Friday, August 10, 2007

My Meeting with Wil Wheaton is at the end of this post.

What a day.

First of all, I should mention that this is being posted late for a very good reason: the damn hotel charges ELEVEN DOLLARS for internet. That's per day, by the way. So I was like, "Shit, no." And my parents were like, "Shit, no." Only they don't say shit very often. Anyway, it was universally agreed upon that eleven dollars per day is a ripoff and will not be tolerated and by tolerated I mean they won't spend that kind of money on my blog, which, let's face it, neither will I. I'll post this when I get home and you'll be glad of it.

Now, on to the good stuff.

I got up at six am, which after four hours of sleep is not a pretty place to be. Got a shower in, got dressed, packed up my various shirts, and headed off to Convention city. I sat in line for a good two hours before picking up my lanyard and wristband, and then I was in. And oh, what a joy indeed.

I think I'm still in shock, actually. Like it hasn't sunk in where I am and what I'm doing here. Star Trek Convention. Star. Trek. Convention. Yeah, still not feeling it. Or maybe I'm just getting calmer in my old age.

BTW, today is my 24th birthday.

Back to my day. After a quick tour of the DeForest Kelly room (selling stuff), I proceeded to sit through several hours of guest speakers. My ass hurts now. First I sat through three music videos: Killer Queen, about the Borg Queen (all First Contact footage, thank God); one with a lot of drinking from Classic Trek (they did drink a lot); one of Picard and Q to the tune of "You've Got a Friend in Me"; and one called "Paradox", to the tune of..."Paradox". Basically, it was all the contradictions from TNG. Very funny. And throughout it, Jimmy Doohan as Scotty loads the program on the holodeck, enters, and walks across the bridge, all spaced out throughout the video. Very cool tribute. Then there was a Voyager "Highway to Hell" video, which convinced me that Voyager was destroyed at least four times as much as every other ship. Remember the TNG ep "Cause and Effect" where the Enterprise kept blowing up? Remember how upsetting those previews were? Voyager previews like that actually stopped upsetting me at some point. That's when you know the ship spends too much time in pieces.

And then Susie Plakson and Patti Yasutake got there. Susie Plakson is releasing a country album. Sudden mental image of K'Eyhlar with a guitar. Patti Yasutake has returned to the theater. Both seem very happy. Scarlett Pomers was running late, but she got there later in the afternoon.

Tim Russ came on next. He talked about his new project, the ABC sitcom that has just been retitled for the second time, Samantha Who?. He also talked about Of Gods and Men, which should have the first act out in September. Dear God in heaven, that's taking forever. Really, he was a little boring. I was disappointed, but then no one would ever mistake Tuvok for my favorite character.

Bob Justman was on next. I got the chance to ask him how he thought Gene would have reacted to DS9 but he didn't have a good answer. I think he sounded a little incoherent and it made me scared for him and his health - but he's got to be past eighty now. He showed an interview with several people, including De Kelley, Bill Shatner, Harlan Ellison, and Gene himself. He also said he's thrilled with J.J. Abrams and his work with Mission: Impossible, which he worked on at some point (the TV show) and his potential for Star Trek. It was almost like getting Gene's blessing, but of course not quite.

Rod Roddenberry is someone I will never see again. All about the damn website, which I actually love but I don't need a site tour, thanks. I would have loved to hear about his father, about the early days, about what he remembers from the beginning - after all, this is the man dedicated to carrying Gene's legacy. He is Gene's legacy - but he's not interested in talking about it, I guess. He did say his mother (Majel) is doing well, which is good, 'cause she's also in her eighties.

Dwight Schultz was hilarious, kept going on and on about how he got the role of Barclay (he did a show with Whoopi Goldberg and told her what a fan he was, she had them write a character for him, and then... it was a geek. And he was like, "How did you know?!?!") and how he got inspiration for the character from his friend John. A roach crawled across the stage - I think. He kept talking about the roach and then someone squished it with their shoe. He related how the fans held the power, still do, but in TNG they could still use it. He talked about working on the A-Team. And then he had one minute left, so there was no Q&A. It was quite tragic, really.

Scarlett Pomers took Louise Fletcher's slot. I forgot what she was doing, but she cancelled a couple of days ago. Scarlett said she decided she wants to be an actress for the rest of her life while working on Voyager, at the tender age of nine. She reminded us about her upcoming horror film, which I've already ridiculed in an earlier Blog post. It's called Kentucky Fried Horror Show, for crying out loud! It has the Duff sisters in it!

