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July 19 2024


An archive of Star Trek News

The Women of Voyager Convention

By Sashi Alexandra German
Posted at July 10, 2001 - 11:23 AM GMT

On Saturday May 26th 2001, Kate Mulgrew (Kathryn Janeway) was a guest at the Women of Star Trek Voyager convention in Cleveland Ohio. Sashi Alexandra German went along to see the woman who stood at the helm of Voyager for seven years out of her uniform. Also present at the convention were Roxann Dawson (B'Elanna Torres) and Jennifer Lien (Kes). What follows is her report on the weekend's events.

In the end the long drive from Philadelphia to Cleveland and back was worth it - Kate Mulgrew was beyond stunning in her convention appearance on this day, showing elegance, style, graciousness and patience as she faced a crowd of what must have been over a thousand people in the Ballroom of the Renaissance Hotel. Dressed in a stunning white pantsuit with black sweater and gold necklace, she enchanted the crowd from the very beginning and held everyone's attention for the over the hour time that she spoke and then signed autographs.

Kate has not done many conventions during her seven year run with Star Trek: Voyager. There have been precious few here and there and half of them have been out of the country. It was interesting to see her in her new home city of Cleveland, which delighted the local folks no end. My understanding is that this appearance of hers was the beginning of a string of upcoming conventions she is doing around the country now that Trek is over for her - catch her now while you can.

I first saw Kate Mulgrew in Denver in 1996; one of her early appearances. And talk about how people haven't changed - she was still the same gracious, stunning and terrific person she was back in Denver. I found this rather interesting because many of my experiences of Star Trek stars have been how, when starting out with conventions, they have been nice and gracious and real people. By the end of the run of their series they are *far* different, in many cases obnoxious, rude and arrogant (Michael Dorn and Gates McFadden among them). So it was really nice to see how she could be so professional on stage and off (during the autograph line) and be so nice, attentive and listening to the audience because that was what she did back in 1996. She has obviously not forgotten who has been her bread and butter these past seven years during Voyager's run as unfortunately many of the TNG and DS9 stars have.

What also made this convention appearance of hers interesting was almost half - and I mean half - the people asking questions at the mic were really people who were giving Kate heart-wrenching, personal testimonials on how Kate herself and/or the Janeway character had changed them in some dramatic way; in some cases saved their lives from suicide or other devastating things. So I would have more quotes and facts in this review, except half the conversations going on with Kate with the audience members at the mic were personal testimonials which Kate listened to patiently, hugged each person, and then apparently saw many of them personally after her talk was over. Having been going to conventions since 1980, never since Lucy Lawless (Xena) in 1997 had I *ever* seen a guest star get so much adulation and personal testimonials of life affirmations. It was pretty incredible to witness, although I think there people who might have wanted to ask Kate some more questions.

This being Kate's hometown now, her husband, Tim Hagen, was present, looking ever the politician. He is a major political figure in Cleveland and Ohio in general and it has been rumored for some time that he may run for Governor. Hagan's appearance there did reek a bit of politics, standing by Kate on stage through the last part of her talk, although he did get fun comments like being called 'Mr. Mulgrew' (which I personally called him in the autograph line - as he was sitting beside her the whole time). It brought an aspect of the 'real world' of politics into a place I didn't think it belonged, but Kate made it VERY clear that her priorities were now to follow Hagan and his plans because he had had to follow her career and her plans the last few years they had been married.

Toward the end of Kate's talk, while Hagan was on stage, he was asked by a fan what it was like to be married to 'such a strong-willed woman?' His response was to suddenly drop to his knees on stage and bow down three times to her in supplication - got great laughs from the audience. He said he'd been in Cleveland politics for years and was rather well known in the area. But now he was known as 'Captain Janeway's husband.' Kate laughed in response and called him 'Mr. Mulgrew' and everyone laughed heartily.

Perhaps Hagan's presence and that of her mother-in-law (also on stage) and perhaps other family members present led to Kate being 'on' so much of her talk. But it didn't matter - she was simply terrific on stage - looked it and acted like it and that was all the fans could ask for, especially considering the convention outrageous prices that were being charged by Make It So Productions.

