Los Angeles Alumni Mentor Program
Marquette University Alumni Association
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Mark Miskimen graduated from Marquette in 1977 with a double major in Broadcast Communications and Theater Arts. He is the founder and President of ACME Corp. Production Resources in Milwaukee. Mark specializes in staging, lighting and production for corporate meetings and events, fundraisers, and galas.
1. You started ACME in your basement?
Yes. I started getting calls from former clients that I had worked with while at another company asking me to help out with sets and staging for TV commercials and meetings they were producing. One of the first projects that needed a custom piece was a lectern that lit up. I built the first one in a small shop I had in our basement.
2. Have you been able to incorporate your love of theater into what you do?
I approach every project from the standpoint that all the world's a stage. I treat each event I work on as some type of theater.
3. What is business theater?
Business theater is a mash up of a business meeting, a play or musical and a movie with a couple of speeches thrown in.
4. What has been your most challenging undertaking?
We were working on an internal trade show for one of our customers when they had a last minute change in leadership for their national conference. The new stakeholder wanted to change from a typical trade show set up to something that would create an experience that would draw in and engage their employees. We were given six weeks to work with them to design and build seven different environmental experiences that all had to meet extremely high quality standards and reflect the customer's core values.
On top of that, we needed to design it so that the entire exhibition; lighting, rigging, sound, video, scenic elements and the customer's products could be set up and ready for the first group of attendees in twenty four hours. There were fourteen semi-trailers full of equipment and products. It was a huge success and my client's superiors said that they had never seen their employees so engaged and energized by this aspect of their conference. It wound up being the highlight if the entire conference.
5. What do you see as the latest trends in lighting and staging?
LED lighting and projected scenery are becoming more prevalent as are LED video walls. I view them as more tools that we can add to our repertoire. They can be quite effective when used correctly in the right situation.