Thursday, June 2, 2011

For The Love Of Shatner

--Adrienne Miller
Unlike Juliet, I’ve never been hit on by a celebrity, nobel prize winner or not. The closest I’ve gotten to greatness is when I passed the guy who played Owen on Torchwood in Disneyland. I wasn’t quick enough with the camera so, yeah, I understand that, according to the laws of the internet, it didn’t officially happen.



That wasn’t the only time I’ve been in the presence of a celebrity though. There was the time my mom and I went to a Star Trek Convention. Yeah, I’ll give you a second to stop and soak in the geektastic nature of that sentence. My mom and I went to a Star Trek convention...and it was awesome.
Of course, it was only fitting as my mom was the one to introduce me to Star Trek. Starting when I was very young, she and I would snuggle up on the couch with a bowl of popcorn and watch the classic series. Maybe it was the bright colors of the uniforms, or maybe I was just born a sucker for stories of good triumphing over evil, but I was hooked. 
But even with our love for all the of the series (except for Deep Space Nine) we aren’t really hard core fans. I don’t own a Starfleet uniform. My mom doesn’t have scale model of the bridge set up in her spare room. And neither one of us speaks a lick of Klingon. Even so, a few years back, when I heard about a Star Trek convention coming to a nearby city, I just knew we had to go. The kicker: Shatner and Nimoy would be there. Together. 
And I love me some Shatner. Young Shatner. Old Shatner. Doesn’t matter. The man is a combination of pure charm, hypnotic overacting and unapologetic self awareness all rolled up into a bundle of pure awesomeness. There was no way I was missing out on that.
"One of the advantages of being a Captain is being able to ask for advice without necessarily having to take it."

The convention was every bit as awesome as I had hoped. Row upon row of vendor tables hawking every tacky little bit of merchandise that a geek girl like me could ask for. I even got to see my mom swoon a little when she met the guy from 2001: A Space Odyssey, though she denies to this day that she did.
Then it was time. We pushed our way into the crowded ballroom to watch Shatner and Nimoy speak. We clapped at the pre-show clips. We cheered when they came on stage. Then they started talking...and were dead boring. I don’t mean a little yawn worthy. I’m talking bor-ing. Two old friends up on a stage talking about nothing in particular. Awesome if you were one of the two friends, but if you happened to be one of the other several hundred people in the room you were left feeling, well, more than a little out of the loop. 
Fifteen minutes into it my mom turned to me and says, “Do you want to go?” I nodded, and we walked out of the room and away from the very thing we had driven two hours to see. 
Over a consolatory corn dog, we figured it wasn’t their fault.  Nothing wrong with them. No, we were the idiots who had driven all that way expecting to see Kirk and Spock instead of two regular guys filling time on an empty stage. They’re actors who are best when scripted, not court jesters performing on demand. My mistake. 
We made our way home a little disappointed. But I have to say, the disillusionment that one of my favorite celebrities was nothing more than mere human like everybody else didn’t diminish my love for William Shatner. 


How could it?


**Update**- My mom just texted me to say that the actor's name was Gary Lockwood, and she most certainly did not swoon. (She totally did)

9 comments:

Sophie Littlefield said...

i so loved that your mom took you there even if your idols fell over and went boom - makes me want to load up junior and hit the road...

Juliet Blackwell said...

This is one of those problems of celebrity, I think: that celebrities rarely are able to live up to our dreams of them. In my (very limited) experience with entertainers, I think a lot of them reserve their energy for the stage/screen, and come off flat elsewhere (or on drugs, or drunk...)
Still, I'm with Sophie -- love the geektastic nature of you and your mom going Trekkie!

Adrienne Miller said...

Sophie - The world needs more mother/daughter geekouts. I say get that girl in the car and go!

Juliet - It's true. Nobody can be on all the time. Still, there's little part of me that holds on to the hope that we just caught them on a really off day.

Rachael Herron said...

My mom loved her some Star Trek, too, and I adore this story. The moment was about you and her, not them. Yay.

Tom Neely said...

Since I share a birthday with William Shatner, I am predisposed to like him. I've tried to use that as something to brag about but it turns out that it's not very impressive, but I still think it's cool.

Great picture of Kirk at the bottom of your post. Love it!

L.G.C. Smith said...

Oh, oh, oh! My sister --the one you don't know--had one of my parents take her to a Star Trek convention when she was eleven or twelve. I don't remember the details. I do remember the detailed plans of the Enterprise she brought home. I think they were tacked up on her bedroom wall for a while. My dad loved Star Trek from the first minute it came on television, and it was the one TV show we would all watch together without complaint.

When will your offspring be old enough for Star Trek?

Mysti said...

the Shat is appearing solo in Calgary in three weeks. Just saying.

(I have a deep-seated fear of famous people, born of an unfortunate run-in with Mac Davis. So I'm impressed by your story!)

I'd swoon in front of Gary Lockwood...

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