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Things I’ve Learned in Lighting

Sometimes our lighting world feels like this — task lists and spreadsheets and travel schedules and light plots, oh my!

shit-shit-shit

I’ve been traveling a lot.  A lot, a lot.  I seem to never be able to keep up with my #1 dude Brad White (he’s an effing machine, folks, I learn a lot from him pretty much every day AND he’s not a douche), but I most definitely have been making the rounds more than I ever have in my life.  Right now, for example, my body is in three time zones, so sleeping is a joke.  It doesn’t matter anyway because I’m flying back to another time zone where I can wait for a whole day to get some sleep, have no time to go to the firing range (my hobby is shooting as a lot of you know), or even have a break from the go-go-go.  I’m not sure why, but I really like it that way.  This is perfectly OK, fully acceptable, and a major part of the business.  It’s a bit masochistic, methinks.  I live and die to help people have a good show, even if it’s be going to a job site and putting my hands on someone’s shoulder and telling them how killer that look they just wrote was.

An old friend asked me recently about living in light and how it differs from his life, this very energetic and powerful industry full of powerful people…  and I really didn’t know how to answer because I don’t really know any other way, this is the life I live.  So…  I suppose just writing down some of the things I’ve learned because of lighting and the lighting industry might be a useful post.  I’ll be the first to tell you that I have learned a lot of things by smashing my face into them until I could either no longer feel my face or a I figured out a different way to accomplish a task, but I think that if you’re about to get out of school, if you’re switching careers and trying to get into lighting somehow, or just looking for another path — allow me to impart some of the hard-knock wisdom I’ve learned in my life.

no-number-2 copy

Here’s an unordered list of things that I’ve been thinking about in hotel rooms and airplanes as I’ve been spreading the photon love across our beautiful Earth.

  • Be a good person.  No one wants you on their crew if you’re unable to smile and at least make other people feel like you want them around.  This is so important, especially if you’re an impressionable new tech/designer/manager/hand in our awesome industry.  If you follow this rule, I promise you will go far.
  • Always bring your tools.  Have you ever shown up to a call without a C-wrench or some other piece of gear that actually makes you useful?  I’ve yet to meet a woman or man who can tighten bolts of various sizes tight enough with their hands to make a difference, so don’t look like you came to work without your brain.  Also, it gets real old really quickly to have to provide someone with a wrench who is probably going to walk off the job with MY wrench, so bring your own shit.
  • Everyone is tired.  You’re not the exception.  That guy over there?  He’s probably been on the job just as long as you, and all your whining wants to make people do is staple gun your lips closed, and never call you again for a gig.  We’re all guilty of this, me included.  It’s really up to you to keep it to yourself as much as possible.  There’s certainly a time and place, but usually during the gig isn’t either of those.
  • You’re not as good as everybody doing what you do.  This is particularly true when it comes to recently graduated students, people who have huge egos, and people without talent.  There anywhere from 5 to 5,000 Stevie Ray Vaughans in Nashville right this moment, for example, who didn’t have the “right place at the right time” scenario like SRV did, and the same thing goes for lighting designers and programmers.  There’s one Peter Morse, there is one Patrick Dierson, there’s one Benny Kirkham, there’s one Sean Cagney.  Be humble, be real.  Be yourself and do your own stuff.
  • Your resume is for getting jobs, not talking about ON a job.  If you think the rule above didn’t apply to you, try this one.  No one cares how many shows you did when it comes to the professional industry — we’ve all done lots of shows.  You obviously wouldn’t be on a show if you were completely worthless (well, your mileage may vary) but the general idea is do your job and prove to me that you can by doing that job without me having to go back and do it again.
  • Relationships are sometimes hard.  I’m divorcing right now.  It happens.  Not all relationships last, and not all people are meant to be together.  It’s just life.  Get a helmet.  Don’t let it ruin your life, move on and find happiness.  It’s not the end of the world.  Here’s an idea:  make sure that your significant other knows exactly what you do, how long it takes for you to do it, and  if you travel, make sure that it’s not a surprise.  Do all of this before you set out on that first leg of the tour.
  • Don’t be deadly.  When you do things on the job site that endanger your fellow hands and staff…  you’re deadly.  We work in what’s typically classified as a hazardous environment.  It takes one moment to forget to do something, and that one thing could cause a chain reaction of failure that could and will eventually take the lives of those who are just working to support themselves and their families just like you.  Don’t be deadly.  This is just entertainment.  No matter how much a show costs, it’s never worth a funeral.  We play for a living.
  • Be expert at what you do before you give advice to others.  So often on a job site, people are quick to give advice to other seasoned professionals in order to look like an expert at their job and make whomever is doing that job right now look less qualified.  That makes you a douchebag.  Don’t be a douchebag.  You would be surprised how much nicer the workplace is when everyone isn’t pissed off.  Seriously!
  • The client is usually right.  Sorry folks, this is true.  Who do you think is paying the rent?  However…  you’re a seasoned professional.  If you think the client is wrong, it’s your responsibility to prove, beyond a shadow of a doubt, that you have a better idea to make their show even more awesome than they think they’ve made it.  But — can you do it without telling them that you’re right and they’re wrong?  THIS is what makes a REAL seasoned professional.  Just make sure that you’re doing what is best for the show.
  • There is a time and place to be wasted.  That time is never, ever during work hours or show call, and never, ever at the show site.  Some people may disagree with me here, but I’d rather we all disagree a little than me having to write another post about people dying at work.  Cokehead riggers, methed out carpet kickers, baked loaders, drunk focusers…  I feel like I’ve seen at least a little bit of all of it, and it still scares the crap out of me.  A whole lot of us like to party in this industry — let’s do it at the party or after the party we’re working.  I need my crew at their top performance, and so does everyone else.  You may think that you can work while you’re blasted.  You cannot.
  • Politics is always a bad discussion topic at work.  We all talk about it, we all get offended when someone tells us that we’re wrong, and you can barely ever make an inroad with someone who doesn’t want to connect your opinion with their political beliefs.  Hey, this is our future we’re talking about here!  At least in lighting, which is where I’ve lived my life, there is a major polarization of the two party system, and even a greater separation within each party.  Plus, we in lighting tend to be very passionate about the things we like and dislike, and the last thing you want to do is get into a political debate when people want you to string multi.  Save it for break, and even then, be human.11705114_10153192765669930_6129062547362133458_n
  • Find a hobby.  You need something to do outside of working.  I can’t stress this enough.  Find something other than light that you like doing, and do it when you want outside of working.  My hobby is shooting and firearms, and it’s something I enjoy that relieves the stress of life’s foibles.  In my particular case, my hobby and the time I’ve spent on it gives me a way to protect myself from some of the crazies out there in the world.  Speaking of…
  • Crazies are everywhere.  There is a staggering amount of completely unreasonable people in the world, from lighting to marketing to production, and everywhere in between.  There are people out there who will stalk you, drive by your house, try to hack your email, and they make it their life’s work to ruin yours.  Be smart; get an attorney.  Slander is Slander, Libel is Libel, and Stalking is Stalking, even digitally, and it’s all against the law.  Protect yourself, don’t let someone intimidate you because they’re miserable with who and what they’ve become.  If the law won’t help you, make sure you can shoot center mass if they breach your perimeter and decide they want to hurt you.  Some people don’t know when to quit, and make it their life’s mission to cause you pain and injury.
  • Take care of your body.  I’m trying to work on this the older I get, and the older I get, the more important it gets.  When you put garbage into your system, you get garbage out of your system.  This industry does not favor a lack of energy, and the more sluggish you are at work, the more sluggish you’re going to find your pay to be.  Plus, that 45-minute dump you had planned during the call is really screwing up my workflow.  Also, if you’re overweight, lose some of that weight and see how much better you feel.  I have another 30 pounds before I’m “satisfied” with what I am, and every five pounds feels like five more happy years on my life.
  • Get really good at networking.  Learn how to manipulate TCP/IP networks.  Get really good at it and become familiar with the equipment, methods, and structure of said networks.  Everything (almost) in lighting has become a network device, and everything (almost) is talking DMX wrapped in a header of some kind over an ethernet line.  Welcome to the future.  Also, please don’t rely on that 25 dollar hub or switch to be your network highway when you’ve spent several hundreds of thousands of dollars on control, fixtures, and other equipment.  Please don’t do that for your show’s sake!
  • Learn how to solder.  Just do it.  This should be as important as wiping your own ass in this industry.
  • Be nice to those who may appear to have the least impact on your life.  This is a pretty easy one, actually.  It’s evident when you go out with colleagues or other professionals…  watch how people treat wait staff, restaurant workers, janitors, drive through order takers, and anyone you run across in your day.  It absolutely drives me to fury when I’m with someone I respect and I see them shit on someone like that, I instantly lose some of my respect for them.  Be nice to people, you never know what kind of war they might be fighting today.  Besides, who the hell do you think you are?  We’re all humans.  Spread some kindness.

