Mimes have to do laundry right? I mean, they have to live normal lives outside of their jobs? They don’t just walk around all day, being mimes and not talking to people?
Does that confuse the world? When they still have their makeup on? Or are still in their costumes? Can you talk to a mime when he’s not working? Is it breaking the code of silence for them to utter a single word?
How fascinating it would be to walk around in a particular costume that defines how society sees you. It’s not singular to mimes. There are doctors in scrubs in gyms. Nuns walking dogs. People whose jobs are readily identifiable by their clothing. What happens when they leave their jobs, though? Do they continue to be treated as their profession?
These were things on my mind when I wrote Soapy Silence. Then, when I found out that one of my friends used to be a clown, I figured it would be the perfect situation for him to be doing laundry. Then I wanted to join in the fun, so I added a gal to the whole situation.
Besides, it’s so interesting to observe how people interact with people they have no idea how to interact with. Because in any given day, we have hundreds, if not thousands of small interactions. We perceive people in a particular way. Most of those are fleeting, second long interactions.
There is a special type of intimacy that forms when people are doing laundry. You are all in the same space, together. Doing a somewhat mundane human activity that is requisite. You are around people for a much longer period of time. Do you interact with them? Do you maintain public privacy?
You’re there for such a long time, more than a few minutes, that it can be hard not to have at least a small interaction. To connect on some level. And then you’re curious about what laundry they’re doing. Then you wonder how they spend the time while waiting for their laundry to finish. All sorts of curious questions arise.
In Soapy Silence’s case, our gal reads Jules Verne. She escapes the mundane world of doing laundry for the escape of a wonderful novel. Then this mime shows up.
How do you reconcile reality and fantasy? Can she talk to him? What are the rules of an off work mime? What are the chances that he would also be reading Jules Verne? And that he speaks? Where is he coming from? Is he coming from work? He must be right?
Filming this piece was an adventure in and of itself. Stick around until the credits to see how the shoot went down. That end part, that was completely unplanned. A mother came up to us with her stroller, and expected a show. He delivered. I went back into character, and dragged him away.
We had the most fun making this piece. I sincerely hope you enjoy.