Trish and Harold's Weblog

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

Friday, February 27, 2009

Big Film News, For Me and Portland In General!

Hi there folks!

I haven't been all that good at keeping touch of late - this weird economy has been doing some odd things to my schedule. I've been hustling (even more than usual) to try and find the work, and to use my "off-time" more effectively. This leaves precious little time for blogging (I have been pretty active on Twitter, though, so if you use that system feel free to follow me at

Anyway there's some big news to share this morning... good news for me, GREAT news for Portland, and really bad news (if we don't get in the way of the train now) for arts and film funding in the state of Oregon. Here's the low-down:

>>First off, Sum of the Parts is showing in Salem this weekend!
After two successful screenings of the Beloit International Film Festival in Wisconsin last weekend, with a lot of people roaming the snow covered streets wearing their ‘Agent 17’ buttons, Sum of the Parts is coming back to Oregon this weekend! We are screening Saturday, February 28th at 6 pm at The Northern Lights Theatre Pub in Salem (3893 Commercial St SE, Salem, OR 97302) as part of the 6th Annual Mid-Valley Video Festival.

By now you all know about SUM OF THE PARTS, the techno-thriller that I have a small but pivitol role in. Other actors from the film, including Melody Bates, Logan Creighton, Abigail Ray, and C.K. Lichenstein plan on joining Trish and I at the showing and would love to get a great Salem crowd - so please spread the word! Hope I see you there on Saturday!

>>Now, the bad news - as I mentioned above, the economy is tough all over. It's especially tough here in Oregon, where we just got the news that our unemployment rate is almost up to 10%(!!!!) Knowing this, we all expected the state legislature to make some cuts in the budget this year to try and stem the bleeding - and those of us in the arts and entertainment industry here in Oregon knew that we were going to have to bear some of the weight.

The numbers that came out yesterday, though, are a bit beyond the pale. In a nutshell, here's what's been proposed (courtesy of the Oregon Cultural Advocacy Coalition)

  • $211,384 cut to the Oregon Arts Commission

  • $350,000 cut to the Oregon Historical Society

  • $ 64,085 cut in lottery funds to the Office of Film and Television

  • The "recapture" of $1.8 million from the permanent fund of the Oregon Cultural Trust. The $1.8 million includes $1.3 million in cultural license plate revenue generated since 2003 - plus interest.

Now look, like I said, we all knew that cuts were coming - and that they're needed. Oregon is facing a 1 billion dollar budget shortfall this year - there's no way around it. Money has to be cut from the budget, and our industry has to take its lumps with the others in the state.

The thing that bothers me the most about this proposal (though not the only thing... more on that in a minute) is the "recapturing" of funds from the Cultural Trust. Dipping into the trust for other purposes goes against the trust's purpose - to echo a phrase from a by-gone presidential campaign, the Cultural Trust should be put in a "lock box" and only used for the purpose it was intended for. Look, The Cultural Trust was authorized by the Legislature in 1999 - ten years ago - to grow and stabilize funding for culture in good times and in bad!! It's meant to be a "rainy day fund" of sorts - it's funding that our museums, theaters, and symphonies can depend on (or it's supposed to be). To dip into the fund to pay for other state services simply violates the very purpose of the Trust, and the wishes of the Trust's thousands of donors: to protect and invest in Oregon's cultural resources.

The time to do something to stop this is now, while the state's legislators are still considering the proposal. They need to hear from YOU, their constituents. Please take a moment to click here and let your state legislator know how you feel about these proposed cuts. Even better, find out who your legislators are (if you don't already know) by clicking here and give them a call in Salem. If you don't like the proposed cuts, let them know - remember, they work for you, and if enough of us get on the phone to tell them our feelings, they'll have no choice but to listen to us. Don't sleep on this, folks - get 'hold of them straight away!

>>The other big thing I object to REALLY doesn't make sense in light of yesterday's news that TNT's Leverage is relocating production here, to Portland, OR! Obviously, everyone working in the Portland film and television industry is jumping up and down about this news - and what clinched the deal for the show to come to Portland? Governor Kulongoski said it all when he made the announcement yesterday:

"The decision to locate in Oregon is a clear indication that our incentive programs are working. State support for film and television creates jobs and brings a big return on investment for Oregon taxpayers," said Governor Kulongoski. "Our Office of Film and Television stands ready to provide the producers of Leverage the one- stop shop they need to make the second season of "Leverage" a success."
Please, allow me to direct your attention to cut #3 in the list above - removing funds from the film office. WHAT? With the state's unemployment rate so high, and industry and tax income down, it hardly makes sense to cut funding to a program that's actually bringing business to the state! Dean Devlin, the man behind the hit drama, says
"We're delighted to be bringing 'Leverage' to Oregon.
From our initial scouting of locations to making the final decision to move the production, we have found the cooperation and assistance from everyone at the Governor's Office of Film & Television to be extraordinary. The officials from the city of Portland and those at the state level have also been outstanding. We are so impressed by the wide variety of locations available to us and we look forward to bringing our 'Leverage' family to Oregon for our second season."
Look, guys, this is great news... but we have to keep the show here after their initial run. The only way we do that is to keep providing "cooperation and assistance" at the level that Devlin and the producing team received when they were initially scouting. You can't do this by cutting funds to the offices that are there to help them.

