Trish and Harold's Weblog

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

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Twilight Midnight Madness!

Hi everyone

So, yesterday was all about Twilight, and the film's midnight DVD release. Trish participated by appearing at a blood drive at the SE 82nd Ave Wal-Mart, and then at the Wood Village Wal-Mart for the official midnight release. All told, she ended up signing over 1200 autographs for the 1500+ people who showed up. Here are some cruddy cel-phone photos... enjoy the madness!

If the slideshow doesn't show up correctly, you can find all the photos at

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Taking It To The Capitol Steps

Hi folks

As I mentioned in a previous post, I'm headed down to Salem this morning to lobby the Oregon legislature for Senate Bill 621, which seeks to increase funding for Oregon's Film Investment Fund. I stayed up until... well, now (that'd be 1am) putting together materials to take down with me for the scheduled meetings with my legislators... and a few extra packets just in case some of the legislators don't have anyone from their district show up.

If you're going to be joining us at the Capitol today (or you're planning on writing a letter in support to your State Rep and Senator - find them by clicking here), and haven't quite figured out what you're going to tell your State Representative or Senator, I've got a couple of resources that might help. Of course, this would have helped a lot more if I'd gotten these posted before the day of the trip... but I plead overwork, exhaustion, and a decided lack of World of Warcraft in my diet. I just didn't couldn't seem to get to it in the midst of everything else going on.

Mea Culpa.

Hm... did that come off as cranky? Is Hawowd Tiowed? Hmmmmm??? Well, yeah, dag nammit.

ANNNNNY WAY... the first thing you're going to want is some statistics. Thankfully, the Oregon Media Production Association gave us these handy-dandy cheat-sheets to refer to. Please feel free to download the sheets below and use them:

Letter to the Membership

"Shutter-Ready Jobs" flier (page 1)

"Shutter-Ready Jobs" flier (page 2)

Now, I'm not holding myself up as the be-all and end-all of lobbying... but as I mentioned above I put together a packet of materials to hand to the legislators when I meet with them. Feel free to take any of the ideas below - you certainly don't have to go to all the effort of putting together a packet like I did, but it is a good idea to give your rep's something to hold onto after your meeting - they see a lot of people during the day in several meetings squeezed between floor sessions and committee meetings - it's easy to get lost in the shuffle. At the very least, jot some thoughts down on paper so you can hand your legislator something to refer to later when s/he is trying to remember what you talked about.

I myself elected to put together a folder. On one side I attached a business card and tucked a signed headshot on one side. On the back of the headshot (where my resume usually is) I wrote a little narrative about how much the Production Investment Fund has helped me and my community.

In the other pocket of the folder I placed a personalized letter, the first page of the "Shutter Ready Jobs" flier, this article from Variety (sorry California... your loss is our gain and all that...) and a copy of the bill. Knowing that Senate Bill 863 is waiting in the wings while we work to pass this bill, I also attached a personalized note on the back of one of my postcards to a copy of that bill (SB 863 is the bill we've been waiting for - a re-allocation of OPIF funds to LOCAL filmmakers!)

So, that's what's in my packet - you can see it all by clicking here (be warned, though, it makes for a pretty big PDF file).

So, there we go... I'm going to hit the sack, then I'll get up, put on the suit (with a green shirt and tie - hey, it IS St. Paddy's day!), pick up my friend Lindsae, and head on down. I hope I see you there... and if I don't, please do take a moment to write to your legislators. We need all the help we can scrape up to get this bill passed!

See you there...


Monday, March 09, 2009

Peanuts and Popcorn (Part II)

Hey everyone

Thanks to all of you who logged onto the Walter Ate A Peanut site to watch the film during its internet premier last night.

Director Robin Willis has embedded a high-rez vesion of the film (from Vimeo) on the site, so you can go by any time now for a higher quality viewing experience. He's also planning on putting up DVD sales information in coming weeks.

Again, thanks to all who "tuned in" to see the internet premier. Keep an eye on the 'blog in coming weeks - I've got lots more to announce, including the upcoming Portland-area premiers of The Bicyclists and Crackin' The Code.

Hope you're all doing well...


Sunday, March 08, 2009

Peanuts and Popcorn

Hi folks

Well, after my recent blog post about how hard I was working to manage my time, you'd think I would have gotten this notice out sooner... but alas, I fell behind, and the moment's now upon us:

"Walter ate a Peanut" World Premiere

On March 8th, 2009 we will present the worldwide online premiere of our short film, "Walter ate a Peanut" .

