Have you ever gone to the Sea Lion and Otter Spotlight show at SeaWorld? This is a revamped show that used to be called the Clyde and Seamore show. The show used to have multiple versions focused on various plots that included Christmas, pirates, high school, and more. The Sea Lion and Otter Spotlight show currently happens at all 3 U.S. SeaWorld parks.
Before each show starts, there is a warmup act. This act is probably the main reason a lot of people go to this show. Not because the show is bad (It’s a great show) but because the warmup act is just so good! The warmup act is a Mime that interacts with the audience in various ways. I have to mention here that the image we used for the blog is not of the mime we interviewed.
We recently got the chance to interview a former mime who goes by LeftHandedKazoo on TikTok. Be sure to go follow his account as he reveals some interesting theme park stories from his time at SeaWorld San Antonio. He was a mime for approximately 4 seasons at the park, from 2001-2004.
What kind of training did you have to do at the park when first assigned the mime position?
Lynn the mime from Orlando trained me on the makeup and routines, plus I was trained on working alongside trainers and animals backstage.
Did SeaWorld give you a number of skits you were allowed to do, and you got to choose from them during each show?
Aside from one scripted routine that I did with trainers, everything was left up to me according to what felt right in the moment. That included a lot of freeform improv.
What was your favorite skit to do?
Sneaking in and holding hands with someone when they thought it was their partner was always hilarious. It was a fun game to see how long I could go without them catching me. Assembling family photos of guests with strangers was also loads of fun every time. Kicking out husbands, wives or kids was always a crowd pleaser, but bringing in new ones brought the house down!
What was the funniest interaction you had with a guest?
I swapped out with a elderly woman’s husband to hold her hand without her noticing, and made the entire walk up and sat down with her before she noticed. She was so old and frail that I was concerned the shock might be too much for her, and I was getting increasingly worried that we were headed down a dark path. The tension in the crowd was palpable. Everyone in the audience knew except her! but when she finally did see me and get surprised, she swatted me hard in the shoulder and pushed me away with a smile on her face. The crowd loved it!
What was the worst interaction you had with a guest?
If vibes weren’t vibing, I just moved on quickly to someone else in another section. Guests were typically great. I could give you plenty of ugly stories from when I was a busker on the Paseo Del Rio in downtown San Antonio, but at Sea World, I worked hard to keep things positive, or vanish if that wasn’t possible. Only good photo and video ops!
Did SeaWorld ever say you couldn’t perform a skit? Or pull a skit after outrage?
I threw popcorn in people’s faces and did lots of rude stuff, but I never had a complaint from guests or management, which is surprising, because I was known to push the limits, but that’s why they hired me. I think maybe it was because I always was secretly on their side, and they felt the love.
What could a guest do that would make hilarious situation with a mime at SeaWorld?
Anytime a guest was willing to play along was great. If somebody was a big ham, I’d use it to close the pre-show by encouraging applause from the crowd for them. The hammier they guest, the more I would test them in dancing ridiculously with me for the audience.
What is a cool behind the scenes story you can tell us?
I saw a sea lion lie to a trainer. Spanky was the oldest sea lion there, and the first anywhere to do the smile behavior. Spanky went catatonic backstage during a normal behavioral session. He stared at a spot behind Joe, the trainer, who stood their with a big bucket of fish, trying to get the sea lion’s attention. After nothing seemed to work, Joe turned around to see what the Spanky was staring at, and Spanky lunged for the bucket, eating every single fish in a matter of seconds. Joe couldn’t do anything but laugh, because he knew he got punked.
Did you ever meet any celebrities, and if so what was your favorite interaction with them as a mime?
I’ve met a lot of celebrities over the years, not so much at Sea World. They usually avoided crowd situations like that. I also worked for the San Antonio Spurs, and I invited one of their massage therapist to visit and meet the sea lions. She gave an enthusiastic massage to a very cooperative and grateful sea lion. She was having so much fun identifying the corresponding muscle groups, and the sea lion was rolling his eyes back in his head, totally into it.