Trish and Harold's Weblog

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

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Crackin' The Code Is Headed To LA!

Howdy, everyone

I just got some great news from Steve Coker (who's been a VERY busy boy these days - check this out!) - After a very successful premier in Beaverton a couple of weeks ago, Crackin' The Code has been accepted into the British Film Festival in Los Angeles (I know, I know... a British film festival in Los Angeles? Hey, don't ask me... I'm just reporting the news here...).

If you're in the Los Angeles area, this is your chance to see this wacky "comedy of questionable morals." The film will be shown on the first day of the festival:

Monday May 4, 10:00 AM

The New Masters Studio

1142 East Grand Ave.

El Segundo, CA 90245

(Click Here for a map)

If you've got time on Monday morning to head down to El Segundo, go see the flick. Unfortunately, I already have a commitment that Monday, so I can't make it down... but we're hoping that some of the cast and crew will be down there for a Q&A afterward.

Ladies, you'll probably be embarrassed... gentlemen, I'm willing to bet you'll be highly entertained. Remember, "It's not a chick flick... it's a dick flick!" And I can promise you that you'll see me do things you've never seen me do before - unless you attended the premier (hey, guys... no letting the cat out of the bag, now...)

I hope you get the chance to see it.


Saturday, April 25, 2009

The Diver Surfaces!

Hi folks!

Well, it's been a long time since I pulled up a chair and told you about what's been happening in Trish and my lives. If you've been following me on my Twitter feed, you know that I haven't exactly been loafing around over the past month - as a previous post indicated, I've been finding new ways to use the "free time" this economic downturn has handed me in a positive, creative way.

I have to say, the past month has been pretty productive... Please, let me tell you all about it (you know what this means... pack a lunch. This is going to be yet another over-long catching-you-all-up post).

>> The big news of the past week is the new regional commercial I shot in Bend on Tuesday. The spot, for Clear Choice Healthcare, was produced by the fabulous folks at Rage Productions - a wonderful group of people who were very patient with me as I struggled my way through the script. Keep an eye on in coming weeks - I'll be sure to post a copy of the spot when I get it.

>> Next On The Agenda, I'm working on Todd and Jason Freeman's new feature film My Soul To Take. I'll be playing a pastor who moves with his family to a Northwest town - and who soon learns that the town might not be as idyllic as I had first imagined. I'm incredibly excited to be working with Jason and Todd, two local filmmakers with a proven track record of producing gritty, deeply moving films (I've coined the term "Portland-Noir" to describe their filmmaking style). We'll be shooting three scenes from the film in mid-May; those scenes will be taken around the country and shown to investors to raise money for the full feature. I just found out that Audrey Walker and Benedict Herrman are also going to be in the cast. It's an exciting project, and one I'm very happy to be part of!

>> I'm really starting to focus on voice acting these days as a way to broaden my appeal (and the amount of work I can book). I've been working with sound designer Marc Rose to set up a home studio - in fact, I just got a shipment of equipment yesterday (a new microphone, amp, stand, and some cables). I'll be putting the studio in our garage, which is forcing me to finally deal with... THE GARAGE (insert terrified scream here)!!

Over the past week or so Trish and I have been re-organizing our attic and putting flooring down in the unfinished portion above the garage. Once that job's done, we'll be moving much of the stuff that's currently taking space upstairs, so I can reserve an area for the studio-to-be.

>> Even without a home studio, however, I've been getting my vocal workout of late. Earlier this month I worked with Oregon Public Broadcasting on the narration for Volume II of their Across The Sciences continuing education series. That series is currently in post-production; they're hoping to have it finished by the fall.

I've also been working with Karl Lind and Mercedes Rose on an innovative new project for a local non-profit animal rescue organization called The Pixie Project. Karl, Mercedes and I are producing four Pet-of-the-Week videos that can be embedded in The Pixie Project's web site (or simply spread virally across the internet) in an effort to raise awareness of the organization's mission, and help to get their dogs adopted. Mercedes started the ball rolling (so to speak) when she provided the voice for Mah Jong, a sweet husky-corgi mix. After the video was released, Mah Jong was adopted within two weeks! Now it's my turn; The Pixie Project just released the Pet-of-the-Week video for Burrito, a cute little chihuahua. Hopefully we can get him adopted just as fast! Check him out at

>> And of course, there's my new weekly voice job as the official Co-Host of the internet radio sensation The Quasi-Glamorous Life: The Ups-And-Downs of Life As A Working Actor. The show has really taken off in the past month - our audience has been growing by leaps and bounds, and there's a lot of interest from businesses who want to sponsor the show and reach out to the world-wide audience of working actors we bring to the show each week.

As the audience has grown, so has the show's internet presence. The entire Small Plate Radio Network is in the process of re-tooling to handle the increased demand from listeners, which has resulted in a new address for the show - (the original address,, will still get you to the show... but this new address is a bit easier to link to). We've also added a Facebook Fan Page and a Twitter Feed to the mix, to allow our listeners to communicate with us - and with each other!

