After unexpectedly seeing Angels in America, A.J. took a cab over to see the show we originally planned to see that day: Tape Face. In case you don’t know who Tape Face is, he was a finalist on America’s Got Talent (AGT) and is known to perform simple, yet funny, actions with household items. Oh yeah, all while wearing a singular piece of black duct tape on his face. As an avid AGT viewer, I could not have been more thrilled to see this show. Upon viewing it, however, it seemed as if the atmosphere was different. This did not feel like the same Tape Face I saw on AGT, but at the same time it did.
To be positive, I found the show to be effective for its interaction. Tape Face is known to incorporate audience members into his act, and he did not fail. Perhaps that was the funniest part of the show: a voice-less man trying to communicate what he wants his participants to do through charades. When his participants did not understand what he was wanting them to do or if they got too confident and jumped the gun on stage, he fed off their actions. You can tell that every night his show is different depending on the people he interacts with, which probably freshens up his act often. He was very loving to his audience members and poked fun at them in good spirit. Also, the show was effective because of his humor. As a comedian making your audiences laugh is your top priority, and he did not fail. I do not know how he can take a canister of Play-Doh and make someone cry from laughter, but he did. I believe it was effective because his routine was sincere: he made all his acts himself and, he did not cookie-cut his act; it felt fresh and new.
There were, unfortunately, a couple of aspects of the show I did not find effective. One of the biggest “negatives” to me was the storyline. Every show has to have a storyline; it can’t just be a random act. I was, and everyone who has ever seen him, are used to him performing random acts of comedy on stage. The storyline was new, and I did not find it worthy of appreciation. His story was about his life being constantly revolved around performance with little down time. It almost seemed depressing—awareness of a performer could be a goal of this production—but it almost seemed like we, as an audience, were hindering him from being a person. While I am sure this could be true at times, to deliberately put that out there took me back. The setting was in his dressing room, which also felt foreign to me (because it felt like we were inhabiting his personal space). The whole atmosphere made me feel like I needed to self-reflect as an audience member and chill out when it comes to a celebrity. This is just my viewpoint, but I did not appreciate the running storyline of him never having “Tape Face” time. Another aspect of the show I did not like were some of the performances. He performed his canonical performance that made him get through to the final round in AGT, but this time they felt rushed and less passionate. Even the performances I did not see on AGT seemed to lack some passion behind it. Because of this, I felt like I was a paycheck that was already cashed. While he did entertain, I said earlier that something was different about him. I don’t know what that different is, but I did not like the feel. Sometimes I was focused on this feeling so much that the show was not as effective as the technical aspects I was thinking of.
As a Tape Face fan, it was nice to someone I enjoyed live and in-action. This show was not meant for everyone. Comedy is so objective, and this show is hit or miss for people. While I did not like the logistics behind the performance, he never failed to make me laugh—which is why I was there after all. After talking to a few people, I learned that Tape Face is getting ready to tour in the U.S. I hope other people get to experience this show and appreciate it like I did.