I SPENT THE FIRST WEEK of September 2001 in Las Vegas, at a Star Trek convention which celebrated the 35th anniversary of the original series.
In addition to the things we Star Trek people usually do at conventions (signing autographs, posing for pictures, answering questions, and saying “Engage!”), I took a group of people from the ACME Comedy Theatre with me to perform a sketch comedy show. The entire convention experience is chronicled in “The Saga of SpongeBob Vegas Pants,” which is the centerpiece of my first collection of essays, Dancing Barefoot.
Here’s a primer for readers who aren’t familiar with Star Trek conventions: conventions (or “cons,” as they are known among people who are too busy to say “conventions”) are part trade show, part collectible show, and part geek fest. It all adds up to a celebration of everything related to Star Trek, and the atmosphere is always festive and excited.
Promoters hire actors, writers, producers and others from the show to give lectures, answer questions, and sign autographs for the fans. There are also people who sell collectibles and bootlegs and other sci-fi- and fantasy-oriented merchandise. The organizers usually run episodes of Star Trek on a big screen, and there are always costume contests. Oh, the costume contests. Think Rocky Horror Picture Show, with less drag, but strangely, more singing. In Klingon. Seriously.
When I was invited to participate in this show, Prove To Everyone That Quitting Star ...