Yesterday, I participated in The Galaxy Ball. It was a cool reunion of sorts, benefiting the Down Syndrome Association of Los Angeles, and some other worthwhile charities.
I got to share the stage with Patrick Stewart, Brent Spiner, and Jonathan Frakes! I was sitting backstage with them, looking at the four of us, and I was singing that old Sesame Stree song, “One of things just doesn’t belong…”and I was a little bit nervous, you know? Every time I get around those guys, I have always felt like a little kid again…but it was different, yesterday. When I first got there, Jonathan was already there, and he smiled that big, warm smile of his, and embraced me. he told me how happy he was to see me, and how glad he was that I was there. We talked about a bunch of stuff…the thing I remember most vividly is that neither one of us could understand why Vin Diesel is a star.
Brent arrived, sporting a very…interesting looking goatee. They joked that it was the first itme in our history together that Brent has looked more like Robert Goulet than Jonathan has. Brent told us that he’s playing a character called “The Evil [something something]” in the new Dana Carvey movie. He was hilarious, as always, and he seemed happy to see me too. They talked about the upcoming movie, how things are going with it, and marveled that I was almost 30.
Jonathan says, “Brent, do you know how old W is?”
Brent says, “Sure. He’s 37. But he doesn’t look it.”
I say, “Brent! How did you know? I’ve tried so hard to keep my age a secret.”
“Well, you were 22 when we started, Wil. Do the math.”
Laughed my ass off. Jonathan and I talked about TNG on TNN, and how we’ve been watching the old shows, impressed with how well they’ve stood the test of time. I told him how it’s strange for me to watch them, since I was so young when we did them. It’s like watching a high school year book come to life, I told him. So he looks at me, and he says, “You know, all of us just got older. But you grew from child to adult. So you’re the only one of us who’s really changed.”
That was cool. I felt, finally, accepted as an adult.
Patrick arrived, impish and mirthful, teasing everyone and stuff. He hugged Brent and Jonathan, and then fixed me with his gaze, and gave me the biggest bear hug a bald Englishman ever gave anyone. It was one of those joyous, warm, thoughful embraces that people just don’t give these days. It was very cool.
We went downstairs to the ball room, and took the stage. We joked with each other, we joked with the audience, we told stories, we all teased each other…and the whole time I was thinking, “I can’t farking believe that I am on stage with these guys. Holy crap!” But I kept my cool. Really, I did. Shocking thing was, when we said that we’d take questions from the audience, lots of them were for me. I couldn’t believe that, with the Captain of the farking Enterprise, the most beloved character of all time, and the coolest first officer, ever, people were asking me questions. But they did. And lots of people have been to the WWDN, which was supercool, and I got to talk about the website, which was also fun. So if you were at the Galaxy Ball yesterday, and this is your first visit to my lame site, Welcome!
The time really flew, and when we were done, Patrick and I were walking back to the green room to get our stuff, and Patrick turned to me, and said, “Wil, I had no idea you were so funny!” He turns to Brent, and says, “Can you believe how funny he is?” Brent agreed, and I told them that that really touched me, and I had such a great time being on stage with them. Patrick told me that he was very excited when he heard that I was going to be there, because he thought I’d just vanished in the last few years.
You know, back when we were doing the shows, I always wanted to be as good an actor as Patrick, as funny as Brent, and as cool as Jonathan. So I’m getting closer to that.