Trish and Harold's Weblog

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

Friday, September 30, 2005

Casting Scam

One of the reasons all Portland actors should subscribe to the PDXBackstage mailing list at notices like this one (forwarded to the mailing list by local SAG rep Mary McDonald Lewis)-


AFTRA has received a report that Fisch Industries Global, Inc., a company representing itself as a casting agency for AFTRA-covered programs, is asking performers to pay money to be applied to AFTRA 's initiation fee and/or dues.

THIS IS A SCAM INTENDED TO DEFRAUD PERFORMERS! All performers are warned that no outside company is authorized to accept payment of initiation fees or dues to AFTRA. If you are asked to sign a contract with a company that holds itself out as a casting agency, production entity, or talent agency, and asks you to pay them any portion of your or someone else's AFTRA initiation fees and/or dues, please contact either the AFTRA National office in New York or the AFTRA Los Angeles Local immediately, so AFTRA can notify the proper authorities.
In New York : Megan Capuano, 212-532-0800
In Los Angeles : Jean Frost, 323-634-8100
Please forward this Flash to your fellow performers.
For more information, please visit .

Sadly, there are plenty of people out there just waiting to take advantage of performers with stars in their eyes... remind me to tell you all sometime about how I got involved with the Faces International scam back in the 80's... sigh...

Thursday, September 29, 2005

Just a funny joke

My friend Mary forwarded this to me, and I laughed HARD!

Donald Rumsfeld is giving the President his daily briefing on Iraq.

He concludes by saying: "Yesterday, 3 Brazilian soldiers were killed."

"OH NO!" the President exclaims. "That's terrible!"

His staff sits stunned at this display of emotion, nervously watching as
the President sits, head in hands.

Finally, President looks up and asks, "How many is a brazillion?"

Long overdue update

Hey everyone. Been WAY too long since I posted anything... it's been a busy couple of weeks!

Before I forget, I've got a new favorite web comic - Wapsi Square by Paul Taylor. Well, ok, I don't know that it's my favorite, but I've gotten quite hooked. Do yourselves a favor and go back to the first one and read them all. It's just your average comic strip about a bunch of friends living in the Minneaplois / St. Paul area... until you meet the demons, self-loathing monster, and Aztec god of alchohol. Fun stuff!

Incidentally, the link on the right that lets you monitor my site for changes ( will also let you monitor other web sites... that's how I stay up on all these webcomics. Just click the link at the bottom of the email that gets sent to you when I update my page, and you can put in other web addresses. I've got several sites that I watch for updates, and Changedetection lets me know when something new's been posted. A very handy service, and easy to use (plus, they don't sell their email list to spammers - I have another email address that I have updates sent to, and I haven't seen any spam show up at that address).

Well, I was starting to get the "itch..." With no show in my life at the moment, I've been spending most every night at home, doing the domestic (and work-related) chores that never seem to get done while you're in production. Laundry, dishes, etc... you know the drill. And I find those chores immensely satisfying - being the fastidious Capricorn that I am, I take great joy in asserting order over chaos.

Work has been busy too... lots of web design stuff and visits to clients' offices. I've actually had to bring work home with me on more than a couple of occasions (something I don't particularly like to do) like malfunctioning laptops and hard drives that need data recovered.

Still, we don't do this theatre stuff because it's "fun..." we do it because we have to. There's something deep within us that feels empty unless we're in the process of creating or performing for an audience. Maybe it's just habit. In any case, I always notice "the lack" when I'm not involved in something. So I've been auditioning and looking for shows to get involved in. In fact, I'm off to a commercial audition for a local car dealership after I post this (thank you Kaili!).

Electronic media auditions are just plain wierd... When you audition for a play, you generally stand in front of the director and do a prepared monologue, or you may read scenes from the play with a partner. You generally feel like your acting ability plays some part in whether you get or don't get the job (though other factors come into casting a play as well - what's your schedule during the rehearsal and performance process, do you look right for the part, would people believe that you could be related to other "family members" cast in the show... that kind of thing).

That general routine goes out the window for commercial auditions. Some auditions are like theatre auditions: monologues, reading from the script... that kind of thing. Often, however, we don't get told what the script is going to be (or even what the product is that's being advertised). It's not uncommon to have nothing to read for the camera - one audition I did last week consisted of me giving the camera a short biography of myself. Four hours of nerves before the audition, 45 seconds to do it... and then I was done.