That’s enough for now.  I’ll update this as I go, but I think you all know what I mean.  If you have extra guidelines for lighting life, please post in the comments.  You’re always welcome here.

 

Ask Us (Almost) Anything

Swiggity swooty!  Welcome to the first JimOnLight Ask Us (Almost) Anything!  Well, almost anything, we’re mostly skilled in the secrets of working with light!  Join us Sunday, July 26, 2015 at 10am Eastern, 7am Pacific!

If you’re in the various industries of Light, from Research to Entertainment, we’re here to help YOU!  Is it early on a Sunday and are you probably hung over if you’re in North or South America?  Perhaps.  Is it always a good time to take advantage of the world’s premiere nerd blog on the industries of light?  You bet your lumens it is!

Drop in below, ask us a question, and if you click on the “Advanced Options” option and enter your name and email, you’ll be part of the conversation!  Of course if you wish to remain a nonny-moose, that’s cool too.

Things we definitely DO NOT know the answers to:

  • We’ve no idea how to make your genitals any different than they are now, larger or smaller
  • No idea how to save your marriage, at all
  • No clue what the next money making thing is, or we’d be in it

Anything else is a GO!  And remember:

stupid-questions


Can you make any money doing theater lighting anymore? career, theatre, work - 27. July 2015

Well…  what is it exactly that you want to do in Theatre?  Are you a designer?  Are you an electrician?

FYI:  THEATER is a building.  THEATRE is the genre of entertainment that takes place often inside a venue.

Frankly, unless you’re just that good and you can get into the top design spots at all of the regional theatres as a USA829 lighting designer being paid the USA829 lighting designer fees, you’ll do fine.  But you’re not that person, neither am I.  Right now, the state of “professional” theatre has been relegated to either working for a director who has an amazing reputation for working the Regional theatres, or you will struggle to try to design as many theatre shows as you can to make the kind of money you need to pay rent.  Mixed in with all that, you also need to be taking some programming gigs, working some Corporate or Concert gigs as a hand to get some additional income, and if you’re still not quite getting enough gigs, do what many of us do who are addicted to doing theatre on a non-Regional theatre level and have a job outside of it all.

Truth of the matter is this — Theatre is dying hard, and it’s because the people who make all the money pass next to none of it down the chain.  When the major promoters take on the major Theatre shows, guess who is going to collecting those profits?  Right.  NOT the crew, designers, and hands.


Besides being a designer, what’s a few of the cooler gigs to have on a tour as a lighting person? career, jobs, touring - 27. July 2015

Well, frankly, if you’re suited for the touring lifestyle, there are all kinds of awesome lighting crew gigs out there!  Here’s a few non-programmer-non-LD gigs out there on shows:

  • Dimmer tech:
    Obviously people are still using dimmers, but along that line of thought goes distro, data distribution, and being an important member of the crew
  • Moving light tech:
    They certainly do break now and then, and there must be someone out there to fix the shit that breaks!
  • Crew Electricians:
    Load the show in and out every show date, hang lights, run cable, and keep that show working!  Everyone usually gets assigned their own piece of the rig to assemble, so there’s always a challenge!
  • Media Server technicians:
    Obviously the Media Server techs work in Wardrobe, so there’s that.  I’m kidding.  You run, tech, and love the Media Servers!
  • Video crew:
    Working with any video on the show, you’re responsible for making sure there’s no gaps in the panels, and many other wonderful tasks

Get out there, make money, and work in a fast-paced environment.  Welcome to TOURING!


Are you ever going to bring back The Daily Lamp? That was one of your best articles, I loved it every day. from Alicia Voss daily lamp - 26. July 2015

Thank you. We’ll try. Stay tuned.


What is the best way to wire a cam lock to DMX adapter? stupid question - 26. July 2015

retards


Do you have advice for a person wanting to get out of this lighting crap? advice - 26. July 2015

What kind of advice do you need to get out?

Quit cold turkey. How hard is that? Other than you might not have a backup plan, money to hold you over, skills to get you to the next thing, etc.

I don’t think there are any support groups. Should we start one?

Hi. We’re Fox and Jim and we’re lighting addicts.


How hard is it (or worth it) to completely rebuild old Robe moving fixtures? Step motors mostly moving lights, repair - 26. July 2015

Unless you want to buy new and have the means to do so, it’s pretty easy to rebuild. Though, you generally don’t rebuild stepper motors. The usual problem with stepper motors, assuming that it’s actually the motor, is the windings. Sometimes it’s the driver for the motor though.

You should be able to pull the motor and find the specs on it to find a direct replacement. You probably won’t be able to get them through Robe directly, you’ll have to go through a local/regional supplier like PRG or 4Wall. There’s a chance you can find them from a general supplier like Mouser.

Hope that helps!


David Fox, what’s it like to work for Disney? Cirque du Soleil, Disney - 26. July 2015

Direct, aren’t we? Who asked this? Mickey, is that you?

Do you want my experience specifically or a generality of everyone I worked with?

Well, my experience was shorter lived than I expected. But it got me to where I am now with Cirque du Soleil.

For me, the days were long when I wasn’t running a track at a resident show. I wanted to and was lucky enough to be involved in most special events that occurred at Disney’s Hollywood Studios. I occasionally made it to Magic Kingdom and Disney’s Animal Kingdom for events too. The most known events were ESPN The Weekend, Super Soap Weekend, Star Wars Weekends, One Mighty Party, Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party, Grad Nights, and Night of Joy.

I learned tracks at Playhouse Disney Live on Stage, Indiana Jones Epic Stunt Spectacular, Who Wants to be a Millionaire, and Fantasmic. I generally was involved in lighting but sometimes made it to audio, show control, and pyrotechnics.

My greatest achievement was working with a team of 3 other technicians to learn, install, transfer, run, and teach the operations of a proprietary control system for Disney, known as DECS, and the Block Party Bash parade to Disney’s Hollywood Studios. It was a great 3 months in total, which included a stint at 32 days straight of a minimum of 16 hour days. It wasn’t about the money though. It was truly a great experience with 3 highly talented technicians.

