Dear Reader: You think the presidential election was odd? That ain't the half of it. I'm becoming more and more convinced that most everything in life is a bit odd, and I think that's a good thing. Every morning when I ride the subway to work I see - in addition to the usual assortment of oddballs - an ad for the Local 37 AFSCME union, notable chiefly for its extremely varied membership: gardeners, park rangers, museum workers, and the folks who maintain the New York area bridges and tunnels. What an odd mix, I think to myself. And then I get into work and start working on a magazine that covers an equally motley mix of theatre, film, concert, and theme park artisans, and I realize that odd is as odd does.
We truly are an odd magazine. In age of niche this and niche that, here's Entertainment Design, a book that, instead of narrowing its focus, always seems to broaden it. We expanded our coverage beyond the core theatre market because theatre designers broadened their reach to include film, TV, and architecture, and later concerts and theme parks. The advent of the theatre sound designer prompted us to begin covering that craft in addition to lighting, sets, and costumes. And now, just in the last year or two, we've seen an explosion in the use of video projection in entertainment, another rising and viable art form. As long as there are creative artists discovering new tools with which to work, my guess is we'll keep expanding our coverage as long as the readers respond approvingly, and, of course, as long as they don't think it's too odd.
These thoughts always occur to me around this time of year, between LDI and our annual EDDY Awards. LDI continues to grow beyond its lighting base, and LDI 2000 in Las Vegas last October was no exception. An ever-increasing number of audio, video, and soft goods manufacturers exhibit at the show, which in turn brings an ever-increasing array of designers, technicians, and students. Sound designer Tony Meola, who spoke at one of the LDI sessions, was impressed by the wide range of groups represented at the show, and especially excited by the number of students in attendance. A sound designer praising a lighting show? How odd.
And then there's the EDDY Awards, perhaps the oddest yearly roundup of the best and brightest sharing a podium since Martha Stewart and Busta Rhymes at the MTV Video Music Awards. As you may know, we don't have any set categories for these awards; our goal is simply to honor designers and technicians who have made a significant contribution to the field of entertainment design, be it a project, a series of projects, or an entire career. They can be anyone from glamorous Hollywood costume designers to scruffy Off Broadway technicians. This year's winners fit that criteria to a T: the design team for Blue Man Group Live at Luxor, film and theatre costume designer Ann Roth, the SITI Company design team, and the set concert builder Tait Towers. An extremely odd, and extremely talented mix. Learn more about them all.
And finally, perhaps the oddest thing I've encountered in a while: our art director, Raymond Mingst, actually wanted to write something. With words, not pictures. This makes the situation in Florida seem ho-hum.