Trish and Harold's Weblog

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

Friday, July 27, 2012

The IDFLID Chronicle - Part I

And so... it begins.

A long while back Trish's son Jesse and his wife Jessie (no, that doesn't get confusing at all...) told us that they wanted to move to Florida.  They've got friends there, and the weather agrees with them... it wouldn't be our choice of residence (we're quite happy in the great Northwest) but whatever - they're grown-ups and all... they can live where they want, right? 

Then, all of a sudden... they were doing it!  It was a "real" thing - a done deal!  They visited Florida in May to get the "lay of the land" in the Daytona area, found a rental house they really liked, and they started making plans.  We wanted to help out in any way we could, so we told them we'd fly down to help them "settle in" when they made their big move.  We started making arrangements for hotels, cars, airline tickets... that sort of thing.

THEN Trish found out her high school class is having its 40th reunion this summer. The week after Jesse and Jessie move to Florida.  The reunion starts, in fact, on the day we were set to return home from Daytona.

Well, Trish vacillated a bit as to whether or not she wanted to attend the reunion - she looked forward to seeing her old friends from Pocatello High School, but we'd already made plane and hotel reservations in Florida... and it's a bit of a drive between Portland and Pocatello... and how would we manage to fly into PDX and get to "Pokey" the same day... and.... and... In the end, this reunion was simply too good an opportunity to pass up.  It's been way too long since Trish saw a lot of those people, and as she started talking to them on Facebook and looking through her old annuals, her excitement over going back to Pocatello grew and grew.  We re-arranged our travel plans a bit and started preparing for a long and interesting trip.

Here's the thing about plans, though... eventually, they become reality.  And here we are.  The trip is upon us!  Jessie and Jesse have already started driving cross-country to their new home in Florida.  This morning Trish and I pack up the car and drive to Boise, ID.  We'll fly out to Florida WAY too early tomorrow morning, greet Jesse and Jessie on Sunday (assuming their trip goes according to plan) and help them get unpacked in their new house in the coming week.  Then we'll fly BACK to Boise, drive southeast to Pocatello, and enjoy Trish's reunion with her classmates from 1972.

It's going to be a wild, wild ride... we'll post pictures on our PhotoBucket page along the way - and you can be sure we'll be sharing some details on my Facebook page, Trish's Facebook page, and of course ye olde Twitter.  Check in periodically and see what we're up to.

Hey... what the Hell.  What's life without a little adventure, right?  Enjoy your cool mornings and mid-70's afternoon Portland... we're going to miss that weather where we're going!

Hope you're all doing well...


Friday, June 22, 2012

20 Years Later...

June 22, 1992.  

A young whipper-snapper from Anchorage Alaska shows up in Bellingham Washington... his grand master plan is to finish college at Western Washington University, then find acting work for Seattle. To get the "lay of the land," he decides to be part of Western's summer stock program; he feels this will be a good opportunity to get to know the area, and the school, so he can "power through" quickly and begin working in Seattle's theatre scene.

Then he meets a woman who's working in the summer stock program... and the grand master-plan is the farthest thing from his mind.  College takes a little longer, because he moves to Portland after a year of long-distance dating.

Four years later, on the anniversary of their first date, they get married at Oaks Amusement Park (in a "costume wedding" - they figured, if they were going to wear fancy clothes why shouldn't everyone else?)

Eight years later, they buy their first home together... and twelve years after that, they sit together on their back deck sipping coffee and talking about everything they've seen in twenty years; the challenges they've helped each other through, the smiles they've shared, the adventures they've been on.

20 years goes by in the blink of an eye.  They're not the same people they were way back in 1992, when no one had a cell phone and "the internet" was some new science fiction notion... they've grown, and changed - but they've done it together.

Lets see what the next 20 years have in store for us...

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

And Now For Something Completely Different...

Well.  Lookee there.  Three - almost FOUR - months since my last post.  I'm obviously falling down on this whole blogging thing... heck, I'm not even doing all that well on my other blog (

Hey, what can I say... life happens.  I could go on at length about about what's been taking my time over the past few months... my work with the Oregon Media Production Association, for instance, or some of my other little projects... but eh.  If you've been reading this blog for any period of time you've seen plenty of apologies for the inconsistency of my posts, and if you follow me on Twitter or Facebook you're probably up-to-date anyway.

