excerpted from Just A Geek: a sort of homecoming

As I said in my last post, I'm really excited for all of the events on my schedule at the Phoenix Comicon this weekend, especially the TNG panel, because I get to share the stage with Jonathan and LeVar. Even though I talk to LeVar fairly often, we've never spoken together at a con. Though I've recently seen Jonathan quite a lot, he and I haven't been on stage together since 2001, when I was in a very different emotional place, struggling like crazy to figure out how to handle my post-Star Trek life, while I was also struggling to just survive as a working actor.

I wrote about that con in Just A Geek. This is from Chapter 7, which is subtitled "a sort of homecoming":

When I worked on Star Trek, I always struggled to fit in with the adults around me. It was easy to relate to them professionally, but  on a personal level, no matter how hard I tried, I was still a kid and they were still adults. I often thought that Wesley Crusher could have been a much richer and more interesting character if the writers had taken advantage of that very real turmoil that existed within me, and used it to add some humanity to Wesley in between the Nanite making and polarity reversing . . . but I guess it was more fun (and easier) to write for the android. I can't say that I blame them.

For whatever reason, I was never able to entirely lose that teenage angst, and whenever I attended a Star Trek event, or saw one of the cast members, I immediately felt like I was 16 again. Because of that feeling –   and, if I was willing to be truly, fearlessly honest with myself, the fact that I hadn't done very much with my career since leaving the show –  I avoided Star Trek events (and that inevitable feeling of shame and angst that accompanied them) for years. Of course there were exceptions, but they were few and far between.

In 2001, I was presented with an opportunity to share the stage with the Big Three of The Next Generation: Brent Spiner, Patrick Stewart and Jonathan Frakes. The event was called “The Galaxy Ball.” Robert Beltran, the actor who played Chakotay on Voyager, hosts it each year to benefit the Down Syndrome Association of Los Angeles, Doctors Without Borders, the Pediatric AIDS Foundation, and some other worthwhile charities. When I received the invitation, that familiar anxiety and apprehension sprung up immediately. 

“What will I talk about? What have I done? How can I face them?”  The Voice of Self Doubt was relentless.

“Easy,” Prove To Everyone said, “You've got your website. You've got the shows you do at ACME. You've got a wife and stepkids. You're not a kid anymore. You kicked ass in Vegas, and you can kick ass again. Besides, when will you have a chance to be on stage with these guys again?”

“You’re right,” I said, “but if you keep talking to yourself like this, they’re going to throw you out of Starbucks.”

I looked up, and offered a smile to the girl scouts who were staring at me. I bought several hundred dollars worth of Thin Mints to solidify my reputation as an eccentric millionaire playboy who hangs out at Starbucks in his Bermuda shorts.

When the day came to go to the ball, I dressed in my finest gown, and bid my wicked stepsisters goodbye as I got into my carri  – 

Wait. Sorry. That’s not my story. That’s Cinderella's story. I often get us confused.

The morning of the ball, I had a major fashion crisis. I was going to wear a suit, but I felt like I was playing dress up. I put on an ironic hipster T-shirt and black jeans, but then I felt like a child. I settled on this cool black cowboy shirt with eagles on the front and jeans. I looked at myself in the mirror that hangs on the back of my bedroom door, and thought I looked kind of cool. 

"You guys stay here," I said to Prove To Everyone and The Voice of Self Doubt. "I'm doing this on my own today." I ignored the explosion of discarded clothes that littered the rest of my room, and left the drawers open when I left.

During the twenty minute drive to the ball, I went over material in my head. I prepared jokes and did improv warm up exercises, and by the time I got there I felt like I’d been on stage for three hours.

I parked my car in the self-park garage. I convinced myself that it was stupid to cough up seven bucks for a valet to drive it forty feet, but the truth was all the other guys have luxury cars, and my VW seemed a little . . . unimpressive. 

I made my way to the green room, and discovered Jon
athan Frakes, who had arrived ahead of me. 

“Hi, Johnny,” I said. I felt my face get warm.

A huge smile spread across his face as he stood up. 

“W!” he said, “You look great, man!” 

I love it when he calls me “W” (pronounced “double-you”)  –  my whole life I wanted a cool poker nickname, and it’s the closest I’ve ever come.

He closed the distance between us in two strides, and wrapped his arms around me in a big, fatherly bearhug. 