Roughly 6 months later I separated from the company and moved to hot Las Vegas to work on KÀ. That brought the one thing I needed in my life at the time…a set schedule. I miss the amount of people I got to work with as well as the people. I don’t miss the uncertainty of what I was going to do the next day but I miss the things I got to do.

Want more? Send me an email with questions to fox[at]jimonlight[dot]com.


Who is top rock and roll lighter please? designers, lighting - 26. July 2015

Jim here!  Well, since English isn’t your first language, and I’m sure you don’t mean this

rock_and_roll_lighter

Pin that shit, https://www.pinterest.com/pin/329818372686705136/

…I’m guessing you’re talking about rock and roll lighting designers!  Well, here are some of the people that I consider this day and age’s highly skilled concert people, with respect to lighting and vision — this is not an all-inclusive list:

That’s just a handful.  There are dozens, if not two dozen dozens, of other top people who I did not mention, for brevity’s sake.


What would be your advise to someone who wants to work in the industry? Where should you start, university courses or a foot in the door job? career, jobs - 26. July 2015

Fox here.

Personally, I did both at the same time.

I went to college for technical theatre which afforded me the opportunity to get book smart and put my hands into everything I wanted to check out without real world consequence. During summer break and sometimes during winter break, I worked at a local theme park in the entertainment department. This gave me real world experience and validation of what I did in college.

In both cases, I built my network of businesses and individuals. Truly when you hear the term that entertainment is a small world, this is no lie. It’s like 6 degrees of separation but it tends to be much less. The network you build will follow you everywhere and is what validates you more than a resume.

I’m amazed at how many people I run into and/or work with that had their start at a theme park. Believe it or not, it’s not that bad of a place to start. We can’t all just fall into our dream gig.

While still in college, I was offered the opportunities of going on tour with a production company a few times, setting sail on a cruise ship twice, and working overhire for a local IATSE. I only accepted one of those. I wanted to stay in school. Should I have? I don’t know, but I’m happy with my path.

Jim answered another question or two here today that gives some more details on what to do. Check those out too.

 


Why can’t we pass dmx over Ethernet through an Ethernet switch DMX, Ethernet, protocols - 26. July 2015

I’m interpreting this question as: “Can I wire an adaptor for DMX to plug it into a switch?”

Basically without getting into specifics and technical mumbo-jumbo, no, it comes down to protocols. A switch is built to deal with certain protocols and DMX isn’t one of them. A switch might seem like a dumb device but it’s not. A hub is dumber than a switch but it’s still smart enough.

Another way to look at it is, would you create DMX two-fers? The answer is no. If you do do that, stop it, it’s wrong. You’d use an opto-isolator. Why? Because it’s meant to deal with the intricacies of DMX.

You can pass DMX over Ethernet if you put it into a protocol that speaks Ethernet like ACN.

I hope that’s not confusing.


Is there any sort if cue list file storage on the GrandMA2? I feel like I saw something like that on the hog 3 once. I just have so many faders with preprogrammed songs and would like to clean that up while keeping the songs. 26. July 2015

Alas, we are not that savvy on the GrandMA 2. But we know someone who really is!

If you aren’t aware of who Cat West is, you should be. Among other things, she’s responsible for the Console Trainer website. She’s got a ton of videos there for numerous consoles, including the MA 2. Check it out and look her up on Twitter and Facebook.


Is there a rule of thumb for how long a strobe cue can last before it becomes obnoxious? design tricks, strobes - 26. July 2015

Given the human propensity for intensity fatigue in the eye and general perception issues with brain communication between the eye, the brain, and strobe lights, I would say “just as long as it has to be” is a good answer!


On a 1k par64 how long does it take to cook bacon bacon, cooking - 26. July 2015

Well, we don’t know right this second but we will soon!  We’ll come back around and answer this question!


How do you keep up on technology? self help, technology - 26. July 2015

By reading.  Reading and reading and reading and literally keeping ourselves up on the technology.  And talking to people.  Lots and lots of talking to people.  Then we get to have hands on the technology sometimes, and we use those experiences to then know what to look for next time we read about the technology.  It’s a vicious cycle.


For the following roles, what skills do you think are important to list on a resume? Lighting designer, projection designer, production electrician, electrician? career, resumes, skills - 26. July 2015

I think for any of these skills, the most important things to have are experiential details in your knowledge of these skills..

Have you had gigs in these skills?  Any particular training?  Have you finished a degree which covers several or all of these skills?  Think of your resume as your crowning achievement document.  If you’ve never done one of these, you have no real world skill in it yet, even if you’re just out of college.  This means also that if you’ve never been an electrician on a show, you’re not qualified to be a master electrician.  Make sense?

Lighting Designers, Projection Designers, Production Electricians, all of us:

  • Should have credits in the field segment you want to work
  • Must be familiar with consoles and cueing, or consoles and making lights come up
  • Must have experience or training, or some skills practiced somewhere somehow

Here’s the hard part:  You have to be able to back up those skills.


Which moving lights should I buy for my band? band lighting, moving lights - 26. July 2015

This one depends on so many variables.

What’s your budget? Who’s going to take care of them? What kind of power is going to be at the venues you visit? That’s just a few.

Send an email with some more details to jim[at]jimonlight[dot]com and we’ll try and help you out!


What is your top ten list of things to remember for young people starting out? advice, starting out, tours - 26. July 2015

Hmm…  it’s more of a top eleventy billion list, but let’s start with ten…

  1. Learn as many control surfaces as you can.  The more you know, the better you can pick the right desk for you for each application.
  2. You don’t know enough yet when you’re starting out, so don’t pretend that you have any clue about anything.  It’s best to smile and learn and be a good helper right now.
  3. If you don’t like #2, or you think you can’t be a good helper while you’re learning, or you think that you are owed the top spot on the biggest show this week, you might want to start seeing what else you like to do outside of lighting, because there are way too many people older than you who have paid their dues way longer than you.
  4. There are people out there who have made it in this business and have little to no give-a-fuck left for the business.  Don’t let those people ruin it for you, they will get theirs.
  5. Never, ever, ever shit on a tour bus.
  6. Never, ever, ever leave anything behind in the venue that belongs to the show, because then it rides in your bunk with you to the next venue.
  7. It’s generally a bad idea to have sex with people you’re immediately on tour with, for your sanity, their sanity, and that sanity of everyone around you.  YMMV.
  8. Stay away from cocaine.  Someone close to me said this:  “Cocaine makes you a brand new person, but the problem then becomes that the brand new person wants some cocaine.”
  9. Don’t fucking lie to people, and definitely don’t go behind their backs slandering them.  Be a true good person and not a lying sack of shit in this industry.
  10. You’re never too good to sweep the floor or vacuum the carpet.  Ever.

I hope that’s a good starting out point!  Let us know if we can help you along!


What is ohms law current, electricity, ohm's law, resistance, voltage - 26. July 2015

Ohm’s Law is made from 3 mathematical equations that shows the relationship between electric voltage, current and resistance. Knowing any two of the values of a circuit, one can determine by calculation the third, using Ohm’s Law.

V is voltage measured in volts.
I is current measured in amperes.
R is resistance measured in ohms.

V = I x R (Voltage = Current multiplied by Resistance)

R = V / I (Resistance = Voltage divided by Current)

I = V / R (Current = Voltage Divided by Resistance)

The guys over at MAKE have a pretty good video to explain. Check it out.


