Discussion in 'General Trek Discussion' started by Jeff Tube, Jan 30, 2011.
Wow! I am glad that you had a nice experience w/Brent Spiner...
That reply made me laugh so much - 2nd post of the thread as well
I entered "Brent Spiner dick" into Google because I wanted to know if other people had similar experiences. This page is the first link. I wouldn't say that he was a full-on dick to me, but based on my interaction with him I assumed that people had much worse experiences. I was correct.
So yesterday I met the dude for the first time.
He signed my poster. I requested that he write, "Data" under his name.
Him: "Who is that?"
I knew that he was joking, and I *am* a comic; I've done crowd work and improv with other comics, but in those cases I'm usually working with people who I know or who I don't really care about. In those cases it's easy. In this case I was talking to an actor who I don't know yet respect. Awkward.
Me: "Uuuh... I dunno."
Him (looking at the signatures of other people who signed it): "Look, Gates didn't include her character's name. Marina didn't do it. (I forgot to request it from them.) Robert (Picardo)... (he stopped because Picardo actually did). Why me?"
"Alright. So you're saying that it just disrupts the flow of the piece?"
"Yeah, and I mean... YOU know who I am, right?"
"Yes, the poster is for me, and I know who you are."
"Right... so... why bother? You know who I am."
"Alright. You've convinced me-- no more character names on anything ever!"
Then he turned toward Jon Frakes who was sitting to his right and signing posters for someone. He coughed loudly.
Frakes: "*I* know who you are.... and I respect your humility, talent, and professionalism."
Spiner: "THANK YOU."
As a comic, I was tempted to say, "Excuse me, guys... But 'humility' or 'humble' are the last words I would use if I were describing that exchange" but I didn't want a slightly uncomfortable situation to turn into a mildly uncomfortable situation.
As a guy who majored in psychology I was also tempted to say somewhere in the middle of Spiner's indignant statements, "I get it, dude. You *hate* that character."
I'm sure that Trekies now want to cite numerous quotations of Spiner saying that Data was the best character he has ever played or whatever, but I don't care about any of that nonsense. It's a definite vibe that I picked up from him in person and from reading these comments.
I've attended Trek conventions since 1992, and I've never had a bad experience with anyone.
- I met Kate Mulgrew about 15 years ago in Seattle. She was at a con that included pictures and autographs only for the expensive seats. During her stage time, she offered to pose for photos and sign autographs for FREE for anyone who would like one, and she stayed a couple hours extra to do so. When it was my turn, she complemented me on my Borg costume and joked around with me, saying "Seven, you've reverted!"
- A few years ago in Vegas, Suzie Plakson was walking in the hallway toward the main stage, and she saw me on a bench near the wall comforting my sad 3-year old. She walked over, squatted down to her level, stroked her hair, and asked her what was wrong. She chatted for a couple minutes with her and then went on her way.
-Two years ago in Vegas, I was dressed as Data an my daughter was dressed as Lal for a photo op with Brent Spiner. He smiled and said, "You have a beautiful daughter." and suggested we lean down a bit so she would be visivle in the photo too.
-Alexander Siddig- at a convention in Vancouver about fifteen years ago, I was dressed as an Andorian, and during the QA session after I asked him a question, he did a double take and said, "I'm sorry, what was the question? The way you look, I was expecting you to say 'Gblellelel glblggh glig" or something like that"
-Chase Masterson-- I've bought her music CDs at several conventions, and she has been very sweet and personalized her autograph on them each time.
-Armin Shimmerman spoke with me for several minutes and personalized his autograph on a Quark action figure for me.
- I am the guy dressed as Data that William Shatner photobombed at the beginning of "The Captains" documentary. A year later, he interviewed my wife and I several times over the course of the Vegas convention for "Get A Life", and he was focused and professional.
-I met Tim Russ last year-- he signed his CD (which I already owned) and took a photo with me, both free of charge. A nice guy.
-Marina Sirtis was at a smaller con, but she was nice and professional.
-Denise Crosby was very friendly and chatted with me for a while.
-Garrett Wang is SUPER friendly, laid back, and cool. He took a photo with me for no charge.
I was going to buy Max Grodenchik's CD a couple of years ago in Vegas based on the "Rubber Buttheads" song, but he saw I was pushing a stroller with my kids and he warned me that some of the other songs weren't kid-friendly, but he still chatted with me even though I didn't buy a CD. A very nice guy.
Robert Picardo took singing requests at a small con in Seattle I went to, and seemed pleased/proud when I requested "Borg Queen", his parody to the "Love Boat" theme.
Walter Koenig was very personable and having fun as a convention in Salt Lake City several years ago.
Robert Beltran complemented my wife's Seven of Nine outfit when we shared an elevator together in Seattle about eight years ago.
Maybe I've lucked out, but looking back, I've had good experiences every time :-)
I've only met Walter Koenig, and that was in early 1980 when TMP was still very much the thing. The convention ran out CHEKOV'S ENTERPRISE (which I bought later at a bookstore), so he was autographing the movie novelization.
I must say, I've enjoyed reading this thread. And I'm glad those who got bad reviews got additional positive mentions by other posters.
