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Open Discussion: Cons and Trek Actors!
Cowboy Bebop
sensitivinferno wrote in startrek
I've been in this community for a while, and like many of you I've been attending conventions for many years. I've also attended book signings and things like that, which have given me the opportunity to meet many Trek actors starting at a very young age. So I thought maybe some people would like to comment and discuss with one another their different experiences with Trek actors, or just con experiences? I've always thought of this fandom as one of the best in the world, because the fans are usually so nice, and the actors are very accessible.

When I was 13, I went to my first Star Trek con. It was a small local one, and I can't even remember who the guests were! I still have the convention pamphlet in a keepsake box somewhere. The first one I really remember is from when I was 15 and got to meet Siddig El Fadil. (Screw all this "Alexander Siddig" crap) and at some point I also met Grace Lee Whitney who was very forthcoming about her drug and alcohol abuse (and sex addiction) back in the day.

When I was 14-ish I got to meet Leonard Nimoy at his book signing for "I Am Spock" which was a decent read, but overall I was impressed by the fact he went out of his way to be accommodating to the fans. I think he was trying to make up for being known as standoffish. We were asked to get ONLY the book signed on the first go-around, but then were allowed to get back in line for him to sign various Star Trek memoribilia. I had him sign a little cardboard standee of the TOS crew on the transporter pad. One of my regrets is that, over the years, I lost it. I've had opportunities since then to have several other TOS actors sign it, but misplaced it with all the moving I've done.

I also met LeVar Burton at a book signing, though I don't remember what book it was. I have pictures of all these events except Leonard Nimoy, but I don't feel like digging them out or showing a bunch of strangers on the internet what I looked like in my awkward teen years. ;P LeVar was very nice.

I had the opportunity at one point to go up to Jersey for a big con with Brent Spiner and Marina Sirtis. Data is my favorite character ever, and I had wanted to see Brent for a long time. Back then, the show was still on the air so they didn't do signings or mingle with the fans like they do now. In retrospect, while I loved seeing them speak and taking pictures of them, I wish I'd just waited until I was older so I could get some real face time. But how was I to know they'd one day be walking around the con floor all willy-nilly with the fans?

When I was 16, I got to meet Tim Russ and Robert Picardo in an up-close-and-personal way. We had these two acquaintances that we always ran into at the local cons, who dressed up as a Vulcan and a Klingon, respectively. They took us up to the hotel restaurant to meet Bob and Tim, and they were so sweet to put up with us. We were literally bugging them during dinner. But they smiled and were courteous to us, and let us take pictures with them.

At some point I must have met George Takei because I have his autograph, but I don't remember it at all!

Many years went by, but then in 2005 I got the chance to go up to Philly for a con with all the TNG main cast except for Patrick Stewart! Robert Beltran was also there, as well as Terry Farrell who I only saw from far away. I really wish I still had my photo with Robert Beltran, but I lost it in a computer crash. He was very good-looking in person. At this con, my husband also embarrassed me by walking up to Jonathan Frakes and saying, "You rocked as Xanatos." While Xanatos IS awesome, I was still embarrassed! I also nearly ran into Gates McFadden and knocked her down. She's hot in person. It was a great con and we watched just about all the actors give talks and Q&A sessions. We watched Denise Crosby, Michael Dorn, Marina Sirtis, Gates McFadden, and Jonathan Frakes. Then I got a professional quality photo done with Brent Spiner, and it was like the best day ever. They were all very nice and generous with their time, and were just walking the floor looking at dealer booths like normal people! When my husband said that thing to Frakes, he had just walked right up to him and shook his hand.

Dragon*Con last year gave me the opportunity to see Brent, Gates, and Jonathan again. I got some decent face time with Brent, who remembered the Philly convention when I mentioned it. One of my friends remarked that he must really have a positronic brain, because he remembered them from years before at a con where they met briefly. Brent is a total smartass, and I get the feeling he's pretty much patronizing the world, but I find that to be an awesome trait.

This year at Dragon*Con I was able to meet Dominic Keating. I was the only person at his table at the time, so I feel we had a decent conversation. His accent is thicker in person, and he's a very tiny man. Not really short, but TINY. I'm not a big person by any means, but he even seemed small to me. He was pretty nice, and better looking in person than on TV. We talked about Hello Kitty. (I was wearing a Hello Kitty tanktop, so it wasn't completely random.)

