I know it's a very New Agey thing to say that we all must embrace change, but I'm a slow mover; change tends to make me cranky. And dammit if there aren't some major changes going on around here.
First of all, after 10 years in our funky-but-chic, Romper Room — colored editorial offices on West 18th, we're moving to the buttoned-down corporate Primedia Business offices a block away. It's a bit of a trade-off; we're losing some independence and some great views of the city, but we're gaining phones that work (I'll actually have a direct line) and working hot water. Here's my new contact info:
249 West 17th Street, 4th floor
New York, NY 10011
Phone: (212) 204-1811 Fax: (212) 204-1823
A much tougher change: a few very talented behind-the-scenes people are moving on. Raymond Mingst, our art director and the person responsible for this fine-looking magazine, will be leaving us after six years. Veteran Lighting Dimensions art director John Scott will be taking over the art direction duties. Liz French, our tireless managing editor, is moving on after nine years. LD's capable managing editor Amy Slingerland will be handling both books now. And John Calhoun, our veteran senior editor who's been with us since the dawn of time, is taking on the freelance life. He is irreplaceable. We're going to miss all three of these very talented and gifted individuals terribly. Things will be noticeably quieter around here, and much less interesting.
A couple of other changes within the magazine, which in my view, aren't bad at all: ED has always been about the working designer, and this year we make a renewed commitment to their art and craft with a return to designer profiles. As you see from this month's cover of Christine Jones, these will go beyond the simple “And then I designed” stories to delve into the process, the job, and the life of set, lighting, costume, projection, and sound designers. Other changes include a regular roundup of new performance spaces both large and small, the result of a flurry of interesting new projects opening their doors; plus expanded business and product news sections in the front and back of the book, respectively.
And on an even a brighter note, a couple of welcome personal changes: my wife gave birth to our second daughter, Sadie Mabel, on October 13. I now live in a house full of lovely girls, and that ain't a bad thing at all. If I could only get a decent night's sleep! And those of you who've spoken to me in recent months are well aware of my travails as a member of a Special Federal Grand Jury. It's a little-known aspect of the judicial system in which jurors are chosen to meet two days a week for up to three years. Three years! After six long and arduous (though admittedly occasionally fascinating) months, I have been excused from duty, and am free to write my explosive, John Grisham — like legal thriller on the intricate workings of the grand jury.
So with all these enormous changes, you'd think I'd be one cranky SOB. I suppose I should be, but there's something about the sheer physical exhaustion brought on by nighttime feedings that seems to have sanded off some of the edge. Besides, with all the changes going on around us for the last year, I think I may actually be starting to get used to it. I found a quote by Gail Sheehy that seemed appropriate:
“We must be willing to change chairs if we want to grow. There is no permanent compatibility between a chair and a person. And there is no one right chair. What is right at one stage may be restricting at another or too soft. During the passage from one stage to another, we will be between two chairs. Wobbling no doubt, but developing.”
Wobbling but developing; that sounds about right.