RanDoM Flight Cruise
April 1, 2001
|By D.A. Kent
Many Thanks to Deb for sharing her report!
Please do not repost without permission although you may link to this page.
Photos by D.A. Kent - Please do not repost or reproduce.
SUNDAY, APRIL 1, 2001
On Sunday, Sandy and I got up at 5:45 a.m. and got ready to leave for the day. We finished packing our bags and separated what we'd have to take with us for the day from what we needed to pack into the car. Sandy waited for a Bellhop to take our things down while I ran down to the parking garage for the car. There's no valet parking yet while the hotel is still being refurbished. We loaded everything into the car, and then re-parked the car and met the rest of the RanDoM Flight people outside by the "Delta Shuttle" service at 7:45 a.m.
We were shuttled to Marina del Rey to our cruise boat, the Fantasea One. This was a Charity Cruise hosted by the RanDoM Flight Fan Club (Robert Duncan McNeill’s fan club) for the Elizabeth Glaser Foundation for Pediatric Aids. It sold out fast this year - 150 people plus the Voyager cast members: Robert Duncan McNeill, Kate Mulgrew, Robert Beltran, Garret Wang, Roxann Dawson, Tim Russ and Bob Picardo. What a wonderful event!
The RanDoM Flight fan club did a great job of putting the Cruise together! They had many silent auction items with autographed memorabilia available to bid on, and they brought the items onto the cruise boat in the lounge area on the bottom deck so everyone would have a couple more hours to look the items over and place their bids. The items included: A "Resolutions" basket, complete with a script of "Resolutions" autographed by Kate Mulgrew and Robert Beltran, a bottle of champagne and two Voyager champagne glasses in a nice basket, an "Equinox" set, with an "Equinox" script autographed by the entire Voyager cast, complete with Call Sheets and Shooting Schedule. There was a Paris/Torres basket, a Tim Russ basket, a Doctor basket, as well as autographed items from other series' stars, and many other items, as well.
At the check-in table outside on the dock, we lined up to show our photo ID's and collect our program and name badge. The night before, the RanDoM Flight coordinators drew tickets from the chances box and put different people with different stars. They said that most people were seated with a star. Other than just Voyager cast members, Lolita Fatjo and Eric Stillwell had tables, too. The name of the person whose table we were to be seated with at lunch would be on the back of the name badge.
So, at check in, I had my official letter but hadn't pulled out my photo I.D. - I apologized for holding up the line, but thought I didn't need the I.D. if I had the letter. As I was rummaging in my bag, someone from behind the table leaned forward and whispered, "It'll be worth it." I didn't know what she meant by that (and still am not even sure who said it!), but as soon as I got my name badge, saw the name "Kate Mulgrew" on the back of it, and screamed, I knew what she meant! I was so flustered I even forgot my program, and had to go back for another one! We were also given leis to wear.
And a few minutes after check in, they drew some "door prizes" and I won the audiocassette "Q vs. Spock" the sequel. This was my most lucky day – to sit at Kate's table would have been my greatest wish of all, so I guess dreams do come true!
We stood around a bit and got further instructions as the actors arrived and boarded the boat. We took a few pictures, but most of them were of the actor's backs, though Sandy got a GREAT one of Kate and her husband, Tim Hagan, arriving!
Finally, we boarded the ship and went downstairs to view the silent auction items and have some champagne or juice. The Voyager cast came out and mingled and had photos taken with whoever wanted photos.
Robert Beltran came down and spoke to someone for a moment, then saw me and grinned and walked over and hugged me. I guess he's finally recognizing me these days after seeing me so much in the past! I asked him if he's glad it's all over, though I wasn't sure I really wanted to hear the answer, and he said he is, yet it's difficult, too. I was relieved to hear that it isn't all that easy!
Then Sandy and I met up again, and went over to see Roxann - she is so sweet and Sandy and Roxann were talking about the movie that Roxann did a long time ago with William Shatner. Roxann said she couldn't believe Sandy remembered that, and that Shatner was so "kind" to her and so nice to work with. She said this was long before she ever dreamed of being a part of the same franchise as Bill. She said she's finished the trilogy she's been writing. Book One is called "Entering Tenebrea." She was signing Book One Limited Editions in the Annex off and on all weekend for charity. She said Book Two is due out in August, and she didn't know the exact release date of Book Three. We had our photo taken with her, too. We asked what she plans to do now that Voyager is ending, and she said she has a lot of things she is looking at, but she also wants to spend some time with her two young daughters and husband.
Then we had our photos taken with Bob Picardo and talked with him for a moment. I asked him how his birds are, and he seemed happy that I knew about them! He said they were fine and asked if I had birds, and I said, "No, I have cats," and he said, "I have cats." He said the strange thing is that they even get along with the birds! I said "I have seven cats" and he said "I have seven, too - three indoor and four outdoor." I said that all seven of mine are indoors, and he said ALL of his have long hair! I said, "You win!" It was great fun! Bob is purported to have all kinds of other animals, too!
