Mr. Banana Show & Interview with Pierrick St-Pierre
Pierrick St-Pierre has been performing stage and street acts in over 40 countries for the last 10 years. When he first left home at 16 and went on the road he had no idea that he would find his true home on stage. In 2004 he came across a circus family in South America that took him in. It was the beginning of an amazing journey that transformed himself and the audience throughout the world.
He found out that his passion could break boundaries between people regardless of their age, gender, cultural background or religion. Pierrick trained and performed with Chinese and Vietnamese circuses where he learnt most of the skills that he uses today. He also worked for different theatre companies throughout the world where he learnt to blend his strong technical skills with acting and could then create something totally unique and true to his vocation. Today he continues to thrill thousands across the globe as Mr. Banana, adapting his show to the culture where it’s seen.
Where to find him next: in Goa, the season has started.
Next Dates are:
24th November, TOTEM, GOA
25th November, El Shaddai, GOA
27th November, Lazy Dog, GOA
28-29 November, Natya Nectar, Dehli
30-1st December, Corporate Gig, Bangalore
2nd December, Yoga Village, GOA
3rd December, Grand Hyatt, GOA
We met in Romania, where he performed for the people in Sibiu as part of the International Theatre Festival. Here is the result of our interview with Pierrick and an extract from his outstanding performance in the center of Sibiu.
Reporter: Hi, my name is Andreea! Mr.Banana, who are you and what do you do?Pierrick: My name is Pierrick, I am from Canada and I do Interactive comedy.
A: Please explain to us what means Interactive Comedy.
Pierrick: Well… Interactive Comedy is like comedy but there is the unknown factor which is the audience response in the different situations I develop during the show. So I use extreme body language with circus skills and audience participation to create a unique story every time.
A: Why did you chose to do this?
Pierrick: Because I am in love with the creative process and I like to create something out of nothing. I like to involve the audience because people are not used to one another anymore with the television age and now the internet culture. I love to do street show because it’s the greatest expression of freedom that I know and I think that’s why there is so much restriction on street show.
A: What is your background? Did your career benefit from your education?
Pierrick: I went to high school, graduated at 16 not wanting to keep going with regular school system, left home right away. My career always benefited from education that I was interested in regardless of if it was forced on me or not.
A: How often and for how long do you practice?
Pierrick: I used to practice 12 hours a day when I was at the national Vietnamese circus… Now I dedicate at least 3 to 5 hours to this everyday, but it goes from fixing costume, editing music, making promo videos and marketing, working out new ideas, logistics, paperwork, training skills, etc… Being an artist nowadays means all that.
A: I’m glad you mentioned this. It’s a struggle to be an artist these days. What are the most challenging aspects of your job?
Pierrick: Everything that is new… new shows, new ideas, new pitch, new country, but its also the most exciting.
A: Do you get nervous before a performance?
Pierrick: Yes… and no… In a new environment I would most likely get nervous… but most of the time I project my own idea of how I want it to go and the stress goes.
A: How do you handle mistakes during a performance?
Pierrick: I work with them rather then against them… it’s a basic improvisational technique where you would say yes to everything that happens.
A: Any bad performances? Tell us about a time when things didn’t go the way you wanted.
Pierrick: Oh… ahaha … well there have been so many. I don’t think you get to where I am at by not failing many, many times. People walking away, hecklers, injury, police arrest, …
A: :/ What do you enjoy most about your work?
Pierrick: I like that I am passionate about it… I sometimes wake up with new ideas in the middle of the night…
A: What are the top three factors you would attribute to your success?
Pierrick: Hard work, perseverance, practice practice practice.
A: Is there anything you dislike about your work?
A: 🙂 Would you please say a few words about your performance in Sibiu, Romania? How was the audience? Did you have time to enjoy the festival as well?
Pierrick: Hey, Sibiu was amazing… I wasn’t suppose to come in the beginning and they contacted me late because another group couldn’t come. So I jumped at the opportunity. It was one of the best festival I did this summer (I went to over 40 festivals this summer)… The huge team of volunteers and the team were very professional… The program was amazing.
A: Are you working on any new projects?
Pierrick: Yeah I am working on one indoor story telling show and one outdoor silent clown show. Also I am building a Robot..
A: Are there any other artists in your family?
Pierrick: No. I am the black sheep.
A: What’s your most embarrassing moment?
Pierrick: Being laugh at in front of my school when I had to tell a poem in front of everybody. Well I guess life put that there in my program so that I could transcend it.
A: What’s one moment that altered the trajectory of your life, and Why?
Pierrick: Living on the street in Canada. I saw that when you have nothing, everything comes and now I realize that I have a great power of manifestation.
A: Did you have other jobs?
Pierrick: I used to be a janitor when I was at high school I was staying after the other student to clean up the school. Then I did this janitor work in a bunch of places… The early years of traveling I ended up doing many things, second hand book business in Bangkok, English teacher in Vietnam, work as a jewelry maker in south America, construction work in Australia.
A: What superpower would you have and why?
Pierrick: Flight … who wouldn’t… but really speaking all the languages in the world would be great.
A: What’s the best piece of advice you’ve been given?
Pierrick: Take it easy.
A: Who inspires you and why?
Pierrick: Anybody who lives their passion, because its hard to ago against what’s society wants from you.
A: Do you think we can change the world through art?
Pierrick: We can change ourselves through art consequently the world changes.
Oh!“Mr. Banana”… how did you end up with this name? 😀
Pierrick: Mr Banana came up because my real name Pierrick is similar to the local word for Banana where I live in India. A dear friend called me that once and it stayed. Now I think it just a reminder not to take anything seriously.