Trish and Harold's Weblog

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

Saturday, February 27, 2010

Memories of Maui

Hey everyone!

We've been enjoying our annual "false spring" here in Portland (happens every year; Portland gets a few weeks of lovely, upper-50s to mid-60s weather... just enough to fool the trees and plants into blooming, and then we SOCKED by one more massive storm of the season. Punxsutawney Phil has a wicked sense of humor in these parts...) - but most of the country is still struggling through snow and cold temperatures. Seemed like a good time to look back to Trish and my trip to Maui last December, and share these photos that I finally put up on our photobucket site: Click Here
It's not going to do a lot to warm those of you in the colder climates up... but hopefully it'll give you a little taste of the sunshine to come once the frozen months are over.
Have a good weekend...

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Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Oops! Back to SHOW Business: Mailbox

Edit: Oh wow! Sorry about the late post, folks... for some reason this stayed in "draft" for instead of posting yesterday!

Hi folks

I did get more than a few comments through email and Twitter about my first post in the "Back to Business" series... most of them were along the lines of "way to go," or "looking forward to reading more!" I did want to address a few of the messages I got that were a little more critical, though...

... I want to work, but that doesn't mean I'm waiting for someone to hand me a job. I look for audition, and I go on some whenever I can. It not like Im not trying! JC (location unknown)

I'm not saying that anyone's not trying, JC. It's good to hear that you're going out there and auditioning!

Without getting all Yoda-like, though, there's a big difference between trying and doing. A lot of actors will try and get in on auditions when they hear about them, maybe look through the paper or online resources available to them... but they won't spend time actively looking for opportunities (or making time in their schedules to pursue them.) They get cast in a show or commercial, do the gig... and then wait for their agent to call them with another audition.

What I propose is action rather than reaction; focusing on making opportunities happen instead of waiting to come across them. Keep reading and you'll see what I mean in coming weeks.

... frankly, I'm offended that you compare actors to plumbers. I am not some day-laborer, I'm an artist. My place in life isn't to service people's plumbing or their home, but to engage their soul and make them see the uncomfortable truths in their lives. RM (Portland)

It's good that you aspire to show people uncomfortable truths and engage their souls, RM. I try to do that myself. I like to get paid for it, though... that's how I can afford the time it takes to learn lines, rehearse, audition, and do all the work required to be an actor who engages people's souls. Lots of people don't care about supporting themselves through their craft; they're perfectly content to work at a "day job" and perform whenever they're allowed the time (usually evenings and weekends). I myself think I'm better at my job when I don't have to split my focus; the less "day job" work I do, the more time I can focus on bringing the best performance to the projects I'm working on.

If we expect producers (and audiences) to pay us for our work, then we're doing business with them: we're exchanging a service for money. It's really a fundamental concept. The same is true in any profession - work in a restaurant? You're doing business with the restaurant - they pay you for your time and expertise at cooking, waiting tables, or what have you. In that regard, we're no different than a plumber or landscaper, a doctor or a lawyer. They've got to market their services, gain clients (like producers, directors, and the audience), get paid, and invest in their businesses so they can gain more clients and serve them better.

I have no problem comparing actors to plumbers - the service we provide may be different, but the nuts and bolts of how we do business really aren't.

You seem like a nice enough person, and I can see by your web site that you've had some success in your little market at local commercials and independent films. Respectfully, though, do you really think you're qualified to tell people how to make it in a real market like LA? KL (Los Angeles)

No. I'm not out to tell people how to "make it in Hollywood -" there are a lot of people based in LA who would be much better resources for that, like Bonnie Gillespie or Mark Sikes (to name just two... there are hundreds of others, and everyone's got their opinion on who's the "best.")

When I meet with my Business Coaching clients, I'm not trying to teach them how to "make it" in LA or anywhere else - what does that mean, really - to "make it?" My idea of "making it" is probably different than yours, and different than half the people watching Access Hollywood. The most important thing, in my book, isn't to try and try and live up to other people's definition of success, but to decide what success means to you and work towards that goal.

