Trish and Harold's Weblog

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

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Bad News, Geeks...

Sad but true... you know what they say: "All good things..."
You can't really blame the guy... three years is a long time to play any character, and it's hard for the actor associated with such a world-wide phenomenon to go beyond the series he's become known for (how many of those Star Trek actors have you seen doing other things besides guest-starring roles on science fiction shows?). Tennant's run on Doctor Who has been a blast... he'll be sorely missed.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Hey Obomites, Don't Count Your Chickens...

Feeling confident about next week's upcoming election? Liking the looks of the polls in battleground states? Well, to paraphrase Han Solo, "Don't get cocky, kid!"

The election is far from over, and history has shown us that desperate Republicans (or, to be fair, anyone desperate to hold on to power) will resort to desperate measures. Already reports are flooding in about "dirty tricks" to keep students, Democratic voters, and of course minorities away from the polls on November 4th. Now is not the time to sit back and relax... there's still lots of work to be done:

>> If you can vote early, get out there and do it. Already this year long lines have formed for early voting due to voting machine mix-ups, lack of voting resources (strangely enough, often in minority or Democratic-leaning areas), and the general press of people wanting to get in and get their vote counted. If you live in a vote-by-mail state like I do (we've done all our voting by mail here in Oregon for years now) open up that ballot and get it filled out!

When heading to the polls, remember:

1. Bring a government-issued photo ID. Not all states require you to show ID when you vote, but why risk it. If you don't have a government-issued ID, then most states will accept your social security card or a copy of a landline phone bill.

2. Do not wear anything that could be construed as a political endorsement on your person when at the polls. If you really want to wear your Obama shirt, Nader Pin, or McCain... diapers (?) make sure it is completely covered before you enter the polling place.

3. Know your rights. Don't allow others to intimidate you. You cannot be arrested for outstanding traffic tickets or warrants simply for showing up to vote. You can download a copy of the "Voter's Bill of Rights" from Democracy For America. You might also want to check out, a downloadable comic book that explains your rights as a voter, and how to respond if you encounter intimidation or other voter supression tactics.

>> Donate some time to your candidate. Make some phone calls, knock on some doors... a lot can happen in the next week (hey, if you're a McCain supporter you might just be able to turn-around the trends... and if you're an Obama supporter, you might be able to keep the McCain supporters from turning around the trends :) ).

>> Talk to your friends, family and neighbors about the issues and the candidates. Conventional wisdom says that it's not "polite conversation" to discuss politics... but this upcoming election is what's on everyone's mind right now. There's nothing wrong with discussing your opionions in an open and honest way... as long as you allow the other party to discuss his or her opnion in the same way. You don't have to agree with him or her... but discussing your views on the candidates and the issues isn't a bad thing. It helps to strengthen your own understanding of things, and might just give you (or the other party) some new things to think about that haven't come up yet.

The race isn't won yet, folks... keep at it. If we can keep up the work we've done thus far, just look at what we get in one week's time:

Thursday, October 16, 2008

I Got Home From South Carolina Just In Time...

One of my favorite moments from last night's presidential debates:

(Somebody's "handlers" didn't prep him too well...)

One of my LEAST favorite moments:

... did McCain REALLY just make "air quotes" around the term "health of the mother," and talk about the "pro-abortion" movement?" I mean, come on... I know that the only people who are still supporting him are the right-wing fringe of the Republican party (you know, the ones at his rallies who are yelling "terrorist" and "kill him" when they hear Obama's name mentioned), but that's really beyond the pale. There is no "pro-abortion" movement, for God's sake - there are people who believe that abortion should be left up to individual choice rather than legislated, but I don't think I've ever met anyone who says "abortion? Everybody's got to get one of those!"

I know that the term "out of touch" has been used a lot... but man... really? "Health" of the mother? I was the one "dumbfounded" at that...

Oh, and you know that evil "liberal" group ACORN that McCain started off the debate hammering Obama over? He didn't seem all that anti-ACORN back in 2006... click here to find out more about that.

Monday, October 13, 2008

Crackin' The Code Sneak-Peek (And Some Crackin' Apple Muffins!)

