Previously on Midlife Crisis Crossover: on Thanksgiving weekend my wife and I attended the nineteenth Starbase Indy, a homegrown, fan-run convention that’s more intimate than your Wizard Worlds and more stable than your out-of-town, fly-by-night upstarts.
Part One was the costumes; in Part 2, the actors and special guests. A few even dressed up for the occasion.
Two of the guests we’d met before: Max Grodenchik (the feeble, spineless Rom) and Aron Eisenberg (Rom’s rascally son Nog, who later joined Starfleet) were guests previously at Starbase Indy in 2005. Their return engagement was nonetheless welcome and fun. For their Saturday Q&A and photo ops, makeup artist John Paladin (also a guest at the con) rigged makeshift versions of their Ferengi headgear and let them loose onstage.
The most well-known Ferengi of all, Armin Shimerman, was a guest at last year’s Starbase Indy. He didn’t return this year, but his character Quark, Rom’s brother and Nog’s uncle, was there in spirit and in cardboard. His base was unstable, so he wasn’t upright much, which is apropos because Quark wasn’t an upright citizen on the station, either.
A few other guests were on hand from shows we haven’t watch, but maybe you have. Someday I’ll get around to Battlestar Galactica. Until then, here’s Kate Vernon.
Fans of Stargate Atlantis were in for a treat: not one, but two honorable guests. David Nykl had just popped in from a cross-country flight and joked that he’d already, um, started the party before he arrived. We think he was joking.
Also in the house: SGA’s Paul McGillion. Judging by his Scottish accent, I’m prepared to guess that he has plenty of fans.
On Saturday McGillion and Nykl held a joint Q&A that concluded with charity auction of behind-the-scenes goodies such as SGA call sheets.
Another returning SBI guest: Lolita Fatjo, who served as script coordinator on Star Trek: The Next Generation, Deep Space Nine, and Voyager.
A SBI mainstay: effervescent podcaster Moxie Magnus, who serenaded the crowd at Friday night’s opening ceremonies with a ukulele medley of snippets from “Doo Wah Diddy Diddy”, “Witch Doctor”, “Da Doo Ron Ron”, “De Do Do Do, De Da Da Da”, “Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious”, “Mmmbop”, “Bad Romance”, and other bouncy tunes whose lyrics defy Webster’s Dictionary.
Indianapolis’ own il Troubadore, a Klingon folk band, brought their own musical stylings and sent one of their members to liven up opening ceremonies.
Once more, with feeling: power-pop guests Five Year Mission! They make fun Trek songs and you should go buy them all.
But the guest my wife was most excited to meet was Deep Space Nine‘s Nana Visitor, whose Bajoran liaison Kira Nerys would rise in rank from Major to Colonel to Commander throughout the series’ seven-season run, assuming full command of the station formerly known as Terok Nor by the finale.
She spoke of many aspects and roles from her career: her premature death on James Cameron’s Dark Angel; the wondrous cuisine in Portland, Oregon, that was her favorite part of shooting a season-one episode of Grimm; and her recurring voice parts on Family Guy despite not being a fan of the show.
Visitor spoke of her preference for working with older, serious actors who are into the art and craft of Acting itself, as opposed to those fiending for celebrity and social-media domination instead of concentrating on the bothersome professional parts of the job such as memorizing their lines. Her dream role, if she had a say in it: Sweeney Todd. The character, I mean, not just the musical. Her favorite DS9 episode was “Duet”, the one where Kira goes toe-to-toe with Jerry Hardin as a Cardassian official who may or may not be a war criminal responsible for the torture and deaths of innumerable Bajorans. And she’s a huge fan of Puddles Pity Party, which I’m kind of afraid to look into but maybe ought to anyway.
She was an absolute joy to listen to and a pleasure to meet.
…and that’s the year that was. We bailed out shortly after 4 p.m. Saturday due to other obligations and having completed 98% of our convention to-do list. My wife returned momentarily on Sunday just to pick up our photos, and was treated to the interesting sight of a convention volunteer trying to prevent Aron Eisenberg from entering the Con Suite (snack room) because he wasn’t wearing a lanyard. Fortunately other attendees were willing to vouch for his identity.
And they all snacked happily ever after. See you next year!