Saturday, September 4, 2010

My Las Vegas (Star Trek) Holiday

I went to the Star Trek Convention in Las Vegas at the start of August 2010. I should be in to knitting, and cooing over grand-children, and watching "Days of our Lives", right? Wrong. To heck with all that aforementioned stuff, I'm a "Star Trek" fan, in all its incarnations. I'm not a rabid fan, I just feel comfortable watching the shows.

So many stars. Seventy of them. From Shatner, right through to practically every woman Kirk had ever kissed on classic Trek (he was on stage in front of 15,000, the women were in the dealers' room hawking ancient photographs of their moment of glory). Attendees at the con ranged in age from about 10 years to, well ... me, and older (many of the stars would have topped me in age!)

What amazed me about Shatner on stage was how quick, witty, sharp he is. He ran rings around everybody. I thought his talk with Nimoy might have been scripted, but when he answered questions from the audience, he was just as quick and witty, running retorts out so fast that my head was reeling (we all have friends like Shatner, yes?: we love them to bits but within a half hour of greeting them, we just want to shout 'slow down, I've got a headache'; we couldnt possibly keep up with their sharp wit and intelligence on a longterm basis).

Present were Patrick Stewart, Brent Spiner, Jeri Ryan, Jonathan Fraikes, Leonard Nimoy, etc.

I went to three "Beam Me Up Breakfasts" with about twelve stars, including James Darren (my childhood idol. He's still delicious). The breakfasts were like speed dating. The stars took turns sitting at every table (of about six) for five minutes. You had something like 15 seconds to take photographs at the beginning of the breakfasts. (In total, I took 169 photos, of which about nine came out, the rest were blurred because I zoomed in most of the time. Damn, my new Canon camera which I figure I hadnt learnt how to work properly!)

I went to a dinner at the top of the Stratosphere (equiv to our Skytower) where several of the Star Trek stars did some filking (putting different words to popular songs). Armin (Quark) and Max (Rom) were brilliant, especially dressing up in their Ferengi 'heads' and singing "Viva the Nagus" (the Nagus is the boss of the Ferengi race) instead of "Viva Las Vegas" (see photo).

One of the most stirring moments was at the dessert evening when four (male) fans who couldn't sing, bellowed out to karaoke "Faith of the Heart" (Enterprise theme). Everyone joined in, waving arms to music, swaying cigarette lighters, etc.

The entire convention was worth double the price and is on every year. Next year it will be at the Rio Suites instead of the Las Vegas Hilton because it just keeps growing and a bigger venue is needed. I believe NZ's Karl Urban will be there in 2011.

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