Trish and Harold's Weblog

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

Sunday, August 30, 2009

Hey, Look At That Bus... Is That...?

Yeah, that's right. It's me and my good friend (and frequent collaborator) Mercedes Rose on the back of that TriMet bus heading down the Portland street. We probably look something like this:

Or, maybe like this:

(My friend Audrey was nice enough to snap that photo on her cell phone and post it. Thanks, Audrey!)

Nifty, huh? It's all part of the Home Improvement Show campaign that I shot last month (I mentioned it in that big, long post a week ago... but you may not have scrolled down far enough to see mention of it. Hey, I know how long-winded I get some times...)

The TV spot will start to air here in the next week or so... watch for it on the local broadcast stations (I'm not sure if they've done a cable buy or not). For those of you outside the Portland area, I'll be sure to post a copy on the Video section of once I get the DVD.

Hope you're all doing well...


Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Support Your Local Economy... And Filmmaker!

Hey there, folks

You might remember my mentioning a presentation I gave to the East Portland Rotary club on the Oregon film industry. Part of that presentation was about what people in the local community can do to support their local film industry (given Rotary Club International's commitment to community service, it seemed like a good angle to take). The most basic thing the Rotarians - or you - can do? Buy a DVD or ticket to a locally produced film.

See, our local film industry (and yours, too, if you're reading this outside the Portland area) is a part of the local economy, just like the high-tech, manufacturing, and service sectors. The products we produce pay to employ thousands of people state-wide in a variety of positions... if those products sell. As with any other industry, sales directly impact the jobs available in our sector. All you have to do is look at the auto industry to see what poor sales do to the jobs in that sector... and the economies affected by that particular industry.

Case-in-point: this spring I shot some preliminary "investor scenes" for a new film called My Soul To Take, directed by Todd and Jason Freeman. These scenes are going to be brought to potential investors to raise money for the full production of the film.

One of the things these investors are going to look at as they weigh whether or not to give us money is the performance of Todd and Jason's previous films. Todd's last film, Pray For Hell (formerly titled Come Hell or High Water), was just posted on Amazon for pre-order. If the pre-orders start flooding in, Amazon will promote the film more (on their sites and through their network partners).

Which will increase sales, which will prove to investors that Todd and Jason can make a film that performs.

Which will get me and a lot of other people a job working on Todd's and Jason's next film.

Which will pump more money into our local economy, from the pay checks that Todd and Jason hand over (courtesy of the aforementioned investors), the rentals for use on the film, the catering for Craft Services, the lumber for building sets... etc. etc. etc.

Now, magnify that scenario exponentially for each local film shot in your area, and you can see how paying $20 for a locally produced DVD (or just $8.00 for a ticket in a theater) helps to pump a lot more money into your local economy. Also, consider the fact that this is a cycle - when you buy a ticket or DVD to one locally-produced film, that money goes to produce another, which then goes on sale, and helps to produce another... you get the picture.

So, please, pop by Amazon and pre-order Pray For Hell today. While you're at it, spend an extra few bucks at - find another film that was produced in your area and buy that one, too. The money you spend is an investment in your local economy... and helps to build another sustainable industry that will help to support that economy in the future.

That's it for today's economics lesson... I'm off to the first appointment of the day! Hope you're all doing well...


Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Thank You For Everything, Teddy

One of my favorite quotes from the last Democratic National Convention came from a commentator. After Sen. Edward Kennedy's rousing speech, Wolf or Chris or Keith or someone said, somewhat quietly, "We've finally seen one of the Kennedy brothers grow old."

Unfortunately, last night we lost the last of the brothers. I know many Republicans out there loved to make fun of Ted Kennedy - and lets be honest, there was a lot to make fun of. There was also a lot to admire - Caroline Kennedy listed just a little bit in her introduction of the Senator at last year's convention:

He was a liberal lion, our Teddy. With all his faults, he kept fighting for what's right up to the end. He'll most surely be missed.

Oh My! Leverage!

Hey folks... I told you that you'd be seeing more of me in the coming days...

Those of you who follow me on Twitter or Facebook have already heard the news, but just in case you missed it...

I just got the official word yesterday from my agent, Kaili, that I've booked a role in TNT's hit series Leverage which has been filming its second season here in Portland.

I'll be in the two-part season finale that will air early next year. It's pretty exciting stuff!

Thanks to everyone who's already contacted me with your good wishes... I'm really excited to be on the show, and to get the chance to work with these people. Everyone who's worked with the cast and crew have nothing but good things to say about them, and I'm truly honored to play even a small part on such a rock 'em sock 'em show.