I do have to disagree with you on one point, KL - my market here in Portland is just as "real" a market as the one in LA, or New York, or Minneapolis, or Boise. A market is a place where goods or services are exchanged. That's it. Now, LA is certainly a bigger market than ours here in Portland, OR, but that doesn't make yours "real" and ours "fake." Any place actors can get hired for films, commercials, television, or theater there's a market. The specifics of working in one market may be different than those of another, but the fundamentals really aren't. That's what I'm talking about in this series... fundamentals.

That's it for now, folks... see you on Monday when we talk about a subject on everyone's mind - Taxes!


Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Did You Miss Me On Leverage?

Hey guys

If you missed me on the season finale of TNT's hit show Leverage, don't worry. You can probably still see the episode (The Maltese Falcon Job) online, or (if you're a digital cable subscriber) "On Demand" - you'll have to check with your local cable system to see if that option's available to you.

OR... in a couple months, you'll be able to see it on DVD.

TNT just announced that they'll be releasing Leverage's second season on DVD. The DVD's go on sale May 25th; I'll be sure to put a link up in the Store section of once the disks are on sale through Amazon.

Watch for it!

Hope you're all doing well...


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Monday, February 22, 2010

Back To SHOW Business

Hey there folks

So, it's been while since I posted anything (though not as long as some of my previous silences...). As most of you know, I was in Tucson and Pittsburgh on a traveling gig with the National Institutes of Health, but now I'm back with my boots on the ground - and like most of the actors reading this, I'm looking for work. Oh, I've got some stuff lined up for the coming year, and meetings with directors on the books, and irons of various sorts in the fire... but as I've said before the only way to make this business work is to keep the schedule full; to line up the gigs, work 'em, and move on to the next one... all the while rolling with the punches and adjusting to changes in plans and schedules (as you know, I've had some experience there, too...).

It takes a lot of work... but no one ever said that this business (or any business) was easy. I know we'd all like it to be; we'd love to be that one-in-a-million actor who gets "discovered," or who "arrives" and has the world at his or her feet. Well, there's a reason those actors are one-in-a-million: it's the fact that 999,999 other actors are working their butts off to manage and build their careers (and lets by honest - most of the 999,999 other actors have sustainable, long-lasting careers; the one-in-a-million actors often have a couple of projects, and if they're really lucky and smart they can turn those into careers. Then again, they can also end up bankrupt and working as security guards within ten years.)

When I do private business counseling for actors here in Portland, I often hear "I just want to work." What that phrase tends to mean is "I just want someone to call and give me a job." Sadly, this business doesn't work that way... NO business works that way. No one called Henry Ford up and said, "Hey, you know that new automobile idea you have? I want to buy one." He had to work at building his business before he could start making money at it. No one calls a plumber and says "Hey, I don't know you, but can I pay you to fix my sink?"

Well, ok, someone might call a plumber with that request... it's unlikely - most people want to know how long the plumber's been in business, who s/he's worked for, what kind of recommendations s/he has... but hey, yellow pages ads can work. They won't work for long, though, if that plumber doesn't bill for the work, keep his/her books (so s/he can pay for that yellow pages ad), and MOST importantly - do a good job so the customer refers him/her to other potential customers. Lets face it - without more than one customer, s/he's not in business (unless that one customer is Donald Trump and he needs a LOT of plumbing work - again, one-in-a-million).

That's just what we actors have to do - especially in small markets like Portland - if we want a successful, long-running career. I know, a lot of artists get bent out of shape when I compare them to plumbers, but think about it: we have to audition. We have to get the gig. We have to manage our books. We have to get paid, and we have to invest in the tools that help us do that job (and get the next job). We have to be good at what we do, gain referrals from our customers (be they directors, producers, or whomever), and turn those referrals into the next job. Oh, hey Portlanders, we also have to RETURN PHONE CALLS and EMAILS !!!

It's a lot more complicated than just waiting for the phone to ring. Any other business person has to work full time to make his or her business thrive - the realtor or carpenter or financial advisor doesn't just go into the office "when s/he's got the time." Not if s/he wants to succeed at being a realtor/ carpenter/ financial advisor. We actors can't have that attitude about OUR businesses, either - not if we want to succeed at being actors.