Then Sandy and I went upstairs to find Kate! On the second deck, where the lunch tables were being set, we found Tim Russ! He was so amazing to talk to - neither of us had had the opportunity to talk with him before. We told him we really loved his performance the evening before and Sandy said "The Great Divide" is one of her favorite songs on his CD, and he said his NEW CD is out! We said if we'd known that, we would've visited the CD table after last night's concert and he said he'd have them at his autograph table Sunday afternoon after the Voyager folks spoke. He said he really likes the new CD - it has fewer songs on it than the other one, and is very different, but he thinks we'll like it. He plans to work primarily on his music after Voyager ends, especially at first.
Then Sandy and I went up to the topmost deck where we were told Kate was taking photos with everyone! The line was fairly short because we were some of the last people up! Kate is such a wonderful and gracious lady! She took her time with everyone and said "hello" and looked each person in the eye as she read his or her name badges. She talked to Sandy first and tried to pronounce her last name, then when I went up to see her, she looked at my name badge, said, "Debra Kent" then smiled, looked me in the eye again and said, "I'll be seeing you at lunch later today!" She already knew the names of the people who were going to be seated at her table! Somehow I managed to say that I was looking forward to it! She asked where I am from, too, and then after I told her, she turned to look me directly in the eye again, and said I look like a "southern girl!"
Sandy and I each had an individual photo taken with her and then one together of the three of us. Kate is so sweet - she literally puts her arm around people and pulls them tightly to her for a nice photo! She isn't timid about that sort of thing at all!
After our photo (no one was allowed to use flash - Kate said she didn't mind photos as long as there was no flash, and that's one reason she went to the uppermost deck - it's outside, and though the day wasn't sunny, there was light. Most of the celebrities don't like constant flash photography in their faces) Sandy and I stood to one side and took more photos (lots more photos!) of Kate! At one point, Kate took a call on a cell phone from another lady who was there and spoke on the phone with someone for about 5 minutes. It was purported that the lady on the other end of the phone was very ill and couldn't come to see Kate, but had always been a fan and wanted to see Kate so much. The lady's daughter was the one on the Cruise who gave the phone to Kate and asked her to talk if she would speak to her mother. Kate spoke for a while and then I heard her tell the lady she had to go because there were a lot of people waiting here for her. I saw the daughter move away with the cell phone, speaking to her mother, with tears running down her face. (I hope I have this story right - I heard it the same way from a couple of different sources!) Then we finally moved away from Kate, though it was difficult to do, and found Garret nearby and had our picture taken with him. He was fun and was telling stories to a group of people.
Finally, when we were all being asked to move downstairs for the lunch, we found Robbie and had our pictures taken with him! I was so glad – this was the first time I've ever had my photo taken with Robbie, Kate, Tim and Roxann, though I have had it taken with Robert, Garret and Bob before.
OH! Another rumor going around - I heard it only once, from someone on the Cruise. It seems some writer (I don't know who) is saying he/she thinks Voyager doesn't get home in the finale, but in a future movie instead. Now, this is one I don't really believe because supposedly they (Paramount/Viacom) are not looking to the future for a Voyager movie. Just thought I'd pass that along, for anyone who wants to speculate.
We all moved down to the tables on the middle deck for the brunch. Kate's table was at the center of the deck, and after I sat there was one chair left and then two seats together for Tim and Kate. (I sat next to Alicia from Arkansas - and talk about a small world! Alicia knows my friend Sylvia in Germany through their JetC group! Well, I met Sandy and Dee through our JetC group, too! And I even met Sylvia originally through J/C on the Internet!)
Anyway, we all gathered, and Kate and Tim immediately joined us. Tim sat to my immediate left, and during our meal I got to know a very nice man! I also enjoyed one of the most amazing 90 minutes of my life.
We all wore our name badges and Kate went around the table and asked whom we were and where we were from. Here are tidbits from our conversation, though they are not necessarily in the order that they occurred. I've tried to keep them in the best order possible, and I know I'm leaving out a lot:
Kate said she has just taken an apartment in New York, on the west side, and is very happy about that. I told Tim he must be happy that their running back and forth from coast to coast (practically) is drawing to a close. He said yes, but he still thinks they'll be doing a lot of running, but to New York instead. They are still building a house in Cleveland, but they'll be back and forth between Cleveland and New York.
I asked Kate if she's found a play she wants to do yet, and she said that she did, and she had agreed to do it, but then changed her mind. She said she decided to spend some time with her husband first.
Alicia said she has a new baby (11 months old, I think!) and the nice lady on Kate's left just received a very nice promotion recently in the Air Force! Kate raised her glass and said we have to toast them both! We raised our glasses and did! This lady also said that the other guys at work have air force items on the walls of their offices and she has Star Trek things!
I told Kate I really enjoyed seeing her and John DeLancie last April in Denver in "The Lion and the Portuguese"- I told her it was the first, and only, time my husband's gone to a convention with me, and he said that she and John's performance was worth the whole trip. She seemed very pleased to hear that, and I told her that when I asked John if they were going to make an audiotape of the play, he said I needed to ask her! She said, "He did? He said that?" I said yes, and she said, "You know John is a very dear friend of mine," and that she's known him a long time. I think we all nodded when she said that and then we were interrupted, and asked to get in line for our food!
