The Blue Man Group is in Nashville at the Tennessee Performing Arts Center this week, and I should have seen them last night, but thanks to a sick cranky baby (who is currently fighting sleep with every little bit of will power she has), I stayed home and Husband went to the show. Lucky for you, he’ll be sharing his very own review very soon. I have seen the Blue Men before, once in Orlando and once in New York, but I was still very excited to see them again. Not all was lost though…this morning I had the pleasure of meeting a couple of the guys (sans blue), learning about their instruments and even snagging an interview. Lucky me.
First of all, if you haven’t seen them perform yet, you are missing an incredibly entertaining and wildly creative show. Second of all, if you have seen them, you should know it is REALLY weird to see them in real life without all of that blue paint. I know this should be obvious, but they look like real people. Real people, with hair, regular eyes and the ability to talk and smile. It’s hard to imagine them as the performers when you are talking to one out of character. It’s a lot like talking to a 70 year old Asian woman who tells you she is Mickey Mouse from 9 to 5 at Magic Kingdom. (True story.)
It was cool to watch them play a few instruments, goof around and talk to us about how all the pipes and whatnot in the show work, but the real excitement was when I got to talk one-on-one with one of the talented performers. His name is Adam. He’s young, very tall, funny, a former musical theater performer and has been a Blue Man for the last year and a half. Here’s what he had to say about being on tour, auditioning for a Blue Man and more…
Me- What’s the different between the tour and the permanent shows, like Orlando and New York?
Adam- There are a decent amount of difference between the shows. New York is our smallest show and it’s very intimate. They aren’t able to do the bigger aspect of the shows that we do on tour in these big venues. New York is a great show though, and you can really see and connect with every single person in the audience, which you sometimes lose in these bigger shows. We try to accomplish the same goal in each show though, which is to communicate with the audience on a different level, without talking.
Me- What’s your trick to keep from smiling? You guys are so funny, yet you never crack a smile! How do you look at each other and never laugh?
Adam- Well, we do, in our heads. When we are in character we try to stay solid. Instead of thinking of things as funny, we try and discover why the audience is reacting to certain things.
Me- Have you ever accidentally broke character?
Adam- Well, I mean, we try not to, but it’s tough. Sometimes, random things happen and we are just like “that was crazy!”.
Me- Once you become a blue man, how long can your career last?
Adam- Potentially…it’s kind of open ended. As long as you keep evolving as a Blue Man and keep exploring your character and coming up with new things, keep it fresh, it can be open ended. It’s awesome, it’s a great job. A dream job.
Me- When auditioning to become a Blue Man, what are some of the things you have to do?
Adam- We do a little drum interview, but it’s not very long because most of the audition is about acting. They do a lot of silent improv kind of games. They might set up a situation that you have to solve with other guys without talking. You may be up there with three guys you’ve never met before, put in a really strange situation and you can only communicate with your eyes and non-verbally. After a few days, you end up learning a number from the show and implement that into the audition as well.
Me- That sounds hilarious. We should be able to watch auditions.
Adam- It’s a kind of a secret process. They have their ways of trying to see the Blue Men in people.
Me- Do you have a background in acting?
Adam- I do. I was in musical theater before this. I did a lot of singing, dancing acting and I also played piano, which helps a lot in the musical aspects of the show. So, I went from that to not talking at all! I love it though, it’s really the best job in the world. I get to do it every night and we get to experience different cities. It’s a blast.
Me- Okay, one more…are the ever any inquiries about “Blue Women”?
Adam- It is possible, yeah. As long as you meet the requirements. You have to be musical, able to carry a beat, 5’10 to 6’2… so a pretty tall woman, but if you meet the requirements and have what they want than yeah, it’s possible. They hired a woman who was a Blue Man before, who performed in Boston.