The Women of Star Trek Voyager Convention

Presented by Make It So! Productions, Inc.

May 26th & 27th, 2001
Renaissance Cleveland Hotel
Cleveland, Ohio
By April Sylvia

Many THANKS to April for sharing it!

Kate appeared Saturday, May 26th only.

We waited with bated breath for Kate to be introduced. Since Kate was running a few minutes late, the convention organizer, Emily Barth, played the weekend's winning music videos.

After that Emily said that Kate was in the elevator on her way down. The crowd got all excited. I was so psyched to see her but was kind of upset that all kinds of people flocked to sit on the floor in front of those of us with front row seats, ready to take their pictures.  I probably wouldn’t have minded too much, but I’m a little person and most of these people were on their knees and were blocking part of my view of the stage. I just didn’t think that was right to do and was surprised that nobody did anything to stop it.

But, once Kate came out on stage, all of that was definitely pushed to the back of my mind. She came out just shining!!! Man, what a presence that woman has!! It took at least a good solid minute for the applause to even begin to slow down.  She looked absolutely fantastic in white pants and a white jacket, with a black mock turtleneck. She is another skinny Minnie! It’s amazing how much weight the camera puts on a person. If she’s this skinny now, imagine how skinny she was during the first three seasons. But, she looked fabulous, absolutely stunning.  Along with everyone else, I immediately began snapping pictures. As a matter of fact, throughout her time on stage I went through an entire role, even with a fickle battery problem happening.  I did have to move over in front of friends, Diane and Saffron, a few times since I had so many people kneeling and partially blocking my view. But even that was well worth it and probably gave me a better photo to boot.  It made it possible for the stairway to the stage to be out of the way. Nearly all of my photos have that damn stairway in the way.

The applause for Kate lasted a good couple of minutes before it died down and she was able to begin talking. She greeted the audience and then almost immediately asked if there were any questions. The microphone wasn’t working and there wasn’t a line yet so the woman next to me jumped up, yelling, I have a question. Kate heard her right away and told her to get to the mike so that she could hear her. Come to find out the woman next to me was VoyagerCat/Tammy.   Tammy went up to the mike and asked her what her most memorable experience was. I’ve heard this question asked of Kate before and knew what her answer would be. Sure enough, Kate recalled the very first time that she sat in the Captain’s seat and said ‘Engage’.  She still talks about that moment with such fondness as if it happened yesterday and was still new. To me, this just proves how much Kate really enjoys her craft and doesn’t ever take it for granted – it’s truly in the blood.

Kate then brought up Genevieve Bujold, asking the audience if we knew Genevieve gave up the role (like we wouldn’t know that, right?) and how grateful she was to Genevieve for stepping down. Kate also praised Bujold for having the courage to recognize that she would not be able to handle the role and stepping down. She then started to goof around, saying she was glad she did and commenting on the fact that Bujold’s accent just wouldn’t have gone over well with the fans. Kate was too funny when she imitated the accent, saying ‘Engage’ in a very heavy accent so that it sounded like ‘Ahngahje’ – the whole audience started laughing. Kate can really be a ham up there!

About this time, Kate pointed out that her family was in the audience and that she was happy her mother-in-law, Ada, could be there. She tried to find Ada in the audience and when she realized that she was way in the back she requested that someone bring her up front and up on stage so that she could introduce her. Poor Ada seemed all horrified, having no idea what to do. Kate told us that her husband Tim’s family consisted of 14 children in total and then asked if anyone in the audience also had that big of a family. Surprisingly, there were quite a few – far more than I would have expected.  I can’t even imagine such a thing!!!  Two is plenty for me – I can’t even imagine carrying 14 children – 14!!!! My God! But, Ada was a really good sport and just so cute about it. She sat up there in the hot spotlight while Kate continued to answer questions.

After about 20 minutes, Ada got herself off the stage.  Kate said, “Ada, where you going?.”  Ada pointed over near Tim and someone set up a chair for her right next to the front row on the left, which was just three seats over from my seat.

Kate acknowledged Ada once again to the audience and said, “my mother-in-law” as Ada left the stage. Of course, we all applauded for her. She was so very cute up there – it seems like she and Kate  have a very good relationship, which not many of us can say when it comes to our mother-in-laws, right?

A few questions later, someone asked Kate what her favorite Janeway hairstyle was. This got Kate going. She said that it was ridiculous how much thought and work they put into Janeway’s hairstyle and that it drove her crazy how often they switched it and fretted over it along with how Janeway walked and carried herself.  She also mentioned how she was a very touchy person and how she had to fight to keep that a characteristic of Janeway’s.  This is when Kate called Tim up to the stage to confirm the fact that they would constantly be fixing her hair during filming.  Since I was sitting in the front row, right near where Tim was standing, I knew that he was surprised when he heard Kate calling his name telling him to get on stage. You see he was a jabbering, as politicians do <g>, while she was up there and wasn’t really paying attention. Sure enough, once Tim got on stage and Kate asked him to corroborate how awful it was, Tim took the mike, looked at Kate and very calmly said, “I don’t know what the hell you’re talking about”.  The whole place lost it – everyone busted up laughing, including Kate. It was too funny!!

I love the way Kate laughs – she just lets it ride, completely genuine, no holds barred. I love that!  The rapport between Kate and Tim was just fabulous to watch.  They seem to really have a great connection between the two of them.  I now can see what she sees in him – gotta love a sense of humor in a man!