Kate started her talk by addressing the native Cleveland residents and how wonderful it was just a few days ago to be sitting at home with her husband and stepdaughters and watching the end of Voyager 'Endgame.' She talked about how she cooked a big meal for everyone, sat down and started to cry and just couldn't stop every time one of her cast mates came on screen. "It was a very brutal finish to something that has meant a great deal." She said when she went to bed that night she slept right into the next day and in the end was "proud, deeply proud" of what she had been a part of. She felt that since day one on the set of Voyager she had "set a high bar for Janeway and kept that bar to the end." She felt she was able to "flesh out the skeleton for the character... giving her nuances, emotions, subtleties, emotion" and so on.

Towards the beginning of her talk, Kate addressed all the women in the audience and thanked them "for your unfailing support over the years. That without that support, Janeway would never have been able to be what she was." She said women were the constant source of love, comfort and joy in life and without that she wouldn't have been able to do the part. She then addressed the men in the audience: "How could you trust me to run the ship?" She then thanked the fathers in the audience for letting their sons watch the show.

What was her favorite line of the series? "Engage." She said that in "Caretaker", brought in after former Janeway actress Genevieve Bujold has given up the part. Kate said "there were 20 suits on the set and director Rick Kolbe pulled me aside and said, 'this is your room, do it your way, Babe.'" And she said uttering that "Engage" was just a "great moment."

Did Bujold ever call her up and say, "Hey - doing a great job", etc.? No, but Kate said that she had nothing but admiration for Bujold for turning down the part because she realized early on that "Trek wasn't for her... I am SO glad she left!" Kate said she wondered what would have happened had Bujold STAYED for 4-6 months and THEN left... it would have been a disaster for the show. It was good that she realized the situation and left when she did. Kate mentioned that one of Bujold's priorities at the time was brining up a young son, and that was the choice that she chose to make instead of doing Voyager.

Kate talked about how, when she was first hired to do Voyager, she was sent 10 videotapes of Trek to study. She had two days to prepare for the role before she had to go before the cameras and she didn't want to watch the tapes. "I had an original concept for Janeway and was glad I went with my gut."

Did Kate see Janeway running Voyager as a democracy or a dictatorship? "I didn't rule by dictatorship, but from the high of femininity."

TV Guide left her out of the list of "Sexiest Women in Sci-Fi." Where was Kate? "I was working," she laughed.

Kate was asked if she would do a Voyager movie? "I have learned to never say die." She feels a movie would be speculation only but would seriously consider it if it were to become a reality.

Toward the final filming of 'Endgame,' her work hours often went to 85-hours per week because of the constant filming of double Janeways. She said every shot with the two Janeways (Admiral and Captain) had to be done three times: one shot delivering the lines, one with the double, and one with no one there. They tried to do interesting things like the Captain passing off a coffee cup to the Admiral, "That shot took 10 hours to film." She said the measurements of the people and objects had to exact.

She was asked yet again - at every convention appearance, just like Robert Beltran- about the whole Janeway/Chakotay relationship and why couldn't they have finally gotten together in the end. Kate said that she simply felt it wasn't a good idea for her, at the age of 38, still of child-bearing years to be in a relationship with her first officer. She felt romance would be better - which she had with a hologram. "I needed a First Officer I could count on and that he wouldn't be thinking of something else." Shortly after this question, a man dressed in a command Voyager uniform and tight leather pants came up to the mic and Kate joked - as she had him come up on stage - that perhaps if Chakotay had worn this outfit every day than maybe things would have been different (everyone laughed).

After series creator and Executive Producer Jeri Taylor left, did she stick with what Taylor had outlined for the Janeway character? Kate said that Taylor "wrote the blueprint for Janeway but that I threw that out and rewrote it." When Taylor left Kate said she simply took off with the part with Taylor gone.

