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...