Trish and Harold's Weblog

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

Monday, April 07, 2008

Portland Show-Biz Types - Items of Interest

This one is aimed squarely at the Portland theater and film communities... a couple of items have come up that I thought I should let everyone know about.

>> First off, subscribers to the PDXBackstage listserv here in Portland know that there's been a lot of discussion about the acting unions' presence here in Portland and people's varying feelings about them. After a long-running discussion on the list (I won't try to encapsulate it here - start reading here and move forward through the posts... unfortunately, due to changes in subject lines not all the posts are threaded), members of the Portland boards of SAG and AFTRA have put together an informational meeting about union membership with AFTRA & SAG executives Wes Jones and Dena Beatty.

The meeting is open to anyone interested in finding out more about the unions and how to work with them (you can find out more by clicking here), but you'll need to RSVP with Dena Beatty at

If you've got questions about the actor's unions, what they can do for you, and how to work with them, I'd encourage you to attend this event.

>> Secondly, I received this email from Portland City Councilman Sam Adams last week. In it, he addresses the worsening national economy, Portland's current economic condition, and a 10-step plan to "to help mitigate local impacts of the national economic slowdown on Portlanders and Portland businesses."

As the national economy worsens, arts and media organizations are often among the first to feel the effects. Donations and ticket sales go down as our audiences and benefactors start to worry about their income, ticket sales go down, and backing for independent production dries up.

You might note that #8 on Commissioner Adams' list of strategies is "Maintain Tourism Support." I took a moment to fill out his survey (, and in the additional comments field I reminded his team of two things:

1) Part of maintaining tourism support includes giving visitors cultural attractions to visit. For this reason, increased support for arts organizations is crucial so that there are theater and other performance options for them.

2) Given the amount of money that visiting film and television productions have pumped into Portland's economy, it's important to maintain or increase incentives to bring these productions here, and to support our local industry so that these productions have talented and experienced Portland residents to work with.

I'd encourage you all to take a moment and visit Commissioner Adams' survey to echo these comments, and voice your own. Chances are good that the next few years may be rocky for Portland's economy, and making sure our presence is known will help keep us on the politicians' radar.

Stay active and stay involved, folks...