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Old March 27 2013, 12:00 AM   #16
Kinggodzillak
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Re: Convention Circuit - Most Favorite Person You've Met?

Some of my best experiences, in random order but starting with a fave;


Nana Visitor - I really have to fight the urge to gush here, but it's not easy. She was the very first Trek guest I ever met at my first con back in 2007, I was very nervous about meeting so many of my heroes and wasn't sure if this was something I could ever do again...until I met her. I'd been getting a bit annoyed with myself after meeting a few other people and being a bit...well, I'm not sure what the right word would be. It was just starting to get to me that I wasn't really saying anything to these people beyond 'can you sign this/can I have a photo with you/kthxbai'.

But then I met Nana, and one of the most remarkable things about her is that when she says hello to you it's like she knows you, like you're an old friend and she's genuinely pleased to see you. And without going any further down memory lane with regard to that first meeting, I really do believe that the only reason that the only reason I'm still going to conventions six years later is because somehow she gave me the confidence to keep going, to not be quite so shy around all these people who I've admired and respected for so long.



I got to meet her again in 2011, and tell her some of that and...well, her response just confirmed everything that I'd taken away from that first meeting. Except more so. With hugs and kisses and everything. Forget nice convention guests - she is one of the nicest people I've ever met period. Saw her twice more last year, including at the Star Trek London event, where I got a lovely photo of the two of us hugging.

What?

Andrew Robinson - really nice guy on all three occasions I've met him, friendly and talkative and the second time I saw him he actually remembered from the first time which was just fantastic. Stood on his head during his talk.

J.G. Hertzler - oh wow. He's just this big bear of a man, really great guy, but what really sold me on him was having a photoshoot - with him made up as Martok and Robert O'Reilly as Gowron. Now while O'Reilly was just O'Reilly under all the makeup, Hertzler really was Martok, he was 100% in character. When one of the girls looking after everyone's bags had a little bout of the giggles he actually swaggered over to her in full Martok mode and asked "What is the joke, small Earth woman? Share it with me!" The guy is beyond cool.

Robin Curtis - what a wonderful surprise she was! Hadn't really heard anything about what she was like, so it was wonderful to find she was a very approachable, very friendly and all round lovely lady. Met her at Star Trek London last year; one of the other guests invited me to sit with them at their signing table for a while, so I got to chat to Robin a little more than I might have been able to otherwise. Later on, I was just a few moments too late for my photoshoot with her, and they had to call her back especially. Rather than be annoyed she actually seemed to pleased to see me again; "oh, you dear sweet man! If I'd known it was you I would have flown over here!"

Eddie Paskey - just a really nice old gent who seems genuinely touched that people remember him for something he did such a long time ago.

George Takei - an all-round smiley happy genuinely nice human being.

Brent Spiner - yeah, you heard me. Brent Spiner. I was really nervous about meeting him; Data's always been my fave TNG character, but knowing Brent's reputation for being a bit of a joke I didn't want to make an idiot of myself and provide an opening for the guy who played my fave TNG character to rip me a new one.



But it didn't go like that at all. If fact, out of all the TNG cast he was the easiest of all of them to chat to, switching back and forth between normal and marvellously gloriously crazy all over the place ("You're just the man to answer a question that's been plaguing me for literally two whole seconds!"). I don't remember how we got there from him asking me where I was from but he ended up doing his Patrick Stewart impression and reciting a chunk of The Merchant of Venice at me. I know some people find his silliness a bit hard to cope with, but honestly I find silliness comes much more easily to me than "Hi how are you?" style small talk so it was one of the best experiences I've ever had. Saw him again at DSTL last year, and got a fistbump and a "Great to see you again, man!", which made me feel pretty good.

Despite this list being in random order, I'm going to end it with my all-time Trek-related person;

Chase Masterson - don't even know where to begin here. I could write an entire book about my experiences of meeting Chase, and still not manage to do justice to what she's done for me. But I'll just say it - she's become my friend. Very few people in my life have looked me in the eye and said "You're my friend." and really meant it, and even fewer people have actually followed through on those words. But in the last twelve months Chase has been a real friend to me, and that's just so wonderful to be able to say. Can't quite believe it's happened, but I'm extremely grateful that it has.
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Old March 27 2013, 01:14 AM   #17
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Re: Convention Circuit - Most Favorite Person You've Met?