One question from a fan involved the original Star Trek series and how it was able to comment on the Vietnam War and other social issues of the 1960's. Did Kate think that Voyager had done the same in its time period? Kate said, yes, she felt Voyager tackled many issues of the day including suicide, the Vidians problem and the episodes dealing with the Prime Directive. "I felt every topic was topical and on the mark... I feel Voyager attacked with fervor and resolution many current issues of the day."

Kate said she found it "daunting" to be considered someone who was helping bring people into the 21st century in terms of science and technology. She knew from the beginning when she learned how Trek affected science.

The dreaded 'hair issue': which hair style did she like best? Kate said that actually she had no favorite hair style of the many she wore. "They drove me crazy with it. Patrick Stewart had it easy." She commented in hindsight how the suits were SO nervous about a woman in charge that they applied themselves to a symbol - her hair - and that would decide whether she would succeed or not.

About make-up on set: Kate said she didn't like people touching her all the time, "It was annoying." At this point husband Hagan came on stage and talked about how the make-up people drove HIM nuts because they would shoot 10 seconds of one scene and suddenly the make-up people would descend on Kate again and again, with touch-ups having to be done constantly.

Why didn't Harry Kim ever get promoted? "We waited until the 7th season finale - he got himself into a lot of trouble!"

A child asked her what was it like fighting the Borg? "It was fun! What did Janeway do to the Borg Queen in the end? She killed her!"

One of the very last questions was about the fun moments on the set. "Especially after midnight with the boys. Most men between the ages of 10 and 80 after midnight turn into something their mothers would rather they didn't." With her often being the only woman there they would often overlook her; but there were spit-ball fights, people dropping their pants to moon others - weird behavior.

What are her future plans? Kate said that she will not give up acting and does plan to do some theater, but right now her husband comes first in everything. "I feel I've been given a good thing with Tim."

She felt one negative aspect of her Trek experience was how her sons over the last seven years had mostly seen her "in the Captain's chair" and not at home.

During the early part of her talk, Kate pointed off stage to her husband, "The great love of my life... married two and half years ago." She talked about how over that time he had been visiting the set of Voyager every 10 days, getting up at 4am with her and standing with her on the set for 15-16 hour days. She felt she owed him a lot.

"There was a rumor that I married into a small family... that's a gross understatement." She said she married into a HUGE family where Hagan is the Patriarch.

Who has influenced her the most? Her acting teacher Stella Adler as well as her mother who told her she "would be a great actress." She credited those two as her biggest role models.

Kate loves coffee. She laughed about the people in the room who had turned into coffee addicts because of the Janeway character.

'Kiernan' is her middle name - it's her mother's maiden name.

What made her go into acting? Growing up in the cornfields of Iowa and being one of eight children. She was encouraged to be unorthodox in being brought up. She tended bar at the age of 14 to subsidize apprenticeships to prepare for leaving home at the age of 16. "Acting was all I ever wanted. It has been my salvation. Stella Adler said it would be the one thing that would always lift me up - how true."

25 years ago, where did she think she would be? (in acting, in life). "I didn't think I'd be here, certainly." She said Voyager showed how fate and serendipity were involved. "I never imagined being Captain of a ship - and a damned good place to be."

Does Kate feel there has been a prejudice against her because of her voice? She said she feels it has worked in her favor because it has an "original quality.... and no bimbo roles for me."

Hagan was asked that if he became Governor of Ohio, would he vote for more money for NASA? "What the Hell do you think my answer would be with this group??" and everyone laughed. At one point during her talk, Kate struck the famous Janeway hands-on-the-hips pose for everyone - and it brought the house down! Very popular with everyone.

At the same convention, Roxann Dawson was asked if there were any props or any part of Voyager she took home as a souvenir. In the autograph line for Kate, someone asked her the same question and Kate replied with a big smile that she took home a uniform "pips, the boots - the whole thing."

