The People Make the LDI Experience for Me

LDI reminds me that there are so many things I love and hate about this industry we call our home.  I hate the hours; I love the payoff.  I hate the exhaustion; I love the camaraderie that occurs between people that don’t normally play well with others.  The one thing that I love more than any of it is the people of this business.  The people make LDI for me, every single time we trek our rear ends to the desert for our industry’s prom.

I walked around taking as many “obligatory LDI selfies” as I could.  I took a bunch near our booth, and yes Jaybles, some of these aren’t selfies.  :D

I missed seeing hundreds of people.  This is the standard for LDI.  Next year I’ll miss more hundreds of people.  You have to make these shows focus on who you DO get to see!  You’ll always see who you missed next year!

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Eric Mueller, Matt Suarez, Thomas Fonseca, the bald one, and Corey SIlverman!

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TEAM AVOLITES AWESOMESAUCE!!!!!!!!! Holy awesome, Batman!

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Flash and Trash Works Inc – Executive Team! Cat West and Joe Cabrera, two of the world’s greatest programmers.

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What’s Danilo looking at? Danilo, DeAnna, Mikey, and Gilbert!

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Tobin Neis of Barbizon and Sharon Gross from Bandit Lites!

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Hi Brad! Brad Schiller, ladies and gentlemen!

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It’s Simon Newton! Great to meet YOU, dude!

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Steve Shelley, who always has a giggle for me!! You’re awesome.

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Sharon, so great to meet you finally! World, Sharon runs PR for Bandit Lites. Say hi to her on Facebook and Twitter! GO! DO IT!

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Feelin’ CONGO with Susan Rose!

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Look at that big beautiful smile! Richard Belliveau and I resting the dogs at the Elation Professional booth.

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Randy Wade! What’s up man?!

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What’s that weird Stepford Wives face we’re making?! Me, Justin Lang, Mike Graham, and Danilo Oliveira.

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Danilo, Peter Kirkup of Peter Kirkup, and Mikey all talking shop.

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LOOK at this f*cking guy!! Did he get sexified or WHAT?! Peter Kirkup looking great at LDI 2014!

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Avolites’ Koy and a lovely chap that I did not get a name from, EMAIL ME!

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Rosco Matt! Awesome chatting with you mandingo.

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The brainchild of Legend, Rogue, and many more, Michael Graham!

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Nick Airiess (NICKY!) and Dan Goldsmith of X-Laser

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F*CK YEAH! Kevin Loretto, JOL, Thierry Pouliot!!!! Great to see you both!!!

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The enchanting Miss Katherine Walmsley from our UK office and CARRRRRRLOS! Carlos makes photoshop and e-blasts his bitch.

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Hi Justin!

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Jeremy Kumin of ENTTEC! I thought Enttec had the coolest booth at LDI, totally Steampunk.

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THE GOGGLES!!!

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AWWWW! It was so great to see Jax.

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Jacob Coakley is the third funniest man I have ever met. Read what he has to say about what we do, his words drive our businesses in a strongly creative direction.

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One of Entertainment’s favorite ladies! Heather Marie Short rocks!!

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SEE?! She’s commanding you with her eyes!!!

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Ladies and gentlemen, the most popular man on the block! Look at that tongue!!!

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David makes the JimOnLight world go ’round. David is our technojesus

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Dr. DMX!

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Debi Moen — this lady writes the lighting industry’s soul. Fact.

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I call this one “nefarious smiles”

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Danilo having an eyebrow moment

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Jeremy, JOL, Crystal LEE!

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Berenice Chauvet – Lighting’s Marketing SAMURAI!!!!

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BAHAA!!! YOU GUYS!@!@!

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CHAD FOR PRESIDENT!!!!! ROSCO CHAD! ROSCO CHAD!

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Oh my god this was the best photo ever. Chris Conti, my salty head, and Michael Eddy at load-out.

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STEALTH selfie! Berenice, meself, Jackie. I caught Jackie Tien on camera!!! She ninja’d the other way for the next shot I took, you fast devil you!

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Andre!!! Cool to meet you, duder!

