Trish and Harold's Weblog

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

Saturday, December 27, 2008

Goodbye 2008, Hello 2009

Howdy there, Folks

I been bad. Soooo bad... in looking over the blog here, it looks to me like the last post I made of any substance (beyond posts about how much I suck at blogging) was back in mid-November. The usual mea-culpa's: I've been exceedingly busy, I haven't had the time or mental energy to sit down and fill you in on what's been going on, etc. If you're really here LOOKING for a run-down of what's been happening in Trish and my life over the last couple of months, click here - it's mostly there (for a little extra spice, you might want to check my Twitter Feed - the widget to the right just displays the last couple posts. There's so much more!). A re-cap of the past couple of months isn't what brought me to the keyboard today, though.

I'm here today because I feel blessed. 2008 has been a tremendous year for me... according to my PerformerTrack, I worked on over fifty projects this year. Some of them you're probably well aware of, like Animus Cross and The Outbreak. If you've read the blog with any frequency you're probably aware of a bunch more, such as my work with the CTN and Wild Bills' Murder for Sale division. Those projects may have been a little "lower profile," but they were no less rewarding.

I guess my point is that I've been pretty lucky this past year, and I can only hope to surpass the success I've enjoyed this year in 2009. As I wrote in a message to my mailing list earlier today, we're facing some challenges in the upcoming year - the economy is down, advertising agencies are cutting staff left and right, SAG is still holding out the possibility of a strike... a lot of things could conspire to make 2009 a challenging year.
All we can do is work together to make the coming year as good as it can be. The independent spirit that defines Portland has already begun to rise to the challenge - at a recent Film Community Night mixer, local producers called for investment in "indigenous" filmmaking, and attention to locally-created work. The Portland Area Theater Alliance is putting together a "Fertile Ground" festival of new work, meant to highlight all the creative energy this area has to offer. As new challenges arise, we creative types are doing what we're good at - being creative - to overcome them.
Will it be enough? Who's to say? All we can do as we enter the new year is keep on moving forward - keep building on what's come before and hope that we can make progress down the road we've chosen to travel. For my own part, I'm hoping to exceed the number of projects I worked on this past year (and, hopefully, the amount of money they brought). I'm hoping to expand my range outside the Portland Area, perhaps getting an agent in Seattle. Whatever the future holds, I'm going to move forward into the new year. I hope you'll do the same.
Well, that's enough maudlin "auld lang sine" for one night. I hope you all have a wonderful new year... Trish is taking me to a lovely little hotel in Cottage Grove tomorrow for my birthday - you likely won't hear from me until next year (unless, of course, you follow me on Twitter; I might send a message or two from my Blackberry while I'm out and about). Until then... stay safe and stay warm!

Friday, December 26, 2008

Where The Heck Have I Been These Past Months?

Howdy folks! Well, I've been even worse than usual about keeping you all up-to-date on what's been happening in Trish and my lives (and for me, that's saying something!)... it's been a busy couple of months, to be sure. I wanted to take a little time this morning to fill you in on what's been happening since mid-November.

>>Ok, first lets talk about the big news: the Twilight premier. Unless you've been living under a rock for the past month, you're probably aware that Twilight, the adaptation of the popular book series by Stephenie Meyer shot here in the Portland-area, opened in November. Since Trish played a small part in the film (the "High School Administrator," who appears in one scene about a quarter of the way into the movie), we were invited to the Portland premier party and screening on Thursday night.

The evening was, in a word, surreal. Knowing that this was going to be something of a big deal, Trish went out and bought some new clothes and got a little spa treatment. Then, before she knew it, 7pm rolled around and we were at Rocket in Southeast Portland - the place was packed with cast and crew members (and members of the Oregon Film Office, who sponsored the event) - and news cameras. Trish was interviewed by a bunch of media outlets - click here to visit casting agent Lana Veenker's blog, where many of the interviews are posted.

