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The Creative Issue – News for Creatives | October 17, 2019

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Interview: Peter Wilson The Mime Guy on "Finding Love"

Interview: Peter Wilson The Mime Guy on “Finding Love”

| On 26, Aug 2015

What does a mime say when he meets Marcel Marceau?  Not a lot.

I’m talking to Peter Wilson, Brisbane pantomimist.  Peter grew up in Toogoolawah, a Queensland town so tiny (population: 900), it barely made it on the map.  If there ever was a Toogoolawah hey-day it was before Nestle’s condensed milk factory closed its doors and moved south to Victoria in 1929.  Perhaps deciding to take pity on the townsfolk, a Brisbane clown school visited during the school holidays. Seeing how much her son loved the show, Peter’s mother took him to  Brisbane for further training. By the small age of 10 he’d officially started clowning.  By the age of 16 he had met Marcel Marceau which cemented his conviction to become a mime guy –The Mime Guy, literally. 


Finding love

 

There are few lonelier occupations than the pantomimist in the Brisbane performing arts world. Performers with rare acts prepare risk encountering translation issues in their audience. “Either everyone won’t say a single word for the entire performance and they rave about it at the end, or the other way around; people can’t stop laughing out loud. Hit and miss on the spot reactions really. Some will really get it, like if you change the location of the cup, or the door, they understand. ” Then there’s a third kind, Peter says, “…like my Aunty.  She just doesn’t understand it…she just doesn’t get the show…she tells me, I don’t know what the story was about.”

 

Mime pouty

Mime artists have an ability to be humorous without saying words.  Exaggerated gestures make stereotypical situations comical and relatable.  As a solo mime Peter’s shows can incorporate multiple characters, and even, as you will find in his current show Finding Love, change genders.  “One of the things I get asked the most is, ‘How do you know how women get dressed in the morning so well?’ I went to a dance school and i grew up with a lot of women around me.” The frustration of finding the right clothes to wear is similar to finding the right person to love – both are emotional roller coasters and out of this pure agony is borne the satire mime artist relish.

Mime guy agony

With no other mimes to clown around in silence with, Peter dabbles in other artistic genres. In one act he tells me about, he mimes to a poetry reading and in a twist of wordplay, he winds up handing a g-string slingshot to the poet. “I think that was the loudest audience I’ve ever had,” he says.  In the show ‘Magic and Mime,’ children are kept in awe as imaginary mime objects suddenly appear in the magician’s hand. Unless you have been exceedingly fortunate, Finding Love is a sadly identifiable story to the majority.  But you will never have seen it explained by a guy with painted ruby red lips, wearing white kid gloves and braces, as he contemplates love from both sides of the story.

THE DETAILS

What:  Finding Love, The Mime Guy as part of Brisbane Fringe Festival

Where: Metro Arts Theatre, 109 Edward St, Brisbane

When: 27-29th August 2015

How much: Tickets from $17

More Info: themimeguy.com

Image credits to Peter Wilson, The Mime Guy.