This Monday, our guest will be voice-over actor extrordinaire Kevin Cooke (you know I'll have LOTS of questions for HIM)! Be sure to listen to the live stream at at 1:00 PM PST... if you can't listen live, the archive podcast will be posted on the site within 24 hours.

>> If you've been following my recent, infrequent posts here on the blog, you know that I've finally stopped talking about writing my book about professional acting in small markets, and I've actually started actively working on it. I've got most of the outline finished up, and I'm working on the individual chapters. Once I've got a couple of chapters written up, it'll by time to start looking for publishers.

>> You've probably also noticed that, as part of the process, I'm offering a seminar series on the business of acting here in Portland. That's gone... well, not that great :) Simply put, I'm up against a lot of competition right now - there are tons and tons of classes being offered in the Portland area at the moment, and I think the acting population may be suffering from "workshop fatigue." I've had to cancel the first seminar in the series due to lack of attendance, but there are still three more on the schedule, including seminars on Contracts and Negotiation, Networking and Self-Promotion, and Using Computers in Your Acting Career. There's still plenty of space available for these seminars - if you're in the Portland area and are interested, by all means, visit the Registration Page to sign up.

And... that's pretty much what's been going on. WHEW! Needless to say, it's been a busy month. I have no lack of things to keep me busy... if anything, I'm a little TOO busy right now. I'm in a quest for balance at the moment... all of these projects are great, and the coming months are going to lead to even more great opportunities - but we've all got to have some down-time too. I'd like to spend some time with my lovely Trish that's NOT just me sitting at the computer while she sits by and watches.

That's something to work on, to be sure. Hopefully future posts will be about non-work-related activities we're involved with. Then again... you don't really want to hear about that, now do ya? :)

Ok, time to get dressed and attend the final performance of the show Trish directed, A Sunbeam, at IFCC. Hope you're all doing well...


Friday, April 24, 2009

Show BUSINESS 101: Your Questions Answered

Hi folks

Since announcing my Show BUSINESS 101 seminar series last week, I've received a lot of questions from people. After answering these questions individually, I thought I'd collect them in a more public forum and share them with you in case those of you who are still "on the fence" about joining us might hear some of your questions answered. Spots are still open for all four seminars - You can register at

What is it with all the workshops these days? It seems like these days there's a new workshop on pdxbackstage every day! Why should I take your workshops instead of __________ or ____________?

You're right, there are a lot of workshops and classes being offered right now. It's a testament, I think, to how much opportunity there is in Portland these days - with a major TV series and two feature films shooting in the state, plus an increase in new theater companies building their audiences, there's a tremendous need for trained actors.

My seminars are different than __________ and ___________ for one simple reason - I'm not trying to teach you how to act. Both the teachers you mentioned are fine actors in their own right, and have lots to teach you about the craft of acting. My goal is to teach you about the business of acting. I'm assuming, because of your interest, that you want to get paid for the work you do; that you want to build a sustainable career, instead of getting a job here and a job there. Achieving that goal requires that you understand the business part of show business - that you manage your time, your money, and your reputation. That you market yourself to directors and producers effectively. That have a clear idea of what your definition of success is, and a plan to get there. That's what I'm out to do.

As you know, money is tight for everyone right now, and I'm no different. I can't afford the entire package. If I was to take just one of your seminars, which one would you recommend?

Well, it really depends on what your needs are. The Running Your Career Like A Business seminar is a general-purpose introduction to business concepts, and the way those concepts apply to your performing career. If you feel like you're serious building a career as an actor, but you're not really gaining much in the way of forward momentum in that career, this is the place to start. We'll talk about the way I manage my time, money, and reputation; we'll go over some tools that can make running your business easier, and we'll talk about ways to keep your focus and a balance in your life while pursuing your acting career.

If you feel like you've got the business concepts down, and are looking to solidify certain elements of "the business," then I'd highly recommend Jaime Langton's The Legal Side Of Your Acting Career seminar. Negotiating contracts is one of the toughest parts of our business - knowing how much to ask for, what to hold out for, and when to let something go is a learned skill, and applying the principals she lays out will help you to look over contracts and releases with confidence.

If you feel like you've got a good start in the business, but no one seems to know about you or your work (or they never seem to think of you when they're considering who to call in for an audition), then the Shameless Self-Promotion seminar would probably be the date for you. Look, no one wants to be "that actor" who's always talking about him/herself and how great we are... but there are literally thousands of us here in the Portland area, and if we don't do something to stick in directors', producers', and casting directors' minds the chances of them remembering us when the right part comes around dwindles. Coke wouldn't have its customer-base if it didn't advertise, nor would any other business. Remember, you ARE running a business - if you want to increase your "sales" (i.e. the jobs you get called in for), you have to get the word out about what you can do.

Finally, if you look at what other people do with email, the internet, or their computers in general and wonder how they do that, the ActorTech seminar is for you. Computers can be a great tool to help you manage and promote your acting career - but they can also be intimidating and confusing. I've been in the computer consulting business for over ten years now, and I've helped people at many different experience levels use their computers better. My hope is that this seminar will help to de-mystify that desktop or laptop computer that you think you're not getting everything out of, and help you to use it effectively to strengthen your business.