We stopped talking to go to the buffet line. Robbie's table went first. They hosted the event and Kate yelled, "Why do they get to go first?" and Robbie threw her a "nah nah-because we're better!" look when his table went to the buffet. Our table was next, and Kate led the table and Tim motioned for me to follow behind her. I think Tim let all of us out and he came in last. Important Kate-fact: She "has to have" butter and salt! After we got our salad, she took a roll and pointed at a glob of goo and whispered, "Do you think that's butter?" We looked around and there was nothing else, so I said I guess so, and the guy behind the buffet leaned forward and she asked him. He said it was honey-butter, so she shrugged at me and said she had to have butter, and took some. There were scrambled eggs, bacon, sausage, eggs benedict, rolls, a lovely green salad - and that's all I remember. I'm lucky I recall that much!
I later realized that I STOOD IN A BUFFET LINE WITH KATE MULGREW AND TALKED ABOUT BUTTER!
After we all sat down, Tim asked her if she'd like some coffee and she said yes, then he stood and asked if I'd like some, too. I said yes, he asked how I take it and I said with a little cream or milk, and Tim left and came back with TWO CUPS OF COFFEE - one for me and one for her! Yes, I feel like a groupie! I can't help it! And, yes, my coffee was just the way I like it
Kate asked me "What do you do?" and I told her I'm an office manager in an investment banking company. She asked if I like it, and I told her I finally have a wonderful job, but I'm not "following my passion" as she so often says one should do. I told her I have plans to do that someday, that I want to write, and that my husband is very supportive of me. Kate seemed very interested, and nodded adamantly when I said I wanted to "follow my passion" - and it's true that I often think of her saying that. I've heard her say it often enough that it's ingrained into my head!
Kate was asked if she thinks that by playing Kathryn Janeway, she has limited her future roles and she said no, that she thinks it hasn't harmed her chances of playing any other part at all. In fact, she thinks that because of her age and being a woman, a lot of other opportunities will open up for her.
I asked how it feels to be the only person to do what she's done, play a female Captain, and she said she may not remain the only one – that there may be another female captain someday - but she asked if we all are aware that the next captain on the new series is a man again. We all said we did know that.
I asked Tim about his girls - I said I recall that he has two. He seemed surprised, for only a moment, and then said yes, they are ages 10 and 12 and they're going to come out here for Easter. He says he tries to get back here every 10 days or so, but it's difficult. He has to do most of the traveling because Kate's stuck being here. She joined the conversation then and said yes, it's very difficult - her contract stipulates that she is here at all times. She said they (the studio) really couldn’t do it any other way, though.
I told Tim that my husband travels a lot and we're apart quite a bit. He asked how we handle the time apart, and I said it's somewhat good for our relationship - we appreciate each other more - and he nodded toward Kate and said she doesn't think the same way. I said we trust each other, thankfully, or our lifestyle wouldn't work out so well. He nodded as though he completely understood. I told him it's my first marriage and my husband's second, and that his first had been nearly 25 years. He nodded and said it's Kate's second marriage and his second one, too, and that his first one had lasted 19 years. He asked how I get along with my husband's children and I said that we get along great and have never had a problem, but of course they were all over the age of 21 when I met their Dad.
Kate turned to the conversation and asked, "You don't want children?" Well, she didn't ask if I had wanted them, but rather seemed to be asking if I want them now! She thinks I am still young enough to have them? Uh, well, I guess stranger things have happened! Anyway, I said no, that I never really wanted them. I told her I have a lot of cats instead, like Bob Picardo, and she shook her head and said Bob has lots of everything! Then she went on to say that when it comes to working with a true professional, Bob is the absolute best! She said he is always on time, works hard, and is prepared and tireless.
Another lady at the table spoke about what a wonderful role model Kate is for young girls as well as being there for the mothers of young girls to point toward.
Tim asked the two other men at the table if they had a problem with a female captain, and they both said no. One said he was used to being around women in charge, and the other said it's never bothered him. This was a very nice man from England. I saw him later at the convention and really wished I had taken the time to get his e-mail address! He said he's worked hard for a long time, and worked lots of overtime, too, just to save enough money to come to the States for this convention, and for the Cruise. I asked him if it had been worth it, and he said that just to sit at the table with Kate on the Cruise made the whole thing worthwhile. Such a nice man!
Tim asked all of us what is so special about Star Trek? Do we follow the stars of the shows from convention to convention, or do we follow the characters of the shows? We all talked about the camaraderie of the Star Trek people, how we've met some wonderful life-long friends through Trek conventions and the Internet, and how the world of Star Trek has basic values and lessons for all of us to learn, and strong principles to adhere to. Gosh, in retrospect, we sounded a lot like Captain Janeway talking to the senior staff about the Prime Directive!
Tim and I talked a little bit about politics he's from Ohio originally, and about the last election for a moment or two. I did not want to get in the middle of a huge political discussion with a lifelong democrat who knows a heck of a lot more about all of it than I do! But he said that his main concern is that the people in the current administration once again do not understand what the everyday person's concerns are - these people have money and have always had money, and do not understand Everyman's Plight (these are my words, not his!) Not to get into politics here, but I personally agree. I asked him if he has a website where we can follow his campaign/political concerns, and he said he doesn't have one yet, but he and Kate have been tossing the idea around.
