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JimOnLight and TEAM CHAUVET Take the #ICEBUCKETCHALLENGE

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

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

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

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

Ten Reasons Why It Sucks to Be Fat in the Lighting Industry

cleveland-two-minutes

Hello, friends and neighbors of light!  I hope this morning finds you happy and healthy, and brimming with enthusiasm to just go out there and kick today’s ass!

I write this post to talk about something that we don’t talk about frequently:  how our physical health affects our work in the lighting industries.  From Research Science and Photonics to Rock and Roll production, if you work in light and you have extra bacon around the midsection like me, you probably feel the pain that the surplus chub brings to the table.

I’ve struggled with my weight pretty much my entire adult life, and in 2014 I am going to win against the forces of fat.  Over the last three years, I have lost 80-something pounds of pizza from my belt line, and by the end of this year I plan to have gotten considerably closer to my goal weight of 200 pounds.   Usually when I need to overcome a challenge, I will collect information like someone with major OCD about that specific subject and then make a plan of action.  Right now, the plan is to talk about how being fat in lighting sucks in order to bring the subject to light, per se, wocka wocka.

Fozzie-bear-wocka-wocka-bitch

So getting on with it:  

  • do you have a few extra butter rolls sitting on your belt line?
  • Is your headset belt pack padded over top by a layer of old cheesecake?
  • Have a hard time not getting that second (or third) serving in the Craft Services line?
  • Does the container you carry your tools in fit inside the container you bring your lunch in?

Then you too can commiserate about this topic!  I’m sure there are many, many more I haven’t even considered or probably have forgotten about in my days, but here are ten things that BLOW about having extra bacon around the midsection in the lighting industry!

#10:  GIG BUTT/Chub Rub

freshballs

Come on, don’t pretend, you know exactly what the hell it is I’m talking about. Gig Butt happens when you’re outside, in the summer, loading in shows somewhere where it is hotter than hell, and you might not have showered in a day — not getting to shower every day happens on tour sometimes, ask anybody.  It’s when your thighs get red and irritated from your clothes and sweat and bacteria constantly rubbing together. It sucks the monkeys ass, And if you have worked and lighting, you have experienced this unpleasantness. However, when you’re fat, multiply this unpleasantness into something with a magnitude of volcano and fire/Brimstone, all that.  I lost enough weight at one point that I did an entire summer of shows, and the number of times I got gig assed was zero. Friends, it is totally worth losing weight simply for this single aspect.

#9:  Clothes Wear Out Faster

Frayed and torn old jeans

It might not seem like a very big deal, Or maybe something you don’t really think about, But when you have extra weight you actually put strain on your clothes as well.  And we people of size can really f*ck up some gear, can’t we people!  Big ol’ sweat salt rings around our collars; splitting the asses of our pants from time to time when they might catch a certain way when we’re kneeling down to straighten some cable or plug something into the desk; the random tear in a shirt that some of our chub caught on something as we walked by; all of these are symptoms of the condition of overweightitude.

#8:  Injuries

fat-guy-cannonball

You know, it’s not hard to understand why having extra weight can cause a fat body to get injured by doing normal tasks in the lighting industry — we perform all kinds of sometimes unbelievable tasks, from hanging lighting from a ladder to climbing up inside lighting truss at height.  For a person of normal size and in good health/in shape, these tasks aren’t usually much of a bother.  But if you’re a person of pie, like me, just the everyday average task can really screw up one’s will to live if you happen to come down wrong off of something, or extra weight just bounced you off of something in the way, which does happen, people.  Fat is just unpredictable!

#7:  Balance and Flexibility

Fat-Guy-NCSU-Dance

Let’s face it, lighting people – if you once were relatively thin, like I was once, things like climbing truss ladders and walking 20.5″ truss was a cake walk.  Now it’s really a cake walk, with me looking like the cake when I’m up somewhere off of level ground working.  It’s difficult sometimes when you carry extra weight to do the things that need to be done in the business simply because we no longer have great flexibility and balance like a person without some butt luggage to carry around everywhere we go.  Know what I’m saying?

