Things to do before I die #113: Audition for Blue Man Group

I saw the show in 1994, the year it opened at the Astor Place Theatre in NY. I’d never seen anything like it before or since. …Physical theatre, performance art, juggling act, rock show, social commentary, and commedia dell’arte.  It is at once all, and none of these.

This week, a friend of mine who has worked with the show told me they were holding auditions in LA.

I went.

After a basic percussion screening and acting exercises, we moved on to theatre and improv games. Weened down to a smaller and smaller number, the last of us were taught a piece from the show. This is where I began to really gain respect and reverence for the cast, and all actors. A nonverbal show, performers in Blue Man, communicate with each other and the audience using only their eyes. Hydra-like, the trio moves through the scene discovering and conquering the challenges of the unfamiliar.

The focus and “tools” required for this type of performance, are many.  One must maintain the “Blue Man physicality”, communicate with specificity using only their eyes, interact with the audience, and move the scene forward. All the while, keeping it funny and entertaining. …It’s a lot.

I made it to the final four. Dressed in black pajamas, skull capped, and covered in blue paint, we were sent out onto the stage to discover Cap’n Crunch and ourselves. Halfway through the piece I felt the limitations of my experience. The casting directors and I stared blankly into each other’s eyes, as my peripheral revealed my blue partners’ prowess.

Days later, fingering the raw patch on my forehead where layers of skin and glue were ripped away during the skull cap removal, it occurs to me that I’m too vain for Blue Man Group anyway.

Needless to say, I didn’t get the job.