If you could go back in time, what advice would you give to your 20-year-old self? advice, life - 26. July 2015

This is an easy one for me:

  • Always carry a smile at gigs, no matter what.  Nothing is so bad that you have to ruin your workday with it, and everyone else’s, too.
  • Take it easy on the drinking when you’re in your 20’s.  The crazy thing is that there will be just that much to drink tomorrow, why not save some of it, and some cash, until then?
  • Learn as much, as often, as you can, about everything.  It helps later in life.
  • Never get involved with people who aren’t happy with themselves, or people who tell lies about their situation.  If you get lied to in a situation like that and find out, get yourself permanently OUT of that situation, with no exceptions.
  • Always look behind you to see where we’ve come from, and remember to turn back around to look to the future.

More on this in an upcoming post, funny enough!


I’m 14 years old and have been doing lots of school theatre as a LD and Programmer/Op. I really want to do community theatre but the companies I’ve reached out to have turned me down. What would you sugges I do to get into Community Theatre? career, industry - 26. July 2015

Hi there!  That’s a great question.

First and foremost, what you want to do is to appear eager and ready to do anything.  Right now, in American society, if you’re not at least pretending to have interest in something, you’re going to get overlooked.  Now, you must actually want to actually do anything to be involved, because what you have to do when you work in our field is everything.  We all have come to terms with it; there is no job that is too small or too stupid, especially when you’re a 14-year old kid who will do anything.  We want to see that kind of enthusiasm.

If you can email me at jim [at] jimonlight dotcom and let me know where you are in the world (I don’t want your address, just give me a city) then I will update this AskMe with some places you can call to go and learn about getting into the business.  I highly recommend calling lighting rental companies and production houses in your area, a kid with enthusiasm will get further than someone who needs a paycheck right now and health insurance.  You’re going to learn a lot being 14 and in this business around people who work in this business, so just keep yourself ready to learn how to do anything!


why are chickens so goddamned delicious? 26. July 2015

You got me!  They sure are goddamned delicious though, aren’t they???

We think it’s also part of the marketing of chicken that helps a lot.  Also, Raisin’ Canes chicken fingers?  Oh, I would kiss your mama for those!


How many is a googleplex? math, numbers - 26. July 2015

How many what is a who did how many?  Thanks!

Well, THE Googleplex is the Google Mountain View, CA headquarters thing.  It’s here:
https://www.google.com/maps/place/Googleplex/@37.4219999,-122.0840575,15z/data=!4m2!3m1!1s0x0:0x6c296c66619367e0

A Googol is 10 to the 100th power (1 followed by 100 zeros).  A googol is larger than the number of all of the elementary particles in the universe, only 10 to the 80th power.

That word was invented by the 9-year nephew of mathematician Edward Kasner, who had asked his nephew Milton Sirotta what he thought that crazy large number should be called.  Milton thought that shit was so silly, he apparently replied after a short thought, saying it could only be called something as silly as a “googol.”

I hope that helps!


Things I’ve Learned in Lighting

Sometimes our lighting world feels like this — task lists and spreadsheets and travel schedules and light plots, oh my!

shit-shit-shit

I’ve been traveling a lot.  A lot, a lot.  I seem to never be able to keep up with my #1 dude Brad White (he’s an effing machine, folks, I learn a lot from him pretty much every day AND he’s not a douche), but I most definitely have been making the rounds more than I ever have in my life.  Right now, for example, my body is in three time zones, so sleeping is a joke.  It doesn’t matter anyway because I’m flying back to another time zone where I can wait for a whole day to get some sleep, have no time to go to the firing range (my hobby is shooting as a lot of you know), or even have a break from the go-go-go.  I’m not sure why, but I really like it that way.  This is perfectly OK, fully acceptable, and a major part of the business.  It’s a bit masochistic, methinks.  I live and die to help people have a good show, even if it’s be going to a job site and putting my hands on someone’s shoulder and telling them how killer that look they just wrote was.

An old friend asked me recently about living in light and how it differs from his life, this very energetic and powerful industry full of powerful people…  and I really didn’t know how to answer because I don’t really know any other way, this is the life I live.  So…  I suppose just writing down some of the things I’ve learned because of lighting and the lighting industry might be a useful post.  I’ll be the first to tell you that I have learned a lot of things by smashing my face into them until I could either no longer feel my face or a I figured out a different way to accomplish a task, but I think that if you’re about to get out of school, if you’re switching careers and trying to get into lighting somehow, or just looking for another path — allow me to impart some of the hard-knock wisdom I’ve learned in my life.

no-number-2 copy

Here’s an unordered list of things that I’ve been thinking about in hotel rooms and airplanes as I’ve been spreading the photon love across our beautiful Earth.

