Artist Q&A with Meridian from Blue Man Group

ArtistQ&A Broadway
Meridian serves as captain of the Blue Man Group tour and will take the stage in Appleton, a city he is familiar with, Jan. 24-26. He took a few minutes out of his life on the road to tell us what he’s excited for and why he loves his job in the Q&A below.
You graduated from Lawrence University. What made you decide to go there?
I originally decided to go there because of the opportunity to study classical piano as well as theater at one school.
How did you first get involved in Blue Man Group?
I was first involved with Blue Man Group as an audience participant! During the Chicago show back in 1998, I was the guy pulled up on stage to get painted and put in a jello mold. I loved the show!
Later when I attended a graduate acting program at the National Theatre Conservatory where four other graduates had gone on to become Blue Man Performers. It seemed like a no brainer to try out when I got to New York after graduating.

Being a Blue Man comes with the unique challenge not to speak. What adjustments do you make to ensure you can tell a story without words?
Human beings are actually quite attuned to non-verbal communication. We’ve been not-speaking for far longer in our evolution than we have been verbal…probably. I’m not an anthropologist. Ha. But when words are not involved, we very quickly adjust to read other cues. I once took a vow of silence for a week. There was a brief adjustment, but then it was just like any other time.
To answer your question: When silent, you distill what you want to communicate into its simplest form. As Blue Men we are always seeking that simple, clear story telling and the audience also fills in their own stories which makes the show a unique experience for everyone!

What is your favorite part about touring with the show?
Every location we visit has a unique cross section of the wonderful people in our world. It is so fun to see how easily different people in sometimes wildly different locations with very different cultural backgrounds can connect with the Blue Man character and our show. It’s a true testament to the universality of the spirit of the Blue Man.

How long does it take to get in character – make up and all – for the show?
Our pre-show is about an hour and a half which includes a sound check, some practice time, and then about a 40 minute make up process. But mostly we joke around a foster our connection as performers and get into the zone for the performance. Once ready, we then can expand that connection to the audience.

You are the Blue Man Group’s current captain. What does that mean and how is your role different?
There is a Blue Man Captain in every cast in each of our eight shows. Our role is to make sure we maintain the integrity of the show aesthetic in our performance. It’s usually pretty easy because this show and character tends to attract performers who really care about what we do and about creating an amazing and transcendent experience for our audiences.

Finish the sentence…
I can’t travel without my…piano
The first thing I do in a new city is…find food
When they told us we were going to Appleton, my first thought was…I better bring my snow pants. I once walked through 8 foot tall snow drifts in that town. It was like being in the snow base on Hoth in the Empire Strikes Back
Here’s your chance to say something to the audience – I would love audiences to know…how much we love when they laugh and participate. Come and have a really fun evening with us! You’ll love it!
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