Some months ago, author and friend of Newsnibbles; Maria Riegger mentioned a traumatic experience she had with a mime some years ago, whilst living in Spain. As we have a particular interest in mimes, she has written it up for us. Her statement is as follows:
Picture it: Barcelona, around the year 2000. I was hardly more than a kid, working during the day and gallivanting around castles and cathedrals during the weekends.
My British friend was in town, and we ambled along Las Ramblas, Barcelona’s pedestrian walkway that leads through the Barrio Gotico to the sea.
As we did so, chatting along the way, I took in the numerous street performers along Las Ramblas. One, a mime who stood very still on top of a box that served as a pedestal, was dressed in some type of old-fashioned costume, complete with a hat and long coat. I was continually drawn to him, such that my eyes were glued to his face, almost daring him to look at me.
You see, at the time I called Barcelona home, and I knew that the mimes never talked or moved. They couldn’t (as far as I knew); that was part of the schtick. And so I glared at him defiantly. And while my gaze was locked on this particular mime’s face, all the while listening to my friend next to me talk, the mime’s eyes darted back and forth, back and forth, from staring out at Las Ramblas then back to me, Las Ramblas, back to me, Ramblas, me —
“AAACK!” the mime screamed the second before I passed in front of him.
“AAAAAGGGHHH!” I screamed, cowering away in a near-fetal position, as he lunged toward me, arms outstretched, stopping just short of my shoulder.
My cries were heard throughout Las Ramblas. And, to this day, I have never since approached a mime.
In the interest of public safety, as well as hard hitting journalism, we asked classically trained mime, and friend of Newsnibbles; Mhairi Morrison, whether this was typical mime behaviour. She told us that it’s “[n]ot usual behaviour no, but when pressed a mime can release quite a shrill sharp sound. just to alarm and illicit response.”
So there you have it. Safety advice from the newsdesk here, is if travelling and you see a mime, do not try to stare it down, or interact with it. Let Maria’s story be a warning…