  • Be a good person.  No one wants you on their crew if you’re unable to smile and at least make other people feel like you want them around.  This is so important, especially if you’re an impressionable new tech/designer/manager/hand in our awesome industry.  If you follow this rule, I promise you will go far.
  • Always bring your tools.  Have you ever shown up to a call without a C-wrench or some other piece of gear that actually makes you useful?  I’ve yet to meet a woman or man who can tighten bolts of various sizes tight enough with their hands to make a difference, so don’t look like you came to work without your brain.  Also, it gets real old really quickly to have to provide someone with a wrench who is probably going to walk off the job with MY wrench, so bring your own shit.
  • Everyone is tired.  You’re not the exception.  That guy over there?  He’s probably been on the job just as long as you, and all your whining wants to make people do is staple gun your lips closed, and never call you again for a gig.  We’re all guilty of this, me included.  It’s really up to you to keep it to yourself as much as possible.  There’s certainly a time and place, but usually during the gig isn’t either of those.
  • You’re not as good as everybody doing what you do.  This is particularly true when it comes to recently graduated students, people who have huge egos, and people without talent.  There anywhere from 5 to 5,000 Stevie Ray Vaughans in Nashville right this moment, for example, who didn’t have the “right place at the right time” scenario like SRV did, and the same thing goes for lighting designers and programmers.  There’s one Peter Morse, there is one Patrick Dierson, there’s one Benny Kirkham, there’s one Sean Cagney.  Be humble, be real.  Be yourself and do your own stuff.
  • Your resume is for getting jobs, not talking about ON a job.  If you think the rule above didn’t apply to you, try this one.  No one cares how many shows you did when it comes to the professional industry — we’ve all done lots of shows.  You obviously wouldn’t be on a show if you were completely worthless (well, your mileage may vary) but the general idea is do your job and prove to me that you can by doing that job without me having to go back and do it again.
  • Relationships are sometimes hard.  I’m divorcing right now.  It happens.  Not all relationships last, and not all people are meant to be together.  It’s just life.  Get a helmet.  Don’t let it ruin your life, move on and find happiness.  It’s not the end of the world.  Here’s an idea:  make sure that your significant other knows exactly what you do, how long it takes for you to do it, and  if you travel, make sure that it’s not a surprise.  Do all of this before you set out on that first leg of the tour.
  • Don’t be deadly.  When you do things on the job site that endanger your fellow hands and staff…  you’re deadly.  We work in what’s typically classified as a hazardous environment.  It takes one moment to forget to do something, and that one thing could cause a chain reaction of failure that could and will eventually take the lives of those who are just working to support themselves and their families just like you.  Don’t be deadly.  This is just entertainment.  No matter how much a show costs, it’s never worth a funeral.  We play for a living.
  • Be expert at what you do before you give advice to others.  So often on a job site, people are quick to give advice to other seasoned professionals in order to look like an expert at their job and make whomever is doing that job right now look less qualified.  That makes you a douchebag.  Don’t be a douchebag.  You would be surprised how much nicer the workplace is when everyone isn’t pissed off.  Seriously!
  • The client is usually right.  Sorry folks, this is true.  Who do you think is paying the rent?  However…  you’re a seasoned professional.  If you think the client is wrong, it’s your responsibility to prove, beyond a shadow of a doubt, that you have a better idea to make their show even more awesome than they think they’ve made it.  But — can you do it without telling them that you’re right and they’re wrong?  THIS is what makes a REAL seasoned professional.  Just make sure that you’re doing what is best for the show.
  • There is a time and place to be wasted.  That time is never, ever during work hours or show call, and never, ever at the show site.  Some people may disagree with me here, but I’d rather we all disagree a little than me having to write another post about people dying at work.  Cokehead riggers, methed out carpet kickers, baked loaders, drunk focusers…  I feel like I’ve seen at least a little bit of all of it, and it still scares the crap out of me.  A whole lot of us like to party in this industry — let’s do it at the party or after the party we’re working.  I need my crew at their top performance, and so does everyone else.  You may think that you can work while you’re blasted.  You cannot.
  • Politics is always a bad discussion topic at work.  We all talk about it, we all get offended when someone tells us that we’re wrong, and you can barely ever make an inroad with someone who doesn’t want to connect your opinion with their political beliefs.  Hey, this is our future we’re talking about here!  At least in lighting, which is where I’ve lived my life, there is a major polarization of the two party system, and even a greater separation within each party.  Plus, we in lighting tend to be very passionate about the things we like and dislike, and the last thing you want to do is get into a political debate when people want you to string multi.  Save it for break, and even then, be human.11705114_10153192765669930_6129062547362133458_n
  • Find a hobby.  You need something to do outside of working.  I can’t stress this enough.  Find something other than light that you like doing, and do it when you want outside of working.  My hobby is shooting and firearms, and it’s something I enjoy that relieves the stress of life’s foibles.  In my particular case, my hobby and the time I’ve spent on it gives me a way to protect myself from some of the crazies out there in the world.  Speaking of…
  • Crazies are everywhere.  There is a staggering amount of completely unreasonable people in the world, from lighting to marketing to production, and everywhere in between.  There are people out there who will stalk you, drive by your house, try to hack your email, and they make it their life’s work to ruin yours.  Be smart; get an attorney.  Slander is Slander, Libel is Libel, and Stalking is Stalking, even digitally, and it’s all against the law.  Protect yourself, don’t let someone intimidate you because they’re miserable with who and what they’ve become.  If the law won’t help you, make sure you can shoot center mass if they breach your perimeter and decide they want to hurt you.  Some people don’t know when to quit, and make it their life’s mission to cause you pain and injury.
  • Take care of your body.  I’m trying to work on this the older I get, and the older I get, the more important it gets.  When you put garbage into your system, you get garbage out of your system.  This industry does not favor a lack of energy, and the more sluggish you are at work, the more sluggish you’re going to find your pay to be.  Plus, that 45-minute dump you had planned during the call is really screwing up my workflow.  Also, if you’re overweight, lose some of that weight and see how much better you feel.  I have another 30 pounds before I’m “satisfied” with what I am, and every five pounds feels like five more happy years on my life.
  • Get really good at networking.  Learn how to manipulate TCP/IP networks.  Get really good at it and become familiar with the equipment, methods, and structure of said networks.  Everything (almost) in lighting has become a network device, and everything (almost) is talking DMX wrapped in a header of some kind over an ethernet line.  Welcome to the future.  Also, please don’t rely on that 25 dollar hub or switch to be your network highway when you’ve spent several hundreds of thousands of dollars on control, fixtures, and other equipment.  Please don’t do that for your show’s sake!
  • Learn how to solder.  Just do it.  This should be as important as wiping your own ass in this industry.
  • Be nice to those who may appear to have the least impact on your life.  This is a pretty easy one, actually.  It’s evident when you go out with colleagues or other professionals…  watch how people treat wait staff, restaurant workers, janitors, drive through order takers, and anyone you run across in your day.  It absolutely drives me to fury when I’m with someone I respect and I see them shit on someone like that, I instantly lose some of my respect for them.  Be nice to people, you never know what kind of war they might be fighting today.  Besides, who the hell do you think you are?  We’re all humans.  Spread some kindness.

That’s enough for now.  I’ll update this as I go, but I think you all know what I mean.  If you have extra guidelines for lighting life, please post in the comments.  You’re always welcome here.

 

Ask Us (Almost) Anything

Swiggity swooty!  Welcome to the first JimOnLight Ask Us (Almost) Anything!  Well, almost anything, we’re mostly skilled in the secrets of working with light!  Join us Sunday, July 26, 2015 at 10am Eastern, 7am Pacific!

If you’re in the various industries of Light, from Research to Entertainment, we’re here to help YOU!  Is it early on a Sunday and are you probably hung over if you’re in North or South America?  Perhaps.  Is it always a good time to take advantage of the world’s premiere nerd blog on the industries of light?  You bet your lumens it is!

Drop in below, ask us a question, and if you click on the “Advanced Options” option and enter your name and email, you’ll be part of the conversation!  Of course if you wish to remain a nonny-moose, that’s cool too.

Things we definitely DO NOT know the answers to:

  • We’ve no idea how to make your genitals any different than they are now, larger or smaller
  • No idea how to save your marriage, at all
  • No clue what the next money making thing is, or we’d be in it

Anything else is a GO!  And remember:

stupid-questions


Can you make any money doing theater lighting anymore? career, theatre, work - 27. July 2015

Well…  what is it exactly that you want to do in Theatre?  Are you a designer?  Are you an electrician?

FYI:  THEATER is a building.  THEATRE is the genre of entertainment that takes place often inside a venue.

Frankly, unless you’re just that good and you can get into the top design spots at all of the regional theatres as a USA829 lighting designer being paid the USA829 lighting designer fees, you’ll do fine.  But you’re not that person, neither am I.  Right now, the state of “professional” theatre has been relegated to either working for a director who has an amazing reputation for working the Regional theatres, or you will struggle to try to design as many theatre shows as you can to make the kind of money you need to pay rent.  Mixed in with all that, you also need to be taking some programming gigs, working some Corporate or Concert gigs as a hand to get some additional income, and if you’re still not quite getting enough gigs, do what many of us do who are addicted to doing theatre on a non-Regional theatre level and have a job outside of it all.

Truth of the matter is this — Theatre is dying hard, and it’s because the people who make all the money pass next to none of it down the chain.  When the major promoters take on the major Theatre shows, guess who is going to collecting those profits?  Right.  NOT the crew, designers, and hands.


Besides being a designer, what’s a few of the cooler gigs to have on a tour as a lighting person? career, jobs, touring - 27. July 2015

Well, frankly, if you’re suited for the touring lifestyle, there are all kinds of awesome lighting crew gigs out there!  Here’s a few non-programmer-non-LD gigs out there on shows:

  • Dimmer tech:
    Obviously people are still using dimmers, but along that line of thought goes distro, data distribution, and being an important member of the crew
  • Moving light tech:
    They certainly do break now and then, and there must be someone out there to fix the shit that breaks!
  • Crew Electricians:
    Load the show in and out every show date, hang lights, run cable, and keep that show working!  Everyone usually gets assigned their own piece of the rig to assemble, so there’s always a challenge!
  • Media Server technicians:
    Obviously the Media Server techs work in Wardrobe, so there’s that.  I’m kidding.  You run, tech, and love the Media Servers!
  • Video crew:
    Working with any video on the show, you’re responsible for making sure there’s no gaps in the panels, and many other wonderful tasks

Get out there, make money, and work in a fast-paced environment.  Welcome to TOURING!


