January 22, 2017

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Blue Man


Here’s an idea, go bald and blue, and start an entertainment empire!

Coming up: How three performance artists became entrepreneurs by franchising their act.

When former junior high friends Chris Wink and Matt Goldman reunited after college, in New York City, they met up with Phil Stanton. The three of them — all dirt poor — loved going around the city, catching performance art.

For the record, performance art can combine acting, poetry, music, dance or painting.

At home, the three entertained friends with their own performance art. But they began to wonder what they could come up with that would be new and different. Wink came up with a unique idea – go bald and blue.

And so was born, the Blue Man group, a trio of humanoid characters, played by actor-musicians wearing bald caps and blue makeup. The original concept was the actors would be “living paintings”

In 1988 they performed their first Blue Man event in Central Park. It was weird enough — and fun enough — that bookings soon followed, and the three were on their way.

By 1993, they formed the Blue Man Company and did more than 1,000 consecutive shows from 1991 to 1994, sometimes working 14-hour days. Then, Phil Stanton cut his thumb on a power tool, and an understudy blue man took to the stage.

He did a great job.

That’s when the light bulb went on: Why not train other blue man performers and franchise the business?”

Today Blue Man groups in six cities employ dramatic use of visuals, experimental music, comedy and multimedia – entertaining roughly 60,000 people a week. And earning roughly $3.5 million – a week. And it’s a real business too – with an employee handbook, written procedures and a Blue Man school, where employees receive performer training.

Chris Wink, Matt Goldman and Phil Stanton exemplify an axiom featured on our website: Think Unique – Intentionally go against the grain.

They turned their Blue Man act into an entertainment franchise.

Now Why Didn’t I Think of that?

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