I used to have autographs from DeForest Kelley, George Takei, Nichelle Nichols, and James Doohan, but the only one I got to talk to for a few minutes was DeForest at a small con in Kansas City during the early to mid 80s. Very kind and generous man.

My favorite non-Trek brush with greatness was in the 70s, when Al Lewis (Grandpa Munster), in town for a dinner theatre performance, came to talk to our acting class. After the lecture, he wanted something to eat, so a half dozen of us sat at a table in the campus cafeteria listening to Al talk about the days of 50s and 60s television.
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Old March 27 2013, 03:39 PM   #18
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Re: Convention Circuit - Most Favorite Person You've Met?

Kinggodzillak, I never met Nana Visitor, but I did see her speak at a convention once. To be honest, I never liked the character of Kira. But after enjoying her presentation on stage, my views completely changed. She was charismatic, charming, funny and warm. If she present these qualities to an entire audience from the stage, I can imagine how wonderfully overwhelming her personality would be one on one.
I look forward to the time I can meet her in person.
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Old March 27 2013, 05:28 PM   #19
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Re: Convention Circuit - Most Favorite Person You've Met?

Of all the Star Trek actors I've met, two really stand out as being the best as far as experiences go.

One was with Avery Brooks, who is so full of life and seemed to be having an amazing time meeting fans. When I got up to him he pulled me close and was just a warm, engaging guy and easy to talk to.

Connor Trinneer was also great. I met him earlier that day, and that night he showed up at the bar to hang out with the fans. He was really great with my dad, who came with me to the convention but never got to meet any of the actors until then since he didn't want to buy any autographs or photo ops.

As far as non-Trek related people goes, my best experience might be with Kristen Bell. She was very lovely and down to earth.
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Old March 29 2013, 09:21 PM   #20
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Re: Convention Circuit - Most Favorite Person You've Met?

Patrick Stewart has by far been the greatest for me and my family. I shared my experience on the other thread already. Class act.

As far as non-Trek people, a few come to mind. Sean Astin was great, as was Anthony Michael Hall. Dean Cain is the nicest guy, especially with the ladies (my wife loved him!). I mentioned Herb Jefferson Jr. before fro OBSG - fantastic man. And Bill Diamond, a muppeteer from Sesame Street and Fraggle Rock, is the sweetest man you could meet. My son ADORES him and his friend Gorgo.
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Old March 30 2013, 02:11 AM   #21
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Re: Convention Circuit - Most Favorite Person You've Met?

You know, I think I should mention that the two times I met Brent Spiner, there was nothing negative about either experience. I've heard so much about him in the negative, and I've been put off by his sense of humor at times, but my own two times meeting him? He was fine. Nice enough, personable enough, not grumpy or gruff or foul or any of the other things I've heard him being. He wasn't a stand-out "wow, how awesome!" best of guest, but he also was not the major douche I've heard him described as by oh so many other people. He was just one of the multitude of the majority. Nothing disappointing about him or any of the horror stories I've heard. So I guess in comparison to those tales of woe, I had two good experiences with him as well.

One of the times, he was even responsible for saving the convention attendees a lot of money. He was first in line of him and most of the rest of the TNG cast, and he was charging only $20 for an autograph. Which made the whole rest of the cast unable to charge $30 or whatever else. Which on the day saved me well over $300 or so, and I know saved everyone else scores of cash too, lol. The rest of them where none-to-pleased with him I've heard, lol, but I was quite happy.
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Old March 30 2013, 08:23 AM   #22
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Re: Convention Circuit - Most Favorite Person You've Met?

Favorite Star Trek: DeForest Kelley
He was just a really laid back and nice person. Answered every question no matter how bad it was. Just a real class act. My only regret was that I was not as familiar with his non-Trek acting career when I met him.

Favorite Non-Star Trek: Jonathan Harris
A lot of great stories from a long career that was not limited to "Lost in Space." I could have stayed up through the night listening to him recount some of his experiences.

Least Favorite: Harlan Ellison
I do not wish him ill. He is a talented writer without question or qualification, but I just didn't care for the man.
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Old March 31 2013, 07:17 AM   #23
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Re: Convention Circuit - Most Favorite Person You've Met?

Warning: this is going to be long...

Like OmahaStar, I've met most of the Trek actors on the convention circuit, whether by travelling to see them or when they've come to Toronto (I was co-head of the Programming department for Polaris, formerly known as Toronto Trek, six times, and co-chaired it once). Now, I've never been a Guest Liaison, so while I've heard stories about some of them being less than perfect examples of humanity, I can't back them up with any personal experiences. Every one of them I've met has been friendly and wonderful.

