18 August 2006 @ 12:20 pm
The First Proper Day at the Event  


After I posted yesterday’s update on my journal I went to breakfast. The Las Vegas Hilton does a good buffet for $12.92. I started with your basic attempt at suicide via cholesterol with cheese omelette; sausages, bacon etc. and then went off to get myself some fruit. Returning to my table with a plate of melon and strawberries I met some friends and joined them. They commented how healthy I was being with my breakfast while they were tucking into bacon and eggs. I basked in their praise without feeling any need to mention earlier parts of my own meal.

After breakfast I came back to the room had a quick wash and picked up the stuff I would need with me at the con. By the time I arrived they’d just opened the doors. I wasn’t that bothered about seeing the first guests so I went to the autograph signers room.

In addition to autographs I wanted I’d been asked to pick up a few for friends back in blighty. This has an advantage as the guests are always happier and more chatty when you’re spending lots of money with them.

The autos I got for me were from Bobby Clark (Gorn in Arena), Barbara Luna (Marlena in Mirror, Mirror), Arlene Martel (T’Pring in Amok Time), Lawrence Montaigne (Stonn in Amok Time), Mike DeMerrit (1st AD on Enterprise) he signed my Fact Files taking me to 294 autographs there, Suzie Plakson (Dr. Selar in TNG) and Michelle Scarabelli (Susan Francisco in Alien Nation). Plus they’d two people there I wasn’t expecting Robert Culp, from who I got a Greatest American Hero photo and an Outer Limits photo, I was disappointed I hadn’t known he’d be there, I’d have brought stuff for him to sign if I‘d known and got more autographs. The other unexpected guest was Greg Evigan, one of the stars of Tekwar. A while ago I saw Eugene Clark (also a Tekwar star) at an event and he’d had a great photo of him with the other two main stars, Greg and William Shatner. I’d bought that and got Eugene to sign it with the intention of getting Greg’s and William’s autographs at a later date. But I hadn’t known Greg would be here. However I had known William would be here so I’d brought the photo for him. Which worked very well for me as I got Greg to sign it yesterday and should get it complete with Bill’s autograph tomorrow.

I also met the following people getting autographs for other people: Victor Brandt (Tongo Rad in Way to Eden), Barry Jenner (Admiral Ross in DS9), Lois Jewell (Drusilla in Bread & Circuses), Sean Kenny (Pike in Menagerie) and Stephen Manley (Young Spock in Star Trek 3). Stephen, in particular, remembered me from when I’d seen him last and was very chatty.

I also saw Menina Fortunato who played an Orion Slave Girl she remembered me and called me over for a nice chat. She’s obviously forgiven me for teasing her when we last met (see http://davidoflondon.livejournal.com/27423.html#cutid1).

Then I went to the main hall for guest talks.

The first guest I saw was Avery Brooks (Sisko in DS9), he doesn’t impress me, comes across to me as way to full of himself. I’ll give an example of what I mean. Someone asked what he thought about the political implications of the episode One Little Ship where Sisko tricks the Romulans into thinking the Founders are attacking them and thereby persuades them to joining the Klingons and Federation in declaring war on the Founders. Avery talked about how great the writers were on DS9 and how much they put into each episode and that was why this was such a good episode. But the answer he gave wasn’t about that episode or really the question asked. The answer was just a generic response he can trot out for any question about any episode and just mention the episode in question at the end, which was what he did. But he’s being paid a good fee to be there and I think people are therefore entitled to have him actually listen to the question and answer it, not just cheat as he did.

Next up was Mariette Hartley she played Zarabeth in the Classic Trek episode All Our Yesterdays this was her first ever time at a convention. A lot of her talk was about a long running series of adverts she’s done with James Garner. Apparently they’d played a married couple and over seven years appeared in 250 adverts for Polaroid cameras. Unfortunately as I’d never seen any of the adverts all of that discussion was lost on me. At one point though she did mention that Bill Shatner’s reputation as a ladies man as justified as he’d made a pass at her, but she’d not been interested and put him in his place (well that’s her version of events anyway).

That was followed by Diana Muldaur who’d been in a couple of classic Trek episodes and also was Dr. Pulaski in TNG. She chatted a lot, particularly about getting an Emmy for her role in The Incredible Hulk of all things. The only emmy awarded to that show in its five year run. She also talked about working with Gene Roddenberry and Jon Wayne and what consummate professionals they both were.

Then Diana and Mariette did an autograph signing and I got them both to sign photos and my Star Trek Fact Files for me (296 autographs in there!!).

The continued with an onstage double act of Brent Spiner and Jonathan Frakes (Data and Riker respectively, in TNG). They were hilarious playing off each other. A major topic of conversation is the much touted new Star Trek movie tentatively titled, with stunning originality, Star Trek XI. Clearly they knew no more than anyone else but didn’t see any reason that should stop them talking about it. Asked if Data was really dead they said that was up to J.J. Abrams (the guy in charge of Star Trek XI). The next question was whether Jonathan would direct the movie. He said he was definitely going to and he wanted Brent to play every role. He said Brent does a particularly good Picard and Brent, of course, obliged with an impersonation of Patrick Stewart. They moved onto other topics and when someone then asked a question directed solely at Brent, Jonathan took the opportunity to leave the stage, he went and sat in the audience heckling Brent from here. Brent reciprocated by calling for security to have him thrown out. A few questions later, with Jonathan having returned to the stage, Brent took a question from the audience and the person started by saying how much they liked Data, but then finished with “But my question’s for Jonathan”. This was Brent’s turn to act hurt so he went into the audience and heckled Jonathan while Jonathan answered the next few questions. They were then asked that given how much fun they were having had they ever considered doing a buddy movie together. The talk finished with a long rambling, and hysterical, discussion of various buddy movies and “arguments” about which role each should take.