I've met a number of the actors through the years. Fortunately no bad experiences with any of them. Here's my impressions of each:
William Shatner - I'd heard stories about him being rude and not even speaking to fans, so when I said "hi" to him and got a "hi" back I felt pretty good, lol. He was perfectly polite for the short time I had with him.
Leonard Nimoy - About the same as Shatner. Very polite, but not much time with him as there was a huge line.
George Takei - Very chatty and friendly, seemed to be having a great time.
Walter Koenig - More reserved, but very nice
Patrick Stewart - Polite and dignified, just got a cursory greeting from him as we were being rushed through the line by the organizers
Jonathan Frakes - Really friendly and likes joking with fans
Brent Spiner - He was with Frakes when I met him, very nice
Michael Dorn - Very nice but more reserved
Avery Brooks - One of the friendliest I met. At our photo op he pulled me in for a big hug, very outgoing and loved engaging with fans
Nana Visitor - Lovely person, very friendly
René Auberjonois - Nice guy
Armin Shimerman - Very friendly and was having a good time
Robert Picardo - He was more reserved but seemed to be having fun
Jeri Ryan - Very beautiful in person, sweet and friendly
Scott Bakula - Very down to earth and a nice guy
Connor Trinneer - Extremely nice and engaging guy, he even showed up at the bar to chat with fans. My dad was with me and was thrilled to get to talk to him as he hadn't bought any autograph or photo-op tickets.
McKenzie Westmore - Met her at a Passions event, very lovely
Chase Masterson - Very nice
Dean Stockwell - Reserved but very polite
Christopher Lloyd - Friendly and nice
I wonder if Spiner has experiences being typecast. Not that this would justify that reaction, but it would explain it.
I've met Brent Spiner on a couple of occasions out in public, away from conventions and stuff. While I honestly can't say he was rude or abrasive, I got the impression that it was an imposition for him to deal with being recognized. One time he let me take his picture, but was emphatic that I don't put it online. I respected his wishes, but come on! I'm just a Trek fan. Let me put this on Facebook to show off a bit.
Unhappy with his character? I can't say. But it strikes me that if so many of his latest roles seem to be appearing as himself, t he ol' career may have hit a few snags.
Reading this thread, I can't help but sympathise with the "rude" actors, tbh.
They're being asked/required to pretend complete strangers are their friends or something approaching... I'd be completely weirded out in their place (no, I don't go to conventions).
We spent some time with Brent Spiner (and many others) at the San Francisco convention last November. He was great! I had heard so many negatives about him, but that was not the case with us. He was friendly, funny, and seemed genuinely interested.
I spoke to him mostly about Fresh Hell (which I love). We had our picture taken with him and Hallie Todd, and again he was great.
Maybe he was just in a good mood to be back with all his pals? He came out and heckled LeVar Burton from the guest microphone while he was onstage. It was hilarious.
Exactly. Some of the people that are complaining about actors being rude to them probably need to take some time and reflect on why.
First of all so far as I know none of the actors who attend conventions are being forced to do so. They know generally what the fans are like so if they find that situation un suitable to their peace of mind then they should either refuse to participate, or to limit their participation.
Further more while certainly some people's expectations are unrealistic, in many cases I don't believe they are.
I've met sooooo many Trek actors since I first posted in this thread. I still remember what a dick Spiner was though, my only negative experience.
Thread bump person, all he had to say to you was "I only sign my real name, I'm sure you understand".
Asking an actor to sign the characters name is just an insult.
That is your opinion to which you are entitled, it is not however a fact.
I'm under the impression that adding the character's name under an autograph was (and is) a very common practice among actors from '60s TV shows. A lot of them must take a more humble approach to who they are in the great scheme of things, and also they don't want to seem to have skimped on what they wrote.
At the other end of the spectrum, I read online recently that Robert DeNiro just puts a jagged slash-like mark on the items he "signs."
If you encounter an actor at an airport or something it's one thing. These people are being paid to appear at conventions.
I've never met any Trek actors but I went to a convention in Chicago a couple times to meet Robert Vaughn.
The first time I went with my father (who is now 2 years gone ) and when I met Robert Vaughn he was plesant enough and signed some Magnificent 7 and TMFU photos. Also there was Stella Stevens (sp?) who my dad was all about, but I had no idea who she was (guess she was in Trek as a guest or something). Linda Blair was there as well, but the line to meet her was way too long to stand in, but everyone that did meet her said she was really nice.
The next time I went (same convention and location but like a year later) I went with a college friend. We drove up from Southern Illinois for it. My friend asked Robert Vaughn (who was wearing the same gym suit as the year before lol) to sign an A-Team lunch box and I think he was a little put off by that, but he signed it. He also commented that no one had ever asked him to sign A-Team stuff before. He was nice to me.
We also met Richard Keil that trip. I'm a huge TZ fan and when I saw the Kanimut pictures on his table I was like "Oh damn that was him!" So I bought it and he signed it. He was a very cool guy. Took pics with me and my friend. He put his hands on my friend's head and acted like he was smushing her head in the pic and smiling. When we were leaving she was like "You're much nicer than SOMEONE here." and nodded in Robert Vaughn's direction. LOL
You're right, they're paid to be there. However, they're not paid to politely deal with people that don't consider the actors feelings or artistic integrity. Like I said before, if an actor is rude to you...it's probably because you did something that was inconsiderate.
Separate names with a comma.