Trish and Harold's Weblog

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

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...