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!


SAY LIGHT BULB AGAIN!

say_light_bulb_again

Yes, that old adage about lamps versus light bulbs.  To be fair, they do kinda look like a bulb of some sort, like a rose bulb.  So, in essence, it’s almost complimentary, because people want them to be like flowers.  “Light bulb.”

That doesn’t excuse your ignorance, though.  

Lamps are things that produce light; you can argue that the fixture is a lamp.  That’s acceptable.  Bulb, on the other hand, refers to the glass envelope surrounding the filament in a lamp.

lamp

 

 

So, there you have it.  Even if you do a search on the internet, no one really gives a shit what we call it.  Did you know that?  Seriously.  Nobody but us cares, and the argument is so old that even Hipsters don’t give a shit anymore.

lamp-light-bulb

 

http://funnyasduck.net/post/37370

http://funnyasduck.net/post/37370

Just to make this post worth something more than a chuckle, I actually found a bit of text on a government website (energy.gov) about the invention of the “light bulb” and some of its idiosyncrasies:

Long before Thomas Edison patented — first in 1879 and then a year later in 1880 — and began commercializing his incandescent light bulb, British inventors were demonstrating that electric light was possible with the arc lamp. In 1835, the first constant electric light was demonstrated, and for the next 40 years, scientists around the world worked on the incandescent lamp, tinkering with the filament (the part of the bulb that produces light when heated by an electrical current) and the bulb’s atmosphere (whether air is vacuumed out of the bulb or it is filled with an inert gas to prevent the filament from oxidizing and burning out). These early bulbs had extremely short lifespans, were too expensive to produce or used too much energy.

When Edison and his researchers at Menlo Park came onto the lighting scene, they focused on improving the filament — first testing carbon, then platinum, before finally returning to a carbon filament. By October 1879, Edison’s team had produced a light bulb with a carbonized filament of uncoated cotton thread that could last for 14.5 hours. They continued to experiment with the filament until settling on one made from bamboo that gave Edison’s lamps a lifetime of up to 1,200 hours — this filament became the standard for the Edison bulb for the next 10 years. Edison also made other improvements to the light bulb, including creating a better vacuum pump to fully remove the air from the bulb and developing the Edison screw (what is now the standard socket fittings for light bulbs).

(Historical footnote: One can’t talk about the history of the light bulb without mentioning William Sawyer and Albon Man, who received a U.S. patent for the incandescent lamp, and Joseph Swan, who patented his light bulb in England. There was debate on whether Edison’s light bulb patents infringed on these other inventors’ patents. Eventually Edison’s U.S. lighting company merged with the Thomson-Houston Electric Company — the company making incandescent bulbs under the Sawyer-Man patent — to form General Electric, and Edison’s English lighting company merged with Joseph Swan’s company to form Ediswan in England.)

What makes Edison’s contribution to electric lighting so extraordinary is that he didn’t stop with improving the bulb — he developed a whole suite of inventions that made the use of light bulbs practical. Edison modeled his lighting technology on the existing gas lighting system. In 1882 with the Holborn Viaduct in London, he demonstrated that electricity could be distributed from a centrally located generator through a series of wires and tubes (also called conduits). Simultaneously, he focused on improving the generation of electricity, developing the first commercial power utility called the Pearl Street Station in lower Manhattan. And to track how much electricity each customer was using, Edison developed the first electric meter.

While Edison was working on the whole lighting system, other inventors were continuing to make small advances, improving the filament manufacturing process and the efficiency of the bulb. The next big change in the incandescent bulb came with the invention of the tungsten filament by European inventors in 1904. These new tungsten filament bulbs lasted longer and had a brighter light compared to the carbon filament bulbs. In 1913, Irving Langmuir figured out that placing an inert gas like nitrogen inside the bulb doubled its efficiency. Scientists continued to make improvements over the next 40 years that reduced the cost and increased the efficiency of the incandescent bulb. But by the 1950s, researchers still had only figured out how to convert about 10 percent of the energy the incandescent bulb used into light and began to focus their energy on other lighting solutions.

Have a great Friday!

Jobs! Gigs! Who Needs New Shoes?

hamburger

It’s always nice to keep an eye on the job market for people, because it gives me a sense of what is out there and who is looking for what…  it’s also a good indicator of revolving door places, places who can’t keep talent in-house, and places that may not have been looking for what you have to offer them six months ago, but are looking for you now.  It’s always a good idea to know where you stand in this industry because shit is moving all the time.

There’s lots of gigs out there, just make sure you’re being diligent.

