The Boy With Tape On His Face aka Sam Wills is an awarding winning stand up comedian with a difference. He doesn’t utter a single syllable throughout his show; instead The Boy relies on an assortment of hand gestures and his trademark expressive eyes to mine to the audience in a variety of comical sketches. The Boy transcends the barriers of language with hilarious results. Audience participation is a mandatory part of the show, be prepared to laugh, a lot!
See following video to watch Sam Wills bring the old-school mine act into the twenty first century.
The Royal Variety Performance 2011
With your comedy show being reliant on non-verbal communication, did you have to study the topic before starting your show or are you naturally expressive?
I have been lucky enough to have pretty large eyes and I have found that when you tape a large portion of your face it only accentuates the eyes more. My training consisted of street performing so maybe that might have had something to do with making movements clear and visual for the audience.
Have you had any problems with gesticulating/miming to an audience member who you’ve asked to participate in a sketch?
Most people understand exactly what I am wanting them to do as the jobs I ask of people are pretty straight forward. The tricky moments are when I am trying to make a movement clear to the audience but from the perspective of the person onstage it looks strange so that way I can play with the confusion.
With the popularity of your show being global, have you had to modify your own body language to the behaviour of a particular country?
The only thing I have to check on us the hand signal for flipping someone off as in some countries sticking two fingers up at someone can be way more offensive that the joke is intending.
You have been selected to be the ambassador for ‘Clown Doctors’ in New Zealand. What are ‘Clown Doctors’ and what does your role involve?
My role is to help out where I can to raise awareness that clown doctors exist and help them showcase the amazing work they do in hospitals.
(For more details you can visit the Clown Doctors New Zealand website by clicking HERE.)
What made you decide to become The Boy With Tape On His Face?
I had a very successful career as a talking comedian and after so many years performing I felt as though people expected me to just keep talking and playing with props. I decided to challenge myself and do a show that required no words. I also wanted to go to Japan but was too lazy to learn the language.
Do you think your show will spawn more comedians to start using their body language for comic effect?
I think that physical comedy is very strong already and doesn't need my help to spawn anything. If anybody decides that putting tape over their mouths is the way forward then ironically I will probably have words with them.
If you had the opportunity to collaborate with another comedian, who would be your first pick?
(Images courtesy of Wikipedia)
Fozzie Bear or Gonzo. Gonzo is more of a stuntman so the outcome would be more random but Fozzie seems to structure his comedy more so it would come down to me to disrupt his flow.
I had the pleasure of attending your ‘More Tape’ show in November last year, what have you got planned for the rest of this year and 2014?
Even More Tape? I am working on a third show and still working with others to take the show into other areas aside from live onstage. As for the rest of the year I have another UK tour a season in London and a return season in Edinburgh followed up with a bit of time touring in Europe. Busy little bee.
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