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The big roundup of Still Just A Geek press

I’ve been doing press to promote Still Just A Geek for a little over a month, now. I’ll be honest: I’m getting tired of the sound of my own voice. I’m starting to feel a bit of fatigue, and I have to remind myself that each person I’m talking to is hearing this stuff for the first time, and so is their audience.

I’ve felt awkward about linking to all the press, because it’s a lot. But they are all really good conversations that I’m happy to share, when I can get out of my own way and stop worrying so much about … everything.

This is an incomplete collection of press I’ve done, as of May 12, collected in one place. If I’ve forgotten something, just leave a comment and I’ll update.

Content warning: in nearly every one of these interviews, I discuss child abuse and exploitation.

The Art of Fatherhood Podcast

Wil Wheaton talks with me about his fatherhood journey. We chat about being a step-dad and the relationship he has with his sons. Wil shares some of the values he looked to instill into his sons as they were growing up. He also talks about how he wanted to make sure he didn’t act like his parents and not make the same mistakes they did. After that we talk about his book, Still Just a Geek: An Annotated Memoir and how recording the audiobook version was life-changing for him. We even talk about on comic-con moment that stuck with me for years on the advice he gave someone about being a geek. Lastly, we finish the interview off with the Fatherhood Quick Five.

Dystopia Tonight

Wil Wheaton is one of the most genuine human beings I’ve had the pleasure of speaking with. Incredibly thoughtful, funny, introspective and kind we take a deep dive into his life as a childhood actor, what lead him to his new book, “Still Just A Geek” two decades after his first book and how he’s evolved as a person in between, reliving past traumas, the craft of acting, friendships he’s made along the way, embracing nerd culture and reveling in its current state of “coolness”, The Big Bang Theory, His Trek Family, a touching moment he shared with his Stand By Me co-star Jerry O’Connell, board games, video games, Robin Williams, and not being afraid to get emotional as men. Enjoy!

HOW WIL WHEATON BECAME STAR TREK’S OWN “TIME LORD”

“I have spent an incredible amount of time thinking: what would be going on in Wesley Crusher’s universe?” Wheaton tells Inverse. “And for years, I have thought space and time and thought are not disconnected the way people think they are. I mean, that’s just a Time Lord [from Doctor Who] with more steps.”

Funny Science Fiction Podcast

Game over, Moon Pie! Wil Wheaton is our guest this week. He’s stopping by to talk with us about his book -“Still Just a Geek” an annotated release of his 2004 book – “Just a Geek”. Wil also talks with us about the lessons learned in life and how working on this book helped him confront some of the issues that he was facing, head on. We talk about advice he has for others who are enduring some of the same things, and what they may be able to do to move forward in life. But we are all geeks, and so of course there is some Star Trek, Big Bang Theory and Role Playing Games talk as well. We talk about others roles and his book narration as well.

Solzy At The Movies

What would Wesley Crusher think if he discovered The Big Bang Theory?

Wil Wheaton: Do you mean the theory or the TV show?

The TV series.

Wil Wheaton: That’s an interesting question. I don’t know if he would get the humor because Wesley’s from the 23rd century. We look back at humor from 300 years ago and some of it still works. But a lot of it is based on idiomatic language and cultural references that none of us could possibly understand. He would think, Oh, that’s interesting. There’s a guy there who looks an awful lot like me and they talk about me like I’m a real thing. That’s weird. I don’t understand any of these jokes. What’s Star Wars? I’m very confused. Who is this Iron Man? I’ve never heard of him. I don’t know what he wants.

Thank you. I look forward to reading your updated book.

Wil Wheaton: Well, you’re very kind.

Advice I’d Give My Younger Self With Wil Wheaton

Join us as Wil Wheaton, who had leading roles in “Star Trek: The Next Generation” and “The Big Bang Theory,” discusses revisiting his 2004 memoir “Just a Geek,” which he recently re-released as “Still Just a Geek.”

Every page is filled with footnotes and parenthetical comments talking to his younger self, and in many cases decrying his previous racism, homophobia, and misogyny. How did he manage to confront his younger self without dying of shame? Listen now to find out.