JOBS!  GIGS!

That’s it for now — get your ass out there and search every day for a job if you don’t have one…  don’t get complacent, it means more suffering for you and yours.  Also, never be afraid to do something you don’t want to do yet you’re qualified to do, especially if it means having income.  You’d be surprised what skillsets you have that people will pay for in the Lighting industries.

Wheels to the Sky

When you just cant flip another case…

wheels_to_the_sky

Teching Your Moving Lights Back Into Shape

CHAUVET-professional-infocomm-2014-12

CHAUVET Professional, still rocking Lighting Insights, delivers a neat video on how to tech your moving lights once they’re back in your shop and are need of the love.

Mike Graham took over at Lighting Insights, so, here’s Mike Graham with some tips on how to make your moving heads happy again.

Kodak Implodes the Iconic Building 53

kodak_building_53_imposion

Kodak has imploded the iconic Building 53 in the Eastman Business Park.  It’s not the first of the buildings to go, but it is definitely the one that everyone knows — the 9 stack sitting on top has been a landmark in the location since the building’s construction in 1923.  This isn’t the first building in Eastman Business Park that Kodak implodes, but it is one of the more well-known.  Watch the video below of the implosion, from a pretty decent close distance!

Here’s a bad ass DRONE VIEW of the demolition:

Another amazing view:

Ok, one more, plus an interview with some of the demo guys:

Demolition company Diacon was involved in the blast engineering; MB Glick was also involved in the demo, but I do not know the capacities.  Pretty cool videos, huh?

For another awesome demolition video, check out the Demolition of Texas Stadium, filmed by awesome person and dear friend Jessica Amspoker!

texas-stadium

 

More on KODAK and its life story here…  More on the demolition here, and an article on the destruction of Building 53 here, at Petapixel.

A Filthy Mouthed Article About Audience Douchebaggery

zombie_saddam_thinks_youre_a_douche_canoe

Just an FYI, Planet Earth – I swear in this article. A lot. It’s 2015, and it’s the way I talk. Moving on.
Second FYI – do you have a story about an audience member being a dumbass douchebag? Post it in the comments for all of us to revel with you!

Audience Douchebaggery has been rampant this season in all facets of Entertainment.  I have noticed quite a few news stories lately of paying audience members at myriad events acting like a large sack of douchebags and destroying shit that doesn’t belong to them. Have you seen the videos of these assholes? This is amazing stuff; I am truly shocked at the balls on these people. If you don’t like my language right now, you’re not going to like it soon, so maybe this is a good time for you to piss off.

Exhibit A:
Douchebag Jumps Onto Stage While Zoogma is Playing at Camp Bisco and Smashes Over a Pile of Expensive Gear

Yep, that’s Ryan Null from the band Zoogma, and some asshole smashing into him and his rig after climbing past the barrier security.  I have no clue what came into this douchebag’s head as he started bee-lining past the guy with the camera and up onto the stage, but pal, you’re pretty lucky those guys didn’t beat the plain brown shit right out of you.  Seriously dude, you’re a lucky guy.  You also probably destroyed some gear in that little stunt, or at least damaged it pretty well, which the rest of the audience will be paying for next time there is a show we want tickets for, because someone is going to have to shoulder the extra security and new insurance the promoters and band will have to carry because of your stupid ass.  Did you see how Ryan tossed down his fucking bass in complete shock of what you had done to his rig?  You’re seriously lucky to still have teeth.  Next.

That was in the world of Concert Production, now let’s move on to Theatre —  where it seems nobody has a single fuck left to give about Theatre Etiquette.

Exhibit B:
Moron Plugs His Cell Phone Into the Outlet ON STAGE in a Theatre, Proving Twice He Could Give A Shit About Everyone Else’s Experience

That was 19-year old Nick Silvestri, climbing up onstage to charge his fucking cell phone. When the ushers and support staff rushed down to see what the ignorant douchebag was doing, he said “well, where can I charge it?”

hand-to-god-press-conference

From an article at Variety Magazine:

“I downed a few drinks, and I think that clearly impaired my judgment,” said Nick Silvestri, a 19-year-old from Long Island. “I guess I wasn’t really thinking.”

Totally true, you were not thinking.  Even worse, you were thinking about charging your cell phone up so you could be on the fucking thing the entire show, posting photos to your friends of shit you shouldn’t be filming anyway because you don’t have the rights to do so and generally blowing the experience for everyone else around you.  This is why you leave your cell phone in your pocket and enjoy the show you just paid for.  I suppose you could argue that you paid for your ticket and you can do whatever you want, but you’d be wrong — not only did you pay for yours, but all of the people around you did too, and now they have to stare through your dumbass screen-lit head the whole show. That’s why we announce things like this at the top of the show. It’s not FOR you, it’s BECAUSE OF YOU.

