After registering, I checked out the Dealer's Room. Later on, I met with several of my cyber buddies.
Armin Shimmerman and Rene Auberjonois did a performance they dubbed "Theater Jazz." It consisted of several short pieces. They were quite entertaining. The last piece they did(I forgot the title) was a very inspiration piece. I really enjoyed their performance.
Trek Script Coordinator
Lolita was an interesting speaker. It is fun to hear an "insider's" view.
Here is a sampling of the news she gave us.
There is NO news on the new series as of yet. NO decisions have been made.
The next movie will be with the TNG cast. Production will start in May or April.
Lolita told a funny story about Robert Ducan McNeill. Lolita, Max, and Robbie were at a con in Australia. They were taken on a private helicopter ride. Robbie said, "Wow, this is like flying the Delta Flyer for real."
She mentioned some of the Season 7 shows.
"Imperfection" Seven faces her own mortality.
"Critical Care" The Doctor's Ethical Sub-routines cause problems when he works in an alien health care facility.
She said we would see some story arcs this season.
She also said there were NO plans to promote Ensign Harry Kim.
Someone asked her what she thought Gene Roddenberry would have said about 7 of 9.
She thought his response would be, "Wow, I can't believe this."
She said there will NEVER be a DS9 movie. Almost every set was destroyed, and DS9 sets are very expensive to build. It is possible we might see DS9 people in guest shots in the movie, on "Voyager," or in the new series.
She asked if any discussion had been made about TNG cast making guest appearances for Worf's wedding. She said no.
She told how she and Max (Rom on DS9) met. They were on a Trek cruise 5 years ago in August. Max was in a bar. He heard her name mentioned. He told her whenever he'd seen her name on the screen or call sheets, he had assumed she would be 60. "The rest is history."
Lolita is an old family name they have used for generations.
DELAYED FLIGHTS, A BOMB SCARE, STUNT TEAM MEMBERS AND OTHER FUN!!
Some flight delays were causing the promoter scheduling woes. Then the schedule was further disrupted by a bomb scare. We were outside for around an hour or so. Seems someone sent the Illinois Republican Delegates a box of ticking clocks.
The bomb scare did have its benefits though. Many of the stars were out there with us. Robbie and Armin were posing with their fans.
The stunt team members from Trek were good sports and put on their demonstration outside on the lawn. Brian Williams has been a stunt double for Data from day one. Leslie was the Vedek who hung herself in protest of the Dominion Alliance. She has also stunt doubled for B'Elanna. She took B'Elanna's fall in "Blood Fever." She also did the fight with the Klingon in "Day of Honor." Another DS9 part she doubled for was Garak's mom when she fell down the stairs. They told us it is up to the producer whether the star or the stunt double does anything deemed risky.
All those wicked bladed weapons they fight with are made of a foamy type of rubber.
ARMIN AND RENE
We were finally given the all clear to return to the hotel. Then Armin and Rene took the stage. Rene referred to himself and Armin as character actors.
Armin said the Paramount exes were the "real Ferrrengi." I wonder how many other Trek actors would agree with that statement. ;)
Armin has written The 34th Rule, The Merchant Prince (new for details go to www.lightspeed.fineart.com ), and is currently pitching another book to Pocket. He is also involved with the Screen Actor's Guild. He is working on the Commercials Residuals fight.
Rene has completed an audio recording of the "Wizard of Oz" along with other actors. It is to be released on a 3 CD set and aired on National Public Radio. He has numerous voice credits for cartoons. He also did a voice over in "Coal Miner's Daughter." His most current work was in "Patriot" with Mel Gibson. He plays a chaplain much like the Father Mulcany role he had in the movie version of "MASH." Rene's part in Star Trek V was cut for the Theatrical release, but later reinstated in the TV and video versions.
Armin had a small part in "Insurrection." Quark came to the planet to build condos at the very end. However, TPTB felt that it disrupted the continuity of the scene so it was cut.
Robbie was in the room at his club table and they called him up to the stage to sing "The Star Spangled Banner" as he would be doing later that day at the Phillies game. He agreed and got them to sing a few words behind him so he could be prepared for the echo in the stadium. Robbie did a great job.
Armin was asked if it was difficult to do two roles at once. He replied that Steve Osler worked his schedule so he could do Buffy and DS9 at the same time.
Rene told us that Pillar had originally envisioned Odo as a John Wayne type. After Pillar saw Rene's audition, he said, "That's Odo." The others finally agreed.
Armin was the first person hired. The role of Quark was written for him. He also commented on how the concept of the Ferringi had changed from their initial appearance in TNG. The had originally been planned to be a "horrible enemy."
They were both asked about their finest moments.
Armin said it was a tough question because he had many wonderful moments with many wonderful actors so he could not choose.
