Trish and Harold's Weblog

News, information, and random thoughts from the busy lives of Trish Egan and Harold Phillips.

Thursday, September 29, 2005

Long overdue update

Hey everyone. Been WAY too long since I posted anything... it's been a busy couple of weeks!

Before I forget, I've got a new favorite web comic - Wapsi Square by Paul Taylor. Well, ok, I don't know that it's my favorite, but I've gotten quite hooked. Do yourselves a favor and go back to the first one and read them all. It's just your average comic strip about a bunch of friends living in the Minneaplois / St. Paul area... until you meet the demons, self-loathing monster, and Aztec god of alchohol. Fun stuff!

Incidentally, the link on the right that lets you monitor my site for changes ( will also let you monitor other web sites... that's how I stay up on all these webcomics. Just click the link at the bottom of the email that gets sent to you when I update my page, and you can put in other web addresses. I've got several sites that I watch for updates, and Changedetection lets me know when something new's been posted. A very handy service, and easy to use (plus, they don't sell their email list to spammers - I have another email address that I have updates sent to, and I haven't seen any spam show up at that address).

Well, I was starting to get the "itch..." With no show in my life at the moment, I've been spending most every night at home, doing the domestic (and work-related) chores that never seem to get done while you're in production. Laundry, dishes, etc... you know the drill. And I find those chores immensely satisfying - being the fastidious Capricorn that I am, I take great joy in asserting order over chaos.

Work has been busy too... lots of web design stuff and visits to clients' offices. I've actually had to bring work home with me on more than a couple of occasions (something I don't particularly like to do) like malfunctioning laptops and hard drives that need data recovered.

Still, we don't do this theatre stuff because it's "fun..." we do it because we have to. There's something deep within us that feels empty unless we're in the process of creating or performing for an audience. Maybe it's just habit. In any case, I always notice "the lack" when I'm not involved in something. So I've been auditioning and looking for shows to get involved in. In fact, I'm off to a commercial audition for a local car dealership after I post this (thank you Kaili!).

Electronic media auditions are just plain wierd... When you audition for a play, you generally stand in front of the director and do a prepared monologue, or you may read scenes from the play with a partner. You generally feel like your acting ability plays some part in whether you get or don't get the job (though other factors come into casting a play as well - what's your schedule during the rehearsal and performance process, do you look right for the part, would people believe that you could be related to other "family members" cast in the show... that kind of thing).

That general routine goes out the window for commercial auditions. Some auditions are like theatre auditions: monologues, reading from the script... that kind of thing. Often, however, we don't get told what the script is going to be (or even what the product is that's being advertised). It's not uncommon to have nothing to read for the camera - one audition I did last week consisted of me giving the camera a short biography of myself. Four hours of nerves before the audition, 45 seconds to do it... and then I was done.

It's easy to walk out of those auditions feeling like acting ability has nothing at all to do with your chances for getting the part... "Do you look right for the part? Good! We'll see if you can act later!" is what many actors imagine commercial directors saying as they're watching the tapes of auditions. A commercial director has a lot of other factors to weigh in casting his or her actors, however... does the person fit the rest of the campaign that the commercial is a part of? Will the client like the look and sound of the actor? Does the actor seem comfortable in front of the camera? It really is a whole different part of the industry.

I've learned to just do the auditions and walk away... out of the 30 or so commercial/ film auditions I've done in the past year, I've gotten one job. It's just the nature of the business. Still... it's easier to walk out of a theatre audition feeling like you've done well.

In the mean time I've just signed on to do some fight choreography for a production of Seven Brides For Seven Brothers at Sam Barlow High School. This will be an interesting project, since I'm going to have to choreograph violence for high school students who aren't yet comfortable with their bodies... AND I'm going to work with a dance choreographer to make the violence fit in with her dance style. It'll be different!

Trish, on the other hand, has no lack of theatrical events in her life right now. Frankenstein opens next Friday at Northwest Children's Theatre, she's close to starting rehearsals for Fifth of July at Profile Theatre, and just recently she got hired on to do a commercial-and-print campaign for the Northwest Lawn and Garden Show that takes place here in Portland in February (she, our agent Kaili, and the director of the commercial have been going around and around for the past couple of days about shoot times, though... they've had to re-do the shoot schedule a number of times in the past couple of days, and she's starting to run into conflicts with her day-job with NCNM. Hopefully they'll get it worked out... it'd be a nice addition to her cannon of work :)

Ok... that's it for now. I gotta go get ready for that audition... Hope you're all doing well!