A young boy born profoundly deaf turns to ballet to escape his tormentors. He discovers a love for theatre and gets to meet his stage idol but eventually becomes disenchanted and gives performing away, only to rediscover his passion years later. He then creates a one-man show and goes on to become rich and famous.
So far the 31 years old has done all of it except the rich and famous part… and that might be just around the corner. Peter’s love affair with the arts began with ballet lessons at the age of six as a way of escaping the schoolyard taunts and bullying over his deafness. That led him to dabble in clowning, which introduced him to magic tricks and ultimately the art of mime which was to become his passion. “I got picked on a lot about my hearing, to the point where I would try to get rid of my hearing aids by hiding them and even jumping on them,” he recalls. “I began learning dance because it was outside of school and not many people knew about it … it was pretty much me in my own little world.” He took up clowning after a visit by a clown school and then fell in love with mime and the stage. As a clown, he performed everywhere from childrens’ birthday parties to orphanages in eastern Europe. In 2001, he got to meet mime legend Marcel Marceau and said seeing the great man perform changed his life. “Until then, I had never seen a professional mime – everything I knew about mime was learnt from books,” he said. “So when I got to see a real mime on stage it opened a whole new world … it opened my eyes to what I could achieve.” There is a lot more to the Peter Wilson story, including a five-year period where he turned his back on the arts to get a “real” job.
(Photo by Talia Carbis)
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