It's easy to walk out of those auditions feeling like acting ability has nothing at all to do with your chances for getting the part... "Do you look right for the part? Good! We'll see if you can act later!" is what many actors imagine commercial directors saying as they're watching the tapes of auditions. A commercial director has a lot of other factors to weigh in casting his or her actors, however... does the person fit the rest of the campaign that the commercial is a part of? Will the client like the look and sound of the actor? Does the actor seem comfortable in front of the camera? It really is a whole different part of the industry.

I've learned to just do the auditions and walk away... out of the 30 or so commercial/ film auditions I've done in the past year, I've gotten one job. It's just the nature of the business. Still... it's easier to walk out of a theatre audition feeling like you've done well.

In the mean time I've just signed on to do some fight choreography for a production of Seven Brides For Seven Brothers at Sam Barlow High School. This will be an interesting project, since I'm going to have to choreograph violence for high school students who aren't yet comfortable with their bodies... AND I'm going to work with a dance choreographer to make the violence fit in with her dance style. It'll be different!

Trish, on the other hand, has no lack of theatrical events in her life right now. Frankenstein opens next Friday at Northwest Children's Theatre, she's close to starting rehearsals for Fifth of July at Profile Theatre, and just recently she got hired on to do a commercial-and-print campaign for the Northwest Lawn and Garden Show that takes place here in Portland in February (she, our agent Kaili, and the director of the commercial have been going around and around for the past couple of days about shoot times, though... they've had to re-do the shoot schedule a number of times in the past couple of days, and she's starting to run into conflicts with her day-job with NCNM. Hopefully they'll get it worked out... it'd be a nice addition to her cannon of work :)

Ok... that's it for now. I gotta go get ready for that audition... Hope you're all doing well!


Tuesday, September 20, 2005


Avast me hearties... did ye talk like a pirate yesterday? Did ye? Well, the gang at PVP sure did! The Pirate Movie? YARRRRRRR!!!!!

I don't care what the lunar calendar says, summer's over as far as the Northwest's concerned. Which is just fine with me - I'm loving the cool nights that force you to snuggle under your blankets and pull them up around your chin. I'm most definitely an autumn person; as the leaves start to fall and the sky clouds over in preparation for the fall rains, my mind clears and I become more focused. This is my most productive season, the season when I feel like I can achieve greatness (though I won't be achieving greatness at Theatre Vertigo - I got an email last night saying "thanks but no thanks" for their production of The Love of the Nightingale - ah well... it would have been great to be in the production, but they had PLENTY of guys to choose from).

Well, enough rambling. I have to get Mt. Hood Rep's Readers Theatre Season up on the web site before I go out to my first appointment... hope you're all doing well. Enjoy the turning of the leaves!


Wednesday, September 14, 2005

I Bounty Hunt for Jabba Hutt...

Ever have a song stuck in your head? Thankfully, the internet will provide.

I was listening to Justice Radio while playing City of Heroes
the other night (Justice Radio is a player-created steaming radio station created by CoH players for CoH players... sometime I'll have to do another post about how amazed I am by the creativity and resourcefulness of the City of Heroes playerbase. I mean... radio stations? Wow!), and a song came on that totally stuck with me.

Those of you who know me well know I'm not a Rap fan. Not my kind of thing. This, however, was a Boba Fett rap. I mean, how cool is that? Fans of Sealab 2021 on Cartoon Network's Adult Swim may be familiar with MC Chris... he's made some appearances on that show, and on Aqua Teen Hunger Force (number one in the hood, G).

Anyway, check it out. The page below also has the lyrics... be warned, though, it's got bad words.

MC Chris / Fett's Vette

Tuesday, September 13, 2005

Ok, Break's Over...

(Title's from a joke about a guy who dies, visits Heaven and Hell and has to make a choice between the two. I'm sure you've heard it...)

Well, so much for time off. Since the American Classics Festival closed a couple of weeks ago, Trish and I have been enjoying some much-needed down-time. Got some stuff done around the house, caught up on some work, and generally relaxed.

So much for that.

You've probably noted that the "Trish's Current Project" line on the right-hand side of the page has been replaced... she's still directing the staged reading of Lanford Wilson's The Fifth of July at Profile Theatre (rehearsals start in October... she's still working on casting it). In the mean time, however, she's been cast as a German housekeeper in Nortwest Children's Theatre's production of Frankenstein (already in rehearsals). That opens October 7.

As for me, I'm still getting caught up on work, and I'm busy starting the promotion cycle for Mt. Hood Rep's Readers Theatre season. We've got the directors and scripts all picked out and the schedule finalized... now it's time to get the brochure put together and mailed out to people on our mailing list (no small feat, since we're still putting the financials together after a less-than-financially-spectacular Festival. We may be scraping the barrel a little to make the printing and mailing costs).

