Trish and Harold's Weblog

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

Thursday, June 29, 2006

Well... Chuck Mee!

Now it can be told...

I've been teasing you for a while now with the fact that I was going to play a large Coke bottle in the Chuck Mee Challenge. I'll bet you thought I was going to wear a big plexiglass costume with my head sticking out of it.


Hey, don't get me wrong. It's not that we didn't have the budget for a six foot long clear plastic tube shaped like a coke bottle (this is live theatre, after all... everyone knows how much money we have to throw around, right?). You have to realize, though, that this Coke bottle was far more than a mere trademarked plastic shape filled with carbonated sugar water. THIS Coke bottle was an actor - a true artist, in every sense of the word, struggling to express the depth of his soul to the audience before him!

Really! That's the way the scene was written. If you didn't see the performance (and at least 30 people were turned away at the door, so even if you tried you may not have gotten into the theatre on Monday night), you need to know that Francesca Sanders wrote these bizarre scenes, often with inanimate objects or animals as the central characters, and then turned them over to six local directors. She didn't retain any control over content; the directors were free to impose whatever vision they had on the scenes, to delete lines and even re-write them.

My scene was pretty straight-forward (more so than some of them), and director Andrew Golla didn't have to do any re-writing. I was a coke bottle/ actor who was trying to expose the audience (and two teenie-bopper girls) to true art that would move them. I was locked in a struggle against a rock-and-roll, teen-idol rooster (played by Aaron Farrar, to my right in the photo) who danced and lip synched Elivis, Arrowsmith and Ricki Martin. It was the classic battle between elevated, moving art and consumer-driven pop-culture.

Sadly, at the end of the scene, the Rooster won and I had to go back to my day-job as his security guard. The two teenie-boppers, who had been yawning at my shakespearean performance and had been swooning over the rooster, ended up fighting over him and left the stage all ga-ga at the fact that he'd actually stepped between them to break them up.

And did they care for the TRUE artist? Nooooooooo... no metaphors here, ya understand. No social commentary. It was just a wierd little scene. Nothing to see here... move along.

In other news, I just got cast in a short film that a collective called "The Makeshift Contraption" is producing. It's a funny little story called "Ways My Life Would Have Been Different If I Hadn't Been Shot In The Stomach." I'm going to play a "door-to-door Christian."

I'm not getting paid for the film, but I'll get a copy, and I'll be able to attend the premier at Acme in Southeast Portland... probably on the last Tuesday of July or August. The final Tuesday of the month is Acme's IT Night - that stands for "Independent Tuesday." Basically, they let local filmmakers show their films on IT (starting at 10pm). The bar gives out a theme for each last-Tuesday, but they don't really care if a film fits the theme.

After auditioning for "Stomach" yesterday I went by and checked it out. It's a pretty decent place (in an urban hipster/ dive-bar-with-a-huge-patio-and-a-video-screen-on-one-wall kinda way), and the films I saw ranged from bizarre to very professionally done. The place was pretty full, so there's quite the following for these little locally-produced films. I got to see another of the Makeshift Contraption's films last night (called "The Trouble Wtih Roommates"), and was pretty impressed by the production values and the direction. They seem to know their stuff.

So... I'll have another short to put on my resume. I'll also have a bunch of lines to memorize before the shoot on Sunday morning!

Speaking of morning... I should probably crash out. Hope you're all doing well...


Tuesday, June 20, 2006

3648 Days... or 5108, Depending On How You Look At It

Hey all

So, what the heck does that title mean? Well, I'll get to that in a minute... first a couple of updates:

>>Remember that beach trip I mentioned in my last post? Our friend Kate and her dog Hariett joined Trish, Buddy, Baby and I on a trip to Arcadia beach on the eleventh, and we had a wonderful time wandering the coastline. We brought our camera and got some photos of the trip, which I've posted here. Check 'em out!

>>Sum of the Parts ( shooting is going really well. I've shot two scenes to be used in the "flashback" sequence that will end the film, and I've got a couple more location shoots to do for a scene earlier in the movie. We've still got to do dialogue looping, but the project's nearing completion. I posted a couple of still photos from the flashback scene on my Myspace Profile - stop by and check 'em out. I'll also post them on when I get around to finishing the design of that site :)

>>The Chuck Mee Challenge is coming together, too. You remember... that's the play Trish and I will be appearing in on Monday, June 26th. The one featuring me as a large coke bottle? But I'm so much more than just a large coke bottle... I'm a true artist inspired by Lawrence Olivier locked in a struggle with a rock and roll rooster... who just happens to be a large coke bottle. Now, how could you miss out on that?

