Trish and Harold's Weblog

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

Monday, March 27, 2006

The Hardest Part of the Job Is Moving On

Yeah. It's been an interesting few days. And yes, it's been good, bad, and ugly.

Lets start with the Good: I got called back for Nickel and Dime, the short film I auditioned for last weekend. Trish got cast in the industrial she auditioned for last week in Eugene. We're going to see Cirque du Soliel's Varekai on Wednesday (Trish's birthday present to me last December). In The Matter of J. Robert Oppenheimer's audiences are building... we had a nearly-full house on Saturday, and we've still got three more weeks in the run.

Now, the Bad... sorta. For some time now, Trish and I have been struggling with, well... time. As I'm sure you know, I work a day-job as an independant computer consultant and web designer. Trish has a variety of day-jobs that all patch together to pay the bills. Both of us have also been spending more time acting, both on stage and in front of the camera, and we've been working hard to build that career up a bit. We realized over the past year that we're spending a lot of time running, and not much time "being," just sitting back and enjoying the life we've built for ourselves.

To some extent, that's one of the reasons why we're selling our Duplex. We needed to simplify our lives a bit, and take some of the crazy out of them (but not too much... can you imagine us with absolutely NO crazy? I think we'd both collapse into ourselves and form little anti-sanity black holes... and no one wants to see that).

And that realization led us to consider our connection with Mt. Hood Rep. To be sure, we've loved our involvement with The Rep... both Trish and I have grown immensely as artists, and we've learned a ton about the production of theatre and the running of a company. On the other hand, it's gotten to be more and more of a time and energy drain. As other parts of our lives have gotten busier, the needs of The Rep have grown as well. Something was going to have to give... we just couldn't keep juggling it all.

So... this brings us to the Ugly. We had dinner with Board presidents Karen and Riley Caton at the Berlin Inn Saturday night (great food, but no one told us it was going to be violin and accordian night... eeesh! My ears are still ringing a little...), and we met with our good friend and Artistic Director Tobias Andersen this afternoon (probably the hardest thing I've had to do in a long while). Then we drove to the Mt. Hood Rep office and dropped off our letters of resignation. As much as we hated to do it, we just had to step back and allow ourselves some time to "reset." Karen and Riley took it pretty well... Tobias, I think, was a bit taken aback. He certainly understood our decision, but I don't think he was expecting it from us.

The truly ugly part of all this is that I feel a bit like I'm deserting my friends in their hour of need, and that grates on me. As the readers theatre season at Mt. Hood Rep winds down and the company gears up for its annual summer festival (the 10th anniversary festival, in fact), they're facing an uphill struggle. You may remember my talking about the smaller-than-average audiences at last year's festival. Since that past summer, the fund raising efforts have been less than stellar. A lot of the private money and foundation funding has been going to disaster relief in the wake of last year's hurricanes. We've also lost some people from the board, and many of the people on the board are getting tired. This is a time when the company really needs support, and I'm walking away from them.

On the other hand, our lives have changed pretty substantially over the course of the past four years. When we first started working with The Rep we didn't have nearly as many irons in the fire... and the irons we did have at the time weren't nearly as hot. We spend a lot more time on various projects now, and seem to spend a lot less time with each other and the folks we love. As we walk away from The Rep, Trish and I are both looking forward to remedying that.

It's a little easier to leave knowing that there are good people who can step in to fill the void we're leaving at The Rep. I've asked Jan MacDonald, the drama teacher at Reynolds Middle School and our Education coordinator for the past two years, to step into the Operations Manager job. Kirk Mauser has been working closely with Tobias in the formulation of plans for this season, and Trisha Pancio Armour is, as always, lending her expertise on both the artistic and marketing sides of the company. Karen and Riley Caton are still there as well, taking charge and adding their business and organization accumen to the company.

And we're not disappearing in a puff of smoke... not by a long shot. I'm still going to be maintaining The Rep's web site and sending out their monthly email newsletter, The Aside (though I won't be writing the content for them any more), and we're both planning on volunteering as ushers, box office staff, or whatever the company might need. We still plan on providing adivice and ideas to the company whenever we're asked for it. It's just the day-to-day operation that we don't have room for... but we've still got The Rep in our hearts, and we want to see it succeed.

The hope, however, is that this painful process (and it is a VERY painful process) will yield something of a more centered and balanced existence for Trish and I. At least that's the hope... time will tell.

Time for bed. Hope you're all doing well.