I see another hurdle approaching

Yesterday, I wrote about the scary nature of facing the world outside of what I guess we’ll call “your safety bubble.”
At least that’s what I was trying to write about. YMMV.
I also promised to talk about why Creation cut me from their 15th anniversary of Star Trek: The Next Generation convention, and why I think it’s a good thing.
To understand the events leading up to the cut, it’s important to understand the realities of the Star Trek Convention (and all SF conventions, really): There was a time, long ago, when these cons existed by and for fans. They were places where fans could get together, safely dress up in costumes, debate the minutae of scripts, and generally geek out amongst friends without fear of The Jocks showing up.
Some folks realized that they could turn this phenomenon into a working business, and for better or worse, Creation was born.
For years, I had a great relationship with Creation. When I was a kid, I attended the Fangoria Weekend of Horrors shows at the Ambassador hotel. When I was on TNG, I appeared as a speaker at countless Creation conventions.
Then I had a not-so-great relationship with them for awhile. I felt that they had become the 800 pound gorilla in the convention world. They were the only kid on the block who had that cool football that all the other kids wanted to play with, and without any real competition, they charged too much, and I felt that the fans were increasingly getting the shaft.
Not the cool Richard Roundtree Shaft, either, so you can just shut your mouth right now.
In retrospect, there were many factors contributing to what I would describe as the decline and fall of the convention experience, and I think the guests need to be at the top of that list.
I never made very large speaking fees, even when I was A Big Deal

281 thoughts on “I see another hurdle approaching”

  1. Way to go Wil!
    Ya know, ever since someone pointed your site out to me only a couple of months ago, I’ve really enjoyed popping in to visit every so often.
    I’m a con-goer myself, have been for 10 years! I would love to see you at “a con near me”. I think I was one of the only few people I knew that liked Wesley, even through the not so great writing periods :)
    It’s nice to hear comments from the actors point of view. There are no longer Creation cons in Canada, I think due to the fact that the CDN fans just don’t want to do a con that’s a “cash cow”. WE like our cons to be fun and made by us for us!
    Keep up the good work!

  2. Uncle Will please riddle me this…
    Please read this email I sent to creation:
    —————————————–
    Hi Creation,
    I have organized a contingent of my fellow Star Trek fans to go the 15th Anniversary of TNG in September in Pasedena. We are Wil Wheaton dot net fans and we just heard that he is NOT going to be at the 15th Anniversary convention in Pasedena. Our primary purpose in attending the convention is to see Wil Wheaton – he has a fabulous web site and BLOG that we connect with every day.
    Please consider that by not bringing in you have missed out on our business. We had a group of 19 people coming in from Arizona, that has been cancelled now.
    Bummer.
    Joan
    ———————————————-
    Now read the response I just got back from them:
    ———————————————-
    Hi- I think you may want to reconsider your decision as Wil is attending the
    event and we’re very much looking forward to him being there.
    Adam Malin
    ———————————————–
    Confused. Uncle Will?

  3. Will,
    (and this is directed towards Will – I honestly hope you read this),
    I take the following quote from your weblog:
    “Again, months passed. I did a few shitty, embarrassing, forgettable movies”
    Will – as far as I, and most of your fans are concerned, you do not do forgettable. Shitty, yes. Everybody does shitty. Churchill did shitty, on some days at least.
    But you are never forgettable.
    In this world on manufactured icons, you have preservered as a true star. You may not have the money of Robbie Williams (or even of Darius) but you are, in all our eyes, a true symbol of what we can all be.
    The convention organisers are fooling themselves. The fans want to see you. The “stars” (and I use that term loosely, regardless of what I think of Jonathan Frakes and Patrick Stewart et al) want to see you.
    Hell, I expect, after the past year of weblogs, you could do your own show, and enough would pay for it (via the ‘net of course) to make it worthwhile.
    In all our eyes, you truly are a Will Wheaton!
    Will, I salute you.

  4. Wouldn’t have been the same without you Wil. Glad you showed the integrity to value yourself and your co-workers above that of corporate politics. The rest of us will survive missing you this time.

