When we announced that we would be doing 24 hours of G & T for this year’s fundraiser to be held on Halloween, I have to admit that I was concerned. What in the world were we going to talk about for 24 hours? My co-hosts were not worried, but I was going out of my mind. My only directive was that it would be in the style of the old Jerry Lewis telethons. WHAT does that even mean?!? I vaguely remember watching them when I was a child. They had guests, entertainment, and a giant tote board tracking their progress hour by hour. Okay. So, we needed to find interesting guests; come up with games, discussion topics, and other means to entertain and engage our audience; and a means to track and monitor donations across our various payment platforms. How hard could that? With a bit of a game plan, we got work putting together 24 Hours of G & T.
We created a list of guests we wanted to talk to and contacted each and everyone of them. It was only at this point that we realized that the date we had set for the show, Saturday October 31st, was also the night Daylight Savings would take effect in the U.S. We were going to have a rolling temporal anomaly during our show forcing each of us to repeat an hour at different points throughout the evening. We had 25 hour-long time slots to fill for our “24 hour” show. I hate temporal mechanics.
It wasn’t long before we started to getting responses. We knew Halloween was going to limit the availability of some people with children, parties, and other community events, but we also hadn’t realized that Stan Lee’s Comikaze was going to be held that weekend as well. Some of our guests were going to be in attendance, or had other commitments. Head desk. Head desk. Yet, that didn’t stop us from quickly filling up our schedule. After months of planning, scheming, back room dealings, some begging, and countless hours of whimpering in the fetal position, we put together an impressive line-up of guests.
Our guest final guest list included: Brandon “Branflakes” Felczer, Terry Erdmann and Paula M. Block, Al Rivera, Dayton Ward, Teras Cassidy from Geek Nation Tours, Eric Stillwell, Women At Warp, Bye Bye Robot, Thomas “the Cat” Marrone, Nick “TumorBoy/TacoFangs” Duguid, Drunken Star Trek with Evie Vincent, Jen “The Klingon Pop Warrior” Usellis, Larry “Dr. Trek” Nemecek, Marc Cushman, Kirsten Beyer, Priority One Podcast, and the Honorable James Kerwin with the lovely Kipleigh Brown. Then, there were the guests that unexpectedly joined us over the course of the show; they included Scott Pearson with Generations Geek; nearly the entire cast and crew of Club 602 whose members came and went throughout the majority of the show; Deyvid from TrekRadio that hung out with us for most of the event; James Swallow, who joined us to respond to the accusations Kirsten Beyer had made against him; and Adrianne Grady who had braved Comikaze and a film screening before stopping in. With all of these guests, we were jumping from conversation to conversation, sometimes with multiple people at once. It may have been chaotic, but it was fun, interesting, and allowed time to pass quickly and easily.
We turned our attention to what kind of games we could play during the show to entertain and engage the audience. We came up with Star Trek Jeopardy, Pyramid, and Trivia. And considering our sleep deprivation, these games could turn out to be very entertaining as we struggle to remember the name of Picard’s fish, or what the Kretassans had that the Enterprise NX-01 needed for their engines. Since we had reached out to Larry Nemecek to join us and he was interested in attending, we asked him if he could be our Alex Trebek for our Star Trek Jeopardy game. He agreed and made the game just that much more fun. Although we had several more games planned, we never got the chance to play them. Perhaps they will make an appearance in the future.
During our planning sessions, I wasn’t comfortable unless we had some discussion topics handy — things to talk about that we could pull out whenever we ran out of things to say, or were looking for an idea to spark a conversation or debate. We came up with a half dozen conversation starters, nearly a dozen Life Pod Ones, and other topics that could ignite a debate or two. Ultimately, they weren’t really needed, since we only managed to do a handful of Life Pod Ones. In our sleep deprived state of mind, we ended up spending most of our time trying to narrow down the field of people we were going to choose from. We even entertained our listeners with our failures.
Then, we needed prizes, or some kind of gift to encourage people to donate to the fundraiser. We began by raiding our private collections for interesting items that we could giveaway. I was surprised to find that we had more to offer than a pack of chewing gum and a gently used action figure. Each of us provided a few items. Then, we contacted our friends at CBS and Star Trek Online. We were shocked and amazed by the number and quality of the items they donated to the show. Johnny Snowball donated a sold-out Commander-level ticket to Star Trek Las Vegas 2016 that would ultimately be our fundraiser’s Grand Prize, awarded to the person that donated the most throughout the course of the fundraiser. We picked up a few extra odds and ends to ensure that we had at least one item to award the highest donor during every hour of the show. By the time our fundraiser ended, we had given away all 32 prizes.
