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

 

 

Looking for A Job in Light? Me Too! Here’s Some Lighting Industry Resources to Help!

those-were-the-droids

It’s no secret that jobs are right tight out there right now – even I’m looking for something full-time!  (Interested in something I have to offer?  Email me!)

The one thing that you have to remember when getting out there is that no matter what you do, you have to be diligent in the chase.  There are hundreds of thousands of other people out there looking for work, and if you don’t keep digging, you will find nothing.  And, if you’re having trouble finding a Lighting Industry gig, take inventory of your skills and look at other avenues.  What I find is that people who work in Entertainment have some of the easiest times transitioning to other fields either temporarily or permanently, depending on their drive to stay in Light or their dedication to the industry.  Sometimes you might find something outside of the realm of Entertainment Lighting and discover you just found a career worth keeping!

Me, however…  I love Light, so I’m destined to believe in this field until I’m completely penniless like Tesla at the end, or dead from a heart attack.  I did look at a few job postings at Raytheon and Lockheed Martin because I love some of the work that they’re doing.  Perhaps you might also look outside of the industry to see if there’s something out there you might be excellent at doing, there’s nothing wrong with it.  We live in a Capitalistic society, and money is the name of the game.  Sometimes you can’t always work in your chosen profession, but you have to work to live!

Here’s some excellent industry resources, updated pretty often.  I highly recommend making these your frequent daily stops if you’re like me and looking for work.

offstagejobs

OFFSTAGEJOBS.COM (used to be Backstagejobs.com):
This resource is absolutely one of my favorites, and there are jobs on here from administrative work and teaching gigs to designer and technician work, in all avenues and realms, including touring.  This is an excellent place for finding work – my first post-graduate school lighting design gig, which was with Sandy Duncan, Peter Scolari, John Davidson, and Eddie Mekkin, came from Offstage Jobs.

jobs-at-usitt

THE USITT JOB BOARD
USITT posts and hosts a Job Board that seems to be updated with relative frequency; most of the jobs on the USITT site are cross-posted in other arenas as well, so don’t be surprised if you see duplicate or multiple similar job postings.  However, this is a perfect place for lighting and entertainment jobs.  I highly recommend it!

artsearch

ARTSEARCHArtsearch is pretty much the go-to resource in the Entertainment and Theatre industry for work; people and companies post lots of higher ed jobs there, as well as design, technical, administrative, and the like.  It’s also subscription-based, which is a pay service, but they also put out a paper rag that most theatre departments and schools across the country subscribe to monthly.  if you’re a student, stop by the office and ask to see the copy!  If you’re not, do some google searching and see if you can find access.  Sorry to people who disagree out there, but if people post their passwords and logins online, they should expect for others to utilize them.  This market is tight, vicious, and predatory – there are lots of people vying for not lots of gigs.  If you want the work, go get the work.

higheredjobs

HIGHEREDJOBS.COM
Are you a professor, instructor, or someone looking to get into education in Entertainment or Lighting Design?  You need to go here, and nowHigher Ed Jobs is the place where most universities post their offerings – and please take me at face value when I say that not all people who write these job applications are people who are in our industry.  Use that nugget of knowledge from JOL to use your time to comb through the job postings with a fine-toothed comb.  Not all postings will be under the searchable query, you might have to get resourceful and use some of your read-skimming prowess and dig in with both hands to the categories of jobs on HigherEdJobs.com.

NOW HOLD ON THERE, NANCY GRACE…  BEFORE YOU GET STARTED…

nancy-grace-douche

 

There are also some places where you can find gigs related to Lighting, or maybe even in the Entertainment field – but also remember that you might not find exactly what you want, but that is no reason NOT to look when you DO NOT have a gig.  Some alternative places to check daily are:

simplyhired

Simply Hired – search query “Stage Lighting”
I’ve found some pretty interesting lighting industry gigs on SimplyHired in the last few weeks, and I recommend keeping this on your daily search list.  It’s a corporatized website with lots of jobs from all over the world, but like anything, you need to dig down and do some creative searching of your own.

edison-report

The Edison Report – Lighting Jobs
Another place with recent and updated lighting jobs from both the Architectural and Engineering subsets of lighting – if this is your thing, check it out.  But also let me remind you that just because it has Engineering or Architecture in the title, it does NOT mean you’re ineligible!  Perhaps you just need to tune your skills resume a little!