When we were all discussing strong people and not allowing ourselves to be manipulated, several people were giving examples of situations they've been involved in. I told about how my last boss went through thirteen assistants in just two years before I came to work with him. After I was there two months, other employees made constant remarks that I'd outlasted everyone else! I stayed with him for over a year, and then he left the company. Kate nodded, and asked why I was different. I said it was because I refused to allow him to manipulate me. My husband, family, friends, and my personal life are what are important to me, and working for this man was only a job. When my boss had tantrums, I left his office and told him when he was ready to talk, he knew where to find me. After years of dealing with difficult people, I said, one has to know when to let go of the emotional element and not take it personally. Kate nodded and said that I dealt well with him "because you know who you are."
I asked if she was prepared to go back out into the "real world" after seven years of being in the Voyager world, and she said that she and Tim were just talking about that yesterday -they had figured that ten percent of her life has been spent playing Captain Janeway.
I asked Tim if he knew what he was getting into when he married Kate and he said not at all - he didn't watch television and didn't know anything at all about Star Trek. He said it took a bit of time to get used to being called "Mr. Janeway" and "Mr. Mulgrew." Though he's been in the limelight, in politics, most of his life, now the spotlight is on his wife! Then he told a cute story about a friend of his who is (or was) an Ohio congressman, and an attorney. He said this is a very intelligent man, and one who had advised Tim in several matters. Tim hadn't spoken to this man in awhile, but then one day they had a phone conversation and Tim told Jim (?) that he was getting married. He said Jim was very pleased and congratulated him and asked if he knew the lady. Tim said no, she lives in California and Jim wouldn't know her. Her name is Kate Mulgrew. Tim said there was complete silence on the phone, and he said "Jim? Jim?" and Jim finally said, "You're marrying Captain Janeway?" And Tim said yes, and then Jim started to talk about Star Trek - he went on and on, and Tim had no idea this man was a Trekker! Then, about three weeks later, Kate was due to visit and his friend called him three or four times that day to see if she was there yet, and wanted to know when he could meet her. At this point, Kate laughed, and said that when she met Jim, he couldn't speak at first. Any errors in names or in the story are my own!
I asked Kate if she feels she's changed in the past seven years, and she looked at Tim quickly, then said that this was the other thing they've been talking about the past couple of days. I said I thought she was different, and she asked me in what ways I think she's different. I said it's hard to put into words, but she seems more "settled," and she seems to know what she wants more. There's a definite tone to her talks these days. Of course, I'm going by various interviews and television slots. (NOTE: She didn't seem surprised at all that I would have an idea of how she's changed, and in what ways; what the differences are in her now vs. before! Now, that is a good example of someone who's used to being in the limelight! We've never met, yet we were discussing how she's changed over the years! And she seemed very interested in hearing my thoughts, and in hearing what other people had to say, as well!)
Kate said she's learned a lot over the years - that it's not possible to be both a good mother and good at her craft too, something she mentioned again later, during her talk at the convention, and that she's not always been successful at being a good mother. I told her that my husband's middle child and he were at odds for many years, and suddenly things changed about six years ago, and now they are closer than he is with his other two children. Kate asked what changed and I said that one evening when they were having dinner he told her he knows he wasn't the best father when she was growing up, but he did the best he could do at the time, and he won't feel guilty today for something he can't change now. He told her she was hurting herself, and not him, by carrying around that old baggage. Kate smiled slightly and shook her head, and then the conversation went on to something else! I can't believe the conversation got that mellow during brunch! NOTE: Other people made very insightful comments, too, and I wish I could remember all of them!
Kate talked about how difficult it was to be the first female Captain in Star Trek. She said the first time she touched one of her commanding officers on the shoulder, she immediately got a phone call from the head of Paramount! He told her that it was inappropriate, and they couldn't have that, and she said she had to do it, though she would be cautious and careful, and not abuse it. She said she needed to occasionally make physical contact in order to show approval, etc.
One of the ladies at the table commented that one of the most special things about Janeway is that she's not anyone's mother, so to speak. She encourages, nurtures and commands in her own special way, but is not a mother hen.
At about this time, Garrett was acting crazy, walking like a waiter and holding his plate above his head on his way from the buffet table to his group's table. Kate said to all of us, "And he wonders why he's not been promoted!"
Someone asked if Kate will be sorry to see the series end (she said the last day of filming is Monday, April, 9th, making that six shooting days left), and she said she has mixed feelings, but though she's anxious to move on to other things, she'll miss the rest of the cast tremendously. She said they've been together for seven years, and many long days, and they've been through a lot together. She said they know each other intimately; know each other's families and what's going on in each other's lives. And now they'll all be going on to other things apart from each other, and will probably never be together again in a situation like this (the Cruise.)
She said that only a couple of days ago, she filmed her last scene with Tim Russ and she had a very difficult time getting through it. She said she ended up crying uncontrollably. Tim (her husband) nodded. He said she came home that evening still upset and in tears. He said this finale is really tough for her to get through, and she's been in tears more than once already. Kate nodded, and said that this last scene with Tim Russ was one of the worst to get through so far, but she knows there'll be many more difficult scenes ahead. She didn't say more about the finale, and I was glad no one asked for more. We all understood she couldn't talk about it. And let me take this opportunity to say that everyone at our table was wonderful! No one asked dumb questions or said things that were uncalled for. Everyone was very "professional" and I think that made Kate feel very comfortable, too!