Once we all calmed down a little Tim did in fact confirm her story and went on to state that he has never seen people work as hard as actors do. He said that most weeks Kate worked nearly 60 hours and the effort for just one scene was unbelievable. Kate also talked about this a bit saying that it took nearly 10 hours to film one scene in Endgame. This would be the scene where Admiral Janeway and Captain Janeway were in her ready room and were holding/smelling the cup of coffee.  Someone did mention that Kate was probably exaggerating but I’m sure it’s not implausible for that to happen on occasion, especially in scenes where one person is playing against themselves like that.

After that, Tim stayed on stage for nearly the rest of the time that Kate was on stage. A few people asked him questions too and one of the questions asked was how he handled having such a strong woman for a wife. Tim immediately and without hesitation went down on his knees and did the ‘I’m not worthy’ bow, hands over his head, head bowed and everything. OH MAN – WAY TOO FUNNY!!!!

First of all, Kate lost it. She just bent over at the waist and bust out laughing. Secondly, the audience lost it. I have never laughed so hard. It was so unexpected and just so perfect for Tim to do that. The laughter just burst out of all of us. The crowd was cheering and hollering. It was a fantastic moment!!! <G> Once Kate finally was able to straighten up and catch her breath she just looked at Tim, shook her head and said, “you’re so full of shit” which just got the audience laughing and cheering even louder.  It was great, just great! Another goofball up on stage to keep the audience on their toes.  The money was well worth it just for that one moment of Kate and Tim up on stage. So wish I could’ve taped that.

Kate & Tim played on that topic a little longer with Kate trying to convince all of us that she’s actually, “very meek and mild” at home. We all laughed over that too. Then Tim said something and I can’t remember but Kate, quick as can be, shot back, “... alright Mr. Mulgrew.” Again, we all lost it. Those two definitely put on THE show for us. It was hysterical!!

I do remember a few other things about Kate on stage. Margie (my driving buddy) had a beautiful gift to give to Kate. It was a beautiful, hand-stitched portrait of Kate and Tim dancing at the ICC Gala in New York last year or the year before in a gorgeous frame. Margie had a photo of Kate and Tim dancing and used that to replicate how they looked.  She waited in that long line and when she finally was able to present them with the gift, Kate thanked her, showed the audience and said, “notice the steamy embrace”, and then handed it to Tim to show him. As she continued to talk with Margie a little, Tim was inspecting the picture. He finally realized that it was he and Kate dancing. When Kate stood up from talking with Margie, he got her attention and said, “it’s us”.  Kate didn’t understand at first so he showed her the portrait and again said “it’s us”.  Kate was surprised a little and said, “oh, it’s my husband” and laughed because she thought it was just her with some miscellaneous man I guess.  I was glad that Tim realized that. The way he was looking at the portrait I’m sure he’ll find a place for it either in their home or his office. It was really very beautiful. Impressed me that’s for sure.

Another woman had a baby and Kate had her come up on stage so she could hold the baby. Giving him this very mischievous look she turned to Tim and said, “Honey, look.” Tim was quick to say, “Just don’t get any ideas” which of course made us all laugh again. Kate held that baby for a good five minutes before giving her back to her mom. It was really very cute.

Kate goofed on men a lot too, which all of us woman just absolutely loved because everything she said is just so true.  She said how women are so emotional and will open up and tell her why they enjoy her work and Janeway. She also mentioned how it was great that women who came to these conventions maintained their friendships and how that was most important, which is very true also. But when it comes to the men, they say, “yeah, you’re an okay Captain” or something along those lines. All of us women were quick to laugh and agree.  Right after that it was this young guy’s turn to ask a question. He gets up to the mike and says,  “I don’t really have a question, I just wanted to come up and get a picture”.  Kate made this great face and said “see what I mean?” and then made this shrugging-type gesture. It was perfect and fit right in with what she had just been talking about.  I gotta tell ya, she definitely kept us laughing throughout her whole time on stage. It was great!

Only one little boy came up on stage and he was very shy.  Kate had him stand in front of her while a picture was taken and when he mumbled and shuffled back off stage,  Kate gave this great shrug and was like, “men – starts young”. Again, laughing ensued.

Kate continued to answer questions and was very gracious when people were overwhelmed talking with her or were stating their appreciation for her ,even those who would overdo it. I really have to give her credit for that because it’s a lot of pressure to put on a person and a lot of responsibility for that person to know that just by doing her job and being herself, she has had such an impact on people, even to the point of saving their lives by stopping them from committing suicide or something.  Very classy lady – she handles it well.

Before we knew it it was time for Kate to finish up on stage. She seemed just as surprised. She answered one more question and thanked us all, waving goodbye as she walked behind stage.

Emily Barth came back out on stage and let us know that they were setting up the autograph area and that we would go row by row. Being in the first row, I was very psyched to know that I didn’t have to wait long and that I would catch Kate while she still had energy. I’m sure they must get very tired by the end of the autograph line just itching to be done, just like those of us waiting to get the autograph.  While we were waiting, Emily played the music videos again and did a Q&A session.

In no time at all, row 1 was called to begin the autograph line. Before I knew it I was getting Kate’s autograph. While she was signing my photo of the three ladies, I looked right at her and smiled, saying “Hi Kate”. I noticed that the people in front of me didn’t even make an effort to talk with Kate or say "Hi" and neither did Kate because she was just so busy signing away. (I think they had about 4-5 autograph tickets each so there were pictures everywhere waiting for her signature. She didn’t even have time to look up.  Then it was my turn. With just one picture I wanted that one moment with her. I wanted to not be so quiet and to sound cheerful which is very much my nature anyway <G>. When I said ‘Hi’, Kate looked right up and gave me a big smile, saying ‘Hi’ back. She slid my picture towards me and I said thanks, she nodded, and that was that. And that’s all it takes to make me happy. Just a moment - after all, it’s all moments that make up an entire life so I was happy to share that moment with her :0)  Love that lady!!