Monday, July 25, 2011

Names Have Been Removed to Protect the etc., etc..

I didn't think I could milk another tale from last year's Star Trek convention in Vegas, but while I was watching the Star Trek series after Deep Space Nine, and before Enterprise, and seeing the what-has-been-described-yet-never-really-saw-as "courageous" Mayan Native-American First Officer of the Intrepid-class vessel lost in the Delta Quadrant, this little morsel came to mind.

Now, years ago, I dabbled in the theater arts, and I loathed dealing with the audience after the performance. I never liked chatting with them, and after the play would finish, I'd purposely wait in the dressing room, taking my time to remove my make-up, and if by the time I finished some folks were still outside, I'd open whatever book I was using as research, and read, baby, read. And my reasoning for this was two-fold: I didn't like how they looked at me as if they knew me, and, more importantly, I detested the questions ("Why did you say that that way?" "Why did you do that?"), because the answers were my tools to pull the role off, and I'd be damned if I was going to share my creative soul with them. Besides, who really wants to know what the actor thinks about the story? I mean, really? It's about the viewers' perception, and that, at the minimum, what they leave with after seeing the play should be slightly different than what they brought into it...

I say this because I have a teeny-weensy inkling of what it means to be asshole-ish when it came to dealing with theater-goers/fans. So when I heard that [the actor who portrayed the "courageous" Mayan Native-American First Officer of the Trek show from the late 90's] was a jack-ass on the Star Trek convention circuit, I nodded my head, and thought that it was silly considering that in the grand Trek scheme of things, with all of the wondrous people that populate the Trek-verse, that his character was so vapid, but I didn't really give it more that a passing thought. They say he's a jerk? Okay. Whatever.

Back to the 2010 Trek Con in Vegas: Saturday morning. My friends and I were having our morning coffee before the day's festivities, and were seated at a choice table that was smack dab near the main walkway, giving us a prime location to people-watch. As we were gazing at the folks walking past us, some in costume, others in "civilian" clothes, I saw a Caucasian male hovering around middle-age, who was about average height, average build, with dark-but-graying hair slicked back, wearing a Command Red Starfleet Duty Uniform, and had the same tattoo on his face that the aforementioned Mayan Native-American First Officer had.

We got his attention, called him over, and he told us his tale...