“You too,” I said. 

“Have you eaten?” he said.

“Some coffee and toast this morning,” I said. I didn’t mention anything about my nervous stomach, and the barely-touched  omelette I left on the table.

“Help yourself,” he said, and pointed to a table where some food was set out. “They always give us too much food, you know?”

I laughed. I haven’t spent nearly enough time in green rooms to know, but I took his word for it.

I opened a ginger ale and picked up a handful of veggies. As I munched on a carrot, he said, “How have you been?”

It was the question that I always dreaded. I would always smile bravely, ignore the knot in my chest, and say something like,“Oh, you know . . . Things are slow, but I have an audition next week.” 

I spoke before that familiar knot could tighten.

“Not too bad. I haven’t worked in ages, but I’m doing a really good sketch comedy show at ACME in Hollywood.” I lifted my ginger ale with a mostly-steady hand, and took a long drink.

“And I made myself a website where I write a lot of stuff. It’s pretty fun.”

“Have you been doing any cons?” He asked.

“A few,” I said. “I did one in Vegas last month.” 

“Slanted Fedora?”

“Yeah,” I said.

“How did it go?”

“I took my sketch group out there and we did a show. It was really fun.”

“Oh! I heard about that. I hear you’re really funny.” 

“Yeah, I try to entertain the kids.” I said. The knot tightened so violently in my chest, it felt like a heart attack. I felt intensely uncomfortable and embarrassed. The feeling surprised me; here was the one thing that I’d been doing, and doing well — I was very proud of my sketch work, yet I didn't want to talk about it. 

“I may be funny in some sketch comedy shows that hardly anyone ever sees,” I thought, “but I'm struggling to pay my bills, I can't get hired for anything in Hollywood, and all of you guys have gone on to be rich and famous. I may be funny, but I sure fucked up the biggest opportunity of my career when I quit 'Star Trek.'”

I shoved several carrots in my mouth and I changed the subject.

“Have you been watching TNG on TNN?”

“Yeah,” he said, “it’s amazing how those old shows hold up.”

“Except Angel One,” I said.

“And Code of Honor,” he said.


“No vaccine!”
 we said in unison, quoting one of the actors in that show and laughed. The knot loosened.

“It’s so weird for me to watch them,” I said, “because I was so young. It’s like my high school yearbook has come to life.”

“That’s because you’ve actually grown up since then,” he said, “the rest of us have just gotten fatter.”

“Don’t let Marina hear you say that,” I said.

He thought for a moment, and added, “Okay, all of us except Marina.”

He winked. I smiled. The knot untied itself.

“Seriously, though,” he said, “we’ve just gotten older. You’re the only one of us who’s actually changed.”

“I guess you’re right,” I said.

I'm older and changed, now. I'm a fundamentally different person than I was when I wrote this: I'm much happier, I feel like my life is more or less under my control, and I spend as much time feeling grateful for what I have as I once spent worrying about what I didn't. I feel really secure and happy with my relationship to Star Trek, and when I speak at a con, I don't feel like I'm just resting on the faded laurels of something I did over twenty years ago, rehashing stories people know like the lyrics to an old pop song.

My acting and writing careers are doing better than I ever dreamed possible when I nervously drove myself to the Galaxy Ball almost ten years – wow, almost a decade – ago. It looks like I'll be a recurring character on The Big Bang Theory and Eureka, and I think I may get to do more episodes of Leverage. My manager says that casting people are asking about me all the time because they want to put me into their shows, and I've even had development meetings with executives at major networks who specifically want to work with me. w00tstock is just starting out, and it's already exceeding our wildest expectations; it's so much fun to do, but more importantly, it seems to matter to the people who come to see it, which fills me with joy.

I'm sitting at my desk right now, while my dog snores on the floor against the wall behind me, underneath the velvet Wesley Crusher John Scalzi gave me. On the bookshelf next to me, there are copies of every book I've written, and there are even a couple of awards I've received for some of my work. From where I am (physically and emotionally) at this moment, reading about the fear and anxiety I had in 2001 fills me with a mixture of sadness, relief, and gratitude. Just A Geek is about a journey, and for me, that journey wasn't fully completed until I wrote about taking it. I'm trying to find a way to turn some of that story into an entertaining stage show, so I've been rereading Just A Geek, emotionally reliving that journey, and viscerally remembering just how terrible it felt to be imprisoned by the voices of Self Doubt and Prove To Everyone.

