MEETING A LEGEND-
I had the opportunity last Saturday night to not only attend William Shatner's tour show, but to actually meet him. This is a great honor for me; the Canadian actor has been my idol since I was a child of eight years old, watching every episode of Star Trek at least fifty times, if not more. I can remember when my neighbor and I would actually play out some of the action. My father, being a minister, would never buy toy guns or any of the like, and they didn't make toy phasers anyway, so we would use tree branches as our phasers to obliterate our enemies, whether they were each other or imaginary aliens that might attack us. When walkie-talkies came out, we would use them as our communicators.
I never lost that interest for science fiction, and read every piece of it I could in my teens, from James Blish, to Issac Asimov, and Frank Herbert to Ray Bradbury. Star Trek was a big influence in my writing, as I use warp drive engines, wormholes, alternate universes, and the like in my current Dimension Lapse Series. In fact, I have been told there are many similarities in my multiverse with Star Trek, but I use them as a honor to the series, not a means to exploit them.
When I heard Bill was coming to do a screening of "Wrath of Kahn" and a talk afterwards, I was exasperated with excitement. I had to jump on the opportunity to meet one of my childhood idols and mentors in person. Although it was brief, a hello and picture, I was overjoyed as an number one fan would be when they met their lifelong dream. I found him very friendly and pleasant to talk to, as I told him it was a pleasure to meet him, and told him about my love for Star trek. He told me it was a pleasure to meet me as well, and even allowed me to pose with my first novel, something I thought he , would never allow me to do, after I heard to despised autographs and self publicity.
On stage, he was one of the funniest and most loquacious persons I've ever seen, as the commentator asked him question after question, and he told the many stories of his relationship with cast members, his singing career, other shows he had worked on, and the many amusing stories of his personal life and stage life. I won't go into too may of them on the blog because you will have to see the show to know what I'm talking about when he comes to your town, wherever you may live. My only regret is that he didn't actually discuss what he liked best about his acting career, but he did say he enjoyed working on "Better Late Than Never", a show he did with Henry Winkler, Terry Bradshaw, and George Forman.
One story I will share was about that show is when the crew was in Scandanavia, and the producer asked them to open a can of fermented cod to eat on the show. None of them knew that when you opened the can you were to do it under water to avoid the expulsion of gases from the fermentation. process. Well, they did is out of water, the can exploded, and they were all covered with fish juice. Terry Bradshaw flipped out and began screaming, so Bill grabbed the fish and chased him down with it, until he tripped and fell. Bill then smothered him with the fish, tapping it all over him. He became known after that as the man who put Bradshaw down!
The whole night was full of these kinds of stories, and he had me laughing until I almost cried. I was so glad I spent the money to have this opportunity, one I'll never forget. I will speak more about some of these stories next week on my You tube channel. It was said the staff had trouble working with him on the Star Trek set because he was difficult and egotistical; which may or my not have been true, but isn't that the way with most actors who get to be such a pop icon? It was a fact he had a stormy relationship with Leonard, even though he considered him his one and only true friend. He had helped him with his late wife's alcoholism, until the day he found her dead in their swimming pool. All I know was that he was just as I pictured him to be, just like his character Captain James T. Kirk of the Starship Enterprise. A great man who knew how to be a person as well as a leader, and gave me chance of a lifetime to meet a true Hollywood legend.