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The Trek Nation - 'Real Deal' Las Vegas Convention Report - Day Three

'Real Deal' Las Vegas Convention Report - Day Three

By Kristine Huntley
Posted at August 9, 2002 - 8:49 AM GMT

Last weekend saw a massive Star Trek event take place in Las Vegas: Creation Entertainment's 'Real Deal' Convention. The event was attended by Star Trek actors from all periods of the franchise over three days at the Las Vegas Hilton.


The final day of Creation's 'Real Deal' Star Trek convention at the Las Vegas Hilton began on Sunday morning at 8:30am, when George Takei (Hikaru Sulu), Nana Visitor (Kira Nerys), Chase Masterson (Leeta), Max Grodenchik (Rom), former pre-production coordinator Lolita Fatjo, Aron Eisenberg (Nog) and Dominic Keating (Malcolm Reed) gathered for a charity breakfast.

Sunday morning events in the Hilton's ballroom included the entrants in the Star Trek Music Video contest, which was followed by makeup artist Michael Westmore showcasing some of his latest work, including Andorians and Suliban from Enterprise and aliens featured in 'Star Trek: Nemesis.'

Trek literature was next on the agenda, with a Pocket Books panel of authors, who answered fans' questions about topics ranging from the upcoming Voyager companion to how to submit a Star Trek book or story. Dr. Steven Greer was also present to discuss his controversial book 'Disclosure: Proof that Secret Government Programs Have Technologies that Can Create the World of Star Trek Now.'

After Dr. Greer's talk, Mike and Denise Okuda, Enterprise's scenic arts supervisor and scenic artist, respectively, showcased some of their intricate work on the Series V set.

Anthony Montgomery (Travis Mayweather) and Dominic Keating burst onto the stage following the Okudas. Full of energy, the pair were greeted by cheers and applause. They discussed their first jobs - about twenty for Anthony, including DJ-ing and hotel security, and unsuccessful restaurant jobs for Dominic - and then how they won their roles on Enteprise.

"I met Rick [Berman] and Brannon [Braga] in a gay bar," Dominic deadpanned. The audience roared. Anthony said, "I didn't." Dominic smiled and said, "I am so fired." He went on to discuss the article that appeared in TV Guide around the time the show premiered, stating that he would play the first gay character in Star Trek. Dominic went to Brannon, who told him it will be great and said "'You'll be outed in November. You'll be on the front cover of TV Guide. The Advocate [will do a feature on you]!'" Dominic paused and said, "It didn't transpire." Anthony followed up with, "I simply auditioned."

Dominic got plenty of laughs from the audience when he described hearing John Billingsley's (Phlox) audition, during which John "squawked." The actor said he considered playing Malcolm with a Yorkshire accent, and asked the crowd, "Can you imagine? John squawking and me talking with a Yorkshire accent? It wouldn't have been the same show." As the audience roared with laughter, Anthony added, "I simply auditioned."

One audience member brought up 'Shuttlepod One,' and Dominic detailed the trials and tribulations of working in the small set of the shuttlepod. "Connor [Trinneer] must have hit his head fifty times!" To get the effect of the extreme cold in the pod, three air-conditioning units and dry ice were used. Despite the less-than-ideal conditions, Dominic said, "Acting-wise, it was one of the best experiences I ever had."

Both actors watched the Original Series when growing up, and were full of praise for Enterprise's cast and crew. "We all really liked each other straight away. Hats off to Rick Berman and Brannon Braga for putting us together," Dominic said. Anthony added that his favourite moments on the show are "[those] small times when you get to see all of us on the bridge at the same time."

A serious moment came when an attendee asked Anthony about the challenges of breaking in to the acting business. "It's the hardest thing I had to do in my life," he said. "Some days I didn't eat." To lighten the mood, Dominic began an impromptu rendition of Enterprise's theme song, 'Faith of the Heart.' Anthony joined in and, in what was possibly the funniest moment of the convention, the two sang the theme song to the cheers of the crowd.

The pair finished their appearance by auctioning off a picture of Dominic, which a very enthusiastic fan took home for $370.

Art Asylum was up next to promote the new line of Enterprise action figures and toys. Following an auction, Linda Park (Hoshi Sato) took the stage. Linda had only been in Los Angeles for a year when she got the job on Enterprise playing the nervous linguist. "Hopefully, this year [Hoshi] will get tougher," she said.

One fan brought up the issue of Maxim magazine (co-star Jolene Blalock (T'Pol) had posed for them, though Linda had turned them down) and rumours of conflict between Jolene and Linda. Linda dismissed the rumours as being started by a caller on Howard Stern's show trying to cause trouble. "Jolene and I get along really well and we have an awesome relationship," Linda said. "Right now in my career, I would not do Maxim. But tomorrow, who knows? But I think Jolene looks hot on that cover, so more power to her."

