Vulkon Convention Diary

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The 2010 Creation Vegas Convention Report is completed click here

Vulkon Convention Diary (October 2006, Altamonte Springs, FL)

Unfortunately, the Vulkon conventions have ceased, but there are other fan-run conventions available -

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Many other photos from this convention are on the other pages of this site.

My husband and I arrived at the con about 6:00 p.m. on October 27, 2006 for registration, etc.  We had pre-assigned seats, but we wanted to get that part out of the way early.  We found our good friends Maria and Laura waiting in line as well.  While we waited for the first event, we grabbed a snack at the very overpriced Hilton pub.  There were various other activities, such as Trek-related games, but those really didn't interest us.   The first show we took in was a presentation by special visual effects master, Lee Stringer, the man who designed the newest version of the "Battlestar Galactica" ship.  It was quite fascinating to find out that visual effects are rampant not only in science fiction, but in shows such as "Desperate Housewives."  I picked up a photo of the BSG ship for my friend Kev, and had Lee autograph it.

Next, we looked through the dealer's room, just for giggles and laughs, because everything in there was waaayyyyy overpriced.  It's amazing that people are willing to pay so much for these items. (I'm talking thousands of dollars!)

When 9:00 p.m. finally rolled around, we were still waiting for a musical performance by Tim Russ, better known as "Tuvok" on "Star Trek: Voyager."  He was surprisingly good, and did a very nice set.  Also present at that 'dessert party' were Armin Shimerman, Denise Crosby, and Suzie Plakson, who mingled with the crowd.  Shimerman was the only one other than Russ to stay after the concert.  Maria introduced us to Tim, and then we chatted with Armin Shimerman before leaving.  We stayed at my mom's, which was only six miles from the convention.  During the concert, Maria was sitting front-and-center, taking lots more shots for her Tim Russ Page

The next day, we rolled in at about 10:00 a.m. to chat with Tim Russ, but due to unfortunate planning, the line was wrapped around the halls.  Russ was in the same room as all the other autograph-signing "bonus guests" and you had to take a number just to get into the room.  They were only admitting fifteen people at a time (understandable, as the room was very small), but it was extremely frustrating to wait in a line with hundreds of other folks.  I eventually got a signed copy of Tim's CD.  I gave Laura a copy of a "Buffy The Vampire Slayer" CD, since she and I are big Buffy/Angel fans.  Laura and I got hooked on the Hilton's plate of fries (that's all, fries); of course they were way more expensive than they should have been.

The first stage appearance was by behind-the-scenes staffer, Lolita Fatjo (pronounced fah-show), who asked an elderly fan dressed as an "Andorian" to join her onstage.  All that make-up would give me a rash.

Next up was Walter "Chekov" Koenig, who had some less-than-flattering things to say about the recent Comedy Central©  roast of Willam Shatner.  He said he declined to attend, mostly because of the "vulgar" nature of CC's roasts, as opposed to the classic Dean Martin affairs.  I didn't see the roast, but apparently it was predominantly gay jokes about the recently self-outed George "Sulu" Takei.  Koenig also mentioned his participation in the fan-based project "New Voyages" - an amazingly well-done take on classic Star Trek. (not a parody)  That was the first event that required using our assigned seating.  The freaking back row of the center seats!  We felt really cheated by that.  Some of the general admission folks had better views than we, in some cases.

There were various other activities, such as costume contests, which were cute.

While watching one of these events, a guy standing behind me was speaking very tenderly on his cell, and I turned around.  He asked me if he was talking too loudly, and I said, "No, you just sounded very sweet."  He told me it was his daughter, and that he was helping her sell her house.  Apparently she was very stressed regarding this.  It wasn't until much later that I realized I had been chatting with Andrew Probert, the man who designed the Next Generation "Enterprise!"  Doh!  He presented a very fascinating look at the logic of designing spaceships, and how despite it being fantasy, it's based in reality.   He also took some shots at those 'racers' that were featured in the fourth "Star Wars" movie (though it's a prequel, and was sort of the "first movie").  He explained that there was no way such a vehicle, that is gasoline-powered, could function with that design, and that it was just 'dumb.'  hehehe

The planned "Klingon bar" fell apart as soon as the Hilton staff found out someone would be selling drinks besides them.  Well, we can't let anyone else charge $3 for a coke, now can we?