Keep your eyes out... I'll post more details when I can...


Monday, August 24, 2009

The Wasteland Is Alive And Kicking (And Still Coming!)

Hey Folks

More than every-once-in-a-while, I get asked about the status of Lady Wasteland. The series, which garnered fans around the world (particularly in the US, Asia, and Europe) helped to set a new standard for web series production, and people are hungry for more. It's been a while since any news was passed about production of the second series, though, and fans are starting to despair.

Don't. The Wasteland still looms before us - here's the latest bit of news from creator Mark Roush on the official Lady Wasteland Blog. We're still awaiting financing for the second series, but plans are still well underway.
And at the same time, new people are continuing to find out about the series... check out this new review from I guess I should feel privileged to be called a "stage actor..." that gives me an air of respectability, right? RIGHT?
Oh, while we're on the subject of press... I just came across this blog post from about little ol' me. I mean, really? I had no idea I was on the acerbic Mr. Wagner's radar, or that I was such a threat to Steve Carell! I guess my fame is growing... not by leaps and bounds. More like steps and hops.
Hope the old saw about there being no such thing as bad press is accurate...

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Hi, Remember Me? I Used To Blog...

Hi there folks. Long time no... uh... type.

I think I've told you in the past that Trish and I lead a "Beast or Famine" lifestyle... that's certainly been the case over the past month. If you've been following my Twitter Feed, you've gotten a feel for what the past few weeks have been like... but while Twitter has an immediacy that I find attractive, it can't beat the introspection and examination that I get by writing a nice long blog post (I can hear that little voice in the back of your head now... "Uh oh... he said 'long.' It's going to be one of those posts..."). Don't worry - I'll try to keep this one brief, I promise!

See, I really enjoy sitting down and chronicaling things here on the blog - sure, there's a degree of narcissim in thinking that you, the readers, want to sift through the minutae of my daily life. I hope you find some of what I put down here interesting... but, to be honest, I do it more for myself than anyone else. There's something meditative and strengthening about putting things down in written form - the very action helps to bring the events of daily life into sharper perspective for the writer. Sorting things out in my mind to put them into some soft of coherent form helps me to clarify what's been happening in my life... and helps me to guide the direction I'm headed in.

So, I figured I'd take a little time this afternoon as I'm recovering from a little summer-cold and sitting in my back yard (god bless wifi!), to bring you up-to-speed on what the past month's been like since Trish and I got back from the cruise. Oh, speaking of the cruise... I'm still in the process of re-arranging those photos, and should have slideshows put up soon!

So, with that...

>> First off, my acting life has been tres busy this past month. How busy? Well, to the left you'll see my PerformerTrack calendar - we got back from the cruise on July 18, and I've been running pretty hard ever since. So,In the past month...

  • I rehearsed and performed a theater piece (not a "straight play," per se... more of a "movement and spoken word" piece). The Hillsboro Story was a work-in-progress performance of a new piece by Susan Banyas. It's the story of the first challenge north of the Mason/ Dixon line to the Brown vs. Board of Education decision that desegregated schools in the US. It was an interesting experience... much more dance-based than I'm used to. Overall, the process was pretty rewarding - Susan got great feedback on her piece, and I got to stretch some under-used stage muscles. It was great to be back in front of a living, breathing audience again... Now that the "in process" presentation is done, Susan's going to be doing some work on the piece. The plan is to mount a fully staged production in January at Artists Repertory Theater as part of Portland's much-lauded Fertile Ground Festival of New Work. Keep an eye on the home page at for more information on this as it develops.

  • Trish and I both had a part in the pilot for a new web series. We've signed confidentiality agreements, and can't really tell you much about it - in fact, we can't even tell you the title. We have to refer to it as "Viral PDX." We saw the finished two-part episode early this month, though, and I CAN tell you... it's going to be great!

  • Speaking of pilots, I had a small part in the pilot for Nick Bradley Might Be An Alcoholic, a new TV series that's being produced by Barrett/ Adler Productions here in Portland and shopped around to networks down south. My part is small, and may well not be a recurring role... but we sure had a great time shooting the boardroom scene my character appears in. If you ever get the chance to work with Gavin Bristol, jump on it! He's a wild man, but in a good way :)

  • I also shot a scene in the indie comedy Little Blue Pill in July... just one scene, at the very end of the film. It was a blast (though wearing a trench coat and suit in 90 degree weather made my brain a little mushy...). I have high hopes for this little film; the director Aaron Godfred has a firm hold on the story, and the main cast is excellent! Watch for this little flick - it's profane, but darned wacky!