Just gonna jump in here really quick to point out that the comment about “previous racism” doesn’t make sense to me. I’ve never been racist, I am not racist, and I don’t know why the author asserts that in the description. I hope it’s just a rhetorical error that they’ll correct.

Traveling Through Time With Star Trek’s Wil Wheaton: Geek And Trans Ally

In his memoir, he opens up about his life, love, his battle with depression and about coming to grips with his past work, his career choices and his birth family. He also describes how he found fulfillment in the new phases of his career, and came to terms with a painful childhood.

‘The man who was my father wasn’t a dad to me at all,” Wheaton told me. “My mother made me her thing when I was a kid, and she used her thing to fill up the emptiness in her life that she didn’t get from anywhere else.”

Before writing his book, the dad of Ryan and Nolan Wheaton said he had to “unlearn the toxic, hurtful behaviors that had been modeled to me,” and therapy helped him deal with chronic depression, something he’s blogged about.

Wil Wheaton Interview: Close Encounters of the Shatner Kind

Wil Wheaton is best known for portraying Wesley Crusher on the science fiction TV series Star Trek: The Next Generation and Gordie Lachance in the film Stand by Me. He appeared regularly as a fictionalized version of himself on the sitcom The Big Bang Theory, and other television credits include Leverage, Eureka, The Outer Limits, Diagnosis: Murder, Criminal Minds, Supergirl and S.W.A.T. Wheaton has also worked as a voice actor in animation, video games and audiobooks.

On April 12, 2022, Still Just a Geek: An Annotated Memoir, was published as an updated version of Wheaton’s 2004 memoir,  Just a Geek: Unflinchingly Honest Tales of the Search for Life, Love and Fulfillment Beyond the Starship Enterprise. In Still Just a Geek, the celebrated actor, personality and all-around nerd, reexamines one of the most interesting lives in Hollywood and fandom.

WIL WHEATON IS DOING THE WORK

The actor/author was disappointed by the sexism and insensitivity of his 2004 memoir ‘Just a Geek,’ so he decided to revise it. He talks to MEL about getting a do-over, living with the anger of how his parents mistreated him and why he still stands with Chris Hardwick

ABC News (I was on ABC!)

Too Opinionated episode 281

Everything Zen

There’s no place like Zenescope! This month, on Volume 2, Episode 5 of Everything Zen, we take the yellow brick road to OZ and dig deep into Dorothy’s adventures with creator, Jenna Lyn Wright. Plus, the wonderful WIL WHEATON stops by to talk about Star Trek and all things geek in anticipation of his latest book, STILL JUST A GEEK. We’ve also got the Zenescope Calendar of Events, Las Vegas Fun Facts, and a bevvy of OZ prizes! Length: 68 Minutes.

Classic Conversations

Actor, personality, and all-around nerd, Wil Wheaton beams up to the show to discuss his new book, “Still Just a Geek: An Annotated Memoir.

During the interview, we cover a lot of Wil’s amazing career. Wil shares stories from his time starring in Stand By Me, Star Trek: The Next Generation, and The Big Bang Theory. We also discuss The Wil Wheaton Project, The Ready Room, The Family Guy TNG reunion, and Tabletop. 

Wil shares one of his favorite moments while on The Big Bang Theory and shares an amazing story about William Shatner from that episode. We also discuss Wil’s story of the first time he met William Shatner on the set of Star Trek V.

We also discuss Wil’s love of Sharknado (and how his tweets helped launch it into infamy) and his guest spot in Sharknado 2 where tragically he was eaten by a shark. 

We end by discussing the meta experience of narrating the book Ready Player One (which references Wil Wheaton).

Enjoy my conversation with evil Wil Wheaton, Gordie Lachance, and Wesley Crusher. 

Beyond Trek

Keeping Up With The Cardassians

Rob, Joe, and Nick had the incredible honor of sitting down and talking with Wil Wheaton (Wesley Crusher-STNG). In an interview spanning a variety of subjects from mental health, pop culture, pizza, and everything in between.