After their talk I finally met up with tuathadedanaa . No need to look at her LJ she hardly ever posts there. We “met” on the TrekBBS forum because we were both coming to this convention. We exchanged seat numbers and agreed to find each other at the event. We’re both sitting relatively close to each other, I’m in B45, she’s in B2, as there are 46 seats in row B we’re on exactly opposite sides of the row.

We’d both spent the day trying to meet on and off, I’d keep coming back to my seat to get a message from my “neighbour” saying she’d visited, but whenever I got a chance to go to her seat all I could do was leave a message with her neighbour. But on returning to the hall after a call of nature visit following the talk I saw her sitting in her seat and we met up. This is her first real event and we chatted about various things.

Then it was time for more autographs and we both went off to get autographs from Brent, Jonathan, Armin Shimmerman (Quark in DS9) and Gary Graham (Soval in Enterprise).

While queuing for those Denise Crosby (Tasha Yar in TNG) was on stage and she talked about becoming an actress, her Trek fan documentary Trekkies and her later role in TNG as her own daughter Sela.

When that was done tuathadedanaa , one of her friends and me went off to pizza hut for a snack and drink. We chatted for a while and then parted to get ready for the evening entertainment starting at 20:30. We parted at about 18:30 and I said I’d meet tuathadedanaa at the evening thing and we could sit together.

Getting back to my room I was feeling a bit tired and decided to have a quick nap before the evening started. I lay down and then dropped off. I didn’t wake up again until 00:30, oops. I’ll have to find tuathadedanaa today and apologise, she must have wondered what happened.

So that brings me up to where I am now. I met up with Richard Arnold during the day (he was Gene Roddenberry’s assistant and has been a friend of mine for nearly 20 years) he was busy helping organise the event so we didn’t have a chance to chat properly but we agreed to meet for breakfast today at 08:30 so that’s where today will start in 4 hours time.

 
 
( 9 comments — Leave a comment )
Paulpaganpaul on August 18th, 2006 12:13 pm (UTC)
How wonderful to read your events at the event!! :-)

Keep having a good time, and don't overdose on the cholesterol items.
valupakvalupak on August 18th, 2006 04:28 pm (UTC)
fascinating.

no, seriously. that was a fun read :)

mariette hartley was so beautiful back then. she was supremely popular with the guys for her down to earth personality, humor and apparent intelligence (combined with the beauty, of course). that series of commercials for polaroid really were well-known, but i hadn't realised they'd gone on as long as they had, and they'd done so many!

i remember pulaski in the original star trek - she had glowing, but blind eyes, and a sparkly dress that saw for her, or something like that.

i've always wondered why the actress who played crusher left, and pulaski took over, only to be replaced again by crusher. i suppose you would know? maybe i'll ask you again later, as i'm sure you're both incredibly busy, and jet lagging at the same time.
davidoflondondavidoflondon on August 23rd, 2006 08:29 am (UTC)
You're right Diana Muldaur was in two episodes of classic Trek, the one you described Is There in Truth No Beauty was one of them.

The reason McFadden (Crusher) left was, according to the rumours, that the actress picked up on a line in the pilot that her character and Picard had once had an affair. The writers wanted that as a thing in the past that they'd put behind them, but she insisted on playing it as if there was still a relationship.

So they got rid of her. But then the Pulaski character wasn't as popular with the audience, so the brought her back.
valupakvalupak on August 23rd, 2006 04:22 pm (UTC)
wow.. i wonder why her playing that aspect (which was a significant part of their relationship, i remember) would have bothered them. at the time, it made absolute sense to me, and the tease was fun.

i didn't like pulaski as much either - too hard. but now that i'm older, i like her more.
davidoflondondavidoflondon on August 23rd, 2006 04:36 pm (UTC)
Trek writers have always been dictatorial. It varies from show to show. I went to a Farscape con once and the actors there clearly had a great deal of latitude in how they interpreted the characters and even changing script elements. In Trek if an actor wants to change "it is" to "its" then they have to call it in and have script editor approval.

When Gates McFadden tried playing something not written they weren't impressed. Its not about whether it worked, just not what was written. After they brought her back from 3rd season onwards they allowed her to get away with it and even wrote one or two episodes that played on it (e.g. Attached)
(Anonymous) on August 18th, 2006 05:15 pm (UTC)
Thanks for the tip
David, thanks for the tip on Trek XI. I have written it up on The Trek XI Report. any more tidbits send em my way

cheers

Tony
http://stxi.blogspot.com
Life and depth - 'Quando omni flunkus moritati'ljandmewt on August 19th, 2006 01:21 am (UTC)
This was just the coolest read! Wish I was there!

I was worried your flight would be delayed or cancelled, what with all the terrorist crapola going on. I'm so glad you made it! Have fun for me! :D
KT Pinto: pinkktpinto on August 19th, 2006 03:58 pm (UTC)
I always wondered what happened at a Star Trek convention (I'm like some of the shows (TOS and TNG), but never got up the $$$ for a con).

This way I can enjoy the convention without leaving my home! Thanks! Sounds like you're having a good time!
Crystal_Sea: Surfer Girlcrystal_sea on September 3rd, 2006 12:16 am (UTC)
....I basked in their praise without feeling any need to mention earlier parts of my own meal...

I laughed my ass off when I read that. You're so funny!

I'm starting with reading today. Sounds like a great time.
( 9 comments — Leave a comment )