Life's a laugh for a part-time mime

PUBLISHED : Monday, 08 July, 1996, 12:00am
UPDATED : Monday, 08 July, 1996, 12:00am

Leung Yiu-fan, 25, has been a mime artist for two years. He became interested in the art form after a chance encounter with another mime artist.

He is now an amateur member of the Mime Touch Theatre troupe, and takes part in both stage and carnival performances. Yesterday, he performed at the Summer Carnival in Kowloon Park. Mr Leung is single and has a daytime job as a teacher in a sheltered workshop for mentally handicapped students. What's on your mind? To give my best and make a perfect performance out there, although sometimes it's difficult to do that. What's the key to a good mime performance? The essential key to mime is to strike up a good relationship with the audience. With children that's easy - because to them mime is fresh and funny. However, some adults find it a little tacky; they complain that they don't really understand what I am doing. Mime is built on imagination and emulation - to make someone imagine that there is a wall or a rope, for example. Are people failing to appreciate mime in the right way? Most people don't have a complete perspective on theatre in general. Perhaps they are more familiar with drama, especially the productions of bigger drama troupes. How do you keep a balance between your job and your hobby? I work five days a week and spend about two nights practising mime. I also have to take time out to do rehearsals when there are stage performances - so I have to spend quite a lot of time on my mime life. Why don't you turn professional? Mime couldn't earn me enough to make a living; even some of our directors have jobs during the day. And I am not that obsessed yet to devote all of my time to it. Is there enough support from the public or the Art Development Council for mime? Although we could obtain funds from the Art Development Council, I feel there is still not enough space for the art to develop. For example, sometimes when we feel like doing a spontaneous street performance we are told by police to clear off because we are blocking the street. However, I am still greatly interested in mime, because doing it is fun and it is an alternative type of art.