Monday, September 14, 2009
In my life I've met many celebrities. Because of where I've worked most of them were on the tail end of their careers, but there were still varying degrees of coolness and uncoolness. One of the first was Burt Reynolds, and while I know a couple of you out there had different experiences with the man, he always struck me as a total prick. But Robert Goulet was the picture of detached professionalism. Charles Nelson Reilly was very nice, as was William Christopher, and Joyce DeWitt was a complete sweetheart. And I hope to have half as much energy when I reach 60 as Tito Puente and Joel Gray did and do in their 80s. But in my travels it's always been the 'second string' celebs that impressed me the most. Those people whom you may know when you hear their names, but then when shown a picture you go, "Oh, them!" Kathy Griffin was very funny, if a bit scary up close(too much makeup) The Reduced Shakespeare Company were some of the coolest, funniest guys around, and Paul Zaloom, whom you may know as Beakman from the children's science show Beakman's World, was just a fun guy to spend a day with. But last night I had my coolest celebrity encounter yet.
A couple of weeks ago I got a bee in my bonnet to ask Felicia Day, star of both Dr. Horrible's Sing-Along Blog and The Guild if she would appear on Starbase 66. I was politely told 'no thanks'. For some reason it was like finally getting up the courage to ask the hot girl at the end of the bar to dance and having her laughingly say no, and for most of the next day I moped. Finally the moping went from self-pity to angry. What the hell was my problem?! So in a flurry of 'getting back on the horse' I started scouring the internet for the agent's of the stars. First I found Gates McFadden's agent and fired off an email, which has yet to garner any response. Then I Googled Suzie Plakson, who played K'Ehleyr on Star Trek:The Next Generation. If you know Trek, but don't recognize the name, she was Worf's girlfriend, and the mother of his son, but was killed after only 2 episodes. She later appeared on both Voyager and Enterprise, as well as several sit-coms, movies, and TV shows. I have always admired her work, and she was one of the first stars I thought of when we started the Starbase and began to contemplate interviewing Science Fiction stars. So I found her website here and used the contact form to ask if she'd like to join us on the show. The next day I got a response from 'her people'...well, a dude named James...and he said that she thought it sounded like fun and asked for more details. Emails flew back and forth across the country, and ultimately a date and time was decided. Finally Suzie herself emailed me and we set the parameters of the inteview. She sent a bunch of questions that she gets all the time, most of which I would never have asked(I already know how tall she is, and how long getting into Klingon makeup takes) but it did help set the course of the interview. We corresponded several more times, and she just seemed to get cooler and cooler. My co-hosts were just as excited, and as the hour approached I grew more and more nervous. Then, early last night, she scared the pee out of me. She asked what station we were on, and should she have folks tune in at the time the interview was to start. "Shit!" I thought. She thinks this is a radio show. So I emailed back and explained what a podcast was, and apologized for assuming she already knew. I was terrified that once she realized what the show was, she'd say 'Oh, hell no.' But she didn't, and last night just before 9pm she called in and for nearly ninety minutes we basked in the incredible energy, humor, grace, and all-around grooviness that is Suzie. She was such a joy to talk with, and her enthusiasm for life is infectious. Even Kennedy, the hardened journalist, was giddy afterward. It was one of the most amazing, funny, and joyful conversations I've ever had the privilege to be a part of. And the best part is that you all will be able to hear it soon. I just need to do a bit of editing and it'll be available for download before the end of the week.
See y'all later.