Trish and Harold's Weblog

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

Monday, April 30, 2007

A Follow-up On Mike Daisey

Howdy campers

The shoulder is feeling much better today... god bless sleep and anti-inflamitories.

Speaking of inflammatory, you may remember a previous post about a group of "Christians" walking out of monologist Mike Daisey's show in Boston earlier this month and pouring water on his work (in what he termed an "anti-baptism") on the way out.

There have been a couple of follow-ups on this story, if you're interested... first from the Boston Globe, in their Arts and Entertainment section... and then from Daisey himself on his blog.

I don't know how to encapsulate this episode as it recedes in the rear view mirror... perhaps it's a warning to box office personnel that they have to be careful in describing a show to patrons. Perhaps it's a cautionary tale to audiences that they may not get what they expect when they buy their ticket. To be sure, it's a lesson to performers that live performance will almost always yield the unexpected, and we can only hope to deal with those unexpected events using the aplomb and style that Daisey employed.

Something to contemplate...


Sunday, April 29, 2007

Don't Tell ME Acting Isn't a Dangerous Profession...

A couple years back, I was looking into getting disability insurance for myself. It just made sense... I'm self-employed, and if I don't work I don't bring any money into the household. If I get hit by a truck during my many many hours on the road... well, Trish and I would have to go through some lean times.

So, we looked into a couple of policies, and Trish and I were surprised to find that many insurers view acting as a "high risk" occupation. We scoffed at the notion that people dressing in funny clothes in front of a camera or on stage could be considered at "high risk."

NOW I get it :) Fast-forward to rehearsal a couple days ago... in Swiss Family Robinson (which opens next Friday, May 4th - I hope you can all come out to see it) Buffy Rogers and I have a dazzling sword fight around the eponymous Swiss Family's tree house. At one point she disarms me, knocking my sword to the ground. Later I run up, roll, and grab my sword to continue the fight.

Or at least... that's how it's supposed to happen. This particular evening as I came up on the sword to begin my roll, my loving family of Swiss boys were crowded around it watching the fight.

Now, that's what they had been told to do... they just hadn't been told to clear out as I came up on the sword. If I'd been smart, I would have adjusted for their presence and not rolled for the sword. I would have just run up, scooped it into my hand, and turned to threaten the Piratical Buffy (while choreographing the fight, John Armour had already mentioned that "the scoop" was totally acceptable if the roll wasn't practical for whatever reason). No one ever accused me of being smart, though... I was feeling a little too macho for my own good, so I tried to roll and, at the same time, to avoid the four fellas standing by my sword.

Bad move... instead of rolling onto the back of my left shoulder as I was supposed to (and then carrying the momentum through so that rolled onto my feet), all my body's weight came down on top of the shoulder and I felt lots of muscles, tendons, and other little body bits we take for granted shift in ways they're not supposed to. Rehearsal stopped. An ice pack was procured and applied (thank you, Roger, for always being on top of things :)). And we moved on to continue rehearsal...

Well, sleeping that night was not fun. I winced every time I rolled over onto my shoulder, and could feel my shoulder pull in very painful ways with some movements. I knew that this was a pretty serious injury, so I spent the next day at the doctor's office. Sure enough he told me that I had a separated shoulder (for the record, that's not my x-ray to the left - just an image I found online). So, I'm not doing my dazzling tuck-and-roll for the next couple of weeks while I rest my shoulder and take anti-inflammatories... if you come to see the show opening weekend, you'll miss it. Hopefully, though, I can work my way back up to rolling again before the show closes - it is a very nice move, and one that always gets a few oooo's and aaaaah's :)

The good news is that this injury isn't inhibiting anything else I do on stage, and the show just keeps getting better every night. I'm just about to go in for a 12 hour tech day today... where we add in all the light and sound cues (which will be numerous with this show). I know I say this every time, but I really do hope that you can all get out to see this one. In many ways it's the best kind of theatre - simple, straight-forward story telling with relatable characters, a dash of action, lots of spectacle (wait 'til you see that tree house they built for us... WOW!), and an escape from the mundanity of daily life. No weighty issues are discussed, no attempt is made to solve the world's problems... this is just a fun diversion for a couple of hours, that's accessible to kids from 6 to 96. I'm really looking forward to opening it and seeing what the audience reaction is like.

If you haven't already seen them, I posted some PR photos in the Photos Section at - stop by and take a look. And I really do hope you get out to see the show.

Hope you're all doing well...


Sunday, April 22, 2007

What the F***?

I mean seriously... what the F***?

