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Old March 18 2013, 06:09 PM   #196
solariabsg25
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Re: Convention Circuit - Least Favorite Person Associated With Trek?

I've met quite a few Trek actors at cos over the years, and not had a bad experience.

While my ex-wife and two eldest kids were watching Jon Pertwee give a talk in Bristol, my daughter nudged me and whispered "It's Q!" I went to correct her, only to realise she was indicating John DeLancie who was sat just behind us, drinking coffee and watching Pertwee's talk. He winked at her when he noticed her looking.

Walter Koenig toyed with me at Cardiff. I was running late, had no breakfast, and hurriedly grabbed a pie before entering one of the halls. Just as I grabbed a huge bite, I realised he was on stage, and they were announcing competition winners, and it was me! I had to go up on the stage, pie in hand, trying to chew, and the grin on his face was priceless, as he started asking me questions!

Nana Visitor, Ethan Phillips and Robert Picardo were all great.

Best non-Trek experience was London MCM Expo last year, got a pic from CCH Pounder, and when I asked her to sign it to "Gaz", she wanted to know what it was short for, and where I got the name.
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Old March 18 2013, 07:37 PM   #197
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Re: Convention Circuit - Least Favorite Person Associated With Trek?

CoveTom wrote: View Post
Brian wrote: View Post
It was the first note in a thread called "Politics at Cons", where I was asking if anyone else had encountered a guest who went too far in expressing their political or religious beliefs (that's not why we're there, after all), so it's written in that context:

...

ETA: Everyone, since this is *not* a TNZ thread, let's refrain from debating the politics involved here. I'm just sharing why *I* found Dirk Benedict to be a bad convention guest. Suffice it to say that he and I are diametrically opposed in our views.
Okay, I'm respecting your wishes that we not debate the politics of what Dirk Benedict said. However, since this is a thread about bad con experiences, I do want to ask... was it the fact that he used his platform to speak about politics and religion that irritated you? Or was it the fact that he advocated positions you disagree with quite vehemently and personally? If, for example, he had gone on a tear about why we should be permitting gay marriage and how not doing so is denying people their fundamental human rights, would you have found his use of the platform as a soapbox so off-putting?

Sincerely curious.
No, as I said in the original post,

Brian wrote:
I've had a couple, but usually it's nothing more than an endorsement of one candidate or another, and it passes quickly and they move on to what they're really there for.
It's the fact that he used the platform of a sci-fi convention to continually make a political point, forgetting why he's actually there.
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Old March 18 2013, 10:09 PM   #198
1001001
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Re: Convention Circuit - Least Favorite Person Associated With Trek?

JWD75 wrote: View Post
I would have to say Brent Spiner. He tried really hard to be a smart ass, but all he ever manages to be is just an ass.
As has been pointed out by others, sometimes the actors have to put up with fans that have no boundaries, or ask really dumb questions. Your post made me think of an example.

When we saw Spiner in San Francisco, he was great. We got to spend some personal time with him, and was just a normal guy.

When he got up on stage, he was funny, and engaged. All was going well.

Then, Q&A time (which always makes me cringe at these things). A guy walks up to the microphone and asks Spiner "Are you gay?" The audience immediately began booing. Spiner said "that's none of your business." The guy at the mic made some saracstic remark about the audience, and Spiner replied "yeah, you're really winning them over now."

They engaged in a little more back and forth before Spiner moved on. I just thought "what kind of jerk would ask a question like that?" I thought Spiner handled it fairly well, and it didn't seem to affect him afterward, but still...
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Old March 19 2013, 12:22 AM   #199
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Re: Convention Circuit - Least Favorite Person Associated With Trek?

Yeah...that was not very nice of the audience member.

I would crack up if someone asked George Takei if he was gay haha. He would say "Why yes I am and proud of it!" XD
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Old March 19 2013, 04:24 AM   #200
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Re: Convention Circuit - Least Favorite Person Associated With Trek?

I've got to see meet Koening twice, and Takei and Uhuru once. I saw them at all different TrekFests in Iowa, which is a pretty low-key event.

I was really impressed by Koening. He seemed the most grounded in reality of the celebrities that I've met, and the least like fame had changed him. Very warm and friendly; quite laidback. This was before his recent personal loss, though. The first time I saw him I told him I thought it was cool that he was willing to do fan-films, like the Continuing Voyages, and he seemed pleased.

George Takei seems to be the kind of person who loves meeting new people above all else. He would get excited talking to people signing autographs, and his handler would have to remind him that the line was long. You could see the disappointment in his eyes -- he really would've kept talking with all of the random fans if he could've.

