Scene in Portland: Keri Murphy Sued

Here is the latest Scene in Portland column from The Portlander.

Original article here: Scene in Portland

Keri Murphy Sued for Unpaid Earnings

Keri Murphy, who once ran the former Murphy Talent Group, MTG, Whilhelmina/MTG and ABC talent agencies is being sued for misappropriating money that should have been paid to talent. Murphy allegedly received checks for thousands of dollars from clients, but never passed the money on to the talent who actually earned it. Murphy is also alleged to have been collecting fees from hopeful parents for their children’s photo shoots, comp cards and modeling classes up until a few weeks before the agency closed its doors and filed for bankruptcy back in December 2008.

One 9-year-old girl’s parents decided enough was enough and is suing Murphy for over $8,600 they claim the girl earned in the summer of 2008, plus $10,000 in punitive damages.

Murphy was deposed on Monday. The trial is set for December 5. Judge Elizabeth Perris, U.S Bankruptcy Court of Oregon will preside.

Murphy is currently living in Los Angeles and hosting the CHASEit segments on IBC’s (Intertainment Broadcasting Corporation) “That Morning Show,” airing daily on the E! channel from 6-9 a.m.

We have not heard the end of this story. Stay tuned for more details as they become available.

Portland Model Makes Top 10 in Project Green Search

When Erika Schmid graduated from Concordia College this May with a degree in Environmental Biology she had no idea it would help her modeling career. But someone she didn’t even know saw her personal modeling website and encouraged her to apply for Project Green Search, which was hosting a competition for the next big “green friendly” model. Applicants were required to submit an essay on what green living meant to them and why they would want to be a green model. Two weeks ago Schmid received notice that she had been chosen as a Top 10 finalist, and would be flown to L.A. for the final days of the competition on November 5 and 6.

Schmid spoke to me from her hotel in West Hollywood, where she had just finished an intense day of interviews and fashion shoots. When I asked what the next 24 hours would be like she said, “Well, tonight we’re going out to do some guerrilla gardening around Hollywood.” For those of you who don’t know what that means, it’s when you go out at night and secretly plant things when nobody’s looking. Shhh.

The winner of Project Green Search will be announced at the ECCO Lounge in Hollywood at 7 p.m. tonight. Erika is currently signed with OMM in Portland. Good luck Erika!

Oregon Bride Magazine Chooses Local Models

Oregon Bride Magazine will feature three local models in its Spring 2010 and Summer 2010 issues. Jon Bebe (Q6), Amanda Wall (Mode) and Jillian Rabe (OMM) booked the photo shoot for Oregon Bride, which was shot in Central Oregon and Portland. The issues feature photography by Kevin Focht, and hair and make-up by Katherine Ross of OMMStyle.

OMM Co-Founders Join PAC at AI

Nina McLaughlin and Kit Garrett of OMM accepted an invitation to be on the Program Advisory Committee at the Art Institute of Portland. This committee is made up of industry professionals and educators and provides valuable information for curriculum development. Local PAC members provide AI with input on the most current industry needs and development. PAC members, being industry leaders in the local community, can help promote the program and build better working relationships in the business community.

Casting Couch

Currently casting for a Fred Meyer spot. Just finished casting for two Oregon Lottery spots. Spots for Cartoon Network and the Oregonian have wrapped.

If the IT Department Managed My Dating Life

I recently had an experience where I met someone online and then a few days later did some cyber sleuthing only to find out the person was not who they really said they were. I felt a little violated, you know like someone had hacked into my OS and planted a Trojan virus. And this is someone I met only once for coffee!

This experience got me thinking, why can’t I run my dating life like I run my servers (computers) at work?

Opening Ports of Communication

A port on a computer is a communication channel that allows devices to talk to each on the same piece of hardware without interfering with each other. Think of it as a phone number. If you publicize that port number anyone can call it.  Don’t publicize your port number unless you’re ready to communicate!

Install Anti-Virus Software

I would never open up a server at work to the outside world without first installing some sort of anti-virus software to protect it. You’ve all heard of computer viruses, those nasty little programs that hackers and spammers secretly install on your poor unsuspecting computer. In the IT world there are anti-virus software programs like McAfee, Norton and Semantic for that.

The anti-virus software in the dating world is called your gut instinct. Just like Norton your gut will raise all kinds of red flags when it senses danger. Would you ignore Norton if it popped up a message that said some malicious piece of code was trying to gain access to your computer? I think not. You would click that Quarantine or Delete button without a second thought.

So, the next time you’re on a date, and that anti-virus gut instinct software starts popping up messages, don’t ignore them! Hit that Delete button and run!


My production servers at work are locked down tighter than Alcatraz in the 60’s, unless you’re a really good swimmer/hacker. I employ something called whitelisting, which means you can’t talk to my servers unless I know who you are. This is a difficult concept to apply in the dating world, but  it can be done. Before you decide to meet that person on for a cup of coffee talk to all of your friends who have been active in the online dating world. Ask them if they have come across this person before. The dating pool is small. The likelihood is that someone you know has already met this person for a date, and can give you some very valuable feedback. Positive Feedback=Whitelisting. Proceed with coffee date.


