“Tireless mime artist, director, teacher, producer, and coordinator” was the California Department of Education’s description of Judi when she received a Professional Artists in Schools prestigious lifetime achievement award in 1998.
In 2007 Judi received the California Educational Theatre Association’s award for Outstanding Elementary Theatre Educator in California.
Judi Garratt, veteran mime performer, has built a career by combining performing, directing, teaching and organizing which has given her numerous opportunities to work on unique projects.
Currently, she is the K-12 Theatre Specialist for Los Angeles Unified School District’s Arts Education Branch. Previously she taught theatre in grades K-6 and completed three years as an arts education adviser for the district.
Garratt, a professional mime since age 13, has completed five Artist-in-Schools grants from the California Arts Council; she worked with hearing-impaired students, autistic students, and economically challenged students in an area with a predominance of gang activity.
She has completed nine tours of Department of Defense Dependent Schools in West Germany. Working as performer, director and teacher; she choreographed and performed several original works. She has also worked with the military’s music and theatre performers, instructing them in mime and movement. She was awarded the Educational Ambassador medal for her outstanding service.
Judi currently coordinates the pre-concert workshops for the Los Angeles Philharmonic’s “Toyota Symphonies for Youth” series at the Walt Disney Concert Hall. She coordinated the workshops for L.A.’s First Annual Performing Arts Festival for Youth at USC. She has produced four successful “Festivals Without Words” and the “Family Arts Festival” in Century City. She served three years as National Director of National Mime Week and was the first president of The Mime Guild, completing three terms. She has also coordinated the booking and supervised the workshops for the L.A. Philharmonic’s Open House at the Hollywood Bowl.
“During 34 years of teaching, you have developed creativity and independent problem-solving skills in countless students, thereby making the city of Los Angeles a better place in which to live.” – Los Angeles City Council
Her wide variety of zany and charming characters provides entertainment for the entire family. She combines comedy, acting, magic, music and dance with mime to present unique sketches. She is seen as a collapsing doll, flirtatious frog, inept clown, repentant burglar, and boisterous balloon as well as many others.
Judi worked through Performing Tree of Los Angeles for 21 years functioning as performer, workshop artist for students and teachers, director, retreat coordinator, project manager and artist consultant. They published her book for classroom teachers, LEARNING THROUGH MIME/CREATIVE DRAMATICS: QUIET CREATIVITY IN THE CLASSROOM. She developed, piloted and supervised their in-depth residency project, ArtsCONNECT, which correlates art forms with other areas of the curriculum.
Two of her shows, “Beatrix Potter Pop-Up Program” and “Anansi the Spider Pop-up Program,” directly address the current literacy problem by using stories, larger than life pop-up book scenery, mime, magic, music and voice over to bring literature to life for young and pre-readers.
Judi has appeared on NBC in the hit series, “Sisters.” She has done a number of commercials and was in the Disney TV Special, “Totally Minnie.” She did the leading role in the Ann Lipscomb film, “A Little Company.” It was selected for Best of UCLA, was shown internationally, and received favorable reviews including “Pick of the Week.” Frequently seen on KCET, she has also appeared in NBC-TV’s “KidsWorld.” She was on the CBS-TV series “Jessica Novak” and was profiled in KNXT’s “LA Morning.”
Some of her more significant local work has been for LA Summer Olympics events, Open House at the Hollywood Bowl, LA County Library System, LA Kids Read, LA Children’s Museum, LA Zoo, Festival of Masks, LA Fringe Festival, Very Special Arts Festivals, LA Street Scene, Kidspace, Sunset Junction Street Fair, Plaza de la Raza, Renaissance Pleasure Faire, and Garden Theatre Festivals.
Using her art form in the commercial world, Judi has performed for Bullock’s, The Broadway, Nordstrom, The May Company, Macy’s, BRAVO Entertainment, Robinson’s, Ralph Lauren products, and most of the shopping centers in southern California.
Ms. Garratt has taught at UC San Diego, UC Irvine, Chapman College, Cal State LA, Cerritos College, and Long Beach City College. Currently she teaches at Pasadena’s Armory Center for the Arts, Young Saints in South Central LA, and for numerous after school programs.
Judi directed the Taffytown Players, a group of 19th Century human/animal characters living in the mythical British village of Puddledumplin. This improvisational repertory company entertained audiences at the annual TAFFY festival at the Peter Strauss Ranch in Agoura. She has appeared with the company as Queen Victoria, a frog and a warthog.
She has a B.S. in Education with majors in Speech-Theatre and English from Otterbein College in Ohio and an M.A. in Drama from the University of Miami in Florida. She is a consultant for departments of education, has designed several large arts programs, served on the arts textbook panel for the California Department of Education, wrote a large portion of LAUSD’s Arts Instructional Guide, and serves on the Board of the California Educational Theatre Association.
Judi has volunteered her services for the United Cerebral Palsy Spastic Children’s Foundation, Goodwill Industries, American Cancer Society, Muscular Dystrophy Telethon, KCET Auctions and Pledge Drives, Variety Club Telethon, Para los Ninos, McClaren Hall, YWCA, Free Arts Clinic and many others. Because of these services, she was given the Certificate of Merit from the City of Los Angeles for “Outstanding Volunteer Service.”
Calif. Dept. Of Ed. commends Judi Garratt “for her many years of committed work in bringing her artistry to school children in the Los Angeles area. The arts are an integral part of education and through her efforts, she has contributed to a vision for all of the arts for all of the children.”