Trish and Harold's Weblog

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

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Animus Cross Series II Is Live!!

Hey everone

You didn't think that just because I'm out of town I'd let today go by without comment... Series II of Animus Cross, "Hell For the Company," has officially launched at! Pop on by and take a look - and let us know what you thought of the first episode on the Animus Cross Blog, Facebook Page or on the official Animus Cross Forum.
I can't tell you how privileged Trish and I feel to be part of this series... when we shot the first series back in 2008, we knew that Amanda and Jerry had planted the seeds of something special... and now that we get the chance to share Series II with you, you're going to start to see those seeds bloom in completely unexpected ways! It's truly a gift to play a part in taking the audience into unknown territory this way!
Be sure to check back at on the last Monday of every month through October to watch the continuing saga unfold! I'll be watching with you...

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Tuesday, April 27, 2010


So, you remember the post I published Sunday about family stories, and how important they are? That little meditative ramble was actually a prologue for the next couple of weeks.

As I write this, Trish and I are packing up for a family trip to Arizona with my parents.

Yes, I know, Arizona isn't all that popular at the moment... the state's been in the news a lot lately, and not for the right reasons (in my opinion).

But, land-of-the-crazies or not, Arizona is the soil my family's roots are planted in, and a lot of my extended family are still there. As I said in that previous post, my ancestors' names, birth and death dates are easy enough to find on or any of a number of online resources... what I can't get from those databases, though, are the stories behind those names and dates. We don't know anything about the people who came before us unless those stories are recorded and shared.

I've always been somewhat interested in my family history; getting it all recorded, however, took on a greater significance when my brother's son Christopher was born. I'd kind of like to know this stuff for my own edification and entertainment... but HE might want to know the story of our family, and tell it to his children, and their children, and... yeah. You get the picture.

Besides, it's a good excuse to spend some time with my mom and dad. We only live six hours away from each other, but if you're a regular reader you know how busy Trish and my life can get. We sometimes go months in between seeing each other - the chance to spend a couple of weeks with them isn't something I want to pass up.

So, if you follow me on Twitter, Facebook or Foursquare, don't be surprised if you see me "check in" at some new and different places over the coming days. We'll be covering a lot of the state over the next couple of weeks; as with other trips Trish and I have taken, I'll probably post some photos on our PhotoBucket page - and heck, I'm taking the Flip with me... I might even stick a couple of videos up on my YouTube channel.

Treat Portland well while I'm gone... I'll see you all in a bit!

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Monday, April 26, 2010

Back-To-Business Will Be Back...

The Back-To-Business Series: Index

... eventually! I'm taking a little break from the Back-to-Business series. It's all explained in the video below!

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Sunday, April 25, 2010

I Love A Good Story...

... but, that really shouldn't come as a surprise, given my chosen profession. There are a lot of things to love about acting - the "smell of the greasepaint and roar of the crowd," the chance to put on costumes and do things you might not otherwise do, the chance to work with interesting and creative people... the biggest joy I get out of doing what I do, though, is getting the chance to help tell stories. Storytelling is a vital part of what makes us human; the stories we read, watch, or hear help to put our daily toil into perspective; they help us think about the issues we face in new ways. They inspire us, the scare us, and they help us understand our own lives, and the world we find ourselves in.
I learned early on that history isn't about names, places, and dates; history is about stories, and about the people who made those stories happen. Sure, from an academic perspective it's good to know that Caesar crossed the Rubicon with his legions to take control of Rome in 49 BC (yawn...). Those events shaped western civilization, and got us to the place we are today. Ok, whatever.

The STORY about how Caesar was having an affair with Pompey's wife to gain information about when the Roman leader would be out of the city, the risks he took in taking control, his eventual betrayal by the people who put him power... that's the the story in the history. It makes those events live in our hearts and minds, paints a picture of the people behind the historical figures and, most importantly, it makes us think about what we might do if we were in the same situation.

That's what makes historical drama's like HBO's short-lived series ROME so fun to watch... or The Tudors...Deadwood... Once Upon A Time In America... the list goes on and on. The characters and dates those productions chronicle are known facts. The the people involved - the characters who make the story - well, they're what make the story inside the history live for us.