Guest Roxann Dawson was in fabulous form during her Saturday appearance, wearing a blue, sleeveless dress and rather short hair. She was funny, witty and delightful and proudly proclaimed to everyone when she got on stage that this was her very first convention after the ending of the series had aired (just the week before) and this was the first time she was at a convention without a script in her room to study.

Right off the bat she asked the fans in the audience if they liked the series finale 'Endgame' and there was much applause. "I thought it was a very classy ending." She wondered whether the ship just heading to Earth was the real way to end it. Would it have been better to see more, such as Janeway facing a Court Martial for breaking Starfleet rules, 7of9 going off to jail, Paris becoming a father...

Roxann is always a GREAT source of information for Trek so this review is filled with tons of it. It even includes a few snippets on the new Trek series Enterprise in which she is directing an episode.

Before anyone had a chance to ask she answered the usual question about the make-up: It took 2 1/2 hours for the Klingon make-up to go on and an hour to take it off. "Ethan was three hours of make-up - would you believe that??"

She watched the series Finale with her 3-year-old kid and the kid saw her mommy (B'Elanna having a baby) and her kid looked at her and asked, "Who is that?" (on the screen). She said her kid didn't like that at all. Roxann also explained that when she was pregnant three years ago she asked the writers to include an eating disorder for Torres - seeing B'Elanna eating food constantly in Engineering, "but they didn't go with that. Then when they make me pregnant they had to put all this padding" on her. She commented how, when she was really pregnant during 4th season, they hid her pregnancy by having her wear an Engineering "smock" that had the tools actually SEWN INTO the jacket and could not be removed.

She commented that the padding during the latter part of 7th season became quite extensive and quite uncomfortable. She was wearing a wool uniform, rubber on her face and boots and it was all uncomfortable, "But I was supposed to be pregnant so it made sense."

She said it was strange that the series, as a whole, was over - it was a seven year commitment, "which was an oddity. But I won't miss the make-up at all." She feels overall there will be no continuation of the show, that the writers knew what they were doing at the end of the episode. She has heard no plans for a TV movie of any kind. She said that after seven years it was sort of good to have it over, feeling it was time to graduate, like school, and looks forward to the future. She doesn't regret the seven years but does feel it is time to move on.

The most poignant episode of 7th season was when Ethan Phillips (Neelix) left. "Because it was the last scene the whole cast would be together before the end of the show."

The very day of filming for the show was her and Robert Picardo (the Holodoc) doing the Be'Elanna-gives-birth scene.

How did it feel as the series was coming to a close? She said she has so many strange feelings going on, especially when the sets started being taken apart - it was then that she felt it was all going away. She said she stole a piece of the Engineering set; she tried to steal to the Warpcore, "But it was too big to fit in my purse." She said Robert Picardo stole the wooden railing around the Warpcore and put it around the bar at his house. She thought it was neat to have part of the set.

Roxann was asked what it was like to be called "B'Elanna" in public by the fans? "If they look nice than I say 'Hi.' If they look weird than I ignore them." She said she feels the Klingon make-up has been good to hide her real appearance and help her get other work and not get typecast.

About the first season episode 'Faces,' "When I hardly knew my character." She asked her parents to watch this particular episode and her mother calls her afterward and tells her she was good. Roxann said she was disappointed because she put so much hard work into both roles. Then, months later, she talks with her mother about the episode again and her mother comments that woman who played the Klingon female was terrific - not knowing it was Roxann all along (much laughter from the audience).

Speaking of first season, she said in the beginning when the cast had been hired for the show, they were all given a tour of the various sets like the Bridge, Sickbay, etc. When they got to Engineering, director Rick Kolbe turned to Roxann and said, "And this two-level set is yours and you'll be shoveling coal over there." Roxann said she went home to her husband saying she'd shoveling coal in the show!