#6:  Your Appearance (and Your Assumptions of Other People’s Assumptions of Your Appearance)

I_Beat_Anorexia_T-Shirt

Friends, it is an unfortunate truth of our industry that the better you look, the better you feel,And the better you are perceived in our business. Disagree with me if you want, that is completely within your rights. But whether you’re in FOH calling the shots or coiling feeder in Dimmer Beach,  the way you look can play hell on your psyche.  When you are a person “of size,” like me, you are constantly wondering if people perceive you a certain way.  It’s called human nature.  Our industry is absolutely chock full of people who not only take excellent care of themselves, but look like they take excellent care of themselves.  Sometimes not being one of those people in a crowd of those people can seriously play tricks on our fat subconscious.  Or, maybe you’re one of those people who could give not a crap about how they look and feel, and if so, more power to you.  I never learned that skill.

#5:  PPE Issues

fat-guy-speedo

People, let’s face it.  They do not make PPE (which means Personal Protective Equipment — harnesses, etc) in sizes above Thick Cut Bacon.  What does this mean for us people with extra bacon around the midsection?  it means that either A) you’re climbing that f*cking access ladder in a harness that looks like you’re baking bread with rope wrapped around it, or you’re simply just not going to where it is required to wear said PPE.  You catch-a my drift?

I remember watching an episode of The Biggest Loser a few years ago in which Bob put on a harness with something like 200 extra pounds on it to simulate the pressure of someone who weighed 400 pounds on the show.  It looked like he was strapped with 25 pound sand bags and rolls of socapex.  This is how I imagine the extra weight on our bodies to feel like when we’re carrying around coils of 4/0 or rolls of socapex.

#4:  Location Limitations

life-of-pie

Unfortunately, sometimes as a person with surplus love you just can’t go certain places that are required to work in lighting.  Sometimes this is up inside of the rig, sometimes this is inside of a theatre where you have to be Kate Hudson to fit anyway, and sometimes it’s just some cramped place you have to get to do something.  When you can’t see your feet, there are just places people like us won’t fit.

#3:  Exhaustion

draw-me

Let’s face it, people — being fat is absolutely effing exhausting.  When you double up the kinds of work that need to take place in our industry and add that to having a couple extra rolls around the midsection, the result is just purely crappy.  Being overweight and having to work the schedule that we often have to work here in lighting can just completely break your will to do anything, including move.  It’s a fact!

#2:  Working in Hot Climates

sweat-is-fat-crying

Ok, this is one I hate almost as much as #1…

Being fat and doing shows where it is hot S-U-C-K-S.  SUCKS. It sucks sucks sucks to be fat and be COVERED in sweat after doing something as stupidly easy as unstacking cases.  It sucks to have sweaty white salt rings around the collars, back, and armpits of your black t-shirt because Mother Nature decided you needed to load in on a 100 degree day into a convention center than doesn’t have the AC on until show time.  It sucks to be fat and be sweaty on a show site where your pants just stick to you like white on rice and a glass of milk on a paper plate in a snowstorm.  So generally, as a rule of thumb, HOT DAYS + FAT GUY + SWEATY EVERYTHING = SUCKS.

#1:  TRAVEL Planes, Trains, and Automobiles

fat-guy-on-a-plane

Now your mileage may vary on this one, but the number one thing that I despise about my size is traveling.  Economy seats are too small for people with wide asses.  Train seats in Economy are too small for people with wide asses.  If you’re still young and doing work where a handful of people travel in one car… well, as you can imagine, nothing good can come of stuffing one of us into a vehicle for long trips.  Being fat and traveling is like an exercise in patience — how long can I sit crammed in this seat with my knees halfway down my throat and my dough stuffed between each armrest, sweating, and miserable?

gave-up-jogging

Wish me luck, everybody.  If you too want to get less fat, shoot me an email, let’s do it together.  A single twig is weak, but a bundle of twigs is strong.

Sometimes Life Gets In the Way, But We’re Still Live!

dizzy-jim

Good morning and good day, JimOnLight readers!  It’s “o’ dark thirty” as my dad always says, and guess what?  I’m at an airport getting ready to fly somewhere for a gig!  Say it ain’t so!   I just had my 78th trip to Las Vegas for LDI since 2000…  it seems like just yesterday…  actually no it doesn’t, I’ve been to Vegas WAY too many times for anyone’s good!

You’ll have to pardon my long pause here on the site…  I have been adjusting to a new gig (which is awesome) and to having my wife out of the country while we work on immigration issues.  You’d think Canada and the US would have a little looser restrictions on bringing your loved one to the states when you’re married, right?  Wrong.  Immigration is the single most confusing thing I have ever dealt with in my entire life, and I’ve been divorced twice!  Wacka wacka!