GE-lighting-jobs

General Electric – Lighting Jobs Worldwide
Sometimes the best thing to do is to check the manufacturer’s websites for Job Postings.  It is amazing what you find!  Right now, at the time of posting this, General Electric had about 95 jobs posted on its international job board!

indeed-jobs

Indeed Jobs – Lighting search
Another jobs search engine that will need to have your attention to dig a bit deeper in the queries for “lighting” related gigs, Indeed is a great place for job searching.  Especially for technical and managerial jobs.  You’d be surprised how quickly your skills from this industry might lead to some kind of a management or supervisor gig with excellent pay and serious benefits.  It’s definitely something that can’t be overlooked, especially if you already don’t have a gig!

careerbuilder-jobs

Last but not least - CareerBuilder.com search for Lighting Jobs
One of the places I always check for gigs is CareerBuilder – it’s yet another corporate jobs search site, but with some fudging around and creative searching, you can find some excellent gigs in the Lighting fields.  CareerBuilder has actually come through for some folks I know who work in Civil and Infrastructure Lighting in Wyoming, and it was an excellent gig.  Again, no job offering place is too good for you, you must be diligent and continue to look, and everywhere!

Other places to check out, become involved in, and constantly search for job offerings in Lighting – WEB FORUMS!  Everyone seems to overlook this very important fact, but getting involved in the industry is the best way to land the gig you want.  People are always looking out for jobs out there, and there are tons – literally – TONS – of forums out there that offer job postings.  A few of these include, but are not limited to:

  • The Light Network – a great place just to be involved, but also to get your resume and skills out there for the industry to see
  • ProLightingSpace – another industry forum to meet people, get involved, and keep your name in the mix!
  • TheatreFace – a more theatre-centric forum with lots of people involved in its maintenance.
  • Roadie.net Greenroom – for roadies and techs and designers alike, Roadie.net is centered around the road and working in Production.  Go say hello!

Did I miss some?  Probably.  Is this a great start in your job searching mission of awesome?  YES!

No matter what you end up doing, please take my advice and add these places to your daily job search sites.  I also really hope that you’re not without work for too long, being unemployed sucks hard!  I wish you the best of luck finding something gratifying in Light!

EIBTM 2012 – Lighting Designers, JUMP ON THIS

I just got back last week from Barcelona, Spain – I was over at EIBTM 2012 for CAST; we’re exhibiting the Vivien suite and showed some wysiwyg to some folks.  In this respect, that’s unimportant.  What is important is the fact that I have never been to a show where there was such a potential for lighting design greatness than I have when I saw the show floor at EIBTM.

First – this show is absolutely jam packed and crazy.  Good crazy, mind you — this is a large show completely filling the Fira Gran Via Barcelona, which is a big, beautiful hall:

There are stand after stand of countries marketing to Event and Meeting Professionals and hoteliers and all kinds of really corporate stuff — 5-star hotel chains showing their best properties, city and country travel and tourism bureaus hocking their destinations as the “in” place to come for a particular event/meeting/what-have-you, and there is a lot of really tremendous design there — glass and wood, real plants, just and amazing display of crafstmanship.  Even our stand, a 10X20 over in the Technology Pavilion, had puttied and painted corners and generally looked sleek and nice.  There was one thing missing from most of these displays, and there were some magnificently enormous displays…

…the touch of a Lighting Designer.

There is amazing opportunity here, people — perhaps it’s time to start putting together some proposals and sending out some resumes, yeah?  Even though this is not (I repeat not) a lighting trade show by any stretch of the imagination, some of these countries’ displays could really benefit from the touch of a lighting designer.  Countries like Estonia, my favorite stand even though not the largest, could really benefit from some nice programming and sequencing to best fit their country’s appearance.  There is something so elegant about having the calculated eye of an LD to put some real pizzazz into something so important as hundreds of millions of dollars of potential revenue, if not exponentials of that figure.

This is not to say that they didn’t have the services of a lighting designer, but to me it did not appear as though an LD had given a lot of input other than GI (general illumination) in many of these cases.  Also keep in mind I’m a critical bastard who looks intensely at these things, and from a different perspective than any one of the attendees of this show — it’s just not what the show is about at all, it’s about destinations, events, meetings, and all of the revenue that goes along with that industry.  BUT, to the right LD, one of these stands could be a playground of immense proportions!

A few random teasers — there is a gallery at the bottom of the post with everything and anything from this trip!

Entering into the Fira Gran Via Barcelona for the show:

Spain’s EIBTM booth:

Denmark’s EIBTM booth:

Holland’s EIBTM booth:

Oh yeah, and Barcelona!  It was my first time in Spain, but I have to report that I only got to enjoy one really great meal and a bunch of hotel and convention floor food, I had the show on top of a beta program going on and writing documentation for said release.  I got a lot of cell phone shots of various locations around Barcelona, but I was busy from sun-up to sundown and didn’t really get much of a chance to enjoy Barcelona.  Sorry, Barcelona!  Maybe next time!  My Dad says you’re pretty cool, though.  La Barca del Salamanca is one awesome awesome awesome restaurant in Olympic Village along the water in Barcelona, there are some shots in the gallery of the amazing meal we had there with Corbin Ball!  Thanks Corbin, I had a blast!

