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


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’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.




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


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.


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.


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!


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.


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




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:


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.


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!


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 – 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!


Last but not least – 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.
  • Greenroom – for roadies and techs and designers alike, 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!

JimOnLight Jobs – New Recession Special Posting Pricing!

I have slashed prices on JimOnLight Jobs for job postings.  I want companies to post their job ads for good people, and the people who read my site are all good people.

From now on, posting a job on JimOnLight Jobs is $20 for the entire time that you are searching someone for that particular job.  That’s it, easy as pie for you.  Check out JimOnLight Jobs – post your job classifieds for the people you want to see your ad!