Morning, folks... I'm sitting here getting ready to get on a plane to Charleston, SC (by way of Chicago), and thought I'd take advantage of Portland International Airport's free wi-fi connection to let you know about a couple things...
>> The big news of the moment: I got an email from Crackin' The Code director Steve Coker over the weekend. He's in the midst of logging footage and rough-cutting the film. He's completed a rough-cut of the opening credit sequence that he wanted to share with people online, as a little taste of things to come. Click here to take a look at the beginnings of the film's opening... when else are you going to get a chance to see Johnathan Ashley Hall wandering around in his boxers? Well, ok... he'd probably do it for you if you asked him nicely...
>> Even John McCain is starting to get the message that his supporters are going a bit "off the rails" over the fear-mongering that his campaign has been engaging in over the past couple of weeks... I realize that McCain doesn't have anything of substance to run on, but you reap what you sow... Check out the crowd reaction to his trying to calm a crowd of his supporters down:
>> Have I mentioned how much I love autumn? It really is my season... I really love getting up and stepping outside in the cold, smelling a hint of wood smoke in the air, putting on layers and heavier clothes... and baking! That's right, the chill as autumn enters stage left is best combatted, in my book, by sticking goodies in the oven and getting your morning started with a warm muffin. Since our apple tree has been inundating us lately with around 700 lbs of apples (trying to keep the pug dogs slim during this period is a losing battle!), Saturday was spent making some tasty apple and walnut muffins. Click here to check out the recipe - they're delish!
Well... that's all I've got time for this morning - time to get on the plane! Hope you're all doing well...

Thursday, October 09, 2008

Giggity Giggity - Oh...

Howdy folks.

You might remember that in a previous post I talked about being cast in a new psychological thriller by writer/ director Erick Mertz called The Collector. Unfortunately, I received an email from Erick while I was out of town on one of my ORNode/ NIDA gigs (this time in Eugene, OR) saying that he'd decided that more changes needed to be made to the script before production could begin... so the project is on hold. He's going to continue to develop the script, though, and is shooting to go back into active production sometime next year.
As our friend Remo Williams says, "That's the biz, sweetheart."
In other news, The Bicyclists (a feature film "companion piece" to the popular online series The Bicyclist) has an official web page up on the Bicyclist site - you can find it at There's a "teaser" preview, some info on the new direction director Carl Jameson is taking things in, and some production photos... stop on by and check it out when you get a chance.
Hope you're all doing well...

Monday, October 06, 2008

Crackin' The Code Behind The Scenes - Raw

Morning folks
As the post-production on Crackin' The Code continues, writer/ director Steve Coker has taken a moment to post a raw (and I mean RAW - lots of swearing in this, so you might not want to watch at work!) Behind-The-Scenes video at the official film site:
Pop by and take a look to get a real "feel" for all the love we shared on set... you can go directly to the video by clicking here, or visit the official site, and then click the CTC symbols next to "Media" and Video.
It's kind of salty, but fragrant!

Sunday, October 05, 2008

The Journey To Animus Cross Has Begun, And A New Project

Howdy folks!

After the recent debacle with my last post, I didn't want to wait too long before sharing the most recent news with you... Trish and I just received word that the trailer for Animus Cross, our new web series, is up and ready for viewing at Do stop by to take a look. The pilot episodes for the series are slated to launch in early November, so be sure to click the "contact us" link at the bottom of the page to add yourself to the mailing list - they'll notify you when the first episode is up and ready for viewing.

Frequent readers may remember that Animus Cross is the series Trish and I shot in Northern Idaho this past August, on the shores of Lake Pend O'Reille. I haven't seen any of the completed episodes as yet, so I'm not sure if our special guest star made the final cut... we'll just have to wait and see!

In other news...
If you read my last post, you might remember that I had to cut things short (and finally get the darned thing posted!) so I could go meet up with a director to talk about a new project. Well, the meet-up went very well, and I'm happy to announce that I'll be playing a major part in Erick Mertz's new psychological thriller, The Collector. We'll be filming the short film next weekend in a small rural community south of Portland.
I'm pretty excited to be part of the film... I was really taken with the script when Erick sent me a review copy, and after our meeting on Friday I'm even more pumped! I can tell that he and I are going to have a fabulous working relationship. I'll post more about the film as time marches on... but keep an eye out for it. I think it's going to be quite gripping.

The only other thing to report (other than the fact that we had a lovely brunch at our friend Skeeter Greene's house earlier today) is that I had my final voiceover session for the Reservation Road Planner Game yesterday. I'd made a few script revisions on the plane to Oahu last week and sent them over to the producers at Conquent, and they really seemed to like them... since it was (mostly) my revised script that I recorded yesterday! I'm pretty happy with how everything turned out on this project... once I get a copy of the instruction DVD, I'll be sure to post some samples in the "Voice" section of
Well, that's pretty much what's going on at this point. Time to sign off and continue transferring my data from ActorTrack to Holdon Log's new PerformerTrack service. I haven't talked much about this new web-ware product (I'm hoping to find some time soon to post an exhaustive review like I did for ActorTrack and ProtalentPERFORMER). All I'll say here and now is... WOW!!!! Holdon Log has really raised the bar when it comes to performer tracking software: every aspect of the venerable ActorTrack has been re-worked and expanded. This new system is, truly, a must-have for career tracking.
But I'll get to that in another post, some time in the future. In the mean time... hope you're all doing well!

