Convention Circuit - Least Favorite Person Associated With Trek?

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

  1. Guitar

    Guitar Cadet Newbie

    Feb 17, 2013
    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..........................."
  2. mos6507

    mos6507 Commodore Commodore

    Dec 22, 2010
    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.
  3. Nerys Ghemor

    Nerys Ghemor Vice Admiral Admiral

    Aug 4, 2008
    Cardăsa Terăm--Nerys Ghemor
    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.
  4. darthspangler

    darthspangler Lieutenant Commander Red Shirt

    May 25, 2004
    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.
  5. WillsBabe

    WillsBabe Vice Admiral Admiral

    Dec 27, 2002
    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.
  6. Brian

    Brian Vice Admiral Admiral

    Nov 14, 2001
    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.
  7. Guitar

    Guitar Cadet Newbie

    Feb 17, 2013
    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.
  8. sbk1234

    sbk1234 Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

    Nov 24, 2006
    Los Angeles
    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.
  9. plynch

    plynch Commodore Commodore

    Apr 28, 2007
    Outer Graceland
    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.
  10. Frontier

    Frontier Vice Admiral Admiral

    Jan 17, 2002
    Fifth Circle of Hell, IE: Pennsylvania
    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*
    Last edited: Mar 9, 2013
  11. Frontier

    Frontier Vice Admiral Admiral

    Jan 17, 2002
    Fifth Circle of Hell, IE: Pennsylvania
    If anyone has any stories about autograph inscriptions, I'd be curious. I'm an inscription fan, and have quite a few good ones, never had any problems getting them either. Off the top of my head I've got...

    Voyager EMH: "Please state the nature of the medical emergency"
    Seven of Nine: "Resistance is Futile..."
    Worf: "Today is a Good Day to Die"
    Tasha Yar: "No Good-byes, Just Good Memories"
    Sulu: "Warp Speed!"
    Uhura: "Hailing Frequencies Open"
    Borg Queen: "Watch your Future's End" / "I am the beginning, the end, the one who is many. I am the Borg." / "Resistance is Futile." / "Welcome Home, Locutus"

    Can't think of the rest... have a fair number of personalizations. "To me" and such.

    Oh I do have through an experiment Creation did, a personalized "Beam me up!" from Shatner. That's cool.

    Have more inscriptions but the rest are from non-Trek so...

    And when I met Edward James Olmos from nuBSG? He was a gem! I got 10 autographs from him, and he gave me a discount - he was charging $50 and only charged me $30 a pop. I think he may have thought I was a re-seller due to I brought my own photos and had so many, and so he insisted on personalizing them - which is ironic cause you used to have to pay more for such! But I have all the great Adama quotes. "So Say We All" and "Sometimes You Have to Roll the Hard Six" and more. I know he's not Trek but, he was awesome and nice and took his time and was friendly and talked and did me a big favor and took his time signing everything. One of the best autograph-centric experiences.

    Oh and I'd murder for a "Live Long and Prosper" autograph from Leonard Nimoy, lol. Doubtful I'll ever see it.
  12. LobsterAfternoon

    LobsterAfternoon Commander Red Shirt

    Oct 15, 2006
    Frontier - that's awesome. At the risk of getting off topic, have you met any other nu-BSG folks?
  13. 1001001

    1001001 VERY STABLE GENIUS!!! Moderator

    Nov 3, 2001
    In a Bozo Nightmare
    At the risk of going further off topic (sorry OP!)...yes I have!

    My wife and I met Katee Sackhoff and Tahmoh Penikett at a convention several years ago.

    They were great.

    Very relaxed, friendly, funny, and generous with their time. They talked about filming the show, what it was like, etc. Katee talked about almost becomiing an olympic swimmer, until a knee injury ended that idea.

    They both seemed very genuine and were a delight to meet.

  14. LobsterAfternoon

    LobsterAfternoon Commander Red Shirt

    Oct 15, 2006
    1001001 - fantastic. Always good to hear that cast/crew on something I love are nice in real life as well.
  15. Frontier

    Frontier Vice Admiral Admiral

    Jan 17, 2002
    Fifth Circle of Hell, IE: Pennsylvania
    Personally, I've only met Olmos and Kat from nuBSG.

    But my friend Bill met Michael Hogan (nice, friendly) Sam Witwer and Dean Stockwell (Stockwell was apparently not pleasant in the least... :S)

    I'd love to meet more nuBSG folk. Love to meet more anyone. Sadly my health (heart condition) keeps me from going to cons anymore. I'm lucky to have a good friend who goes though, and he helps me keep collecting autographs. Still... I'd love to have met a lot of them I haven't. The first ever 5 captains convention was right here, Philly, last summer and I couldn't go. :(
  16. mos6507

    mos6507 Commodore Commodore

    Dec 22, 2010

    What made me feel that things were on a downward slide even in the early to mid 80s were two things:


    The admission price kept going up and up. For a kid who had to beg my parents for money, it was not fun to see the price creep up to the level you'd normally pay to go to a rock concert when the vast majority of the experience was just walking around the exhibit floor so you can spend MORE money on merchandise.

    2) The promoters!

