Avery Brooks @ Philadelphia Con 4/24/1994 Review
Copyright 2002 the author

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 
Subject: Avery Brooks @ Philadelphia Con 4/24 Comments 
Newsgroups: rec.arts.startrek.fandom
Date: 1994-04-27 11:26:39 PST 

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 
got there just in time for this cogent question from a female fan: Mr. Brooks, everyone wants to know, boxers or briefs??? He laughed but declined to answer. He said it could be a third alternative. 

    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 
to see that you dont on DS9 is his warmth, booming laughter, and sense of humor. 

    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 
Subject: Re: Avery Brooks @ Philadelphia Con 4/24 Comments 
Newsgroups: rec.arts.startrek.fandom
Date: 1994-04-28 08:41:48 PST 
In article <CoxCsI.9CF@wang.com> djw@wang.com (David Weinstein) writes:
>   Avery Brooks is COOL!  
> Greater Philadelphia Star Trek Convention 4/24/94 Comments

David -- I agree with most of your comments about the convention and
Avery Brooks! Avery was amazing to see -- I believe we see more of what
he is truly like when we see DS9 scenes with Jake... when he smiles and
laughs... THAT was Brooks I thoughts I saw on DS90 every once in awhile.

And talk about powerful voices..

I had seen Michael O'Hare at Vulkon in Maryland last month so I didn't go
and see him... but a friend of mine working the 1st aid station got to
treat him because he fell off the stage or something toward the end of
his talk...

The guy who played "Hugh the Borg" was kinda neat. VERY cute with longish
black hair. I was shang-heid by friends to ask how old he was... and he
responded 28. I would say he looked 16 or 18....

The dealers were reportedly VERY unhappy because there were so few people
there and thet lost money - a shame because it looks like the ONLY way to
REALLY let people know about a convention is to advertise it on TV. I
can't imagine people NOT coming because it was Avery Brooks OR because
the admission was, like $5.

Brooks said he was VERY busy in general, and this con would probably be
the only one he would do in AWHILE.

Sashi German
Philadelphia, PA Star Trek Club (Starfleet)

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 Valley, MD
 Terry Farrell "Dax"

WishCon IV: November 18-20 1994, Springfield, MA
 Mark Goddard
 203-459-0413, 617-986-9952

FarPoint 94: Oct 14-16 1994, Hunt Valley, MD
 Sulu, Kira

PhilCon 94: Philadelphia, PA
 Sci-Fi, Larry Niven

Care Con Columbus: September 16 -18, 1994.  Tickets are $75 there are 
six ST stars
confirmed and they are still contacting others.  For more information
contact STAR BASE COLUMBUS (614) 895-7827.
Convention:  Toronto Trek VIII
Date:   July 22-24, 1994
Location:  Regal Consellation Hotel, 900 Dixon Rd, Etobicoke,
   Ontario, M4W 1J7, Canada.
Cost:   (until June 15, 1994) Weekend: $35cdn / $32us 
   $15cdn / $12us Saturday: $25cdn / $22us Sunday:
   $20cnd / 17us
Confirmed Guests: Majel Barrett (Lwaxana Troi/Nuse Chapel/etc)
   Nana Visitor  (Major Kira, DSN) Judith & Garfield
   Reeves-Stevens,  (authors) Larry Warner, Michael 
   (Model Maker, TNG).
Possible Guests: TBA.
Information Contact: Toronto Trek, Suite 0116, Box 187, 65 Front St. 
   Toronto, Ontario, M5J 1E6, Canada.
   email:  C.Lyon4@geenie.geis.com
Misc. Information: Room rates: cdn$79 (single), $87 (double).  Book 
   hotel: 416-675-1500  or  1-800-268-4838