  • But wait, there's more! Earlier this month, Mike Vogel released his new web series Did You Cast Anyone - After the success of Mike's last film, The Waiting List, he's embarking on the production of a new film about love and marriage called Did You Kiss Anyone. Part of the fundraising process for the new film is this funny and inventive webisode series... which launched with my friend and frequent collaborator Mercedes Rose and I in the inaugural episode. Take a look at our episode and those that have been posted since, and consider passing Mike a few bucks through the IndieGoGo link on the right side of the page! Mike's a darned funny guy, and you can really get a taste of his sense of humor from these webisodes. Your cash will be going to a good cause, I can guarantee!

  • And STILL more... on the recommendation of my good friend Audrey Walker, I was hired on to do a local commercial for the Oregon Association of Remodelers' Home Improvement Show, which will start airing here in Portland in September. Audrey and I, along with Amanda Charr Englund, Mercedes Rose (frequent collaborator INDEED!), and Paige McKenzie had a ball shooting the spot, which was directed by Frank DiSantis. The series of spots were shot in front of a green screen (well, except for the still for the print campaign which were shot on the astroturf from the high school track next door)... which made for some interesting retro-fitting after the fact, courtesy of Mike Vogel :) There are more Vogel-ized versions up on my Facebook Page if you care to take a look. In any case, if you're outside the Portland area, keep an eye on - I'll be sure to post a copy of the spot up there once it starts running.
>>In the midst of all that, I was asked to give a presentation to the East Portland Rotary Club this past week on the film industry. I stayed up way too late putting together a powerpoint presentation, and got up way too early the next day to give the presentation... but all in all, I think it was a success. I think I accomplished my goal in that I helped the rotarians to see how the film industry is a very real part of our local economy, and that they should support it. I'm in the process of creating a video version of the presentation (I recorded it with my handy dandy RCA audio recorder - boy, you can sure tell I was sleep-deprived!); if you'd like to see it, drop me a line.
>>Meanwhile, the economy seems to be picking up... that is, if Munin Enterprises' clientele are any indication. Earlier this year, things were dead dead dead on the day-job front... but in the past month or so, the phone has started to ring as people have been upgrading equipment and making changes. That's made for a little more financial breathing room of late... though, to be honest, Trish and I haven't been hurt too badly during this economic slump. That's not to say that we're floating in dough, or that we haven't had to cut costs here and there... but we're doing all right, all things considered.
That's the nice thing about our varied-and-diversified-independent-contractor lives... as the receipts for one of our businesses went down, we seem to do better in our "other business" (probably because we had more time and energy to devote to the "other" businesses). That reminds me... one of the happiest moments in my life? When, in a conversation with my father, I mentioned that I declined to take on a computer client because it would take up too much of my time - and his response was that I needed to leave time for my "real" job.
Choosing to re-focus things back in March rather than acting out of fear, and taking the investment advice our financial advisor Andy Pollack has offered over the years, seems to have gotten us through... assuming that things continue to move in the direction they're headed now. We'll see...
So, yeah. Needless to say, it's been a busy month... and that's just the professional side of things. I haven't even gone into the ton of produce Trish has been pulling out of her garden, my experimental plum wine project (which, I think, has probably ended in failure... no fermentation seems to be taking place. I'll probably have to dump my first batch...), adventures in genealogy (on Trish's part AND my part), and everything else that's been happening around the ol' homestead... but I think that's enough for today.

Hm... didn't do so well on the "Keeping this one brief" thing, did I?
I'm going to make a fervent effort to spend a little more time with the blog in the coming days... not only to get you all caught up, but to help keep myself a little more grounded. I'm going to take a lesson from Twitter Hero Wil Wheaton (and, for that matter, Audrey Walker, who puts me to shame with her blog-update-rate), and write a little bit every day. Even if it's not much. Just to keep those meditative, introspective juices flowing... and who knows? Maybe I'll get something approximating a literary gem out of it once in a while. Nah, it'll probably just be a big overly-verbal-cerebrum-dump as usual.

So... expect more in the coming days. For now, I need to put together an email for a new short film I'm working on, figure out dinner for Trish and I... and what the heck, maybe hop on the bicycle and ride down the Springwater Corridor for a little bit. Mean time... keep checking back. Hope you're all doing well...