Trish and Harold's Weblog

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

Monday, November 20, 2006

Jingle Spree: Closing Thoughts

***Note: I'm a little late in getting this up. I actually wrote it on Saturday night while the third and final act of Jingle Spree was being performed. Thanks to everyone who came to see the show.


So, here I sit backstage at the CoHo theatre on Saturday, November 18th. The final performance of Jingle Spree.

It’s an odd thing to close a show… especially a show that you’ve really enjoyed being part of, that’s run for six weeks. On one hand, it’s a blessing: your Thursday, Friday, Saturday nights and Sunday afternoons are suddenly free. A whole new world of time is opened up, allowing you to do all the work you’ve been putting off around the house, freeing you to go see your friends' shows, to meet up with friends you've neglected, to actually have a weekend for the first time in a long time.

On the other hand, the routine you’ve built over the past six weeks is thrown into a tailspin. You don’t have anywhere you need to be on the weekend… the family that’s grown throughout the rehearsal process (and our cast has become a little family… I’m the crazy uncle no one’s too sure about, but I don’t think they’ve disowned me yet :) ) isn’t getting together to commune and work anymore.

Tonight’s closing is especially bittersweet, as the biggest audience we’ve ever had is sitting out in the house as I write this. It’s not a full house… we never got one of those. But we may have around 75 people in CoHo’s 100 seat house.

It’s not terribly uncommon for the audiences to get bigger as the run of a play progresses, especially in Portland… but Jingle Spree was particularly under-attended. Everyone who saw the show was exceedingly complimentary… the reviews in The Oregonian and Followspot practically glowed (especially regarding Deanna Wells and Eric Reid’s work – and those kudos are well-deserved), and the Willamette Week didn’t say anything negative about the production (they didn’t like the script much, though). We had people singing our praises to everyone who’d listen… and with all that, our average attendance was about 15-20 people per night.

That’s tough on those of us working on the play… not because our egos couldn’t take it, but because we really love the show and wanted to share it with many many more people than ended up coming. Maybe it was a lack of promotion at the beginning of the run… maybe it was the number of other productions running in town at the same time as Jingle Spree… maybe it was the $23 ticket… maybe people were just too busy with the demands of modern life. I don’t know… however the lack of attendance came about, it’s a shame. Dan Trujillo wrote a wonderful script, with amazingly complex characters. Antonio Sonera took the words from Dan’s pages and knitted a cohesive production together that lived and breathed on the stage in front of those empty seats.

Perhaps the best indication of the show’s quality was the fact that we never, throughout the entire six week run, had a "down" night. Often a Thursday evening (after the actors have had a break from the show) or a Sunday matinee will lack the energy, sharpness or "punch" of a Friday or Saturday night. That never happened with this show; each performance had the same level of intensity and commitment from everyone in the cast and crew. Each show flew as high or higher than the previous one. That’s a very rare thing.

So, as I get ready to go out and take my final bow as a cast member of Jingle Spree, I’m feeling a little melancholy. I’ll miss this cast, and I’ll miss these characters. Mostly, though, I wish that more people had been able to share the journey that took each night, so we could meet them at the end of the road and thank them for coming along.

Ah well… maybe the next one. :)


Speaking of which… I don’t have anything major lined up for the next few months. I’ll probably do a murder mystery or two over the holidays for Wild Bills' Murder For Sale division, and I’ll still be heard on the Golden Hours Network on Wednesdays at 6pm (you can listen live on the internet by clicking the link on’s home page).

Most of the shows that have been holding auditions recently, though, run through the middle of February. Trish and I are planning a trip out of town in February, so that instantly disqualified me. I’ve got a slate of auditions lined up for next week, though… for industrials that shoot in December and a show that starts its run in March. Hopefully I’ll be able to share some good news with you soon.

Hope you’re all doing well…


Saturday, November 11, 2006

Odds 'n Ends

Howdy all

I've been pretty busy the past couple weeks and haven't had much free time online. I haven't been as hair-raising busy as I was last month, but busy nonetheless. Since I've got a little time this afternoon, though, and thought I'd fill you in on what's been going on in Trish and my life:

>> Jingle Spree has 1.5 weekends left in its run. That is to say we have the rest of this weekend (tonight and tomorrow afternoon) and Thursday, Friday, and Saturday night next weekend. If you get the chance, please do get out to see it... everyone in the cast is very happy with the way the show has turned out, and the reviews have been mostly good (no matter what Millstone says - I kid, David, I kid... constructive criticism is always good to hear). Unfortunately, the houses haven't been that great... we've yet to have a full house for the show. If things hold true to form our closing weekend will be packed, because people tend to wait until the last weekend to see shows here in Portland. While it's wonderful to at least close with a full house, it's quite a slog playing to quarter-or-half full houses for five weeks to get there. Hope you guys can make it this weekend or next.