One of our other projects that we do ("we" meaning the group that put on Toronto Trek/Polaris) is the Constellation Awards. I've been the stage manager for the ceremony since their inception. A couple of years ago, we decided to hold our ballot-counting meeting in a Starbucks downtown. This was the same weekend that the Toronto Symphony Orchestra was doing "The Music Of Star Trek" with Robert Picardo and John deLancie hosting. Well, we walked into the Starbucks, got in line, and realized that the person in front of us was Robert Picardo... and he recognized one of our committee from the time he was a guest at the convention, and we all ended up chatting for about 15 minutes.

My all-time favourite interaction with an actor - and I've told this story at least once here before - was on the Monday afternoon following TT20. I'd decided to go home Sunday night and come back to the hotel Monday to help with cleanup. I'd gotten maybe four hours of sleep, so I wasn't at my most alert. I was alert enough, however, to help David Gerrold load his belongings into his car, and was headed back in when a call came over the headset that our hospitality suite was waaaaaay behind schedule in terms of clearing out of the room. So I dragged my exhausted ass to the elevator to go upstairs and help. I got into the elevator with someone from our Security department, and as the doors closed, someone jumped on. I concentrated on staying awake while they chatted, and then the Security guy got off at a floor below where I was going. The other person then turned to me...

Him: Are you checking out?
Me: I checked out last night. I just came back to help with cleanup.
Him: Oh, you worked on the con?
Me: Yes, I was one of the Chairs.

At this point I look up and realize I'm talking to Garrett Wang.

Me (extending a hand): My name's Lance.
Garrett: Pleased to meet you. (Shakes my hand.) My name's Garrett.

(pause)

Garrett: You probably know that, don't you?

When I saw him at Dragon*Con a couple of years ago, I reminded him of this. He laughed and said, "Yeah, that sounds like something I would do."

My favourite non-Trek guest would have to be Ellen Muth, who played George on "Dead Like Me". I chaired the first convention she was ever at, the 2006 Gaylaxicon here in Toronto. (She's not gay, but she's played at least one gay character in her career that I know of.) I didn't actually get to meet or speak with her until the Sunday afternoon (I had a really good head Guest Liaison - the same person who did it for TT/Polaris, and who has worked for Julie Caitlin Brown at Dragon*Con, so I didn't need to concern myself with whether she was doing her job). She was signing autographs as her last thing before going to the airport, and I came in just as she was packing up.

Me: Oh, you're packed up? I was just coming in to get your autograph. I've been running around all weekend and didn't have a chance earlier.
Ellen: Yeah, I've seen you around a lot. Who are you?
Me: My name's Lance. I was the Chair of the convention.
Ellen: Oh, then sure, for you...

Then she took out a photo and signed it for me before she left.

About a year later, I was downtown on Pride weekend and started to chat with a guy at the bus stop after the bars closed. He asked if I was going to the parade, and I said I couldn't because I had a meeting that day. He asked what kind of meeting, and I told him it was for a science fiction convention. He responded, all in one breath, "Ohmigod, you work on conventions? Ellen Muth from 'Dead Like Me' was here for one last year and I couldn't get the time off work to go, and I'm her biggest fan and really wanted to go."

I said, "Yes, I know she was here - I chaired that convention."

It took him a few seconds to recover from that. Anyway, we actually ended up dating for a few months. I was in Atlanta for Dragon*Con during that period, and lo and behold, there was Ellen - and she saw me from across the room and waved. So I walked over and we ended up chatting for about half an hour in between people coming for her autograph. At a slow moment, I said, "I wouldn't normally ask this kind of thing, but I recently started dating someone who's a big fan of yours. He couldn't get the time off work to come to meet you last year, but if I called him right now, would you be willing to say hello?"

She said, "Of course!", so I took out my phone and called his cell - but it went to voicemail. She said she'd leave him a message, so I handed her my phone. She left him about a ten-minute message.

About half an hour later, I was outside when my phone rang, and it was him. His first words were, "Ohmigodhowdidyouarrangethat???"

Then, about a year after that, we had Ellen as a guest at Polaris. I was supposed to go to the airport to meet Jim Butcher (the author of the Dresden Files books), so I went to the limo with a couple of our Guest Liaisons. One of them said to me, "We're picking up one of the actors on this run too - is that okay?" I said, "Of course," and she handed me a sign to hold up - that said "E. MUTH".

