This is a typical stand set-up at a trade show. But there is a difference here, one of the mannequins is not what it seems to be. It is a guy made up to look like a mannequin.
The point of this at these sort of events is to make an impression on people. If an inanimate mannequin suddenly came alive as you were walking past, or when you were examining some clothing it was wearing, you would not forget the experience in a hurry.
How it Works
This type of performance can be described in many ways human or living mannequin (manikin, manekin) and even freeze modelling; and has its roots in "Tableau Vivant", which was a popular form of entertainment before radio and television, where paintings or scenes where re-created by actors holding a frozen pose.
In this case our actor will take on the typical pose of a mannequin and stand motionless for long periods. This usually takes place in public areas, typically exhibitions, shopping centres. Some performers can suppress blinking for periods in excess of ten minutes. It is a type of performance art, and is very popular a shopping centres and busy streets in most of the main capital cities of the World.
Then, after being frozen for a
while, the actor will move, maybe as someone walks past, or maybe just they will a subtle
wink or smile. This is enough to cause a look of extreme puzzlement on most peoples faces.
They start disbelieving their own eyes, "Didn't that dummy just move?",
"Did I imagined it?", "It's not blinking, It can't be real", "I
must have imagined it"..
I have overheard people making bets at to whether I was real or not.
Then a crowd can form, some knowing and others still unsure, but all waiting for that tell-tale blink of an eye, to confirm their suspicions. At this stage the performer may do something to entertain the crowd. If you make then wait too long they will get bored and walk away.
It is possible to be too good at being a statue/mannequin, and for people not to realise and walk past. I have perfected this to such an extent that I have been carried and loaded onto the back of lorries, dressed and positioned by people, totally unaware that they are dealing with a real human being.
For practical purposes, it is necessary to give the audience some clue that you are not a real statue/mannequin, so that they are drawn into the performance and become interested in trying to work out what they are seeing.
Mannequin man can be used at
- At Exhibitions modelling all types of clothing, corporate, safety and industrial wear.
- At Shop openings, and shopping centres to entertain the customers.
- At corporate events to add something special to the proceedings.
- At museums to liven up static displays.
- At safety training courses as "danny" CPR, to act as a more life-like resuscitation dummy
- At weddings as a living statue
- At fire or confined space training courses as a drag dummy