Friday night monologuist Mike Daisey (best known for his "21 Dog Years - Doing Time @," which played here in Portland and around the country) was performing his new piece, Invincible Summer, at Boston's American Repertory Theatre. In the middle of his show, eighty seven members (apparently of some Christian group - though I haven't heard of a group taking credit for the action) walked out en masse. If that wasn't rude enough, one member of the group went up to the stage and poured water all over Daisey's outline.

Their issue, as far as anyone knows? He said the "F Word."


Some freaky freaky "Christians" (I know too many good Christians not to use the quotes here) apparently never see R rated movies or watch Showtime or HBO.

Look, you can like some guys show or not. It really doesn't mean anything to me... talk about it after the curtain, leave at intermission, or even stick your thumb in the performer's eye and walk out during the show... but to assault the performer and, in this case, his script the way this person did is crossing a line.

Check out Daisey's blog - He happened to be videotaping that night. The incident is posted on his blog, and on YouTube.

Seriously... what the Fuck?

Saturday, April 14, 2007

So Much For Resolutions...

Ok, that's it. No more public resolutions like I made in my last post... it's too public an embarasment when I don't hold up my end of the deal. So that's it, I won't do it no more!! Oh wait... I just did it again, didn't I? Sigh... hard to break those bad habits.
Two things before I get to talking about what's been going on in my life the past month:

1) Happy birthday James. Hope you got the package - keep us posted on the impending birth (and your shrinking girth).

2) One of western literature's greatest voices was silenced this week... it's not like it came as a big surprise; he was getting up there in years, and death comes to us all eventually. Still, I mourn the world's loss of Kurt Vonegut. There's a wonderful little tribute video that I saw on MySpace this morning... check it out.

So... as to what's been happening in Trish and my lives since my last substantial post...

>> Movies:

Shooting wrapped this weekend on From Kilimanjaro With Love, the independent feature that Trish and I have been working on over the past month... and what a long strange trip it's been. One week of rehearsals and 18 days of shooting have hopefully given writer/ director Robert Bruce and Production Manager/ Editor/ Camera Person/ Everything-else-woman Carey Bruce enough coverage to put together this ambitious feature... over the course of the shoot we had too much rain, too much sun, too much heat and too much cold... location changes, prop changes, line changes, and the trading of a helicopter for a biplane... and through it all the cast and crew kept their spirits up and worked together to pull the project off. Now it goes into post-production, and we all cross our fingers and hope that it comes out looking as good as we think it should.

I'll keep you all posted on news as it comes from Road's End... Bob and Carey are hoping to have a rough-cut of the film by September, and a fully edited final cut by November or so to start shopping around to festivals. In the mean time, check out some production photos that the crew uploaded to Flickr... of course, I have my personal favorites - but as the fight choreographer for the film I'm fairly partial to this one, this one, this one, this one, and this one. :)

I attended the screening of two movies I appear in, How To Breathe and Dark Horizon, at this year's Longbaugh Film festival. Well, I should say I attended the Dark Horizon screening; the shorts program that How To Breathe was being shown in sold out quickly and I wasn't able to get in (I did get a dvd copy of the work, though; my scene will be posted in the Video section of soon).

It's always wierd to see myself on-screen, but I think I'm getting better at it; I didn't cringe much at all when I saw my big nose or lack of chin, and I think that I carried my scenes off pretty well. The film still needs a bit of sound mixing, but otherwise it's in pretty good shape; it'll probably be headed out to other festivals around the country later this year.

One last Dark Horizon note - for those of you who have emailed me, yes, that was OUR Ryan Deal. It happend before I got there, and it sounds to me like Ryan got a little too caught up in the moment. He's made a public apology (on the Willamette Week web site, anyway... which is public enough for me), and David Walker seems cool with it. No such thing as bad press, eh?

The festival screenings did yield one other nice benefit - now that I've had a public screening of a film I'm in, I'm listed on IMDB - which means absolutely nothing in the grand scheme. Just a little ego stroke :)