Tim said that at first he didn't think Kate's job was all that difficult, but he soon saw how wrong he was. He said he couldn't do what she does - she works hard, from 5:30 a.m. until around 11:00 p.m. He said last week she worked 75 hours.
We talked about the redundancy of the job. I mentioned that if it were a long, yet fulfilling, day that would be one thing, but because of the repetition of the scenes - being shot over and over and over again, this must be exhausting work! She nodded fiercely and said it was very exhausting and that sometimes she's been known to say, “Why can't we get this right? Let's move on! “
Then Robert Beltran said something at his table across the way. I don't know what he said, but Kate heard it and yelled over, "Watch your language, Robert - this isn't the set!"
I told Kate about the set tour I was fortunate enough to get last October (when she had the day off!) I told her that one of the most fascinating things for me was sitting in the Captain's Ready Room chair, and then realizing how difficult it was to stand from it without sprawling over the desk! The chair does NOT move! I told her that one of the highlights for me was to sit and stand, sit and stand, and try to figure out how she does that. To me, that is the sort of fascinating "back stage" information I love! Kate leaned forward and said "Yes, that's the true craft" of the business! I commented that she and that chair had to have spent a lot of time together early on, and she said yes they did, and then she told us that the secret to standing from that chair involves wrapping her toes around the leg of the chair and pushing as she stands!
At one point, when I was taking with Tim, Kate was talking with the lady to her left. She reached over and grabbed Tim's left hand and pulled it toward her. She was rubbing his palm and talking to the lady, and Tim asked me if I knew what she was doing. Kate turned toward us and said that this lady is a reflexologist, and Kate was asking some advice. She told Tim that at night he jerks his arm and accidentally hits her. Then she turned back to the lady and their conversation, and Tim looked at me and said that he knows I don't believe that one, because if it ever truly happened, it would only happen once! (Yes, I'm sure he's right about that!)
A lot of things were discussed and half way through our meal everyone seemed to open up and talk more, which was very nice. There was another nice lady sitting on the other side of Alicia who has just gotten accepted into acting school. I feel really glad to have been with a nice group of people who were very kind and who truly respected Kate and didn't put her into any difficult situations or pull her into conversations about things that made her uncomfortable or that she couldn't talk about, such as the finale.
I'm also pleased that someone came around and took a group photo of all of us at the table, with everyone's camera. That was a great idea, and a photo memento we'll always have.
Finally, someone announced that it was time for the Q and A session, and we all looked up and saw that we were the last table still sitting! As we stood to go, I leaned over to Kate and asked her to please not think me strange when I see her in the autograph line at the convention later today, and have tickets for EIGHT autographs! She reached over and touched my hand and grinned, then said; "I'll see you in the autograph line!" Then it was over, and we were all moving away.
The tables were all taken away quickly, as the actors went to the upper deck for some press photographs for a few minutes and I found my friend, Sandy, who unfortunately ended up not having as memorable a luncheon as I did.
The two of us grabbed a Mimosa and sat down for the Q and A, and the silent auction with the cast. We only had about half an hour or less at this point, because we were getting ready to dock. The cast talked a bit, and Robert and Garret did an imitation of Kate and Roxann working together as Captain Janeway and Lt. Torres - something along the lines of, "Oooohh, warp particles!" or something like that! - And then Roxann and Kate said they would do an imitation of them (Robert and Garret) at midnight - Roxann pointed to Kate, and Kate pretended to nod off, then let her head fall back in the chair and imitated a snore!
They said that many times on the set Roxann just starts laughing and can't stop, and she said she can't help it if she hears things inside her head that others don't hear, and she thinks they are funny!
Then Garret said that Roxann just now leaned over to him and asked if she can ride with him to the convention after this is over and he said "sure" but how did you get here today? And she said oh yeah, she'd forgotten she'd driven her car!
Then the actors were asked who their heroes are, and Robert Beltran said loudly, "Captain Janeway!" and everyone applauded. They all answered the question, and Kate said that her Mom was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s Disease nearly two years ago, and that she's being very brave and wonderful about it, although Kate is having a very difficult time accepting that this is happening to her mother. She said she's always taken strength from her mother, and has always admired her, but even more so now.
Garret told a story about a fan letter he'd once gotten with a photocopied photo of a nude muscular man's body with Garret's head on the top of it! He told a shorter version of this story later at the convention! He said that his Mom had been with him in his trailer on the set and was helping him go through his fan mail, and he told her to stop and go on home to fix dinner. He said that asking her to stop when he did is one of the best things he's ever done! He said he continued to open mail for a bit and found this photo! Then he demonstrated the pose of the man in the photo! He squatted, with his legs open and both his hands behind his head, and looked off to the right. He said that without saying much more, the bottom part of the photo formed a tripod! Everyone was laughing, but Garret said he was horrified when he first saw this photo, and just then Robbie Duncan McNeill knocked on his trailer door and he showed the picture to Robbie - according to Garret, he was still horrified! - And Robbie grabbed the photo and took it out and began showing it to the entire crew!
