Q&A with Kirk Massey from Blue Man Group

It’s time for the blues — the blue men that is. Blue Man Group is coming to ASU Gammage and one of the blue men took the time to speak with The State Press. Kirk Massey, who has been involved with the group for several years, spoke with the paper about the audition process, the reason for the color blue and what the show is all about.

The State Press: Can you tell me what Blue Man Group is all about?

Kirk Massey: That’s actually a great, great question. One of the simplest answers to that question is that it’s something that you sort of just have to experience to really be able to understand it. But as I have tried to explain it the best that I can, it’s sort of an arts show, theater, rock and roll, crazy dance party and science experiment gone wrong kind of all rolled up into one.

SP: How did you get involved with the group?

KM: I have a background in acting and music. I’ve been playing music since I was a little kid and when I got into college, I started getting into acting, and I had a friend somewhere tell me, “Hey in New York, there’s this thing called the Blue Man Group,” and then I was like, “Oh.” So, I went online, checked it out and was like, “That looks cool.” They happened to have an open call audition and I went to it. Next thing I know, not too long after that, I was living in New York training to be a Blue Man.

SP: What did you have to do in the audition?

KM: The character obviously plays drums and acts and so it’s a series of workshops. The audition process where you do a drumming audition and then you do some acting auditions where you got to play miscellaneous acting games and then that officially culminates in the final callback in New York where you learn … abbreviated pieces from the show. And then you get all in blue; you get in full costume and perform it for the directors and then from there, if you pass that, then you get invited to the training.

SP: Do you play a character in the show or are you just a musician in this world?

KM: Well, the blue men themselves are characters and there are three different blue men. They’re the same, but they have slightly different personalities as well. They don’t really have names. It’s just three different blue men, and it’s sort of the situations that they get themselves into (where) you kind of see the character traits and whoever’s playing the role that night, they kind of bring themselves into the role. So, my blue man is a little different from the rest of the guys on the cast, but it’s still all blue men.

SP: How long have you been involved with the show?

KM: I got started around 2005.

SP: What were you doing before this show?

KM: Before this, I was still in school and I was just working full time at a college as well, the same college I was going to … It was just a media-type position around the campus. Before that, I was just playing in bands and doing community theater and auditioning for stuff.

SP: Would you ever be interested in going into a more traditional type of musical or show or are you hoping to stick with this group as long as possible?

KM: Well, one of the great things about Blue Man … is kind of once you’re in, you’re never really out. We have plenty of other guys leave to do other projects and then come back, or we have guys who now live in Los Angeles and they’re actors in Los Angeles that come back and do coverage.

SP: So, why are they blue? Is there a particular reason that the blue men are blue?

KM: There’s not necessarily a reason why blue, but … blue is sort of a neutral color. If they were green, they would probably … have the connotation of being aliens. If they were red, that might be pursued as evil. Most of the colors have some sort of pre-conceived notion that kind of just unofficially goes with the color. Blue is just sort of a neutral color. That’s sort of the answer that we’re told now, but I kind of think they just picked it just because they liked the color blue.

SP: Is there anything else about the show that you would like to add?

KM: The only thing I could probably think to add is if you’ve seen Blue Man before, this show is going to be slightly different. This is all of our newest material that’s been written the most recently and tweaked and played with. So, if you’ve seen one of our sit down shows in Chicago or New York or Boston or one of those (places) … or you’ve seen the rock concert tour, this has some brand new material that we’ve never had including a completely different ending.

Tickets can be purchased online at asugammage.com, over the phone by calling 1-800-982-ARTS (2787) or in person by visiting the ASU Gammage box office.

 

Reach the reporter at mmattox@asu.edu. Click here to subscribe to the daily State Press newsletter.


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