Instead of just passing my mea culpa's your way, how about I offer you something new?  A couple weeks ago I was sitting around enjoying Trish and my back yard, and I thought It'd be nice to share that warm fuzzy feeling with the world.  So, I've been pulling out my Flip video camera and recording short videos of the happenings in our little green space in SE Portland.  I'll upload these videos periodically to my YouTube channel - if you have a YouTube account, feel free to subscribe to the channel so you can see the latest little "Scene From Our Back Yard."

Of course, I can't guarantee you I'll be any more consistent with these little videos than I am with blog posts... so there's that...

Hope you're all doing well!


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Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Starving Artist? You Don't Have To Be... And The OMPA Agrees!

Hey there kids - as I was doing some year-end tasks (pulling together mileage records, invoicing producers, seeing where the retirement accounts are - yeah, retirement accounts.  Trish and I are actors - in Portland, OR - and we have money set aside for retirement.  It really can be done, ya know...) it occurred to me that I haven't shared this article I wrote for the December issue of the Oregon Media Production Association's monthly newsletter, The Call Sheet about just this sort of thing.  See, for the past year I've been working with the OMPA's Talent Committee to put on a series of workshops that give film and TV workers resources to live a sustainable life... well, it's all right here in the article:
OMPA’s Talent Committee Takes On The Myth of the “Starving Artist”
By Harold Phillips

Most people working in our industry have been exposed, at some point, to the romantic notion of the “starving artist” – that person who lives in poverty, works three jobs to make ends meet while pursuing his or her creative endeavors on the “off-hours,” and is often hungry (but nourished by those endeavors.) 

It’s a romantic notion, to be sure, and our hat’s off to anyone who can make a life like that work for themselves and their families.  OMPA’s talent committee, however, doesn’t believe our members need to starve to work in this industry.  On the contrary – we believe that our industry is only weakened if those working in it are living “hand-to-mouth.”

Of course, we know first-hand how difficult it is to make a living in film, TV, commercials and new media here in Oregon – the variable work, the sometimes (if not often) low wages, the unpredictable schedule… we also know there are ways to take charge of one’s life and business that will not only help those working in our industry “make a living” – but LIVE a stable life.

Over the past year the Talent Committee has presented a series of seminars aimed at giving OMPA members and others in our industry the resources they need to get their business and personal lives in order.  In February, the Committee held a workshop on tax planning.  In September, we presented a panel discussion on health insurance options.  This coming January, the Talent Committee plans a panel discussion on saving, investment, and retirement.  These seminars, and others the Talent Committee has planned for 2012, are presented free of charge for OMPA members (and are open to the public for a nominal fee.)

As our members toast the end of 2011, we hope they’re also analyzing the challenges and missteps that may have occurred this past year… and that they’re laying plans to make 2012 an even stronger year.  The Talent Committee’s seminar series is there to help with those plans.  We hope you’ll join us in the coming year as we explore ways to make our industry stronger, by keeping those working in the industry from starving.

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Monday, December 05, 2011

Holiday Shopping Is Here - But Who Are YOU Buying From?
Hey everyone

I know, right?  Two blog posts in two weeks?  I haven't blogged this much all year, it seems... but hey, I've got a couple of minutes before I have to be at my next appointment, and what am I going to do... eat lunch?  Ha!!

So, my dad occasionally forwards me emails.  Yeah... he's turned into that guy.  Now, don't get me wrong - I don't get 50 emails per day with cute photos of dogs and "funny" videos and such (well, not 50...) Honestly, he's pretty selective about what he forwards around.  He's been on the receiving end of those email barrages, and he doesn't want to clog anyone's inbox with things they don't care about. 

