Trish and Harold's Weblog

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

Tuesday, December 08, 2009

That's The Biz, Sweetheart...

I know, you were expecting another holiday-themed post, weren't you? Well, it occurs to me that I'm way overdue in updating you on what's been going on in Trish and my professional lives... and come on, can't you see Santa in the picture to the left?

Actually, the older guy with the whispy beard in the background is a Korean fellow named Chiun. He's the master of a small villiage in Korea named Sinanju (I can feel some of you nodding your heads knowingly already...). The fellow in the foreground? Well, he doesn't look like Fred Ward, but that's an artist's interpretation of pulp-fiction-martial-arts-bad-ass Remo Williams.

So... what does pulp-fiction-hero Remo have to do with our acting careers? A certain catch-phrase of Remo's has been rattling around my head lately... if you didn't bother to click the Wikipedia link above, let me tell you a little about Remo... he's an assassin who works for the US Government (sort of). From time-to-time in the Destroyer books Remo will dispatch a bad-guy and say, not unsympathetically, "That's the biz, sweetheart." He doesn't (usually) say the phrase with any malice - it's just an acknowlegement that some times things aren't fair, some times they don't go as planned. Some times you do everything you're supposed to, and you still end up with a master-of-Sinanju-in-training plunging his hardened thumbnail into your aorta (ok, to be honest, that's the least of what Remo does to the bad guys).

Again, you ask... what does this have to do with Trish and my acting careers? Well, you remember this post from a month or so back, talking about all the stuff Trish and I had coming up in November?
Thanks so much to all of you who wrote congratulating us on how busy we were going to be... but about half of those projects ended up not happening.

That's the biz, sweetheart. Projects get pushed, scheduling becomes an issue, actors have other commitments that force a production to re-set. It happens all the time... that's one of the reasons that Trish and I keep our schedules so full; at any time one or more of the projects we're involved with might get put on hold - so we're always booking things a month or so out to fill in if needed.

Lets be honest, empty time in our schedules almost always gets filled... I told you about one such incident in this post; a similar thing happened to me last weekend - I was slated to shoot a scene in a short film, but another actor had a conflict with that schedule... which opened up time for me to shoot a spec commercial with Ryan Bartley-Grimley and A.J. Gordon (the production team behind The Truth). It all works out... after all, that's the biz, sweetheart.

So, with that in mind, lets take a look at what's coming up in the next couple months:

>> First off, I'm VERY excited to start working on Wake Before I Die, the new feature from Portland-area directors Todd and Jason Freeman. You've heard me talk about this film throughout the last year, but I've referred to it by a different name. The film used to be called My Soul To Take... unfortunately, Mr. Big-Time-Director Wes Craven put the kibosh on that title back in October. It was something of a blow to us to find out that Craven was going to call HIS film My Soul To Take, but Todd, Jason, and their father Dale (the author of the book the film is based on) had the right attitude about it... Dale said it best in this blog post on his production company's web site.

So, we soldier on! The film has been financed in full, and we'll start production in mid-January with the new title. This project has been gestating for a long long time, and I'm really looking forward to rolling up my sleeves and getting into it. Aside from getting the chance to work with Todd and Jason again (as well as fabulous actors like Audrey Walker, Benedict Herrman and Marilyn Hickey and the production team, which includes Robert Blanche and Todd Robinson), there's another bonus to starting production in January... a few extra holiday pounds will look just fine on the pastor I'm playing in the movie!

>> Trish is very excited about a new play she'll be performing in, called Feather. Feather (produced by Lights Up! Productions) examines the lives of two brothers both touched by abuse and the lengths they go to as adults to confront and deny their histories. Sincere and stunningly original, this simple account follows the violence of rural, Missouri life and the struggles of two men facing what it means to be family. Trish will play the young men's grandmother in this powerful new play, which will be directed by Leigh Fondakowski. Rehearsals start in January, and the show goes up at Theater! Theater! here in Portland in February.

>> I'll be appearing in the voice cast for a new "motion comic" produced by Polar Studios in Atlanta. What's a "motion comic?" It's a comic book that's got... well, motion incorporated into it. You'll get a good idea from Polar Studios' current run of The Cricket. I'll be playing two voices in their next project - Y-ME: Young Mutants Everywhere. The series launches in February, 2010.

>> And, finally... I'm back on drugs! That's right, it's time for yet another National Tour with the Clinical Trials Network of the National Institute of Health. If you're a long-time reader, you've probably heard me talk about this gig in the past... essentially, I play a drug addict who goes through the intake process for clinical studies run by the NIH at drug treatment centers around the country. Because of the production schedule for Wake Before I Die, I won't be able to visit as many sites as I have in the past - I will be headed out to Tucson and Pittsburgh in February, though... so if you see me looking a little scruffy and unshaven, standing in line at the airport - you'll know what that's all about!

So, Trish and I are looking at a very full first couple months of the year - we're really looking forward to taking a break with our friend Marnice in Maui before things start heating up (well, ok... I just checked the weather report for Maui - things will be heating up quite nicely later on this week). I'm sure other things will pop up as the month progresses... schedules will change, plans will be made and thwarted - but as long as we have things on the horizon, we'll keep moving forward.

Because, like Remo says, that's the biz, sweetheart.