Los Angeles, CA (The Hollywood Times) 11/30/2019 – Afterglow is the story of a tormented psychologist who will risk everything to uncover the meaning of visions she has of a previous life. Trish Mcgee plays the Lead Role of Dr. Leigh Fisher, University Psychology Professor who will engage the help of a high functioning autistic teen named Claire (played by Caroline Kearns) to uncover the truth about her visions.
Share your background.
Trish McGee: I was raised in Milton, PA by devout Catholic parents and the youngest of 5 daughters. I have 2 adult sons and 1 darling granddaughter. While attending Bucknell University, although pursuing a Business Degree, I was drawn to philosophy. In the late 90s, I returned to graduate school to further explore my interest and obtained a Master’s Degree in Philosophy from the University of Maryland. I’ve spent the past 20 years encouraging college students to ask questions, think critically, and ethically. All the while, I’ve been an aspiring writer.
What led you to act?
Trish McGee: In the early Summer of 2018, I received a text from a good friend asking me if I wanted to be in a movie. “Hey, wanna play a hot potty mouth older sibling in an Indie film?” Without hesitation, I responded, “Fuck ya!” What the heck, I thought, I have nothing to lose. Subsequently, Director Mike Gutridge sent me his screenplay “Shadows.”
When was your first break?
Trish McGee: When Mike and I met to discuss the role in Shadows, I said, “You know I’ve never acted a day in my life.” His response, “I like your energy. Let’s do this!”
Are there particular roles that interest?
Trish McGee: I have enjoyed playing dramatic roles, but I think it would be fun to try comedy at some point.
Describe your acting style.
Trish McGee: I’ve been described by my friends as an empath, so I really try to relate to the character’s feelings about the circumstances they find themselves in.
You have been a Philosophy Professor for 20 years. Is there any synergy between philosophy and acting?
Trish McGee: As a teacher, one is always performing – for a tough audience. At this level, students rarely come to my classes with an interest in the topic – instead, they are filling their Humanities credits. It’s my job to come to class prepared to engage – in this way, I suppose I’ve been an entertainer for 20 years.
As a philosopher, I’ve studied the human condition. This has helped me tremendously to understand human nature, motivation and character diversity.
Tell us about the film, “Shadows.” What is about your character resonated with you?
Trish McGee: Shadows is an Art House Film written and directed by Mike Gutridge (Shrewsbury, PA). The story is about 3 siblings who return to a Summer camp that was owned and run by their deceased parents. They are coming back to presumably clear out and prepare the property for resale. Each sibling has issues to resolve for themselves as well as resentment toward each other for various reasons.
My role as the oldest sister “Trish” was indeed about a potty-mouthed sarcastic older sister whose looks landed her 3 unsuccessful marriages. Now, with her fading beauty and challenges from her brother and sister, Trish begins to free herself from this image.
The film was set in the beautiful nature camps in northern Maryland. Shadows is currently in Post-Production and should be released early 2020.
What roles interest you? Which roles challenge you?
Trish McGee: Although I have really enjoyed acting and hope to continue to do so, my passion for writing is what wakes me at 3 AM. So, writing and producing is really where I want to focus my energy. For my next screenplay, I would love to work with Laura Linney. The Editors for my film “Afterglow” are amazingly talented guys (Doug Henderson and Matt Nease from Bold Creative Media and Everything’s Fire). I’d really like to work with them on a film from start to finish with Doug as Director.
Tell us about your new film, “Afterglow.” What are a few lessons learned in the film?
Trish McGee: The film was set in the beautiful nature camps in northern Maryland. Shadows is currently in Post-Production and should be released early 2020.
Trish McGee: What did I learn? The learning curve for this endeavor was very steep! This was definitely a hands-on lesson. In this film, I was the chief cook and bottle washer – seriously. I did everything from prop design, to catering, to location and cast schedules. With our extremely limited budget, I learned to bed and plead for what I needed. Most importantly, I found it was very difficult to produce and act at the same time.
What are the lessons for the audience?
Trish McGee: The story was inspired by the branch of philosophy called the mind/body question, specifically John Locke’s Personal Identity theory that describes the “self” as our collection of memories. So the main character Leigh has memories from another self that interfere with her current life and influence her decisions, preferences, abilities, and emotions. I’d like the audience to think about what it would feel like to have such an experience. Would they be driven to resolve and understand? Would they feel crazy? Can we forgive the character Leigh for her lack of transparency given the circumstances?
Tell us about your new screenplay, “The Feeding Hand.” What inspired you to write it?
Trish McGee: The Feeding Hand logline currently reads as such: A rising politician must choose between winning the election for the U.S. Senate and revealing a childhood secret that could prove a death row inmate’s innocence.
This story was inspired by true events from my teenage shenanigans. Two 15-year old girls sneak out of the house to go to a forbidden boy party. The lead character Tess witnesses something that night but keeps it a secret for 25 years and an innocent man gets the death penalty. As the execution date closes in Tess must decide whether she will come forward.
What is next for you?
Trish McGee: Afterglow will premiere in February 2020, so I’ll be spending my time working on the distribution and promotion of the film. I’ll also be working on The Feeding Hand screenplay and seeking funding for this film.
www.trishmcgee.com is my blog site where you can find the trailer for Afterglow.
Afterglow – the movie – facebook page https://www.facebook.com/Afterglow-the-movie-648084138979924/
Shadows facebook page