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

yes-this-is-fire

Hi everyone!  Oh, how I have missed you.

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

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

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

you-are-out

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

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

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

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

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

hang-in-there

 

 

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

those-were-the-droids

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

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

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

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

offstagejobs

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

jobs-at-usitt

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

artsearch

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

higheredjobs

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

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

nancy-grace-douche

 

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

simplyhired

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

edison-report

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

GE-lighting-jobs

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

indeed-jobs

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

careerbuilder-jobs

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

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

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

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

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

4Wall’s First Internship – WHICH IS PAID!

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

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

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

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

Duties will include:

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

Requirements:

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

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

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

JOBS in Dallas – Fox Needs Crew for Midland Pilot

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

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

From the Film Commission website:

Crew Call for “Midland” – Fox Television Pilot

CALLING ALL CREW!

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

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

No calls please.

So Much Progress, So Few Local Artists

MainStreetGardenSpotforChristmasTree
(image from UnFair Park, the Dallas Observer blog)

Ah, I love being back in Dallas, Texas.  There are so many things going on in Dallas right now, from new construction, to art installations, to new construction with art installations implanted.  As a lighting designer in the DFW Metro, I am extremely excited to see the projects being put into play in the downtown scene come to fruition.

Case in point:  the new Main Street Garden, with lighting installations from New York light artist Leni Schwendinger and a very soon-to-be large Christmas tree designed by New York landscape designer Thomas Balsley.  After all, Dallas is a place that is growing and changing like the best of the cities in our great country.  We’re proud of Dallas.  We’ve got the big new AT&T Performing Arts Center to house some of the best work ever to be presented on stage, the Dallas Theatre Center and their ever-so-awesome seasons of life-changing theatre and works of genius, and a city so full of artists, designers, and other extremely creative people that it’s busting at its seams.

Since Dallas is full of people who love art, love light and lighting, and certainly love this city, why are the majority of the lighting designers and lighting artists chosen to do work on the city of Dallas from places like New York, Chicago, or LA?

When it comes to lighting the city of Dallas itself, why aren’t local companies and local lighting artists chosen?  Does the fact that a designer or artist lives in Dallas make that person exempt from creating “good” art?  Believe me – there are people right here in the Dallas area who have ideas and design talents just as good as those from any other “big” city.

I’m certainly not naive, don’t get me wrong – with regional theatre companies like Dallas Theatre Center, it can be impossible to light a show there if you’re not from New York, LA, or Chicago.  I guess it really comes down to who you know – which is a shame considering the talent in DFW.  From a budget standpoint, doesn’t it seem like hiring local talent might cut back on expenses that could otherwise be avoided?

So how can we change this and give local talent a chance to do what no one in Dallas seems to believe we can do?  I know that this problem isn’t a Dallas-only issue.  So how would you improve this in your community?

Thanks, UnFair Park!

Jobs, Jobs, and Jobs

Have you been looking for a gig lately?  I did some searching today to see what was out there, and I wanted to share the information.  Enjoy:

PCPA Theatrefest is looking for a Lighting Designer/ME:

Master Electrician/Lighting Designer

– PCPA Theaterfest, the professional resident theatre company on California’s Central Coast, has an opening for a Master Electrician/Lighting Designer.

You will be responsible for maintaining and repairing all equipment related to electrics, serving as staff supervisor/master electrician for all performances and outside events, coordinating load-in schedules, supervising student crews to assemble hang, and focus lighting as specified by the Resident Lighting Director.

Must have excellent communication and CAD drafting skills as well as possess a working knowledge of lighting, electricity, practicals, DMX equipment, design and all aspects of the theatre. Competency in Vector Works and Lightwright preferred.

Master’s Degree preferred or Bachelor’s Degree required with 2-3 years professional experience in similar position. Ability to possess a valid California Drivers license and have access to a vehicle for transportation to and from business related events.

Interviews to be held at USITT.

Starting date flexible during the month of May 2009.

This is a full-time hourly position with benefits.
EOE.
Send resume materials to:
Jeff Allen, Production Manager,
PCPA Theaterfest,
800 S. College Drive,
Santa Maria, CA  93454-6399
or email [email protected].

Bentham Instruments is looking for an optical designer:

£25,000 – £35,000 + Company-funded Personal Pension Scheme. + 31 Days Holiday

Bentham Instruments has a world-wide reputation in electro-optics built up over 34 years of manufacturing equipment used in the study and measurement of light.

Current developments in electro optic technology such as solar cell and solid state lighting research makes this is an exciting time to join the multidisciplinary team working to keep Bentham at the fore front of light measurement instrumentation.

We are looking to recruit an Optical Design Engineer. The position involves product development from its initial design through to its final testing and would include:

  • Development to product specification
  • Conceptual design of new products
  • Use of Auto Desk Inventor modelling software
  • Building of prototypes to include mechanical and optical assembly and some basic electronics
  • Optical alignment
  • Production testing to meet agreed specification
  • Refinement of existing designs

The successful candidate will have at least eighteen months experience in a related industry and be educated to first degree level in Applied Physics, Mathematics or Mechanical Engineering (2:1 Hons or higher) ideally with a higher degree or experience in Optics.