I don't know if Uhuru was having a bad day when I saw her, but she seemed more interested in herself than Star Trek or the fans. At the speaking event she went on a ten/fifteen minute spree talking about herself, and Koening eventually interrupted her, saying this isn't what the fans came here to see and hear. Which left things kind of awkward -- who wants to see their favorite stars argue with each others? She also wasn't in the autograph mood that day; didn't say a word to me.
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Old March 19 2013, 07:38 PM   #201
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Re: Convention Circuit - Least Favorite Person Associated With Trek?

Newspaper Taxi wrote: View Post
I don't know if Uhuru was having a bad day when I saw her, but she seemed more interested in herself than Star Trek or the fans. At the speaking event she went on a ten/fifteen minute spree talking about herself, and Koening eventually interrupted her, saying this isn't what the fans came here to see and hear. Which left things kind of awkward -- who wants to see their favorite stars argue with each others? She also wasn't in the autograph mood that day; didn't say a word to me.
You've summed up Nichelle quite well here, IMHO. This is the same thing you hear from 80% of people who've met her. The only exceptions are the few who catch her in an off-day, and by off I mean a day when she isn't being herself.

She wanted to leave TOS early on, and she's turned the famed encounter she had with MLK into an urban legend, and... well, she's always been a bit full of herself. I mean, her autobio is titled "BEYOND Uhura" - and while Leonard may have had some issues in the old days ("I Am Not Spock") he came to terms and corrected them ("I Am Spock").

She's notorious for being stand-offish, catty, distant, aloof, self-involved... you name it.

I met a guy, he had a cast photo signed by everyone - including Gene. It happened to be the cast photo where part of Nichelle's face was obscured. Well, the guy finally meets her and is in line and gets up to the table to have her sign it and she flat out refuses. The guy begged and pleaded, and even offered to write a $500 dollar check to the charity of her choice, but she would not budge. And it's like... seriously? Your ego is so fragile that you won't put it aside even to give a charity $500 in exchange for signing your name? Really?

Some people have argued she was justified refusing to sign such... but honestly, it's just silly. No one was asking her to sign something truly offensive or what not.

When I met her, I was 14. Got to meet the "fab 4" of Chekov, Sulu, Scotty and Uhura together. Well the first three are warm and charming, pose for pictures (this was before they charged for such, thank you convention promoter rackets!) and Jimmy Doohan even signed an extra item for me. Nichelle? Oh you could get a photo, but you had to stay in front of her table - not go around and stand near her like with the others. And she wouldn't look up, you could just take it while she kept signing. She was the most cattle-call like for signing, most aloof and distant, nothing like the others.
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Old March 19 2013, 11:41 PM   #202
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Re: Convention Circuit - Least Favorite Person Associated With Trek?

I wonder why she wouldn't sign that dude's poster. Presumably signing things is one of the primary reason she goes to cons.
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Old March 19 2013, 11:54 PM   #203
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Re: Convention Circuit - Least Favorite Person Associated With Trek?

The comic shop I used to work at while I was at Uni had a signing session with Nichelle and although I had left by then I was asked to help. I ended up being Nichelles minder.

She was quite imposing, but I chatted with her during the session and although she was rather proper, I found her elegant, pleasant and friendly.

I met Leonard Nimoy who was very busy and George Takei who was a blast. I've met some later cast members - Brent Spiner is great and so was Marina Sirtis. Avery Brooks was a real gentleman as was John de Lancie, Max Grodénchik was funny as were Robert Duncan McNeill, Ethan Phillips and the wonderful Robert Picardo. Andrew Robinson was one of the nicest people I have ever met.

All in, I have to say that they have been a fantastic bunch.
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Old March 20 2013, 03:03 AM   #204
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Re: Convention Circuit - Least Favorite Person Associated With Trek?

Newspaper Taxi wrote: View Post
I've got to see meet Koening twice, and Takei and Uhuru once. I saw them at all different TrekFests in Iowa, which is a pretty low-key event.

I was really impressed by Koening. He seemed the most grounded in reality of the celebrities that I've met, and the least like fame had changed him. Very warm and friendly; quite laidback. This was before his recent personal loss, though. The first time I saw him I told him I thought it was cool that he was willing to do fan-films, like the Continuing Voyages, and he seemed pleased.

George Takei seems to be the kind of person who loves meeting new people above all else. He would get excited talking to people signing autographs, and his handler would have to remind him that the line was long. You could see the disappointment in his eyes -- he really would've kept talking with all of the random fans if he could've.

I don't know if Uhuru was having a bad day when I saw her, but she seemed more interested in herself than Star Trek or the fans. At the speaking event she went on a ten/fifteen minute spree talking about herself, and Koening eventually interrupted her, saying this isn't what the fans came here to see and hear. Which left things kind of awkward -- who wants to see their favorite stars argue with each others? She also wasn't in the autograph mood that day; didn't say a word to me.
Maybe because you kept calling her "Uhuru" instead of her real name?

(Sorry. I just thought it was odd that you consistently referred to Koenig and Takei by their real names, but kept calling Nichelle Nichols "Uhuru.")

