Sunday, July 29, 2007

February 2006 - Scott Bishop Interview (Blue Man Group)

© February 2006 - Scott Bishop Interview By Bryen Dunn, Toronto -

It all began as a performance piece in Central Park – Funeral for the 80’s - to protest against yuppies, cocaine and postmodern architecture. It was 1988 and the birth of Blue Man Group.

The following three years were spent busking on sidewalks developing the concept and testing new ideas. They are now celebrating 14 continuous years of performances at NYC’s Astor Theater.

Scott Bishop has been with this eccentric troop since the Toronto opening back in June 2005. Born in Kentville, N.S. and a classically trained musician, he found both his location and profession offering limited possibilities. After a short stop in Vancouver, he landed in Toronto as one of the “blue men.”

He describes the audition process as “very lengthy”, but he’s glad that he “applied at the last minute with the encouragement of friends.” After 2 months of intense training in NYC, where he was actually performing with the NYC troop, he made his way to Toronto. Part of his training was to have between 200 and 300 objects thrown at him every day. “I used to bounce balls off the wall and catch them in my mouth several times a day”, he laughs.

He’s happy to now be working with such a fun bunch and states, “It’s all about hiring the right people. We’re like a family working within a very positive, supportive environment. We talk after each show, share our feelings on the night and offer each other feedback.”This concept was part of the vision of the original Blue Man, Chris Wink, who is still very much involved with the creative input. The various show segments are created by coming up with an idea, developing the scene, and adapting the music to match. The show explores the stability of pop culture by examining social interactions between individuals.

Although they now could be considered a corporate entity, every show still has a charity fundraising focus. It was decided as a responsible group initiative to make people aware of various issues, often with an environmental focus. This certainly stays true to their grassroots origin back in the 80’s.Besides Toronto, BMG are now performing in London, Berlin, New York, Boston, Chicago, and Las Vegas. Visit for show times and ticket information.

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