Apply to: [email protected]

This is a significant position working directly for the R&D Director and for which we are offering a competitive salary and company-funded personal pension scheme.

and last but not least or final:

Lightolier is looking for a Specification Sale Representative:

Lightolier, a premiere leader in the lighting industry and a Philips group brand, is seeking seasoned Specification sales reps. Our product lines represent the most respected names in the industry. Joining our team means lighting the way together!  Please send cover letter and resume to the attention of:

Human Resources
Employment
631 Airport Road
Fall River, MA 02720

Tel: (508) 679-8131
Fax: (508) 646-3357
[email protected]
Principle Duties/Responsibilities:

Develop specifications with architects, electrical engineers, lighting designers, electrical contractors and end users; Work closely with the specification community, construction and distribution to create project business;  Provide technical assistance to customers in the form of product demonstrations, fixture layouts and photometric studies

Requirements:
BS in a related field and experience in specification sales in the lighting industry or an equivalent combination of education and experience is required;  Working knowledge of lamps and lighting products as well as previous experience as a specifier preferred; Must have excellent presentation and organizational skills and be comfortable presenting to large group

I hope that you find something soon if you’re out of work!

Six Ways to Follow Up Prospects Without Being Creepy

I’m sorry to keep bringing this up, but it’s true – the economy sucks right now.  As lighting professionals, especially freelance professionals, you have to keep your clients remembering who you are.  When you get a show – or a job, project, gig, whatever – keep up with the client when the show is finished.

My good friend Anj sent a link to an article at The Freelance Blog about following up with prospects.  It’s not necessarily about lighting job prospects, but it’s a great way to think about your lighting freelance gigs – and how to keep them coming from clients that remember you.

Thanks, Anj!

(Anj rocks, btw)

Six Ways to Follow Up Prospects Without Being Creepy at The Freelance Switch’s Blog

JimOnLight.com JOBS: Kalamazoo

A random note, but I just passed the 400th post on JimOnLight.com!  Crazy!

Hey, Kalamazoo Civic Theatre is looking for a lighting and sound designer – which, in the smaller theatre market (and education) is becoming commonplace.  Can you do both?  Check out the gig!

LIGHTING/SOUND DESIGNER

We are seeking a self starter with excellent leadership skills, passion for collaboration with other designers and guest artists, and an affinity for teaching Interns and volunteers for this Resident Designer position. Responsible for all lighting, sound and SFX designs in a 14-production season. L/S Designer supervises ME and Intern while working with large inventory and computerized systems in 3 distinct venues. Full-time salaried position with health benefits available. For more information, go to www.kazoocivic.com. Send cover letter with resume to Kristen Chesak, Kalamazoo Civic Theatre, 329 S. park Street, Kalamazoo, MI 49007. No phone calls please.

Check out the jobs listings at Kalamazoo Civic Theatre’s website, http://www.kazoocivic.com/utility/employment-opportunities.shtml

JimOnLight.com JOBS – JOBS JOBS JOBS!!!

So, are you working steadily right now?  Are you paying the rent, the mortgage, the bills – eating alright?  If you’re not working, or freelancing and in need of a gig – what are you doing about it?

If you’re looking for work, you should be making the rounds daily at your favorite job sites, calling references, emailing and calling everyone you can possibly think of, making your name known, and getting it into the front of potential employers’ brains.  You’re not going to get work by not looking for it – no matter how hard you don’t try.  Getting work is work, and it’s work because you have to work for it.

Cheesy?  Maybe.  But how’s that job search coming?

I have a handful of favorites when I’m looking to pick up freelance income, light a show, or look for a steady gig.  There are lots and lots and lots and lots of places online that are posting gigs – there are also a lot of places out there that have a bunch of postings for a wide variety of things related to your field, and most of the time you have to sort through them, and often.  Remember, work.

Theatre Communications Group (TCG)’s famous Artsearch
Artsearch is the entertainment jobs rag that’s been around – well – forever.  In addition to their print jobs listings, they have a healthy online subscription-based product that is the pay go-to place for gigs.

Backstage Jobs
I got some of my first big gigs from Backstage Jobs – there are lots, in a large net of fields in the entertainment business, from tours to summer gigs, resident positions, and contract work.

Esta.org Job Board
The Entertainment Services and Technology Association – or ESTA, affectionately – has a job board with a good handful of listings.  From my experience with esta’s jobs, they’re usually good, high quality gigs.

Myspace Jobs
Maybe you don’t have a Myspace page, but I still have mine from WAY back in the day.  Myspace has a decent amount of good gigs, actually!  The link above is for the query “Lighting Designer,” for example.

JobZone at Live Design Online
Live Design Online has what they call the “JobZone.”  It’s chock full-o-jobs.  Lots of different genres.

Playbill Online’s Job Board
Not Playboy, PLAYBILL.  You know, the thing you always get at shows.  Their website has a lot of job postings for all kinds of entertainment jobs.

This is a small list of job search places, but it’s some of what I use.  Yeah, I’m sharing that with you in one place for your benefit – it’s because I’m glad you read the site!  Also, I am going to be posting jobs here, in a special page that’s being built, specifically for jobs dealing with light and the lighting industries.  More on this in the very near future.