Then they began to auction the Silent Auction items since we were nearly out of time. The Voyager Set Tour (minus Engineering which was supposedly already gone, as well as Neelix's kitchen and the Mess Hall, and minus whatever set was hot that day!) was for four people, and went for $8,000.00! The lady who won it took three other people from the Cruise with her. It was for Tuesday morning (two days later), and the date couldn't be changed. Part of her report has appeared on the RanDoM Flight site, and she's promised more soon!
Several other items went for quite a lot of money, too, including Beanie Babies (9 of them) autographed individually by each of the current nine cast members. Autographed photos and a Captain Proton poster, a prop hypo spray and prop padd, which were autographed by both Robbie and Bob Picardo all went for a lot of money, but I can't remember how much. A shirt worn by Robert Beltran at the Galaxy Ball went for quite a lot of money, too - it was signed by nearly everyone, and Kate signed it right there while he modeled it! It was "complete with Robert's DNA" according to Robbie - it had been aired, but not washed. Then Robert took it off and stuck part of it down his pants (I think this is what ultimately jumped the price up a lot more!)
Afterward, the Silent Auction winners were listed on a pad of paper and everyone who won one was asked to stay behind a bit longer to collect their items and pay for them, while some of the actors went back to the upper deck for another last press photo.
Sandy and I went to the upper deck when we were allowed to, in order to find Robert one last time. He wasn't going to be at the convention due to a schedule conflict (he had a poetry reading in Long Beach that evening) and we wanted to have our pictures taken with him! So, he saw us and came over and we had our photos taken. Sandy told him we would go to the poetry reading if she weren’t flying out that evening, and he hugged us and left.
We stopped downstairs to use the restrooms before we departed, and I went into one of them while Sandy waited. When the door opened to the one next door, Robert came out and winked at her and left, and she went in. Does using the same restroom as one of the stars count as anything?
Sandy and I left the boat and got into the waiting bus to go back to the convention center. The day was still overcast, but nice. We arrived back at the convention hall just in time to get to our seats in Row J before Garret came onstage.
Because of the Cruise, we missed the morning events: Majel Barrett Roddenberry, Scarlett Pomers, Chase Masterson, Rene Auberjonois, Armin Shimerman (we saw the last couple of minutes with Rene and Armin, and I really hope to see them sometime in the future!) We also missed some of the Babylon 5 folks and Michael Westmore in the smaller auditorium.
Garret came onstage and spoke for about half an hour. He was very funny and entertaining, and said he's looking at doing a movie about a Chinese-American who is a country music star from Dallas. Garret is from Memphis, TN, and he admitted that he could do a country accent better than a Chinese one! He said he would have to tweak it a bit to make it a Texas accent, but he could do that. Then he did his imitation of a Chinese laundry, complete with egg rolls! Roxann came to one of the side microphones where people ask questions of the performers, and asked if it is true that there are nude photos of Garret on the Internet. Everyone laughed, and Garret asked if everyone knew who this is - Roxann Dawson, and she came onstage for a moment to tell everyone that she was signing her book in the Annex until the rest of the Voyager people came onstage later. After she left, Garret told the story he'd told on the boat earlier about the nude fan photo.
At the end, Garret said that he'd only just found out that Creation was charging for his autograph. He said he's never charged for an autograph before (which is true) and that it wasn't his intent to have people pay extra for them.
Since I had purchased two autograph tickets for Garret, I got in line for those while Robert Wise was on. He directed "Star Trek: The Motion Picture" and "The Andromeda Strain." His is in his mid-80's now and spoke so softly I couldn't hear him from the sidelines. Sandy said it was difficult to hear him from the main seats, too.
I had a poster for Garret to sign, but I also purchased an 8X10 photograph at his table of the 100th Anniversary Celebration - with the cast and the big cake, and Kate with the knife in her hand, ready to slice it up! I've seen this photo before, but rarely, and it usually sells for a lot more than the $5.00 Garret was selling them for, and I wonder if he did that because we all had to pay extra for his autographs!?
Just as I was going behind the black curtain for Garret's autograph, the video tribute to Captain Janeway came on, and of course I missed that! Sandy said it was really good!
Kate was on for about 45 minutes or so.
On the Cruise she wore beige slacks and black shoe/boots with a low heel,
and a black leather jacket with a black knit sweater under it, and a beige
scarf and black leather cap! At the con, she changed the black leather
jacket for a beige jacket that matched the slacks, and exchanged the beige
scarf for a dressier black one! She removed the cap and did her hair
nicely, too. Nice way to do two separate outfits quickly, but I guess she's
used to doing that! Oh, I'll also take this time to mention that
Kate wears a gold wedding band on the third finger of her left hand along
with what looks like an anniversary band of diamonds on top of the band.
On the third finger of her right hand she wears a gold ring (a thicker
band of sorts) with a small onyx stone in the center. Her nails are
cut short and shaped (like Kathryn Janeway's!) and she wore a very unobtrusive
color on her nails (much like the neutral tone found in French nail kits.)
She thanked the fans and, as she's done so many times before, said that the Star Trek fans are the best that there are. She thanked everyone for supporting her and the show for seven years, and talked about how sad it is to say good-bye to the people she's gotten close to. She told a little bit of the story about her last scene with Tim Russ.
Usually, Kate (and the other cast members, too) talks a lot about the show and upcoming story lines, etc. but this year they are not allowed to talk about the finale at all, and they abided by that. This was definitely the right year to thank the fans, which happened in a lot of their speeches this time.
