Trish and Harold's Weblog

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

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Oregon Politicians Gots Style!

So, those of you not living in Oregon likely don't know about this, but one of our Senators (Republican Gordon Smith) comes up for re-election this year. There's a hotly contested battle for the Democratic nomination between Oregon House Speaker Jeff Merkley and long-time Democratic activist Steve Novick.

Novick isn't your typical candidate... he's short and he has a hook for one hand. He really knows how to play off his physical issues, though. Check these campaign ads - they're pretty funny.

This one's got a real "hook" to it :)

Hey, you Oregonians who haven't been paying attention and haven't thought about which candidate is better... you might want to take a look at this blog discussion. It's a pretty good description of people's perceptions about the candidates.

Saturday, January 26, 2008

Film Action (in Oregon!)

Hey folks! Told you I was going to try to post more (and hopefully in more managable, bite-sized pieces than the last gargantua-sized hunka-blog).

So, some great news for the Portland Filmmaking community:

>> First, local filmmaker Nicholas J. Hagen won the MySpace Storytellers Challenge with his series pilot for The Paranomalists. He's got a development deal coming with FOX television. Portland-area filmmakers For The Win!!

>> Second, www.portlandfilmorg is back online, and is shaping up to be a great resource for locals working in our film industry. Stop on by and become a member; you never know where that next job might come from (and hey, it beats Craigslist).

>> Third, Portland is again on the list of the to 10 cities in the US for Independent filmmakers. In fact, we jumped up a spot from number 9 to number 8! Check it out:

For Immediate Release
January 23, 2008
Contact: Susan Haley, Oregon Film &Video Office - (503) 229-5832
Michael Fine, City of Portland – (503) 823- 4039

Once again, Portland has been included as one of the top ten cities for independent filmmakers in the 2008 listing of MovieMaker Magazine. This is the sixth year in a row Portland has made the list, beginning in 2003 when the city was first submitted as a contender. Last year Portland placed at number 9 and has bounced back up to number 8 for 2008. Each year the magazine lists what it considers to be the top ten cities based on benefits offered to filmmakers and on feedback from writers, directors, crew people and film office representatives.

Portland Mayor Tom Potter expressed his appreciation for the honor. "It's great to be recognized once again for all that we offer filmmakers. Aside from the incredible visual cornucopia and the financial advantages, our question truly is 'how can we help you get what you want simply and quickly?' The cooperation between city bureaus, businesses and neighborhoods is very friendly and proactive – nearly all value the wonderful benefits the film industry provides to the Portland area."

Highlighted in the article is a quote from York Shackleton, writer/director of Street, starring Viveca Fox and Theresa Russell. "I chose Portland for its unbelievable cinematic beauty; combined with a dark, gloomy grit – both of which were called for in my film Street. It's like a real-life Gotham City. Portland is very multidimensional, with forests, cobblestone streets, old brick buildings and contemporary architecture. All these distinctly different areas are what make it an independent filmmaker's playground. It feels like one big studio backlot."

Cities were ranked according to local talent pool, production facilities, educational opportunities, networking events, film festivals and other screening venues. The importance of a city's financial incentives was a big part of the equation as well as consideration for the environment. In addition to Portland's great landscape also noted were the lack of sales tax, the 20% rebate incentive and the 16.2% labor rebate. Added Shackleton, "Portland provided a very film-friendly environment for me. Permits are cheap, tax incentives are reachable and everyone is willing to help." Along with Street, recent films shot in and around Portland include, Untraceable, Management, Follow, Selfless, Into The Wild, Music Within, and Paranoid Park.

The Winter 2008 issue of MovieMaker will arrive at bookstores soon. For a pdf copy of the article please contact Susan Haley at the Oregon Film & Video Office ( or Michael Fine at the Mayor's Office of Film & Video (

>> Fourth, Untraceable opens this weekend. The latest big-budget movie to shoot in Portland is reported to look just great, and a ton of local actors and crew worked on it. If you're looking for something to do, drop on by your local multi-plex.

For those of you who don't get the joke in the title, click here. :)

It's gonna be a busy day for me today... a hair trim, a film audition (more on that if I get the role... it's a twisted little short), then we begin tech for Dark of Winter this evening. That's gonna be two tons of fun. Hope you're all doing well...


