JimOnLight and TEAM CHAUVET Take the #ICEBUCKETCHALLENGE

Oh yes indeed, kids!  The #ICEBUCKETCHALLENGE was accepted by Tobin Neis from Barbizon, and I reached out to Berenice and Albert Chauvet and all of TEAM CHAUVET to really try and put my money where my big loud mouth is to FIGHT ALS.  A special thanks go out to Connor Graham, who took the challenge with Albert Chauvet and donated his own money to fight ALS.  Connor, YOU ROCK, BUDDY!

NOW YOU’RE UP, George Masek and Bob Gordon from ACT Lighting, and Richard Belliveau from High End Systems/Barco!  Richard, I know you got nominated twice, but guess what?  WE JUST LOVE YOU THAT MUCH, BROTHER!

ANYONE can donate to ALS.  Just go to http://www.alsa.org/donate/ and donate.  We did the challenge and we’re donating.  Them’s the rules, kids!

Here’s Tobin’s initial challenge video, Tobin, thank you SO MUCH for the nomination!  Max, YOU ROCK, BUDDY!

Lighting Insights July 2014 — Balancing Video and Lighting

story-images-Jim-Video

I’ve been doing a video series with CHAUVET Professional every month where we talk about things to make your lighting design and production more efficient or more fun — it’s solely geared towards you, the LD or lighting production technician.  This month we’re talking about balancing video and lighting together for a cohesive look onstage.  Check it out!

A Quick Note on Anonymous Commenters

You know, I love writing JimOnLight.  I have put my reputation on the line repeatedly to bring you the best and sometimes stupid news and views across the internet, at least in our lighting world.

Something that drives me nuts, and it doesn’t happen very often, is a few people commenting shitty comments anonymously.  I mean hey — it’s cool with me if you have a point of view, and it’s even cooler with me if you share it, especially on something I post.  But here’s the thing — if you’re gonna make a comment on something that I have to say, just say it and do it with your real name.  Honestly, there is about a 1:1000 ratio of people who have the lack of reproductive parts to have to hide behind a pseudonym, but even that little bit of need to hide behind a comment posted by an anonymous or fake username blows my mind.  This website is called JIM On Light, not “Anonymous Wanker Who is Too Afraid for People to Know How He Really Feels On Light.”

Don’t be a pussy — if you have something to say, just say it, and say it under your own name.  Have the intestinal fortitude to stand behind your shitty comment.  David and I are going to leave the ability to leave your anonymous comments intact just so when you can’t be a man or woman about what you have to say, we can laugh at your need to make snide comments as a fake person.

Thanks for reading, everyone.  We’ve had some of our best weeks ever in the last few weeks.  All of this is thanks to you.  Thanks for being awesome.

Have an awesome day!

dont-be-a-pussy

JOL Sunday Flickr #21

This has been an awesome and busy week.  My new job — I have to say it is absolutely freaking awesome.  It was literally catered to my skillset, and so far it is a mix of design, creating education, blogging, social media expertise, and using my industry knowledge for the company good.  I absolutely f*cking love it.  It’s also nice to work for a boss who doesn’t demean the employees and come in every morning screaming.  I hope I forget about that experience pretty soon, it literally haunts me like The Blair Witch Project haunted teenagers in the US for months when it came out.  You live and learn, I guess.

It’s a late night JOL Sunday Flickr, but it’s awesome — give these brilliant light capturers your clicks, wouldja? And, AND, check out the JimOnLight Flickr Group!

Rays of Light in Sherwood Forest

Nightride

Light

Light Shower

Light

Lights

UK - London - Design Museum - Wallpiercing 05 - red and yellow

light

VER at LDI 2012

Sunset

I hope this is the week of your dreams, everyone!

Last Week Recap – Roxy and I Escape Death, Shelby Stage Collapse, and Shoddy Rigging

Oh, friends and neighbors, it’s been a crazy last week here on JimOnLight!

Just to catch you up:  I started a new job last week, Laura and Roxy and I have settled into our new apartment, and we’re 15 minutes from the Atlantic Ocean.  That alone is going to provide us some serious peace and tranquility, at least until Hurricane Season!  Hopefully the Hurricane Center will add my suggestions to the naming conventions list…  Hurricane Ru Paul should be making his or her way up the coast any day now!