After media left we chilled at Rocket for about an hour, then it was off to the Lloyd Cinemas in (if you can believe it) a Hummer limo. After Trish worked the red carpet a little (yes, there was one), we got into the theater a little early so we could sit in our reserved row... then the people started pouring in. The frenetic energy at the premier was, frankly, a little frightening. LOTS of patrons slowed down or came up the aisle to stare at Solomon Trimble, sitting a few seats away from us. Once the film started, the auditorium erupted in screams each time one of the hunky stars came on screen. Trish's scene didn't last long, but it was gratifying to see her up there.

It was around 3 am when we finally left the Lloyd Cinemas and headed home. All in all, the premier experience was a bit of a whilwind. I think that by the end of the evening Trish was glad that she had as small a part in the film as she did - seeing the mob scene Solomon gathered around him every time he moved was a bit intimidating. She was quite happy to fade back into obscurity as we drove home.

Now then... lets talk about what else has been happening...

>> It's the holiday season, which means it's Murder Mystery time! Wth the worstening economy Trish and I weren't sure that Wild Bills, the company we do these interactive mysteries for, was going to have any corporate clients willing to hire us in. It looks like area businesses still wanted to throw a party this year, though. We were contracted to do four performances of Yuletide Homicide (one of which got postponed due to the weather - we're most likely going to mount that production in early January). I knew that once I put on my "Ned the Nerd" costume, Christmas time was here. I've been doing this show so long (check this old post from 2005) that it doesn't quite feel like Christmas if I'm not goofing around with a bunch of people in a hotel banquet room. It sure was nice to get out and wish people a little holiday cheer. It may not be Thom Bray's one-man Christmas Carol, but I always feel like I'm doing the holiday season a little service when I can take people on a ride and give them an excuse to forget their troubles during this time of year.

>> I'm back on drugs again, and traveling the country once more. The Oregon "Node" of the Clinical Trials Network (a sub-division of the National Institutes of Health) has contracted with me to do another study at drug treatment centers throughout the nation. Well, technically, "ORNode" was sub-contracted by a different "node" based at the University of Miami. In any case, I'm back on the road again.

This time I'm playing a recovering heroin user. The study is actually looking at the efficacy of using rapid HIV testing at treatment centers, so my character ("Mike") is going to have an HIV test administered to him in five states. Fun stuff, huh?

First I traveled to Plainville, CT (1) the week before Christmas (and almost didn't make it back... more on that in a minute). Next up is Salisbury, NC (2), then Tucson, AZ (3), and Cape Girardeau, MO (4) after that. Some time later, I'll be working here in Portland at CODA (5).

As I mentioned, my first trip to Connecticut was... complicated by the weather. Yeah, that's the nicest, family-friendly way to put it. My travel partner (well, more like my boss) Lynn and I took off from Portland at 10:30 am and arrived in Chicago at about 4:30. After waiting at the gate for around three hours, we were told that our flight to Hartford had been cancelled. So, we had to stay overnight in Chicago (thankfully the Hilton Garden Inn still had a few rooms left). We headed out to Hartford at about 10:45 the next morning - which didn't leave us any time to work at the treatment center we were slated to be at once we landed. The following day we did manage to put 10 hours in at the Wheeler Clinic in Plainville. The following day was supposed to be a half-day, but a new snow storm was headed towards Connecticut so the councilor we were supposed to work with declined to come in.

The snow started to fall as Lynn and I left Plainville for the airport in Hartford. Then the adventure REALLY began... I'll let my Twitter feed pick up the story from here - click here and start reading from the bottom... when you get to the top, scroll back down and click "newer." It'll be like you're experiencing the pain with me in "real time." Oh what fun!

Luckily, the rest of my visits are pointed towards warmer climates. Hopefully this will be the last of my weather-related mishaps... but just in case, keep checking that Twitter Feed. You never know what I'll be sticking up there!