Someone said they saw Kate at a convention in Germany and she said she loved being there, but it was a bit disconcerting that the Germans don't want to discuss the Holocaust. A couple of Germans in the lines by the microphones said it was because they were taught to feel guilty about it and not to discuss it. Kate said she understands that, but healing cannot happen without first bringing it into the open.
Someone asked Kate if she had any pets, and she said she has a dog. The dog is older and suffering from cancer, and she said she thought she would have to put the dog down last week - she doesn't believe in letting someone suffer. But now the dog has rebounded a bit. Then she said, "Why am I talking about this?" and moved on.
Another person at the microphone said that her counterpart, Captain Janeway, loves to drink coffee, and asked if Kate likes it, too, and how does she take it?! She grinned and said yes, she is addicted to the stuff, too, and she likes it black!
She said she's learned a lot of things in the past seven years (and that she and her husband had figured just this week that Voyager has been a part of 10 percent of her life) and one thing she's learned is that "you can either be an excellent actress or an excellent mother, not both." She said there's six days left of shooting and that the script for the finale is "beautifully written," and that everyone in the room would be satisfied.
Finally, after a few questions, she was told she had 5 minutes left (I think she took 20!) and she talked about her mother and her bout with Alzheimer’s disease. She said she was going to auction off three items, and all proceeds from them would go toward Alzheimer’s research. She said we are within 20 years of finding a cure, and urged everyone in the audience to help in any way they can.
She had her script for "Caretaker," the Voyager pilot episode, brought out. She said that out of everyone in the cast, she is the best about keeping all of her scripts - all the revisions, call sheets, production notes, and shooting schedules for each one. She keeps them all together in a bookshelf as any author would keep their library. She's proud of each and every one of them, and they mean a great deal to her. She said she would not let this script go for anything less than what it means to her, so would someone start the bid at "2000?" And someone did right away, and then she began to run around the stage as the bidding went up, up, up. She joked with people as they bid, calling them "my prince" and "my princess" and "the kind of my heart," "my queen" etc. and to one fellow who bid really high, she yelled, "I love my husband, but he's out, you're in!" Finally, when a guy got the bid for $10,000, Kate was so happy, and she got off the stage and hugged him and spent a moment with him! Then she got back on the stage and they brought out her script "Resistance" for auction. She asked if we all remember that Joel Grey was in this episode with her, and it sold for $5,500, and then she sold an autographed photo of the final season cast in black (one we're all familiar with!) She said it was the last chance to get an autographed photo of this glamorous bunch of people who were lost in space! It went for $3,500.
Sandy and I were in Kate's autograph line (with practically everyone else who ever lived!) - thankfully, I'd bought our initial tickets last November, and we had number 236 to start. (They were lining us up for autographs in groups of 50, so we actually didn't have a long time to wait!)
While we waited, there was a no-minimum charity auction happening on-stage.
When we got about 20 feet away from the black curtain that Kate was behind, her husband Tim walked out to ask one of the Creation people something, and he looked up and saw me. I said "Hi, Tim" and he walked over and squeezed my arm, then smiled real big and said, "Hi there!" and went on his way! Tim Hagan is such a nice man (and quite good-looking, too!)
As we got closer to Kate, we noticed that they were really pushing people through her line! They had sold nearly 700 tickets for Kate's autograph, and they were trying to get people through as quickly as possible. The assistant was taking the tickets and the item for autographing, and then pushed it toward Kate, who signed it and moved it aside for the next one! She couldn't even look up, it was going so fast, and we weren't allowed to take photos!
When it was my turn in front of her, I leaned over and said softly, "Kate, I told you earlier I have a lot of items for you to autograph, but I'll make this as quick as possible." The assistant helped me get them set up in line and we moved them through quickly. Kate just kept signing and didn't look up until the end.
Then Kate stopped signing when mine were finally signed. She looked up at me and smiled, then leaned forward and said in that wonderful Kate-voice that moves me so much: "I enjoyed having lunch with you today." (I was so touched, I wanted to cry!)
I managed to say, "So did I, Kate. And your husband is such a wonderful man." She smiled even more and said, "Yes he is, isn't he?" And then she was nudged by the assistant to move on. She whispered, "Thank you," and went back to work, and I collected my things and somehow managed to move on myself.
Sandy and I stopped in a corner of the room to put our things away neatly - we had to regroup! Between us we had 13 autographs! Eight were mine, four were Sandy's and I had another one for a friend in Arizona who couldn't be there!
Then we made our way back to our seats. The Voyager cast (Roxann Dawson, Tim Russ, Ethan Phillips, Bob Picardo, Robbie Duncan McNeill) was already onstage and speaking, so we missed the first few minutes of their on-stage speech.
Some of the things I can remember are:
They were talking about some episode that Robbie directed and Roxann was originally in it - she thought there was a good scene that Robbie had cut out of the final show. He said the scene wasn't as important as others, and the two of them bickered good-naturedly about it. She said she ended up not being in the show at all because of his cutting her out of that scene.
Someone asked them a question and said something about it being a "contractual" moment when one of the regular cast members gets only a moment's walk-on for that episode. Robbie explained that that is also the studio looking out for them - they get paid the same whether they are used for an episode or not, but if they have even a small walk-on in an episode, they will later get residuals from that episode. Roxann mentioned that she would get NO residuals in that episode that Robbie cut her out of!