I’m heading out to Los Angeles for the Concert Lighting Master Classes this week — I’ll be programming for Jeff Ravitz, which is WAY cool for me, I’ve been a fan of Jeff’s work for many years, and I’ve interviewed him before for the website.

For those of you who don’t know, I’m the Customer Engagement and Education Manager (and Lighting Designer!) for CHAUVET Professional down here in Sunrise, Florida — I came on board back in August 2013, and I’ve been working myself ridiculous for Berenice and Albert, who are amazing people with a drive that matches none other I’ve met.  It’s quite amazing to have a mentor like Berenice, she literally pushes her people to greatness.

In other news, I have a digital stalker!  Anyone have a good lawyer they can recommend?  Shit’s getting ugly.

Have an amazing day, everyone!  JimOnLight is back.  Sorry for the pause, sometimes life gets in the way.

Photos from Somewhere Above the Troposphere

Thunderheads over Georgia

Thunderheads over Georgia

I had a flight into the southeast last week for a job interview.  I can never get my 17″ Macbook open wide enough to do a damned thing with it when I’m sitting in Economy, and I don’t have an iPad anymore because I gifted it to someone.  What I DID have was my iPhone, some really rough storms and turbulence, and a whole lot of time on my hands on the four legs of the flights!

IMG_0017

Check out some cool photos I took of the flights into and out of the home of the Gators!  I hope you enjoy them!

Click on ANY image to start the JimOnLight.com Photo Gallery Lightbox!

(if you’re reading this, you know who you are, I want my iPad back, you do NOT deserve to have it.)

PLASA 2012: Pick Up Your Face, It’s Over

Now that I’m back in North America AND I am all but caught up with sleep, I want to share some of my photos from the fun that was PLASA 2012 at Earl’s Court, right off the Earl’s Court tube stop and only a moment’s tube ride from a great Indian restaurant that really ended up hating about ten of us after a wild night of eating some delicious tandoori.  WHEW — that was a huge sentence!

It was a pretty busy show for me and for the CAST Group booth (Hall 1, E-27), but the load-in went smoothly, Steve and his guys from Intexco took really good care of us, and a big thanks to Mickey, Shane, and Paul for making our booth look outstanding!  I even got some carpenters to run cable and hang lighting fixtures!  Brilliant work, boys, and thanks again!

Let’s check out some of these photos — I tried to snap shots everywhere I went, so I have a bit of everything here and there!

from the plane, on the way to London

more hotels

hotels along the street

Earl's Court Road

beautiful windows

build up at PLASA 2012

build-up at PLASA 2012

Earl's Court

the view of Earl's Court from the Earl's Court Station

exhausted Igor

windows.

thumbs up!

Jim talking at PLASA 2012

END of the Clay Paky demo, PLASA 2012

DTS's booth at PLASA 2012

Robe Explosion

PIXLED

drape and video

trade show porn

Rob, Jim, Justin

Walter from Swisson!

multi-surface video

more sexy ROBE booth

looking at the PIXLED booth at PLASA 2012 from Hall 1

Don't Rig Shit.

Pulsar's awesome booth at PLASA 2012

cool five-sided moving head, like Medusa

White Light Zone

This is SOME of my photos — I have a heck of a lot more over at my Flickr page — JimOnLight on Flickr.  Stay tuned, I’ll be posting more very soon!

My Final Nine Months in Oklahoma Starts Today

Happy Monday, everyone! Like a lot of people reading the blog, I’m back at campus today too to begin another year of sharing light with fresh new minds!

This year is a very special year to me, because I’ve decided it’s going to become my last full-time year in Oklahoma. In May of 2012, I’m resigning my position at Oklahoma City University and dedicating my time to our industries on a full time basis.  The Light Associated Media team has some pretty incredible things in store for the world, and I am going to dedicating the rest of my life to the pursuit of perfect light, making larger than life light art the entire world can appreciate, the growth of my design firm, writing JimOnLight.com, and spreading the knowledge of light with the planet. Together I know we can turn this world into the best place for a sentient being to be and create, as of course all sentient beings need to do.  Remember that movie “Short Circuit?”  All THAT sentient being wanted to do was make breakfast.