He sent one recently that I think all of us ought to care about, though.  I didn't write it, so don't ding me for the language or spelling errors... but the sentiment is right-on-target in my book.  Oh, I may have added a couple links of my own into the text...
As the holidays approach, the giant Asian factories are kicking into high gear to provide Americans with monstrous piles of cheaply produced goods  - merchandise that has been produced at the expense of American labor. This year will be different. This year Americans will give the gift of genuine concern for other Americans. There is no longer an excuse that, at gift giving time, nothing can be found that is produced by American hands. Yes there is!

It's time to think outside the box, people. Who says a gift needs to fit in
a shirt box, wrapped in Chinese produced wrapping paper?

Everyone -- yes EVERYONE gets their hair cut. How about gift certificates
from your local American hair salon or barber?

Gym membership? It's appropriate for all ages who are thinking about some health improvement.

Who wouldn't appreciate getting their car detailed? Small, American owned detail shops and car washes would love to sell you a gift certificate or a book of gift certificates.

Are you one of those extravagant givers who think nothing of plonking down the Benjamines on a Chinese made flat-screen? Perhaps that grateful gift receiver would like his driveway sealed, or lawn mowed for the summer, or driveway plowed all winter, or games at the local golf course.

There are a bazillion owner-run restaurants -- all offering gift
certificates. And, if your intended isn't the fancy eatery sort, what about
a half dozen breakfasts at the local breakfast joint. Remember, folks this
isn't about big National chains -- this is about supporting your home town
Americans with their financial lives on the line to keep their doors open.

How many people couldn't use an oil change for their car, truck or
motorcycle, done at a shop run by the American working guy?

Thinking about a heartfelt gift for mom? Mom would LOVE the services of a local cleaning lady for a day.

My computer could use a tune-up, and I KNOW I can find some guy who is struggling to get his repair business up and running.

OK, you were looking for something more personal. Local crafts people spin their own wool and knit them into scarves. They make jewelry, and pottery and beautiful wooden boxes.

Plan your holiday outings at local, owner operated restaurants and leave
your server a nice tip. And, how about going out to see a play or ballet atyour hometown theatre.

Musicians need love too, so find a venue showcasing local bands.

Honestly, people, do you REALLY need to buy another ten thousand Chinese lights for the house? When you buy a five dollar string of lights, about fifty cents stays in the community. If you have those kinds of bucks to burn, leave the mailman, trash guy or babysitter a nice BIG tip.

You see, Christmas is no longer about draining American pockets so that
China can build another glittering city. Christmas is now about caring about US, encouraging American small businesses to keep plugging away to follow their dreams. And, when we care about other Americans, we care about our communities, and the benefits come back to us in ways we couldn't imagine.

THIS is the new American Christmas tradition.

Forward this to everyone on your mailing list -- post it to discussion
groups -- throw up a post on Craigslist in the Rants and Raves section in
your city -- send it to the editor of your local paper and radio stations,
and TV news departments. This is a revolution of caring about each other, and isn't that what Christmas is about?
Ok, so I don't know that this is a "NEW" American tradition... in point of fact, Trish and I have always tried to buy American (and buy LOCAL) when it comes time to give a gift.  It's not easy - go into any Target, Wal-Mart, or other "Big-Box" store and you'll spend an hour searching the shelves to find an American-Made product... and make no mistake, when you do find one it'll probably be a little more expensive.  That extra money you spend buying a Cuisinart instead of a Sunbeam, however, is going to factory workers in this country - not factory workers in places like China or Taiwan.

I was glad to see that the emailer suggested supporting your local arts groups when thinking about giving LOCAL gifts.  When he forwarded this message, Dad made sure to mention that giving the gift of locally-produced films is another good idea - and you know, I couldn't agree more.  There are over twenty Oregon-Produced films in my Oregon Film and TV Market Amazon store, and several more locally-produced films available through other retail outlets. Giving your friends and family members a DVD this Christmas puts money in the pockets of people working in Oregon's film and TV industry, and allows them to produce that next feature and hire even more of your friends and neighbors for it.

One last note - You can still buy American when you shop online. has over 29,000 American-made products (many produced by small businesses around the country) that are ready to ship out anywhere in the country. 