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This guy. A very awesome chap. He introduced himself to me and I did not record his name. What’s your name again, my man?! Amy Walker, what’s his name?!?!

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Me, Susan Rose, Berenice Chauvet, and Joe Fucini! Awesome!

 

It's Allan Reiss programming his awesome booth!

It’s Allan Reiss programming his awesome booth!

 

 

Load-in week dinner for those of us who stayed late.  We were the few.  As in you see who stayed late!

Load-in week dinner for those of us who stayed late. We were the few. As in you see who stayed late!

Y'all COME BACK NOW!

Y’all COME BACK NOW!

The Official Post-LDI-2014 Post

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LDI 2014 at the Las Vegas Convention Center in Las Vegas, Nevada took place this year, as it does every year.  Lots of lights, lasers, video wall, consoles, and people!  Thanksgiving has come and gone, and we’re all doing the last month hop to finish up everything before Christmas break.  Well, I mean “break” as in the 25th and 26th probably, most of us will be working during that time anyway.

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A little Vegas sun shining through the LDI haze

This was a bittersweet LDI for me.  Some drama, lots of friends, a little more drama, SO much light, more friends, and hopefully lots of great stuff on the horizon.  One thing I noticed this year was the massive amount of moving heads that break the mold of a “professional” moving head — lots of stuff with split heads, heads that rotate and tilt on their own, heads that have multiple light sources on them, all that kind of stuff.  It’s interesting to see how the industry innovates itself…  or rather how the industry *thinks* it’s going to innovate itself.

Lots of stuff to see, lots of booths to visit, and tons of beautiful photos!  Check them, out, I’ve tried to break them into company names.  None of this is in any particular order, and I didn’t have much time to roam so I didn’t see lots of stuff.  I never got to the EDM arena, for example, which looked pretty awesome!  I also never got to D3 to see BlackTrax’ progress, I’ve been really looking forward to that.

What I’ve learned over the years at trade shows is that you have to measure your experience by what you did see and who you did hug; if you spend your time counting the things you didn’t get to see and the people you missed, your experience will be less rich.

Here’s the list of companies I was able to shoot a few photos of, not in order:

PRG, High End Systems/BARCOAesonEpsilonSGMChristieNewstarElation ProfessionalAmerican DJX-LaserDuratrussTMBPhilipsTheatrixxDTSGLPAyrtonVERLEXFroggy’s FogAbsen, CHAUVET Professional (obviously, haha), ETCCooluxMartin LightingBarbizonModTrussAOTOAirStar, Applied Technologies, AvolitesCity TheatricalClay PakyDazianICDRobert Juliat, and MA Lighting.


 PRG’s Booth at LDI 2014

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High End Systems/BARCO

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Aeson’s Booth

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Epsilon’s Booth

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SGM

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Christie’s Booth

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Newstar’s Booth

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Elation Professional’s Booth

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American DJ’s Booth

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X-Laser’s Booth

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Duratruss’ Booth

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TMB’s Booth

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Philips’ Booths

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Theatrixx’s Booth

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DTS’s Booth

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GLP’s Booth

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Ayrton’s Booth

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VER’s Booth

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LEX Products’ Booth

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Froggy’s Fog

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Absen’s Booth

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ETC’s Booth

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Coolux’s Booth

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Martin Lighting’s Booth

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Barbizon’s Booth

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ModTruss’ Booth

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AOTO’s Booth

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AirStar’s Booth

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Applied Technologies’ Booth

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Avolites/Group One’s Booth

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City Theatrical’s Booth

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Clay Paky’s Booth

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Dazian’s Booth

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Inner Circle Distribution’s Booth

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Robert Juliat’s Booth

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MA Lighting’s Booth

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LDI 2014 – some general shots

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Wanna check out the 2013 LDI Show photos?  Click here!

How about a 2012 LDI Walkthrough?  Click here!