Here are some good quality pics of me with Brent and Dominic from recent years...

Damn, I really need to get some new glasses.

Other than that, I'm also an avid costumer and have just recently started slapping together Star Trek costumes. They aren't the greatest, but I think my skills are improving over time! The first Trek costume I ever did (and the first thing I ever machine sewed) was Lal when I was I've definitely improved since then! I like dressing up as the obscure stuff. Lal, Sela, and Mirror Universe T'Pol in the Defiant science uniform. Yeah, only one dude knew who I was.

Here's some pics of me in costume, for the lulz.

This is me as Sela and my good friend Sara as Tasha. She's the best Tasha ever! When we went up to Denise Crosby, she gasped and said to her, "You're the best me I've ever seen!"

I don't have any good individual pictures of me as T'Pol, but this was our little group at Dragon*Con this year. I'm obviously the one with the Defiant badge and Vulcan ears.

We ran into Trek Elvis, who was awesome.

And here's us giving the finger to Luke Skywalker! Because we're hilarious. And drunk.

Thus ends my epic tale!


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I recognize that carpet!

*gryns and snickers*
I've been to Dragon*Con every year since 2004. Sadly, I have 'crowd' issues and usually don't go into the Walk of Fame area very often. I did get Denise Crosby's autograph when she was there last. And i've seen other Trek stars roaming about D*C from time to time over the years.

It's almost always fun to meet celebrities in person. If they're jerks, you've still got an interesting tale to tell.

I've also been every year since 2004! That's so funny! I know Connor Trinneer was there in 2005 as a guest, but I hadn't watched Enterprise at that time so I didn't go see him. I'm kicking myself now.

"I'm kicking myself now."</a>

I know that feeling. Last year, I think it was, I had several Star Trek celebrities on my 'must-have-autograph' list...didn't get a single signature. Lines were very, very long the one time I went into the Walk of Fame. I kinda wish i'd risked the lines. Who knows when/if some of those actors will return, right?

I have the same mysterious George Takei autograph. Is yours small, too? I couldn't remember where I got it and I thought you got it for me.

Yeah, mine was really small, and I think it was him in the burgundy movie uniform. Maybe I didn't meet him. Maybe we got the same mysterious autograph from someone else. Or George Takei is just sneaking into people's homes and leaving signed pictures of himself.

That's the one I have. So it remains a mystery, I guess.

Maybe Melissa got them for us. In which case, who cares.

I have met many of the Star Trek actors throughout my long time in fandom. All my experiences have been pleasant. I was at the Creation Con in Los Angeles several months ago, I finally met Brent Spiner. He was easy going and talked to all the fans and was very nice. I talked to him briefly about his stint as John Adams in the '1776' revival. He said he was not as good as William Daniels citing he was a Texas Jew. I disagreed and I told him I enjoyed his voice. This experience is about the level I have received with the other Trek actors I have met. I have many more stories but that will be for another time.

i used to have the hugest crush on mr. spiner/data!

i've never met any trek actors because i live in a prarie town in canada and i don't think any of them have ever come here for a con. consider yourself privileged!


p.s. awesome 'extras' stewart-icon. :D

If you're in Alberta/Saskatchewan...come out to Vulcan! You get marvelous face time with the actors there. :)

I was at the recent Las Vegas con, too. The last time I'd gone to a convention was in the 70s in NYC.

I got a ticket to one of the "meals with the actors" -- in my case, lunch with DS9 actors. When I got the tickets, I joked with my husband that it was just like the "Character Breakfasts" at Disney, where the little kids ooh and ahh as Mickey and Minnie make the rounds to each table. I joked that the only thing was, it would be worse for these actors, because they would have to actually talk with the people and pretend to be interested. Then I figured that it was really just another acting gig for them.

You know what? I was wrong. I had it all wrong, and I underestimated the actors.

What really happened was that the actors -- no, the people who had acted in this show -- sat down and had the most casual, real conversations with us, just as though they were having a conversation with someone you meet in any chance encounter. They were warm and engaging, and I had not the slightest impression that they were "on" or were "acting" in any way. They seemed interested -- as interested as anyone would be in a stranger, at least -- in our conversations, and came across as genuine and truly "themselves."

