Spotlight On: How the Blue Man Group Stays Creative

The Blue Man Group has been performing their innovative show for 25 years and is still going strong. recently did an interview with one of the the creators, Phil Stanton, and his colleague Bill Swartz, to learn more about how they stay creative after all this time.

You can read the full interview here, and check out the advice they had for other innovators below:

“What advice do you have for others wanting to think outside of the (blue) box?

Swartz: Take an interest in many things, and use your own excitement as an energy loop driven by the discovery of good ideas, no matter where they come from or what discipline they serve. It will occasionally seem as if you are spinning your wheels, but you’ve got to trust that it will use it all eventually. There’s a concept familiar to musicians who play more than one instrument. You speak of your second- or third-axe. You spend the 10,000 hours on the trumpet, and when you pick up a guitar or whatever most of the knowledge is portable. After three or four, you really get the hang of it. Metaphorically there’s something similar going on with problem solving of any kind. You solve enough of them, and they get easier. But mostly if you don’t just stick to one thing. If you’re troubleshooting code, try building a bench.

Stanton: ‘Follow your bliss.’ As corny as it may sound, this Joseph Cambell quote has taken us a long way. It’s the ‘excitement as an energy loop’ that Bill speaks of. It’s what drove us to work hard and take it seriously without thought or promise of ever making a living from it.”

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