>> As part of this mad re-cap of the past two months, I (finally) updated Check the "Latest news" box at the top of the page for links to some new trailers for a couple of my upcoming films, Episode two of Animus Cross, a voice job I did a couple months back, and other goodies. There are a couple of items I didn't go into too much detail about, though (that news box was got way too full as it is!):

>As I've mentioned in previous posts, I'm working with filmmaker Erick Mertz on his new film, The Collector. He sent me a new draft of the script while I was in Connecticut, and it's really going in some exciting directions! He's now actively seeking producers for the project. I've passed on names and contact information for some of the producers I've worked with in the past (yeah, you guys know who you are...), so don't be surprised if you hear from him. If any other producers are interested in taking a look at the project, feel free to contact me.

>I've also been working with cinematographer Randolph Sellars on developing a new web series... but this one is going to be a little different than what you've come to expect from me. The series is tentatively titled Vicky Vixen, and it's about the rowdy, completely un-PC alter-ego of a shy high school girl. I'll be playing "Victoria's" father in the series. Before any of the episodes are shot, however, we're shooting a "pitch promo -" a six minute "prequel" episode that introduces the character to potential funders. We were slated to film my scenes in late December, but the weather got in the way. Now we're shooting for mid-January, with the release of the promo "trailer" some time in March.

>I've alluded to this several times in the past... but The Wasteland is coming back. I've had several conversations with Lady Wasteland director Mark Roush over the past few months, and he's definitely planning on going back into production in early 2009. I'll be posting more details as they become available (and as they're cleared for sharing... Mark likes to keep his secrets!)

>> After fighting against it for years, I've finally joined the Blackberry world with the purchase of my new Blackberry Storm. It was long past time for me to retire my old Palm Treo 700P, and my use of HoldonLog's PerformerTrack system made a full-featured hand-held web browser a priority. I've read a lot of complaints about the Storm online, but I have to say I'm very happy with the phone... the touch-screen takes a bit of getting used to, but the internet connection is fast and strong, and the number of app's available for the Blackberry has grown substantially in recent years. I'm still looking for a good, solid, Quickbooks app that will let me interface with the Quickbooks Timer, but other than that... it's been serving me well thus far.

>> Somehow, inexplicably, I've become a "lifestyle" model. It's the most bizarre thing... some of you may remember this post from back in July, and how wierded out I was that I got a print gig at all... I mean, sure, I've got a print agent (Option Model Management, headed by the lovely and talented Kit Garrett), but I never actually expected to get any work in the print world. I figured Kit would submit me for the occasional gig and I might, once in a blue moon, get cast in the background of a photo shoot here and there.

That's not exactly how things have been playing out, though. Strangely enough, I've actually been getting work. November saw two shoots - one a large-scale commercial shoot for IBM, and one a set of stock photographs for local photographer Erik Isakson. It's definitely been one of the big surprises of the year... I never would have thought that a photographer would want to risk his or her high-priced lenses by pointing the camera at this gawky-looking mug... but I'll sure take it! I'll post copies of the shots, once I get them, at

Well, that's pretty much it for the moment. That's what's been occupying my time for the past month or so. If you've read down this far, congratulations! If you've only skimmed to this point, I understand. The important thing, however, is the message above - please take it to heart as you start 2009 and remember, we all have the power to make our own way in the world. Keep your chins up, and make next year the best ever. I know that's my plan!


Tuesday, December 02, 2008

Blog Ghost Town

So... I suck. I know that. You know that. It's just the facts of life.

There's actually quite a bit of news to share lately... about Trish's Twilight premier, projects of mine that are starting to perculate, Thanksgiving... but my days and evenings are so full lately I haven't had time to sit down and write a cogent, long-winded post in the form to which you've become accustomed.

That's one of the reasons I've gotten to like Twitter... the 140 character limit actually helps me be short and to-the-point... and being able to "tweet" from my desktop application Spaz or via text message from my cell phone allows me to share quick updates on things as they happen. Keep an eye on my Twitter page (or just "follow" me, if you're a twitter-head yourself) - at this particular moment in time, it's the best way to keep up with what's happening to me.

But I swear on Spock's brain I'll get better! Really I will! I'll try and do a more comprehensive post later on this week... or maybe over the weekend... ya know. One of these days...

Hope you're all doing well...