  5. One of the most meaningful zen lessons for me was the story of the monk who upon finally meeting a teacher whose lessons meant much to him told the teacher that he had written down all he had said. The teacher responded by striking the monk on the head.
    Over the past few years, I too, have been ‘struck on the head’ by those things/people/institutions I’d unconsiously enshrined. Not very zen of me.
    Perspective blows goats. Be well.

  6. I just have to wonder if the rest of the cast were to take a stand for you if that might make a difference. Maybe not. Anyway, the only constant is change. As long as you face it head on, you win.

  7. It stinks that they tried to pull that on you Wil. You are worth more that that kind of treatment. I noticed though they have you listed as signing autographs.

  8. Creation is running behind. You are still ALL over the website for the convention. They even mention your comedy troupe!
    I tell you what though…for $400 they should have the entire cast and crew for TNG.
    “This is Max. He was the head gaffer on episodes 1-15 if you have any questions for him fire away!”
    Mike

  9. Joan, I emailed CRETIN and Adam Malin sent me a similar response. What’s up with that? Maybe he’s feeling the wrath of THA POSSE and is desperately trying to get Wil back.
    Wil, if you’re reading this I wouldn’t go back to them unless they’re willing to give a shitload of money to a good charity. Even for charity I’d have to think long and hard about it.
    I’ve concluded that Malin is third most evil man in Trekdom, just behind Brannon Braga and Rick Berman (but ahead of Gul Dukat and Khan). He can certianly lie as good as those two clowns (B&B, that is).

  10. There will be a huge post about this later on… (can’t write it now. I’ve been working on ARENA all day and I’m exhausted)
    But I spoke with Adam Malin today, and it was a good, long (took up my whole lunch hour) conversation.
    I guess the Voice of the Fans was too loud to be ignored.
    More tomorrow.

  11. Woo, Hoo I am the 262nd post!
    hmm, well the first guy seemed pretty thrilled so i thought I would be thrilled too, hey Wil I still think you should Captian a starship in some future Trek show that comes out of Burmans mind someday, sorry I won’t see you in the movie, your devoted fan :-)

  12. Wil, I sypathise for the crappy way that Creation treated you. I hope the rumors of you being reinvited are true. I was shocked at their behavior… they held a con in Hawaii and I loved it.
    I also disagree with Dave Scott and his “good reputation amongst the fans and ST actors.” Patrick Stewart was advertised as one of the headliners for a SF con when he didn’t sign a contract or anything. Stewart was ticked off and couldn’t make it, but was generous enough to austograph a bunch of pics and send them with his blessing. Dave, that cheapskate, never paid the God of Star Trek for it.
    “I agreed to attend a convention in Pasadena, where I did the interviews that are in Trekkies. I dont remember much beyond feeling like a complete loser for even being there, and embarrassed that my girlfriend, who eventually became my wife, was seeing me like this.”
    Now here, I’m sorry you were *ashamed* of showing up in public to admit you were a geek. If I were in your shoes, I wouldn’t just do it for the $$ (tho’ that’d be nice) or an ego trip. It’s to make the fans happy. If a 12 year old boy dying of cancer came up to me to day that I changed his perspective on life for the better, that would make the entire weekend worthwhile. Heck, I’d crash every con I could if I didn’t have anything better to do!
    *heading to Creation to complain*

  13. there seems to be conflicting stories on creation convention’s site says you’ll be coming to do signings,do a mother and son with gates mcfadden and still negotiating with your group. I don’t belive it one bit.
    It’s a shame that star trek conventions have gone so commercialised. The best conventions i’ve been to was a wholey fan run convention, no big guests but lots of activities.