In terms of how she got the part, she said her agent called her and said that Paramount was doing a new Star Trek series and it was shooting in Los Angeles - which was good for her because it was local, "And I wanted to work locally." She went in for some readings but didn't hearing anything for three months. Finally, she decides she should watch at least a little Trek to see what it's all about since she didn't have a clue. She watches some TNG, sees Worf's character and goes, "Oh, that poor man," and all the make-up. Finally she is told she has the part - hr agent having been told, "No, there would be minimal make-up." The early tests for her make-up "were horrendous. It was all very heavy and I would come home crying it was so awful." She had her parents over for dinner and showed them a picture of what she would look like and, "He just laughed and laughed." Months later he came to her asking for promotional shots and about how he needs autographs for a few friends.

She directed the episodes 'Riddles' and 'Workforce, Part II and will now be directing the second episode of the new Star Trek series Enterprise. "Voyager has ended for me, but my association with Star Trek continues."

Does Roxann consider herself to be an 'action hero?' "No, because as an actor you do all sorts of things and this is just one of those things."

She was asked about her action figure and commented about how she and Ethan Phillips joke that the plastic figures look nothing like them.

Roxann was asked what it was like working with such an excellent actress as Kate Mulgrew. She felt that Kate "held the standard we tried to hold up to. She was a real team player and a cohesive force."

Would she participate in a Voyager movie? "If B'Elanna has to wear make-up, probably not - just joking!" She said she knew a new TNG movie was planned but didn't know if DS9 or Voyager would become movies. "Probably not."

Was there ever a scene where she had to do a lot of takes? Roxann laughed and went into this hysterical story about how it was first season and the director of the episode was TNG's LeVar Burton (Geordi LaForge). Roxann said she had just started becoming comfortable with all the technobabble - she had problems with it in the beginning - but get better at as season progressed. Then Burton comes in to direct and suddenly there was line of technobabble that she simply could not do. Take after take and she couldn't get it, "I was SO embarrassed." Burton eventually walks her around the Engineering set and tells her that she can do it, it'll come to her. Eventually she gets the line, but ever since then has never forgotten it, "Vent the conduits around the dorsal emitters." She felt it was on of her most embarrassing moments on the set.

What are some memories from being with the cast? Roxann said it was hard to choose, really, part of the problem being there so many times when she and Kate Mulgrew, "Would laugh so hard it would be awful. The boys would do Riverdance impressions and do impressions of people." She said Tim Russ (Tuvok) once appeared totally naked in a turbilist scene. When asked about Robert Duncan McNeill (Tom Paris), she said Robbie and Tim Russ would do stuff, "juvenile stuff." Like Robbie would get a "big guber thing and stick it in his nose and wait for someone to say something." She felt it was not that funny - just weird. Tim wanted to get a huge afro hair style with a bog book box and play the theme to "Shaft." She described Ethan Phillips as "quite loony." he would simply moon people all the time. Robert Beltran would do impressions of people as did Garrett Wang. "The girls were entertained but the boys were who would entertain." Meanwhile, with Garrett, on the Internet someone had put his head on the body of a body builder and she would take it to the set and show it off to people - so proud of it. She said recently on a Trek cruise he denied the whole thing but then posed for everyone (with clothes on). She thinks the picture is probably framed somewhere.

Her favorite 7th season episode was 'Lineage.' "I was reading the script and kept breaking down and crying. I felt it was the strongest story," and was meaningful for her.

An audience member mentioned that a recent PBS Nova episode covered the issue of genetics and showed a scene from the Voyager episode "Lineage" where B'Elanna wanted to change the genetics of her unborn child. Roxann was proud of that.

Was never a Star Trek fan before joining Voyager, "But I have SEEN THE LIGHT!"

Roxann said it was weird that B'Elanna was in TV Guide as one of ScFi-'s sexist stars... she felt it was B'Elanna, NOT HER, Roxann, in the issue. "Bt it was neat to have a woman with ridges was a sexy sci-fi woman."

The name of B'Elanna's & Tom's baby is Miral, named after Roxann's mother.

Roxann described the Warpcore as swirling lights in a screen, "Sort of a large lava lamp."

What was it like play 'angry' on the show? "It was SO much fun!" She said in real life she can get very angry and frustrated and has been known to use dishes and throw them in a garage so as not to break other, more valuable things.