So... I guess I wasn't able to answer your question too well. Each seminar has a different focus; the right one for you really depends on the area you feel most needs strengthened.

Isn't there just a book or something I could read? Do you use books to help you come up with your ideas?

There are a lot of books out there that deal with business, and that deal with acting. There are even a few that deal with the business of acting. These seminars are based on my experience, and the tips I've picked up over the past twenty years. They're anchored in the business of acting in small markets like Portland, rather than the larger markets of New York or LA.

Dude, way to rub it in about taxes :) Your timing sucks, though - tax time is over now. Why would anyone be worried about this stuff after they've had to pay the man?

Actually, I think this is exactly the RIGHT time to start putting your business affairs in order - after you've gone through tax season and seen the deductions you could have gotten, or the amount of money you made. A fundamental concept of good business is planning ahead - rather than waiting until March or April to get your "ducks in a row," I'd recommend that you put business systems in place that make those two months less painful, because you're prepared with the numbers required by those pesky IRS forms.

Your seminars sound great, but I just can't afford them right now. Are you going to do more?

(This actually relates to the last question I answered - my timing really does kind of suck :) ).

This won't be the only time I offer business-related seminars. I realize that people are watching their pennies, and there are a lot of classes available right now. If you're interested in these seminars (or seminars like them), I'd encourage you to visit and sign up for the mailing list at the bottom of the page. When I've got another seminar series in the works, I'll be sure to let you know.

I hope that sharing these questions and responses has helped to answer some of YOUR questions, folks... like I said at the top, spots are still available for all four seminars in the series. for more information, and to register for the seminars, please visit
I hope I see you on Sunday...

Friday, April 17, 2009


So, not to rub it in, but... how'd Tax Day treat you?

Do you feel like you payed way too much in taxes? Did you look at your theatrical income and say, "wow, THAT'S all I made last year?" Did you look at that income and realize you made more than you think, but feel like you're not going anywhere?

Did it leave you with the feeling that you really need to get control of your acting business? If so, you might want to consider taking one or all of the Show BUSINESS 101 Seminars I'm offering on April 26, May 3, May 19, and May 26.

Look, those of you who know me know I don't like to toot my own horn (unless you subscribe to my personal mailing list at I don't mind blowing a little self-promotional tune on that list). I may not be the best actor around... but I have had a pretty successful few years in our local scene. That success can be attributed, largely, to the way I run my business. They say "there's no business like show buisiness," but I disagree... I think that show business is like any other business, and focusing on your business as an actor will only help it to grow.

I realize that everyone and his brother seems to be offering classes and workshops right now. I'm not out to teach you all how to be a better actor, though - I want to teach you how to run your business LIKE a business, so that when next April 15th rolls around you can look at your Schedule C or 1040 and realize that you've made progress, and that you've made your career grow.

I hope you'll join me at the Portland Acting Studio in the historic Olympic Mills building ( for these three hour seminars. Space is limited to 25 participants per seminar, so pre-registration is required. Visit for more information on the seminars, and register.

Many of you are feeling like it's time to get serious about your acting careers. I may just have one or two things to say that can help you do it. I hope I see you there.

Monday, April 13, 2009

Your Chance To Win 6 Months of PerformerTrack - FREE!

**UPDATE: HoldonLog will be extending their give-awa of a free 6-month subscription to PerformerTrack for one week. There's still time to put your name in the running! The winner will be announced on the April 20 webcast of The Quasi-Glamorous Life at 1:00 pm PST. Don't miss out!

Hi folks! I know it's been a long time since I posted anything on the blog... it's been a VERY busy few weeks, and I've got lots of news to share. Before I get to work on the long overdue "this is what's been going on" post, though, I have something a bit more immediate to share with you:

Most of you have already heard the news, but for those of you who haven't... I've officially joined the team behind the popular web radio show The Quasi-Glamorous Life. I'll be joining host Mercedes Rose every Monday at 1:00 PM PST for a live webcast about the day-to-day of being a working actor.

I'm really excited about today's show... Many of you have heard me talk about how much I love PerformerTrack, and what a difference it's made in the way I run my acting business. Today at 1:00 PM, representatives from HoldonLog, the makers of PerformerTrack, are going to be on the show... and as an added bonus, they're offering a free six-month subscription to the service to one lucky listener!

To be entered into the drawing, just visit the PerformerTrack home page at On the left-hand side of the page, you'll see a box that allows you to join PerformerTrack's free Email list. Type in your email address, and on the next page say that you heard about PerformerTrack on The Quasi-Glamorous Life.

That's it! Your name will be entered into the drawing for a six-month subscription, and you'll have the chance to test-drive the service for free. This is a real opportunity, folks - PerformerTrack is a very affordable service, and I highly recommend it to anyone who's serious about getting down to the business of Show Business. Some people can be "on the fence," though, about paying for a subscription service. This is a chance to check the system out and see everything it can do for you.

Don't wait. Pop over to the home page and sign up for the mailing list, and then listen to The Quasi-Glamorous Life today at 1:00 PM at to hear the winner announced (if you can't listen to the show today, an archive podcast will be available at the page above within 24 hours).

Hope you're all doing well... and I hope you'll give the show a listen!