LDI Celebrates 30 Years of the LDI Internship Program

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(Courtesy of Jeff Seigel) LDI 1995 interns

Launched in 1989, the LDI Internship Program is celebrating its 30th anniversary at LDI2019 Tradeshow and Conference, to be held November 18 – 24 at the Las Vegas Convention Center.

For 30 years, the LDI Internship Program has been giving undergraduate and graduate students the opportunity to gain real-world working experience and exposure within the entertainment design industry, network with the industry’s top professionals, and acquire world-renowned training over the course of the eight-day internship.

“The LDI technical intern program began in 1989 in Nashville, the second year of LDI. It is a great way for students interested in the entertainment design and technology industry to get their feet wet, be an active part of our professional training program, meet the exhibitors, and forge friendships that will last for years to come,” stated Ellen Lampert-Gréaux, LDI/Live Design conference and creative director, who launched the program. “It is also a great way to train the next generation of industry leaders, and many of our former interns hold major positions today.”

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Each year, the LDI Conference team accepts applications from current undergraduate and graduate students as well as recent entertainment industry graduates for the current year’s conference. 

“We have interns from many different disciplines, including theatre and entertainment programs, from all around the world,” commented William (Bill) Digneit, LDI conference production manager. “We have had interns from Mexico, Canada, China, and the U.S. We look for a diverse group of individuals and allow interns to participate for two years so they can really take advantage all the program and LDI has to offer.”

A few LDI 2018 interns

Interns actively create a positive LDI attendee experience, providing technical support for all of LDI’s conference and professional training session rooms, annual New Technology Showcases, and offsite sessions.

Students who have participated in the internship often leave LDI with leads on graduate school opportunities, jobs, or design work. Many of today's industry leadersincluding Christian Methot, owner of design one lighting design, Wendy Luedtke, ETC product technology specialist – color, and Ben Saltzman, CEO at ACT Lightingwere once LDI Interns. 

"One of the great joys of going to LDI today is knowing I will get to catch up with connections I made [during the program], including fellow interns who are now long-time professional colleagues and friends,” said Luedtke, who was an intern in 1994 in Reno and 1995 in Miami.

"While still in college, I was an intern for the LDI Workshops under the supervision of my long-time mentor Jamie Burnett,” recalled Methot. “The access I gained to leading industry professionals was priceless. It opened my eyes as to what was possible from the design, supply, and manufacturing aspects of our industry. Later, as the technical director for the workshops, my interns became lifelong colleagues that I still know and reach out to. Most of all, I gained a sense of inclusiveness from Ellen Lampert-Greaux, as she made sure that everyone was taken care of.”

“After being a high school theater tech geek who was somehow lucky enough to get accepted into a great college lighting program where I met the people who are still some of my best friends today, LDI was my first exposure to super-cool, bleeding-edge technology,” stated Saltzman, who was a 1989 intern in Nashville, “the excitement that generated helped light a spark and set me on the path to running a company where we get to work on the most amazing project with the most interesting colleagues and collaborators on the planet.”

Students interested in joining this strong network of professionals can send an email with a resume and areas of interest to [email protected].

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