If Torres has not been romantically involved with Tom Paris, who would she have wanted Torres to be hooked up with? "Janeway!" she laughed.

How did she about Kes leaving after 3rd season? Roxann explained that she had just become pregnant and had been written out of a lot of scripts. She just wasn't present for a lot of stuff with Kes. But "I feel it was a good cast before (Jennifer Lien left) and a good cast afterward... we had a lot of fun all around." >p>She is directing the second episode of the first season of Enterprise. She said she actually had a script upstairs in her room for the episode, "Bt I have been SWORN to secrecy." She's been on the set and thinks Scott Bakula is a great choice for Captain and it looks like a strong cast. She says there's a lot going on in the opening pilot.

With the directing of the Enterprise episode and the like, she feels a lor of her future will involve directing in general.

Regarding other work, she has been recently involved in the "Alien Voices" audio series headed by Leonard Nimoy and John DeLancie. She said things seemed to have fallen apart over a few things but hopes to do more.

She is continuing to work on the 3-book Simon & Schuster book series. Called the Tenebria Trilogy, she's working with a writer. The only guidelines given by Simon & Schuster were that there be a strong female character and that the story be in the science fiction genre. The first book has already been released in paperback after an initial 750 hardback release. The second book is coming out soon with the same charity release of 750 hard backs and will then eventually be released in paperback to the public. She has written mostly in play form, not novel form and it has been quite interesting for her.

One of her upcoming projects is to be in Austin, Yexas the first weekend of September to do some workshops as well as put on a play that she wrote.

Roxann said her first professional job our of college was doing two years of "A Chorus Line." She has done two very long runs of shows now in her life (she indicated she wound up doing "A Chorus Line" a lot longer than two years).

Her life has changed quite dramatically since Voyager ended. She talked about how she has more time with her children and how they love having her at home. She used to have to get up at 3:30am every morning to be at work by 4:15am for make-up. Now she has time to take her kids to swimming lessons and plant a garden. "I am enjoying the time."

Her education involved UCLA Berkley, some in New York and with in Los Angeles with her favorite instructor, Larry Moss. She said that for big B'Elana episodes she would often go to him for advice. She said in general actord should be constantly training even while acting.

What does she think she'll be doing in the next five years or so? "I am someone who doesn't know what bored means." She said she had the trilogy of books she was working on, hoping it would turn into a screenplay. She wants to spend more time with her children, and get to know her husband again. "There are so many things, from traveling to writing... I just want to embrace life."

A 6-year-old fan in the audience asked what it was like to have a baby. Roxann's response, "VERY PAINFUL!"

At the end of her talk she auctioned off a signed picture of Jeri Ryan, Kate Mulgrew and herself in the famous "evening gown" picture. It was for a charity for children in an AIDS camp, Camp Heartland. Also for the Half a Sky Foundation where it helps female children in China - where girls in China are nit valued as much as boys and are mistreated and this helps girls, among other things, find homes out of their native China.

What can one say about Jennifer Lien other than - at least she has improved as a convention guest over the past few years. Before coming to this convention I had been warned by many people that Lien as a guest was a disaster. That she answers very little when people ask questions. That she has no opinions on anything, has no sense of humor and has often had her on stage time cut sometime by half because there have been so few questions for her because, well, she really didn't answer questions with more than a yes or no. She has been widely considered the worst of the Trek convention guests.

But I tried to go into this with an open mind and see for myself just how bad she could be, and what I saw was a woman who was NOW able to answer questions with more than one syllable and actually have a sense of humor. My impression is that she had simply learned over her convention appearances to deliver more than mono-syllable answers. Anyway, something had changed and it was for the better. She was much more animated than had been reported before and was more forward spoken.

She was introduced by fellow convention guest Roxann Dawson . She wore a yellow sweater with a shawl over a long black dress. Her hair was wild and curly. She was on stage for less than half an hour.

