Music: Heard on Ocracoke

Heard (make that: Seen) on Ocracoke: Jef the Mime

Jef the Mime. Photo by Ann Ehringhaus

Jef the Mime. Photo by Ann Ehringhaus

By Peter Vankevich

Jef Lambdin has been a regular performer at the Ocrafolk Festival since its inception.  When he lived in Buxton on Hatteras Island, it was a short commute, but now he returns each year from his home in Lumberton, NC, where he lives with his darling wife, Dencie; his two cats, Tabitha and Sammie; and his new puppy, Lucy.

He is listed in the NC Arts Council’s Touring Artist Directory and is a designated teaching artist by the North Carolina Arts Council. As a mime, he apprenticed with C.W. Metcalf and also studied with Tony Montanaro and Jacques Lecoq. Not only is he skilled at mime and variety arts, but also unicycling, stilt walking and mask making as well.

In 1976 he began his career as a member of TOUCH, North Carolina’s touring mime theater ensemble. He has performed throughout the southeastern United States including in schools such as the Ocracoke School, hospitals and prisons, day care centers, Lincoln Center, the Kennedy Center and college fine arts centers, in concert halls, and on UNC-TV.

Jef also appeared in productions by other theater companies, including: as a mime with Omimeo in Charlotte, NC; as the plant, “Audrey II” in Atlanta and Raleigh productions of “Little Shop of Horrors”; as The Mute in Flat Rock Playhouse and Temple Theater productions of “The Fantasticks”; and with his juggling partner, Ken Kaye, and as a street performer/juggler in the opera “I Pagliacci.”

These days, Jef performs solo at fairs and festivals throughout the Southeast and shares his arts education work with students of all ages.

Amazingly, Jef the Mime agreed to a rare interview as part of the Heard on Ocracoke profiles for the Ocracoke Observer.

Observer:  What is it about the Ocrafolk Festival that you find so appealing?

Jef: ………………………………………..          …………,           …………..                 ………………………………………………………

Observer: You are really articulate, but once your red nose appears, you get silent. Why is that?

Jef: ……………………………………………,       …………………..!

Observer: You have a lot of skills that make your performances wonderful without saying a word. Have you considered doing away with the mime bit and include talking?

Jef: ……………………………………………………………………

Observer:  I think, we should have caught you before you got your game face on. Do you wish to add anything more?

Jef: …………………………………………………..     😉

Observer: Thank you for this, well, rather different interview. I think it’s best that people actually watch you rather than gain any great insights from Heard on Ocracoke.

Jef: ……………………………………           ………………     &     ………………..    !!!!!

To learn more about Jef the Mime, check out his website at http://www.jefthemime.com/

For classic Jef the Mime insights, click here 

Jef the Mime t-shirt  PS.

2 replies »

  1. This interview left me speechless. I wanted to be a mime when I grew up but didn’t want to end up on the streets.