Trish and Harold's Weblog

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

Saturday, December 15, 2007

New Media, Big Media, Impeachment... and the Commercial Game

Hey folks! Today's post has a little bit of reality and a lot of theatrical news... sorry, but sometimes reality has to intrude on Trish and my fantasy life!

>> First off, Episode 3 of Lady Wasteland is up at This episode focuses mostly on one of the other main charcters, Yuri... but I do appear briefly (all our stories are connected, remember!). One note - if your monitor is set to a resolution below 1280x1024, you might have trouble viewing this episode due to the site's layout. I know that the web team is working on that... in the mean time, you can see Episode Three at the official Lady Wasteland MySpace Page, or you can just look here:

>> 2nd, Fox News is about to own your local newspaper. Well, they already might... but seriously, one of the big issues we face here in the US is the problem of Media Ownership. It's been said that six companies own most of the media in the United States... and on Monday, FCC chairman Kevin Martin is ready to hand these companies even more control of what we see and hear when he relaxes ownership restrictions (even in the face of the huge opposition he met in Seattle when he had the FCC's ONE public hearing on the subject). There's currently a bill before the United States Senate to halt this rule change - your Senators need to hear from you if you want them to support this bill!

>> 3rd, Isn't It About Time We Had Hearings About Cheney's Offenses? You may remember a month or so back when Kucinich introduced articles of impeachment against Dick Cheney in the House of Representatives, and they very nearly got debated on the floor. The articles got kicked back to the Judiciary committee, where they've sat unattended ever since.

Three members of the House Judiciary Committee yesterday wrote an op-ed piece about their belief that the American Public wants them to hold hearings on whether there have been impeachable offenses committed by Vice President Dick Cheney. The Washington Post declined to publish the piece, and it seems to have fallen way below the story about sports steroid use in the importance queue of the national media (apparently, the media thinks that baseball players on steroids are much more important that possibly illegal actions by the Vice President. Remember item #2? Hmmmmm).

If you support such a course of action, one of those House members, Robert Wexler, has created a web site: His plan: to use the number of people who go to the site and sign supporting the hearings as a way to try and get those hearings started.

If you belive, like I do, that we need to do something about this corrupt administration and make clear to future generations that what they've done is NOT acceptable, visit the site and let Rep. Wexler know.

>>4th, Enough About All This Political Stuff. What Happened With The Commercial? The Ron Tonkin shoot went great. I met up with the creative director and producer of Livengood Nowack, Ron Tonkin's ad agency, and their Director of Photography Dave Semeoane at around 8 (there was a bit of fog that morning that made trafic an issue). We were shooting at a private home in Beaverton. The home owner had kindly cleaned up the back yard we were shooting in... which actually became something of an issue since I was supposed to be raking leaves in the spot. Not to worry, though. Our producer, Tad, grabbed some of the leaves that had collected under the trees in the back yard and dressed the set.
It was a pretty cold morning (in the low 30's), which created some problems as they shot my scenes in the spot; my breath kept steaming when I smelled the great Ron Tonkin year-end deals in the air. Dave came up with a great solution - they got me a glass of ice water and had me chew ice cubes until my throat's temperature started to match the temperature of the air around me. Presto chango - no more steam.
We basically shot four angles. The sum total of my job was to sniff the air. I think it'll be a pretty cute spot. We'll see what people think when it starts to air after Christmas. I'm hoping to pick up a copy next week once the commercial has been through post; I'll add it to the video section of once the spot starts to air.
>> 5th, What Ever Happened to Trish's Regence Commercial? Did She Ever Get Paid?
Well... yes and no. The check is in the mail... but I'll let Trish tell you about this one:

Hi, all. I wanted to send a thank-you to all of you who responded to my call for information about when the Regence commercial was airing. The situation has been resolved, and the check is in the mail!

Two quick things that might be worth thinking about for those of you who do commercial work.

One, if you do a commercial that's airing in your area, or where you have friends/family, it might be good to have them jot down when they see your smiling face on the screen. I'm told by some actor friends that they do this routinely, for just this sort of situation, and keep some kind of a log for all commercial work. I think I'll do something like that from now on. I also plan to drop a quick email to any friends that I see on TV commercial work. I've heard from several friends that they didn't know a commercial they did was airing again....and that they hadn't seen pay either. While it's true that, if you are a union member, they deal with this sort of thing, I'd imagine it's nearly impossible for them or anyone else to monitor all commercials airing everywhere...So a good thing to tell your friends and loved ones!

Second, it's a very small world. Word of my pay problem got to Regence through a pdxbackstage reader who works for them. I just wanted to let everyone know that Regence was fabulous through this whole situation. The problem was with a payroll service, not them, and though it wasn't their issue, they went to great lengths to make sure the problem was corrected. My experience with them was wonderful from the filming through the pay process. It just didn't occur to me that anyone would think the problem was with Regence per se. So, I'll think more carefully before sending out a message to the whole community that might affect anyone's perception of a company, etc.

So, thanks again for your responses, my wonderfully crazy and loving theatre community. I send to you all much love and wishes for a wonderful, warm and loving holiday season!

So things are resolved on that front... thanks to everyone who let Trish know when they saw her commercial.

>> 6th (and Finally), What's next? Things keep on trucking. It used to be that the end of the year was a slow period for commercial and film production here in Portland... but not so much any more. Aside from the Tonkin commercial I just shot, I've got a call-back for an Autodesk industrial Monday ("industrial" is a catch-all term for non-broadcast video, usually used for corporate training or education) which, if I get cast, will shoot on the 20th. We did our final Wild Bills murder mysteries on Thursday and Friday, so we're just about ready to take a holiday break.
And that's what's been happening in Trish and my lives... remember as you hustle around in the cold to take a moment during this holiday season and remember what you're celebrating. It's not about running back and forth after the "perfect gift;" it's about pausing to appreciate your loved ones, and looking back on the good things that have happened in the past year.
Stay warm out there...