Someone asked the cast about fanfic on the Internet-- do they read it and what do they think about it? Most said they never have read it, and some didn't say anything directly, but acted as though they've never seen it. Robbie said he hasn't read it, but he's heard that some of the stories are "colorful." Everyone laughed, and the person at the microphone said that yes, some are. Bob Picardo asked who the most prominent male was in these stories and the person said Chakotay. Bob turned to the rest of the cast members and said "OH, so that's why he's not here tonight!" Of course, everyone laughed at that!
At one point, when they were saying again that they couldn't discuss the finale, Robbie did mention that Roxann was wearing a "different wig" in one of their finale episode scenes "the other day" and she swore up and down it was not a new wig, and that he couldn't discuss it anyway!
Roxann said she was really pleased with the way her hair and makeup has changed over the years and become what B'Elanna is today. She said that the original B'Elanna looked awful - really Klingon! She said she kept reminding the makeup and hair artists that she was also half HUMAN! She said there were really ugly ridges and that there were "all these teeth" and that she went home in tears after the first few makeup/hair sessions when they were trying to put her character's look together. She said she made sure she couldn't talk with all those teeth they gave her! She said she still has those stills at home and they make her cringe.
Ethan turned around and mooned the audience - the others goaded him in to doing it, and they said he has made a habit of doing it often on the set.
Bob Picardo said that the next time we all get together like this we'll be reminiscing instead of talking about how they can't talk about the finale.
One very interesting thing here: At one point, Ethan pointed out the makeup artist (in the audience) that does his (and Bob Picardo's) makeup on the set. He said that they only have TWO MORE DAYS to do his (Ethan's) makeup!!! Now, all of the episodes are finished completely except for the finale that they are shooting right now. And it's been rumored that Neelix will stay behind with some fellow Talaxians in one of the upcoming episodes!!! Okay, either he does NOT stay behind, OR they are shooting some flashbacks with Neelix, or something like that. But this was verrrrry interesting to hear! And I don't think Ethan knows even now that this was an important tidbit for some of us!
At the end, they did a big Group Hug and left the stage, then went into the Annex to sign autographs.
Brannon Braga concluded the day's festivities. He said he couldn’t talk about the newest Star Trek movie yet except to say that it involves cloning, Romulans and a great new villain, and John Logan writes the script who wrote "Gladiators" and who really wanted to write a Star Trek script next! (Brent Spiner and Rick Berman are co-writing the script with John Logan.)
Then Brannon spent the next ten minutes telling us he can't talk about the Voyager finale, and he can't tell us anything at all about the new Star Trek series, not even the title. I told Sandy I was going to go call the Airport and make sure her flight was leaving on time and call my husband, and also check with the hotel to make sure I had the correct directions back to LAX. We were really afraid we wouldn't be able to get autographs from the Voyager cast members who had not even started to sign autographs yet. We needed to leave for the airport by 8:15 at the latest, and we were in the 10th Row for autographing!
So, I left and ran my quick errands (and I must admit that it felt pretty good to walk out on Brannon Braga!) I was out and back again in about 20 minutes. Braga had finished up and the house lights were up. Sandy said they were just going to start autographing in the Annex with the Voyager cast! We were studying our watches carefully!
At this point, Dee and Jo came to tell us they were leaving for the day, and to tell us good-bye, knowing that we would be leaving as soon as we got our autographs. We asked if we could have their badges (they were in Row D!!!) and so we exchanged with them. Since the events were all finished for the day anyway, it didn't matter!
If we hadn't exchanged badges, Sandy and I would never have gotten our autographs! As it was, when Row D was called we ran like heck to the front of the line (actually to just behind the Row C people) and still had to stand for a while. We finally got our autographs at around 8:15 (as well as Tim Russ's new CD!) and stopped in a corner again to put our stuff away quickly in our bags. Then we ran like mad for the car and took off for the airport!!
I drove like a madwoman (which Sandy can attest to!) to the airport and we got her there at just the right time! Sandy's flight was due to leave at 10:00 p.m. and I dropped her off at around 9:05!
Then I drove myself home, and arrived at 10:00 p.m., thinking about how glad I was that I'd had the foresight to arrange to take Monday off from work!
It was a wonderful convention, and one of the most wonderful experiences of my life because I actually got to meet Kate Mulgrew and spend some time with her (as well as her husband Tim, who is a very nice and interesting person in his own right!) I never imagined this would ever happen to me, and I wouldn't trade the experience for anything!
I've admired Kate Mulgrew for many years, and have been flat out crazy about her for the past five and a half years, when I first discovered Star Trek Voyager. Many times stars (and even Star Trek actors!) are not who they seem to be, or who we want them to be, and we are disappointed when we finally do meet them. And sometimes we even hesitate to see someone we admire greatly for fear we'll suffer from disappointment and lose the "larger than life" feelings we have for them.
In this case, there was no need for the few flurries I was feeling inside prior to meeting Kate. She is even more beautiful in person, and a classy, personable, kind, and fascinating individual. She answers questions, but then asks them too. She is genuinely interested in what others have to say. I feel honored to have met such a lovely person.