I chose the name measure 60 studios for my personal production title because it reminds me of the important lessons I learned from my college director.
He was a man with an uncommon charisma and the ability to inspire people to greater heights, not just for himself, but for themselves as well. He was a natural performer, a genuine leader, and, above all else, a truly gifted teacher.
His name was George N. Parks, and he was my marching band director for five years.
GNP taught all of us that the reason we perform, the reason we create entertainment for the masses, all comes down to one word.
Everything that went into our shows, the three E’s of Energy, Excitement, and Enthusiasm, (with Excellence always finding its way into the mix as a result) was to further that goal of making an emotional impact on our audience.
In my first year as a member of the band, we did a show based on the movie Gladiator. The music was strong and stirring. We went to battle on that field. Our sharp formations, devolving into scattered battles where euphoniums hunted trombones, and order fell to chaos until the loud beats of the drum called us back into our places and story played out stage by stage. From war, to battle, to betrayal, to death.
The part of the show that my director loved the most though was the very end. The postlude was soft and slow. And expanding arc of musicians turning away to line the edge of the field and to kneel in silence as we watch the fallen soldier make his way slowly across the length of the turf, walking into his afterlife, where he is reunited with his lost family. By the end of the show, he is no longer a college student in tights and plastic mail, but a true roman warrior. GNP loved to tell the story of how he would turn and look at the audience in that moment, and after one of our first shows, was struck by the sight of one man.
The man stood in the stands, someone who looked like he’d worked with his hands his entire life and lived for his Saturday football games. Tough. Unyielding. One of those guys you know is a man’s man. And there he stood, with one hand around his wife’s shoulder and the other clutching a can of beer, tears streaming down his face as he watched the scene play out before him.
That is why we play. That is why we perform. To move people. To connect with them. To share a common experience.
Moments in the show where GNP wanted us to put all our energies into shocking the audience with the force of our energy and the power of our instruments were called impact points. The first of those points in Gladiator fell at measure 61, where we would crescendo into a sustained note, and wail as loudly as we could to make sure the world knew we were there.
Measure 60 is the moment before the impact, the work that leads into it. Where all the elements are gathered together and focused, to be released upon the audience and to bring them into the experience.
Measure 60 studios is about energy, excellence, enthusiasm, and excellence. But most of all, measure 60 studios is about impact.