Monday, August 24, 2009

Heritage Fest Awesomeness: Mime Michael Lee Mesmerizes Crowd (and us) on Cross Street

Dusty D and sweetie were enchanted by mime Michael Lee on the Cross Street Bridge Saturday. We parked our butts on a nearby picnic table for most of an hour, absolutely mesmerized by the manner in which he controlled a huge crowd of onlookers merely by doing...nothing.

Mr. Lee was bedecked in silver makeup and white-spattered grey clothes which made him look like a shadowy old-timey figure from an old B&W photo, cut out and mysteriously glued into our full-color world. He sat motionless on a chair. He had a Walkman with old-time tinny tunes coming from it. Next to him was a bucket of flowers. When someone came up to put a dollar into his money-tin, he miraculously came to life in a robotic fashion, gave a flower to the donor, and tugged his hat in salute.

"He's only got two flowers left," Dusty D whispered to her equally rapt sweetie. When the flowers ran out, he improvised interactions with passers-by. When someone took out their cameraphone to photograph him, he nonchalantly took out his own Blackberry to snap the picture-taker, to laughs from the crowd.

Bemused, smiling crowds kept forming and re-forming around Mr. Lee on the bridge. Dusty D laughed and actually got a bit teary-eyed, to see the wee children, who couldn't quite parse this strange silver man, receive flowers and back away, staring up at him with wonder and smiles. Dusty D and sweetie agreed later over a Luwak reuben that Mr. Lee had been the best part of Heritage Festival (beating out even car-crushing in Depot Town!) We hope he returns next year to enchant us again.


Dusty D said...

Kindly note that in the first pic no fewer than 5 hard-boiled Ypsi cops are standing on Cross St. bridge, mesmerized by a street mime.

Yes, he was that good.

Anonymous said...

That isn't Michael Lee. It is David White

Dusty D said...

Oops, my mistake! "Michael Lee" had been listed on the HF program, and there wasn't a sign or something ID'ing him as Mr. White. Thanks for the correction!