July 2007 Convention

This weekend Audrey and I headed over to Columbus, Ohio for their Star Trek Convention. Put on by the Vulkon Entertainment group and was held at the University Plaza Hotel and Conference center.

I just took down some key words during the various stars time on stage and am typing this up from memory, so excuse me if it is not word-for-word but you'll get the general idea.

This was a 3 day event but we only got to go on Saturday. We would have gone back on Sunday for a while if Avery Brooks, Captain Sisko, had been scheduled to appear in the morning but he wasn't due on stage until late in the afternoon and we had a 3 hour drive to get back home and didn't want to leave it that late.

So here's who we saw on Saturday:

John Billingsley (Dr Phlox on Enterprise)

John had his wife, Bonnie, with him today and they made an entertaining pair with John on the stage and Bonnie running running around the audience with a microphone. Some of the tidbits they enlightened us with were that they have 2 cats at home, about 8000 books and have been married since the year 2000. They spent their time mostly doing Q&A with fans:

He spoke of when he had auditioned for the role. He had envisioned, for some reason, that this alien would be 'bird' like. He imagined that the Doctor would squark at various stages in his speech. Well he got the part but no-one told him that the bird idea was not what they wanted. So when he turned up to do the first scene and he did his first line ".... blah, blah, blah, SQUARK!" the producer jumped on to the set with "What the f^$k are you doing John?!". He then found out that the bird idea wasn't what they wanted.

One person asked if he had kept any souvenirs from the show and he replied "Yes, we have Scott Bakula in the basement! he is eating us out of house and home!"

He joked about the episode where he had to appear naked, a kind of Benny Hill sketch where different props, and some clever camera angles, would keep the show decent as he moved around the ship. One of his ideas was that he would turn suddenly and a flower pot would be knocked off its stand some feet away at waist level. They didn't go for that.

He told of the time he dressed up as a woman to surprise Scott Bakula at his birthday party, shouting "Why did you leave me and the kids this way!", apparently Scotts young children where there and started crying, this didn't go down too well.

On the episode Doctors Diary? there were several scenes where Phlox would be doing something and his voice in a pre-recorded voiceover would be reading his diary. There was one scene, on the bridge, where he was to come up behind Captain Archer while they were approaching this vessel to provide aid and the voiceover was supposed to be saying how noble these humans were to be helping this way etc. Well when it came to it John had pre-recorded something totally different... "Wow, will you look at the ass on that captain! Sure would like to take him home....." etc etc.

One other person asked what other roles he would like to play and someone else shouted "James Bond!" so he proceeded to jump off the stage and run halfway down the hall at which point he was out of breath, thus explaining why he wouldn't make a good action hero.

 Tim Russ (Tuvok on Voyager)

Tim told us of his current projects, did a Q&A and also showed us a couple of trailers. One from Star Trek: Of Gods and Men and other from a comedy skit called Plugged. He had also been working on the new Die Hard movie, the fourth in the series and he joked that they were starting on the fifth; "Die Already"!

He told the story of when Kate Mulgrew and he had been last at the studio and she had stolen all his street clothes. He had to have someone else go and get them back from her trailer so he got her back by taking several pictures of his bare butt and sticking them in various places in her trailer.

When asked which episode he liked doing the best he said 'Futures End', explaining that anytime he could film outside the studio was always fun.

One person asked about 'residuals' and he told us that yes, although it had been a problem back in the early days that since the '80's every rerun earns the actors residuals. He joked about a time when he received a check for 4 cents and what was even crazier was the 1 cent that was taken out for tax!

He spoke fondly of his friendship with Kate Mulgrew and told of the episode where they had been marooned on a planet. Kate had been talking about survival and had a hand full of live meal worms, some of which ended up down Tim's uniform off camera.

Kate Mulgrew (Captain Janeway on Voyager)

Kate told us that she has been in the business for 35 years and I think she wanted to put the whole Star Trek part of her career into perspective. She spoke at length about the synopsis of the current part she is playing in Klytemnestra, a Greek tragedy.

She talked about the emotional scenes she had played in Voyager including the goodbye to Kes. She said her favorite episode was Deathwish and that Judy Dench was the actress she most admired today.

A young boy of 14 in the audience asked Kate what she would do if she were really to be beamed up to Voyager. After some thought Kate replied that she would have to go into the ready room, kill whoever was running the ship then spend 7 years trying to get back home!

She told us of how she was tested as an actress when trying to do some serious 4 page monologue while others of the crew, off camera, would dance and make faces at her trying to throw her off her lines