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If you go
What: Blue Man Group
Where: Embassy Theatre, 125 W. Jefferson Blvd.
When: 7:30 p.m. Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday
Admission: Tickets, from $29.50 to $60.50, are available at all Ticketmaster outlets and charge-by-phone, 800-745-3000.

Long blue road

Actor joins group after studying for job in biotechnology industry


It seems as if a Blue Man can be recruited from almost anywhere.

But considering how naturally curious a Blue Man is, there is something sort of fitting about what Bhurin Sead did for a living before he was transformed into one.

Sead worked for a biotech company in Austin, Texas, making siRNA.

If you don't know what siRNA is, you're in good company. Many theater majors don't either.

But the stoical Blue Men who perform experiments on stage using paint and percussion certainly share a kinship with nerds in lab coats.

Blue Man Group comes to Embassy Theatre for a three-night stand starting Monday.

It wasn't until Sead was well on his way to earning a degree in human biology from the University of Texas at Austin that he was bitten by the theater bug, a hearty insect that spreads histrionics the way mosquitoes spread malaria.

Sead says he joined an Asian-American theater troupe called Silk Mangoes.

"A lot of it was sort of about the Asian-American experience," he says. "How Asian-Americans exist in the country today."

Sead says he loved performing and playing the drums in bands, but he never saw any of it as a viable career choice. Then, a few years into his biotech gig, he started to get antsy.

"The first six months were great," he says. "For the first time in years I didn't have homework and I got a paycheck. After that, it became work. There were a lot of people around me who truly enjoyed their jobs. Unfortunately, I couldn't say that."

Sead was trying to line up a teaching fellowship in New York City when a Blue Man Group audition was announced in Austin. He was not chosen the first time he tried out but says he was given a lot of good advice on how to make himself more attractive as a potential Blue Man.

"I don't know how many employers give unsuccessful applicants that much help and good advice," he says.

He says he got a job as a lab tech in Manhattan and started taking acting classes.

Three or four months later, Sead says, someone from the Blue Man mothership summoned him.

That was in 2008, and Sead has been part of touring shows, and installed ones in Boston, Chicago and Orlando, ever since.

A Blue Man Group show is a perfect and inimitable combination of performance art, comedy, music and interactive theatre.

Sead describes the mute Blue Men, who are never seen out of trio formation, as bands of "outsiders."

"They're totally unfamiliar with our culture," he says. "But they're curious about the world around them."

Not surprisingly, Sead says, the Blue Men reveal more similarities to humans than differences as each show progresses.

"If you peel away our social masks and whatever ways we portray ourselves to the outside world," he says, "what you have is this core energy that is very childlike, very innocent.

"(The Blue Man) never takes anything for granted, is willing to take risks, and is willing to live in the moment," Sead says. "Our hope is that everybody's a little 'blue' when they leave the theater."