Convention Circuit - Least Favorite Person Associated With Trek?

Discussion in 'General Trek Discussion' started by Jeff Tube, Jan 30, 2011.

  1. Frontier

    Frontier Vice Admiral Admiral

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    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. :wtf: 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.
     
  2. LobsterAfternoon

    LobsterAfternoon Commander Red Shirt

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    I wonder why she wouldn't sign that dude's poster. Presumably signing things is one of the primary reason she goes to cons.
     
  3. Relayer1

    Relayer1 Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    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.
     
    Last edited: Mar 19, 2013
  4. Greg Cox

    Greg Cox Admiral Premium Member

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    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.)
     
  5. Relayer1

    Relayer1 Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    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...
     
  6. CoveTom

    CoveTom Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    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.
     
  7. Brian

    Brian Vice Admiral Admiral

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    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.
     
  8. LOKAI of CHERON

    LOKAI of CHERON Commodore Commodore

    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!
     
    Last edited: Mar 20, 2013
  9. Foxhot

    Foxhot Commodore Commodore

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    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).
     
  10. OmahaStar

    OmahaStar Disrespectful of his betters Admiral

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    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.
     
  11. Frontier

    Frontier Vice Admiral Admiral

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    "80%" is a loose guesstimate based on my personal experiences sharing stories w/other fans over 15 years. Nothing more. Certainly nothing official.

    I would be curious to see such though; official figures. But that's unlikely as hell to ever exist, lol.

    I think I'm going to start a "most favorite" thread spin-off of this, to sort of balance things...

    ...and in fact I have.http://www.trekbbs.com/showthread.php?p=7826479#post7826479

    lol
     
  12. Guitar

    Guitar Cadet Newbie

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    DUDE! If you're talking about this poster

    http://www.posterplanet.net/startrek/images/star-trek-tos-bridge-cast-poster-AQU241151.jpg

    I'm blown away because she signed it for me without hesitation and a smile on her face a few years ago. She caught part of Nimoy's face with the signature, which I didn't really like, but I thanked her anyway, and she cheerfully and genuinely thanked me in return.

    BIZARRE. As someone wrote earlier, I'm starting to believe that it just depends on which day you're meeting people.

    As other people have said, George Takei= saint
     
  13. Navigator_NCC2120

    Navigator_NCC2120 Captain Captain

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    I have only been to 6 cons in a 20 year period and I have not really had a bad or good experience with the actors because I did not get autographs. I would listen to them speak on stage and then I would go to the dealers room, while my friends would get autographs. I did have college friends that I went to 3 of the cons with in the mid 1980s and my one friend, she complained about James Doohan being rude to her because she wanted to interview him for her paper or magazine. Doohan refused because she did not have to pay to get into the con because she used her press credentials to get in for free.

    Anyway, I wonder if some of these actors have behaved poorly because they were notified at the con that they were not going to get the amount of money they were promised due to unforeseen circumstances, such as a lower number of people attending the con than was expected.

    Just my 2 cents worth,


    Navigator NCC-2120 USS Entente
    /\
     
    Last edited: Mar 22, 2013
  14. ZapBrannigan

    ZapBrannigan Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    I'll bet that has happened. They're giving up their weekend, dealing with all the hassles of travel etc., and then find out they've been screwed over money-wise. So they're boiling mad, and can't help feeling that giving the fans a wonderful experience would unjustly reward the convention promoters.
     
  15. Newspaper Taxi

    Newspaper Taxi Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    I have a hard time saying her name right for some reason. It morphs into odd combinations of "Nichelle" and "Nicole". I was afraid if I tried to write it out the result would be a travesty. :lol:
     
  16. darthspangler

    darthspangler Lieutenant Commander Red Shirt

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    When I went on TrekCruise in 1989, they staggered the autograph signings (1/2 the passengers at one time, 1/2 at another time). My time was 9:00 one morning. I was so excited, because I would get to add Doohan and Nichols to my cast photo.

    Well, guess what diva said that 9:00 was too early to get up for a signing? I was so disappointed, since that was my only time to catch her signing.

    It does have a happy ending though. I was riding back on a boat from a private island where they took the passengers for a party. Guess who was on the boat? Didn't have my pic with me, however I overheard her saying she was going to the auditorium to rehearse her show for that night. Ran back to my room, got the photo, and went to the auditorium. She was rehearsing and I waited until she took a break. Surprisingly, nobody keeping people out of the room. I went up to her and asked her to sign the photo. I could tell she wasn't happy, but mission accomplished!
     
  17. PeachyA

    PeachyA Ensign Newbie

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    I've been reading most of the posts in this thread now, and although I've never been to a con myself, I'll just add my two cents anyway.

    I agree with those who said earlier in the thread that maybe having sky high expectations before meeting an actor is a great way to set yourself up for disappointment. I've seen a lot of comments about how actors aren't personal enough, don't take enough time to chat with everyone, are just in it for the money and so on. And honestly, what did you expect? For the bigger stars the lines to get an autograph can be several hundred people, and I imagine that the actors are on something of a schedule, they can't just sit down and have a 10 minute chat with everyone because the last half of the people in line wouldn't get their signatures at all. And of course they do it for the money, what else? As in the case with the TNG stars for example, it's been 20 years since the show ended, you don't seriously expect them to still be thrilled enough at the prospect of talking to fans about costumes or plot details after all this time, to just do it for goodwill, do you? I can absolutely understand that it gets tiring, especially as I imagine that there's a relevant part of the visitors who make it very clear that they're just there to get signatures for their collections.

    I'm not saying that it's too much to expect an actor to at least say hi when they're approached at the signing table, but from what I gather, there are a lot of people who have no idea how to act normally around famous people/people they admire/ people in general.
     
  18. Shaka Zulu

    Shaka Zulu Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    Some American conventions have had to make a video about this (so I've heard) to tell the fans that they should bathe more (when I go to any con, I bathe all three days so I don't stink badly) and some have also announced a 'we will ban you if you do stink and haven't bathed' rule.
     
    Last edited: May 2, 2013
  19. 1001001

    1001001 Let the Good Times Roll!! Moderator

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    I've been to tons of American conventions, and have never seen any such video, or heard any such announcement.
     
  20. OmahaStar

    OmahaStar Disrespectful of his betters Admiral

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    It plays at Dragon*Con every year, and has for at least the last five years. It's also in the program book for at least a half-dozen conventions I can think of off the top of my head.
     

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