Max Grodenchik was just another "boy" from Brooklyn -- I could totally see him as someone familiar. He loved chatting -- his "handlers" had to practically yank him away to move him to the next table. Rene Aberjonois (sorry - mis-spelled, I'm sure!) told us funny stories about his grand-kids and the chore list his wife had waiting for him after he'd been gone for three months on a play. And Alexander Siddig was looser than I'd expected, really funny, self-deprecating and down-to-earth. There was no undercurrent of disdain for the "fans" and no "attitude" on the part of the stars. It was eye-opening, and a great, great experience.

Hey Beth! I totally agree with the actors being down to earth. Max was hysterically OCD, Alexander was ridiculously self-deprecating and Brent Spiner was cool and funny all in one. And I'm sure I could rattle on some more, but I just wanted to offer some similiar thoughts.

By the way, I'm in for the gold next year! :):):)

Hey, me too! See you there!

Apparently this is too long, so I'm splitting it in 2.

Oh...let's see...

My first ever meeting with a Trek player was in 1994, in Edmonton at West Edmonton Mall. Will Wheaton came up for a promotion of some sort. I talked to him for a few moments before/after he signed my Encyclopedia. I commented something about him being left-handed (as am I), and he laughed and said something back. I can't remember exactly what was said.

Mark Lenard in 95 at one of the last cons he went about 5 minutes of his time while he signed Sarek. During the Q&A I asked him about being the first ridged Klingon we see, and the language. He gave a very insightful and interesting reply.

Gary Lockwood in 96 in Vulcan, AB. I don't remember much of it. I was more interested in the Klingon dance troupe that was there.

Nicole DeBoer in 99 in Edmonton. It was her VERY first convention. She was quite blown away by the love and good will she felt from the fans. Got to talk to her for about half an hour.

Jack Donner in 99, also Vulcan. I got his autograph. He didn't talk much with the fans outside of the Q&A.

Barbara March in 00 again, to talk to her for about 2 hours straight. That was very cool. :) She lived in Vancouver at the time, and her husband was doing episodes of X-Files.

Charles Napier in 02/ Vulcan. He was quite the "ladies man"...or at least he thought he was. He also liked his liquid lunches.

D.C. Fontana in 02...Calgary (Con-Version XIX). Got her autograph, asked her about what it was to work with Gene in the 60's. She was wandering the halls with her husband, who is a special effects guy.

A.C. Crispin in 03..Vulcan. Got her to sign Sarek, I have the author and Character's autographs in it.

Marina Sirtis in 04/Vulcan. She is quite tiny. Maybe all of 5'2" without the heels. She talked with us at the meet n' greet for a bit, but wasn't feeling well, so didn't stay for long.

JG Hertzler and Robert O'Reilly in 05/Vulcan. They came together and were quite the pair. Sang and joked for quite a bit during the Q&A. Judged the costume contest with hilarious results. JG came to our room party, and had quite the time with us. Drank Warnog from the Throne of Kahless. He decided that he wanted to find some property around the area because of how nice it was. Don't know if he ever did...

Vaughn Armstrong and Casey Biggs in 06/Vulcan. Casey was ill, so didn't do much outside of the Q&A, but Vaughn...he was quite the talker. He also came to our room party and was there until the last person left, pretty much. He can hold his alcohol VERY well. lol. I'm sure he had about 5 scotch on the rocks as well as various other drinks in the time he was with us...but you wouldn't know it to see him. No slurring, no swaying. At the end of the Q&A the next day, we had a Klingon death howl for one of our club members who had battled Breast Cancer. Vaughn led us in it, which was appropriate, seeing as how he created it. The sound shook the room, and I don't think there was a dry eye left afterwards.

