learn to swim

Eventful is getting lots of press, which is great for Brian and his entire team, because I believe that it’s a tool that indie artists and guys like me will be able to use to connect with our audiences in ways that just weren’t possible as recently as a year ago.

But I’m getting really tired of reading things like this:

The Eventful demand system is still new, and right now the system is overwhelmed by a collection of demands to hear former Star Trek actor Wil Wheaton speak. But don’t let that put you off.

I’m sorry, but why would that put anyone off? Because it’d be better if Eventful was filled with demands for huge artists that don’t care about meeting their audience, and wouldn’t listen to demands, anyway?

Yeah, it’s a really terrible thing that I hopped on board with Eventful, and consulted with Brian before it even launched, because I believe in it, and my upcoming trips to Montreal and Boston are perfect examples of how it can work, right? And it’s equally off-putting that because of Eventful, the people who read my blog and I have a way to figure out where and when I should come perform, right? Yeah, that’s just terrible! It’s so off-putting!

And excuse me if this puts you off, Mr. Web 2.0 writer, but could we maybe retire the phrase "former Star Trek actor?" I know it’s hard for you mainstream media types to understand that I’ve done a few things with myself since Star Trek ended over a decade ago, (like publish two books, write several weekly columns, and provide voices for several video games and animated series,) but I have a lot more in my life than just being a "former Star Trek actor," which you would have known if you’d done your homework.

Update: The article’s author has apologized:

I’d like to apologize to you, Wil. I did not mean to offend nor to diminish your work. My tongue-in-cheek comment about how a ton of Eventful Demand posts to see you might be overwhelming to people trying to set up their own demands was not meant as a slight to you personally (although I can see how it was insensitive). As I said to one person who wrote an email to me, it’s clear that you’ve done a lot for Eventful and Eventful has done a lot for you. That’s how good business gets done.

I’ll buy a ticket to see you when you come to SF.

Thank you, Rafe. Whenever I hear "former Star Trek actor . . ." without any mention of anything else I’ve done with my life, I do feel diminished and slighted. Apology accepted and appreciated very much.

72 thoughts on “learn to swim”

  1. Don’t let them get yoiu down Wil, just take heart from the fact that your writing is superior to these hacks who can’t even be bothered to research a ‘story’ properly.
    Chin up, we all love you!

  2. Case in point. I know your name, but have absolutely no clue who the writer is, and probably never will!

  3. Speaking of, where/when will you be speaking in Montreal? Can we who could not order the latest chapbooks (due to being dirty furriners) make a request to hear some of that material?

  4. Good lord! Talk about your typecasting. Ah, geez. That is rediculous, Wil. Maybe eventually the rest of the world will get their heads out of their butts and realize that you’re a heck of a lot more than a “former Star Trek actor”. For what it’s worth, you’ve got a lot of people here who know it.

  5. I wouldn’t let anything like that get to you. My Grandfather used to say, there is no such thing as bad press, just as long as they spell your name right. He will always be known as “Uncle Fester”, even though that was only two years out of his entire career, which lasted from 1919 to 1984. Sometimes you have to look that gift horse in the mouth, smile at it, and feed it some hay! Dude, embrace and accept that “Stand by Me” and “Next Generation” are your most well-known pieces of work. This is a fight that I do not see you winning. You could win an Oscar next year for playing a serial killer, and they would say, “Former Star Trek Actor wins top nod!” As my former publicist Linda Brown would say…
    Get over it!

  6. Even better, lets create an Eventful demand for that writer!! Can we demand that he be publicly flogged? to go F*#?! himself? Can we get his name?

  7. What an idiot. Don’t let it get to you – You are the guy in demand and that shouldn’t “put off” anyone except those that aren’t saavy enought to use Eventful

  8. You know, I understand your frustration and all for still being identified as “Former Star Trek Actor” – but I read that article differently; the way I read it was that what may be offputting about the demand system is that it is dominated by a single person. The fact that that person happens to be you is besides the point – anyone who dominates the system in that way would be offputting to some since it sort of suggests the system may be skewed (which I’m assuming it isn’t, but it’s a theoretical possibility).
    At least, I think that that’s the point the article writer was making.