From an article at New York Daily News:

“I would like to sincerely apologize,” he said. “I am on my college lacrosse team, and I know just how bad it feels when you are out there working your ass off, and it feels like the crowd isn’t on your side or isn’t paying attention. I feel terrible if any of the amazing actors in this show felt at all disrespected by my actions.”

Initially, Silvestri was unrepentant, telling Playbill on Thursday that he didn’t see the big deal.

“Hey, I’m sorry if I delayed your show five minutes. But you got a lot of attention from this, so maybe I made your show a little better (known),” Silvestri told Playbill.

He had said he only sought to charge the iPhone 6 because it was dying after a full day of fielding calls from “girls…calling all day.”

So when he saw the plug on the set of the Robert Askin comedy hit, he did what any self-respecting teenager would do: he climbed onstage to charge the device.

“I saw the outlet and ran for it,” he told Playbill. “That was the only outlet I saw, so I thought, ‘Why not?’ I was thinking that they were probably going to plug something in there on the set, and I figured it wouldn’t be a big deal if my phone was up there too.”

We appreciate the apology, but the best way to not have to give an apology is to remove your head from your ass and fit in with society.  Next.

The actual outlet on the set of Hand to God, courtesy of Broadway Adjacent http://broadwayadjacent.com/exclusive-the-handtogod-on-set-outlet/

The actual outlet on the set of Hand to God, courtesy of Broadway Adjacent
http://broadwayadjacent.com/exclusive-the-handtogod-on-set-outlet/

Exhibit C:
Patti LuPone Snatches Asshat’s Cellphone During Shows for Days at Lincoln Center

I think letting Patti LuPone tell it in her own words might be best here – to generalize, she grabbed the cell phone of a woman who was texting during the entire second act, and kept that mopho until after the show, when she gave it back to the House Manager and asked him to make the patron feel like an ass.

Patti?

“We work hard on stage to create a world that is being totally destroyed by a few, rude, self-absorbed and inconsiderate audience members who are controlled by their phones. They cannot put them down. When a phone goes off or when a LED screen can be seen in the dark it ruins the experience for everyone else – the majority of the audience at that performance and the actors on stage. I am so defeated by this issue that I seriously question whether I want to work on stage anymore. Now I’m putting battle gear on over my costume to marshall the audience as well as perform.”

Patti LuPone is Patti LuPone and when she does something, she’s Patti LuPone-ing the hell out of it, and when you go to see her do something, you’re seeing live, practiced, seasoned, tried and true art. Pay closer attention, you might be at a show staring at your phone and you may miss something that could change your life. That’s why you decided to go to the show in the first fucking place, right? That’s why we do this “Entertainment” stuff for you, it’s to try and change your life. Seriously. We do this as hard as any other dedicated people to their craft, and we don’t think it’s generally that funny to see you fuck up other people’s experiences.

People, there is a way to behave at shows that is different than your home. You can act like a rude pig trashball at home all you want, but when you have to interact with society at an event meant to celebrate a piece of art, even if that piece of art is happening in the middle of 15,000 people or more at an arena, you have to keep your inner sow in check. It’s serious, you’re ruining what is literally an investment for a large majority of people at these shows – have you seen concert ticket prices lately?! Let me just say that it’s the people who make the lowest comparative wages at these shows that you’re screwing over when you do stupid shit, it’s not the artists who suffer, it’s the stagehands, the designers, the people who have to clean up after your idiocy, and the security folk who have to try to secure everyone else FROM you while you’re doing stupid shit. Just keep that in mind next time you’re thinking it’d be cool to get yourself on Tosh.0 or World Star Hip Hop, some place where human ignorance is put on display like a zoo of idiots.

Here’s a couple of great fucking links to some excellent fucking blogs in the Theatre world, I highly, highly recommend making them daily stops.  I know I do!

Broadway Adjacent — this is an excellent blog and if you’re in Theatre, read that shit every day.

Playbill — seriously, who in Entertainment doesn’t read PLAYBILL?!

Variety Mag — surprisingly good coverage of Theatre and events.