Friday, January 25, 2008

January's Odds And Ends

Howdy all

It's been a long, long time since I updated you all on Trish and my comings-and-goings... I've actually had this post slowly baking all week, adding little bits to it here and there... but as time marches on and more keeps happening in the world, I figured I'd better take a few moments this morning to get it finalized and up here. So, lets get you all caught up on a few bits of news, some thoughts on current events, share a couple of funny items with you... mostly a big ol' grab bag of the chaotic thoughts running through my head as 2008 gets rolling.

In other words, this is going to be one of those long, rambling, nonsense-ridden posts you've gotten used to. Go ahead, get some coffee or something to eat. I'll still be here when you get back.

Ready? Ok... then... here we go...

>> First off, Dead of Winter Opens Next week! You may remember my mentioning the upcoming show's MySpace page in an earlier post this month... things have been shaping up quite nicely as we enter our final week of rehearsals (and tech weekend, which is going to be a particular adventure for us given the fact that these plays deal with the supernatural. Thankfully we're in the very capable hands of sound designer extrodinaire' Gordon Romei and stage manager/ lighting designer Julie Booth... the tech process might be painful, but the final result is sure to be magical).

One bit of "DOW" news I don't think I've shared with you... Sharon Sassone (known as "ShaSha" to many in the Portland theater community) was originally cast in the show, but she's had a family emergency which is going to force her to return to Chicago. Luckily, Trish had an open schedule for January and February, so she's agreed to step in and take on ShaSha's roles (she's in two of the three short plays that make up the evening of ghost stories). She's been sweating blood and putting her nose to the grindstone to try and get the lines down in time for our opening next week; she plays a medium who speaks in unearthly voices in one piece and a tough rural Oregon woman in another... there's been a lot of line running around our house the past couple weeks.

What, you may ask, are the plays that make up Dead of Winter? The evening begins with Whitechappel (Winner of the Sam Bass One-Act Contest in Austin), which takes us to a London flat which may or may not be haunted by the grandfather of serial killers, Jack the Ripper. I'm in this piece, as is Trish. Next is a World Premiere written especially for The Bluestockings (who co-produce the evening with playwright Steve Patterson's production company, Pavement Productions). Wet Paint invites us into a house which may or may not have uninvited guests, and a rainy night's séance which may or may not be harmless fun. Trish is also featured in this play. The evening rounds out with The Body, a visit with a grieving coroner who may or may not be a little too in touch with one of his "patients." The Body was featured in The Nature of Fear and Its Effects, produced by Jobsite Theatre at the Tampa Performing Arts Center.

So, make plans to join us the first four weekends in February at Performance Works Northwest (4625 SE 67th Avenue, Portland) in the Foster Arts District. The show runs Thursdays, Fridays, and Saturdays through February 23rd. Tickets are $10 in advance, $12 at the door, and $10 for students and seniors (Thursdays are sliding scale). Tickets can be purchased online at, or call 503-777-2771 for reservations.

It's winter, after all... Bare trees. Fog. A chill breeze. It's the perfect time of year to cozy up and tell stories about things that might be there, in the dark. In the night. And that's just what these three psychological chillers do: explore that which isn't there…unless it is!

Hope we see you at the show!

>> Lady Wasteland has posted its seventh and final episode of its pilot run (ironically entitled "The First") at It's been a wild ride... over the course of a month-and-a-half Lady Wasteland has generated tens of thousands of hits worldwide (a large concentration coming from Asia... in fact, there's been a lot of buzz about it on the Asian Entertainment community site Alive Not Dead), and it's received a lot of attention from video sites like,,, and many others.

So, the big question is "What happens next?" Creators Mark Roush and Greg Demchak are actively looking to either syndicate the show for television and/or expand its presence as an online webisode series. A lot of it depends on how much demand there is for more... the comments sent through the web site and left on video sharing sites have been overly positive. Assuming Mark and Greg can secure funding (or syndication) from financial backers, they're hoping to start production of a new set of episodes in late spring or early summer.

So, as is so often the case, it all depends on the money. Spread the word to people who may not have seen the series... if we get enough demand, and we can show the numbers to potential backers... who knows what might happen?

>> We could only hope to be as popular as this little flash video that's been making the rounds of the internets (that series of tubes) called "Animator vs Animation." Have you seen this yet? It's a hoot, and very skillfully made. Check it out for yourself (sorry to those of you who are on dial-up; it probably won't run so smoothly for you). Thanks for sending it along, Jelly!

