Silence speaks volumes.
Jerome Wood, in fact, has seen it swell people’s emotion until it overflowed in tears as they watched him fluidly move without words. Fittingly, he offers few answers for that kind of impact.
“I feel that God anointed me to do this,” Wood said. “So, it’s not really me who’s actually doing it. It’s just the talent I was given by Him.”
He serves as a mime, hidden behind white face paint, but vulnerable all the same. He interprets accompanying recorded Christian songs with kinetic compassion, if you will.
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“Each time I do it, I feel like there’s maybe somebody out there who needs to see it because of whatever they’re going through,” he said. “So, it serves it’s purpose.”
His most recent presentation came at the Martin Luther King Jr. Community Breakfast. Dressed in his trademark black robe and white gloves, he brought to life the words of the emotional Marvin Sapp gospel tune “Never Would Have Made It,” before more than 300 people at the Columbus North High School cafeteria.
The salesman for Angie’s List in Indianapolis first performed at the local breakfast nearly a decade ago.
In his latest appearance, only a minute into the number, some of those watching connected to the praise anthem to God — one thanking him for ushering them to the other side of adversity.
The singer’s lyrics resonated: When I look back over all you brought me through/I can see that you were the one I held on to.
“Amen!” shouted more than one person in the crowd.
The 28-year-old Wood became interested in the art form in 2008 after seeing an online video of the Christian sibling duo K&K Mime. Today, he chooses uplifting and hope-oriented songs either that personally connect to his experience or music that links with a message that will be presented at an event or worship service.
That includes his father the Rev. James Woods’ Golden Harvest Community Church in North Vernon. But he also has mimed to spoken-word presentations, such as a recording of King’s famous “I Have a Dream” speech, presented at the 2015 Martin Luther King Community Breakfast. Or even a spoken-word message from televangelist and Pastor T.D. Jakes.
“The only thing is, you’ve got to memorize and know every single word,” Wood said.
He does so partly to know in advance how to move. And partly because Wood usually lip-syncs the message he maneuvers onstage.
Infusing his Christian presentations with passion is simple for one who always has readily held fast to his faith.
“All that has been instilled in me since I was a child,” Wood said. “That never was a struggle. And, even in college (at Indiana State University), I was never ashamed of my faith.
“It always has been a part of me. And I have been careful to stay strong by regularly associating with people who believe as I do.”
Columbus resident Destrey Brown, who also uses the same form of communication at Faith, Hope and Love Church of God In Christ in Elizabethtown, saw Wood mime at a local Christian outreach.
“I loved it,” Brown said. “It inspired me. I think he’s a very gifted young man.”
Wood, who chuckles about the fact that he normally is considered a very vocal person, is willing to take that gift wherever people invite him.
“I’m definitely more free now than when I first started doing this,” Wood said. “Back then, I often was afraid to mess up.
“Now, you might say that I just sort of let go and let God.”
Family: Wife, Cierra Wood; one daughter, two sons.
Work: Salesman for Angie’s List in Indianapolis.
Mime work: At a variety of mainstream and Christian events and services.
For performances: 812-374-9152.