Riding that emotional roller coaster again, even if it's only in my memory, reminds me how it feels to be at the other parabola on this particular horizontal axis of symmetry (I guess you could call this feeling my irrational normal curve, if you were into stretching a mathematical metaphor right past its breaking point) and every day I'm more than a little scared that I'm going to fuck it all up, somehow, that I'm standing atop some precarious house of cards that could collapse at any moment, and because the cards were designed by an evil wizard, they have razors for edges and will cut me to ribbons when I fall. (There's always an evil wizard, guys. I know it sounds crazy, but it's true; that's science.)

I've worked really hard to get from where I was in 2001 to where I am now, and looking back on the years in between, I can see more good times than bad, even if it felt that the opposite was true at the time. I also see that I was never alone. I was always accompanied by my wife and family, as well as everyone who read and commented on my blog, bought my books, and encouraged me, in one way or another, to just keep going and never give up. I don't know how many of you reading this today have been here since the old days, but for those of you who are: thank you for helping me not die of dysentery on the trail.

I'm really looking forward to this convention. I can't wait to see my friends, host the second annual RockBand party, reveal some fairly big secrets about some fairly awesome projects during my Awesome Hour, attend an actual nerd prom, and do something so epic with Scalzi, we're both preparing to pass out a white paper titled The Recalibration of Things What Are Epic. The only thing I'm even remotely worried about is not having enough energy to fully enjoy all of the cool things I'm scheduled to do … and if that is my biggest problem, if that is what I'm worried about, well, my life is good.

Yeah, my life is very good, indeed.

50 thoughts on “excerpted from Just A Geek: a sort of homecoming”

  1. My family and friends are sooo looking forward to seeing you at the Con again this year. You’re the highlight of the event for us. I hope you have all the newer books you’ve put out in the last year and half – we’re intent on having the full, autographed library by the end of the weekend.
    And, of course, we’re really looking to another awesome night of this:
    Rock Band - Phoenix Comicon '09
    :^D

  2. The Evil Wizard may have made all the cards razor edged, but 1)Your army of minons is likely to take him down before he gets anywhere near the card house, and
    2)Your Trololo wig surely gives you a special +10 armor against that sort of thing.

  3. How awesome to read that your (TV) acting career really seems to have kicked off. Congratulations! Looking forward to more of you in BBT, Eureka, Leverage and everything else. :D

  4. “that journey wasn’t fully completed until I wrote about taking it.”; this is the truest of all writer’s truths. It always applies.
    I’m a little surprised, though – if you had to make a cartesian allusion to symmetry, that it wasn’t in the form x^2-y^2=1. Or isn’t hyperbole/a what you were going for?
    Oh, it is only when you possess things of value that there can be fear of losing, no? Another of those truths, I suppose.

  5. JAG is still a damn fine book. Every time I read/hear something from JAG it inspires me to work on coming to terms with all my own “Prove to Everyone”s. It also tends to take me on a time warp back to 2003. It also makes me want to play poker. It’s a very powerful book. (Seriously.) I think it will make an appearance on the road trip to Phoenix.
    P.S. Thanks for including us on the journey so far. 2001 seems forever ago and far, far away, but it’s been a worthwhile journey.
    Cheers.

  6. I haven’t been here since the old days, but even just the few months or so I have and listening to Just a Geek and Happiest Days, I feel like I’ve been on the journey with you. I’m so thrilled to hear how happy you are, you deserve to be. Unfortunately, I can’t seem to make it to any Con you’re at yet, but when I do I’m making meeting you my #1 priority.
    I want to thank your family for being so willing to share you with the world, it’s just a little bit (a lot) better for it.

  7. Please feel free to forward me a copy of that white paper when you have it ready :)
    It is always good to see where you’ve been and seen how much you have changed and grown in the interim. More people should be open to change and new experiences, embracing them in the hopes that they will better enrich what has transpired in their lives. You have done that and have prospered as a person because of that. Be proud in that knowledge and always continue to change and grow.
    Ashes to ashes,
    DJ Pheonyx
    The Cape Radio
    http://www.thecaperadio.com

  8. Despite catching onto your blog late, I think I can safely speak for everyone. We’re proud of you. You’re great to read and to listen to and you inspire those that follow to keep pushing, to keep trying, because it can, will, pay off. Keep doing what you do and we’ll be here, good times or no.