  14. Dear Mr. Wheaton,
    thanks for sharing your thoughts with everyone on your website. After having read your reasons for not attending the convention, I completely symphatize.
    On a humorous note, it would be great to see you do a character voiceover on “tripping the rift” if that show ever kicks off.
    Best,
    Maciej Simm

  15. Hi Wil,
    I just thought I’d post a note and say that the guys at Creation have proven themselves to be the idiots I always half-thought of them as.
    I’ve gone to the Grand Slam down in Pasadena several years now, and even to the Grand Slam on Tour which was held here in Seattle this past year.
    I got the chance to meet you at the con in Pasadena I think about 2 years ago now? (I think that’s right.. It was the final year for Voyager and I went with some friends to sit and cry about it while Kate Mulgrew was on-stage..lol)
    Anyway…. I have to say.. Creation’s management just proved what bozo’s they are for certain. Because I have to say, in the last seven years or so, I think you were one of the nicer, more approachable stars who I asked for an autograph. You even humored me and posed for a photo with me which I have framed with the autograph! :)
    That memory is a great one to have from my point of view. Your easy smile and friendly demeanor meant a lot, and the photo taken with you is one of my prized images.
    So what if you’re not what some over-paid money-grubbing idiot considers a ‘high-draw actor’?
    I sure don’t!
    And, speaking as a fan who’s spent more $$ than I care to admit to at Creation cons over the years.. They’re fools to talk to you that way.
    The best memories I have are from speaking with the actors who were off in one of the side rooms as you were, the ones who smile when the fans come say hello. The actors / actresses who didn’t treat their fans like being there is a great favor to us, the fan. The ones who like you, who seemed honestly as happy to meet me as I was to meet you.
    Stick to your guns Wil! Cause you have fans out here who love you …
    Cyndi from Seattle

  16. Wil, I’d personally love to see you on some hip, contemporary show, instead of rehashing the tired old ST:TNG thing over & over. I mean, I love it and all, but come on, honey.
    I can see you doing like, Jackass or something. Can you fall around the inside of a fully-loaded porta-potty while it is beign airlifted and rolled? How about celeb-survival or celeb-fear-factor? Can you starve yourself on rice or eat live bugs on camera?
    See, there are worse ways to make a livin’ :-) Love ya!

  17. will
    man that is really sad that anyone could be so
    cold to you . after all , you played a larger role than they made you out to have. they are all a bunch of idiots for not even being willing to
    try to compromise.short-sighted idiots.
    anyways it’s good that you’re not bitter about it.
    you also seem to have a strong family bond which is rare in hollywood these days. these are the more important things in life anyway.
    that will help you more to stay centered.
    family , that is.
    phlash4

  18. I can’t really add much other than We love you, Wil. Just do what you need to do. Do what will make you satisfied when you look back on your deathbed. No worries.

  19. Well, fans are going to be sorely dissaointed after they buy their tickets to see you at the con…since they haven’t taken you off the list yet on the webpage. It would have been really cool to see you and Gates in a “mother-son reunion” skit together. Oh well. Good decision Wil, Creation really is the 600 lb. gorilla now and it never should have been that way.

  20. Wil, you are someone who really knows where your towel is.
    About you not being in the Star Trek family?
    “Wesley Crusher is one of our own.”
    -Picard

  21. I’m sitting here watching you in the episode where the game is brought back from Risa and everyone on the ship gets addicted to it. Saw you on screen and decided to hit the website again to have another look.
    I admire you for stepping outside your comfort zone and for standing up for your principles. Feeding the family and making enough to enjoy life is important but if you end up feeling like shit after doing the work that allows you to do so then it’s not worth it.
    Congrats on the infomercial job as well, I mean that in all seriousness. If I had the opportunity to provide financial security for my family for a whole year with one job I’d jump at it.

  22. Oh, wow, Wil! Just read your post in the comments section (Posted by wil at August 30, 2002 08:54 PM). Has the Voice of the Fans truly made a difference? Does your whole troop get to make a decent appearance fee? Or maybe Creation is just letting you show up. In any case, I hope this works out for you. I don’t think I can take much more of these ups and downs and I’m just reading about them. You have to live them!
    I look forward to hearing what happened in the continuing saga of Wil. Again, I thank you for letting us into your life.
    Power to the People!

  23. Wil – you are an inspiration, as always, for moving forward and experiencing change. You belong at the convention, the producers are losers, your fans and fellow former cast are missing out huge. You are by all means doing the right thing!
    V.

  24. Well…
    I’ll admit that Wesley was never my favourite on TNG… but he was always part of the important cast in my eyes.
    Having read your website now… I have to say that there isn’t an ST actor that I would rather see at a con than you, just because you sound like an interesting and entertaining person.
    –Olav

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