Who’s Upstairs: Gaë­tan Schmid

Gaë­tan is the writer and per­former of Body Language 2, at Alexan­der Upstairs 20 — 25 April.

The_BelgianHome town?
I wish. But it was a village. In fact I used to live half way in between two villages. In the middle of the ‘boere buiten’ like we call it there. I had cows and potatoes as neighbours. The sky was grey and summer lasted one day.

Tell us a little more about BODY LANGUAGE II : The Mating Game?
Five years ago I wrote Body Language. Because the subject was so fascinating, I never stopped the research. Filling my head so much I was abode to explode. So writing the show was my safety valve. BODY LANGUAGE II is like a TED talk without the ego.
Light-hearted and A LOT OF fun and strangely enough quite useful when you go to cocktail parties.

What’s the next project?
A children story. But not for children. In a tiny old caravan. With lots of props and stuffed animals and a massive fan.

And the one you’re dreaming of?
A beautiful and sad French short story by Jean Giono. Not a comedy. Which is funny.

How did you get into theatre?
Where I come from (see above), it was something you didn’t do. So I had to.

Dinner with any two figures from history: who would you invite and what would you serve them?
Hobbes from Calvin and Hobbes. Steak Tartare I guess. And then Calvin, because it wouldn’t be fair. But I’ll sit him in front of the TV with my son. I’ll make them waffles.

Favourite spot in Cape Town (besides Alexander Bar, obviously)?
The Belgian restaurant Den Anker at The Waterfront. Whenever I need a bit of ‘me’ time and some ‘loving’ … which I find in bone marrow. Like a typical Belgian shaman.

What excites you about theatre?
“You’re only limited by your imagination”, somebody wrote once. Theatre makes me feel limitless.

What mistakes have you made and learned the most from?
Performing at the Mount Nelson for a gala evening. Nobody gave a s**t. So I died. Which is ok. But there were mirrors on the opposite wall. So I saw myself dying for 45 minutes. The horror … the horror.

Who do you think people should be talking about?
Kelly John Gough. An artist who stuck to his guns. Check him out : www.facebook.com/KellyJohnGough