>> Mike Huckabee is one creepy, theocracy-cravin', squirrel-eatin' lunatic.

(Thanks to Steve Patterson for the image. He may not have created it, but he's the one who posted it on his blog for me to swipe.)

Ok, so you all know that Huckabee pulled a surprise win out of the Iowa Caucuses... a big surprise, since the establishment in the Republican party doesn't even like him much. Some non-rabid Republicans have started to warm to him, because he seems like less of a toadie to corporate intersts, and more committed to good Christian values like social justice and helping the poor.

Before you start warming too much to the Huckster, though... you might just want to listen to this:

Creepy... aren't the conservobots complaining about how "un-democratic" Iran is because their religious leaders run the country? Hmmmm... and lets not forget the squirrel eating!

Now don't get me wrong - lots of people eat squirrels (I guess). As Portland radio personality Rick Emerson has taken to saying, though, between Huckabee's use of Chuck Norris in his campaign ads, Nature Boy Rick Flair in his personal appearances (and his offer to make him Director of Homeland Security), and his rallying around the Confederate flag... he seems to be counting on the "Foxworthy vote" to get him in the white house.

The simple fact of the matter is the Christian Evangelicals who used to be a major power in the Republican party (the looniest of them included, like the wack-o's that are going to picket Heath Ledger's funeral) are Huckabee's strongest base of support. More moderate Christians like the fact that he talks the talk... but they're a little leery of "ammending the consititution to fit 'God's Law.' "

This is causing something of a rift in the Republican party, since the Republicans currently in power were happy to pander to that group for votes, but didn't really believe in what they believe in, or consider them worth their time once they actually got elected. Now, the Evangelicals have their very own VERY Evangelical candidate, and the Republican party main-stays are getting nervous about the Loony-wing of the religious right actually having real power in the party. It's tough when a party's own hipocracy turns around and bites it, huh?

>>Meanwhile, Fred Thompson finally dropped his shambling saunter towards the White House... I think the proprietor of Socks and Barney (a great polictical satire comic online; go back and read from the beginning; it's good stuff) said it best in this comic strip.

>> While we're on the subject of politics, I have to say that John Edwards is looking better and better as Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama's campaigns keep devolving into name-calling and cat-scratching. I'm not going to go into ALL the reasons why I'm a big Edwards supporter - this post has gotten too long as it is - but suffice it to say he's got the experience, he can bring people people together, he can negotiate AND fight for the middle class... he's the real deal. I know Barack Obama is many people's sentimental choice, but lets be honest - he's got 2 Years of national-level political experience. I know Hillary Clinton is many people's "safe choice," but we've seen plenty of the down-sides she has to offer in recent weeks (aside from the fact that she's a total corporatist - one of the major problems we face in the US these days is too much corporate power, and I don't think she's going to change that).

Take another look at Edwards... he's not flashy, he doesn't have the campaign war-chest to buy as much TV advertising as Clinton and Obama (and, funny thing... the news media doesn't pay as much attention to him... hmmmmmm...) but I, myself, think he's the right choice in 2008.

Of course, I'm a registered Independent, so I can't vote in Oregon's Democratic Primary... this is really the only venue I have to make that point :) Again, I think Socks and Barney hit it right on the head...

>> So, that's pretty much where my head's been of late... I just figured I had to get this up here instead of constantly adding to it and never posting it. As we close out January and move on into the next month, I'll try to get better about posting shorter, more to the point posts.

Feel free to come to my show and remind me to do so...

I've really got to get going now... hope you're all doing well...


Sunday, January 06, 2008

Another Gig And Tonkin Video Posted

Giggity Giggity Giggity

Hey folks!

This year is starting out pretty well... an audition notice came across PDXBackstage last week looking for actors to appear in a documentary project.

Wait... lemme 'splain. It is a documentary, but they're using actors to enact scenarios the interviewees discuss during their interviews... so the actors are used for fictional situations to illustrate the points made by the people interviewed on camera.

In any case, they liked the headshot and resume I submitted (having video examples of my work on probably didn't hurt, either), so I'll be shooting a scene for this project early next week.

Speaking of video on my web site, a lot of people have told me they've seen my commercial for Tonkin Automotive's Year End Clearance Sale... but since the spot's only been played in the Portland area, a lot of you who read the blog haven't gotten a chance to see it. I just posted the spot on the Video page of, though... so feel free to click here and watch the spot. It's pretty funny.