A child asked what it was like to be thrown off the show? "As an actor you have to realize that it happens. You take your knocks and keep going." Had she been able to pick the Holographic Doctor's name, what would she have named him? Lien responded that she really knew the HoloDoc as "Zimmerman or Schweitzer. He picked Joe??"

In the episode 'Tuvix' how would she have ended the dilemma? "I felt separating them seemed to be the only way."

If she were offered to work on a new Trek as a different character, would she do it? Lien said she didn't really know - she had no idea if she would be doing any more acting at all.

She welcomed the character in the episode 'Warlord.' "I liked that different play on the character."

Lien was asked about her current curly hair and was that what was used toward the end of 3rd season? She said her hair was naturally curly, but that a wig was used on the show. Sometimes the wig allowed her to get away without wearing the pointed ears.

Was anything the same when she returned for the 6th season episode 'Fury?' Lien said that everyone was very nice and people seemed really relaxed in their roles. She enjoyed doing 'Fury,' "I felt it was interesting character change." 'Fury' was her favorite episode of all of Voyager, "It was nice to be back... going away and coming back."

Was there a particular favorite actor on Voyager that she liked working with? "It would be unfair to answer that."

Are there any jokes or funny moment that she remembers from the set? "Well my wig once caught on fire - no, just kidding. But it could have happened."

How much of Jennifer was Kes and visa versa? She said it was a fine balance between her and the character. "It was my body and my voice that made Kes, but things were done to change that."

Was she ever prepared for the instant fame that Trek gave her? "I don't think of myself as famous, but it is overwhelming. Any attention for what you do is overwhelming."

When she read the script for the audition what was her impression of the character? Lien said "Righteous, but not too self-righteous. I wanted that important distinction." She wanted someone who had a limited lifespan would be interesting to play. "A goofy mix of naivety and other things for the character. I thought it was neat being an alien."

Was playing an alien making her bring more to the role than just acting? "No, I knew the writers would take care of that with the writing of the stories and characters."

There was a reception for the convention guests last night and she said she saw Kate Mulgrew and Roxann Dawson there, it had been a long time since she had seen them.

What has she been doing lately with her time? Lien said she had dropped out of acting for awhile and had been taking some classes and is just continuing to do that. She said right now she is exploring everything. "Getting two years out of the way" and then maybe specialize in something else. "Very general."

Lien was complimented on her voice and the various voiceover work she has done over the years. She said she had done work for "Men in Black" (animated series) but wasn't considering doing more in the future. On the Superman cartoon voiceover work, that was just a small role and something her agent had set her up to do. Does she prefer voice acting to stage? No.

She recently worked on an American history film and enjoyed it, "It was a good project." She has recently done an independent film but is still looking for a distributor for it. Did Lien ever appear in a film named "Hoofey"? No, she was not in it.

She is from Iowa but is originally Norwegian. Poetry and fiction are her favorite things to read, as well as some science fiction. She couldn't pin down any exact favorites. However she did say that so far she had read none of the Star Trek novels out there.

Does she prefer roles in comedy or drama? "Both are good, both are roles, characters... it's really hard to choose."

Does she have a website? No, but Lien said she has an email address that she never checks anyway. Are there any particular acting parts that she enjoys doing more than others. She said she simply liked doing any role. What was her acting/training background? Lien said she started acting 14 years ago in theater and did that for four years and also did some tape and video work. She then did some soap opera work, took some acting classes, some workshops and then came to California. While working on "Phenom" she studied more to improve her skills. Just recently she took an acting class that encompassed much of what she had learned over the years. She may not have been acting lately, but she has been practicing the talent. "I never stray too far away from it."

Has she always wanted to do acting? "It's fun. I do it because it's fun."

Has anyone ever inspired her? Lien said that she felt she had been "very lucky to work with great actors who had been very giving, generous and professional and extremely talented." She felt she was lucky to get on Voyager for three years, "I considered it a unique experience to be on something for so long" because that was longest she had ever worked in acting before.

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Sashi Alexandra German can be contacted at Sashi Alexandra German. Huge thanks go out to Sashi for sending this report in!

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