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Old March 3 2013, 01:02 PM   #136
Frontier
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Re: Convention Circuit - Least Favorite Person Associated With Trek?

Going through this thread, I teeter-totter on the fence...

On the one hand, they're people and they have good/bad days, moods, you name it. Likewise, it must be an odd, surreal, or even weird experience at times.

On the other hand, they're being paid a handsome sum of money to be present. And depending on who they are, that sum of money can be what is to 99% of us a few months to over a years salary. It may be chump-change in Hollywood money, but it's enough to get them on a plane, fly cross-country, stay at a hotel, and interact with a few hundred people, so it should be enough for them to do their best to act their best. Even if they don't always succeed.

In my experience? The vast majority of them do so.

It's the exceptions that don't. The exceptions we've mostly discussed here.

I've met 60-odd actors, 75-80% of them Star Trek. Virtually everyone from the first four casts and tons of guest stars. And out of them maybe 5-7 of them left a bad impression with me, while the other 53-55 left me satisfied.

As to the ones who I consistently hear bad things of? Who can say why they are that way. Why they take the gig, take the money, show up, only to act like that time after time. Is it just the greed, just the money? Maybe. Maybe they don't know/think they're acting in a way that's deemed badly. I suppose none of us will ever know.

In the end though, of all those I've met (autograph inventory list that marks who I've met for those curious) the majority where worth the time, money, effort, energy, et cetera.
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Old March 4 2013, 07:33 AM   #137
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Re: Convention Circuit - Least Favorite Person Associated With Trek?

I think that they'd be smart to ACT (their profession, you know?) nice - it's in their own self-interest, even if they have to deal with some not-so-great fans at times.

For instance, stand-outs amongst the ones I met were Jonathan Frakes, Connor Trinneer, Casey Biggs and George Takei. They genuinely interacted with fans and seemed happy to do so and were very approachable, even to shy people.

Contrast that with a few of the actors who were not very nice.

Whose merchandise would I buy or who would I go to see in other projects or support?

That's why at the very least, they should be congenial. There are plenty in that group - who do their job in a good humor. You don't have to be a Biggs or a Takei, but don't be a Beltran.

The ones who are either withdrawn or mocking? You're hurting your own wallets.
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Old March 4 2013, 08:51 AM   #138
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Re: Convention Circuit - Least Favorite Person Associated With Trek?

They sure are hurting their own wallets. I usually go to these things planning to get one autograph but I sometimes end up with two because I really like the other person. With Spiner I walked right past him and got Ethan Phillips, who was lovely.
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Old March 5 2013, 12:03 AM   #139
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Re: Convention Circuit - Least Favorite Person Associated With Trek?

heavy lids wrote: View Post
I'm one of those people that has zero interest in meeting actors from Trek and getting their autographs. Such things don't mean anything to me, and paying money for a quick hello and handshake is silly. So my perspective is very different than a lot of Trek fans.
I'm with you. I like the shows/movies, and have read the occasional book, but aside from that I have zero interest in going to a convention or meeting any of these people in person. I do have a signed copy of Chekov's Enterprise that I bought at a used bookstore, but thats as close as I've ever come to meeting a Trek actor.
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Old March 5 2013, 12:39 AM   #140
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Re: Convention Circuit - Least Favorite Person Associated With Trek?

teacake wrote: View Post
It's a very small world down under, I don't think I could do it without folk being recognizable.

I'll just say this: if you can afford a 600.00 VIP ticket you can afford deodorant and a t-shirt that isn't crumbling off your back. That's a very general description of a great many people.
It's horror stories like this that have kept me away from any kind of geek convention. I'm pretty tolerant of all people in all forms, but one thing I can't get past is poor hygiene. I suffer from migraines, and olfactory "discomfort" is their biggest trigger. In other words, people who smell bad literally make me sick. I know it's probably a physiological thing and my problem, but it is what it is.

And to be frank, I don't know what is with nerds and not talking the occasional five minutes to hop in the shower.
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Old March 6 2013, 04:18 AM   #141
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Re: Convention Circuit - Least Favorite Person Associated With Trek?

