can see him dance in videos on his YouTube channel.
Moran has performed at Touchstone Theatre and ArtsQuest’s STEAM Fest, both Bethlehem, and has appeared in 29 states and in Europe.
He is available for all types of events, including parties and weddings. He has even performed at a funeral.
“I’ve been dancing since I was a baby,” he says in a phone interview from Whitehall Township, where he has lived for seven years.
“While other kids were playing basketball, I was watching the greats on black and white TV, like Hines and Hines, Bill Robinson, Charlie Chaplin and Cab Calloway.”
Although Moran has taken tap and jazz dance lessons, he taught himself the freestyle that is the basis of his act.
Moran overcame an addiction to alcohol, a problem that began after he separated from his now ex-wife when they were both in the military and living in Germany. It accelerated over the years until he was eventually reduced to panhandling and living on the street.
“It took over. I know that’s my weakness,” he says. “I’ve been in different programs. I once stopped for seven years.
“Then one time I was talked into drinking some eggnog at a relative’s house and it was back to the races and back to the streets.
“Now I have no desire for it since it caused me so much financial and physical pain. I don’t even use Listerine.”
He never gave up.
“Every day, every minute, I was hoping I would survive. I had to keep going.”
His dancing motivated him.
“I would always find a corner and dance. It was always my push.”
He writes in the book, “I have managed to balance on a top step for eleven years. My instinct is to keep looking forward. I never look back to the bottom.”
He credits his upbringing with giving him inner strength:
“You can keep a positive attitude when you have a good foundation. I was raised by my grandmother. We had a big family. We didn’t have much, but we loved each other.”
He writes, “Never give up looking for people to get in your life who see you as the awesome human being you are.
“When you surround yourself with those people, people who believe in you, you can start to believe that you can always pick yourself up off the floor as well.”
Moran has worked with children for the Rilyc Community and Arts Program and Casa Guadeloupe, although his activity has been curtailed because of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.
“I miss it. You learn so much from youth,” he says.
If you run into Moran, he will surely tell you a joke or do something else to brighten your day.
“My thing is to get them through the hump. I love people. I make them smile so I can smile.”
“Literary Scene” is a column about authors, books and publishing. To request coverage, email: Paul Willistein, Focus editor, firstname.lastname@example.org