RanDoM Flight (Robert Duncan McNeill Fan Club) Cruise - 4/2/00By Jeff 'Koganuts' Koga
Posted at April 12, 2000 - 9:57 PM GMT
SUNDAY, 4/2/00 - RanDoM Flight (Robert Duncan McNeill Fan Club) Cruise With Robert Beltran, Robert Duncan McNeill, Ethan Phillips, Tim Russ, and Garrett Wang
As Robbie (McNeill) mentioned during the cruise, it was certainly nice to meet with fellow fans in such a small and intimate setting, contrary to the usual convention auditorium where it's extremely difficult, if not downright impossible, for the actors to make every fan in attendence feel special.
At the cruise, fans were free to mingle with the actors, and during the actual brunch, all five castmembers going from table to table during the champagne brunch to chit-chat with the fans and to see how they were doing. I was even able to have a few conversations with at least two of the actors.
For instance, as I mentioned elsewhere in this weekend report, I had a chance to speak at length with Ethan Phillips about the fact that Howard Stern had recently talked about VOYAGER and that Ethan was a fan of his radio show.
I also had a chance to catch up on things with Garrett Wang, who has seen me frequently enough at conventions and other public events to the point where he recognizes me and remembers past conversations I've had with him. Yes, that's Garrett and yours truly in the photo.
BEGIN SPOILERS for "Unimatrix Zero" (highlight text to read)
During the question and answer session with the fans, Robbie confirmed a "Unimatrix Zero" rumor by saying that some of the Voyager senior staff is assimilated by the Borg, but he didn't say who. However, TrekToday has reported that Janeway, Torres, and Tuvok were the ones who would be assimilated so there you have it.
During the question and answer session with the fans, it was revealed that Tim Russ, Robbie, and Ethan play "Fart Wars" in and around the set with various castmembers! This was by far the most hilarious aspect of the cruise.
As an example of the "Fart Wars," Garrett mentioned an incident when Ethan walked into Garrett's trailer, said, "Hey Garrett, I've got something for you," turned around, farted (Garrett used a nice "Bwoop!" sound effect to describe it), and then walked out! He also mentioned another example when Tim walked into Garrett's station on the Bridge, said the same thing that Ethan did, turned around, farted (Garrett again used a "Bwoop!" sound effect), and walked back to his station! [laugh]
Robbie pointed out that this cruise was the first time the "Fart Wars" have been mentioned to the public, and that it would probably not be repeated on the regular convention circuit due to its low-brow type of humor.
Garrett then mentioned that it was for the best that their fellow female castmembers had not been in attendence for this cruise because their male counterparts wouldn't have been able to joke around about the farting. However, he thought out loud about what would happen if Kate Mulgrew participated in these wars, and then did an impression of Kate walking up and farting in front of him, complete with an impersonation of her voice! What a priceless moment that was! [laugh]
Robbie then began the charity auction:
- Official VOYAGER 2K crew cap, worn by Robbie, signed by Robert (Beltran), Robbie, Ethan, Tim, and Garrett: $350.00
- Professor Data action figure, signed by Brent Spiner (#45): $65.00
- Riker action figure, signed by Jonathan Frakes: $50.00
- "A Christmas Carol" Broadway program, signed by Patrick Stewart: $200.00
- 8"x10" TV Guide color photo of Roxann, Kate, and Jeri in formal black clothes, signed by all three in silver ink: $230.00
- 11"x14" color photo of the entire VOYAGER cast, in casual and formal black clothing, signed by all in blck: $575.00
- VOYAGER set tour: $3,300.00
The final total that was raised by the cruise for charity was an astonishing $14,796.00!!!
I really have to take my cap off to the organizers and staffers for what they accomplished with this cruise. Not only did they beat my Grand Slam experience ten-fold, but they did so in very relaxed and intimate setting that raised money for charity. And that's the way it should be.
Deb Stone, "Webwrangler" for the RanDoM Flight site, asked that Pamela Buickel be singled out for recognition because she "...was the major mover behind the event, and it was her hard work that made it happen. It was Robbie's idea two years ago to do a special, smaller event for club members and fans, but it was Pam who pulled together the details, kept the idea alive, and organized everything from the boat to the meal to the auction. She likes to point to other staffers, but she deserves the lion's share of the recognition, and fans like her are scarce on the ground." I should also add that I sat at a table with Ms. Buickel at the cruise, and while she did look a bit frazzled by all of her responsibilities, I hope that she had a great time doing it.
I certainly hope that there's a cruise next year, although I hope Ms. Buickel's head doesn't spin at the idea. [grin]
Jeff 'Koganuts' Koga is a regular contributor to the Trek Nation, as well as webmaster of unofficial fan sites for John Woo, Chow Yun-Fat, and Garrett Wang.
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