The Blue Man Group, NYC, plays in an East Village theater to packed houses 3 times every day. I saw them in Chicago a few years ago, and realize that it’s not that they’re so amazingly fabulous (to me); it’s that they’re so unbelievably and amazingly clever that I not only chose to see them again, but will go back again, too. Here’s what they taught me:
- -Get your audience involved bing, bang, bing. Everyone (including my very conservative husband) made a head band out of the paper they passed around before the show. No one balked. Some got really creative. We all got involved and the positive energy – read: party – started. They pre-sold fun!
-Your audience is your reason for the performance/presentation. Don’t perform for them; become one with them. Make it about them.
-Start and end with a bang. Drums are good though other options exist.
-Design your presentation so that even your least interesting material is still compelling and fun. Deliver with purposeful dramatic flair. Take calculated risks.
-Your body is a perfect prop. The Blue Men never say a word. They are their message. You are too. Show expression and deliver with passion.
-Slow down. Not everything even in a zany show has to move at light speed. Every pause built the anticipation. Every slow note, slow sign, slow movement foretold action – and we were ready.
-Give them more than they expect. After the show, the Blue Men (Mans?) hung out in the lobby for photo opps and autographs (a blue paint splotch, of course). No one had to beg for them to show up. They came out of a door, and stood there. We lined up for photos.
-Change it up. Add new bits. Even if your standard stuff is really, really good, try something new.
-Be unique. Playing the drums is pleasant. Playing the drums while dressed in blue paint, with vibrantly colored water sloshing with every beat, is fun, funny and unique.
I’m sure I’d have new tips after seeing Jersey Boys, too, if we had seen it. With the stage hands on strike, the tickets are now confetti and lessons remained unlearned. At least the ones I can talk about here.