Music Performance at Its Finest | “Glory”

Sunday night I watched my favorite LIVE music performance that I have ever seen. John Legend and Common performed “Glory” from the feature film, Selma along side a very large group of BGVs for the choruses and what I believe a perfect directors cut.

This performance hit a perfect 10 on all of the following areas:

  • Lyrically/Musically (the song makes me tear up each time I listen)
  • Lighting (beautiful use of lighting in the house and static choices)
  • Scenic (that bridge and screen together was $)
  • Staging (positioning of BGVs throughout the performance)
  • Camera Angles (screens shots below of some of my favorite)
  • Audio Mix (better than the Grammys performance… ironic)
  • Choreography (cadence of BGVs walking under the bridge)

I could go on for hours chatting on why this performance could be a teaching moment for so many in this type of production field. But because it did not have all the flashing lights (can we say the Atomic 3000 one trick pony… #hiphop #grammys) many did not see the genius behind this performance and all the details that made it so good.

Thank You For Noticing!

A few days ago I received an email from a fellow staff member. And it may be one of the best emails I have ever received. The email only took him a few minutes to write and send, but it made a world of difference for me that day. It has been a long few weeks and long hours the last two. At times you wonder if anyone even notices the 16 hour days casino online adding up. But then I get an email like this and it helps more than you may ever know.

So thank you my dear friend!

Hey Mike,

I tried to find you earlier just to say how amazing the production team is.  So many days and nights in the past couple of weeks I have seen that team working feverishly to get everything up and running for the new campuses.  For me, it was eye opening just to see how important you guys are to help make things happen around here.  You all are often literally behind the scenes and you never stand up to say “look at us”.

I just want you to know how much respect I have for you guys for what you do day in and day out to meet deadlines, produce amazing videos, change sets, help the band, and on and on…..THANK YOU!!!!!!!

The Story I Never Told

Last week I did something I have not done since my older brother Chris past away in a hospital in Bristol, TN. And that thing was talk about it with anyone in detail. Up to last week the only person I have talked to about the week was my wife Kirsten and that was limited in detail. I just don’t verbalize things out loud like, but instead keep it to myself and find personal time to reflect. But that all changed this past week as I finally opened up for the first time and it so happened to in front of a camera as well.

We finished a teaching series where we had been discussing moments when we have an encounter and how it forms and shapes us. (Encounter, Formation, Expression) We were discussing the idea of a possible story to set up our pastor to wrap up the final week. At that moment I felt like this could be the time I finally share my story and my encounter with God during that tragic week in 2009. So I threw out the idea to the team and just how my story could play into the three areas. I then took myself out of the equation/room and let them pressure test my story and decide for themeselves. The team decided they liked the idea and then took it to the next level and pitched the idea up the chain. The project was green-lit and after two interviews and a three day trip to VA the guys put together a very emotional piece.

I have watched it twice and probaly will not watch it again because it’s so personal. But I hope you take a few moments to watch it and can recall an unforgettable encounter yourself.  Then take a moment to look back on how it has formed you into who you are today.


Anyone Who Stops Learning Is Old

Today I found myself sitting in a local coffee shop in downtown Wilmington reading a book that I should have finished 6 1/2 years ago. Then while reading I looked up and noticed how many college students walk up and down the sidewalk talking with each other and dropping into local coffee shops to grab some quality study time. One specific girl set up shop by a corner window with what looked like a 5 inch three ring binder, a highlighter and pen. Her phone was nowhere to be seen nor headphones in ears . And for the next thirty minutes she looked to have undivided attention to learning something new or reviewing material to understand it better. And at first this had me wishing I could simply go back to college again so I could learn new things. But then I remembered something Henry Ford once said:

“Anyone who stops learning is old, whether at twenty or eighty. Anyone who keeps learning stays young.” – Henry Ford

We need to always be positioning ourselves to keep learning. We must carve out time in our busy schedules to learn new things and hone current skills. I just turned 32 this month and started looking at returning back to UNCW to gain my MBA (or some form of higher education). I am online casino still hoping for this possibility at some point in my future, but that does not mean I must wait to begin learning . Now honestly I am not one who heads to work, does what I am tasked with doing and then head home to watch TV. I love picking up new books in the Business/Management/Marketing sections at Barnes & Noble and devouring the content. I try to stay up on the latest articles from Fast Company, 99U, The Great Disconnect, Signal & Noise and many others.

But I realized something today I have not noticed before. I just love consuming new material at a rapid pace, but I do it without any form of structure and path. There are many pros and cons about institutional learning centers (universities, colleges, etc), but one great thing I have realized after many years removed is there was a pathway of learning. Your professor, if good, had a plan of action where you were introduced to material, learned the material, discussed the material, questioned the material, used the material and then critiqued the material.

So I wrote this as an encouragement to myself and anyone who is reading this. Don’t stop learning! Be sure to continue honing your own craft/job and then begin learning new things. Find some type of path/structure to learning those new things and focus on one or two things at a time. But worst case scenery here simply open up a book and read. I promise you that you will learn something. :)