Trish and Harold's Weblog

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

Monday, March 31, 2008

Beast or Famine

(<----------- Yes, I am a massive geek. I mean, I'm a massive geek, not David Tennant's a massive geek. Why am I a massive geek? Because, of course, I know Dr. Who's name is David Tennant. Enough said.)

It's not uncommon, when I describe my wacky life to people, that I say it's a "beast or famine" existence. Like most independent contractors (a category I fall into as both an actor AND a computer/ web guy), you never know when the next job is going to come in, so you hustle to try to get work. When the work comes in, though, it sometimes pours in like a raging torrent. That's pretty much where I find myself these days...

Most of my weekend was spent... well, shopping. Doesn't sound like a big deal, huh? What I was shopping for, though, was costuming for The Outbreak, my upcoming internet zombie film. Rather than try to costume us herself, Lynn Lund (the producer/ production manager/ manager-of-almost-everything-else) decided to give the actors a budget and have us shop for ourselves. Makes a lot of sense when you think about it - we can find the clothes and make sure they fit, but we're not wearing our own clothes (and getting zombie blood and guts on them). Given the messy nature of the film, however, we're going to need multiple changes. That's where things got tricky.

Lynn suggested that we shop at Target for budgetary reasons, a suggestion I whole-heartedly embraced because... well... I'm a big fan of Target. They're a low-price store, but unlike Walmart, K-Mart, or other competitors Target is committed to giving 5% of their profits back to the communities their stores are located in - and many arts organizations here in Portland have been the beneficiaries of this commitment. So, I take any opportunity I get to shop at Target, because I know that part of my money is going to Mt. Hood Repertory Theater Company, Miracle Theater, Tears of Joy, or some other organization here in town.

Anyway, back to "the big deal" that most people wouldn't expect when I say "I spent my weekend shopping." First off, I had to find costume pieces that fit the suggestions Lynn and the Director of Photography had made. Then, I had to find three changes... and that's where the wrinkle (if you'll excuse the expression) popped up. I ended up visiting two Targets on opposite sides of town to find three of everything.

Then, last night, we had the first table-read of Crackin' The Code at Portland's Slingshot Lounge (a very cool SE Portland watering hole that will figure prominently in the movie)... and it totally ROCKED!!!! Director Steve Coker has assembled a near-perfect cast for the characters in the film, including Jonathan Hall, Illya Torres-Garner, John San Nicolas, Audrey Walker, and more (check out the complete cast on the film's official Cast Page ).

After we'd read through the script (and had plenty of laughs), it was time to pull out the calendars and try to match schedules for the pre-production rehearsals, pr photos, etc... it quickly became apparent, however, that we weren't going to schedule anything at the lounge. Everyone's schedules were packed with various items, and Steve finally asked us to email him our schedules for the next four months (remember, we don't shoot this thing until mid-July) so he could come up with a matrix.

When I finally got home, I took a look at my schedule for the next few months... and WOW! It's a lot more jammed than I thought it was:

  • Wardrobe meeting for Outbreak today
  • Streetcar Named Desire rehearsal Thursday
  • Wild Bills company party Saturday
  • Murder mystery rehearsals and performance next Sunday, Monday, and Tuesday
  • Outbreak rehearsal at our location next Wednesday
  • Final Outbreak rehearsal Sunday the 13th
  • The Outbreak shoot April 14-20
  • Streetcar Named Desire rehearsals the following week.

And that's not even counting the day-job, or potential gigs I've auditioned for... like I say, "Beast or Famine." Thank god I've got my ActorTrack software to help me keep it all straight (OO!!! Some exciting news on that front is coming soon, by the way... keep an eye out for it!).

It's going to be an interesting month...