Trish and Harold's Weblog

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

Saturday, January 28, 2006

Comics, News & Assorted Jibba Jabba

Howdy all

Gonna have to run to a hair appointment before my Wild Bills Murder Mystery tonight (The Case of the Maltese Monkey - a send-up of Humphry Bogart/ Film Noir movies. Kooky stuff!). Before I go, though, I just thought I'd share the news that

>>Randall Milholland is a big fat jerk face. Many of you know that I read his web comic, Something Positive. Well, he just dropped a MAJOR bombshell on one of his recurring characters... Check this strip, then this one and this one, then jump ahead two months to this, this, this, this, and this.

Oh... ouch. See why I use to notify me when he posts new comics?

>>Speaking of comics, I thought that this week's This Modern World is a good picture of those who blindly swallow everything Rush Limbaugh, Bill O'Reilly, Sean Hannity and the rest of the Bush administration toadies are feeding them. I mean, at this point, anyone who uses their grey matter can see that Bush is a power-hungry fascist who's taking this country down the road to Camp Musolini. When confronted with the facts that he's spying on American citizens without court approval, he's hiring and supporting incompetent cronies for important jobs like the Federal Emergency Management Administration, and he has engaged in illegal propaganda aimed at promoting his agenda, their response is always that "We're at war and he's the only one who can per-tekt us."

I've always thought that blind followers have daddy issues... they're more than happy to abdicate their responsibility to make informed decisions and live with the consequenses to those strong "father figures." It's good to know that Tom Tomorrow agrees.

>> Big doin's on the PDXBackstage listserv... local actor Matt Haynes wrote a letter to the Portland Mercury's editor asking why there was such a disparity between the paper's coverage of film and of local theatre. This prompted a fairly nasty letter in response from one of the Mercury's readers. As you might expect, there's been much talk about on that thar inter-web. I'm sure the Mercury's editors are quaking with the thought that no one will pick up next week's paper to see if there's a shot back from the theatre supporters. Things like this are sooooo bad for "edgy" weekly newspapers' business.

>> Portland is the #3 town in the nation for filmmakers. No lie, it's 'struth... really fer sher! At least according to Moviemaker Magazine. Click here to read the press release from the Oregon Film and Video office... you'll have to scroll down past the announcement that we're best cycling city. Uh... uh huh. Ok, so even at number three the film industry isn't taken as seriously as maybe it should be...

>> We got our copies of Actor Track yesterday and installed them on our computers... I have only one word to say about it: WOW!

This software is an invaluable tool for any professonal actor in any sized market. It allows you track not only your appointments and industry contacts, but also details about your auditions like what you wore, who you met with, who referred you, and more. When you get the job after the audition, Actor Track helps you to track your expenses related that individual project, helps you schedule your rehearsals and performances (or shoot dates), and lets you track the kind of income you get paid. It will track all your expenses, so when tax-time comes around you can just print out a report of your business related expenses. There's also a section called "The Breakdowns" which shows you statistics for the auditions and jobs you've been on, how your headshots and wardrobe are working for you, what kind of results your agent is getting you... this is primo stuff! Take a product tour at the Actor Track web site to see the various elements of the software. It'll even interface with your PDA if you have one (and really, you should... they're another invaluable resource for working actors).

The user's manual is also a valuable resource - aside from telling you how to use the software, it provides career-building tips on keeping contacts, following up, audition tactics, etc.

The software isn't cheap. It's about $100 ($99.95, to be exact), but that's a tax-deductible expense for professional actors (remember what I said in my post about Taxes - as a professional, you run your own business, and the expenses involved in running that business are deductible just as the expenses in running a gas station would be). A carpenter has to have the right tools to build his business; actors are no different. We have many tools at our disposal for the "show" part of "show business (Our voice, our bodies, what classes we may or may not have taken), but very few for the "business" part of that equation. I'm planning on making Actor Track a major tool in my box.

End of promtional-mode. Engage whiney-actor-mode. The down side is that it's going to tell me just how many auditions I've gone out for that I didn't get. Waah! Waaaah!

>> Speaking of auditions, I'm auditioning for Stumptown Stages new production, Rapture, tomorrow. I don't know much more about it than what's on the company's home page... but the tease is interesting enough. I just hope they don't want me to sing - I wouldn't put their ears through that :)

Gotta go... keep the faith, y'all