Breaking the Surface – Kinetic Architectural Awesomesauce

ctrl+NScandinavian Design Group, Kontur, Abida, and Intek, and Lundin Norway all got together and made this amazing kinetic, interactive being called Breaking the Surface, or otherwise known as the booth design for Lundin Norway’s ONS 2014 conference presence.  Lundin Norway does oil and gas exploration, so of course they would have the tons of bread that goes into making something this amazing!  Wouldn’t it be amazing if we ALL had this kind of design budget?  Holy crap!

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Project Leader:
Scandinavian Design Group

Interior Architect:
ctrl+N

Architect:
Kontur

Robotic and Programming Engineer:

Abida

Installation and Fabrication Engineer:

Intek

Client:

Lundin Norway

Breaking the Surface – Lundin visit at Raufoss from SDG Oslo on Vimeo.

Breaking the Surface – filmed by Bjorn Gunnar Staal from Ctrl+N on Vimeo.

InfoComm 2014 – The JimOnLight Tour!

I just combed through photos from the last six months, and I found a ton of photos from InfoComm 2014 as I walked the floor.  Check these out, we had a lot of fun at that show!  Well, except for the heat exhaustion/upper GI thing during that trip, but I guess that’s just the way she goes, as Ray would say.

Check out the virtual JimOnLight InfoComm 2014 photo tour below!
Click on any individual photo below to get the full-size David Fox badass lightbox!

TSA Detained Chewbacca Because They Thought His Light Saber Cane was Dangerous

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As Peter Mayhew put it, the guy who made Chewbacca all that he is in its hairy presence, “Giant man need giant cane.. small cane snap like toothpick…. besides.. my light saber cane is just cool.. I would miss it.

Star Wars actor Peter Mayhew was detained at Denver International Airport on June 3 because TSA thought his light saber cane was dangerous.  So, his oversized acrylic light saber cane was dangerous.  You guys at the TSA do know that light sabers don’t quite exist yet, right?  You have several of my 8″ crescent wrenches, and definitely a handful of Gerber tools you’ve taken from me over the years.  I still will never understand why you tell me I can have a 7″ crescent wrench but not an 8″ crescent wrench every single time you take one from me.  If I had a 7″ crescent would you tell me I could only have a 6″ crescent?

From an article at CNET:

Mayhew’s explanation for this cane possession was very simple: “Giant man need giant cane.. small cane snap like toothpick…. besides.. my light saber cane is just cool.. I would miss it.”

Who could possibly argue with that? Well, the TSA folks wanted to.

However, quite extraordinarily, American Airlines intervened. Mayhew is an extremely frequent flyer and it seems that someone from the airline may have whispered to the TSA: “Do you really think a famous actor is going to hijack a plane with a lightsaber cane?”

Or words with that same ultimate meaning.

This was not before some of Mayhew’s Twitter followers made merry with this terrestrial nonsense.

One, Shane Moore, offered: “@TheWookieeRoars Chewie hijacks plane with light saber… takes passengers to Kashyyyk. Story tonight at 10!”

Mr. Mayhew, who goes by TheWookieeRoars on Twitter, took to Twitter to let the world know what was up.  Chewbacca was just flying home from the Denver Comi-con, and TSA decided to snag his cane because it “looked dangerous.”  After a little bit, some magic happened — TSA released a statement because Mayhew sent out a tweet to 20,000+ followers.  As you’ll notice in the picture above, it took three TSA agents to detain Mr. Mayhew, and I’m sure an entire communications department to decide what they should do that someone called them out on being ridiculous.  Oh, I love paying tax money for these people.  I have no job, and they have eleventy jobs.

Ah, bureaucracy.

Here’s a better shot of that awesome cane:

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A Grim Reminder of the Latest Deaths in Our Beloved Industry Before Summer Work Kicks Off

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HEY!  YOU! 

You there, with the rigging bag.

You there, with the crescent wrench and fearless attitude.

You there, sporting the “supervisor” face but looking at your cell phone when motors are moving.

You there, new guy and new girl, who are googly-eyed at the awesomeness but should be watching their own backs and paying attention to the work.