  9. Don’t forget the Iron Guard salute! Nothing saps your energy and will to do awesome like the common con-fluenza. Though I suppose that after the last two PAXs, you’re likely immune to just about anything that hasn’t been cooked up in a government lab! Scratch that: if you’ve been spending lots of time at G.D. lately, you’re probably immune to those now, too! By the way, good job on your Eureka character not biting it during the episode (bad job on letting that info slip, though!). I think that puts you in the slight minority of guest-Ph.D.s who have survived, though I haven’t done a study or anything.

  10. Good luck at the Con! Makes me wish we still lived in Arizona. At least I got to go to w00tstock 2.1 in Portland.
    And it’s about bloody time that Hollywood recognized your talent! Your work is inspiring and meaningful to a whole lot of us out here in the internets, Wil. The uncensored honesty in your writing, both here and in your books, is a rare thing. It gives us fans a glimpse not just of your public persona, but of you the person. It gives us fans a connection to you that we’ll never have with any other writers/actors/artists. It makes you feel like a friend of ours. Which is why so many of us are so genuinely happy for you whenever you get the recognition we all believe you most definitely deserve. My hope is that as your star continues to rise (and I am completely confident that it will) that you continue to share your wonderful stories with us here, in your books and on your podcasts. It means a lot to us!
    Have a great time in Phoenix!

  11. Yeah, I'm committed to the IGS at cons from now until the heat death of the universe, since I left PAX East unscathed this year.
    I didn't let the non-death of my character slip, though! Amy and Jaime have both already revealed that he doesn't get the big sleep.

  12. Your persistence is an inspiration to a lot of people.
    Thanks for being real with us, and giving us all a little hope that we too can kick Prove To Everyone and The Voice of Self Doubt in the junk and do it anyway.

  13. You probably don’t remember this (or me) because it was almost five years ago (and I’m just one out of a bajillion monkeys) but my very first published byline was a review of Just a Geek that I did for an online writing internship and when I sent it to you, you said I grokked it. :) And of course it didn’t occur to me until, like, yesterday that maybe I should have brought it with me to W00tstock.
    I’ve been reading you since early 2004 so not *quite* the old days (though I went back and read the archives, does that count?) and I can tell how much happier you are, just in the overall tone of your writing. I’m so glad that you’re putting it all(ish) here so that we can take this journey with you.
    I’m so so proud of and happy for you!

  14. I can’t wait for Rock Band revisited! Too awesome that I got to be there for the first, and now second!
    I’ve been looking forward to this weekend forever, and a big part of that is seeing you again, and Felicia, of course!
    Your life is good… and you help make all of ours better by living it, and just being you. Thanks for that. =)

  15. Hey, Wil.
    I bought a copy of Just A Geek when it came out, and it’s gotten lost along the way. O’Reilly had a special on ebooks last week, and I snagged a copy again, and reread it in a sitting on my machine.
    I remembered when I found your blog and shared it with people. I think the line we used was “warped to Planet Tequila and came back way more cool”. That was before the books.
    After reading JAG, and then reading it again recently, I have to say we totally underestimated you. You’d started down that path, but we’ve gotten to watch you walk it, and see how things have changed. I am so happy that you’re doing well.
    And yeah, what dubdynomite said – if you’ve done anything for people, it’s showing us how to deal with Prove To Everyone and Self-Doubt through examples. (Also working on not being a dick)
    You’re TV’s Own Wil Wheaton, dammit, and we are your army. Except for the navy. And maybe the Air Force. And a couple of marines. Ah, heck with it, metaphor fell apart.

  16. … and if that is my biggest problem, if that is what I’m worried about, well, my life is good.
    That’s because Wil Wheaton is made of pure Awesome Win. (:
    At this point, you have so much positive karmic momentum, you could screw up HUGE over and over and over and it’d only slow you down a bit. That’s what you get for sticking to it and not being a dick. (:

  17. I imagine that you now have several places you feel at home, including here. So you must get that wonderful feeling of “homecoming” in any number of ways, in any number of “places.” And that’s got to be a seriously cool thing.
    As others have said, and echoing my closing statement when I met you at w00tstock 2.0 in Seattle: keep doing what you do; it means a lot to a lot of people.
    ps. Finally got to your Leverage ep. – you NAILED it. Glad you’re probably returning there as I think that’s a significantly different demographic than Eureka/BBT/The Guild, thus it will help “spread the Wil.”

