Trish and Harold's Weblog

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

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...