Here's the official listing that RACC posted in their monthly newsletter:

6/26 The Chuck Mee Challenge. Scenes written by Francesca Sanders for noted playwright Charles Mee as a professional collaboration and personal challenge. Some of the Portland directors participating: Olga Sanchez (Lorca in a Green Dress, Clean), Kristan Seemel, (Dr. Faustus Lights The Lights) Kerry Sorci (Artistic Director Integrity Productions, studied with Anne Bogart and the Siti Company) Andrew Golla (Artistic Director, Portland Theatre Works) Barbara Kite (Speaking and Acting Coach and director) Devon Allen (currently directing Big Love at Portland State). 7:30pm, Theatre!Theatre! Arena Stage, 3930 SE Belmont, Portland, 503.493.2955. Free Admission.

Be there or be... not a large coke bottle, I guess... Seriously. We hope you can make it.

>>Trish will be appearing in the staged reading of a new adaptation of Hamlet by Portland playwright and director Connor Kerns. She's off at her first read-through this evening. The reading will preview on August 10, and perform the 11th and 12th at the Mago Hunt Performing Arts Center on the University of Portland Campus. Mark your calendars!

>>Trish's sister is doing much better now. Here's the low-down: she went to the emergency room last week with chest pain (she's had some cardiac issues in the past). They weren't able to control her pain, or determine what was causing it, so they admitted her to the hospital. After a week or so of tests and in-patient care, they're still not sure what caused the episode... but she's much more comfortable now, and back at home. We logged a lot of miles going back-and-forth to Salem last week... it's nice to have things down there somewhat stabilized. Speaking of the Salem area...

>>Trish's Brother Pete is back in town from Idaho. For those of you who don't know, Pete's a guitarist, and he'll be performing on Friday the 23rd at the Steam Heat Coffee House in Keizer this Friday, June 23rd. If you just happen to be in Keizer on Friday, stop by and give him a listen. He'll be playing from 8 - 10 PM.

>>Now, about that title... Trish and I have some more traveling on the horizon. You see, Thursday is the tenth anniversary of our marriage, and the fourteenth anniversary of our first date (as near as we can figure it). It's a real milestone, in very many ways. I can tell you in all honesty that fourteen years ago I couldn't have imagined that I would be marrying such an amazing, talented, wonderful woman... and I had no idea what an adventure our life together would be.

So, to commemorate our fourteen years together (and ten years of officially-sanctioned-married-filing-jointly-status), we're going to keep our adventure going... by jumping in the car and driving. In some direction or another, with no destination in mind. We're just going to head down the road together, hand-in-hand, facing the excitement and possible bumps in the road together. It seems somehow fitting.

Hold on to those you love, folks... it's worth it.

Be well.


Wednesday, June 14, 2006

Crunch Time

Howdy Everybody

I realize that it's been, like, half a month since I posted anything on the ol' blog. Trish and I have been incredibly busy of late (many many stories to tell, trust me), so I haven't really had much time to post anything. I'm hoping, though, that I'll get a breather in the next couple of days to fill you in on what's been going on. For now, here's a quick list of what's been shakin:'

>> Had a great visit up north to see my Mom & Dad and our friends Walter and Beth at the beginning of the month. Endured horrible traffic on the way up through Tacoma (seven car accident closed most of I-5), AND a visit to Ft. Lewis (where every public building has Fox News playing 24 hours a day.) Uck!

>> Trish and I are both going to be performing in the Chuck Mee Challenge on Monday, June 26 at Theatre!Theatre! on Belmont. We'll be doing some very wierd short plays written by Francesca Sanders in the style of Charles Mee (I'm going to be a large coke bottle... THAT kind of wierd!). Anyway, if you want to come see, the performance will be at 7, I believe. More later.

>> Visited the beach with our good friend Kate last weekend and took a ton of photos. I'll try and post some of them. It was a wonderful day.

>> Trish's sister Mary Lou is having some health problems down in Salem, so we've been spending a lot of time on the road back and forth. Nothing too horrible... we're managing it. But, ya know... it's never easy :)

>> I stayed up all night last night doing some extra work for a Nike commercial shot at the Lloyd Center mall. Extra work sucks, and all-night shoots are no fun even when you're not an extra. No idea when the the commercial will air (it'll probably be national), but it features a bunch of young runners running through a shopping mall. That blur that they whiz by in the light blue polo shirt and khaki's - that's probably me. It's quite likely that I won't be recognizable.

>> Shooting another Sum of the Parts scene on Friday.

That's pretty much it for now... I've had about three hours of sleep, so I'm afraid I can't be more lucid than that. :) I'm gonna hit the shower and then go do the Golden Hours broadcast for this week... by the way, I found out that you can listen to the show live on the internet Wednesdays between 6 and 8pm, in case you're not near a television that can pick up SAP. Just click here, scroll down to the Golden Hours area, and click the stream that works with your audio player.

Gotta run... hope you're all doing well.