Alright.... I can't believe that I'm going to add to this thread with yet another negative experience. It totally caught me off guard a few days ago.
I had an extremely awkward/ difficult experience with............
Patrick Stewart.
In fairness to him, allow me to set the scene: it was at the Seattle con, and he had already signed probably thousands of things. I was literally one of the last 50 people in the line during the last day of the con in his final line for the con.
He was extremely distracted. People were coming up to him from behind and saying things, he was answering his cell phone intermittently, etc.
When I arrived at the front of the line one of the con workers said, "no personalization or inscriptions. What do you want signed?"
I showed my three items to her. Then I said, (read this carefully)
"I want him to sign these items in gold please." It wasn't an unusual request. She nodded then passed the instruction on to one of his assistants.
Sir Stewart was in the middle of a long phone call, which allowed me to unfurl two huge movie posters and place my already-signed-by-Shatner DVD cover of "The Captains" documentary in front of him. When he finally finished the call his assistant said, "in gold" to him probably three times, then as he picked up a blue marker *I* said, "in gold," then as the marker tip was an inch away from touching my cover I said, "SIR! SIR!"
...............He pressed on.
I, as I am known to do-- be it with Patrick Stewart or Jesus-- went from zero to extremely pissed off. Was it absolutely essential that the item get signed in gold ink? Not really. But when I'm paying $75 per signature AND someone is ignoring his customer AND the assistant to his immediate left then I'll get angry.
I sort of shook my head and probably looked steaming mad. I was immediately met by Stewart scowling at me as if he was challenging a Klingon to a death match. I quickly turned away because
I didn't want to get in a shouting match with Patrick Stewart.
His agent, Harry Gold (who I later adored) said, "you should have spoken up!"
Stewart said (to mollify the situation), "look, I've never done this before for anyone." Then he signed it in blue AND gold ink.
I said, "Actually, if you could just write a 'Make it so!' inscription I would be more than happy."
He did. Then he signed my posters.
Then... he apologized and immediately moved on to the next person before he got my response to the apology. I said, "It's alright. I know that you're busy," but it's anyone's guess if he actually heard me.
So as I was rolling the posters and putting them into tubes Mr. Gold actually walked out of Stewart's booth, approached me with a very warm smile and asked, "Look, were you happy with that experience?"
Me: "Not really."
Him: "What can I do for you?"
Me: ".....Thank you, but I don't want to be an annoyance."
"It's no problem. Just tell me what I can do to rectify the problem."
I told him that I didn't really like the two inks that were used on the cover. He returned the cover to Stewart, had him sign it in all gold (over the blue ink) then returned it to me.
Him (pointing at the "Make it so" inscription): "It's very rare that he does that. You're satisfied now?"
"Yes, thanks SO much."
"No problem. Next time speak up so he knows what you want."
".....Well, his assistant and I said it four or five times."
"Well, he didn't hear you."
I just thanked him again. Then he took off. Love that guy.
I didn't have the heart to say, "it's not that he didn't HEAR us..........................."
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Old March 6 2013, 06:12 AM   #142
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Re: Convention Circuit - Least Favorite Person Associated With Trek?

It's not the autograph that people really want when they go to a convention. It's the eye-contact, and feeling like you've commanded at least a sliver of that person's time where they acknowledge you as a human being and an admirer of their work. If they come across as robotic and fake autograph-factories, it's not exactly a great experience.

Unfortunately, the cons have become a machine, an industry. It was already getting bad in the 80s when I used to go, but it clearly is 10x worse now.

But what I remember most fondly at the conventions were off-the-cuff moments of unscripted interpersonal contact. Majel Barrett spent a long time sitting at a booth, not specifically signing autographs, just sitting there talking to anyone who cared to chat. That stuff matters. These days the stars charge for everything and it feels like hiring a very short-term escort. And this is after paying a big sum just for the base ticket, mind-you. There is all this double and triple-dipping.

This isn't specifically Star Trek, but I thought I'd mention this.

The last convention experience I had was in the late 90s and Michelle Yeoh was there. This was right before Tomorrow Never Dies came out and she was really looking to break-through into the US market. She had a long Q&A session and after that she just stood up and came around to the front and hung out with people in a very informal way. There were guys throwing their arms around her, treating her like she was their girlfriend, and she was a real trooper. Not a single dirty-look or "Um, could you call security?" vibe. I asked her to sign her name in Chinese and she did that for me. I don't know if she's done any appearances like that since then, but I'll always remember how accessible she made herself, much moreso than a typical Trek star who would stay back-stage after their talk and only show up at the end to sign.
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Old March 6 2013, 06:18 AM   #143
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Re: Convention Circuit - Least Favorite Person Associated With Trek?

I've only ever attended a very small local convention, and the down-to-earth quality of it is something I really appreciate. The exorbitant prices I see charged at larger conventions really put me off. Unfortunately our local convention is unable to command most "big" guests because they are not-for-profit and that means they can't pay the fees those celebs charge for an appearance. A shame, really. But I am just not interested in getting gouged.
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Old March 6 2013, 07:04 PM   #144
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Re: Convention Circuit - Least Favorite Person Associated With Trek?

Like most on here, Shatner was probably the biggest let down when you meet him in person. On television, during his convention talks, and in his books, he goes on and on about how he loves the fans. However, when you do get that one on one with him, zero interaction. I had been wanting to meet him for years. When I got my photo op with him, he never turned in his seat to look at you. Stone cold expression on his face in the pic. When I got my autographs, his assistant took your item from you, slid it to him, he signed it, and slid it away. No hello or anything. Only in it for the $.