I got a break then, and spent half an hour wandering the vendors' room. Some of the stuff was awesome. One of the TNG guest stars was there - the guy from "Balance of Terror" who calls the Enterprise to tell them they're under attack. Anyway, he was a little scary, sitting there singing to himself, so I just kept walking. Also, Alexander from "Plato's Stepchildren" was set up next to him. I didn't stop to chat. I did enter the drawing at, the drawing for a copy of Tim Russ's childrens' book (Yep.), and the drawing at this booth that was selling paperback Star Trek books (3 for a dollar). Hoping to win some prizes, so we'll see.

Catherine Hicks was a joy. Did you know her husband is the guy who invented Chucky? She's also done a play with Robert Picardo. I got to ask her a question, and she said she does still get fan mail for Gillian Taylor. Also, she told me she and Stephen Collins got to joke about their Star Trek movies all the time. She kept telling him "my movie was better than your movie", which, let's face it, it really was. She promised to return next year if she's invited. She took a lot of time for Q&A, which I have to give her credit for. Everyone kept telling her how TVH was their favorite movie. She also revealed that she actually slapped the jerky boss in the scene where she realizes that the whales have been sent away. Not stage slap, real slap.

LeVar Burton was next, and he was wonderful. He said he wants another NextGen movie, and someone yelled "Captain LaForge!", to which he replied, "Over Patrick's dead body. No, seriously. Over his dead body." He said he did his final episode of Reading Rainbow about a year ago. Mostly he's directing now, a few commercials and an independent feature after Labor Day. And then the Q&A began.

I really wanted to ask him what his most exciting scene was, because Geordi had so much to do standing around the Master Situation Monitor spewing technobabble, but I never got the chance. I never got the chance because he was so patient with everyone. He was patient with the people who brought their dogs to the stage to introduce them to LeVar (Data and Tasha Yar, who were introduced to every celebrity after LeVar), and he was patient to the man in the orange shirt, and he was kind to the woman in purple who asked three questions even though everyone else only got one or two. In fact, I found myself wishing he was just a little meaner. He answered questions thoroughly to the best of his ability, no matter how stupid they were, no matter how much they were just asking him to repeat stuff he'd already talked about.

Gates McFadden also wants a new movie. She's a lot of fun, but I'm not a big fan. It wasn't until today I realized she's a stage actress, not a screen actress, which may be a large portion of my problem. I finally figured out where she got her name - sort of. Turns out her name at birth is Sheryl Gates McFadden - Gates is what she uses for her screen name. Okay, but still, where did Gates come from?

And then I took a little bit of a break, which was heaven, and then it was time for Wil Wheaton. I'd been looking forward to this for several reasons. First, I'm a huge Wesley fan. Second, I think Wil is the best kind of celebrity. Third, Wil is who I want to be in eleven years. He's a successful author with a great sense of humor who keeps himself very down-to-earth and in touch with his fans. He read from the new book (name I forgot) and from his collection of Star Trek reviews. I bought one of those from him after standing in line for forty-five-minutes.

I will interject here to say that I read Wil's blog daily. He wrote a week or so ago about how, as a "second-tier" guest, he does not get three free nights at the Hilton - just two. He thinks this is stupid, so he won't shell out for a third night, which I don't blame him for. Anyway, I bought some cheap t-shirts and painted witty slogans on them like "Take the cheese to sickbay" and "Logical". In honor of Wil's ire (and as a show of geek solidarity) I wrote on one, "Wil is not second tier".

Now get back to meeting Wil. My idol. I was, of course, wearing the shirt. I have several made for specific events throughout the four days. So here's me, in front of Wil himself, and he kind of glances at me and goes, "What does your shirt say?"

I stepped back so he could read it.

He did. Then he blinked at me for a minute and said, "You're friggin' awesome."

I pulled one of his limited-edition books out of the box and said, "Thank you. I'll take one of these."

"What's your name?"

"Gillian. With a 'g'."

He signed it: "To Gillian, You're Awesome. Wil Wheaton."

"I can't wait to tell Anne," he said. Anne is his wife.

I shook his hand. "Thank you very much," I said, grinning like an idiot. And then I left.