Let’s recap on last week’s posts – we found out that L&N Productions in North Carolina had some photo evidence on their website of their crappy rigging that nearly took out some of the performers from the band The Afters, followed by some unbelievable images of the stage collapse L&N was involved in…  the promoter called it “weather related,” but as John Huntington from the awesome blog Control Geek noted, that’s a bunch of BS.  And, AND, this weekend I missed my death by about 15 seconds, as a couple of thugs who stole a car wiped out on our street (which is a 25 mph zone) going about 70.  Check them all out below!

Last week’s top posts:

ANOTHER STRUCTURE FALLS:  Roof Made from Construction Genie Towers Falls in North Carolina

from WCNC Charlotte - Shelby stage collapse photos

from WCNC Charlotte – Shelby stage collapse photos

 

MORE Contradiction in the Shelby, North Carolina Stage Collapse:  Weather, Equipment, NEGLIGENCE

from WCNC Charlotte - Shelby stage collapse photos

from WCNC Charlotte – Shelby stage collapse photos

And, from the weekend:

If Roxy Had Pooped 15 Seconds Later, We’d Both Be Dead Now

Crashed Mustang

Crashed Mustang

Stay tuned, as always — we’re going to have a lot more great stuff this week on JimOnLight!  Thanks for reading!

Like JimOnLight On Facebook, Go Straight to Lighting Heaven

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Okay, maybe there IS no lighting heaven…  but do you like us on Facebook?  The JimOnLight Facebook page has almost a thousand likes, with stories, hilarious photos, and other entertaining stuff every day!  What’s not to like?  My ugly mug?  If it makes you feel any better, I do my damnedest to keep my ugly mug as far away from the site as possible.  I’m doing humankind a service!

What do you have to lose?  Like JimOnLight on Facebook!  Tell your friends!  Click the button below!

jimonlight-on-facebook copy

you-cannot-tell-but-im-giving-a-thumbs-up

The Weekly “Dodgy Technicians” Facebook Group on JimOnLight!

I’m very excited to announce that JimOnLight is going to feature a weekly post of some of the scariest, most unbelievable photos of dodgy work done by people in our business.  In cooperation with Andy and Chris from the Dodgy Technicians group on Facebook, JimOnLight will be hosting some of these very crazy photos for your enjoyment, fright, and entertainment — hopefully this will also force people to do better work, because — well, who in their right minds wants to become famous this way?!

Ladies and gentlemen, here are some really Dodgy photos!  Can you spot the epic fails?!  Click on each photo for a larger version, maybe it will help you spot the disaster either in progress or waiting to happen!

hanging-by-safety-chains

I call this piece “Hanging Just By Safety Cables.”

ladder-platform

No, no, standing a ladder on a sheet of plywood is perfectly safe. I hope the ATV’s parking brake is on!

tree-power

What the double what?!

crane-tipped-over

I’m sure that the crane operator was sober.

singapore-ladder-wire

Welcome to Faces of Death the Game Show! Would you prefer falling, electrocution, or a combination of both?

ground-stake

Sometimes even my big mouth has nothing to say. Wow.

chair-standing

What, was the ladder really THAT inconvenient?!

duct-tape-tieline

Nah, that won’t lead to tape residue at all.

oops-forgot-the-cover

I have nothing but sympathy for this tech — the first time I ever soldered a 19-pin socapex connector, I forgot to add half of the casing hardware. I actually cried!

wavefront-fest-chicago

Click on this one, check it out full-size. There are sticks of truss that are TRUCK-STRAPPED TOGETHER and TO THE ROOF.

We’ll be back next week with another installment of Dodgy Technicians on JimOnLight!  Make sure to visit Dodgy Technicians on Facebook for daily entertainment of the ridiculous kind!

 

Last Week’s Posts Catch-Up

It’s another great week here in JimOnLight Land — pretty soon Laura and I will be moving down to start a great new job, things are falling back into place, and karma is having its way with someone who really deserves it this morning!  Ah, how the Universe takes care of itself.  I LOVE IT!

I wanted to just catch up on last week’s short post string — now that I’m back driving the bus again and not looking for work 14 hours a day, we’re gonna have a blast!

LAST WEEK on JimOnLight:

vintage-power-light-tablelamp-5

Vintage Power and Light:
The Coolest Thing to Happen to Tungsten Since Edison!