“For moist crisp potatoes, brown on one side, then turn over.”

I’m planning on putting myself on the market for a band as well, anybody know a band that needs me to drive the spaceship?

One of my goals that is becoming a reality (with much, much, much more development to come) is teaching the world about light, but for FREE. Knowledge is power, and collectively we have a lot of knowledge. This knowledge should be for the entire world to use for the benefit of all mankind. I’m making this happen, if it’s the final thing I do before my last breath. I swear this to the world. I will make this happen. Somehow, some way, this will become a reality. Can you imagine a world where the status quo for knowledge of lighting is so far above the current norm? Our industry would be unstoppable, and I’m not talking any kind of more efficient cable and data, I’m talking real live Sky Hooks here, people!

But seriously, yeah.  I haven’t decided where the new home base will be, my lease is up in May 2012.  I’ve had thoughts about going back to my great friends in Dallas, moving to Las Vegas to be near the awesomesauce that is Nevada, and I’ve thought about West Coasting it (to steal a term) and moving somewhere on the west side of America, a place I’ve only worked and visited.  The mountains are in there too, I really did like Denver.  Got a suggestion?  The world is a monster place.

I have so much cool stuff in store for my kids this year, I am SO EXCITED!  I get to spend this next two semesters having a blast with some people who really love light!  I have an absolutely outstanding group of students for my final year in Oklahoma (one interned with Cirque all summer, another was the Chief Electrician for a Shakespeare summer series, another is a Chief at a theme park for the summer, others did rock all summer, some studied film), and I’m readying them as best I can for the lighting industries as a whole. It is our responsibility to the industry. If you’re out there teaching lighting design, you better be doing it as hard as I am. We owe it to the future.

Changes are good. You know what’s even better? Cake. Oh, I miss cake.  My newer lighter self doesn’t let my inner tank-ass out very often these days.  Every time I go into the closet though, it’s like I’m clothes shopping!

The Actual Life of a Rockstar Lighting Designer

I’ve written about a friend of mine, a good writer and an even better lighting designer – Jeff Waful – a bunch on JimOnLight.com.  I’ve written about Jeff’s work with Umphrey’s McGee, I’ve written about Jeff’s television show, Jeff Waful +1, and I’ve written about just talking with Jeff about life, light, and design in general.  Jeff just had an amazing interview with a lighting designer that both Jeff and I think very highly of in general, Chris Kuroda.  You have to check it out.

What makes this interview different is that Jeff talks with Chris about life and light, but mostly about living on the road as a lighting designer.  This is an interview that Jeff should be very proud of, because I think he nailed it.

Read PART ONE of Jeff Waful’s interview with Phish lighting designer Chris Kuroda
Read PART TWO of Jeff Waful’s interview with Phish lighting designer Chris Kuroda 

Jeff Waful +1 is Now on Relix.com

This is a pretty awesome day for a good friend of mine – Jeff Waful, lighting designer for Umphrey’s McGee, just published the first episode part of his series, Jeff Waful +1, on Relix Magazine‘s website.  FINALLY we have a show about being on the road while ON the road!  Part one is live now on the Relix site, Part two is coming later today.

Check out the Jeff Waful +1 trailer:

I am so happy for you, Jeff!  Everybody, this is a pretty awesome series.  You MUST check it out if you have ever worked on the road!  Head on over to Relix Magazine right now to check out the series!  Great job, brother!

The Culmination of Hundreds of Hours of Awesome (Which I Think Means Sleep Deprivation)

So, The Wedding Singer opens tonight.  We had final dress last night, and tonight is the culmination of our collaboration.  This is what has kept me from the blog, which I apologize for, but you all know how it is when you’re designing a show:

I love photos captured in the middle of fast bright chases!  The photographer is one of my two favorite Oklahoma City photogs, Wendy Mutz.  Wendy is about 600% of the AWESOME, and is one hell of a photographer.  Go check out Wendy Mutz Photography and see what I mean.  If you’re in need of a photographer for shooting a show, concert, any kind of event period, you need a bad ass like Wendy.

If you’re on Facebook (maybe it should be ‘if you’re not on Facebook’ anymore, huh), then check out Wendy’s Facebook page!

Tickets are here.  I’m going to sit down here and work on my laptop for a few hours in peace and quiet.