Picardo Recounts Post-Trek VoyagesBy Caillan
May 8, 2002 - 11:53 AM
Robert Picardo (the Holodoc) has certainly been keeping busy since the end of his seven-year Odyssey in the Delta Quadrant, appearing in the musical 'A Class Act,' guest-starring in Frasier, and penning 'The Hologram's Handbook.'
'A Class Act' is an all-singing, all-dancing tribute to Ed Kleban, the lyricist of the classic musical 'A Chorus Line.' "Let me say that I am having the time of my life," Picardo said during a chat at StarTrek.com. "It's the story of the man who wrote those wonderful lyrics for 'A Chorus Line.' He was a brilliant, phobic, funny and utterly impossible personality. That's who I play. The music is great, and I sing fifteen songs — twice as much as I sang in seven years of Voyager — in each performance. I truly believe any fan of the Doctor and/or Robert Picardo would get a huge charge out of seeing the play."
Although he thoroughly enjoyed working on television, Picardo, like his Voyager co-star Kate Mulgrew (Kathryn Janeway), couldn't wait to get back to the theatre. "After eight years of being off the legitimate stage, it is an utter joy to be doing this show," he said. "It is exhilarating, terrifying, and ultimately the most rewarding for your actor's soul to do stage work. I blame my current state of utter exhaustion (during the days, never on stage at night) to the 'You've got to listen to your gypsy soul' speech Kate Mulgrew made to me after I saw her in 'Tea At Five.' It's her fault that my feet hurt right now — did I mention I dance several times?" Laughing, the actor added, "I want to start a foundation for the dance-challenged. I will be the first poster boy."
The actor also appeared in an episode of the acclaimed comedy Frasier, starring Emmy-winner Kelsey Grammer. "I was delighted when they offered me that part, even though it was only one scene," he said. "I would love to be on the show again. Kelsey is, without question, the premier television comic actor working today, and it is a sheer delight and honor to work with him and with his brilliant co-stars on that show."
But Picardo's latest activities don't stop there - he also penned 'The Hologram's Handbook', a light-hearted manual for photonic lifeforms struggling to cope in a world full of solids. During the chat, the actor explained how the book started out.
"Working on the two-part 'Flesh and Blood' episode, I was explaining to guest star Jeff Yagher (a close friend of mine), what holograms can and can't do in the Star Trek world. He quipped, 'You ought to write a book,' and we did, together. I wrote it, he did all the illustrations. The book is carefully designed to be the perfect toilet reader. It sits on any commode, and can be completed in approximately ten visits to the restroom. I want to see one on every Star Trek fan's commode by 2003."
There may even be more literary works from this Renaissance man. "I certainly enjoyed writing the book. I have had preliminary talks with Margaret Clark, my wonderful editor at Pocket Books, about writing another one, but thus far nothing has been firmed up," Picardo said. "Also, Ethan Phillips and I have discussed collaborating on a project once I have finished performances of 'A Class Act.'"
'A Class Act' is currently showing at the Pasadena Playhouse in Pasadena, California; tickets can be booked here. To read the full transcript, in which Picardo also talked about his years of playing television doctors, head over to StarTrek.com.