Trish and Harold's Weblog

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

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

... And Sometimes It Pours!

This is a wacky business I'm in... you can have nothing on your plate and an empty schedule one day, and in the blink of an eye things really start hopping.

Yesterday was shaping up to be a full-on "Show Biz" kinda day... I had an ADR session in the morning at at Blue Dog Recording (an amazing facility, by the way... if you ever need high-quality audio recording done here in Portland, Bruce can take really good care of you) for my upcoming web series Lady Wasteland. ADR is usually a grueling process, with the sound engineer playing and re-playing bits of audio from footage into the actors headphones, while the actor tries to match the timing of what he said on-the-day while fixing problems with enunciation, pitch, etc. We managed to knock out two episodes in two hours, though, which is pretty damned good as ADR sessions go.

While I was there, I got to see some of the rough-cut footage for Episodes 1 and 3 in the monitor... and I have to say, it looks pretty damned cool. You're all going to want to visit and sign up for updates (it's the link in the lower-right-hand corner of the screen). From what I can see so far, the launch on November 30th is gonna ROCK!!!

Anyway, after the session at Blue Dog I called my agent Kaili to check in on a commercial audition I went out on last week (note to young actors - ALWAYS bring your schedule to an audition and write down the date of the callback, then check in before the callback date to see if you're on the list. Sometimes the list goes out late, or people forget to call you... it's best to check in yourself just to be sure, and prevents nasty scheduling surprises if the word comes out at the last minute when you've got other things scheduled - as I often do. If you have an agent, it's also a good idea to get in touch with him/her on a weekly basis just to check in... it keeps you in the agent's mind as s/he's thinking of actors to submit to upcoming projects).

Turns out I did get called back for the commercial, so it's a good thing I called! I noted the audition time down on my Treo and grabbed some lunch... when the phone rang again. This time it was the director for Dead of Winter, an evening of short plays by Steve Patterson that's set to go up in February. I auditioned for one of the plays on Sunday, and the director (the fabulous Lisa Abbott) was calling to offer me a role.

This put me in something of a tight spot. I'd also auditioned for Northwest Children's Theater's The Devil & Daniel Webster last week, before I'd auditioned for Dead of Winter. I'd called director Sarah Jane Hardy to check in with her on her casting process earlier in the morning (see the note above), but hadn't heard back from her. While I'd love to do Dead of Winter, I kind of felt like I owed it to NWCT to be sure they weren't thinking of casting me in Devil; I had auditioned for them first, after all...

I told Lisa I'd have to get back to her while I talked to Sarah Jane (never a good feeling; the minute you hang up the phone in that situation you're just sure that the director is going to get miffed and call someone else). I contacted Northwest Children's Theater and talked to Sarah Jane... and she told me that she was seriously considering me for either the titular parts of The Devil or Daniel Webster, and asked me if I could give her a day to put things in place.

So... it's a great problem to have, two directors who want to use you... but also a little unnerving. What if both of them decide you're not worth the trouble? Pins and needles time...

After lunch, I headed to my friend Ellen West's current abode (she has a very nice condo in Southwest Portland, but she's having some work done on it so she's staying in an apartment up the street) to do "living room reading" of her new play, A Funny Thing Happened. The purpose of a "living room reading" is to give the playwright a chance to hear her play in other people's voices; she gathers actors and friends together and has them read through a play she's been working on. She can hear things that need work in a different way than she can see them on the page... and she can also get feedback from the folks she's asked to read the play. It's a fun little farce, and definitely has potential. I won't be surprised to see some theatre somewhere producing this little show of hers once she polishes it up a bit.

After that, it was off to the Art Institute for their Senior Project general auditions. Each year students in the senior class at the Art Institute produce short films as part of their final thesis. I've appeared in a few over the past few years, and it's a great chance to work with up-and-coming filmmakers and get some on-camera experience. You don't get paid, generally... but you do get a copy of your work that can be incorporated into an actor's reel or posted online (I'm still waiting for clean copies of the films I did last year... then I'll post some clips in the video section of Trish and I both read a couple of scenes from feature films (she read a scene from Agnes of God, and I read a scene from Shampoo).

When we got home after the audition, I found another email from my agent waiting for me in my inbox... another commercial audition scheduled for Tuesday. Luckily my callback is set for the morning, and this one is in the late afternoon.

So, yeah... it's a wacky business. Things have been pretty slow of late. A couple of auditions, a murder mystery here and there... but overall, not much has been going on. Then, in one day, things start coming down like cats and dogs. Today's gonna be a very full day.

Hope you're all doing well... if I don't post before then (and you know me... I probably won't) have a wonderful Thanksgiving!