>>I'm not seeing much of Trish these days because she's into final rehearsals for Inspecting Carol at Artists Repertory Theatre. In fact, she's at the theatre right now; she's got a tech rehearsal today from 11am until 11pm. Technically the show opens on Friday November 17th, but they have special preview performances on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday. I'd strongly recommend that all of you get out to see this show (and preview performances are half-off, so consider seeing it this week). She absolutely loves the cast and director, and the play's script is utterly hilarious. It's about a theatre company that's been performing A Christmas Carol for years as the mainstay of its annual season (and the mainstay of its annual budget, since the show always sells well to its subscribers). On the eve of an inspection by the NEA, though, everyone's getting tired of the show and the tension is showing. Think of it as a cross between Noises Off and The Inspector General with a dash of holiday cheer thrown in for good measure. It's a great show - I really hope you all get out to see it.

>> We had a lovely visit from our good friends Marnice and Ash last weekend. They're living in Maui now (among other things, they run their own glass etching business... check out some of the photos on their MySpace page), but they came back to the mainland for a friend's wedding at The Edgefield, so they stayed with us for a couple of days. It was great to hang with them and get reconnected... even if Marnice developed a really bad toothache that required emergency dental care :(. Luckily we were able to get her medicated for her flight back to Hawaii (she got the tooth pulled when she got back to Maui). In fact, we enjoyed their visit so much that we're going to go see them on their turf in February. Hmmmm... Valentines day in Hawaii... I could think of worse things...

>> GEEK ALERT!! GEEK ALERT!! The Spiderman 3 trailer is on the internet! Click here to take a look. Yeah... Sandman, symbiotic costume and (though he only appears for a second in the trailer) Venom. Comic Geek powers Activate!!

>> As November progresses thoughts turn, of course, to Thanksgiving. We should have a full house this year. Trish's son Jesse and his girlfr- uh, fianc- uh, PARTNER Jessie will be here (maybe with Jessie's son Duncan), Trish's brother Pete will be here, and my parents are coming down from Washington with their three pug dogs. Ought to be a blast! We're really looking forward to it.

>> Speaking of dogs... check this out. Further proof that there's no such thing as a bad dog; any dog can be a wonder dog if you spend time with them and give them the chance. Thanks for the link, Jelly!

>> You UAA Alums out there probably remember a fella by the name of Jeff Seastone. He's currently doing makeup down in LA, and has a web site. Check it out!

>> As you might expect, Tuesday night was pretty exciting for Trish and I, as the Democratic Party took back the house of representatives. That excitement was magnified all the more when it was announced Thursday that they'd taken control of the Senate as well. After six years of one-party rule in this country, with the rubber-stamp congress giving the emperial Bush administration carte blanche to do anything it saw fit, it was great to see the American people rise up and demand that the system of checks-and-balances contained in our constitution be restored.

By now you've heard plenty about the aftermath from other sources... Rumsfeld stepping down days after Bush had obsinately said he would stay on no matter what results the election brought, John Bolton's uncertain future at the United Nations, the pledges for on both sides for bipartisan cooperation, Rush Limbaugh backpedalling away from the administration...

Well, the celebrations are over. Now the work begins, and I'm not talking about the work a newly Democratic Congress has to do to clean up Bush's mess. I'm talking about the work you and I have to do to keep congress on-task. We put them there in the face of more electronic voting machine problems and fraudlent Republican tactics that brought back the specter of the 2004 election. We did it by turning out in record numbers and demanding a change in the direction this country is headed in. We did it because we took the power back into our own hands and made the politicians know that we really are paying attention, and that we aren't happy.

The easiest thing to do in the wake of a victory like this one would be to sit back and let those politicians take the reigns back. I think that most of us realize that would be a mistake. The same energy we poured into the election needs to be redirected to our representatives now. We need to keep calling and writing them (click here to find your senators, and here to find your representative(s)) and reminding them to do what we put them into office to do.

I had a long discussion with someone on Monday about how he's "not into politics." I honestly can't understand people who don't pay attention to what their government is doing; who don't take part in the political process. This is our country, and we get to tell the people in power what to do. That's the glorious, audacious principal that American government was built on. If we want our government to do something or not to do something, it's up to us to make that happen by enforcing our views on our elected officials. Your representatives want to get re-elected in the next election; doing your business is what's going to make that happen. Don't let down, folks... stay on them.

Well, that's pretty much it for what's going on with us... Trish called a little while ago to tell me that she's going to get a dinner break around 5pm... which gives me a chance to see her today! Yippeee!!! I'm going to sign off and try to get some apples in the dehydrators before I go (can you believe that even if the face of the awful weather we've been having there are STILL apples on our apple tree??). Hope you're all doing well...


Wednesday, November 01, 2006

For The Last Time, I Don't Look Like Alec Baldwin!!

Apparently, I look like Scott Bakula. Who knew?

God Bless MySpace. If it wasn't there, my friend Dawson wouldn't have a page, and I wouldn't have seen this nifty facial recogition site because of it.

Of course, if this is the best our facial recogition software can do, I wouldn't be stampeding to put it in the airports just yet. I mean, come on... Ben Stiller? Yeah, I really want these programs figuring out of that's me or Osama Bin Ladin walking down the concourse.

In case you didn't know who these people are (I didn't know Joques Rogge or Kian Egan, myself):

Scott Bakula

Jacques Rogge

Kian Egan

Ben Stiller

Lou Diamond Phillips (no relation, I think)

Isaac Hanson

Jared Leto

David Schwimmer