Next up was Denise Crosby, who I asked why her her guest character on the late, great series "Brisco County, Jr." was the only one who didn't get to boink the very hot titular Bruce Campbell character.  She laughed and said she'd never tell what happened off-camera, to which I said, "I don't wanna know!"  She then said Bruce was a very gentlemanly, happily married man; she paused a bit, then said, "Too bad!"  Just before her time onstage, I snapped pix of her and Suzie Plakson playing with a service dog of a fan.  Denise said that was the only fan for which she'd ever laid on the floor. 

The headliner for the convention was the very eloquent Avery Brooks, who as usual, was erudite, gracious, and friendly.  Avery was amazed to hear that two fans paid over $1,000 to sit next to him at the convention's banquet.  Hey, I love Trek stars, but that's just nuts!  At Brooks' autograph signing (it came with our ticket, though we already have his autograph), I asked him if he remembered me and my daughter from the Vegas con - to my amazement, he did! (that story was posted in the Creation con diary - guess we made an impression hehehe)

Onstage next was Tim Russ, who sang a little more, and told very funny stories about pranks he and other "Voyager" cast members pulled.  He was very gregarious, which is nothing like what we're used to seeing in someone who played "Mr. Vulcan."

Armin Shimerman had to go on alone, as Rene Auberjonois had to bow out at the last minute.  They were supposed to do some improvisational jazz.  Shimerman instead did a Shakespearean scene, even going so far as to morph a hump on his back.

We didn't attend the banquet, so we left for the day after Shimerman's appearance.  Laura had to go home Saturday, so we bade her goodbye and safe trip (she drove).

Sunday we showed up at 9:00 to see Jonathan Frakes, but found out he was snowed into his home in Maine.   The convention organizers flew Gates McFadden out instead, but she wasn't up for her appearance until about 11:30 a.m.  Each of the stars signed the convention banners onstage, which were auctioned for charity (all auction items were for that).  When Gates signed the banner, she wrote her name across Jonathan Frakes' face, which was what the host specifically forbade.  What a brat! hehehe  Gates was very adamant about no flash photography while she's speaking (can't blame her - how annoying), but of course not everyone listened.  She allowed us to take pix of her autographing, without flash, which is only fair. (We were supposed to get Frakes' autograph, but oh well)

Suzie Plakson came out and answered all the usual questions from the start, so that she wouldn't be asked them again ("I'm 6'1, etc.") , so you can tell she's a convention veteran.  She said she hadn't done any acting for about a year, and some yutz in the audience asked her if it was by choice!  She said, through her teeth, "No, and thank you for asking."  (not an exact quote)  Everyone glared at the idjit; how rude of him!  She was her usual snarky, frank self; not a phony bone in that girl's body!

The final event (for us, anyway, since we had to leave for Mass), was Walter Koenig's presentation of the "New Voyages" episode he did.  Fortunately, we can see that online, so we left about halfway through.

The Creation conventions in Las Vegas are better, but Vulkon just needs to work out the kinks, just as Creation did.  I recall Creation's first Trek con; though they had bigger stars (everybody wants to go to Vegas), it was an organizational nightmare.  I think Vulkon has the potential to be very good in the future, and I'm willing to give them another shot, should they have another con near us.  They're certainly nicer to the fans in general.

This web site is in no way associated with Star Trek®, its actors, or any other affiliations related to the Star Trek® franchise.  Star Trek® is a registered trademark trademark of Paramount Studios®  All photos on this page were taken by Natalie Larkowski (unless otherwise identified), and are not meant to be used elsewhere without expressed permission. 04/20/2008

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