Spiner, I agree with the comments here. His constant sarcasm makes him come off as a jerk. I had a cast picture where all the cast up to that point had dedicated the photo to me (Stephen). When I asked him to do the same, he stated, "Because, just what the photo needs is another "To Stephen." I wanted to say, for $30 be glad I'm not asking for "Ode to Spot."

Dorn - another that is there for the $. When I got an autograph from him at Dragon*Con last year he was sitting there watching a basketball game on his iPad. He had absolutely no line, so it wasn't like he was busy. Never took his eyes off the iPad screen to acknowledge me in any way. Just took my $ and signed his name.

Nichols - Nice lady, but can be a diva at times.

Beltran - another one that shows up for the $. He will acknowledge you, but that's about it.

Best to meet in person? George Takei is the all time great. Super, super nice guy. Avery Brooks will shake your hand and talk to you for a few minutes. Never feel rushed with him. Met Gene Roddenberry about a year before he died. Went on a TrekCruise in 1989 that he was on, and I literally ran into him coming around a corner. I was completely flustered, but he stopped and talked to me for a while. Later, I encountered him in the bar and he signed a picture for me.
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Old March 6 2013, 09:07 PM   #145
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Re: Convention Circuit - Least Favorite Person Associated With Trek?

mos6507 wrote: View Post
Unfortunately, the cons have become a machine, an industry. It was already getting bad in the 80s when I used to go, but it clearly is 10x worse now.
What was so bad back in the 80s? The cons I was going to back then, they didn't even charge for autographs, and I can remember hanging out with the guests at room parties back then.
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Old March 6 2013, 09:29 PM   #146
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Re: Convention Circuit - Least Favorite Person Associated With Trek?

Borg Boy, hands down. I've written up the experience before. I'll dig it up and edit this reply to quote it.

Also, Jennifer Lien gave me a bad impression, though I've been told it was probably just shyness/nerves on her part. It just seemed very rude to me. The first time I saw her at a convention, as I was one or two from the head of the line at her autograph table, I heard her ask the staffer sitting beside her, "Do I have to talk to these people?"

ETA: Here's my account of my encounter with Borg Boy.
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Old March 7 2013, 12:30 AM   #147
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Re: Convention Circuit - Least Favorite Person Associated With Trek?

darthspangler wrote: View Post
Spiner, I agree with the comments here. His constant sarcasm makes him come off as a jerk. I had a cast picture where all the cast up to that point had dedicated the photo to me (Stephen). When I asked him to do the same, he stated, "Because, just what the photo needs is another "To Stephen." I wanted to say, for $30 be glad I'm not asking for "Ode to Spot."
It's settled. He is such a c0ckface.

I'm surprised that so many people had a bad experience with Dorn. He was extremely nice to me and other people who were around me. He didn't even question me when I requested a "Perhaps today is a good day to die!" inscription
on my "First Contact" poster. Imagine if I had requested an 8-word inscription from the Spiner c0ckface.
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Old March 9 2013, 02:45 AM   #148
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Re: Convention Circuit - Least Favorite Person Associated With Trek?

I'll just say it. It may have been an exceptionally good day for him, or you may have been experiencing an exceptionally bad day, but the time I met him at a convention, Manu Intiraymi was very nice and approachable, and pleasant to chat with.
I personally do NOT get autographs, and I only like to chat with the guests. Never once did Manu make me feel like I was pressured to buy an autograph. Perhaps this was after your experience and he gained some experience.
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Old March 9 2013, 04:28 AM   #149
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Re: Convention Circuit - Least Favorite Person Associated With Trek?

Some people really want to be noticed and appreciated by these famosos. If they act like they like you, they are in fact acting. You're one in a few hundred that day, one in thousands at all the cons put together. If you go for an autograph and they don't really make eye contact with you, be strong and care not whether some actor in some tv show pretended to care about you for ten seconds. You are of inestimable worth, at least to yourself, and probably to several others in this world. So William Shatner didn't look at you. It's ok.
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Old March 9 2013, 01:18 PM   #150
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Re: Convention Circuit - Least Favorite Person Associated With Trek?

Brian wrote: View Post
Borg Boy, hands down. I've written up the experience before. I'll dig it up and edit this reply to quote it.

Also, Jennifer Lien gave me a bad impression, though I've been told it was probably just shyness/nerves on her part. It just seemed very rude to me. The first time I saw her at a convention, as I was one or two from the head of the line at her autograph table, I heard her ask the staffer sitting beside her, "Do I have to talk to these people?"

ETA: Here's my account of my encounter with Borg Boy.
Lein does have anxiety issues, social anxiety and what not. It's well known on the con circuit, part of why she doesn't do many appearances. She's a very shy, very quiet person, and I can totally understand that. Shame really, but ah well.

...

As far as Spiner goes... I didn't have any problems the two times I met him. *Shrug* But I have heard a lot from others, so I tend to think of my "fine" experiences as exceptions to the rule.

I think, from his twitter, he may just have a really weird/sarcastic sense of humor, you know? *Shrug*
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