Rene agreed it was tough, but said if his arm was twisted and he had to choose, it would be when the baby shape shifter joined with Odo allowing him to regain his shape shifting ability and he flew off as a hawk.
They were asked how they spent their free time.
Armin likes spending time with his wife of 18 years. He does community service with the Screen Actors' Guild. He also writes. He describes himself as a simple guy who got lucky.
Rene likes spending time with his wife of 37 years and with his grown children. Tessa, a graduate of Yale School of Drama is doing a play for 3 months and living at home during this time. They are "very happy" to have her home for a while. His son is in the Yale Graduate Drama school and is currently home on summer break. Rene said it was "really fabulous" to have them both home. Rene also enjoys working on the computer, mountain biking, and cooking. He and his wife are in the process of building a house in Northern California.
MARY KAY ADAMS
(Quark's Klingon Wife)
On DS9, "I am so blessed to have done DS9." She really enjoyed working with Armin.
She watched the original Trek as a child and she and her siblings played Star Trek. She was always Captain Kirk.
Her first acting job was on the soaps. She was in Guiding Light.
She got her Trek role the day her nephew was born. She also said doing DS9 was "hands down" the most fun she has had in Hollywood. But what "really floats her boat" is doing working on stage. She told us she was really excited about being on trading cards and that she wishes her character had an action figure too.
The question was posed to them on how they felt about reunion shows.
Armin would love a "Beauty and the Beast" reunion.
Rene prefers to have done something and let it stand alone. He finds it hard to revisit old shows.
They were asked about DS9 movie possibilities.
Armin: "The chance of a (DS9) movie is as good a chance as Quark getting a moon.
Rene: DS9 cast members may possibly get guest shots on Trek movies. He also said future Trek movies after the next one may be more general.
ROBERT DUNCAN MCNEILL AND ETHAN PHILLIPS
Robbie and Ethan took the stage with a lot of joking that had the audience laughing. They told us Roxann couldn't tell a joke, and that we should ask her to tell us a joke when she got on stage.
When asked about the name Ducan, Robbie explained it was a "family name." His son has that name, as does his father, grandfather, and great grandfather.
Robbie does not know if we will see Captain Proton again. He said Captain Proton was a lot of fun to do.
Ethan and Robbie said there were no current plans to promote Harry.
Robbie's film "The Battery" was mentioned. He said Ethan "did a really good job" in that film. He has a new film he has made called "Nine Millimeters of Love." Ethan is also in that one, a really funny character. The film will be making the film festival circuit.
The Tim Russ appendage story and Robbie booger story were retold.
Robbie talked about "Thirty Days." It was 12 mins short when it was finished. The brig scenes were added a few months later. He felt the brig scenes made it a much better episode.
Ethan talked about how the prop food sits around and is so old. A guest star from "Fair Trade" once picked up something and bit into it before anyone could stop him. He did not do it again. *VEG*
On Kes' return, Ethan said is was nice and kind of bittersweet.
Robbie said it was "very brave" of her to come back.
They say Jeri Ryan is a voracious reader of novels and knocks off a book every other day.
There was a comment on 7 of 9's suit. It was explained that it was a derma-regenerative suit.
When asked about the P/T wedding, Ethan said yes. Robbie looked at him, and asked, "Are we allowed to tell?"
Robbie said the season is being planned out in story arcs and Voyager will get home.
Random Flight is planning another cruise at Grand Slam for pedi aids.
ROXANN DAWSON AND ETHAN PHILLIPS
When asked about Emma, Roxann said she was fine and announced a new addition to the family. She showed us the picture of her newly adopted daughter. Mia is 9 months old and is from China. She was absolutely beaming and glowing when she made the announcement. She was given a week off to go to China to pick up her daughter.
Robert Picardo's nickname for 7 of 9. Twins: 6 of 1 and half a dozen of another.
When asked about the rumored P/T wedding, Roxann held up her left hand, waggled her ring finger and nodded. She also mimed a very pregnant stomach with her hands. So she will be able to tell the suits that she did not *say* anything. ;+)
I asked about the Borg makeup she had to endure. She despised it the makeup and the rubber suit. The first application took five hours. They finally got it down to three. She described her time in it as long, hot, and uncomfortable.
She also said their rescue from the Borg is "very interesting."
The Doctor will get a name by the end of the series.
Roxann was asked if she wanted to do a Captain Proton episode. She said yes, but joked that they would not let her because she had "ridges."
Roxann introduce her new book. A special hardback edition was produced. 750 copies, with proceeds going to charities. Roxann's share will of course go to Camp Heartland. She signed books both Friday and Saturday.
Saturday night, we had dinner with the stars. Robbie, Roxann, Ethan and Robert did a fine job with three one act plays. The first one had a decidedly Twilight Zone twist to it.