The Theatre section of Entertainment Weekly

Broadway World — obviously it’s news about the Middle East

And a special treat — since you stuck in this long and put up with all my swearing, here’s a 2009 recording of Patti LuPone dealing with yet another douchebag taking photos of her during Gypsy, right in the theatre.  Ready?

No, no, you’re not ready.

Penn and Teller’s Shadows Trick, with Drama

Penn-and-teller-SNL

Now, FYI — this may not be news to some of you, but it’s new to me!

Have you ever seen Penn and Teller’s show out in Vegas at the Rio?  It’s probably one of THE best shows these eyes have ever seen, and the show they do on Showtime (aptly called “Bullshit!“) is one of the funniest things on cable tv.  One of the tricks that is done in the show — known worldwide as one of the coolest, most moving, and amazing bits of magic onstage today – is called “Shadows.”  You have to watch this piece real quick, it is truly spectacular — Teller makes cuts on the shadows of a vased flower, and as he cuts at the shadow, the flower falls apart:

Here, watch this one too, it’s just two minutes, and includes some commentary on the trick:

That right there is an amazing trick!!  No one but Teller knows how it’s done, which is exactly what Teller wants, as he makes claim to the trick’s creation, back in 1983 or so.  As I was researching this trick to write about it, I came across this other guy, Gerard Bakardy, a musician/magician who claims that he had his trick stolen from Teller in 2012.  This story gets really, really quickly screwy — Bakardy claims that Teller emailed him about the trick and if he could get the rights to the trick exclusively.  When Bakardy refused, he claims, Teller filed a huge suit in a Las Vegas court to get him to back down.  Bakardy had also been making offers to sell the “explanation” to the trick for $3,050…  which would have pretty much ruined this beautiful moment altogether.  It would have at least for me, I mean, if it is something completely hokey and simple, and this guy were to have told the secret, that’s pretty much the end of that trick ever being effective again…

…and no one wants that, especially when the ticket line is full frequently!  It’s obviously not because of one silly trick, these guys are fucking brilliant.

Seriously, you cannot make this kind of stuff up — at least not the entire story altogether, this is too good to be written by sane people.  On Bakardy’s website about the entire situation he makes some pretty outrageous claims about the story, including some crazy porn website stuff…  it gets absolutely nutso.  Bakardy also asked for a jury comprised completely of magicians and clowns so that he could have a fair trial.  Granted, just so you know, Bakardy lost the case and Teller won (in 2014), so there’s that.  It does go deeper, I’m literally just grazing the surface.

Here’s the image file that comprises the text on Gerard Bakardy’s website…  but first, watch this video.  If you can’t stomach it for the entire 8 minutes (you pansy, don’t be a puss) you can click through to about 2:43 where he skips all the “power of belief” stuff — but don’t, just watch the video knowing it’s gonna get weird:

Ok, now here is the text on Gerard Bakardy’s website, for some reason in image form — most of it, actually:

gerard-bakardy-shadows-teller-main

Now, I love the shit out of Penn and Teller, they’re on my top five favorite entertainers, ever.  But, if you’re like me and like to see every possible angle to every situation, read through Gerard’s evidence page…  I’m not pointing blame anywhere either, there has obviously been a court that has heard and tried this case, and Teller was granted about $700,000 and damages — here:

Teller Wins

From the Hollywood Reporter:

Teller wanted statutory damages of $150,000 — the maximum under the Copyright Act — but the judge cited the small amount for which Dogge was willing to sell the secret of his illusion as well as a lack of evidence as to whether the Belgian magician actually sold it to anyone. Hence, the judge awarded $15,000 in statutory damages.

However, Dogge got smacked when it came to Teller’s attorney fees. The plaintiff, represented by a team at Greenberg Traurig, went to great lengths to serve notice on Dogge, including hiring a private investigator and figuring out a way to prove that the defendant had opened an email containing a summons. Teller wanted nearly $1 million in legal fees. Instead, he was awarded about half that, but it’s still quite an astounding amount.

Further, the judge has now issued an injunction that prohibits Dogge from infringing Teller’s copyright, from trading on Teller’s goodwill and reputation, and from using any word, term, name, symbol or device that would cause consumers to be confused about an association with Teller or Penn & Teller.

Teller doesn’t get everything he wanted. The judge won’t stop Dogge from selling a prop used in the magic trick. According to the judge, “That purchasers of defendant’s prop might perform plaintiff’s illusion in an infringing manner, requiring plaintiff to bring future enforcement actions against additional defendants is not a concern for this court.”

So, there’s that.  Everyone made claims, the courts ruled.  If there’s anything more to it, we’ll never know, so let it go.  It’s an interesting story that makes the trick that much cooler, though!