I've also got an audition on Saturday for Theatre Vertigo's upcoming production of Timberlake Wertenbaker's The Love of the Nightingale (a retelling of of the myth of Philomel), and I'm meeting with the Portland Area Theatre Alliance on an upcoming even they're putting on.

So, as always, we find ways to fill our time.

Hope you're all doing well


Friday, September 02, 2005

Katrina's Wake

Hey all

Well, I haven't had the heart to post anything up here about Hurricane Katrina and the aftermath. My emotions have just been running too high - I have a good friend down in New Orleans (who, last we talked to her, is safe. Thank you God), and the images of the destruction and the descent into chaos is just too much for me to encapsulate in words.

I think someone else did it better. A couple of friends forwarded this to me this morning, and I think that Mr. Moore hits all the important points of my feelings of rage and anger over this national tragedy. Yes, that's right, Mr. Moore... not Dawson, not Roger... Michael Moore. I know, I know... if you listen to Bill O'Rielly, Rush Limbaugh, Sean Hannity... he's the devil incarnate, right? He has the audacity to tell the truth about the mess we're in instead of hiding his head in the sand like so many other Americans who just blindly follow "the leader".

Before you dismiss the "Open Letter" below as yet another Michael Moore crackpot epistle, consider the FACTS below:

With these things in mind... lets hear what Michael Moore has to say:

Subject: Vacation is Over... an open letter from Michael Moore to George W. Bush
Friday, September 2nd, 2005
Dear Mr. Bush:

Any idea where all our helicopters are? It's Day 5 of Hurricane Katrina and thousands remain stranded in New Orleans and need to be airlifted. Where on earth could you have misplaced all our military choppers? Do you need help finding them? I once lost my car in a Sears parking lot. Man, was that a drag.

Also, any idea where all our national guard soldiers are? We could really use them right now for the type of thing they signed up to do like helping with national disasters. How come they weren't there to begin with?

Last Thursday I was in south Florida and sat outside while the eye of Hurricane Katrina passed over my head. It was only a Category 1 then but it was pretty nasty. Eleven people died and, as of today, there were still homes without power. That night the weatherman said this storm was on its way to New Orleans. That was Thursday! Did anybody tell you? I know you didn't want to interrupt your vacation and I know how you don't like to get bad news. Plus, you had fundraisers to go to and mothers of dead soldiers to ignore and smear. You sure showed her!
I especially like how, the day after the hurricane, instead of flying to Louisiana, you flew to San Diego to party with your business peeps. Don't let people criticize you for this -- after all, the hurricane was over and what the heck could you do, put your finger in the dike?

And don't listen to those who, in the coming days, will reveal how you specifically reduced the Army Corps of Engineers' budget for New Orleans this summer for the third year in a row. You just tell them that even if you hadn't cut the money to fix those levees, there weren't going to be any Army engineers to fix them anyway because you had a much more important construction job for them -- BUILDING DEMOCRACY IN IRAQ!

On Day 3, when you finally left your vacation home, I have to say I was moved by how you had your Air Force One pilot descend from the clouds as you flew over New Orleans so you could catch a quick look of the disaster. Hey, I know you couldn't stop and grab a bullhorn and stand on some rubble and act like a commander in chief. Been there done that.

There will be those who will try to politicize this tragedy and try to use it against you. Just have your people keep pointing that out. Respond to nothing. Even those pesky scientists who predicted this would happen because the water in the Gulf of Mexico is getting hotter and hotter making a storm like this inevitable. Ignore them and all their global warming Chicken Littles. There is nothing unusual about a hurricane that was so wide it would be like having one F-4 tornado that stretched from New York to Cleveland.

No, Mr. Bush, you just stay the course. It's not your fault that 30 percent of New Orleans lives in poverty or that tens of thousands had no transportation to get out of town. C'mon, they're black! I mean, it's not like this happened to Kennebunkport. Can you imagine leaving white people on their roofs for five days? Don't make me laugh! Race has nothing -- NOTHING -- to do with this!

You hang in there, Mr. Bush. Just try to find a few of our Army helicopters and send them there. Pretend the people of New Orleans and the Gulf Coast are near Tikrit.



P.S. That annoying mother, Cindy Sheehan, is no longer at your ranch. She and dozens of other relatives of the Iraqi War dead are now driving across the country, stopping in many cities along the way. Maybe you can catch up with them before they get to DC on September 21st.