We will broadcast "Walter" three times over the Internet. Once at 9 pm GMT +1:00 (Paris) and then for North America at 9 pm EST and again at 9 pm PST. So grab some popcorn, fire up the laptop and join us.

Sunday, March 8th, 2009, 9pm

Online at

Click here to RSVP for the showing(s)

So, what is Walter Ate A Peanut? It's a short film I did last year for director Robin Willis. The innovative thing about this film is that it was shot entirely in still photos - the photos will then be knitted together, with a voiceover and sound track, into a complete film. Robin is still working to get the film shown in festivals around the world, but this is your chance to see it first in this special internet showing. If you're near a computer this evening at 9PM Eastern time or 9PM Pacific, please RSVP, then head over to at the appropriate time and take a look. I'll be watching the 9PM Pacific showing... perhaps you'll see me in the chat box!

Hope I see you there...


Wednesday, March 04, 2009

When The Going Gets Tough, The Tough Get Creative

So, I bought a "white board" last night to help me manage the time I spend not making money.

As you might have noticed in a previous post (no, not this post... though that one's very important, and I hope you join me in Salem on March 17!), things have been pretty slow here at Casa de' Trish and Harold lately. The economy (stupid) has affected us the same as it's affected everyone else. Thankfully Trish and I are actors. We're better equipped to handle tough economic times like these.

Why, you may ask, are actors better equipped to handle a bad economy? It's not the reason you might think - that we don't make a lot of money anyway, so we can do more with less (that's true, don't get me wrong... but the "less" we're used to becomes even less-er during bad times, the same as it is for anyone else).

We're better prepared to operate in bad times because actors are, by their nature, entrepreneurs. We don't go to an office and work 8 hours a day, five days a week (well, some of us do, but that's not our "real job"). We run our own "business-to-business" operation, just like the machine parts company that sells landing gear to Boeing, or the office supply company that sells paper to law offices - we sell our talent and abilities to producers and directors to make something. We're used to putting a lot of contracts from a diverse group of clients together to make our living. This is what sees us through the tough times. The office worker who's used to a 40-hour-a-week job is at a loss - sometimes paralyzed - when s/he gets laid off, or his/her hours are cut as the result of a bad economy. A business owner just keeps on keepin' on, and works harder to find creative ways to run the business. So it is with us.

If we actors want to be successful in our business, we have to do the work required to run the business. It's that simple. When I made the decision a few years back to get serious about my acting career, I had to learn a very important lesson: time spent building my career and reputation is WORK, not PLAY. The money I spent on tools that made my acting career easier to manage (like PerformerTrack, my blackberry, books, etc), and the time spent doing bookkeeping, learning lines, rehearsing, going to auditions, networking and promoting myself and my projects - while it felt self-indulgent at the beginning, and took time away from my day-job work that made guaranteed money - was simply money and time spent managing my business. It's the same work a corporation would expect a CEO, CFO, PR Manager, Middle-manager, and employee to do. The difference is that my business doesn't have five people to do the work. It's got me - and I only have so many hours available to me to do that work.

Wait a minute... I guess I lied a few paragraphs back. I do work 8 hours a day five days a week - I just don't go to someone else's office to do it. Huh...

Anyway, up until recently I've been able to manage everything using my Outlook Calendar, my PerformerTrack, and my noggin. I was able to balance my acting jobs with my day-job, and would step between my two lives with ease and surety. Then things slowed down (on both fronts) at the beginning of the year. Suddenly, neither of my two businesses was bringing in the amount of work I'd gotten used to.

Which brings us back to the title, the white board, and getting creative. When I realized that I had a lot more time during the day (time that was spent working on money-making projects) I faced a choice: I could worry about the fact that the work wasn't coming my way, wait by the phone, and sweat it out... or I could get creative and find new opportunities. I could use the time to do the work to build my business in a different way - to find ways to use my skills for new purposes, and for new markets. Those of you who know me know I'm not one to sit around and watch "Reality" TV (a misnomer if ever I heard one, but that's a topic for a different post) until opportunity finds me. Opportunity is all around us, if we're willing to see it and invest the time (and sometimes money) to make it into a reality.