  18. I’m actually going early on Friday to the Phx Comicon just to make sure my friend and I (we picked up the full event passes) can sign up for the WW Friday night Rockband!
    Last year I only got to go on Saturday morning (you wont remember, but I had worked til 7am and went to see you at the con, and then had to work again at 6pm and 12hr shifts at that) and was so wiped out that I could barely function. Plus I had to miss the first RB event.
    This year I took the entire weekend off work so I could hit up all your panels (plus the fact you and FD are doing a GUILD panel is icing on the cake) and have a fun event. Going to both RB nights!
    Thanks for being… well… you.
    p.s. You need to get back on Leverage. One of my favorite episodes, and looking forward to hopefully seeing you in S4 of The Guild! Now back to work I go.

  19. You know, upon reflection this post as a whole seems to point toward one inevitable goal:
    Cinderella: The JAG Edition
    Featuring dancing, singing Wil Wheaton as everyone’s favorite scullery maid.
    Maybe instead of a glass slipper you could leave behind a pint glass.

  20. Every time you write something positive like this, I get the urge to blog about something negative, because someone has to restore the balance in the universe.

  21. I’m happy for you! I’m glad you’re happier than you were when you wrote JAG. It’s currently the only book of yours I own, and though I love your writing it’s always bittersweet to read it because I’m aware of the pain beneath the words. I know that’s not how things are any more, and that really matters to me for reasons I don’t fully understand (above and beyond the obvious fact that I like you and want you to be happy).
    Onwards and upwards, right? :)

  22. Wil, every time you write stuff like this I feel more and more encouraged to start branching out and spend more time on my passions. To actually find some way of making a living off of my dreams is a life goal for me.
    I love traveling, writing, telling stories, teaching physics in entertaining ways, write songs. Only problem is there’s so many things to do I don’t know where to start!
    One dream (travelling round New Zealand and Australia on motorbike, then hitchhiking) was realized about a year ago now. It’s time to set sails again.
    Some days I find it easy, some days not, but on more on one occasion one of your posts have inspired me to work harder on making my dreams come true. Thank you for that.
    Who knows, maybe one day I’ll be lucky enough to feature you on an episode of my travel-doc ;)
    All the best
    Jophiel
    Denmark

  23. Wil, I’m a long time fan but I’ve only just discovered your blog within the past year. Your writing and podcasts are so good–either very touching or making me laugh out loud at your quirky sense of humor. As another child of the late 70’s / 80’s I appreciate all of those stories, and you’ve made me appreciate the geek that I am. I’ve recently finished reading JAG and am loving the story arc where now you can look back at that time and think about it in a positive way. Thank you for all that you do. I just wish I lived closer to a Wootstock–you guys should travel up to Rochester NY–there are plenty of geeks up here!
    Christine

  24. Being a reader of many years (!), I reckon that you have worked terribly hard to get where you are and deserve all the success that comes your way ! The realllllly good thing about getting older is that you can get wiser…. not everyone does this, regretably. So, more power to you Wil ! Because of all the different things you have done over the years, you have also spread the risk (is there a poker analogy in there somewhere ?)… again, another smart move !!! If I lived a bit closer than Australia, I’d love to come along and see you live on stage… but maybe someone will take some u-tube and share ??? Every good wish for the convention ahead !

  25. What an awesome post! So enlightening and a totally different view of “someone famous” who we might otherwise think always has it together and never doubts. Thank you for opening your heart for us!

  26. So much this!
    And a very literal thanks for the hope, Wil: I was just another fan who stopped by your table, but you took the time to chat. I was feeling like I’d never finish grad school, and you told me you were sure I’d get it done. Reading JAG moved me to tears because it resonated so strongly with where I was, and having you say something encouraging…well, I knew you Got It, and it was definitely a moment that I held onto. A year later, I have a shiny PhD that’s a pretty good shield against The Voice Of Self Doubt. I’m delighted that the same year has seen you enjoy your well-deserved success!
    So thanks for being you and being willing to share that with us all, and keep on rocking!