The items we gave away included: a Bye Bye Robot Poster entitled LLAP, The Making of Star Trek TNG: Yesterday’s Enterprise by Eric Stillwell, two copies of TNG Season 8 Warped, a TOS Transporter Magnetic Salt and Pepper Shaker set, Star Trek mug, Star Trek Road Trip Board game, a 1500 piece Ships of the Galaxy Puzzle, a couple of SkeleTreks action figures, a Star Trek: Enterprise Original Soundtrack CD Box set, two copies of The Autobiography of James T. Kirk by David A. Goodman, a couple of model kits (one featuring a Klingon Battlecruiser and the other featuring a three pack of alien ships), a digital download of The Klingon Pop Warrior CD, complete sets of the Star Trek: Seekers and Star Trek: The Fall book series, two Star Trek daily calendars and two TOS Wall Calendars, a pair of Star Trek Ships of the Line Poster Collections and a Coffee Table Book featuring the art of Doug Drexler and other talented Starship designers and artists, a Star Trek: Costumes and a pair of Star Trek Pop-Ups books by Terry Erdmann and Paula M. Block, a Star Trek Catan board game, an autographed copy of Untrustworthy by Janet Gershen-Siegel, and Star Trek Online’s Delta Rising and Legacy of Romulus packs.
We were seeking to raise roughly $2000 to help us offset the costs of our various servers, purchase a few needed upgrades, and cover the fees and service charges of our various payment processing systems. Our goal included domain names, virtual private server renewal and possible upgrade, back up service, chat room, upgraded teamspeak studio, streaming server to distribute our live show, and new website art. It included a little wiggle room for contingencies and those pesky service charges and fees used to process donations. With the prize giveaways, the Star Trek Las Vegas 2016 Commander Level Ticket, and Nick’s promise to take a shot live on the air for every $100 donation made during the show, we eventually raised $1300.07 over the course of 25 hours. In the days following the fundraiser, that amount at the time of this writing has risen to $1525.07. It may not have been everything that we wanted, but it made the effort worthwhile, providing us with more than half of our server costs.
We want to thank everyone that donated to our fundraiser. Jim Ferris, Janice Sanborn, Alistair Moore, Ian Brooker, Michael Crate, Jennie Hay, Courtney Hansen, Kasey Shafsky, Glen Hine, Kurt Gangluff, Rick Wheeler, Alison Pitt, William Smith, Brett Klusaw, Mark McCulloch, Senthil Masilamani, Sandi Watson, Paul Dennis, Jen Usellis, Andrew Wonders, Teras Cassidy, James Kerwin, and Umberto Lenzi all donated generously to our Paypal, GoFundMe, or Patreon pages. Not everyone may have earned a prize for the hour, but they all had our gratitude. Although our blatant fundraising efforts are over for the year, you can still support the G & T Show at any time with a donation through our Support Us Page.
Finally, I want firmly place blame where it belongs. This was all Nick’s fault. And because of his idea, we had a very successful fundraising event. I hate to admit it, but he was right. Janice deserves a huge thank you for allowing Nick to broadcast from the northern studio. I want to also thank Terry for encouraging us and supporting us as the show came together and keeping me from running down the street in my birthday suit like a raving lunatic. Terry’s husband, Allen, deserves a huge thank you for managing the surveys we conducted over the last couple of months and providing some of their results. The data he collected will guide a future segment of our show as we celebrate Star Trek’s 50th Anniversary. Our social media guru, Janet has our gratitude for live tweeting the event, leading an interesting discussion on writing at the launch of NanoWriMo, and just hanging out with us. Finally, Steve. His work behind the scenes, handling the soundboard and providing entertaining sound effects, clips, and music allowing us to step away from the show periodically. His work was instrumental in keeping our chatroom filled. Thank you everyone. We could not have done this without all of you.
All in all, 24 hours of G & T was a hugely successful fundraising event that will allow us to continue producing our weekly show and regular interviews with the people keeping Star Trek alive and going strong. We had so much fun that we are already planning for next year’s fundraiser, which promises to be even better. We can’t do this without you and are pleased that you have chosen to be part of the G & T Show family. Thank you and we look forward to celebrating Star Trek’s 50th Anniversary with you and the new show coming in early 2017! The future of Star Trek and the G & T Show looks to be very bright indeed.
But, wait. There’s more.
He is the co-owner of Busy Little Beaver Productions and is the producer and co-host for G & T Show and Gates of Sto’vo’kor. He’s directed voice actors, and produced and edited audio podcasts and dramas because he doesn’t have the face for video. He plays well with others and is always on the look out for the next project, the next thing, the next next. If he wasn’t working on something with a half dozen other projects waiting in the wings, somebody please check to make sure he’s still breathing.
During the day, he’s a mild-mannered computer repair man who dabbles in web design in his small, rural, Central California community. He lives with his lovingly dysfunctional family and loyal canine companion and spends most of his time in the closet concocting some hair-brained scheme or another. He’s got an unhealthy obsession with Lego video games, Klingons, and Star Trek Online that borders on the neurotic.
Despite all this, he still finds the time to write the words. Find out what he's doing here.