    Yes, I think the promoters are the source of turning this into a racket. The guys who ran these shows used to come out and introduce the guests, and the spiel they used to give always made me uneasy. The promoters sit between the fans and the celebrities. I know there are logistics to putting on these shows, but I felt there was something exploitive going on back then and it's only grown since then. Access to celebrities has become a valuable commodity. Conventions used to be a place for Hollywood types to petition the public to support their shows. That's what Majel Barrett was doing when she appeared--plugging TNG before it aired. And she did it with a healthy dose of humility, that she NEEDED grass-roots support. Also, George Takei was warning the public about the plans for rebooting Trek the first time they had thought about recasting and doing a story about the academy. There was a sense that both sides needed each other, and had reasons to be thankful for each other, that they were both on the same side to fight for quality science-fiction. All that goes up in smoke when the actors use the convention circuit like an ATM.

    There definitely is a greater sense of "performance" than there used to be, and I guess if people pay their money they can expect some de-facto standup comedy, and the TNG troupe is amazing at doing that based on what I've seen on Youtube, but once it gets down to the photo-ops and autographs, then it's pure commerce which is not the way it used to be. Buying collectibles at the booths yes, but it was nice and discrete that the cost of an autograph (if you want to wait in line) was folded into the ticket. Handing money a-la-carte over to get someone's autograph is just tacky. I know it's how it is and it's not gonna go back, but I don't like it.
  17. pigletsgiblets

    pigletsgiblets Commodore Commodore

    Dec 17, 2003
    The only one I've met was Chase Masterson and she was very nice.:)

    LOKAI of CHERON Commodore Commodore

    I'm fairly certain I've recounted this story before on these boards, but what the hell. The only actor I've ever had a problem with is John de Lancie. This is going back years now, but I attended a De Lancie signing at the original Forbidden Planet store on London's New Oxford Street. Prior to getting my 10x8 signed, I struck up a conversation with a young lady directly behind me in the queue - we were both greatly anticipating meeting the clever and talented actor who brilliantly brought the irascible Q so colourfully to life.

    Upon reaching him, I took my regular low key approach (in my suit, fresh from a business call in the West End) by simply saying "Hi there, pleased to meet you - could you sign it to ******* please". Honestly, all I got back could only be described as a "grunt" and a totally blank stare - plus the signature of course. I waited briefly for my new acquaintance, and she reported almost exactly the same experience.

    OK, he could have been having a really bad day, but I'd dropped good money for just a few seconds of his time, and walked away feeling thoroughly disillusioned and extremely disappointed - wishing I hadn't bothered to be honest. It took me quite a while to put it all out of my head and return to appreciating his superb work as Q once again.
  19. Amaris

    Amaris Abiding Eos Premium Member

    Dec 25, 2002
    United States
    Well, I wouldn't call him "least favorite" by any means, but when I met Christopher Lloyd, he was more than a bit standoff-ish. Of course, he could have been having a bad day, so I don't really hold that against him. He was still very polite.

    My favorite guest had to be Armin Shimmerman. The man was delightfully full of it, and I loved it. He was very friendly, very personable. We talked for a few seconds while he signed his autograph. He asked me where I was from, how I liked Chicago, and so on. When my friend asked him for a picture, the rep said no, that it would cost $80, to which Armin turned to him and said "He can take a picture of me. I don't have a problem with it", at which point he looks back to my friend and says "Now, young man, you can take a picture of me, but I can't look at the camera, and you can't be in the picture, okay?", so as we turned away, Armin looked over to the side, and my friend snapped a great shot. Armin winked at us as we left. :D

    Then there was Marc Alaimo. He was a bit prickly upon meeting him for the first time, but there was a good reason. My friend decided to bother him while the poor man was just trying to get a cup of coffee and a pastry at the hotel cafe. He walks up to him, tells him "Mr. Alaimo, can I get a picture of you?" to which Marc gives him this Gul Dukat stare, I mean, you didn't need the makeup, it was pure Dukat (I was still 10 feet away, and not in his line of sight, and I felt the blast off that look!). My friend stops for a moment, smiles, and Marc sighs and says "Make it quick", again, in that same tone he uses when Dukat is exasperated, so I found it utterly hilarious (save for poor Mr. Alaimo's time and patience).

    Later the next evening, when we had the ice cream social, Marc sat down at our table and we had a great conversation about Shakespeare, the role of theater in television and movie acting, and he was just all around engaging, and so very nice.

    Other actors I've met:

    Casey Biggs - Very polite, friendly. Really good on the guitar!
    J.G. Hertzler - Holy shit, this guy is awesome! Loves the fans!
    Robert O'Reilly - Very nice guy, engages the fans. When he's out of makeup, he's rather quiet, but very warm and friendly. Talked to him over drinks at the hotel bar.
    Vaughn Armstrong - He was very cool. We talked for more than two hours in the hotel bar, I bought him a drink, we shared lots of stories, a couple of filthy jokes, he was just cool as hell.
    Jeffrey Combs - Warm, polite, engaging. He always has a joke or a pun ready to go.
    Chase Masterson - Very sweet. She was kind enough to let my friend take a picture of her, and was very nice to him even after his thinly veiled offer for casual sex.
    Max Grodenchik - A warm, friendly guy. My friend and I hung out by his autograph table most of the day, chatting away with him. We even helped him fix a contract snafu while we were there. The next day, before he left the hotel, he saw me outside one of the elevators and said "Hey John, thanks for coming! I hope you had fun!", which was so cool! :D
  20. JiNX-01

    JiNX-01 Admiral Admiral

    Dec 29, 2002
    Frankly, I suspect he was curt with me because I didn't buy a photo op for $100 with him and his son.

    I guess I should have begged his forgiveness because I couldn't afford his autograph and his son's (don't recall how much Daniel charged) along the photo.