Awesome.

Every street a different set of panels, but every street had them about every ten meters for miles.

The Maitre d’ un-crusting the salt from our sea bass at La Barca del Salamanca!

This image below was so awesome – this was a stone statue of a woman and child that was sitting by the Fira Gran Via loading dock entrance.  It’s obviously very old, but it was just so excellent to see this stone woman standing guard with her child over the loading dock.  I love stuff like that.

Click on any image thumb below and open up the Gallery view!

A JimOnLight Life Update

Lumiere on her throne

Holy crap, I miss my freaking cat.

I have gotten quite a few emails about what I’ve been up to lately, so I figured a post is in order!  Life has taken me all kinds of places and in all kinds of directions over the last three months – it’s been a whirlwind, that is fo sho.  Back in December, I left teaching to take a promotion at CAST Software as the Product Manager for wysiwyg and Vivien Event Designer.  I have been working for CAST for about three years writing product copy and technical articles, and the job as product manager opened up back in December.  Pretty much everything has been going full speed since then.  I have been here and there, I just drove halfway across the country (from Oklahoma City to Iowa to Toronto) in my Mustang.  I had to drop of Lumiere at Grandma’s house so Daddy could come up to Toronto and work.

So I did this:

in this:

Misti the Mustang

You know, it’s true – they didn’t design Mustang seats for long-range comfort.  Yeah, I bought a Mustang.  Yeah, I f*cking love it.

A few weeks ago I saw a bunch of you at PLASA Focus in Austin, TX – got to spend three days with Rick and Adri and a ton of other awesome people, saw The Swinging Johnsons play at Antones, had an awesome breakfast with Gil and Bruce from CAST and Matthew Griffiths from PLASA (that guy is pretty cool!).  I think it’s a goal in my life to get Gil Densham to belly laugh.  I’LL DO IT, yes I will!

I have video and photos from PLASA Focus – they’re coming.  Hold tight.  I’m also finishing up the first episode of JimOnLight TV!

So now I’m up here in Toronto working my butt off and loving every minute of what I’m doing.  Besides JimOnLight.com, it’s been a LONG time since I’ve felt like that.  I’m living in a hotel right now; it’s a nice hotel and all, but I am very, very excited to get the **** out of here and into my own place.  I am looking at a place this evening that I want, really close to the office, and in a nice area.  I wish I could explain how thrilled I am at the prospect of getting out of this hotel and having my routines back!  Oh, and having my little meower back?  HOLY SH*T!  I have been without her for about three weeks now, and I miss the heck out of her.  it’s so funny – I never really thought of the impact of literally spending all day every day with her and then not being around her for a month or more.  That sucks!  My mom is saving my ass right now too, she’s watching lil’ miss kitty until I can get moved and come and pick her up.

Meow, eh?

Of course, I guess I could get out more.

So right now, I have three people I really like helping me make JimOnLight one of the world’s most visited lighting websites.  I have two jobs that I am completely in love with — I get to write JimOnLight AND I’m working on the cutting edge of pre-viz and tracking tech.  I get to do what I love all day long (and sometimes all night just because I can!) and I feel very lucky.  Now if I can get my cat up here and get her to poop in the toilet?

Amazing.

20×2 NEEDS OUR HELP! Please RT, and OFTEN.

So you guys might remember when I did a guest spot at 20×2 in Austin, during the SXSW Interactive Conference a few years back.  Here’s my presentation for the 20×2 Festival to refresh your memory:

20×2 is a volunteer thing – an awesome thing – and it’s a thing that is very jam-packed with very awesome and intelligent people.  Mark Couvillion, one of the creators of 20×2, has reached out for some help this year.  Mark needs someone to help him broadcast and record the 20×2 show happening at Skinny’s this year, on March 9.  This is on FRIDAY of this week.  This year’s question that the list of folk need to answer is:  How Did I Get Here?

Look – if you’re going to be around the Austin area on Friday night, March 9, and you happen to have some gear that could make something like this possible, can you contact Mark Couvillion pronto?  Mark is on Twitter at @chimchim, or you can email him directly here.  Mark and his wife just had a baby, so as you can imagine, he has no time.  Please help him out if you can.  I owe you one. This is a volunteer opportunity, but it’s one of the more prestigious ones you’ll do.  If you can’t but know someone who might be able to help out, please tell them to get ahold of me or Mark ASAP.

THANK YOU!

4Wall’s First Internship – WHICH IS PAID!

Good afternoon everyone!  I’m catching up from LDI madness, and this needs to be posted!

