1998 Convention Report

Well a few posts back someone asked if I had ever been to a Star Trek Convention before. And yes, I’ve been to 2 conventions before. But I’ll start with the most recent one I went to back in 1998 in San Francisco.

This was a convention put on by Creation Entertainment. Honestly, I don’t know who else does them, and I always go to Creation’s website to look for other conventions.

I’m not sure if this was the last one Creation did in San Francisco, or if it was just the last one I went to because the next year they didn’t have any guests I was interested in seeing. But in 1998, well I had been to the same convention the year before and wasn’t quite so much of a newbie this time, so I bought my ticket in advance when the guest list came out.

Don’t ask me why, but the Ticketmaster outlet I had gone to didn’t have any of the gold circle seating, so I got stuck with preferred seats instead. But I was able to shell out a little more $$$ and upgrade to Gold the day of the convention. And it was totally worth it as I was front and center… well, second row actually, but I was in the center. Awesome seat!

I only went on Saturday, even though it was a 2 day convention, because the DS9 actors were going to be there Saturday. Rene Auberjonois and Armin Shimerman were there, and I had little DS9 autograph collection going that I wanted to add to. Garrett Wang was also there, and while I wasn’t a huge Voyager fan at the time, I figured I had a close-to-front row seat and thus a guaranteed autograph, so I plunked out $5 to get a photo for him to autograph.

Most of the other stuff at the convention is kind of a blur. It was 10 years ago almost, and I was really going just to see the actors on stage and get autographs. Garrett Wang was great though. Like I said, not a huge Voyager fan, but he was great. He also did a great Tuvok impression, was very creative in dodging a question about his age, and when asked if he played any sports he said something about the producers not liking that too much because it’s tough to explain sports injuries in the show. He mentioned that one time Tim Russ had sprained his ankle playing something and it made filming pretty interesting since he couldn’t exactly walk right for a few days.

A few hours after Garrett, Armin Shimerman came out. They were running a bit late, but Armin took his time taking questions from the fans and I remember him being a whole lot of fun as well. And since they were running late and Rene Auberjonois was supposed to come after Armin, well, Rene finally figured he just come out on stage too! And man I have never seen so many cameras flash in my life with those two on stage! I immediately regretted not bringing an extra roll of film, but managed to get a few shots of them together on stage anyway.

They were both on stage together for a while and then it was just Rene for a while taking questions from the fans. I got the courage to go get in line, and wanted to be more creative than “What’s your favorite episode?” so I asked him “What’s the strangest thing you’ve ever seen on the set?”. He told a story about how it takes hours to do makeup, and how lots of other actors have really crazy make up that you can barely talk through, and after spending hours getting their makeup put on they’d have to eat lunch. So yeah, seeing everyone with their faces covered in prosthetics and makeup trying to eat lunch was the strangest thing he’d ever seen on set!

So after all the actors were on stage, well everything is kind of a blur again. I think they brought somebody out to talk about DS9’s upcoming 7th season and gave us some sneak peaks at the new Dax host. Yeah, well, it was nothing I hadn’t heard on the internet already. And then they decided for autographs, instead of taking everyone backstage, they had them done on stage, and we went up row by row, with all 3 of the guests on stage at the same time.

Usually when getting autographs they want to keep the line moving quick, especially if the guests have to be someplace soon after or they’re getting really tired. So you don’t get much of a chance to say more than “Thanks!”. But for some reason the line was moving a little slow, and I was pretty close to the beginning of the line, so I had a chance to chat with each person for a moment.

After getting Garrett’s autograph I joked with him that I must have hit my head recently because I’d been seeing a lot of stars lately and had run into Kristi Yamaguchi at my local ice rink (true story, btw, I had started figure skating 8 months earlier and have since run into several famous skaters at my home rink, including several close encounters with Brian Boitano on the ice, and getting Michelle Kwan’s autograph while we waited in line at the snack bar). Garrett asked how Kristi was doing and I mentioned that I’d seen her out practicing and still popping off triple jumps like they were nothing.

Garret Wang's Autograph

Next in line I think was Rene, and then Armin. I can’t remember if it was Rene or Armin, but one of them (or maybe both) noticed that I already had two other autographs in my collection. And I remember Armin was offering to personalize autographs for everyone without people even asking him to, so he found space on my group autograph to do just that. Man, I wish I’d gotten solo photos of him and Rene if I’d known I’d have time for them both to sign that and the group picture. Oh well, maybe in Vegas… I think they’re both on the guest list.

TrekkieGirl's DS9 Cast Autograph Collection

After autographs I ran into one of my friends from school. Yeah, ain’t that a coincidence! And this is the same person that I’m going with my boyfriend to visit in Vegas this August. So if he can get the day off from work then I’m sure he’ll be at the convention with me, and my boyfriend… Well he can go to some car show or the atomic testing museum since he wouldn’t appreciate being at the world’s biggest Star Trek convention!

Then I made my way downstairs to where all the vendors were. Everything was really too rich for my teenage blood, but someone that I sat next to at the convention saw me drooling over an autographed picture of Alexander Siddig (autographed before he changed his name for Hollywood, and with the character name as well!) and she gave me the $20 I needed along with the $20 I had to buy the picture! That was so sweet of her! And of course I was saying, no really, she didn’t have to do that, but she insisted and just told me that if I ever ran into a little kid who was really a nice kid and really wanted something but didn’t have the cash, if I had something extra on hand then to do the same thing for them (and if you’re that nice lady reading this, I just want you to know about all the kids that I’ve given passes to the ice rink! And the people at the rink would see it and then whenever I prepaid for 10 sessions in advance, they’d throw in a few extra freebies. Pay it forward…)

So after all that… well I sure didn’t want to go home, but I did and made sure to put all of those autographs in a safe place and got my pictures developed. And I was right back on Creation’s website looking for another convention to go to. Unfortunately that’s the last one I remember in San Francisco, and just getting a ride there was hard enough, let alone getting someone to go with me out of town just for a convention. So I haven’t been to any conventions since then. Well, until Vegas this year. I can’t wait!!!

See you in Vegas…

=/\=TrekkieGirl

***Disclaimer: Star Trek and all the shows and characters and etc. are owned by CBS/Paramount. No copyright infringement intended. This blog is a collection of TrekkieGirl’s opinions and commentaries on the show, conventions, and other Star Trek related topics. TrekkieGirl writes about Trek for fun, not profit.***

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