Occhi Magazine covered The Official Star Trek Convention 2017 in Las Vegas, August 2nd through August 6th, and it was an amazing experience!
We would like to thank Creation Entertainment for giving us the opportunity to cover this prestigious event. The staff was kind and very well organized. Great job! I and the Chief Editor of Occhi Magazine are insanely huge Star Trek fans. The event was held at the Rio All-Suite Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas, Nevada. Inside of the convention center, which is 160,000 square feet and seats over 6,000 people. The entire casino was packed with all sorts of extremely interesting characters, including everything from Vulcans, Ferengi, Romulans, Klingons, and Cardassians and even a pair of Antedians from The Next Generation episode Manhunt. Needless to say, it was a full house, and the sheer size of the venue was a testament of how large the Star Trek community really is. Trekkie for life! Literally!
As I entered the venue, the moderator, Scott Mantz, was preparing to announce the next guest, then he said, “I would like to welcome William Shatner to the stage.” Of course, being a true fan of Star Trek myself, I almost passed out. As I made my way to the front of the stage, slightly star struck, I knelt down in the media pit, positioned my cameras, and started taking photos and sending them to the editor. I was 5 feet away, which allowed for some really amazing photos. The ridiculous thing was, I kept finding myself doing more listening and watching, then photographing and writing.
Shatner discussed his books, his acting process, and the way he approaches acting as a character. He spoke of his love for beauty. He said that he loved Gene Roddenberry, and that he was amazing. He thanked Lucille Ball the comedian (I Love Lucy), and her studio with Desilu Productions for producing Star Trek. Desilu Productions was co-owned by Lucille Ball and her husband Desi Arnaz. Desilu was the number-one independent production company until it was sold in 1967, and renamed Paramount Television. Okay so I’m way too young to have watched the original episodes when they aired in the 60’s, that was over 50 years ago, but currently, I have watched virtually every episode of Star Trek: The Original Series (1966–69), Star Trek: The Next Generation (1987–94), Star Trek: Deep Space Nine (1993–99), Star Trek: Voyager (1995–2001), and Star Trek: Enterprise (2001–05). Now I can’t wait for Star Trek: Discovery (2017). Honestly, I still re-watch episodes from time to time when they re-air on the BBC.
Clearly, I’m a fan, but to have an up close and personal experience with Captain James T. Kirk (William Shatner) was priceless, and oh, my gosh, he was hilarious. He was constantly cracking jokes. I’m sure I laughed 95 percent of the time he was on stage. He took questions at the end of his panel, and one guy stood up and asked, “What was his favorite experience with the women he had relationships with on the show?” Shatner went off. He told the guy in front of a crowded room of thousands of people, “That is the dumbest question I ever heard.” The crowd roared in laughter. He went on to say that he could barely remember any of those women and that it was not important. Shatner then told the guy to ask a real question.
It was an absolute joy to see Captain Kirk (William Shatner) at age 86, so vibrant and full of life. After his panel ended, the band played for a minute or two, then out walked Brent Spiner with LeVar Burton. Spiner was holding a Star Bucks cup. Brent Spiner played Lieutenant Commander Data and LeVar Burton played the Chief Engineer, Lieutenant Commander Geordi LaForge on the show Star Trek: The Next Generation. Both accompanied by two beautiful showgirls in true Las Vegas fashion. These guys were a riot! Posing for pictures, LeVar Burton was acting out scenes, while Brent Spiner kept impersonating Captain Jean-Luc Picard (Patrick Stewart) from Star Trek: The Next Generation through out their panel. Funny, oh so very funny. You had to be there!
Brent Spiner is a straight up comedian. What I found interesting is the types of questions that were asked. One convention-goer, who was diagnosed with autism as a child, thanked Brent Spiner for helping him overcome his childhood insecurities and interpersonal relations with people through his portrayal of Data. Brent took no credit. He gave it all to the writers and said that he was glad that his work was able to help.
One convention-goer stood out. The person’s passionate and heartfelt thanks to the panelist for being so kind, and in that moment you could feel this huge wave of humanity rushing through the building. Brent and LeVar showed the person great dignity and honor that the experience would have brought tears to your eyes. Having worked on such diverse content, such as Star Trek, Roots the Mini-series, and the PBS children’s series Reading Rainbow, one convention-goer asked LeVar Burton about his views as an African-American living in America. One question was, “How would you fix the education system?” Burton summed it up in five words, “Get rid of Betsy DeVos!”
I had the opportunity to see an array of new characters, who will hopefully be seen on the newest addition to the Star Trek family, Star Trek: Discovery (2017). It is set to air on CBS on September 24, 2017. Congrats to Sonequa Martin-Green who is starring in the leading role as Michael Burnham, the first officer of the USS Shenzhou. The pretense of Discovery is based on a timeline a decade before the original Star Trek series. It explores the Federation-Klingon Cold War. Will they have transporters, will they have tractor beams, and will it be epic? Probably so! I’m not sure, but the ship is the USS Shenzhou, and as a fan, I can’t wait to see how this show turns out.
Live Long and Prosper.
Charlie Mac is a Music Entrepreneur, music publisher, music supervisor, music producer, composer, songwriter, recording engineer, public speaker, consultant, author, executive producer, and a highly sought after A&R executive, with years of experience in the music business. He is the CEO of MAC A MILLION DOLLAR MAN MUSICK, former SR VP of A&R for Makaveli Music Group, Music Supervisor for Black Noise Media, Program Director for Wutz Hood Radio, and Music Supervisor for MACFLY FILMS. He has had major success with multiple music placements involving major brands like, MTV, EPIC, VH1, GUNIT, SHADY, AFTERMATH, BIO, ATLANTIC, 40 ACRES, CASH MONEY, DTP, DEF JAM, NBC, WARNER BROS., CMT, ELEKTRA, ASYLUM, INTERSCOPE, DISCOVERY, LUKE, NBA, GEFFEN, GOOGLE, JIVE, MUZAK, TLC, KONVICT, ROCNATION, TIME, NIKE, VIOLATOR, MERCURY, VIACOM, etc., plus countless other major corporations, and international entities.