Star Trek: The Next Generation helped me get through college. It was on right when I got home and provided a great study break later on at night. At the time, we could catch TV stations from both New Orleans and Baton Rouge, and luckily for me, a channel from each city played it in syndication. While I’m not the kind of Trekkie that can recite engineering schematics or much less dialogue, it is one of my favorite shows of all time.
A couple of years back, Wizard World New Orleans announced the cast would be attending the Comic Con. Due to an early Mardi Gras and the hosting of the SuperBowl, the con was moved to early December. It was on my birthday weekend. However, when the date approached, Wil Wheaton and Patrick Stewart, for very good reasons, had to cancel. (I didn’t vilify either one unlike Sheldon Cooper).
The rest of the cast didn’t let me down. Each one of them understood that the fans at comic cons just want a few minutes of their time to tell them what the show meant to them. Wizard World placed quite a few of them next to each other, and the chemistry that was apparent on screen was still there all these years later. They joked with each other, asked us questions, and totally made us feel great.
However, Marina Sirtis took it to the next level. Like every young man that watched the show, I had a huge crush on her. Scratch that past tense, I still have a huge crush on her. When we walked up to her booth, I think she developed a crush on….Cristina. She kept remarking how beautiful my wife was. While it wasn’t a crush on me, I can’t really complain about her gushing over Cristina! Cristina told her that the poster was my birthday present, so Sirtis gave me her autograph for free as a birthday present!
It was a great birthday. I got to spend it meeting some of my teenage heroes. I had six out of the eight actors’ signatures on my poster. I figured it would be a while before I got the last two.
To paraphrase one of my favorite attractions in Orlando…”or so I thought.”
Orlando’s MegaCon, just six months later, had the entire ST:TNG cast including Sir Patrick Stewart and Wil Wheaton. This was great for us since we have family that lives there. Both Stewart and Wheaton made the wait worth it. We told them we both missed them in New Orleans and they both explained why they couldn’t be there. They both understood that 30-second connection (which Wheaton actually talks about in his blog and on Twitter).
They all understood that this is a way to make sure their work lives on. Comic Cons allow us to meet our heroes. The ones that understand that a positive experience will make us rewatch their shows and tell others about our experience, which in turn may make others watch the show. Plus, the money they make at the cons has to be a great perk as well!
Now my poster is complete. It has the place of honor in our Nola Nerd Couple lounge. It makes me smile and think of how much fun we had at both of those Comic Cons. Writing about this, made me realize how much I love Comic Cons. Luckily for us, we have quite a few still in store for this year!