  27. Knock ‘em dead, Wil. Wish I could be there. (Living in the midwest definitely has its disadvantages for things like this. :P)

  28. This weekend will be as epic as everything you do Wil. You’ll always have enough energy to do everything you want and everything you think will be awesome to do. The people who support you and the people you meet-especially at things like cons- will get excited and it’ll help give you a boost of energy to make more awesome things. I wish I was going to be able to stay to get The Recalibration of Things What Are Epic paper, but my baby sitter will only be availible through Saturday day. Can’t wait for Rock Band though!

  29. Thank you, Wil. Your writing is very inspiring, and as I find myself where you were a decade ago right now in my life, I hope to find myself where you are now by the time I’m 40. It seems that 30s are the new mid life crisis, and I’m glad that we’re young enough to have time to really figure out what we want and go for it. Have fun at the con :)

  30. I loved this post, and how open and honest you are about everything! I may have to pick up a copy of Just A Geek soon, it sounds fantastic. And, of course, I’m immensely jealous of everyone who’ll get to be at Phoenix Comicon. :)

  31. Great post. I’m not an old timer, but I am a fan. It really is odd to see some of what I thought were internal conversations put down on paper by someone else. So please, feel free to continue doing what you’re doing. For me, at least (as creepy as it sounds), it’s nice to know I’m not as alone inside my head as I had thought.
    On a side note, one thing that seems relevant that I’ve learned from my own voice – Regrets, a harsh mistress if there ever was one – is that no matter what I’ve been through in the past, I wouldn’t be where I am if it weren’t for where I was.
    X (The closest thing I have to an IGS in plain text.)

  32. You gotta know that all the encouragement you give us in the Get Excited and Make Things department comes back to you. You’ve reinvented yourself and shared the +/- of the process. And you survived. But better than merely surviving you are thriving. And you are teaching. I have learned things from you in a tangible way that no one else has been able to pound into my thick psuedo Klingon cranium.
    1. No one who matters sees me as negatively as I see myself therefore they do not see my mistakes as critical failures. So those are the people whose lens I will borrow when I’ve left mine at home.
    2. Dice are fickle things. Sometimes the black dragon falls at the Unlikely Hero’s feet. Sometimes you end up in an acid pit. No matter what happens you have to make the best of the roll; have cold Arrogant Bastard, celebrate that life and roll up a new one. Geez you make it sound so easy ;)
    3. Honesty is the best policy. Own your wins. Own your losses. Own your Angst. You will see what you are made of and who your real friends are.
    4. The kindness inherent in Wheaton’s Law is the only way to build a truly loyal army of well-trained minions.
    As the man says, LL&P.

  33. Dear W,
    I grew up watching you as Wesley, and thought you were both awesome and annoying. Then I went off to the second half of high school, then college and grad school and sort of lost you.
    When I got married to a Trekkie, he said to me: Hark! Did you hear about __________? It’s on Wil’s blog!
    Wil?
    Wil Wheaton!
    You mean from Star Trek?
    And lo, I once again wandered into your awesome. So thanks for growing up into one of the greatest people I’ve never (yet) met. ^_^

  34. Mister Wheaton, you’ve helped Geekdom feel like an actual place. Between what you do at cons like PAX and what you’ve helped create with W00tstock (I went to the Seattle show!) you really make us feel like there are places we belong, even if it’s only for a little while and we have to build it ourselves. And on a more minor note, reading your blog helps inspire me to write mine on a more regular basis. (Oh, and I had a dream the other night that you and I were hanging out at my parent’s house and I was alternating between shamelessly flirting and going “OMG OMG OMG WIL WHEATON!” which was probably why you seemed rather confused. But that’s not important right now.)
    I think it’s fair to say that Self Doubt and Prove To Everyone have been burned to ashes by the sheer power of your Awesome.