The actress praised her character for being "real" even if real sometimes ends up meaning "annoying." But she noted that Hoshi is volunteering for more missions, and is more involved in the action. "I'd like to know about her personal life and her sex life. Hey, Hoshi got laid! Nobody else got laid [on the show this season], but Hoshi got laid!" she exclaimed proudly. The show is great fun as well: "We get to play! We're on a starship, we get to chase down Klingons - wouldn't you all love to ply spaceship and get paid for it?"

While Enterprise's uniforms look comfortable, Linda assured the audience that they are quite a pain to wear. "They make the length of the torso so short that when you're sitting down it contracts." But the jumpsuits are nothing compared to the spacesuits, which Linda described as "torture. It's like wearing a diver's pack. 50 pounds of extra weight, and we work 16-hour days."

Despite the costuming woes, the actress loves working with her fellow cast members. "It's a fun set to be on. We're constantly making fun of each other, but light-heartedly. We're so comfortable with each other. It's like family."

Dan Madsen and Larry Nemecek of the Official Star Trek Fan Club followed next, asking what fans wanted to see in their magazine, the Star Trek Communicator.

After the Communicator presentation, it was the turn of Deep Space Nine stars to entertain fans. The blonde-haired Nana Visitor bounded on stage, telling the audience that she has recently moved back to Los Angeles with her fiancé and children.

The first question was about the similarities between Nana and her character. "What was so wonderful was that I had so much background [for Kira]," she said. "I had dreams as Kira! I had Kira nightmares. I was immersed in that character. It was Kira's experience and Nana living through that."

Nana said she was pleased with the ending of DS9, adding she had begged the producers not to "make this a nice, tidy ending." Though it meant the separation of Kira and Odo, "Kira understood [Odo] had to go back where he came from. It made a lot of sense." Kira's promotion tickled the actress too. "The fact that I'm Colonel Kira - that means so much," she said, and then joked, "Did you have my chicken? Colonel Kira's chicken?"

Kira was a very realistic role model, the actress said. "She was fraught with faults, not perfect, but she was always striving. Teaching [girls] what really being a woman is, not someone's idea of what a woman is [is so important]."

A fan from Vir-Con asked about Nana's romance with Alexander Siddig, who played Dr. Bashir on DS9. Best friends during the show, a "surprise" romance blossomed between them. Though they are no longer together, Nana said it was "meant to be" because they share a son, Django, now five. "We're friends again," she said.

Nana smiled when someone mentioned the first-season episode 'Duet.' "I love 'Duet'," she said. "It was the first time [Kira] was able to get over her racism [towards the Cardassians]."

Another audience member brought up her romance with Odo and inquired whether she would have preferred Kira to have had a love affair with someone else. "When you get down to it, I kissed just about every other character on that show!" Nana exclaimed. She noted that Kira always seemed to end up with a man in power - Vedek Bareil, First Minister Shakaar, and security chief Odo - and that she would have once liked to see her go for someone more ordinary like the "lizard head in the background."

Nana got her start in musical theatre, and she said she first started to feel really good about herself when she was in a musical at age fourteen. "My parents, both in theatre, supported me. I think they were worried I was going to get a normal job."

Though she doesn't see a DS9 movie in the future, Nana hopes some of the characters will turn up in the feature films. If the opportunity to do a DS9 movie ever does come up, Nana would certainly participate. "Hell, yeah!" she enthused. "Because I trust the producers and the writers. Look at the bar they had [set] on the show."

Nana was followed by DS9 co-star Terry Farrell (Jadzia Dax), who was also sporting a new hair-style: shoulder-length light red hair. Like Nana, she too is engaged. "I'm getting married!" Terry exclaimed, showing the audience her engagement ring.

Unfortunately, Terry's stint on Becker ended under less-than-ideal circumstances. "I'm not doing Becker anymore. I won't be watching it - kind of hard and weird, but whatever," she said as she dismissed the issue. "I'm getting married!" Terry will be playing television star Jackie Gleason's third wife in the biopic 'Gleason.'

When an attendee asked Terry why she had allowed the writers to kill off her popular DS9 character, Terry said, "I didn't let them, but they did. My contract was over and I wanted to do other things."

Though she doesn't remember practical jokes on the set - "We were always really tense, always in a hurry" - Terry does recall the fight scenes fondly. "I loved doing them. They're like dancing with passion."

The convention closed with a costume contest. After the contestants strutted their stuff, the audience picked a woman dressed as the Borg Queen for first place, a man dressed as an original series Klingon, complete with the mesh pants and old-school disruptor, as the second place winner, and a man dressed as an Andorian as the third place winner.

'Star Trek: The Experience' was open until 1am in the morning for convention-goers who wanted one last hurrah before ending the fabulous weekend.

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Kristine Huntley is a new contributor to the Trek Nation.