|This is a little blast from the
past because I lost my original copy of this review. So I did a search
on google.com groups and viola! there it was! I attended this con with
Matt and T. DBP whose writing about Avery you may read
here. Enjoy! I do have photos from this event and if I ever get my
act together I'll post them here.
From: David Weinstein
Avery Brooks is COOL!
Greater Philadelphia Star Trek Convention 4/24/94 Comments
I do not have a lot of time to write this so please pardon mediocre writing, grammer, splelling, and lack of great detail. Avery did not reveal any big spoilers and there are none in here. More time was spent on other topics than upcoming episodes.
We ended up leaving
for this crazy road trip Saturday morning instead of Friday evening. We
cranked down from Boston to Ft. Washington to find that we were late and
only caught the last 15 minutes of Avery on saturday in what was said to
be his first convention appearance ever. We
Shooting for DS9
this season is over so Avery decided to shave his head. He was dressed
smartly on sunday in black pants, white shirt, and some sort of African
motif vest. When the camera flashes got too much he donned Lennon like
tinted glasses. Avery Brooks as you might expect from his performances
on DS9 has a commanding presense and strong, booming voice which he modulates
quite well from soft to strong depending on what point he wants to make.
The side of Avery that we got
The questions of topics brought out the dynamism of his personality and interests and breadth of intelligence. Everything from Star Trek to race relations, the educational system, theature, and his personal life. He is a very busy man and feels that DS9 and being on tv is but one aspect of the many that are part of his life. It was obvious that he is not the egotistical type and is very centered within himself and down to earth. He is married with two children aged 13 and 15 (?). He said his own son gets along very well with his DS9 son and that you wouldnt know that the two were not brothers!
Avery did not sign autographs but you could buy pre-autographed photos for $20 whose proceeds went to his favorite charity, the United Negro College Fund.
Paraphrased questions and answers:
Now that he had an action figure made of himself, did he get one and play with himself?! Avery laughed and said no matter what he answered he would be in trouble so he declined.
What did he think of Black History month being ignored by most schools in the curriculum? He said that he felt that everyone who built this country and had a part in it should be discussed. That when you discuss one you should learn about them all, and that it was not just a question of black and white.
His teaching at Rutgers was brought up. My friend (who also teaches) felt that it was evident that he was a teacher because the way he talked and attempted to hold the audiences attention and style with which to get them involved was that of a really good teacher. Avery said that he is not teaching now but is a tenured instructor there and that he does not feel that he knows enough to really "teach" people. That was is going on there is an exchange of information. If he doesnt have the answer to a question he'll tell the student to find out and to tell him! He says that before he gets into "acting" and all that in a class they first delve into what's "in here" while pointing to his heart.
A black woman who taught at a local school said that she felt he was a great role model for young black people and would he autograph a photo for her kids?! He was very gracious and did so. A couple other young black men said the same thing about him being a great role model for them and could they shake his hand? Again he was very gracious and beckoned them down. A lot of people wanted to shake his hand and did so. One woman was very taken with him in a theature performance he had done in D.C and wanted to take close-up Polaroid. My friend remarked that the way he would beckon them to come down to the stage and in that voice of his that: "He sounds liike God!" Actually there were more black people there than I have ever seen at a convention. Maybe it was the location or the speaker or both!
Twice a very young child of about 7 would ask a question and he had them come down to the stage to get on a chair near his mike and face everyone to ask the question. He was very warm to the children and it was very cute. Some kids kept going up to the microphone asking for his autograph that at the end he told all the kids to come up for an autograph. (So I said to my friends ok, lets go up there!) That was at the end of his time and signaled the end since he spent abount 10 minutes signing for the kids. I took the opportunity to stand about 10 feet away and snap photos! What a cool guy!!! :)
Who were his favorite cast members to work with? He said that he does not get to work with them all on a regular basis but the ones that he does and enjoys are Colm and Nana. He said that he and Colm spend all day laughing. He said he often spends time doubled over with laughter on the floor from something Colm said and then Colm will say, "The commander's lost it again!"
He said he also got to meet Stephen Hawking since the TNG set is across the alley from the DS9 set.
His favorite episodes are the pilot and "the one with the clock".
What was it like having to act when he can't see the special effects? He said when he was sitting on blue and with a blue screen behind acting with being sucked into the vortex, it was so hilarious that he started laughing. However, it's his job and that is what he does so he does it! His training has enabled him to do it all day if necessary.
He talked a bit about what it was like doing Spencer and his Hawk tv series, why it failed, and that tv was a reflection of how people wanted their society to be. And that the people in them are contemporary mythological heroes.
What did he think of the fact that at cons Marina Sirtis called DS9 Deep Space Boring and that Jonathan Frakes called it Deep Throat Nine?! He laughed and yelled out loud: "They got cancelled!" Then he said that he hoped that they said it in jest because he loves Jonathan though he does not know Marina well.
In a move of great irony, the producers of this event also had the commander of Babylon 5, Michael O'Hare, as a guest at this con. I found him to be as wooden and boring as the character he plays but a nice guy. He was also the first star I've ever seen at a convention who opened by plugging merchandise at the con. (It was as low day...) I guess this co-incides with the fact that he did not have a lot to say anyway. Regardless people lined up for miles to get his autograhp later. O'Hare remarked that he had dinner sat night with Avery and that the two compared notes on what it was like to command a space station and have an action figure made after yourself.
The guy who plays Hugh Borg made a surprise appearance and was signing autographs. He short and skinny with long black hair. Without all that makeup you wouldnt know its him unless you just looked at his face! He looks to be about 23 but with those Hollywood types they always look younger than they appear!
From: Sashi Alexandra German
David -- I agree with most of your
comments about the convention and
And talk about powerful voices..
I had seen Michael O'Hare at Vulkon
in Maryland last month so I didn't go
The guy who played "Hugh the Borg"
was kinda neat. VERY cute with longish
The dealers were reportedly VERY
unhappy because there were so few people
Brooks said he was VERY busy in general,
and this con would probably be
The following is list of cons that I had appended to my report but have placed at the bottom here. Just interesting to note what was going on back then and who was appearing where. I also attended Toronto Trek and the Care Con mentioned below and that report is on the main page as well.
There was tons of info on future cons and here is some of that info:
Shore Leave 16: July 8-10 1994, Hunt
WishCon IV: November 18-20 1994,
FarPoint 94: Oct 14-16 1994, Hunt
PhilCon 94: Philadelphia, PA
Care Con Columbus: September 16 -18,
1994. Tickets are $75 there are