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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!

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!

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