I grinned and said, "I think Ellen will recognize me." Sure enough, I was standing in front of the exit doors from the Customs area, with one of the Guest Liaisons at either end, when the doors opened and Ellen came out. She saw me, made a beeline for me and said, "Hi! Remember me?"

I think that was the same year we had Kai Owen from Torchwood and Michael Hogan from BSG - both of whom spent a lot of time in the hotel bar mingling with the members. Actor guests don't usually do that, but they were both wonderful and I got to spend a few minutes chatting with each of them.

I've got one or two more stories, but these are my favourites involving actors.

Danger Ace wrote: View Post
Least Favorite: Harlan Ellison
I do not wish him ill. He is a talented writer without question or qualification, but I just didn't care for the man.
I've got a couple of Harlan stories too... we invited him to be Author Guest of Honour once - I think it was TT19. He doesn't do email, so I'd sent him a letter. A few weeks later, I was at home (being out of work at the time) when the phone rang: telemarketer. 20 minutes later, the phone rang: telemarketer. Half an hour later: telemarketer. Six times, the phone rang, and it was always a telemarketer. The seventh time the phone rang, I picked up the phone and heard a rapid stream of words, of which I understood none.

Me: I'm sorry, could you repeat that?
Harlan: I'm going to speak very slowly. You're going to listen very carefully. This is Harlan Ellison.
Me: Oh! Mr. Ellison, my apologies. You're the seventh person to phone me today, and the other six were all telemarketers.
Harlan: In that case, would you like to buy a combination storm window/bidet?
Me: Um, no, I think not.
Harlan: Are you sure? It's a really good combination storm window/bidet.
Me: (thinking, ah, so it's going to be like that) Well, you see, I live on the 12th floor, so sticking my ass out the window to clean it could be dangerous.
Harlan: Oh, you live in a high-rise? What's that like?

So I spent five minutes telling Harlan Ellison what it's like to live in an apartment building.

It turned out we couldn't meet his terms, so he didn't accept our invitation. I met him a year or two later, at the 2006 Worldcon. I went to his signing and was in line, when he suddenly decided to get up and walk down the line instead of staying behind the table. He got to me and I was a little clumsy opening my books for him. He said, "That's okay, I surprised you," and signed my books, then continued down the line. I knelt down on the floor to put them into my backpack, and suddenly I felt a hand on my shoulder...

"Oh, my God, a real dwarf! I know you prefer to be called 'little people' now, but I'm five-foot-five, and you're a dwarf!"

I have a couple of other stories involving authors as well... last year, when the Chick-Fil-A controversy was raging, there were numerous same-sex kiss-ins being organized around the U.S. David Gerrold mentioned them in a Facebook post, and I commented, "I'm sorry there isn't going to be one during Dragon*Con - I would participate, assuming I could find a willing partner." David responded, "Lance, I'll kiss you whether there's a protest or not." Now, I would never claim to be close friends with David - we first met in 2004, and he's always said hello and we've chatted whenever our paths have crossed since then. And as I mentioned earlier, we had him as a Guest of Honour at TT20. But I never expected that he would remember having said that, two or three months later, or that when I walked into a panel room at Dragon*Con where he had just finished a panel, he would actually yell, "Lance! I promised you something..." and then walk over to me and kiss me. (He then invited me to go for a drink with him later, and we ended up hanging out for a couple of hours.)

Any of you still reading this who are Facebook friends with me no doubt remember the epic smackdown David gave to another of my FB friends a few months ago, when the other friend - who was at TT20 - thought that it was funny that I was friends with someone who had the same name as a famous Trek writer. That was classic...

There was also the Saturday night at last year's Dragon*Con, when I was hanging out with my ex-boyfriend (not the one I mentioned in the Ellen Muth story) and were heading to a panel. I said, "Can we stop on the way? My friend Keith is just finishing a panel, and I haven't seen him all weekend. I'd like to say hi." Keith, of course, being KRAD. We walked in, Keith saw me, yelled "Lance!" (that seems to happen a lot) and gave me a hug. We chatted for a few minutes, during which I introduced him to my ex, and then we headed off to the other panel. We no sooner got out the door when he turned to me and said, "You didn't tell me your 'friend Keith' was Keith R.A. DeCandido!!!"

This from the same guy whom I'd previously introduced to both David Gerrold and Robert J. Sawyer. He knows I'm friends with several authors, so it surprised me that he was surprised. I found it adorable.

