Re: Most annoying Starfleet munchkin
I found it. It was such an unpleasant experience, I wanted to find the original write-up from when it was all still fresh in my mind. It's kind of long, but I was kind of pissed, lol. This was at the Tampa Vulkon convention in 2004. Here goes...
I now officially have a new least favorite convention guest. It used to be Jennifer Lien seeming totally unprepared, saying "umm" all the time, constantly pulling her hair out of her face, and for asking the staffer sitting next to her, "Do I have to talk to these people?" during an autograph session. I can now in good conscience write most of that off to shyness. But Manu Intiraymi... "Borg Boy"... has really turned me off forever. Read on:
I would just as soon never see Manu Intiraymi again. I picked up an autograph from Garrett Wang and was walking by Manu's autograph table. His girlfriend (I assume, she was with him all weekend), a pink/maroon-haired chick who seemed very likely stoned, called out, "Hey you! Come over here! Please buy an autograph! We've been sitting here all f***ing day and haven't sold a G** D***ed thing, and we really need the money!" I told her I already had Manu's autograph from the previous show, and she said they'd give me a discount, and "You don't know what it feels like to sit here and be ignored", etc. She then proceeded to cry. Real tears. Supposedly. I had pity and agreed to buy an autographed photo for fifteen bucks. She told Manu to make it a special one. He signed it "To Brian - Thanks for coughing up more cash, I really needed it. - Manu, 'Icheb' 7/31/04"). When I told a friend (who also happened to be a convention staffer) about the strange experience, she asked me to talk with the convention promoter about their harassing approach, because they had received multiple complaints, mostly from merchandise dealers, who shared their room with the autograph tables. The promoter asked if I would like him to get a good autograph for me from Manu, or my money back. I said "Heck no, this is my proof of my strangest convention experience ever. It's worth keeping just as a conversation piece."
When Manu went on-stage, the first thing out of his mouth was, "Is it f***ing raining out there, or what?", only then seeming to notice that the audience was comprised of the full spectrum of humanity. It's not as if it weren't his second day at the con, and he had seen women and children and grandmothers parading by his table all the previous day.
He had little positive to say about any of his castmates or the job in general, except for his leering descriptions of being 21 and working closely with Jeri Ryan in "that suit". He talked about "two-shots", where the camera is zoomed in on two actors from the chest up for dialogue scenes, and how close they had to stand, and how he was wearing a spandex suit, and had to run off stage a few times, etc. He said that Jeri was a tease, bending over computer stations between shots as if to torture him. I've heard a similar story from others (including Jeri herself), but with a much different flavor. The more likely story says that Jeri's suit was so tight it made her back hurt, and she couldn't sit down, so she had to lean over set pieces between shots to relieve the pain.
He also remarked about how Robert Beltran always has this "I know something you don't know" half-smile on his face when he's acting. He said it's okay to do that if you're a good actor like Tom Cruise or Val Kilmer ( (!) boy, that kid needs to rent some good movies). But when you can't act -- like Beltran -- you shouldn't try to get away with that kind of smarminess.
He also talked about being on a recent Trek Cruise. Tim Russ plays guitar and sings, and he dedicated a song to "all the women in my life". Borg Boy thought that was low, given that Tim's wife was in the audience, and called him a pr**k for it. Having seen Tim before, I really doubt that his interpretation of that is correct. Tim was probably simply talking about the female fans in the audience. Or (I don't know what song he sang) he could very well have meant his mother, sister, wife, etc. And Manu got on George Takei for hounding him to quit smoking while standing there drinking red wine, as if drinking a glass of wine makes you an alcoholic, or as if wine is more detrimental than cigarettes.
In his thirty minutes on stage, Manu managed to remark on two different occasions about men being effeminate. Given his previous language, you can only imagine what terms would have used in private. One instance was about the lead Borg kid in the his first episode, "Collective". Icheb was supposed to stop the guy from clocking Seven with some kind of tool. Apparently, the actor who played Borg Boy #1 was effeminate, and therefore had "weak wrists", so when he stopped the guy from clocking her, he accidentally dropped the tool on Manu's head. So what could have been an interesting story about an on-set incident turned out to be slander of a fellow actor. The second instance was about how psyched he was to play a Borg because they're so tough and menacing, then he saw his costume. The Borg kids were supposed to be only partially assimilated. As such, they had significant portions of their bodies untouched by technology. Icheb had a full leg that was exposed, but with no techy stuff on it. Of course, Manu thought he had a bare leg only because the costume designer was an effeminate guy. He felt that he couldn't look tough and imposing like a Borg should with a bare leg, but was stuck with the costume as designed.
He also made a remark about Florida being largely populated by alligators and hicks. Lovely kid, really knows his audience. By the way, he says he despises being called the "Borg Boy", so I'll make a point of calling him that for the rest of his life. The character of Icheb was supposed to be about 15, but Manu was 21 when he played him and is now 27. He should have a better sense of tailoring his language and behavior to the situation.
Stupid Borg Boy.
Rut nga’chuq loDpu’, rut nga’chuq be’pu’. yiqimHa’!