Autograph Hound's Blah Blah Blog

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Trek Expo Tulsa 6/25/11

Trek Expo has been on my radar for a while.
It’s a 4 hour drive. 4 hours isn’t that much of an issue as I drive to Houston all of the time but I’ve never been to Tulsa before.
I waffled on going but the fact that Jewel Staite was scheduled to be there was the deciding factor.
The drive was easy enough until the detour sign popped up. I hate detour signs. The exit I needed to take was closed. I tried following the detour signs. In short, I got lost. I didn’t panic because the car had GPS but it was frustrating. The 4 hour drive lasted 5 ½ hours.
I got there later than I wanted and full of adrenaline. I met some friends and we chatted for a few minutes; which was good as I was too pumped up to interact with the guests I wanted to meet.
I’ll admit this show was much smaller than I expected. Considering the lineup of guests I expected more vendors and attendees.  Although most of the crowd was in the panel room listening to whoever was speaking.
I walked up to Richard Kiel first. A young couple was in front of me and slightly disorganized.  He was very friendly and offered to pose with them. I got the honor of snapping their photos.  He had a nice selection of photos. I debated between the Twilight Zone or the Wild Wild West photos.
I next got Sherry Jackson. I must admit she was the first Star Trek character I noticed physically.  It was the physics of the outfit staying on that intrigued me as a young one. She was also selling a DVD of her scenes in various TV shows and the cover of the DVD was in the format of TV Guide. The back cover looked like the inside of a TV Guide.  I thought this was a clever way to highlight her career.
Felix Silla was in the back of the convention floor. He has a nice selection of photos and he inserted a headshot of himself on each one which I thought was a nice touch since his most iconic characters hid his face. Again, the choice was really between Cousin Itt from the Addams family or Twiki from Buck Rodgers.
The next two signatures were a pleasant surprise. Not being a hug Deep Space Nine fan, these autographs were lower on my list to get but I’m glad I did.
Armin Shimmerman spent years in makeup as Quark. I was attempting to get in and out quickly but he engaged me. Well, that is a great way to get on my good side. It turns out we are both Jersey boys. We spent some time talking about Jersey and what it was like growing up there. He grew up in Lakehurst, which is the site of the Hindenburg Disaster. While he was too young to see that, he did grow up seeing various lighter than air craft used at the local Naval Base. Then we talked about the last time we were both back home.  Really enjoyed the time I spent with him.
Since Max Grodenchik was at the next table, I slide on over and got him to sign a photo. Again, he was someone I wanted to be quick with. He signed my photo and asked whose signature I wanted on it. I know I must have tilted my head in puzzlement.  I said his signature would be fine.  Then he said something about having to remember how that was done since he spent so many years in a Philippine sweat shop signing William Shatner’s autograph at 17 cent an hour…I had question marks popping up over my head. Then he picked up a little personal fan and dried the ink on the photo. I left thinking I met a real character. But I was also very happy with both encounters.
I had to wait a while for Jewel to get back from lunch. I was wondering around the floor when I saw she was back. I rushed over as I saw she didn’t have a line.  I had a few things to say but I didn’t want to keep her from other fans.
A few years ago I got her autograph at San Diego ComicCon. It was for Stargate Atlantis and it was a rushed assembly line with a few other actors from the show. Amanda Tapping was next to Jewel. I was very excited by seeing Jewel but I must admit when I saw Amanda in person I was taken aback by how beautiful she was. On Stargate, Amanda had short hair and they did not glamour her up. So seeing her in person I stunned.  I mumbled something about how much prettier she was in person and she laughed and made a comment to the actor to her right that he needs to tell her that every day.  She thanked me and shook my hand. Since I was the one slowing up the line, security was dragging me out. I totally missed my chance to say something to Jewel. Jewel did sign my poster but I never said a thing to her.
So I wanted to share that story. I was first in line and no one behind me. As I look into her eyes I don’t remember a thing about what I want to say. Why does that happen? I did tell her I follow her on twitter and from that I got my wife reading her blog.  She gave me a big smile and thanked me. Then I told her how my wife like the comment posted about HAVING to buy every color of a shirt if you like it. She laughed and asked if she created a monster with my wife. I shook my head and said no.   Then I saw a line. I knew it was my time to leave. I said thanks and goodbye and not 2 feet away I realized I never told her about ComicCon.
So I was ready to go.
I found my friend and followed them back home ensuring I didn’t get lost. I must admit I did take a detour of my own on the way back. I stopped off at an Indian Casino and played poker for several hours. At least I knew my way back from there.

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