  35. Wil, I know this feeling. I’ve just traveled past the x axis past the zero point and into the integers of incredibly awesome. I quit something that I thought screwed my career up too (college), but along the way I picked up awesome friends and a great husband and fantastic in laws.
    One year ago next month, I was laid off from a crappy job that made me feel crappy and useless and ashamed that it was all I was doing in life – it took so much energy to get through the day, I never had energy left for the creative things I wanted to do (write and draw comics, books, poems, whatever). The lay off devastated me, especially since we were living paycheck to paycheck, but my in laws and my husband decided to make a lot of sacrifices for me. As of two weeks ago, I signed up for classes at my old university. One week ago, I accepted an offer for my DREAM job, which will work with my schedule as I continue classes. I now am proud of where I am going in life, not just of who I am going through it with. So I know this feeling Wil – you deserve every bit of it.
    Don’t let up – you are only at the beginning of good things that are coming your way, not because they are coming to you at random, but totally due to your hard work and talent. And Anne and your family – the support of a family is critical to a creative person.
    Again, congratulations Wil, I hope to see you in many more projects. I’d love to see you help write a television series – or to get Wootstock in Houston, Texas sometime soon. I’m going to hit up the Creative Writing department at my college and see if we can’t find a few hundred geeks to demand your presence. :)

  36. I was just talking to a new friend the other day who’s actually met you (I live on the East Coast so it’s hard). Anyway, he said that he was totally impressed with how you treated your fans – which makes me want to meet you even more now.
    I read all your posts last year about your awesome Rock Band panel and talked to some of my geek buds about it and we’d like to do something similar at our local con. I know it won’t be as cool without you there, but could you point me in the direction of some how-tos for making this successful?
    Yours in geekiness!

  37. I think in the event you have tons of time to spend with Jonathan Frakes and LeVar Burton, it would be cool to talk to them briefly about Memories of the Future Vol. 2. I really enjoyed in Just a Geek you and Frakes going “No vaccine!” and while I certainly wouldn’t want you to waste your time with your friends, but I do enjoy the on the set memories and jokes you have been willing to share with us.

  38. On a side note, (you brought up Wootstock): You bloody bastiches! I didn’t know you were coming to Mpls until I saw a show at the Guthrie last night- and now I’m obligated to be out of town on 6/7. Kicking myself terribly.
    (BTW, if M. Butterfly is still on when you’re here, it’s amazing.)

  39. In 1999, I went back to college for the third time at age 33. College this time took me 6 years at night after full days a t the office, and more ranting, screaming, flailing commutes on the highway than I care to remember. In 2005, I graduated with my BS, and in 2008, I passed my professional qualification test. So I have a bit of knowledge of what it must have been like for you.
    In keeping with that, I offer you my congratulations on your progress so far, as well as encouragement for your continued progress.
    When I graduated college, I treated myself to something special. I never had the cash at the time to buy a high school ring, so I splurged on a “school ring” after I graduated college. It has the initials of all 3 of my colleges on it, as well as my high school initials, and the years I attended. It also has my personal education/career motto emblazoned on it, and in honor of your progress so far, I offer the motto to you as well.
    “Omnia Vincit Obstinado”
    Latin (roughly) for “Everything is Conquered by Obstinance”
    So look back on your journey, and add a voice to your Greek chorus; Prove to Everyone and Self Doubt need a new companion now. So introduce I Got This to the boys, and maybe you can dance on your razor cards while giving the Evil Wizard(tm) a much-deserved single finger salute.
    Keep on keeping on, Wil. Artists like you are needed now more than ever. Thanks for everything you do, especially sharing it with us here.
    Jado

  40. I’m glad that you’re finally finding some peace from your anxiety. I think that the older fans really did you a disservice over the years. For those of us geeks who are a few years younger than you, Wesley and you were heroes. You still are. Heck, you were one of my first boy-crushes, long before I really began to realize I was gay even! Wes’s dialog may have been crap, but the character (read: all those things that you as an actor conveyed) really spoke to me. Wes was me, but liberated by “the future”: the adults actually listened to him (eventually), tolerated his exuberance, and eventually accepted him as a valued crewmember and equal.
    Now at 28, I still see you/Wes as one of my heroes. If I ever have the money and time to get to a ST Con, it’s you that I’d be most hoping to meet (though I do get excited over all of the cast!). I’ve always wondered why you were so infrequently seen after TNG, and it give me personal hope for myself to see that you’re pulling out of that (I guess I’m going to have to pick up watching Eureka again!). I’m struggling through some related lifecrap right now (for the past 10 years actually) and there might be some light ahead in my tunnel (though I hear a train somewhere, I keep praying it’s not the source of the light).
    I guess I really needed to stumble upon your blog right now in my life… thanks!
    now back to homework….

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