In the Microsoft world you can blacklist a website by adding it to your hosts file. The hosts file is like a guest list that meaty bouncer outside the coolest club in town has on his clipboard. Not the V.I.P. list, but the OTHER list. You know, the one that lists all the people who have been kicked out of the club at one time or another, and are banned for life. That my friends is the blacklist, and you need one.

While whitelisting is the “known good” list, blacklisting is the “known bad” list. When you log on to and come across people you work with, add them to your blacklist. Just block them. You know you’ll never date them, and do you really want them perusing your dating profile while they’re deciding whether or not to promote you? And furthermore, blacklist the people you met on three years ago. The second or third time is not the charm.

Security Certification Process

Many of the clients I work with on a daily basis require my company and my servers to pass a rigorous security clearance. The process involves a lengthy verbal interrogation and a cyber scan of my servers from the outside world to see what they can see. In a word, they are trying to find out that I am safe to communicate with, and that I am who I say I am.

Thanks to the World Wide Web this concept maps very well to the dating world. Most people give you enough information in their dating profile and their initial communications for you to find out more than you ever wanted to know about that person. If all you have is a first name and a city, you may be hard pressed to find any useful information unless the first name is really unique. However, if you have a first name, a city and an occupation you may be in luck. Plug that information into our good friend Google and you’re off and running. You can often find the very pictures they have posted on their dating profile on their business website, which allows you to verify who they are.

If you have an email address or a first and last name and a city, I suggest you get familiar with a site called, which takes the information you input and then crawls the Web for you. provides a comprehensive list of all references to that individual anywhere on the Web.

For the serious cyber sleuth I recommend a service called, which will give you a 7-day trial if you really need to do a deep dive on someone. This service provides past addresses, name changes, MARITAL STATUS, and criminal records. Don’t ask if you don’t want to know.

Proceed with Caution

People are not as black and white as computers, so even if you employ all of the above methods as you navigate the murky waters of the online dating world, you still need to proceed with caution. Think like an IT manager:

  • Don’t open a port of communication unless you’re ready for that person to start calling you and texting you. You can always close a port on a computer when you want to stop communicating. In the dating world it’s called blocking his/her phone number!
  • Don’t whitelist someone until you really know them. Whitelisting someone gives them access to things that no one else has access to.
  • Do your due diligence, and if you find some compromising information on someone ask them about it before judging them. Not all computer programs are flawless, and not everyone who looks like a criminal online is actually a criminal today.

Go forth young grasshopper, and apply these Dating Ninja skills the next time you decide to try online dating.

Scene in Portland Column: CW Series Life UneXpected Shooting in Portland

Scene_in_PortlandJust posted my weekly Scene in Portland column on The Portlander. And because you subscribe to this blog you don’t have to click through to see it. This is the column in its entirety.

Original column is here:

Scene in Portland

CW Series Life UneXpected Shooting in Portland

The upcoming CW series Life UneXpected will be shooting scenes in Portland over the next few days. The series, which is set in Portland, is actually shot in Vancouver, B.C., so imagine my surprise when I heard through the grapevine that they were actually here in Portland. Series creator Liz Tigleaar posted a Tweet on Thursday morning that said “LUX 104 starts shooting today!!!” I confirmed with Tigleaar that they are indeed here in Portland.

Life UneXpected centers around 15-year old Lux (Britt Robertson, Swingtown), who was abandoned at birth and has spent her entire life bouncing through the foster care system in Portland, and has now decided to seek emancipation from the biological parents she doesn’t even know. The pilot sets up the hook of the series by reconnecting Lux with her birth parents Nate “Baze” Bazile (Kristoffer PolahaMad Men) and Cate (Shiri Appleby, Roswell), who are no longer together but agree to make amends when a judge decides Lux is not ready for emancipation.

Life UneXpected is produced by Mojo Films in association with CBS Television Studios and Warner Bros. Television with executive producers Liz Tigelaar (Brothers and Sisters, What About Brian) and Gary Fleder (October Road). The series premiere does not yet have confirmed date.

Let’s hope Life UneXpected loves Portland so much while they’re shooting in town this week that they actually shoot the next season here!

Comedy Trailer for Rid of Me

As promised, James Westby has released a second trailer showing the lighter side of his upcoming film, Rid of Me. While the first trailer portrayed the movie as a dark comedy, this new trailer will have you either laughing out loud or totally disgusted and reaching for a barf bag (just watch the trailer already). You can see the trailer here: Rid of Me Trailer.

Casting Couch

Casting this week for The Oregonian and Hasbro/Cartoon Network. Casting just completed for Pro Flowers and Chel White’s ultra low budget SAG feature Bucksville, which begins shooting October 23.

Last Week’s Column Goes Global

When I published the Twilight story last week I thought it might ruffle some feathers, but I had no idea how many. The column was quoted as far away as Brazil! And the Leverage ConCon peeps were equally appreciative, retweeting that column all over Twitter.

Kelly Jo Horton lives the life of a software and database geek by day, and the creative life of an actress, writer and improv comedienne at ComedySportz by night. She is the former writer, host and co-producer of TVC-TV’s political talk show “To the Point!” She holds a degree in journalism from San Diego State University.

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