Which brings me back to where I started... I'm getting back to business - looking for the next several jobs to put on the books, keeping in touch with my contacts, investing my money (and looking at how to save where I can) and building my business. Oh - and I'm looking to take you with me.

See, this post is the beginning of a weekly series (well, I'll try and make it a weekly series... you know how well I do at these things). Every Monday I'm going to write a post about the business of "The Business." I'm going to talk about how I do it - my approach, my daily routine, what I do to make my career as an actor work.

Got questions? Email them to me (or, send them via Twitter) - every Wednesday from here on out will be a "mail box" day, where I'll respond to a few messages). Some of your messages will probably spawn new Monday "back-to-business" posts; but don't be surprised if your question ends up on the blog some Wednesday (don't worry, I won't re-print your name or contact information).

I'm not holding myself up as the be-all and end-all of business advice... but I've found a few things that have worked for me over the years, and I'd like to think that one or two of you might find them useful.

Next week, we'll talk about Taxes - because I know it's on everyone's mind... and because IRS rules determine a lot about how we do business. Besides, a little work NOW, while you're getting ready for your 2009 taxes, will make the 2010 tax season a lot easier.

Hope you're all doing well...


The Back To Business Series

You know how I yammer on and on... This directory will help you find posts in the Back To Business Series. Remember, you can always send your questions to me via email or Twitter - you might just have your question answered in a Wednesday Mailbox post!

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Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Y-Me? Why Not?

Hello again, everyone

Hey, two posts in two days! I'm starting to spoil you guys! Actually, I'm just on a lay-over in Chicago; I've got an hour or so before I board my plane to Pittsburgh, so I thought I'd update you on the progress of Y-ME: Young Mutants Everywhere, a new motion comic I've added my voice to.

Polar studios, the producers of Y-ME, have just launched the show's official web site. You can find it at Pop by and check it out... "Unlock" the site's "sleep mode," and then click the play button under the label "World Node -" you'll hear my buddy Mercedes Rose and I giving you the latest news from the world of Y-ME!

The full series is slated to launch in April of this year, so watch the site for more details... and while you're at it, become a fan of the show on Facebook, and/ or follow the lead character - the mutant Sixfinger - on Twitter!

Ok, that's it for now... I've got to try and grab something to eat before we take off again (I'd rather eat a meal than pay $6.00 for a "snack box" on the plane). Hope you're all doing well!


Tuesday, February 16, 2010

It's Leverage Time!

Hey folks

I have to apologize for being incommunicado over the past couple of weeks; I've been traveling a bit with the National Institutes of Health (in fact, I take off again tomorrow to do a site-visit in Pittsburgh), and haven't had much time to sit down and write at length.

Before I take off, though, I wanted to let you know that I'm going to be appearing in the season finale of the hit series Leverage tomorrow night on TNT.

It's just a small role in a couple of scenes, but watch for me! Tune into TNT (check your local listings for the cable channel number) at 10:00 PM Eastern/ Pacific or 9:00 PM Central.

That's it... that's all I got! I've got to get packing for an early morning flight tomorrow... hope you're all doing well!


Tuesday, February 02, 2010

Prep The Net, Win A Flip Camcorder (No, Really!)

Hey folks

I know, I know... you see these online contests all the time... "win a new Apple I-Pad by forwarding this to your friends," "Get a free sample of Viagra by clicking this link..." etc. etc. etc. I can tell you, though, that this contest is totally legit - and might actually be fun to participate in.

Here's the deal: you remember that Prep The Net web site I'm on, pitching the Cisco ASR 9000 router?

I recently heard from the folks at Ascentium (the agency that put the site together) that Cisco is running a new contest based around All you have to do is visit the site and download a "paperware" ASR 9000, put it together, and then photograph it in... interesting situations. Upload your photo to the site, and you might just win a Flip Video Camcorder! Check the site for all the details... and start cutting-and-shooting!

Hey, I can't make up for Punxsutawney Phil seeing his shadow today... but at least I can try to help you get a new toy to play with during those six extra weeks of winter. :)

Hope you're all doing well...