  9. I couldn’t find those comments but I did find this one which wasn’t so bad:
    The week started with Wil Wheaton in firm control of the Eventful Demand stats, thanks to his shrewdly providing just the right amount of frequency and urgency to the posts on his blog, keeping his avid readers up to date on the 134 demands worldwide from 2700 people. Wil already had agreed to do events in Montreal, San Francisco, and Boston.
    As I mentioned in the previous post on the Eventful blog, on Monday Wil announced an actual date and venue for his Boston event. I suspect well over 200 people are going to show up, perhaps many more if the Boston Globe, the Phoenix, or another local paper decides to cover how fans of the local community successfully got Wil to agree to do an event.
    Also impressive has been the demand for Wil to come to Atlanta as part of the DragonCon science-fiction convention. No word from Wil yet as to whether he’ll agree to do Atlanta too.
    BTW, who is Brian?

  10. The writer seemed more interested in potential large-scale applications. (Let’s note his headline, which focuses exclusively on bypassing “concert producers”.)
    His main beef with you, Mr. Wheaton, is that you’re not Pearl Jam and that nobody’s sticking it to anybody else by using Eventful to get you to “play”.
    He just sees your use of Eventful as an anomolous one that is beside the greater point of the tool.
    Which I imagine is complete bull, but I don’t think it’s that he finds you (or us: your fans) particularly distasteful.
    For what it’s worth.

  11. Good points, Nate and Eytan. But the whole point of Eventful, and the whole reason it’s so revolutionary and has so much potential is that it lets indie guys like me, or artists like Rilo Kiley and Jill Soboule find out exactly where the audience is, so we can go where they are. It doesn’t matter if Perl Jam knows where the audience is, because the audience for them is everywhere.
    And I know that I’m sensitive about this, but I believe that I’ve earned the right to have the “former Star Trek actor” label and all its associated baggage removed.

  12. Wil,
    You should be ashamed of yourself – using technology like this to connect with the fans of your work – both as an actor and writer.
    Also, for not coming to Colorado (yet).

  13. Chin up, Wil. Snobby critics love to take pot shots like that to make them seem clever and feel better about themselves. You’ve been far more successful than he implies since The Show That Must Not Be Named, just in other areas. The fact that most of his audience knows this will just make him look that more idiotic.
    Don’t stress it, you still da Man. :D

  14. Umm… Eytan MIGHT have a point… but I doubt it. Nothing against him specifically though. The fact is that the snippet is written in a fairly mean way. Either taking out the “don’t let that put you off” or the “former Star Trek actor” bit would change the tone considerably. Although, to be fair, Wil DOES dominate the demands. I think Jonathan Coulton is second, but by a pretty wide margin.
    One could also argue that it was meant humourously, like when Wil refers to himself as a “former Star Trek actor”… but since it lacks the quotes or dripping sarcasm, I’d say that isn’t the case.
    The spin could have been so different.
    “Wil Wheaton, best known for his roles as Wesley Crusher in Star Trek, and Gordie Lachance in Stand by Me, dominates the demand list. The loyal readers of his popular blog and his two recent books prove how well this system can work at connecting artists and their fans.”
    On a tangent: Space (kind of a Sci-Fi station of Canada) has looped back to the first episodes of TNG. Back when you were “The Boy”. “My name is Wesley, Commander.” Way to stick it to the man!! Take that beardless Riker! :)

  15. Wheaton,
    You know I love you man, but you gotta get over this. You are always gonna be “former star trek actor” to some people. Those of us that hated Wesley Crusher and love Wil Wheaton know the difference. You’re an execellent writer, great speaker and voice actor, and good actor.
    (sorry for the left handed actor compliment when I see you I see WIL MF’ing WHEATON, not the character)

  16. Here’s the real question — when can we expect the Monolith Press debut of “I Am Not Wesley!” ;-)
    P.S.: I connected the “don’t be put off” to “the system is overwhelmed”, not “former Star Trek actor Wil Wheaton”. But then I don’t think there should be any shame in that for you. I’m sure it’s a curse, you’re typecast, you’ll never escape it, blah, blah, blah. But the fact of the matter is that you are luckier to be a “former Star Trek actor” than any of us wannabes will ever be. Take some pride in it, man! Write more posts about how good it feels when you run into Patrick, and Brent, and Jonathan. That’s what we like to read. You don’t need to Prove Anything To Us.