We're all historical figures... and we're all descended from historical figures. Each of us and our ancestors played a part in making the world the way it is today (for good or for ill). We can easily find out that our grandparents were descended from their parents and their parents before them, when they were born and when they died, etc. etc. etc... finding out who those people were, though, is the interesting part. Learning their stories and seeing how their stories intersect and help to shape our own story is what makes the process fun (yeah, really! Fun!)

That's why I've had such a good time watching Who Do You Think You Are on NBC... yes, it seems like yet another "celebrity reality series" that follows famous people around as they traipse about the globe. The true joy of the show, however, is that it captures the wonder, excitement (and, often heartache) that these people experience when they find out the stories behind the people they descended from. Each show tells a few stories about a few people... and all those stories come together to make the person tracing his or her family history.

If you've been following me on Twitter or Facebook, you know that I've been tracing my own family history for a while now (I frequently call it my "online video game," because just like World of Warcraft or City of Heroes, I pay a small subscription fee and have a whole lot of fun!) See, I finally clicked on one of those ubiquitous ads you see everywhere on the Internet and started plugging things into their system. It's free to set up an account and add what information you have - you can add people, upload photos, and do all sorts of stuff for nothing - and for a small subscription fee (about $19.95 a month) they give you access to hundreds of records: census forms, shipping manifests, photos and information from other people's family trees... through using the system, some of the people who made up my family's history started to take shape. The more I found out, however, the more questions kept developing. Why did my grandfather leave his family in Indiana and strike out on his own? How did my grandmother - then a nurse in Los Angeles - fall in love with him while he was at her hospital and decide to chuck her career and become a farm wife? Why did my other grandfather, who'd been a construction foreman and engineer, suddenly decide to become a county sheriff?

Those are the stories behind the histories, and piecing them together is, honestly, a blast. Sure, there's a little detective work, but if detective work weren't fun there would be nearly as many mysteries and police procedurals on TV! Finding out who these people were and why they did what they did is inspiring... informative... and tells tales just as exciting as Deadwood or Rome - because you get to know the people behind the history.

So, think about spending a Sunday afternoon some time and looking into the people who came before you. You might just be surprised at how interesting and exciting their stories are - and how their stories helped lead to creating the story you're living today.

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Friday, April 23, 2010

Journeying Towards A New World...

Hey Everyone

So, if you're a fan of Phil Vaira's or have been following the development of his new film The Fall of the New World, this is going to be old news... but in case you haven't heard:

About a week ago, Phil contacted me about playing a role in the upcoming film. He sent along the script, I read through it... and I was just plain "wowed." So, of course, I signed on!

The script is kind of hard to describe in genre terms... The film's tag-line gives you some clues - "A young heir fearfully hides his origin from a corrupted American empire." It's set in America... but it's not the America we live in today. It's set in a dark future... but it's not exactly "post apocalyptic," and it's not exactly "Sci Fi" (in the way some people would define "Sci Fi"). The main character in the film is a young actor I've been very happy to work with in the past, Bryce Walters... but it's not exactly a "kids movie."

You can see why I was intrigued by the script... and as time has gone on and I've been meeting with Phil to discuss the project, I've been even more impressed with the depth this movie has to offer. Don't get me wrong - there's action, there's drama, and there are thrills - this isn't a talky "art film" - but there's a lot going on under the surface that you might notice at first blush.

Obviously, I'm not the only one who's been impressed by this script... Phil's assembled quite a powerhouse cast, including Todd Robinson, Audrey Walker, Mercedes Rose, Jon San Nicolas and Jacqueline Gault (to name just a few). This is going to be quite an adventure!

Shooting starts in late summer... I'll keep you apprised of things as they develop!

Hope you're all doing well...


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Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Animus Cross Series II Launches April 28!

Hey everyone!

Mark your calendars! Steen House Entertainment has just announced the official launch date for Animus Cross Series II: "Hell For The Company."

(See the trailer in HD on YouTube or Vimeo)

Episode 1 of the new series will launch at on Wednesday, April 28 - and new episodes will be released on the last Wednesday of the month through November.
Trish and I are really excited to share this new series with you all - we knew when we were shooting Series I back in 2008 that we were part of something special... and Series II proves the point by "upping the ante -" more action, higher production values... and we finally get to show you the creatures who have been menacing us in the dark!
Be sure to spread the word: encourage your friends to get caught up on Series I: "Hell Runs The Way" at, and to become fans at the series' Facebook Page. Sign up for the Animus Cross Forum at the official site, and post your questions or comments for the series creators. Then, get ready to return with us to Frontier Idaho next Wednesday... the trip will be dark and dangerous, but I can promise you it'll be quite a ride!

