Professional Lighting & Production Summer 2023 | Page 28

“ It takes discipline and hard work to stay on top of changing trends , and also sort of embracing the idea of risk taking instead of being afraid to try new things . It ’ s always about pushing yourself , to be creative to find new solutions to reinvent yourself .” - Donald Holder
a way that is clear , concise and accurate .” Aside from The Lion King , which garnered him a Tony Award for Best Lighting Design and a Drama Desk Award for Outstanding Lighting Design , Holder says his work on the NBC television series Smash which was devoted to the inner workings of a Broadway show counts as another career peak . “ There were many live sequences of realized musical numbers that were part of the story and part of the making of a fictional musical called “ Bombshell .” So I got the chance over two seasons to work with Marc Shaiman , Scott Whitman , and Joe Iconis , sort of simultaneously on this amazing range of musical genres and a massive musical number every week for television . So it was not only doing that , but it was learning how to work with a cinematographer . And I had an amazing collaboration with M . David Mullen , the DP for that series , that has also grown into quite a long collaboration . Since then we ’ ve worked on The Marvelous Mrs . Maisel , and a few other things . That really opened a completely new world . I was able to expand my scope of work , or my practice into theatrical lighting for film and television , which has been a fantastic new part of my artistic life .”
Having recently returned from Mumbai , India where he lit a new production called Civilization to Nation which opened a new performing arts centre in that city ’ s downtown as well as lighting a new jazz opera by Terence Blanchard and Michael Cristofer entitled Champion which is currently showing at The Metropolitan Opera , Donald Holder remains as active as ever while also volunteering his free time as a volunteer as an EMT and a firefighter .
“ I know some people discover lighting at some point in their lives ,” he says . “ But I feel
28 | Summer 2023