More info for the readers out there:

http://doubtfulnews.com/2014/03/teller-prevails-in-the-rose-and-her-shadow-copyright-suit/

http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/thr-esq/magicians-trick-will-disappear-youtube-738401

https://www.techdirt.com/articles/20130304/03161322186/magician-sued-teller-copyright-infringement-has-tried-disappearing-act-response.shtml

http://www.themagiccafe.com/forums/viewtopic.php?topic=462087&forum=36

http://the1709blog.blogspot.com/2014/03/nevada-puts-little-bit-of-magic-into.html [freaking awesome site in general, on copyright law]

Findley Quaye Kicked Off the Stage at the Convent for “Polluting the Venue with Bullshit”

findley-quaye-kicked-off-stage

In a pretty awesome speech given by promoter Matt Roberts of The Convent Club, Findley Quaye was told to take his shitty music and go home.  At least the shitty music he and his boys were playing at The Convent Club. After a crappy 30-minute set, the promoter came out and cancelled the garbage.  Watch this:

This shit is awesome. Matt Roberts, good on you for putting an end to the garbage that Findley Quaye was throwing down. That is unacceptable performance for people paying, and we salute you for having the testicular fortitude to put an end to it. Here’s the text of what Matt said at his club after putting the kaibash on Findley Quaye…

Matt Roberts:

“I am so sorry guys, I’ve worked in the industry 28 years, I have a reputation.  And the reputation — as small as it is — but when somebody doesn’t turn up for soundcheck at 3 o’clock in the afternoon, and I smile, and then at 9 o’clock they turn up, and then I have a beautiful, beautiful crowd of people who I love, and then they come and they fuck my stage. [pointing at the band] You guys, go home.  We will…  We will refund the tickets, and I can only say that I am so sorry, because the music industry and live music is beautiful.  And.. I — I suffer from alcoholism and stuff, and I have issues in my life, but I am professional.  And I am sorry — I will not sit here and pollute my venue with bullshit, and I can only apologize for you who were getting some of it, because there is some magic there, but not…  international people watching I apologize, but not in the Convent, and I am so sorry guys.  So, all I can say is that this is my house, and I have acted how I feel is appropriate.”

That obviously flared up some people!

On the Convent Club’s Facebook page, Matt Roberts commented on the publicity:

convent-club-post-findley-quaye

What do you think of Matt Roberts’ actions? Leave a comment!

Today’s the 70th Birthday of the Trinity Test, the Day Mother America Birthed A Bomb

The Trinity Test fireball, 0.016 seconds after ignition

The Trinity Test fireball, 0.016 seconds after ignition

That’s not one of those hilarious Scrubbing Bubbles with the little yellow beard, that’s the Trinity nuclear test.  Scientists figure that the top of that bubble was at 200 meters high, and that photo was taken 0.016 seconds after the ignition of the device.

Today is the 70th birthday of the Manhattan Project’s Trinity Test — the 70th birthday of America’s nuclear child being born into the world.  In my humble opinion, this is the worst kind of light we’ve invented.  General Leslie Groves, Robert Oppenheimer, and their brilliant band of scientists and craftsmen created an explosion that created a brand new world for all of us on Earth to live in, and to fear.  As a matter of speaking created from a matter of fact, just the concept of using one of these weapons of true mass destruction stops any of us from using one of these weapons.  It’s a political term called Mutually Assured Destruction.

General Leslie Groves and J. Robert Oppenheimer at the Trinity test site zero point

General Leslie Groves and J. Robert Oppenheimer at the Trinity test site zero point

Project Trinity happened at the Alamagordo Bombing and Gunnery Range, now called Holloman AFB (also called White Sands Proving Ground back in the day).  Here’s a clip from The History Channel of the explosion — this right here is uncut footage of the blast, declassified a while ago.  Multiple camera angles and lens angles give some horrifying footage of this monster, and it is only a fraction of the weapons we have today:

Here’s another kind of terrifying video that I think most people have probably seen, but most definitely needs to be seen:

Of all of the video footage available of the Trinity nuclear test, I think there is one video for me that does it — it’s Robert Oppenheimer reading from the Bhagavad Gita. Just listen to his voice, read the look on his face. He knew exactly what he had done, and what he had put in the hands of America’s war-hungry defense managers.  What you’re going to watch is the face of a man who is terrified of what he just invented:

instrumentation bunker

Here’s to hoping we invent better uses of light in the future for the sake of us all.