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Drummer Freddie Fontaine once spent six months touring with the Blue Man Group.

"I was with the band; I wasn't a Blue Man," says the longtime local wedding-band vet. "It was still a difficult audition, though. On tour, the band is part of the stage show too, so there's a lot of theatrics involved....

"You're playing with other drummers and percussionists all at once...not many drummers have that kind of experience. They [Blue Man] teach you to exaggerate all your rock-and-roll moves, like the synchronous head bob, the [drum stick] spins and twirls, the one-handed audience wave."

Fontaine says the tour gig paid around $500 a week.

"Which wasn't bad, especially when you consider benefits and per diems and stuff."

Musicians at fixed-location Blue Man theaters reportedly earn more than tour players.

"That's a really hard gig to get into. It's at least $1000 a week, but nobody ever quits. I told them I was willing to move to Las Vegas or Boston.... Even after doing the tour for them, I couldn't get in. Plus there's a big union controversy about working the [fixed locale] Blue Man shows, even for the musicians. I didn't want to join another union."

Fontaine considered auditioning as an actual Blue Man.

"I saw they make twice as much as the highest-paid [musicians]. But then I discovered that I'm probably allergic to the makeup."

The Blue Man Group appears tomorrow, January 11, at the Sports Arena.

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