Express Yourself


First things first: please send all hate mail concerning this month's cover to my attention. Yes, I'm to blame. Yes, I know it's provocative. And yes, I'm probably going to hell. I'll say what I always say when people complain about a cover: it was the best blend of artist and technology available in one image. But, as Madonna once said, express yourself. So I await your missives.

Rather than defend myself, or perhaps more appropriately, defend Madonna for her controversial yet still glamorous crucifixion scene in her current Confessions Tour (and really, if Madonna can't be glamorous for her own crucifixion, then who can?), I'm going to talk about what any self-respecting, on-the-ball editor would discuss: a story from last month's issue, specifically, Christian Choi's piece titled, “Help and Hope in a Desperate Time: A Note From The First Behind The Scenes Grant Recipient.”

Many of you know Christian as one of the top programmers in the game. What many of you may not have known until you read last month's piece was that for several years now, Christian has been suffering from severe health issues related to his spine, and as a result, serious economic issues. Behind The Scenes, the charitable program created by The ESTA Foundation, came to his aid in a time of need, and his story was a call to action, both for those in the industry who may be in financial need, but just as importantly, for those of us who could help.

We here at Live Design have been committed to supporting this very worthy cause since its inception last year. In May, during our annual Broadway Master Classes, we held a silent auction as part of our first annual Live Design Honors, raising a few sheckels for the charity (see page 12 for more details). We're also planning on another benefit/silent auction during this year's LDI Awards in October.

Many, many others are getting in the act as well. Altman Lighting, of course, threw down the gauntlet at last year's LDI with the Altman Family $125,000 Challenge, where the company matched every dollar donated to the charity in its first year. Last I heard, they were already close to hitting that goal. And last month, shops from around the New York region gathered together at an Upper East Side restaurant to watch the Tony Awards as part of another Behind the Scenes benefit.

I'm sure you're getting involved too, right? You're throwing away that nasty note you'd started writing to me about the cover, and you're writing a check out to Behind the Scenes instead. That's a much more productive way of expressing yourself, don't you think?

For more info on Behind The Scenes, go to