The surviving Original Series Crew (Shatner, Nimoy, Takei, Nichols, Koenig, Whitney, Barrett-Roddenberry) plus Tim Russ, Michael Dorn, Gwyneth Walsh, Suzi Plakson, Jeffrey Coombs, and Marc Alaimo in 06 at the 40th Anniversary Con in Vegas. Majel was sweet when she and her son Rod came on stage, but she seemed quite fragile. She was in a wheelchair.
Of all of them, I got the most time with George Takei and Tim Russ. I had told George I wanted to get his autograph in my copy of his autobiography, but couldn't afford another ticket. He told me, "You know, I would have signed it anyways." That almost made me cry. For Tim, I was in line for his autograph when I told him that I had seen him that morning getting his coffee at the coffee bar in the hotel. He replied that he was getting a Chai latte instead, because they had one of the best he'd tasted, and he didn't like Starbuck's version. I replied that I'd have to try it, and that if he were to make it up to Canada, to try Second Cup's version. He said he just might have to do that. Oh, also...when I got Leonard Nimoy's autograph in the front cover of my Star Trek Encyclopedia, he said "I see you've been collecting a while." I could only answer yes. heh.

Eugene "Rod" Roddenberry this last summer in Vulcan. I first saw him in 06, but that was just on stage at the 40th anniversary. Wow. What a sweet, kind, caring, interesting man he is. When he was talking to you, he was focused in on you, like you were the only person there. The group I'm with spent most of the entire weekend with him, acting as security for him and getting to know him to the point he gave some of us his email and phone number. Myself and a friend made sure he got to his door after the party, and then the next morning, I got to go for breakfast with him. I've even talked to him about coming to Con-Version in Calgary next year.

Oh, in case some were unaware, Rod has been working on a documentary about Star Trek called Trek Nation. He's been working on it for a few years. He showed the trailer at the convention and it looks GREAT. I don't know if he has it up on as well, but if you can find it. :)

And that's far. I'm hoping one of these years to get to D*Con. I've heard from quite a few people that it is THE fan con to go to.

I have met virtually most of the trek actors and the NICEST ones hands down were; Georgi Takei, Mark Lenard and James Doohan.

The rudest I have ever met were; Wiliam Shatner. Just ugh, NO! We do not owe you somthing you arrogant you know what. If it wasnt for the fans you would be no one, so stop acting as if you own the world and it owes you because you are 'so full of awesome'. Yes, this WAS his attitude, turned me off to Trek for a long time.

Chase Masterson wasnt that far behind. Ive met her 4 times, and I think the first time was an act for a younger female fan. The next times I saw her...YIKES! She cussed out hotel works over bottled water, cussed out a fan because they said she looked cool in the klingon attire she was made ot wear on stage for a skit....after that incident, I got out of trek for about 7 years. All I was seeing anymore were actors treating fans like total shit for no reason.

Not all of them were this way, but enough of them were to turn me off. There were more rude ones then just shatner and masterson, but I dont feel like going into ever experiance =P

And trust me, you wouldnt like Dominic if you knew what he did to a friend of mines friend...I was all like O.O!!!!!!!!!1

But damn, you got to meet Brent? I wrote all the trek actors once when I was 8, and he was the only one that sent me back anything: a personalized autographed pic. He is such a sweet guy and I hope to get to meet him one day.

Picardo and Russ were also awesome, and Picard stole a friends french fry at lunch lol.

My favorite story involves Celeste Yarnall, who was Yeoman Martha Landon in "The Apple." In July 2001, she was a guest at the Shore Leave convention and judged the Masquerade where our group took Best in Show for our Blue Borg Group gag.

The following month, she was a guest at a Slanted Fedora show near DC. She remembered me from Shore Leave and insisted we get a picture taken. After which, she kissed me on the cheek!

An old lady here who can't resist this opportunity to jump in. My con days are long over. I was 10 at my first con -- which was the first one ever, held in NYC in 1972, at the Hilton, I think? My strongest memory is that Gene Roddenberry was shocked -- SHOCKED -- when he walked out onstage and the crowd went nuts. He looked like he might faint. That was the con where they were expecting a couple hundred people, and thousands showed up. The next year, GR and Shatner had elevator races, and I remember being really disappointed that I wound up in Roddenberry's elevator and not Shatner's. Well, what do you want? I was only 11! I went to those NY cons every year until I was about 14 or 15. The atmosphere was one of camaraderie and sheer joy. It was just amazing to be with so many people who shared a passion for Trek. I also remember a very eye-opening art show that introduced me to the ways of slash.

Many years later (in the mid-90s) I attended a Creation Con. It was...disappointing.

Edited at 2008-09-17 05:18 pm (UTC)

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