4Wall Lighting’s used gear division, UsedLighting.com (Las Vegas) is putting up its first internship for application!  From Wes Bailey:

UsedLighting.com, a division of 4Wall Entertainment, is proud to offer its first ever internship.  The internship will last 90 days and carries the possibility of further employment. 

The internship is a great opportunity for anyone looking for quality experience and references in entertainment and theatrical lighting.  The selected intern will work directly with the used sales and marketing team of UsedLighting.com and in turn, 4Wall Entertainment.

Duties will include:

-Gathering, pricing, and posting of equipment on the UsedLighting.com and NewLighting.com websites
-Testing and prep of theatrical lighting equipment for sale
-Event support including customer interaction
-Dealing with used equipment movement between 4Wall locations

Requirements:

-Residency in Las Vegas for the duration of the Internship (not provided by 4Wall)
-At least two (2) years college experience (any related major)
-Working knowledge of entertainment lighting products and manufacturers
-Minor to mid-level repair capabilities for entertainment lighting products
-Above average computer skills (Microsoft Office Suite)
-Social Media Competency
-Some physical capabilities (able to lift 50-60 lbs)
-High level of motivation!

Please submit resumes to [email protected] .  Resumes must be received by November 23rd for consideration.

Yeppers, the summer job hunt begins!  Get your information into Wes Bailey before NOVEMBER 23rd!

Let’s Play CHECK IN with JimOnLight.com in Canada!

I’m in Toronto right now.  Next week I’ll be in Phoenix for a week long show run.  The week after that?  I have no idea.  Let me check my calendar.

So, for those of you who were at the Broadway Lighting Master Classes this year, sorry I missed you!  I wasn’t able to attend this year because of a gig I have in Toronto right now, but I hear I missed some fun partying in the Big Apple!

Let’s see:

I’m lighting up the inside of an excellent space in downtown Toronto this week for the Centre for Social Innovation, who just bought a building!  I’m partnered in a company with everybody’s favorite lumen hunter, Amanda Lynne Ballard, called LX Injected – we’ve started up this venture to bring light art on a large scale to the world.  One of our upcoming projects is the Centre’s new building – LX Injected is lighting up the inside of one of the floors for a gathering this evening, and we’re happy with the product we made last night!  I’ll post lots of pictures after the event is over this weekend.  We’re extremely excited to help out the Centre for Social Innovation and bring some lovely lux to their new digs!

Most of all, I just wanted to check in with the world.  I hope everyone is having an excellent week, a wonderful summer and end to the school year, and enjoyable production and design experiences!  Get out there and light up the darkness!

JOBS in Dallas – Fox Needs Crew for Midland Pilot

Attention, JimOnLight.com readers!  It’s been brought to my attention that the Fox Network is looking for crew for a new TV pilot called “Midland.”  The Official Film Commission for the Greater DFW Region posted an ALL CREW call for resumes on their website.

So, let me say this again:
If you’re in DFW and need a gig, send your resume to these folks!  Film crew!

From the Film Commission website:

Crew Call for “Midland” – Fox Television Pilot

CALLING ALL CREW!

If you are interested in working on a pilot for a new Fox drama called “Midland”, please send your updated resumes ASAP to [email protected] and note “Midland Crew” in the subject line and position applying for. We’ll make sure and pass them along to the production team. Casting information will be posted as soon as we receive it. Please do not forward actor head shots/resumes at this time.

They are in the process of gearing up, securing office space and beginning to hire crew now so don’t delay! The project will shoot March 16-April 1st, so please submit only if you’ll be available during that time frame. We loving being able to share this kind of news with everyone!! Good luck!

No calls please.

Jim Hutchison Joins the CAST Software Team!

I am really excited to announce that I’m now working for CAST Software!

castlogo-300px

I approached Gil and Bruce from CAST Software at LDI 2009 about CAST’s role in social media, and that I wanted to help in any way I could.  After talks and strategizing for a while since the convention, they’ve decided to bring me on as their Social Media and Area Sales Manager!

This is just awesome for me.  I have A) been using WYSIWYG for a long, long time, B) really believed in what they’re doing up there, C) wanted to be a part of the CAST team, and D) I love talking to people about WYSIWYG!  This is like epic win for me right now.  So as of a few days ago, I’m playing on the CAST team of developers, experts, and really fun people.

In addition to my full-time roll with JimOnLight.com, I’m also going to help CAST branch out into the worlds of Twitter, Facebook, and other various social media streams.  YEEHAA!  I’m still gonna write about WYSIWYG stuff here, because I am a fan and a user!

In the mean time, follow CAST Software on Twitter and Facebook!

CAST Software on Facebook:  facebook.com/CASTsoftware
CAST Software on Twitter:  http://twitter.com/CASTsoftware

WOOHOO!

So, please resume your normal JimOnLight.com reading, sorry to interrupt!

urawesome