Meet Lowell and York Fowler’s art and hobby business that centers around taking vintage electrical and power equipment and turning it into beautiful, sexy, and interesting incandescent works of light and beauty!  It’s my pleasure to tell the world about the venture, hopefully one of these days I can commission my OWN bit of Vintage Power and Light!


Also, a must-read for anyone in the Entertainment Business:

yelling-myself-out-of-a-job

Do You Scream at Stagehands?  STOP IT!

I got an interesting email from a stagehand in Colorado who’s sick and tired of all of the tour personnel screaming at the local crew when they come through.  What kind of crap is THAT?!  Are YOU a screamer?  Knock that shit off!  Click on the image to read the article — this has to STOP!  You’re ruining the friendliness and compassion for the rest of us who come through after you!


 Last but not least — one of the fathers of Modern Lighting had a birthday last week:

theatre-design-george-izenour

Happy Birthday, George C. Izenour!

If you don’t know who George Izenour is, it’s time for you to get your act together and learn about one of our industry’s most prolific inventors!  His 101st birthday was last week — even though he’s no longer with us, go check out some of the things he’s done for our beloved industry!

Oh My God, It’s July — and JimOnLight is Back!

yes-this-is-fire

Hi everyone!  Oh, how I have missed you.

I’ve been on the hunt for a new job, and I am very proud to say that after almost five months of hell, I have been offered the most perfect job for a great lighting company in south Florida.

Perhaps even better news than that is that I accepted the position, and I start August 15!  I’m keeping the company under wraps for now, mostly because I am continuing my lifelong research and writing obsession with light and the lighting industries through JimOnLight, and I want to maintain my integrity as a researcher and writer.  But let me just say this — a position has been created for me that I am honored to accept, and I am excited to get back to work — this time for a company and a boss who will treat me like a human being.  How exciting is THAT?!

My experiences over the last almost five months have been intense to the point of Albert Camus’ worst nightmares – doors that I thought would be wide open I found locked tighter than Fort Knox, while other doors that I assumed would be deadbolted swung wide open and welcomed my big bald head with open arms.  If there is anything I have learned from this experience since March is that you never really know who your real friends are, even those you’ve supported at every turn, until you need a friend in return.  It’s literally made me change my entire philosophy of life and work.  On one hand I’m pretty thrilled to change philosophy, but on the other hand I’m pretty bummed to see that the majority of the people for whom I’ve done lots of work were just as quick to turn their backs as someone I never met before.  Ce la vie.  

you-are-out

“You’re out, smartass. Hit the dugout.”

One thing is definite for all of you out there still in the situation I just got lucky enough to slide out of — you have to hold onto hope, you have to hold tight, and you have to beat the pavement in order to make something happen.  Finding a job in this economy is no small feat, and it’s no small victory once you’ve found a way out of the mire.  Let me be the first to tell you that sometimes the shit can get dark.  It is hard to exist when you have no money.  It’s hard to get by when all of the laws are written to help those who can help themselves but live on the system, I know this for a fact.

I’ve had lots of time to think about what to say to help those lighting industry folks who are down and out, and are losing hope:

  • Get used to the fact that your life needs to be different (read that as cheaper) until you get steady money coming in again.  Life’s not over, it’s just stalled out a bit.
  • HANG IN THERE.  This crap will change if you keep doing what you’re doing, which hopefully is making the calls to everyone and anyone you know, letting them know that you’re looking for something.
  • JOB SEARCH RESOURCES — Check it out, nothing hurts when you’re without a job!
  • Tune up that resume — put a call on Facebook to some of us out there, any number of us would be more than happy to help a fellow industry member by taking two minutes to look over your resume.
  • Do you have a savings account?  GET ONE.  Are you sticking a decent portion of your take-home after bills in that savings account?  If you answered anything other than “you bet your bottom dollar I am,” START SAVING.  Save ANYTHING YOU CAN.  it will help down the line.
  • Expect some percentage of rejection and disappointment.  Sorry folks, but it’s true.  When you send out resumes and portfolios en masse, you’re going to experience a good portion of “no, sorry” responses.  It happens.  It just means that its time to get out there and keep pushing.
  • If you have family, see what they can do for you.  You might need to suck it up and move home for a bit (hey, I did it, I can never thank my Dad enough for what he’s done for my wife and I, he literally saved us) until you can get back on your feet.
  • If you have friends, see if they can help you out.  Suck it up if you’re destitute, your pride isn’t doing anything but screwing you up.
  • If you have “habits,” like drinking or smoking, guess what?  YOU CAN’T AFFORD IT RIGHT NOW.  You also can’t afford to be eating out all the time, either — it’s time to get used to bologna and ramen for a bit.  The stuff isn’t all that bad, believe me.  It’s way better than fucking starving.
  • If you have a wife, girlfriend, boyfriend, husband, whatever — MAKE TIME TO SPEND WITH THEM.  QUALITY time.  Spend time with them where you’re not looking at your phone searching for jobs, and get used to dumping the shit out of your brain so that you can also be a good partner.  I cannot stress this to you enough — being unemployed and broke is EXPONENTIALLY WORSE when you have to fight all the time with your loved one.  Also, it costs nothing to walk around the park holding hands and talking about things.
  • I said this before, but HANG IN THERE!  This WILL get better.  It might take a month, two months, or twelve months.  It does happen.  It just might be a while.  It was for me, anyway.