Oh, and Dead of Winter, the new stage show I'm working on, now has a MySpace page. Click here to visit it... and if you have a MySpace account, add the show as a "friend." Rehearsals are just getting started, but I'm very excited about the show; Steve Patterson has written some creepy little plays that are going to come together as one scary night of theater! The show opens on February 1st, so mark your calendars!

That's pretty much all that's happening in these parts... hope you're all doing well!

- Harold

Thursday, January 03, 2008

News From The Wasteland, and Prepare for the Scares!

Hey folks... happy new year!

>>First off, thanks to everyone who's written expressing their condolences on the loss of Buddy. Our household is adjusting, slowly... the girls have noticed the change in the rhythm of the household. They're starting to figure things out, though, and so are we.

Thanks, too, to all of you who wrote to wish me a happy birthday, and to let me know that you've seen my Tonkin commercial; apparently the "year-end sale" is still going on, since I just saw it on our local fox affiliate this evening. The producers are getting me a copy; once I have it in my grubby little hands I'll be sure to post it in the video section of

>>I'm a little late getting my first post of the year up. Trish and I headed out of town to see my family up in Washington after Christmas, and their dial-up access made more than the occasional email check a bit trying. We had a wonderful time with everyone, though; we even went to Sears and got some family portraits done of the whole clan, including Trish, my brother James' wife and his kids (ok, the girls are his step-daughters... but who's worried about the symantics? We're all family).

Mostly, though, it was just a good excuse to spend some time with folks we hardly see any more.

>>Since I was up north and condemned to use dial-up internet access, I wasn't able to let you know the good news about Lady Wasteland. First off, episode 5 went live last Friday, and Episode 6 (Henry and Samantha's last episode in the pilot series) is live as of today.

Last week we passed 30,000 hits at, and we continued to receive front-page placement on many popular video sharing sites such as, DailyMotion and, where it received three editor’s choice awards. Annalee Newitz from wrote, "This cool show, co-created by Mark Roush, is a near-future version of Firefly with scrappy heroes on a brokedown frontier. It's exactly the kind of show that should get picked up by SciFi Channel now that Battlestar Galactica is heading into its final season".

Last week we were also added to The Director's Cut competition on We're hoping that as many people as possible will click the link below to watch and rate the video, and then forward the link to their friends. The higher profile we get in the Director's Cut competition, the more likely we are to secure funds to continue the series. So please take a moment and vote at by clicking this link:

So, it'll be really interesting to see where this all goes... given the amount of response Lady Wastland has received, the decay might just continue!
>> I freaked out a little bit on Wednesday... but then, I was supposed to.
Wednesday night we had our first read-through for Dead of Winter, the evening of ghost stories (written by phenomenal rock-star local playwright Steve Patterson) that I'll be appearing in this coming February. We all gathered around a table in the bowels of the University of Portland Mago Hunt Center (well, ok, it's the studio theater on the lower-level... but that's close enough to "bowels," right?) and met each other, then set to work reading Steve's plays Whitechappel, Fresh Paint and The Body.

I've got to be completely honest with you... I tell you no lies when I say that by the time the second play was finished, we all had goosebumps around the table. This is going to be one scary-ass show, folks. Steve has written some creepy scripts, and Lisa and he have assembled a wonderful cast to play in them.
The show is likely to sell quickly once the word gets around, so mark your calendars now for February 1st, and get in on the opening weekend. Some details are on the home page at

>> And finally, tonight a black man won the Iowa Caucuses.

Wow, huh?

I mean, you know I've been an Edwards supporter pretty much since he declared his intention to run (I think I've mentioned it on the blog a time or two... if not, now you know!) I think he's got the right mix of experience and progressive values to bring the focus back to what's important to Americans at this point in time: LIFE IN AMERICA!! I've been very happy to see that he's focused on the problems the middle class is facing right now, and that he's working to fix them.

That being said, though... how far have we come as a nation, to have one of the whitest states in the union (ok, I don't know that I can say that authoritatively... the figure I read, though, was something like 2.3% of Iowa is black, 3.4% Hispanic, and the rest is white) can vote fairly overwhelmingly for a black man to lead their country? I don't know that Obama will get the nomination... but this truly is a great moment in American history.

Compared to that, my little theatrical efforts don't amount to much. Hope you're all doing well, folks... have a good weekend.