Are you ever going to bring back The Daily Lamp? That was one of your best articles, I loved it every day. from Alicia Voss daily lamp - 26. July 2015

Thank you. We’ll try. Stay tuned.


What is the best way to wire a cam lock to DMX adapter? stupid question - 26. July 2015

retards


Do you have advice for a person wanting to get out of this lighting crap? advice - 26. July 2015

What kind of advice do you need to get out?

Quit cold turkey. How hard is that? Other than you might not have a backup plan, money to hold you over, skills to get you to the next thing, etc.

I don’t think there are any support groups. Should we start one?

Hi. We’re Fox and Jim and we’re lighting addicts.


How hard is it (or worth it) to completely rebuild old Robe moving fixtures? Step motors mostly moving lights, repair - 26. July 2015

Unless you want to buy new and have the means to do so, it’s pretty easy to rebuild. Though, you generally don’t rebuild stepper motors. The usual problem with stepper motors, assuming that it’s actually the motor, is the windings. Sometimes it’s the driver for the motor though.

You should be able to pull the motor and find the specs on it to find a direct replacement. You probably won’t be able to get them through Robe directly, you’ll have to go through a local/regional supplier like PRG or 4Wall. There’s a chance you can find them from a general supplier like Mouser.

Hope that helps!


David Fox, what’s it like to work for Disney? Cirque du Soleil, Disney - 26. July 2015

Direct, aren’t we? Who asked this? Mickey, is that you?

Do you want my experience specifically or a generality of everyone I worked with?

Well, my experience was shorter lived than I expected. But it got me to where I am now with Cirque du Soleil.

For me, the days were long when I wasn’t running a track at a resident show. I wanted to and was lucky enough to be involved in most special events that occurred at Disney’s Hollywood Studios. I occasionally made it to Magic Kingdom and Disney’s Animal Kingdom for events too. The most known events were ESPN The Weekend, Super Soap Weekend, Star Wars Weekends, One Mighty Party, Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party, Grad Nights, and Night of Joy.

I learned tracks at Playhouse Disney Live on Stage, Indiana Jones Epic Stunt Spectacular, Who Wants to be a Millionaire, and Fantasmic. I generally was involved in lighting but sometimes made it to audio, show control, and pyrotechnics.

My greatest achievement was working with a team of 3 other technicians to learn, install, transfer, run, and teach the operations of a proprietary control system for Disney, known as DECS, and the Block Party Bash parade to Disney’s Hollywood Studios. It was a great 3 months in total, which included a stint at 32 days straight of a minimum of 16 hour days. It wasn’t about the money though. It was truly a great experience with 3 highly talented technicians.

Roughly 6 months later I separated from the company and moved to hot Las Vegas to work on KÀ. That brought the one thing I needed in my life at the time…a set schedule. I miss the amount of people I got to work with as well as the people. I don’t miss the uncertainty of what I was going to do the next day but I miss the things I got to do.

Want more? Send me an email with questions to fox[at]jimonlight[dot]com.


Who is top rock and roll lighter please? designers, lighting - 26. July 2015

Jim here!  Well, since English isn’t your first language, and I’m sure you don’t mean this

rock_and_roll_lighter

Pin that shit, https://www.pinterest.com/pin/329818372686705136/

…I’m guessing you’re talking about rock and roll lighting designers!  Well, here are some of the people that I consider this day and age’s highly skilled concert people, with respect to lighting and vision — this is not an all-inclusive list:

That’s just a handful.  There are dozens, if not two dozen dozens, of other top people who I did not mention, for brevity’s sake.


What would be your advise to someone who wants to work in the industry? Where should you start, university courses or a foot in the door job? career, jobs - 26. July 2015

Fox here.

Personally, I did both at the same time.

I went to college for technical theatre which afforded me the opportunity to get book smart and put my hands into everything I wanted to check out without real world consequence. During summer break and sometimes during winter break, I worked at a local theme park in the entertainment department. This gave me real world experience and validation of what I did in college.

In both cases, I built my network of businesses and individuals. Truly when you hear the term that entertainment is a small world, this is no lie. It’s like 6 degrees of separation but it tends to be much less. The network you build will follow you everywhere and is what validates you more than a resume.

I’m amazed at how many people I run into and/or work with that had their start at a theme park. Believe it or not, it’s not that bad of a place to start. We can’t all just fall into our dream gig.

While still in college, I was offered the opportunities of going on tour with a production company a few times, setting sail on a cruise ship twice, and working overhire for a local IATSE. I only accepted one of those. I wanted to stay in school. Should I have? I don’t know, but I’m happy with my path.

Jim answered another question or two here today that gives some more details on what to do. Check those out too.

 


Why can’t we pass dmx over Ethernet through an Ethernet switch DMX, Ethernet, protocols - 26. July 2015

I’m interpreting this question as: “Can I wire an adaptor for DMX to plug it into a switch?”

Basically without getting into specifics and technical mumbo-jumbo, no, it comes down to protocols. A switch is built to deal with certain protocols and DMX isn’t one of them. A switch might seem like a dumb device but it’s not. A hub is dumber than a switch but it’s still smart enough.

Another way to look at it is, would you create DMX two-fers? The answer is no. If you do do that, stop it, it’s wrong. You’d use an opto-isolator. Why? Because it’s meant to deal with the intricacies of DMX.

You can pass DMX over Ethernet if you put it into a protocol that speaks Ethernet like ACN.

I hope that’s not confusing.


Is there any sort if cue list file storage on the GrandMA2? I feel like I saw something like that on the hog 3 once. I just have so many faders with preprogrammed songs and would like to clean that up while keeping the songs. 26. July 2015

Alas, we are not that savvy on the GrandMA 2. But we know someone who really is!

If you aren’t aware of who Cat West is, you should be. Among other things, she’s responsible for the Console Trainer website. She’s got a ton of videos there for numerous consoles, including the MA 2. Check it out and look her up on Twitter and Facebook.


Is there a rule of thumb for how long a strobe cue can last before it becomes obnoxious? design tricks, strobes - 26. July 2015

Given the human propensity for intensity fatigue in the eye and general perception issues with brain communication between the eye, the brain, and strobe lights, I would say “just as long as it has to be” is a good answer!


On a 1k par64 how long does it take to cook bacon bacon, cooking - 26. July 2015

Well, we don’t know right this second but we will soon!  We’ll come back around and answer this question!


How do you keep up on technology? self help, technology - 26. July 2015

By reading.  Reading and reading and reading and literally keeping ourselves up on the technology.  And talking to people.  Lots and lots of talking to people.  Then we get to have hands on the technology sometimes, and we use those experiences to then know what to look for next time we read about the technology.  It’s a vicious cycle.


For the following roles, what skills do you think are important to list on a resume? Lighting designer, projection designer, production electrician, electrician? career, resumes, skills - 26. July 2015

I think for any of these skills, the most important things to have are experiential details in your knowledge of these skills..

Have you had gigs in these skills?  Any particular training?  Have you finished a degree which covers several or all of these skills?  Think of your resume as your crowning achievement document.  If you’ve never done one of these, you have no real world skill in it yet, even if you’re just out of college.  This means also that if you’ve never been an electrician on a show, you’re not qualified to be a master electrician.  Make sense?

Lighting Designers, Projection Designers, Production Electricians, all of us:

  • Should have credits in the field segment you want to work
  • Must be familiar with consoles and cueing, or consoles and making lights come up
  • Must have experience or training, or some skills practiced somewhere somehow

Here’s the hard part:  You have to be able to back up those skills.