Saturday night Tracy and Ann also introduced me to Strawberry Dacquries. That was an "interesting" experience. We joined several of our cyber pals and had a great time. LOLITA FATJO
On Sunday, Lolita talked about writing for Trek.
Q: Would you accept a script from Shatner based on his new books.
A: Never read his novels. His script might get looked at.
Trek takes scripts from anyone who wants to send them. This was started by Micheal Pillar. If you submit a really good script, you may be invited to pitch story ideas. Trek generally gets about 5 ptiches a week. Ronald Moore pitched "The Defector." Micheal hired him on the spot. RM is now head writer for "Roswell."
Lolita says Paramount gives guidelines for scripts. She advised everyone not to send Voyager scripts, because they have plotted much of the season already. She suggested we wait, watch the new series for a year to learn the characters then try.
She also advised against introducing new alien characters. The focus should always be on the main characters.
She also mentioned several Trek scripts that had been pitched and bought. Some of the folks even ended up working for Trek.
Once again, questions were asked about the new series.
No Captain Sulu
No New Frontier
No Starfleet Academy
NOTHING definite has been decided about the new series, except Braga is in charge of it. (My editorial comment on that.......Angels and Ministers of Grace protect us.)
Someone question the ongoing problem with continuity on Voyager. Specifically, they mentioned the blunder with Tuvok's age in "Fury." Lolita--"We are all human, and it is only a TV show, and I'm the first to admit when a mistake has been made." As to Tuvok's age......."We made a huge mistake." She says they were 20years wrong.
Someone asked about Mary Sue stories and Slash.........She stated she does not read fan fiction, nor does she visit Trek websites. None of the writers have read the Trek novels either.
She said this is what they look for in a Trek script. "Stories involving characters on that show...........special takes on characters and their relationships.......Don't waste time on the aliens and recurring characters."
For Script Submission Guidelines......call 323-956-8301.
When asked if Harry and 7 of 9 would develop a relationship. ......"I really can't answer that."
ROXANN, ROBBIE, ETHAN, AND ROBERT PICARDO
They were asked about their auditions and each briefly shared about it.
They were also asked again about being directed by cast members.
Robbie: Wonderful when one of the cast directs. Everyone is always supportive and it is "always a great experience."
Picardo: He agreed with Robbie saying being directed by a cast member was like being directed by someone who is "part of the family."
Roxann: Talked about directing Tim and Ethan in a "beautifully written script." She commented, "We're really a family.......we have a sort of shorthand between us." The shorthand helps them in directing each other. Roxann also commented on how much she hates it when they get a director that clearly does not know the show. One even told her: "Do it more Klingon." for one of her scenes.
Robbie auctioned off an original Random Flight Tee-shirt and a signed Tom Paris action figure for Pedi Aids.
Ethan auctioned off a crew hat from Voyager for his charity.
Roxann again mimed her confirmation of B'Elanna marrying Tom and getting pregnant.
AUTOGRAPH LINE WOES
The plan was that everyone go row by row to get their autographs. Now, in an email sent to me from Slanted Fedora stating that all the weekend people were supposed to get one set of autographs on Saturday and one set on Sunday. Looking at the con schedule we got upon arrival, it was clear that was not going to happen.
The big problem was that not enough time was set aside for autographs. The Voyager cast had to leave by a certain time to catch their planes. They had to be at work the next day. Many people with VIP tickets did not get all of their autographs.
Dave Scott did try to make up for that. He did offer to send signed pictures in the mail if we would show him our punch cards. I opted for this offer. Others opted to get $5 per missing autograph. It was merely poor planning for autographs for that many people. I was disappointed, but at least I am getting my autographed pictures.
I was able to get a couple of Voyager autographs. Since so many people were waiting for DS9 autographs, I settled for one of each from them instead of the "guaranteed" two.
When it came time to leave for the airport, I discovered that my shuttle, that I had made reservations for in the morning was not coming. Jack Donner, aka Subcommander Tal in "The Enterprise Incident" was expecting the same shuttle. At the Bellman's suggestion, we shared a taxi back to the airport. :) Suddenly an afternoon that had become disappointing got a little brighter. We rode to the airport together, sharing the $27 fare. We had a wonderful visit. He is a gentleman in every sense of the word.
Well, at the airport, it was pouring rain. All flights were delayed. They moved me to an earlier flight to Atlanta in hopes of getting me there in time to make my connecting flight. SIGH.........it did not work. Delta put me up in the Airport Hilton. Then at 1:40 the next afternoon, I flew to Dallas, and from Dallas, I was in a Turbo Prop to Houston. **Shudder** I was never so glad to set my feet on Terra Firma again.