Fan Dance – Meeting Vanity Fair Editor Provides New Perspective
STLV 2015 has come and gone, and for most of us, we are holding on to those precious memories with both hands. Admittedly, I’ve been delaying a formal STLV post-con wrap up because I’m not completely ready to let go of them yet. However, when I came across a Vanity Fair article by someone I had met and spoke to briefly at the convention, I decided to let go of that remembrance and share it with you along with her fantastic article (My Super Sweet Teenage Star Trek Convention).
It was Saturday — the height of the convention and everyone and everything was in full swing. I had spent the day tracking down interviews to throw at my co-hosts for the show and had just landed the biggest interview of the year for our dorky little podcast with the irrepressible Doug Drexler. Feeling pretty good for myself, I decided to take a short break from the crowds shuffling through the vendor’s room and the hallways on their way to a panel, or to meet up with friends, or snapping photos of the amazing cosplayers in attendance.
I made my way to the smoking area, where this year I learned was the site for many behind the scene deals, including a few I closed for the G & T Show — but that is a topic for another time. The convention floor’s AC was set on high, and many people would find their way out to the smoking area for a few minutes to thaw out in the relentless Las Vegas sunshine. I was there, when a lovely lady stepped out of the convention hall to bask in the heat with the rest of us. Ever-friendly and eager to meet new people (and shamefully pitch the show to potential new listeners), I introduced myself.
She introduced herself as Nancy Jo. We exchanged some small talk about our respective convention experiences. She was there with her daughter for her first Star Trek convention. When I mentioned that I was working in the vendor’s hall, she asked what I was selling. OK. She asked for it. It was at that point I switched to full on pitch mode, talking about the G & T Show and all of the fun things we talk about week after week and what we were doing at the convention. She seemed interested and eager to learn more. I invited her to come by our table to say hello to us and Kipleigh, and to sign up for the day’s raffle. She agreed and started making her way to the doors to meet her daughter for their next panel.
Before leaving, she handed me her business card. In big, bold, red letters, I saw the words Vanity Fair at the top, followed by her name and position as Contributing Editor. At the time, I didn’t comprehend the full scope of what that little card meant, but lack of sleep and running non-stop for four days will do that to a person. It was at that point that she revealed she was writing a piece for Vanity Fair’s website on her and her daughter’s experiences at the convention. I told her that I would share it with our listeners and talk about the article on our show.
She left to join her daughter, but that wasn’t the last time I would see her during the weekend. Later, on Sunday I believe, Nancy Jo had brought her daughter by our table to meet Terry, Nick, James, and Kipleigh. They even signed up for our raffle to win some cool Star Trek stuff we were giving away at the convention. The booth was packed and very busy, so we didn’t have a lot of time to talk to them, but I appreciated that they had made the effort to come by our table while they perused everything the vendor’s room had to offer.
Fast forward to today. I was pleased to learn from Terry that Nancy Jo’s article had been posted. I immediately shared it with our listeners and began reading it. I was impressed to learn that her fifteen year old daughter was such a fan of Star Trek, because that is what the franchise needs — young fans to ensure it survives to the next generation. Although the article didn’t reveal it, I wondered if it was the new Abrams films that had brought her daughter to Star Trek, or whether it had been Nancy Jo’s efforts that made her daughter such a fan of the franchise. Regardless, you can’t imagine how excited I was to read that the daughter’s first celebrity crush had been Mr. Spock as portrayed by the legendary Leonard Nimoy. The girl was obviously familiar with the Original Series and had an appreciation for the classics, including William Shatner, Captain Pike, and Joan Collins’ role as Edith Keeler in City on the Edge of Forever.
Throughout the course of the article, Nancy Jo quotes numerous other fans they had met over the course of the weekend, pointing out the importance and the impact that Star Trek has had on their lives as well as our society in general. They talked about the technology Trek inspired, as well as Roddenberry’s dream of universal peace, harmony, and diversity. She praised the attention to detail and the variety of costumes that fans created and wore throughout the convention. And, for a first time convention attendee, the celebrities were definitely a highlight of the trip as she ran through some the panels they had attended. However, I was touched when she spoke about a couple that shared their love of Trek and had attended the con in cosplay as rather different species (a Vulcan and a Klingon). However, nothing made me happier to read in closing that Nancy Jo’s daughter wishes to come back again next year.
It was a great piece, written by a very nice lady with a daughter that is both intelligent and possesses good taste. The article didn’t look down at the convention and at the Trekkies and Trekkers in attendance. She acknowledges, many times, that Geek Culture has taken hold in society and that the stigma that once had been attributed to early conventions and their attendees during the 70s and 80s have been overcome. Star Trek has made great strides and has transformed our society for the better. I highly recommend this article to anyone and everyone. Please take a few minutes to read the article (My Super Sweet Teenage Star Trek Convention)and share it with your friends. It’s well worth the effort.
And, in closing, I do hope Nancy Jo and her daughter do make the trek to STLV 2016, because I would love to see them both again, especially since the 50th Anniversary of Star Trek promises to be even greater than any that had come before it.
Live Long and Prosper!
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.
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