Okay, that's it for now. If any of you are still reading.
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Old April 1 2013, 04:52 PM   #24
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Re: Convention Circuit - Most Favorite Person You've Met?

sbk1234 wrote: View Post
Kinggodzillak, I never met Nana Visitor, but I did see her speak at a convention once. To be honest, I never liked the character of Kira. But after enjoying her presentation on stage, my views completely changed. She was charismatic, charming, funny and warm. If she present these qualities to an entire audience from the stage, I can imagine how wonderfully overwhelming her personality would be one on one.
I look forward to the time I can meet her in person.
I've heard quite a few people say that their negative view of Kira (or even Nana herself) was changed after seeing her in person, whether it was an actual meet or just hearing her in a talk. I never had anything other than a postive view of Kira; she was always my fave DS9 character, and I had heard nothing but good things about Nana before I met her...and even then, I still wasn't prepared for just how well she came across. For a while I wondered if maybe she'd made such a strong impression just because she was the first Trek guest I'd ever met, back when the whole thing was a novelty still - but no. Having met most of them by now she's still in a class of her own. From the moment the convention opens right until the end of the day she's smiling and friendly and warm and totally approachable, and seems to really enjoy being there and meeting everybody.

Really hope you can get to meet her at some point; I've seen her at four events now and no matter who else is there that I haven't met before, she's always a highlight. And it's even gotten to the point now where, um, she remembers me. Which is nice.



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Old April 1 2013, 05:05 PM   #25
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Re: Convention Circuit - Most Favorite Person You've Met?

TorontoTrekker wrote: View Post
Okay, that's it for now. If any of you are still reading.
That wasn't terribly long. I was expecting a book.

Actually, with your con experiences, I think you should write one. Might have to change the names of a few characters though.
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Old April 1 2013, 09:02 PM   #26
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Re: Convention Circuit - Most Favorite Person You've Met?

OmahaStar wrote: View Post
TorontoTrekker wrote: View Post
Okay, that's it for now. If any of you are still reading.
That wasn't terribly long. I was expecting a book.

Actually, with your con experiences, I think you should write one. Might have to change the names of a few characters though.
Write it now, wait to publish it for a few decades. But write it while you can remember it and just wait to publish it until no one will yell at you if you share something un-flattering.
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Old April 3 2013, 07:18 AM   #27
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Re: Convention Circuit - Most Favorite Person You've Met?

Frontier wrote: View Post
OmahaStar wrote: View Post
TorontoTrekker wrote: View Post
Okay, that's it for now. If any of you are still reading.
That wasn't terribly long. I was expecting a book.

Actually, with your con experiences, I think you should write one. Might have to change the names of a few characters though.
Write it now, wait to publish it for a few decades. But write it while you can remember it and just wait to publish it until no one will yell at you if you share something un-flattering.
I'd have to collaborate on it with the head of our Guests department - she's got about ten times the number of actor stories as I do. There are probably still bits of her radio headset buried under the site of our former hotel (which was demolished a couple of years ago) from when one of our guests managed to miss three flights from L.A. to Toronto, and she threw the headset at a wall...
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Old April 7 2013, 07:00 PM   #28
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Re: Convention Circuit - Most Favorite Person You've Met?

Do it. Just write and put a note in your individual wills saying it can be published upon your deaths, lol. (No one can be mad at you, or ask for re-writes, when you're dead!) lol
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Old April 11 2013, 09:24 PM   #29
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Re: Convention Circuit - Most Favorite Person You've Met?

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Avery Brooks - Avery has a great energy. He's warm and enjoys his fans. I've only ever seen him be less-than-awesome once, and on that occasion he simply seemed over-shadowed by the other four captains rather than unhappy or distant - rather he just seemed to be letting the others do their thing rather than try to elbow them for some spotlight. Avery is so smart and so deep, you can understand why he's a professor at Rutgers. The second time I met him, he stopped to ask to shake my hand - normally the fan has to ask for such. That's the kind of guy Avery is in my experiences with him.
This is great to hear. I love Sisko, but man, he came across as a total weirdo in The Captains documentary.
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Old April 11 2013, 09:46 PM   #30
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Re: Convention Circuit - Most Favorite Person You've Met?

Avery Brooks blew me away to such extent with his 20th century sci-fi author character, he inspired me to write an unpublished novella with him in mind as one of its key characters.....a doctor with issues.

I haven't met him yet, but hope to in a few years....
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