After working for two years as a professional ballerina, Nola Rae realized she would never be a great dancer. Wanting to apply her ballet technique, and not interested in speaking on stage, she turned to mime and studied with Marcel Marceau. In 1976, after a season with the Bristol Old Vic Company, she started her own production company called the London Mime Theater. She produced eleven shows in which she combined mime, clowning, dance, and puppetry. Each show is presented solo or with a single partner. Nola has performed in 51 countries and been seen on every continent except Antarctica. She has made many television appearances, including a BBC documentary on her work and a recent program in which she co-starred with Marcel Marceau.
Nola Rae was inducted into the 1999 Clown Hall of Fame.