Friday, October 03, 2008

Notes From The Road (Finally) AND From Home

Note: Ok, so I suck even more than you thought I did... (and yes, Mark Roush, I'm talking to you specifically).

I actually wrote this post on Tuesday, waiting to get on a plane to go to my next OHSU site visit in Hawaii. It seems, though, that it never posted - so, when I got on this morning to stick a new post up, I was surprised to see this big, long post wasnt at the top of the blog. Grrrrr... I can only assume that I lost my wifi connection at PDX when I was telling it to post. So... here's the post you SHOULD have seen on Tuesday, with some updates (hey, it saves me having to write a whole new post, right?

Howdy there folks.

Well, so much for my grand plan to post a big ol' mega update LAST weekend... between playing catch-up from all my time out of town, helping Trish (where I could) with some home-improvement projects, and a few other commitments I'll talk about here in a little bit, I haven't really had that much time in front of the keyboard.

Now, here I am getting ready to take the next leg of my "National Tour" (this time I'm headed to Hawaii... yeah, I know, my life is tough, huh?), and as I sit here in the waiting area I'm realizing that I've been woefully inadequate at keeping you all up-to-date. Thankfully, one of the things that makes Portland's airport the #1 airport in the country is its free wireless internet access; you can log on from anwhere in the concourse. So, as I wait to board the plane for my nearly-six-hour-flight to Honolulu, let me bring you up to speed with what's been going on:

>First off, lets talk about The Outbreak... By anyone's estimation, this little internet choose-your-own-adventure film is a hit! After a few technical difficulties on launch day (the server got overwhelmed by the press of people visiting to watch and interact with the movie), Outbreak is drawing consistantly huge crowds and great reviews. Lynn Lund, the producer, had this to say last week:

We've been checking the site's stats and they've been doing extremely well, with most of the exposure being word of mouth and viral. There's been lots of discussion on the horror fansites, slowly into mainstream and even international audiences. Each day, we watch the stats as the site visitors bar graph climbs higher and higher. We had 20k unique visitors come to the site combined up to yesterday (unique means each individual computer counts only once, it doesn't include it if someone goes more than once to the site). Today, our stats showed that we had over 23k unique visitors today alone. Those are really impressive numbers seeing that the average user is staying almost 10 mins each time they visit, which is amazing since the web audience is known to have a very short attention span. We're also seeing that most users are coming back to the site and trying a bunch of different options to reach the end which shows that people are really getting sucked into the experience. Very cool.

If you haven't checked the movie out yet, be sure to pop by and take a look. You can also see some of the online reviews that we've gotten at The Outbreak's MySpace Page.

Update: Since writing this, The Outbreak has also won the FWA Site Of The Day Award. This is a pretty prestegious award in web design circles... essentially, only the finest, most cutting-edge sites get listed on this page. Director Chris Lund is jumping up and down about the honor!

>>This week's other big news...

About a month ago a local producer sent a message through PDXBackstage looking for actors of Native American heritage. Now, I'm about as much of an Indian as Todd Palin is an Eskimo (we're both 1/8, though he can probably prove it, unlike me...), but I still sent my particulars in to her. It was kind of a moot point, though, as they were shooting the video while I was going to be out of town in Pensylvania.

This week I got a surprise call from the director, Erin Van Dyke. The project, was in need of a voiceover artist, and she liked what she heard in the voice section of So, we made arrangements to get together over the weekend for the recording.

The project is actually a board game developed by the US Department of Transportation and the Bureau of Indian Affairs. The idea behind the Reservation Road Planner Game is to facilitate communication between tribal road planners, council members, and other offices involved in transportation planning on reservations. My job is to be the voice of the instruction DVD for the game (produced by Conquent, a local interactive development firm).

So, unless you're a tribal road planner, you'll probably never see the DVD or hear my voiceover... that is, until I get my copy and put a sample up on the Voice section of

Update: The weekend recording session went fairly well, but there were some issues with the microphone and ambient noise at Conquent's offices... so, I received an email from Erin while in Hawaii that we're going to re-record the voiceover this weekend.

>> I filmed my scenes in The Bicyclists this week, as well. The shoot ended up being a blast... the always professional and fun to be around Mercedes Rose played my long-suffering wife as I stormed around the set and generally made a butt-head of myself. Of course, we really aren't the focus of the scenes we're in - we play the parents of two young kids in the film who have a special relationship with the main characters. I can't really say much more than that, other than that Carl and Sharon Jameson, the director and producer of the film (and the original Byclist web series) have a firm idea of what they want, and the footage that Carl shot looks GREAT! I'm looking forward to seeing the film... at this point they're hoping to have it out of post-production by February of next year. I'll keep you posted on its progress.