The summer season of outdoor music and theatre has started, and no matter if you’re doing corporate shows, theatre, music, or art production, this post needs to serve as a reminder.  Along with orgs like PLASA and the Event Safety Alliance, JimOnLight.com is doing everything they can to NOT have a summer like the last few we’ve had – and what I can do is provide a reminder of the hell that we as an industry have seen, not to mention the families of those killed in these accidents and disasters lately.  If I might reiterate, what we do is entertainment; it may pay the bills, but if you see something less than safe happening or took place in putting something together that you might not feel 100% about once it was finished, SPEAK UP NOW!

YOUR DUTY:  It is your duty to the safety of others and your own personal safety to keep your head in the game once you are onsite.  This includes WEATHER concerns, Safety concerns,

To address an email I got from a guy out there who prefers to remain anonymous out there, who asked me what would happen if a person got fired for refusing to do something unsafe.  My response was something along the lines of:

  1. You are probably working for a company that is a time bomb of fail waiting to happen — don’t be the fuse, and don’t feel bad about not wanting to die at work.
  2. Regardless of Fact #1, you should probably consult an attorney before you go thermonuclear.  Most attorneys do so for free.
  3. Call people like OSHA, PLASA, USITT, anyone you can think of if something shady is going on.  So you lose your job – don’t for a second think that the industry won’t be behind you for saving lives.
  4. You can file unemployment in a case like that – a company doing shady safety work will sooner than later be discovered, it would not be in their interest to fight your claim.  But, your mileage may vary, and frankly, some people have better luck than others in life at these things.
  5. Feel good that you aren’t in that situation anymore, and get right back out there and find another gig if you lose yours.  Do the right thing.  Having deaths on your conscience is good for no human, no matter how little of a part you played in the process.

That’s my opinion, anyway.  That’s what I’d do.  An industry that won’t take care of people who keep it safe is not an industry anyone should participate in, regardless of the possible profits.  Money is less valuable than lives.

Here’s a reminder of sacrifices have been made to further the standardization of safety in our business – please forgive me if I overlooked one close to you, all you have to do is email me and I will append this post.

APRIL 5, 2013: 
RIGGERS, TAKE HEED:  Houston Dean Williams slipped and fell to the stage floor while moving around a beam in San Antonio at the AT&T Center.

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MAY 6, 2013:
A man was killed when a PA stack fell on him
at a protest rally in Moscow.

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APRIL 17, 2013:
Boston Marathon Bombings claim the lives of three marathongoers, wounding several dozens.  Let’s not forget, this was at an entertainment function.

Boston Marathon Explosions TOPIX

March 15, 2013:
A video wall came apart and fell on stage hands
in Miami for Ultra Music Festival.  No one killed, fortunately, but several people were hurt.

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June 16, 2012:
1 dead, 3 wounded at a Radiohead concert in Toronto, Ontario
.

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December 15, 2011:
1 person was killed and 8 people injured when truss collapsed
in Trieste, Italy at a Jovanotti concert.

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August 19, 2011:
5 people killed and 70+ injured when a storm blew over a stage
at the Pukkelpop Festival in Belgium.

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Perhaps the worst of them all lately…  August 15, 2011:
At the Sugarland show at the Indiana State Fair, a storm blew over an outdoor stage loaded with audio and lighting truss, killing 7 people and injuring 58.

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May 13, 2010:
A young lighting tech in West Palm Beach fell to his death from a catwalk while working on a show.

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July 27, 2009:
A Pepsi Battle of the Bands in Guangzhou, China experiences a huge, sudden storm that tips over LED screens and injures several dozen.  Reports of people killed were removed from the web, so I think it’s fair that we can assume several people died in this accident.

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July 16, 2009:
At a Marseilles, France tour stop for Madonna’s Sticky and Sweet tour, a stage roof collapsed, killing 2 stage hands involved in the load-in.

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Let’s also never forget the Christina Aguilera and Justin Timberlake truss collapse in August 2003:

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Just don’t forget.  Also, don’t forget that you are responsible for yourself out there, and when you’re putting equipment together, keep in mind that your diligence will mean the difference between you and others going home on the bus and going home in the ambulance – or even worse, getting a ride home with the coroner.