Which moving lights should I buy for my band? band lighting, moving lights - 26. July 2015

This one depends on so many variables.

What’s your budget? Who’s going to take care of them? What kind of power is going to be at the venues you visit? That’s just a few.

Send an email with some more details to jim[at]jimonlight[dot]com and we’ll try and help you out!


What is your top ten list of things to remember for young people starting out? advice, starting out, tours - 26. July 2015

Hmm…  it’s more of a top eleventy billion list, but let’s start with ten…

  1. Learn as many control surfaces as you can.  The more you know, the better you can pick the right desk for you for each application.
  2. You don’t know enough yet when you’re starting out, so don’t pretend that you have any clue about anything.  It’s best to smile and learn and be a good helper right now.
  3. If you don’t like #2, or you think you can’t be a good helper while you’re learning, or you think that you are owed the top spot on the biggest show this week, you might want to start seeing what else you like to do outside of lighting, because there are way too many people older than you who have paid their dues way longer than you.
  4. There are people out there who have made it in this business and have little to no give-a-fuck left for the business.  Don’t let those people ruin it for you, they will get theirs.
  5. Never, ever, ever shit on a tour bus.
  6. Never, ever, ever leave anything behind in the venue that belongs to the show, because then it rides in your bunk with you to the next venue.
  7. It’s generally a bad idea to have sex with people you’re immediately on tour with, for your sanity, their sanity, and that sanity of everyone around you.  YMMV.
  8. Stay away from cocaine.  Someone close to me said this:  “Cocaine makes you a brand new person, but the problem then becomes that the brand new person wants some cocaine.”
  9. Don’t fucking lie to people, and definitely don’t go behind their backs slandering them.  Be a true good person and not a lying sack of shit in this industry.
  10. You’re never too good to sweep the floor or vacuum the carpet.  Ever.

I hope that’s a good starting out point!  Let us know if we can help you along!


What is ohms law current, electricity, ohm's law, resistance, voltage - 26. July 2015

Ohm’s Law is made from 3 mathematical equations that shows the relationship between electric voltage, current and resistance. Knowing any two of the values of a circuit, one can determine by calculation the third, using Ohm’s Law.

V is voltage measured in volts.
I is current measured in amperes.
R is resistance measured in ohms.

V = I x R (Voltage = Current multiplied by Resistance)

R = V / I (Resistance = Voltage divided by Current)

I = V / R (Current = Voltage Divided by Resistance)

The guys over at MAKE have a pretty good video to explain. Check it out.


If you could go back in time, what advice would you give to your 20-year-old self? advice, life - 26. July 2015

This is an easy one for me:

  • Always carry a smile at gigs, no matter what.  Nothing is so bad that you have to ruin your workday with it, and everyone else’s, too.
  • Take it easy on the drinking when you’re in your 20’s.  The crazy thing is that there will be just that much to drink tomorrow, why not save some of it, and some cash, until then?
  • Learn as much, as often, as you can, about everything.  It helps later in life.
  • Never get involved with people who aren’t happy with themselves, or people who tell lies about their situation.  If you get lied to in a situation like that and find out, get yourself permanently OUT of that situation, with no exceptions.
  • Always look behind you to see where we’ve come from, and remember to turn back around to look to the future.

More on this in an upcoming post, funny enough!


I’m 14 years old and have been doing lots of school theatre as a LD and Programmer/Op. I really want to do community theatre but the companies I’ve reached out to have turned me down. What would you sugges I do to get into Community Theatre? career, industry - 26. July 2015

Hi there!  That’s a great question.

First and foremost, what you want to do is to appear eager and ready to do anything.  Right now, in American society, if you’re not at least pretending to have interest in something, you’re going to get overlooked.  Now, you must actually want to actually do anything to be involved, because what you have to do when you work in our field is everything.  We all have come to terms with it; there is no job that is too small or too stupid, especially when you’re a 14-year old kid who will do anything.  We want to see that kind of enthusiasm.

If you can email me at jim [at] jimonlight dotcom and let me know where you are in the world (I don’t want your address, just give me a city) then I will update this AskMe with some places you can call to go and learn about getting into the business.  I highly recommend calling lighting rental companies and production houses in your area, a kid with enthusiasm will get further than someone who needs a paycheck right now and health insurance.  You’re going to learn a lot being 14 and in this business around people who work in this business, so just keep yourself ready to learn how to do anything!


why are chickens so goddamned delicious? 26. July 2015

You got me!  They sure are goddamned delicious though, aren’t they???

We think it’s also part of the marketing of chicken that helps a lot.  Also, Raisin’ Canes chicken fingers?  Oh, I would kiss your mama for those!


How many is a googleplex? math, numbers - 26. July 2015

How many what is a who did how many?  Thanks!

Well, THE Googleplex is the Google Mountain View, CA headquarters thing.  It’s here:
https://www.google.com/maps/place/Googleplex/@37.4219999,-122.0840575,15z/data=!4m2!3m1!1s0x0:0x6c296c66619367e0

A Googol is 10 to the 100th power (1 followed by 100 zeros).  A googol is larger than the number of all of the elementary particles in the universe, only 10 to the 80th power.

That word was invented by the 9-year nephew of mathematician Edward Kasner, who had asked his nephew Milton Sirotta what he thought that crazy large number should be called.  Milton thought that shit was so silly, he apparently replied after a short thought, saying it could only be called something as silly as a “googol.”

I hope that helps!


CHAUVET Professional is Looking for a Customer Engagement and Education Manager

My design for CHAUVET Professional's 2013 LDI booth!

My design for CHAUVET Professional’s 2013 LDI booth!

It’s my pleasure to post my job at CHAUVET Professional on JimOnLight.com because it’s a great company and the JimOnLight audience is comprised of lighting professionals who will benefit from the info… and my sadness all at the same time because I’m leaving one great family.  To those of you who don’t know yet, I’m leaving CHAUVET Professional to take an excellent opportunity with Avolites and Group One.  If you’re in the market for a great job with great people who are in love with light, you need to give this gig a look-see!

CHAUVET Professional is looking for a Customer Engagement and Education Manager to take my place.  Do you think you have what it takes to engage Pro customers across the world on Social Media, in person, and at shows?  Then you need to visit the CHAUVET Careers website to apply for this excellent position!

chauvet-pro-brands

Job title:
Customer Engagement & Education Manager Job location: Sunrise, FL 33351

Classification:
Fulltime, Exempt

Reports to:
Marketing Manager

The primary objective of this position is to support the CHAUVET® Professional, ILUMINARC® and TRUSST marketing managers in their efforts to build awareness for designated brands, products and technologies in order to influence purchasing decisions and drive sales. The Customer Engagement and Education manager acts as a brand ambassador and product champion by managing areas of content generation, tradeshows and events, end user engagement and training across all media platforms, and represents Chauvet in interaction with end users.

Job Requirements:
Include the following essential duties and responsibilities. Other duties may be assigned.

Constantly explore, recommend, use and optimize communication methods, vehicles and technologies to engage with various audiences, as part of a successful inbound marketing program. Communicate the company’s core message effectively, internally and externally.

Develop, launch, lead and monitor educational outreach programs and other internal and external training programs as directed.

Devise, arrange, present or help coordinate public appearances, lectures, seminars, contests, sponsorships, events or exhibits, including trade shows, to increase product sales and brand awareness and to promote goodwill.

Devise initiatives to engage customers. Gather, analyze and report customer insights and feedback.

