by Linda Burnett
I decided to do the Vegas convention in a "streamed-down" way, not picking up any autographs or photo ops, just getting a General Admission ticket and seeing how things went. I was still plenty busy. Here are my Top 10 Fun Things at the Star Trek Convention:
10. Seeing the forgotten women of Star Trek, among them: Susan Gibney, Robin Curtis, and Barbara March. Most of them are now retired (except for Gibney, who has been appearing in stage plays). Gibney was up for the role of Seven of Nine and then Janeway, and then didn't get either, but landed the unforgettable role of Dr. Leah Brahms, Geordi's holodeck engineer "resource." Robin Curtis told us her husband asked her for a divorce last November, and she moved to upstate New York to lick her wounds, where she found a house to buy. She brought in a remodeling contactor, fell in love with the contractor, and they're now in business together.
9. Spending the last few hours (of its existence) at the soon-to-be-demolished Star Trek: The Experience and Quark's Bar. All those guys in their uniform tops at the bar, holding their James Tea Kirk goblets…and I'm wondering where they've been the last 11 years.
8. Discovering and enjoying the new Original Series Star Trek slot machine. It's interactive, so you log on each time and it remembers what your rank is and how many medals you have. Medals take you to different rounds of play as well as different bonus rounds. I started out as a Starfleet Recruit, and ended play 5 days later as a Lieutenant Junior Grade with 42 medals…which shows you how many nickels I played. One woman we met kept saying "I'm so hungry," because she couldn't leave her machine: she was winning $2,400 at that point on Sunday night. But she was gone on Monday morning. We wonder if she ever got around to writing her business presentation….or eating.
7. Meeting fans from all over. We met one Aussie who was bent on getting Scott Bakula's autograph, and flew across the world to do so. We also saw the Poodle People (of course), the Andorian with the incessantly crying baby, the couple who were married 4 days ago in their authentic Romulan and Vulcan costumes, and so many more.
6. Seeing the DS9 stars once again: Nana, Sid, Armin, René, Avery, and others. It's like visiting with part of your family. And we kept bumping into Max Grodenchik from time to time, like he was part of our dream. We saw him having lunch in Quark's Bar (and had a quick conversation with him), hanging out in the row behind us to catch Armin's and René's talk on stage, and, finally, stuck in line at the terminally slow Klingon Encounter ride in The Experience.
5. One of the winning music videos was about Garak
--Garak the Spy--submitted by two Japanese fans. It was wonderful, watching our favorite Cardassian in his ultimate spy mode, all to the tune of the iconic James Bond guitar theme.
4. Seeing one actress I never thought I'd see--Michelle Forbes. She's much older than Ensign Ro now, and reaping accolades from her portrayal of Admiral Cain on Battlestar Galactica. And, wow…she's so much like Cain in real life, well, save for the mayhem. She gives orders, we jump.
3. Meeting with old friends. I hesitate to say "convention friends," because I rarely see them any place else, but they're still friends to me! I had lunch with Gayle and Kathy, saw JoBeth and Freddie in their usual "A" seats, and got to visit with the ORACLE bunch. Plus, I got to talk to people I met several years ago for the first time at the old Lunch with the Doctor meetings. Weren't those the days?
2. The charity breakfast. Okay, I did buy one ticket for something besides my general admission. I couldn't resist this, as I love bidding in the silent auctions, and I love the format of the breakfast, where the stars--Robert Picardo, Robert Duncan McNeill, and Zachary Quinto--come around to every table and talk quietly with us. Very charming, and a great fundraiser for charity events. Thanks to Gayle Stever for coordinating the auctions, and to her helpers for making it run so smoothly!
1. There's no contest here as to the number 1 event: Meeting René Auberjonois at his fan club gathering. Sweet! We discussed new films, his newest grandson, and how he felt coming off three months of Moliere. It is so wonderful for René to give us his free time--free at least until Creation claimed it again for a marathon autograph session. We really appreciate it. Thanks, René!
René answering a question during the Saturday afternoon Q&A. Yes, his hair was auburn; it was dyed for his role in The Imaginary Invalid, and the convention took place only a week after the final performance, so the color was still there. (Photo by Jo Beth Taylor)