  17. “former star trek actor” will be used by people who are out of touch with what is going on now. The writer look like he had some grays. My Granny doesn’t even know what American Idol is.

  18. Just let it roll off of you like water off a frog’s back. Comments like this say more about the people making them than the subjects they address.

  19. Sorry, man, about the former Star Trek bit. But look at Mark Hamill. He’s done voiceover work galore and made a ton of films and television appearances, but he’ll always be Luke Skywalker, no matter if he runs for President. It’ll be Mark Hamill, former Star Wars star and presidential hopeful. At least you’re in good company, and you can rest knowing that the reason we remember you as a Star Trek actor was because it was a singularly defining show and will always be a point in history for so many fans and non-fans alike. It’s a defining role. Could be worse, of course. You could be former Viagra spokesman, Bob Dole…
    Einan

  20. I would listen to Uncle Fester’s Grandkid, the former “Don’t Tell Mom the Babysitter’s Dead” actor Keith Coogan!

  21. Wil,
    You rock. I’ve seen you speak at book signings, and you’re great. I’m delighted that you’ve got nearly 3000 people demanding you via Eventful Demand, for gigs all over the world! How many demands does CNET have? Nada. Zip.
    Don’t worry about CNET. Stay true to your fans, your fans will stay true to you.
    I’m looking forward to seeing your first events happen. I hope to be there for Boston and SF!
    Anything I can do to help, just let me know.
    - Brian
    Brian Dear
    Founder, EVDB / Eventful.com

  22. Oh Wil! This writer only illustrates one of the reasons why newspapers are failing their mission. Dude’s too lazy to freaking look it up beyond what his hazy brain recognizes as fact. So much for up-to-date information. This guy couldn’t get anything from this century!
    If it’s any consolation (totally wrong word, all things considered): we support YOU because you are relevant. Screw the latter day boomer and his ignorance!

  23. Bad Wil, for giving your fans what they want… and for actually having a fan base that is willing to go to such extremes to Demand you. Perhaps you should stand in the corner for being so terrible.

  24. Former Star Trek Actor? No way. Former Stand by Me actor. Sincerly. Honestly I don’t think I would be that surprised to see “former Star Trek actor Patrick Stewart”, just because that is how most people know him (and he should hope that is how people will continue to know him after the gigantic fight scene that was X-Men 3).

  25. Wait, You were is Star Trek? I just know you from games, books, and voiceovers.
    Never mind ‘em Wil, I think you’re great.

  26. I can understand your frustrations…but..
    certainly there are worst things you could be associated with? What if you’d just been former red-shirt #3? or some waistoid character from some pilot episode that never made it past the 2nd episode. STTNG wasn’t just popular to nerds..it was popular to a lot of people who will never set foot into a sci-fi con…
    shrug it off, man. You’ll never please everyone.

  27. Don’t take this the wrong way, but that post sounds extremely whiny and very egotistical. Understand I mean this as constructive criticism. It was a snarky comment, turn down the ego knob and turn up the sacracsm-detection knob.

  28. former star trek actor.
    geez. the writer is a moron. hopefulyl soemday we’ll be able to refer to him as a “former moron”but i doubt it’ll happen. at least did you look at the comments the article got?

  29. Brian and one of the first posters said it best…no idea who the writer is…and most likely will never ever read his work…you on the other hand, i stop by your site atleast 2 or 3 times a day…you’ve not only got me as a fan of your excellent writing, but from your work as an actor and voice actor…
    news writers try to spin things…they want to be clever..this was his idea of being wry and witty…it didn’t work..it came off as snide and mean spirited…
    Big hats off to Brian from Eventful..not only has he and his team created something incredibly worthwhile, but he was kind enough to stop by here and post something in the comments that shows what an incredibly decent and honorable guy he is…
    and big mojo points to Wil…dude…its gotta suck ass to be perpetually reminded of something that happened over a decade ago, but (once again) as another post stated…the next generation and your role in it spoke to many of us, and we not only admired and respected your work there, but but like it SO MUCH that we’ve followed you all the way here..all of us on board for what happens next in your career..be that writing, acting, whatever…
    not only is that a big accomplishment, its a damn fine thing…be proud of it…
    we’re proud of you dude…
    Bring on the Toronto EVENT!
    cheers
    tyson