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Sunday, April 18, 2010

Actors and WebSeries Producers: A Special Portland Event!

Hey everyone

As you all know, the web has become a fertile breeding ground for new content - local producers can get their visions out to a large, worldwide audience, and local actors have even more opportunities to work and be seen by those audiences. Heck, after Animus Cross, Lady Wasteland, and The Outbreak I've received attention from people all around the world, and those projects have helped take my career in entirely new directions!

Unfortunately, many union actors get cut out of the potentional to work on the web, because web series producers don't know the ins-and-outs of SAG New Media Contracts. SAG is trying to fix this by putting on a special presentation for actors AND producers to give them more information on these contracts. I hope you'll join me at the Living Room Theaters on Tuesday the 20th to find out more about SAG's new media contracts - they're not as complicated (or expensive) as you think, and they give actors, directors and producers many more opportunities to work together.

See you there!


You are Invited to a Portland Viewing Event of
Screen Actors Guild and SAG Foundation LifeRaft Live Stream’s
“SAG Contracts Corner: New Media 101”

Actors have a unique opportunity to take control of their careers by producing their own content for the internet. Applying your creativity in the new media space has never been easier. Join the Screen Actors Guild New Media Department and prominent digital entertainment leaders as they share essential tips on producing respectable, signatory online content.

What: LifeRaft Live Stream* presents “The SAG Contracts Corner: New Media 101”
Date: Tuesday, April 20, 2010
5:30 p.m.-Meet and Greet

6 p.m.-LifeRaft Panel SAG Contracts Corner: New Media 101
7 p.m.-Live Hollywood Q and A
8 p.m.-No-host Social Hour

Where: Living Room Theater
341 SW 10th Avenue
Portland, OR 97205 (corner of SW 10th & Stark)

Space is limited.

Please RSVP to Dena Beatty at: or call (206) 224-5696 or (800) 724-0767 ext. 7.

Due to facility restrictions, this event is restricted to attendees age 21 and over. (Portland's National SAG Board Representative Mary McDonald-Lewis says that they're going to work on finding all-ages venues for future LifeRaft presentations)

* LifeRaft Live Stream seminars focus on the business of acting, offering opportunities for Screen Actors Guild members to learn from seasoned industry professionals who are ready to offer useful guidance and assistance with audience questions. With the live stream seminars, members all over the country can ask questions live - directly to the panelists or instructors.

For further information about LifeRaft and more programs of the Screen Actors Guild Foundation go to

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Tuesday, April 13, 2010

"Bicycling" To Colorado Springs

Hey everyone!

If you live near Colorado Springs, you've got a chance to see Trish and I in The Bicyclists, a film we shot back in 2008.

The producers of the hit web series The Bicyclist created this big-screen feature as a "re-imagining" of the events chronicled in the webisodes. From the official web site:

"We’ve kept much of what you’ve loved about the episodes but reinvented the story. We still have the same main four characters (Conrad, Steve, Zack and Lissa), but each character changes in both small and big ways. We still have some of the same quirky comedy, but the drama goes much deeper and the story takes us to unexpected places. "

The film is part of the Indie Spirit Film Festival at Kimballs Peak Theater Three in Colorado Springs (115 E. Pikes Peak Ave., Colorado Springs CO 80903 - click here for a map!). You've got two chances to see The Bicyclists: at 4:45 pm on Saturday, April 24 in Theater #3, or at 12:00 pm in Theater #2.

We really hope those of you in the Colorado Springs area can come out to see the film... of course, if you can't make the screenings (or you don't live in the area), remember that you can order the film on DVD from the "Store" section of

Hope you're all doing well...

-Harold (and Trish!)

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Saturday, April 10, 2010

Friends With Odds and Ends

Hi Folks

Well, today's going to be a busy day - I've got two auditions AND a rehearsal for the staged reading of Phedre' I mentioned earlier this week, plus I've got to try to get out to see Trish and my grandson's baseball game, and lift a glass to my friend Mike Prosser on his birthday after that. Like I say... a busy day!