Look, guys, it's the "season of giving." We want to make the holiday season bright for our friends and family, but we also feel a little more prone to help those who haven't been as successful or fortunate this year.  In some cases that means bringing cans of food to the food bank or dropping a couple coins in the Bell Ringer's kettle... but this year, you have the chance to keep someone employed - and maybe even create a few more jobs once the receipts are tallied.  It's certainly worth taking a couple extra minutes to think about where the product you're purchasing was made, and checking to see if there's a domestically - or locally - produced alternative.

Hope you're all doing well...


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Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Cross Delancey Street With Me Next Tuesday

Great Image, huh? Don't thank me,
thank Birmingham's Theater LJCC!
Hey everyone

Long time, huh?  I know, I know... I should really spend more time keeping up with the blogging, but most of my writing time has been consumed by now that the year is winding to a close, however, I may get a few more chances to post some of my overly-long yadda-yadda about life, the world, etc... at least that's the goal.

That's not the topic of today's post, however... even though the year's winding to a close, I seem to be getting busier and busier.  Before I run off to the next appointment, I wanted to let you know that I'm going to be appearing in the Portland Civic Theater Guild's "First Tuesday" reading of Susan Sandler's Crossing Delancey.

You may remember the 1988 film version of Crossing Delancey with Amy Irving.  The film is based on the play we'll be reading at 10:00 AM next Tuesday December 6 at Portland's Old Church (1422 SW 11th - click here for a mapIf you're not familiar with the story, it follows
Izzy, a single New Yorker who runs her own bookshop and day-dreams of a life with one of her customers, a celebrated author. Her Grandmother Bubbie, however, has other plans for Izzy's future - she conspires with  Hannah, a flamboyant matchmaker, to set Izzy up with the man they feel is the perfect match for her: Sam, the pickle maker.  It's a beautiful, sweet romantic comedy - a perfect way to kick off the holiday season.

I'm lucky enough to work with Karen Wennstrom, Mary Mcdonald-Lewis, Chrisse Roccaro, and Rick Sanders on the reading... oh, and the show's director is kind of fun to work with too!

I hope you get a chance to come down next Tuesday morning and share this light little comedy with us.  Take an early lunch - we'll provide the sweet!

Hope you're all doing well...

- Harold

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Monday, October 24, 2011

It Can't Happen Here... Right?

Hey there everyone. Long time no talk, huh?  Yeah, I know, I know... apologies, Mea Culpa, etc (you can always tell how busy I am by how often I update this blog and which hasn't been too often of late, so you can draw your own conclusions.)

Even with everything that's been going on, though, I wanted to take a minute today to let you know about a very cool project I'm going to be part of tonight, Monday, October 24 at 7:30 PM.  Portland's Fuse Theater Ensemble is joining theaters around the country to perform a staged reading of It Can't Happen Here - an adaptation of Sinclair Lewis' 1935 novel that was performed in 22 theaters (in 18 US Cities) as part of the Federal Theater Project in 1936.  The nationwide readings commemorate the seventy-fifth anniversary of those Federal Theater Project readings.

So, why should you care about a play written in 1936?  What possible relevance could it have to the world we're living in right now?  Well... the book (and the play) were written during a time when no one could find a job... when the median income in the united states had hit rock bottom and didn't look like it would ever rise... when people were taking to the streets to demand a change.  In a situation like this, it's easy to see how people could fall in line behind a charismatic leader who promised to make things better (no, I'm not going to put a current-events link on THAT one... I'll let you draw your own contemporary conclusions...) even though s/he could turn out to be a dictator.

That's what this play is about, after all... it envisions a fictional America where a powerful president becomes a dictator - abolishing labor unions, free speech, and the free press. His sinister allies, known only as "the Corpos," recruit unemployed and dissatisfied young people and intimidate anyone who opposes their agenda. "No one agreed on the play," Hallie Flanagan told an audience some months later, "but everyone had to see it. It was called good, bad, savage, mild, American, un-American, Fascist, communist, too far left, too far right, a work of genius, a work of the devil."

I hope you'll join me tonight at Theater! Theatre! (check for the address and a map link)  for this celebration - and cautionary tale.  Admission is free, though donations for Fuse Theater Ensemble and Occupy Portland will be accepted.

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