Enter the white board. I've had a lot of ideas over the past couple of years... ideas on how to make my acting business stronger, on how to bring in more income through acting-related side-projects, on investments that I could make to give myself more opportunity. They've been ideas, up to this point, because I've been so busy working on other things that I haven't had the time to devote to them. Well, I can't say that now - I've got the time. I've even got the money - yes, it's scary to spend cash on "opportunities" that don't have a guaranteed pay-off, but that's the very definition of investment: putting your money into an area that you expect to pay off in the long-term. The cash I've saved up can sit in an account gaining 4.5% interest, or I can gamble a little of it on something with a little risk that is likely to turn a profit in the long term.

When President Obama (aaahhh... still feels so good to say that out loud...) was discussing the state of the economy a few weeks back, he suggested that we work to turn "crisis into opportunity." I'm a big believer in that idea - there's always two sides to a coin. Less of one thing always equals more of another. It's basic physics - a vacuum will be filled. We can let others decide what to fill it with, or we can take matters into our own hands and decide for ourselves. I choose to make that decision - I'll take the risk, and I'll pay the price if I fail... but when I succeed (as I tell myself I will), I'll be that much happier about the path that led me here.

So, expect news of some exciting projects coming from the Trish and Harold nerve-center in the coming weeks. These could be troubling times... but I choose to see them as exciting times, times that are wide open and waiting to be used to make tomorrow better.

In the mean time, I hope you're all doing well, and thinking of creative ideas yourselves.


Sunday, March 01, 2009

Where Will You Be On March 17th?

I know where I'll be... in Salem, talking to my state legislators about how important it is to not only get rid of the planned cuts to the Governor's Film and Video Office - but to increase funding to the Oregon Production Investment Fund!

I know, this is going to be a hard pill for some of the legislators to swallow - especially given the projected 1 billion dollar budget shortfall our state faces in 2009. Putting MORE money into any state-funded program seems counter-intuitive... but consider:

  • The film and video industry generates around $709 million per year for Oregon's economy. Every dollar in tax credits used for the incentive fund returned $1.15 to the State Treasury.

  • In 2007 out-of-state productions represented $41.3 million in direct spending in the state

  • In 2007 the Oregon film industry generated annual wages 34% higher than the state average - and film and video production created more than 13,000 jobs for Oregon workers!

The recent announcement that TNT's hit show Leverage has chosen to move production to Portland is proof that the state's production incentives are working - and as long as we can continue to fund both local and out-of-state production in Oregon, jobs and peripheral income are going to continue to come our way!

Peripheral income? Look, hotels, restaurants, antique stores, cell phone companies, dry cleaners, car rental agencies, lumber yards, and paint stores are just a few of the Oregonian industries that get some of the money that comes in with these out of state productions... and lets not forget tourism! When Twilight shot in the state, local restaurants and hotels saw a huge increase in business when Twilight fans from other states and countries visited. Astoria, Oregon, has 200 people per month visit sites The Goonies - and that's a nearly 25 year old film!

So, on Tuesday March 17, I'll be answering this call from the film office:

Lobby for more film & media production at Industry Day

It's time to
sign up to be present at the capital:
March 17th
Industry Day

The Oregon film and media industry is making itself visible at the State Capital on
Tuesday, March 17, from 10am to 4pm. This will include displays as well as
availability of film industry members in the Galleria of the Capital

Your involvement is crucial!

Please make a commitment to participate at the State Capital by sending your RSVP to:

This is our opportunity to put a face on our industry, to meet with legislators and ask for
support of the upcoming senate bill, which increases the Production Investment
Fund, as well as illustrate the number of workers who rely on this industry.
There are a number of displays in the Galleria planned with contributions from
OMPA and education, union and other industry members throughout Oregon.

What we need at this time is your commitment from folks to be in attendance at the Capital starting at 10am. During the day we would like to have people plan to
visit their individual legislators, visit key committee members and to be in the
Galleria to answer questions from legislators and the general public as they
visit the displays.

Again, please make a commitment to participate at the State
Capital by sending your RSVP to:

Include: Name, email, phone, which association or business that you belong to, how much time you can commit to, and the names of your state representative and senator. You can look up your legislator contact info by visiting the Legislative web site.
The address for the State Legislature page is:

This event will be most successful if we can have participation from all areas
of the state. The goal is to put Oregon faces on an industry that operates in
all legislative districts.

Will you join me? Will you be there to remind the legislature that programs that actually create jobs and bring money into the state are worth investing in, even during hard times?

I hope I see you there...