BWW Interviews: BLUE MAN GROUP Tour's Adam Zuick Shares Connecting with Audience
BLUE MAN GROUP has been entertaining audiences all over the world with its quirky comedy and abilities to connect with everyone who goes to see them. With productions going in Germany, Brazil, Las Vegas and throughout North America, the success of BLUE MAN GROUP is evident. Adam Zuick is currently playing a Blue Man on tour and shares with BWW his experiences and the pleasure of connecting with audiences.
Tell us how you first got involved in performing.
I started acting and singing in high school. I moved to Arizona and got into an arts high school kind of randomly and started acting and singing and playing piano and ended up really loving it. So that's when I started acting. Right out of high school, I auditioned for a professional theater in Arizona and that's when I really got into it and started doing professional theater. I did musical theater for about six years professionally in Arizona and after that I moved to New York and auditioned for BLUE MAN GROUP. That's when I got Blue Man.
Tell us more about how you got involved in BLUE MAN GROUP and the audition process.
I moved to New York to start auditioning and go for the next step in my acting career. I went there and sent in my headshot and resume to BLUE MAN GROUP to hopefully get an audition. They sent me an email back saying that they would like to see me for an audition at a certain time on a certain date. So I went in for the audition and there were other people there with me and other people auditioned in the same room as me as well. We had to do some different exercises, different silent improvs; different kind of emotion work with our faces and with our eyes and portray a story. The audition ended up going on for about three or four days of callbacks and different activities that we were doing in the audition. After I went through that, they told people yes or no if they wanted them to come onto training. I was one of the people that was called into training. I waited for about a year and a half after that until my training slot opened up. They can only do one class of training per couple of months so I was a couple of training classes behind. I waited for about a year and a half in New York and worked and once I got into training, it was pretty much learning the show and learning the different techniques and the strange things we do during the show. It's all perfecting those and learning the show and rehearsing these things. So, it was about nine weeks of that and also of doing the show. From about a week into our training period on, we're in the show at Astor Place Theater. Maybe not all of it but certain chunks of it. We go into the show so that they can see how you are on the stage and how you are interacting with the audience and how you are not completely prepared to do the show. But they want you to go out there and see what happens when you're not really prepared, when you don't know your blocking very well or see if you can go with the show and experience what's happening onstage rather than performing an exact science of what the blocking is and things like that. So, yeah, I went through the training process and got sent to Chicago, finished up my training in Chicago. I got signed off to be an actual Blue Man then stayed in Chicago for about ten months. I then moved onto the tour which is what I'm on now which I've been on for about six months or so. After the tour, I'm going to be going and being a permanent full-time Blue Man in Orlando.
What year did you first get involved?
It would have been 2012 or 2013.
There's a lot of anonymity in being part of BLUE MAN GROUP. Do you find yourself taking the opportunity to really try new things that you wouldn't normally do?
Yes, absolutely. This show, with the character and everything is really a development process. It's not something that you can learn overnight. A lot of people say it takes you a year to figure out your Blue Man even after you're signed off. It's not something that just comes to you naturally. That's what they look for in the audition. But, to find that kind of inner Blue Man and really get comfortable with it, it takes a very long time. I can say that I'm still developing. I think every Blue Man in the company is still developing their Blue Man. They haven't stopped continuously working on it. It's about opening yourself up. And even though you're putting on blue make-up and you're putting on this costume and you're doing this show, you're really taking off layers of yourself off and exposing your inner innocent childlike personality inside. So, it's really a tough thing to do and expose yourself and show the side of yourself that maybe you don't portray on a normal everyday basis; something you cover up normally. It's something you need to completely get rid of when you're onstage as a Blue Man and play with people and do things you wouldn't do in your normal everyday life, my inner Adam would it do if I'm by myself in my room and I'm dancing to some song or something. That's something I might do by myself but not in front of a bunch of people. But as a Blue Man, that goes out the window and I do whatever my instinct tells me to do. If it tells me to dance like a weirdo then I dance like a weirdo in front of a bunch of people and that's what happens.
And that's what makes BLUE MAN GROUP so endearing and makes people keep coming back.
Absolutely. I think they see that in us and realize it's ok. During our show, they flip. They start off in a place where they're guarded and don't know what's gonna happen. Hopefully, if we do our jobs well, by the end of the show, their guard is completely down and they're ready to do whatever. They're ready by the end of the show. People are standing up and shaking their butts. That's something that maybe they wouldn't do in front of other people, but by the time they finish the show and we've connected with them and experienced things with them, they're, ready to shake their butts with us as well 'cause that's what we're doing. We're gonna shake our butts, alright, let's do it. That's what the show is trying to do.
Tell us about the make-up process.
It's definitely a process and it takes some time. It's a little uncomfortable, a little strange. The first time you do it, it's definitely an adventure and it still is every day. It's our transformation to the character and getting us ready for the show. It's not really about us putting things on, instead it's about taking things off even though this make-up, takes right around half an hour, forty-five minutes to get into make-up. But we have this whole process before the show. It starts about an hour and a half before the show. We go into the theater and as a group, we do sound check and get everyone on the same page musically and mentally. We get everyone grouped into this clump and try and set ourselves up to do the show. Then once we start the make-up process, it's all of us sitting next to each other and trying to connect while we're putting on our make-up to get ready for the show and what we're going to do for these people. So that process is time consuming and we do it a lot. We do it every night for the show but it's our time to connect with the other guys and get ready for the show.
If you have a two show day, do you leave the make-up on between shows?
It really depends on the show times. In most sit-down cities, the doubles will be back to back, like a two, five and an eight so there's not a lot of time between the shows so we'll leave our cap on and everything for that. Here on tour usually our doubles are something like a two o'clock and an eight o'clock. So there's a lot of time between. It's uncomfortable to wear the cap for that long so we usually take it off.
BLUE MAN GROUP comes to The Majestic Theatre in San Antonio, Texas from March 27-29, 2015. Get your tickets by going to The Majestic Theatre's website.