  30. What a passive-aggressively bitchy thing to write about someone. If he had any common sense, he would have researched the reason behind your enormous fanbase and discovered everything else you’ve accomplished since you were a teenager. As much as I love your acting, I enjoy reading your blog and books even more. And I’d hate to be associated with just one thing that I did in high school, especially if I felt as if I’d done so much more in the world since then.
    But then again, I bet nobody has even heard of this guy. I bet he doesn’t have a single person demanding him in their hometown. =)

  31. Your lingering Guy Fleegman-ism is not so different from the MSM’s insistence on labeling Anna Nicole Smith “Former stripper” in headlines about her recent Supreme Court victory. They could have used “reality TV star” as a descriptor, but it doesn’t catch the eye like the other thing. Fact is, the guy probably just couldn’t get his spell checker to accept “blogebrity” or “hawesome.”

  32. I guess it’s standard to mention the credit the person is most widely known for, in case some readers aren’t sure who you are (Hey, wasn’t he the guy who…?). That being said, I can understand why that would tick you off. It must be tiresome after awhile. And it wouldn’t take too much effort for this guy to just google you. Research isn’t exactly difficult these days. Then he could have mentioned Star Trek and a brief summary of your career since. Would have been classier.
    Just my opinion…

  33. Read some comments, but not all, so forgive me if this was already said…PR blunder on the writer’s part. He could have turned this into a great opportunity for Eventful to toot their horn, maybe even had a quote from Wil. Wil, i assuming if they’d taken this approach, you’d have spent a little time. Forgive me if I’m wrong.

  34. Go Get Em, Wil!!! Meh, I never heard of this guy before, probably never will again, while you will be a fan favortie for years to come, I’m sure. (BTW. Finally caught you on Teen Titans! Great job!!!) You know your posse is here in case you need some back up.

  35. A Scottish old timer in talking to a young man.
    “Lad, look out there to the field. Do ya see that fence? Look how well it’s built. I built that fence stone by stone with me own two hands. But do they call me McGreggor-the-Fence-Builder? Nooo..”
    Then the old man gestured at the bar. “Look here at the bar. Do ya see how smooth and just it is? I planed that surface down by me own achin’ back. I carved that wood with me own hard labour. But do they call me McGreggor-the-Bar-builder? Nooo…”
    Then the old man points out the window. “Eh, Laddy, look out to sea. Do ya see that pier that stretches out as fer as the eye can see? I built that pier with the sweat off me back. But do they call me McGreggor-the-Pier-builder ?”
    “But one little incident with a goat…”

  36. hey Wil, am I allowed to use profanity on this thing? WTF? PUT OFF! GAH! He/She is an idiot. And when you do come to NYC (it has to be the city dude…like midtown or something) I will be there.
    And the fact that this person is a ‘writer’ and doesn’t know that you are a writer just goes to show that he is a hack!
    Love ya Wil. Don’t worry, I still believe you rock.

  37. I’d like to apologize to you, Wil. I did not mean to offend nor to diminish your work. My tongue-in-cheek comment about how a ton of Eventful Demand posts to see you might be overwhelming to people trying to set up their own demands was not meant as a slight to you personally (although I can see how it was insensitive). As I said to one person who wrote an email to me, it’s clear that you’ve done a lot for Eventful and Eventful has done a lot for you. That’s how good business gets done.
    I’ll buy a ticket to see you when you come to SF.

  38. Hi Wil – to describe you to others I always say actor and writer, and I sometimes reference STNG as ONE of many accomplishments (personally, besides “Stand By Me”, I loved “Toy Soilders”, with your friend Keith…). But frankly, I developed from a mildly interested admirer of your work to a huge fan of your writing and podcasts. I would still like to enjoy your contributions to acting, but it is your writing that inspires the most respect. You are not playing a part, nor speaking someone else’s words. Your writing is all you – your creation, your delivery – everything. For the boneheads that refer to you without mentioning your writing – I feel sorry for them. They’re definitely missing out!

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