Trish and Harold's Weblog

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

Friday, November 04, 2005

Buy your duct tape and visqueen now...

Feel the power and the mystery... I, Carnac the magnificent, can predict with almost 100% certainty that the US's "Terror Alert Level" (you know... we're going up to yellow... now it's orange... no, not red, that'd be too politically damaging. NO, YOU FOOLS! NOT BLUE!!! You're never safe!! Never Safe!!! NYAH HAH HAH!!!!) is going to be elevated as far as it can go during the week of August 25 - 28, 2008. Mark that date on your calendar, and be sure to tape up your homes and pay no attention whatsoever to the news. Be afraid... be VERY afraid... how do I know this? What mystic powers of the universe am I harnessing to make this dire prediction? Click here to find out...

(Thanks for loaning me the costume, Johnny... we miss you).

So, I'm sitting here at my favorite internet cafe in Portland, The Fireside Coffe Lodge, after a particularly nice audition. There wasn't much to the audition... a woman and I acted like husband and wife with improvised dialog (we were supposed to be making cookies) for a Fred Meyer holiday commercial. The woman I auditioned with, however, was a delight to work with. I think her name was Kelly Flood (she's also represented by Murphy Management, my agent)... we both felt very comfortable with each other. Our improvised dialog flowed and I really felt like we were working together on a holiday project.

As we walked out of the audition room we chatted about how important it is when auditioning to have someone opposite you who's comfortable with the the process, and with you as a partner. We've both been in situations where our audition "partners" have been too nervous about being in front of the camera to even make eye contact with us... if we can't get something to react to, then we don't do our best work, and we can't make the partner look good. It's a funny thing about auditioning... so much of it depends on who you're in there with. You can be perfectly comfortable with the script and your abilities, but if you're up there with someone who isn't connected to you, your performance can seem flat, desparate, nervous... a lot depends on the interraction between an actor and his or her partner.

Before I forget, check out Each year my friends Rhonda and Paddo put together this party to help gather presents for families in need. I've got a special place in my heart for efforts like this... when I was a kid, my parents were members of the volunteer fire department in Chaparral, New Mexico (right across the border from El Paso, Texas. My dad was stationed at Fort Bliss in El Paso, but we lived in Chaparral). Overall it was a poor community, with lots of migrant workers who had nothing but a plot of land to stick a trailer-home on.

The fire department put together a similar toy drive every year, and they had a party, sort of like Madeline's Party, where they handed out gifts to these impoverished familes. One memory in particular has always stuck with me... a young hispanic boy got a very small gift: a toothbrush. The look of surprise and delight on his face as he ripped the package open and started to brush his teeth really brought home to me (at age 7 or so) just how much we take for granted in our lives. There are plenty of people out there who don't even have the resources to buy their kids dental care products, let alone toys for Christmas.

I'm a big believer that the spirit of the season has very little to do with mall decorations or expensive gifts from the Schlemmacher Heimmer catalog (or whatever). The spirit of the season is all about celebrating the goodness in each other, and trying to bring warmth and light into the dark, cold times of our lives. I don't have a lot of cash to throw around, but at the very least I can buy a toy to help some kid with nothing else have that same joyous look that I saw in the little hispanic boy's eyes so many years ago.

I hope you'll all consider joining me in doing what you can to help out Madeline's Party... visit the site, contact Rhonda and Paddo, and see if you can help bring a little light of your own. Nothing brings a feeling of holiday cheer like the knowledge that you've been able to touch someone else's life and make it a bit better.

Hope you're all doign well...