It’s not easy being Blue. Learn how they did it.

I found myself in a very intriguing conversation earlier this week with the creator of a new theatrical piece based on movement (actually three different kinds of movement, which is what made it so intriguing).  In discussing the possible avenues of development and production that this project could take, I found myself telling some of the anecdotes I’ve heard over the years about the development of another movement/performance art-based project . . . Blue Man Group.

I talked about the mythical stories like “The Door to Nowhere”, “The Funeral for the 80s”, and a bunch of the other buzz-making activities I heard about through various sources close to those big-blue-creatures, as well as some of the things I heard about directly, since I was an NYU student when they opened and made their big ‘smudge’ on New York City.

Of course, as you know, what started as a very small project blew up into a giant corporation with a Vegas production, a Grammy Award winning album, Intel commercials, a school, and a whole lot more.

And, of course, that’s what everyone sees now . . . nothing but success.

Because everything is an overnight sensation if you’ve never heard of it before.  And just because you haven’t heard of it, doesn’t mean it wasn’t out there, trying to find you.

The relevance of the Blue Man story to my conversation with this passionate artist, who was looking to make a Blue Man of their own, was where they started, not where they finished.

Where did they start?

Small.

If you’re looking to introduce something new to the world that perhaps hasn’t been seen before, roll it out slowly.  It takes a long time for an audience to adapt to something new, and if you don’t have millions of dollars to make them adapt, you have to give them time instead.

I became a bit obsessed with learning more about the birthing process of the Blue Men, and during some late night googling, I stumbled on this great article from Inc.com that talks about the early years.

Read it here.

 

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Comments
  • Gee! Really inspiring, Ken. Thanks!

  • RLewis says:

    Too bad the article linked does not go more into the years before Astor Place. They kicked around quite a bit and developed a powerful show one venue at a time. And thanks to places like Dixon Place, they were able to fail and grow, so that by the time they got to the Astor, they already were a local hit. Then it was just about letting the tourists in on it.

  • Wanted to comment on the Tuesday Blog “Non-profits, etc” but on Tuesday and Wednesday I got a “404” error. Couldn’t comment. So I will do that at this time. First I don’t think the non-profits are a big threat. The movie folks with an endless supply of titles and stories that they can remake for the stage are. Because of the success of those films they easily find the backing for B’Way. How to combat this? A no-brainer. B’Way has to develop new and original stuff. Gotta come up with new Oklahoma’s–South Pacific’s–Sound of Music’s–My Fair Lady’s–Gypsy’s–Mame’s, etc, etc, etc. These were B’Way originals and THEN they were made into movies. Support your local composers and storytellers. That is the kind of revival that will save B’Way!! –sjc

  • Oh thanks for this post Ken. When you’re working on something very innovative that people are slowly starting to understand because you don’t have a budget to get out there the way you want to, it’s helpful to hear this simple reminder: have patience.

  • thomas galassi says:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ARFP3AI9NSM

    here is a little film about being a blue man.

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Ken Davenport
Ken Davenport

Tony Award-Winning Broadway Producer

I'm on a mission to help 5000 shows get produced by 2025.

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