It's funny. I had the exact opposite experience. The one and only time I encountered Koenig and Nichols at a con, he seemed somewhat subdued and preoccupied, as though he had other things on his mind, while she was much more outgoing and personable.

Which just goes to show, I guess, that these things can really vary from day to day, and encounter to encounter. I probably just caught Koenig on a bad day, when he had a migraine or whatever, while Nichols was feeling friendlier on that particular afternoon in Chicago.

(I still have autographed photos of both on them hanging in my office as I type this.)
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Old March 20 2013, 11:57 AM   #205
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Re: Convention Circuit - Least Favorite Person Associated With Trek?

I think we need to remember that they are all people, and people have good and bad days.

It doesn't change the fact that they have a responsibility if they are doing a personal appearance, but they are human...
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Old March 20 2013, 01:32 PM   #206
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Re: Convention Circuit - Least Favorite Person Associated With Trek?

I understand that these people are human and have their good and their bad days.

However, they are also professional actors doing a job. I don't know about anyone else here, but "I'm having an off day" would not likely be accepted as an excuse for very long in my job. And I'm willing to bet that when any of these actors are on a film set, they are expected to be able to deliver a good performance regardless of what kind of day they're having.

These folks aren't showing up at conventions out of the goodness of their hearts. They are being paid rather substantial fees for their appearance, and the folks in attendance at the convention have paid to be there. How is it any different than if I paid to attend a Broadway show and one of these actors was being paid to perform in it? I doubt the producer of a Broadway show would accept "well, they're human, they're having a bad day" as an excuse.

Sorry, but I'm not willing to waive bad behavior on the part of these actors off as easily as some here. We all have personal lives and we all have problems. But if you're being paid a hefty sum of money to entertain and interact with the fans, then you'd better damn well be a professional and do just that.
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Old March 20 2013, 03:15 PM   #207
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Re: Convention Circuit - Least Favorite Person Associated With Trek?

LobsterAfternoon wrote: View Post
I wonder why she wouldn't sign that dude's poster. Presumably signing things is one of the primary reason she goes to cons.
It's long been known that she doesn't like that cast photo and would prefer that it not be out there. I can see her point.

She likes this one, and doesn't like this one. And why should she? She's a part of the main cast and they release an official photo with half of her face obscured? It should never have happened.

I remember back several years (decades), when someone would bring the offending pic up for signature, she would exchange it with the preferred one out of her own stock. I thought that was a good way to handle it. But given the presence of the other signatures on the pic, she should have been gracious enough to swallow her pride and sign it.
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Old March 20 2013, 07:07 PM   #208
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Re: Convention Circuit - Least Favorite Person Associated With Trek?

This thread has been an absolutely fascinating read for me, clearly demonstrating how individual experience with given actors can be so diametrically opposed - seemingly by nothing more than the kind of "day" they're having!

My disappointing meeting with John de Lancie, although not isolated, would seem to be in the minority. Yet, Nichelle Nichols, for me, came across as an extremely nice and open lady.

As I mentioned above, I always take a polite, low key approach to these "brief encounters" - which normally works well for all parties involved!
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Old March 20 2013, 09:51 PM   #209
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Re: Convention Circuit - Least Favorite Person Associated With Trek?

Does Nichelle Nichols really have an 80 percent negative rating, as Frontier mentioned? I had her sign BEYOND UHURA and had an all-around good experience. Was I in the lucky 20 percent? I don't disbelieve it, but I hope this isn't the case as she and James Doohan were my absolute TOS faves (and still the only two I've encountered in person until the Shat makes his cameo appearance for the 2013 Shore Leave in August).
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Old March 20 2013, 10:04 PM   #210
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Re: Convention Circuit - Least Favorite Person Associated With Trek?

foxhot wrote: View Post
Does Nichelle Nichols really have an 80 percent negative rating, as Frontier mentioned? I had her sign BEYOND UHURA and had an all-around good experience. Was I in the lucky 20 percent? I don't disbelieve it, but I hope this isn't the case as she and James Doohan were my absolute TOS faves (and still the only two I've encountered in person until the Shat makes his cameo appearance for the 2013 Shore Leave in August).
I doubt it. As big a board as this is, it's a tiny fraction of the Trek fans who are out there. Nichelle and the others have been doing conventions for decades. Realistically, every single person who has ever registered for this board, all put together, would still not equal the number of fans who go to an average Trek convention.

Sure, it is completely possible that of the people who are on this board, who have bee in this forum, have read this thread, AND have posted in this thread, 80% have had less than stellar experiences with her. But is it even remotely realistic to think that these numbers mean anything?

It's like the customer service saying: if you have a bad experience with a store, you'll tell ten people. If you have a great experience with a store, you'll tell one person. If you have an experience anywhere in the middle, you won't tell anybody.

Just keeping things in perspective.
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