Build and maintain relations with key influencers in designated market segments. These include top LJs, DJs, LDs, event producers and any other high profile influencers in designated market segment (s). Assist marketing managers in obtaining and negotiating product endorsements, product placements, testimonials and appearances by industry pundits, designers, high profile DJs, LDs and other influencers in designated market segments.

Lead all areas of content generation and production across all media platforms. Provide consistent and relevant content for company’s social media interaction. Optimize posts accordingly. Respond to end users on social media platforms, offering assistance and support as needed. Consult with product development to get accurate answers to technical questions. Maintain daily procedures outlined by manager that improve SEO and engagement.

Write and edit press releases, newsletters, speeches, sponsorships, case stories, community relations pieces and other relevant print, video and electronic materials for internal and external publication.

Ensure and document a steady coverage of brands in relevant media outlets. Build, maintain and regularly update a database of media and industry contacts.

Respond to requests for information from the media or designate another appropriate spokesperson or information source in a timely and knowledgeable manner.

Coach or assist brand representatives and Chauvet staff in communicating the company’s core message effectively, internally and externally. Proofread internal communications, sales and marketing communications as needed.

Promote and communicate the company’s core messages, history, technologies and corporate culture using a variety of media platforms.

Provide weekly and monthly project status updates. Maintain records of media coverage and PR initiatives.

Post articles with accompanying photographs, links and videos on company websites. Optimize posts accordingly. Provide weekly and monthly project status updates.

Assist with, staff, produce and conceptualize the production of short video segments as they relate to installations of products or demonstrations of products as assigned. Identify, film, report on and publicize applications.

Assist in the planning and creation of collateral, presentations, brochures, product sheets, fact sheets, case studies, white papers, web content, newsletters, signage, ads and sales tools with input from the marketing manager.

Consistently adhere to guidelines for all marketing materials and activities, product marketing, product management, executives, sales, and customers.

Gather and distribute leads from marketing generated programs. Overnight travel required.

Physical Demands:

While performing the duties of this job, the employee is regularly required to use hands to finger, handle, or feel; reach with hands and arms; and talk or hear. The employee frequently is required to stand; walk; and stoop, kneel, crouch or crawl. The employee is occasionally required to sit and climb or balance. The employee must regularly lift or move up to ten pounds. Specific vision abilities required by this job include close vision, distance vision, color vision, peripheral vision, depth perception, and ability to adjust focus. Travel is required for this position via air or land transportation.

Working Conditions:

Work is performed primarily in a standard office environment, but may involve exposure to moderate noise levels from printers and other peripherals.


Editor’s note:
If you fit the description that CHAUVET Professional is looking for to engage the excellent Pro lighting and touring audience, you need to quickly and without hesitation apply for this gig.  CHAUVET Professional is on the forefront of lighting entertainment — just watch television for five minutes and you’ll see CHAUVET Pro products.  Consider this a rockstar gig, folks!

 

Butch Allen, International Man of Lighting-ry, Lighting Insights

Butch-Allen-Rabbit

Those of you who know Butch Allen are always glad to see that big ass smile he carries around, and it’s always a great thing to see him around the trade show circuit when he’s not busy out there spraying some lighting sauce on something or other.

Butch is interviewed in this month’s Lighting Insights newsletter from CHAUVET Professional.  Check it.

http://lightinginsights.chauvetproblog.com/butch-allen-barrier-free-lighting/

 

JOL Sunday Flickr #29

Another week passes:

  • Another week of awakes and sleeps
  • Another week of real light and darkness
  • Another week of human light and darkness
  • Another week of living the dream

Every time I look through the photos on the JOL Flickr Group, I live other peoples’ dreams across the world.  I feel I could write a novel on what a photograph gives me in content and ideas.

Check out some of my favorite photos from the group…  and if you’re not subscribed to the group, please do, we’d love to have you.

I love photos.

April 2015’s TOP TEN JimOnLight Posts

Ah, we love seeing what you love to read, what irks you, what you love, what you hate, and everything in between!

Like, for example, whenever I post segments of video that appeared somewhere else in parts, I always throw a shout-out to my favorite Product Manager Brad Schiller so he doesn’t yell at me via email!

But with all seriousness, even though I am still surprised that “seriousness” is a word, it sounds like a mistake, here’s the TOP TEN JimOnLight.com posts for April 2015!  Counting down to #1 from this month’s #10…

#10:  JimOnLight at #USITT, in Photos!

Hi Richard!

Hi Richard!

#9:  TESLA:  The Race to Zero Point Energy

bitch-please-nikola-tesla

#8:  My God, It’s Full of STARS!  What You See When Your Eyes are Closed, Phosphenes!

my-god-2001-space-odyssey-kubrick-demotivational-poster

#7:  LER:  Luminaire Efficacy Rating

LER-jimonlight

#6:  The RESOURCES PAGE on JimOnLight!

JOL-resources

#5:  A LEGO CONCERT RIG!!!!

lego-concert-1

#4:  How to Make the Electric Pickle Experiment

electric_pickle

#3:  Lighting 101 – Luminance vs. Illuminance

lamps-x-rays

#2 of April 2015:  Reversed Decisions in the Indiana State Fair Collapse

indiana-state-fair-collapse-falling

…and this month’s #1 post:  Stage Weights, Dropped On Things, for FUN!  (Video will hopefully be restored soon, stay tuned!!)

STAGE-WEIGHT

 

 

Do YOU Behave Like A Professional Lighting Designer?

jim

Back for another month of Lighting Insights, the video series with teeth!  It’s really taken off, and it’s nice to see that our industry cares enough to learn more to make itself better.  I’m so glad to have been a part of this awesome series…  I have more dreamed up for the future, let’s see how it goes!

This month’s episode:
Do YOU behave like a professional lighting designer?

Help Us Fund the JimOnLight.com Apps!

David and Jim

David and I have worked so hard to make JimOnLight what it is today.  We’re reaching out into the community to help us keep the JOL apps running!

https://www.indiegogo.com/projects/keep-the-jimonlight-com-mobile-app-running

From David:

If any of you know me – Fox of Jim On Light – I’m a very direct person. I’m not going to be any different here.

I am the guy who makes and keeps the mobile app running. It costs a bit of money to have this outlet available to the world. I’m but one guy with a full-time job and a full-time family to support.

I’m looking for your help in keeping the JimOnLight.com App up and running for the next 5 years. As a bonus if this campaign is fully funded, the app will remain free, become available on the iPad (natively) and become ad-free.

I’m offering you a perk if you fund over $50, of enshrining your name within the app as a supporter. One lucky person will have the opportunity of having their name right under the splash page logo – a la PBS programming thank you’s.

The funding breaks down to $600 per year of operation.

Please help keep us running!

Thank you.

Focus Palettes Part 2 – Lighting Insights with Jim Hutchison

Another month, another video, hopefully another bunch of more-informed people making good light!

Check it out, Part Two of 2015’s Focus Palettes, in Lighting Insights from CHAUVET Professional.

In case you missed it…  here’s Part One!

Interview with Jason Scoppa and Micah Otano of The Sayers Club

This was one of the most fun interviews I’ve ever done, I had to share.  Meet Jason Scoppa, creator of The Sayers Club LA and Las Vegas (at SLS Las Vegas) and Micah Otano, the technical ninja that makes Jason’s work all happen!  Check it out!

Also, make sure to check out The Sayers Club Las Vegas, and The Sayers Club LA if you’re gonna be on the road and in those locations.  Definitely worth the trip, they are two chill clubs.  Leather couches everywhere!!