Incidentally, before I leave movie-land, I should mention that I've added some shots from The Yard and God Has No Religion to the photos section of Stop by and check 'em out when you get the chance.
>> Theatre:
Rehearsals have started for Swiss Family Robinson at Northwest Children's Theatre... and it's gonna... be... AWESOME!!!! After a week of blocking rehearsals with Sarah Jane Hardy and a week of fight rehearsals with John Armour, I have to say I'm SO looking forward to this production opening. We're going to have a treehouse set (designed by Paul Brown), sweeping, adventurous music (courtesy of Rodolfo Ortega), dazzling fights with pirates... maybe even an explosion! The younger members of the cast are a joy to work with - since most of them have been through NWCT productions before (or classes at NWCT) they're very focused and ready to work at rehearsal, and it's always a joy to work with Buffie Rogers and Kerry Ryan.
There are some PR photos from in the photos section of if you want to check 'em out... and we're opening on May 4th, so consider buying your tickets online at You'll have lots of chances to see the show, though... we run all week (plus doing six school shows a week during the day).
Meanwhile, Trish has been cast in Integrity Productions upcoming production of Wonder of the World by David Lindsay-Abaire (scroll down to the bottom of the Integrity link to see details of the show). She starts rehearsals on Tuesday - so she gets a whole two days off after wrapping Kilimanjaro before going into her next production. Wonder of the World is a hilarious play - I auditioned for one of the parts (before being cast in Swiss Family Robinson) and read through the script - and Trish's part is a HOOT! She plays an amateur private investigator with a dark past. That show opens June 7th; you'll want to come see it. It'll be a blast.
>> Real Estate:
Now for the not-so-fun news... as you may rememer, Trish and I have been trying to sell our duplex in NE Portland for over a year now. We finally got an out-of-town buyer (ironically, when we'd decided to take it off the market for a bit) in late February, and we were slated to close the sale on April 2nd (after making many many repairs and spiffing the place up).
Because that wasn't stressful enough, one of our tennants decided to move out at about the time the buyer came onto the scene. We had to deal with "refreshing" her unit and getting it ready for the new buyer to rent as well as getting all the paperwork in order and other repairs...
Well, I wouldn't be writing about this if something hadn't happened. After finally getting the tennant out of her side of the duplex (there were some "issues" associated with that), signing our documents for the closing and getting the last of the repairs done, we were told that the buyer's bank had changed the terms of his loan, and he wasn't going through with the purchase. So, we were left "holding the bag" for all the repairs we'd done (and a fair chunk of credit card debt) and no sale.
This happened a few weeks ago, and time and distance have helped us to make peace with the situation... it's really just a "bump in the road" (sorry Carmela) and not the grand-mal catastrophe it felt like when we got the news. At this point the duplex is back on the market (with one side open and ready for a new owner who wants to live in half and get rent from the other half to offset his/her mortgage), and we're still receiving some rent to offset our expenses. We also took out a home equity line of credit through our credit union to pay off the credit card debt - better to pay a 6.7% intrest rate than the 19 - 27% interest rate the credit cards would have charged us - and with luck we'll have another buyer soon and we can pay off the line of credit quickly.
So... anyone looking to buy a duplex? Contact Francine Corriere. You can live in half of it, or rent the whole thing out... it's up to you :)
>> "Real" life
So, after all that, it'll probably come as no surprise that Trish and I haven't been seeing much of each other lately :) Even though we were both working on Kilimanjaro, we were often scheduled for different days - she'd be shooting in Yamhill and Newberg while I wasn't called and vice-versa. The 12 hour shoot days and travel time to base camp meant getting up at 4am to get to the set by 7, then getting home at around 9pm - which meant going to bed almost immediately to be up at 4 the next morning.
Add to that my day job as a computer consultant (a client sent me a funny Norwegan video about that... check it out), Trish's day job, Swiss Family Robinson rehearsals and time spent dealing with the duplex... and we're really missing spending time together. We had planned on taking a trip out of the country in June, but Wonder of the World got in the way of that... so we're planning on visiting Greece in September instead. In the mean time, we're grabbing at any chance at "together time" that comes our way.
Otherwise, life keeps on going. Amber, our new pug, has spent the past month integrating into our household. For the most part she's done ok... we had a week or so where she decided to get "assertive" and started peeing on our bed. Another week of being banished from the bed in the evenings seems to have fixed that.
She looks like she's starving to death, of course... she was rescued from an underground breeder who didn't care that she has hip displaysia and bred her anyway, so we have to keep her at around 14 lbs to reduce the stress on her hips and knees. Thankfully her foster mother (through Animal Aid, the organization who rescued her) has a connection with a supplement distributor, and can get us MSM, Glucosomine and liquid vitamin supplements fairly inexpensively... she doesn't get much food, but we're making sure she gets her nutrients.
So... that's pretty much what's been happening in our lives. It's good to be busy - at least we're not bored - but busy also has its down-side :) We're hoping that wrapping Kilimanjaro this weekend will give us a little more time to do more mundane things... like dishes, laundry, that sort of thing.
Oh wait... I think it's time I got to rehearsal :)
Hope you're all doing well...

Thursday, April 05, 2007

Insert Wizard of Oz Joke here

I'm sure that most of you have seen this by now... we all knew that Dick Cheney was a creepy, shadowy kind of guy, but this puts just a little too fine a point on it.

More soon - I've resolved to write a catch-up post some time today...