Be safe out there, Road Warriors!

 

My Random Traveling Life Lately

I just sorted through eleven thousand photos from the last few months.  I’m finally getting time to plow through the enormous backlog of content I have to share with you!

I noticed that I had so many photos of traveling — nothing really terribly focused, but just so much traveling.

SO.  MUCH.  TRAVELING.

I was going to try and put some rhyme or reason to this collection, but I think you’ll enjoy it if you don’t travel — and you’ll commiserate if you travel like me or more.  Some people travel about ten times what I do…

and then there’s the road warriors…

Check out the whole gallery!  There are 112 photos from random locations…  see if you recognize them!

(Click on a photo icon and you’ll open the JimOnLight Photo Gallery!)

 

Come See Jim at PLASA Focus Stamford, November 11-12, 2012

Hey, are you in Stamford, Connecticut – or anywhere near?

Are you a fan of light and lighting?

Do you love going around to trade shows seeing what’s new and hip in the world of light?

Then hop the albatross and get to PLASA Focus Stamford!!!  It’s today and tomorrow, November 11-12, 2012.  I’ll be in the CAST Group booth for this show, come get a free hug while you can!  I’ll be in Booth 121 — or as soon as you come into the conference room, just look for the big CAST stand!

I’m also going to be giving my presentation called The Birth, The Childhood, and The Apparent Adolescence of Lighting Design Technology at 1:30pm Monday and 12:30pm Tuesday.  Come check it out, it’s free!  It’s also not a sales pitch, I really hate that at these shows.  PLASA Focus shows are all about the manufacturer and maker NOT hiding behind their huge Vegas-sized booths and have to actually answer questions and talk to people.  The room is tiny, and it is 10000% worth it.  Come check it out!

I also HIGHLY recommend checking out the following seminars, all available at PLASA Focus Stamford’s Seminar Schedule site:

MONDAY:

  • John Huntington’s What Is A Network, and Why Should I Care? — 1pm Monday
  •  Richard Pilbrow’s Architecture and the Art of TheatreDesign — 5pm Monday
     PS, he’s also signing his book then too — and that book is AWE-SOME.
  • Wendall Harrington’s Is Video Killing Theatre? 9am Monday
  • Don Holder’s Lighting Design:  The Past, Present, and Future — 10am Monday
  • Bill Sapsis‘ Heads Up!1pm Monday

TUESDAY:

  • TMB’s The Art of Wireless Control by Lumen Radio — 1030am Tuesday
  • The Tribe’s Visual Design for Live Performance — 11am Tuesday
  • Steve Shelley’s A Practical Guide to Starting A Career in Technical Theatre — 1pm Tuesday

This is going to be a great show!

Philips, Strand, and Vari*Lite at LDI 2012

Philips/Strand/Vari*Lite (so many names!) always has some serious presence over the last five or six trade shows I’ve done, from LDI to ProLight + Sound in Frankfurt. Their booth always looks wicked cool, and I’m always happy to post pictures of what my buddy Brad Schiller is coming up with nowadays. It’s amazing to see where the industry is heading, and it’s always formatted by the guys out there like Brad.

Check out some awesome shots from Philips at LDI 2012!

You can also check out all of the images via the Gallery Method!

Which Trade Shows Have You Done This Season?

I do a hell of a lot of trade shows, as you all know already because mostly I see a lot of you there, and I’m curious as to what the readers of JimOnLight.com do in your respective individual trade show seasons.  I’d love to know, so if’n you don’t mind, would you leave a comment on this post and let me know?  I’ll love you fo sho!

So far this year for me:

The Special Event 2012, Tampa
ProLight and Sound 2012, Frankfurt
the National Association of Broadcasters Show (NAB) 2012, Las Vegas
PLASA Focus 2012, Austin
PLASA Focus 2012, Nashville
PLASA 2012, London

Shows coming up for me:
LDI 2012, Las Vegas
EIBTM 2012, Barcelona
PLASA Focus 2012, Stamford

Howzabout you?  Leave a comment below!