Before I disconnect and head out to the first audition, though, I wanted to let you know about a couple of things some friends of mine have going on:

First off, for my readers "across the pond," Phil Bransom's very successful family film Trainmaster is now available in the United Kingdom under the name The Railway Grandchildren. If you're reading this in the UK, take a look at the link and bring the film home to your family - it's a great, heartwarming film - and it features some great Oregon locations and actors (like my pals Jon Ashley Hall, Mercedes Rose, Bryce Walters, Elijah Nelson, Kevin Dahlgren... and even stunt-man extraordinaire Jerry Buxbaum!)

Phil is in the process of putting the finishing touches on Trainmaster II: Jermiah's Treasure as I write this... He tells me that he's planning a cast and crew premier later this month, a Portland premier in mid-summer, and a wide release in late-summer to early-fall. Be watching for it!

If you're in the Minneapolis area, be sure to visit the 20% Theater Company at the Minneapolis Theater Gargage towards the end of the month! My friend Francesca Sanders' play CELESTE and STARLA SAVE TODD AND WIN BACK THE DAY will be playing from April 30 - May 15. If you're a theater artist in the area, drop Francesca a line through her web site (scroll down to the bottom of the page) - she'll be in town for a few days around the opening, and she'd love to meet some new people in the Twin Cities!

Finally, if you're in the Bellingham area, be sure to go see my pappa Sandy Brewer in the the Bellingham Theater Guild's production of Lawrence and Lee's Inherit The Wind. The show opened last night to a very receptive crowd, and it's already gotten a smashing review - but it only runs until April 25 and the house is sure to fill. Be sure to get out to see this before it closes!

Ok, that's all I have time for this morning... hope you're all doing well!


Thursday, April 08, 2010

Animus Cross News

Hey folks

A lot of you have been contacting me through various mediums asking me what's happening with the western fantasy Animus Cross.

Things have been pretty quiet in 1860's Idaho since we launched the official Series II teaser on in November of last year; yes, I asked you to submit the series to the 2010 streamy awards back in December, but otherwise there hasn't been a lot of talk about where Series II is in the "pipeline."

Since the birth of Amanda and Jerry's son Trone, we've been hearing rumbles from some people on the internet; they're suggesting that the launch of Series II would be delayed due to the new addition to the family. Well, Amanda put everyone's fears to rest in a recent post on the Oregon Film Office's new Confluence blog - you can see that post by clicking here .

So, it's official - launch of "Hell For The Company" is on schedule for later this month. I'll be sure to let you know when an exact date is announced - keep an eye on the ol' blog here, or even better - get the news straight from the source by becoming a fan of the series on Animus Cross' Facebook Page.

You know me... once I know something, I'll definitely spread the word! Hope you're all doing well...


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Tuesday, April 06, 2010

Back In Greece (And Back On Stage!)

Howdy everybody...
One of the reasons my day got out-of-hand yesterday was the news that an actor dropped out of a staged reading Trish is appearing in for Classic Greek Theater of Oregon... and that the Artistic Director asked if I'd step in to fill the role.

So, of course, I had to read the script, look over my schedule, talk details with the director... yadda yadda yadda. That's all over and done with, though - and I'm happy to let you know that I'll be appearing as Theseus in a brand new translation of Jean Racine's classic play Phaedra.

Now, don't worry - this isn't some old moldy costume drama with people standing around in togas sawing the air and (as my old theater teacher Michael Hood used to say) laughing at jokes no one gets. For one thing, we'll be sitting, not standing... and this fresh translation by Louis Fantasia brings the issues and drama of Racine's play to modern audiences (Really! No sleeping-pill replacement here!)

I really hope you'll make the time to join us at the Shoebox Theater (2110 SE 10th Ave, Portland, OR 97214 - Map It) at 7:00 on Tuesday April 13 to check it out. I have to say, I'm really excited to be getting back on stage. I hope you'll join me!

Oh, yeah... and Giggity Giggity Giggity - awright!

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Monday, April 05, 2010

Back-to-Business Got Broke...

The Back-To-Business Series: Index

Hey folks

Sorry there was no Back-To-Business post today. As so often happens in my life, events shifted suddenly. I had a nice, leisurely morning set aside today in which to write today's post - but with a couple of morning phone calls, that leisurely morning evaporated.

So sorry... watch for the return of the Back-to-Business series next Monday... I promise!