>> Speaking of post-production progress... Crackin' The Code, a film I wrapped last month, is still in the early stages of post-production... but producer/ director Steve Coker has decided to follow in the footsteps of George Lucas. No, he's not going to replace me with a digital rastafarian amphibian... he's launching the Crackin' The Code Merchandising Arm of Hunters Moon Producions almost immediately!

Check his blog post here at the Crackin' The Code Blog, or go straight to the online shop. The majority of the merchandise is based on Steve's designs for bowling shirts and labels used in the film (I'm particularly fond of the P.M.C. Lager shirts, having lifted a few of those bottles to my lips during shooting). Stop by and pick up a t-shirt or cap to wear to the premier... whenever that's scheduled for.

UPDATE: No, not really... it's just been bugging me that I left some empty space here, and this is a good excuse to fill it.

>> Ok, so on to the travel stuff... I've essentially been out of town every week over the past month, with the exception of last week - and as I mentioned, most of that was spent catching up for the time I was out of town.

Anyway... all the places I've visited on my "National Tour" have treated me quite well. We started the sessions close to home, up in Everett Washington. The following week I headed to Pittsburgh Pennsylvania.

Pittsburgh was, honestly, nicer than I expected. I think that people here on the West coast have an image of Pitsburgh as a dirty, run-down steel town. The area of town I stayed in, however (the University district) was clean and bustling with a diverse group of people, even near the drug treatment center I was workin at. The folks at OHSU put me up in a very nice hotel (the Wyndham Pittsburgh University Place) which had a certain back-East charm; with paintings on the wall, a billiard room, lounge, and very comfortable furnishings.

After the Pittsburgh sessions I flew to Dallas, TX. Dallas is, of course, not the prettiest part of Texas - low, urban, and sun-scorched. The people there had an odd mix of western politeness and irritation whenever I talked to them - though that might have been because Hurricane Ike was expected to hammer the South Texas coast that weekend (in fact, our session was inturupted by a tornado drill at the recovery center). The recovery center itself was an experience - it's actually an in-patient women's treatment center, so I was literally the "odd man out" in that environment. All in all, though, the sessions went fairly well.

The photo to the left sort of ecapsulates my experiences in Dallas... I ate my last dinner at Dickie's Barbeque Pit, a traditional Texas barbeque place in an office park near the Texas Instruments campus. Before dinner I used the bathroom and came face-to-face with... this. Only in Texas would a painting of John Wayne be across from the urinals, so the men in the room could see if they measured up to "The Duke."

The next week I went to Jacksonville, FL. Jacksonville is a large city at the Northeastern tip of Florida; a Navy town, with something like three separate installations. Not a lot of Obama stickers on the SUV's driving down those highways... for all that, though, Jacksonville feels like a fairly progressive city for Florida. There's a lot of public art, and the city fairly hums with activity. The treatment center I visited (Gateway Community Services) is actually a converted Holiday Inn, so they have several rooms with a central courtyard... this made for a really peaceful environment. My partner on the trip, Node Coordinator Lynn Kunkel, did come out with me to the beach on our first night there, though, so it wasn't all work and no play.
After a week off, it was time to head to Oahu for my sessions at Hina Mauka, their local recovery center. Thankfully, I was able to talk ORNode into giving me an extra day on Oahu, so I didn't have to fly in, do my gig, and fly out the way I had in other locations. Once I'd touched down in Honolulu and picked up my rental car (I got upgraded from a Chevy Aveo to a Mustang Convertable because there was a problem with the tire pressure light on the car they'd reserved for me... it was hard, but I accepted the offer...) I headed to my hotel: the J.W. Mariott at the Ihilani Resort. The resrort was incredible... though, to be honest, I felt a little out of my element - sort of like Jethro wandering around Beverly Hills. I'm certainly grateful to OHSU and OrNode for putting me up there, but the whole experience was a bit surreal.
Since I had some time before I had to go to work, I headed out on the road and explored Oahu. The first night there I ate some authentic local food at a wonderful little hole-in-the-wall restaurant called the Highway Inn - the food was amazing, and even though I was the only non-local in the place I was treated exceedingly well by the owner and the folks working there. If you're ever on Oahu, make this place a must-see for diner or lunch!
Like a bone-head, I left my camera at home. Luckily, near the Hawaii Inn was Don Quijote - A Japanese Grocery/ K-Mart/ Everything store that was very popular with the locals. I was able to pick up a comparatively inexpensive Pentax camera so I could take some shots of the Island while I was there... I've posted a bunch of them on our Photobucket Site - stop on by and take a look when you get a chance.
Other high-points of my trip to Oahu were visiting The USS Arizona Memorial at Pearl Harbor, and finding a couple of locations used on the TV Series "Lost" - including the main "Survivors Camp" set.
Well... that's all I have time for at the moment... I need to take off and meet a director to talk about a new project (more on that later, if we decide to work together). Sorry again for taking so long to get this posted... and for the length :) Hope you're all doin well!