If you need a pick-me-up, drop me a line.  I’d be glad to do what I can for you.  I have great jokes.  Sometimes all it takes is a smile on your face to greatly improve your day when you’re out of work.

hang-in-there

 

 

Are You an Out-of-Work Entertainment Professional? Be Wary of Wal-Mart Pharmacy – Please SHARE

WTF-walmart

Are you an out-of-work Entertainment professional with no insurance right now?

If you answered yes to that question, you’re like me and tens of thousands of other people depending on cash for their maintenance meds every month.

Wal-Mart Pharmacy across America is known for having $4 prescriptions for many popular prescription drugs, and for many people, this is a necessity.  For people who depend on places like this in order to live, being able to buy their meds AND anything else they might need in order to live (you know, like auto insurance, food, OTC meds when you can’t afford to see your doctor, etcetera), having to pay only four bucks for drugs is a serious plus!

Well…  I have to tell you a story.

I’m one of those Entertainment pros without a job or insurance right now, so I’m paying out of pocket for my meds.  I went to the Wal-Mart pharmacy in East Peoria, IL last week to pick up two scripts written for me by my doc, and one of the drugs I’m on is supposed to be on the Wal-Mart list for low-cost drugs for people without insurance.  The woman manning the pharmacy – the non-Pharmacist tech, looked me right in the eyes and said “that’ll be $800.39, please.”  Unbelievably, I had no choice but to pay that $800 out of pocket.  We asked the woman to check again on the price, and both the pharmacy tech AND the pharmacist then took my $800.39 for the one drug.  It wasn’t some kind of cancer drug or an experimental drug not covered anywhere, either.  It’s a standard drug that a whole hell of a lot of people need.

Literally one week later, I saw an advertisement for Schnook’s Pharmacy, a drugstore in a grocery store in Peoria, IL, that was advertising my specific drug for $89.75.  I called that pharmacy and asked about my specific medication, and they confirmed that yep, it’s $89.75.  As you can assume, I called the Wal-Mart pharmacy directly after, asking them why a similar pharmacy in town had my drug for $89.75 instead of Wal-Mart’s price of $800.39.  The pharmacist put me on hold, and after five minutes came back and told me that I should come in for a full refund of that cost, as they had that medicine listed for $80.39, not $800.39.  But, I got the excuse that “Wal-Mart corporate sets the prices, we don’t.”  That sure didn’t stop them from pocketing my $800 bucks.

When my dad and I went over to the pharmacy and asked the supervisor of the pharmacy what they would have done had we not come back in for that refund of over $700, she confirmed that yes, Wal-Mart corporate sets the prices, and yes, they would have not corrected the cost difference and pocketed the difference.  The actual conversation, verbatim, went like this while waiting for a Customer Service manager to give us the refund:

My dad:  “So, what would have happened were we not to have come checking on this?  Would you guys have just pocketed the difference and that’s that?”

East Peoria Wal-Mart Pharmacy manager:  “Yep.  We would have.”

This is unbelievable to me, at least.  If you’re off insurance and in need of your meds, please make sure you price check in your town to see that you’re not getting Wal-Marted on your drugs.

I posted this to the Wal-Mart Facebook page, and it never made the public light of day.  Anyone surprised?