So, again, I'm asking you Oregonians to take a moment and contact your state legislators. Film and television production in Oregon is at a critical stage right now - the efforts of the film office and those in the industry who've been working so hard to bring production here to the state are starting to pay off. This is NOT the time to hamstring them.

So, anyway... that's what's been going on in my world. Well, some of what's been going on. There may well be more to report in the next week... keep your fingers crossed for me! In the mean time, I hope I see you down in Salem this weekend... and as always, I hope you're all doing well!

Monday, February 16, 2009

I'm HUGE in Egypt!

...Well, ok, not yet. But I will be!

Well, ok, I probably won't be huge, but I'll BE in Cairo, Egypt, in April.

Well, ok, I won't actually BE in Cairo in April... but I just got word from director Steve Coker that Crackin' The Code, a feature-length comedy I'm in, has just been announced as an official selection at the 2009 Egypt International Film Festival in Cairo this April. So I'll be there in spirit (and digitally rendered celuloid). That's pretty huge, right?

Well, ok... I just wanted to find an excuse to post an image of the Living Monolith because, you know... I'm a massive nerd (only 18 more days until The Watchmen opens! EeeeeeeeeEEEEEeeeeee!!!)

On the off chance that any of you are in Cairo in April, however... be sure to look for the festival screenings of the film! As much as I'd like to use this as an excuse to visit Egypt... I really can't afford it. Should any of you out there get to attend the festival, though, drop me a note and let me know how things went!

Meanwhile, in other news... be sure to tune into Mercedes Rose's new internet radio show The Quasi-Glamorous Life today at 1pm PST - I'll be her in-studio guest, and we'll sit down and chat about what it means to be a working actor in a small market like Portland, OR. If you can't actually tune in at 1PM, don't sweat it - an archive podcast will be posted at the bottom of the page, and you can listen to the show later. If you CAN tune in, though, please do - you can send us questions and comments directly from the site - and we may even respond to what you write live :)

And Finally... I haven't talked about this much, but our sweet little pug dog Baby hasn't been doing so well over the past couple of months... we've had her into the vet a half-dozen times, and they can't seem to figure out what's going on. She may have an issue with her kidneys, her liver, her intestines... but she's got something happening.

As tough as it is, we have to acknowlege the inevitable fact that dogs, however much we love them, don't live as long as we do. She's actually on an upswing at the moment (the vet perscribed some steroids, and they really seem to be making a difference)... but it's anyone's guess how long that's going to last.

So, with that in mind, Trish and I are adding a third dog to the family. Meet Danny: He's a big, loveable, goofy guy who was taken in by Pacific Pug Rescue here in Portland (apparently, he was being given away in front of a grocery store - he seemed to be in good health, but there's no indication of who owned him before that. The suspicion is that he was a breeder in an underground breeding operation). Danny came over to meet us and the girls yesterday and everyone got along famously. We're planning to go pick him up this evening and start integrating him into the pack... so we may be a little busy over the next couple of weeks.

Well, that's it for now... hope you're all doing well!


Wednesday, February 11, 2009

A Steaming Plate Full Of Me!

Oh, come on... that title could have been a LOT worse... at least it was a steaming plate and not a steaming... oh, never mind.

So, things have been pretty quiet around here lately... well, for the past week anyway. Since finishing up my NIH/ OHSU gig, there hasn't been a lot going on. An audition here, a day-job appointment there (though, it must be said, even those are slowing down... the worstening economy is hitting us all)... but, generally speaking, not much has been going on.

Until this weekend. Things started heating up on Friday, and the pot's been at a slow boil ever since. To wit:

>> Episode 4 of Animus Cross is online at and is ready for viewing!!

Episode 4 ends the Hell Runs This Way serial that introduced the audience to the world of Animus Cross. Our hope is that viewers appetites have been whetted for further journeys into frontier Idaho. If you've enjoyed the first four "webisodes," please stop by the Animus Cross Blog and let series creator A.L. Steen know that you'd like to see more. Please ask your friends to do the same - the more people asking for more, the more likely Amanda is to convince funders to contribute to future episodes.

>> If you live near Beloit Wisconsin, or you happen to be going near the area, you've got two chances to see me in Sum of the Parts- a techno-thriller that's slowly beginning to gain attention on the festival circuit. You might remember that the film had its festival premier at Kentucky's Fright Night Film Festival back in June of last year... since that time, producer C.K. Lichenstein has been working hard to get the word out about the film. The film will show twice during the festival - details about the individual screening times (and maps to the venues) can be found at

More information on Sum of the Parts can be found at the official press release, located here. Take a look!

>> Finally, I'm going to be back on the radio... sort of. I'll be a guest on Mercedes Rose's new internet radio show The Quasi-Glamorous Life this coming Monday, February 16th at 1PM PST. The Quasi-Glamorous Life deals with the realities of being a working actor (and and anyone who knows Mercedes knows she's the perfect person to talk about that stuff- the girl works constantly!). Be sure to visit on Monday to hear Mercedes and I talk about our crazy lives... if you can't listen live, you can find archive podcasts at the bottom of the page.

So, as you can see, my down-time won't last long. It never seems to...

Well, that's it for me tonight. I've actually got a lot more to talk about, but I've got an audition in the morning that I have to get rested up for. More soon!

Hope you're all doing well...