Welcome home, Wesley

Image shamelessly stolen from Trek Core

From the moment Star Trek Picard was announced, people asked me if Wesley Crusher would make an appearance. Until August of last year, I told the truth when I said that I would love to do that, but had no idea if it would actually happen. I’m pretty psyched that we were able to keep this secret as long as we did.

I want to take a minute and share why Wesley’s return to Star Trek is so deeply meaningful for me, why this is so much more than merely playing a fun cameo for two pages. I want to tell you what Wesley Crusher means to me, as an almost 50 year-old husband, father, and survivor.

I love Wesley Crusher. I cherish Wesley Crusher. I am fiercely proud of Wesley Crusher. It is an honor and a privilege to be the actor who played him. But that wasn’t always true. For far too long, I allowed my opinion of Wesley, and my opinion of myself, to be defined by others. And it hurt so much, I almost walked away from Star Trek entirely, just to get away from it.

Wesley’s fictional journey and my real life journey are remarkably similar. We were both incredibly smart kids who struggled to fit in with our peer group. Neither one of us had a relationship with our father (Wesley, because his father died when he was a baby, me because my father chose to be my bully instead of my dad). Both of us spent our entire lives on paths we did not choose, struggling every single minute of every single day to make the people who put us on that path proud of us. We both felt uncomfortable in our own skin, and ended up spending as much time in our intellect as we could, because that was a place that felt safe.

Our stories and paths diverge widely in our teens: he’s awkward and angsty, but genuinely loved and supported by the adults in his life, who encourage him to explore his interests. I’m awkward and angsty, but I’m invisible to my dad on a good day, and my mother does not see me. Instead, she only sees the kid from Teen Beat, and all the trappings that come with proximity to him that she can scrape up for herself. In my headcanon, Wesley felt alone because he didn’t get to regularly interact with kids his own age, and if his life mirrored my own at that time, a lot of kids he would have wanted to be friends with judged him before they knew him, because he was kind of famous. Let me tell you, when every room you walk into is filled with people who have already made up their mind about you before you even introduce yourself, you just stop walking into rooms. Or, at least, I did. 

When Wesley saw his opportunity to forge his own path with the Travelers, his entire family supported him, they celebrated the end of one journey and the beginning of another. I did not get that support. When I was about 20 and left the series, followed quickly by leaving the entire entertainment industry, neither of my parents were there for me, at all. By this time in my life, my father had stopped trying to hide his contempt and disinterest for me, and my mother had essentially abandoned me to focus her energy on a friend of my sister’s, who was climbing the teen fame success ladder. My mom was always there when I was chasing her dream of acting fame, but when I needed a mom to help me figure out what I wanted to do with my life, she just did not show up at all. I was left entirely alone to try and figure out how to be an adult. It was terrifying. Luckily for me, when I was 23 I met the woman who would become my wife, and my journey toward discovering and realizing my dream began. 

But let us go back to the moment when we each realized we were not on our paths, but someone else’s. Wesley and I both walked away from everything we knew, every expectation that was ever put on us, every person we ever cared about, because we both knew that something was not right in our lives, and if we were going to fix it, we had to figure out what it was. And to figure out what it was, we had to get off the paths we had been on since we were too young to know what a path even was. 

Wesley was expected to be a Starfleet captain, or maybe a chief engineer. I was expected to be a famous film actor, or at least famous. We both accepted these expectations right until we didn’t. He got there before I did, but there was a moment when we both knew that we were pursuing dreams that were not ours, that they were more important to other people than they were to us. We needed time and space to find out who we were, and what our dream was.

When we had that time and space (or all of time and space, for Wesley), we could discover what was important to us, what we wanted to do with our lives and the time we had in this universe, who we were when we weren’t defining ourselves according to someone else’s expectations. During that time, I met more people than I can count who have told me how much Wesley means to them. They told me he inspired them, that they saw themselves in him at a time when they felt unseen by the people in their lives. They told me he helped them figure out what kind of person they wanted to choose for a partner in love and life.

For two decades I listened, while people told me the ways he was there for them. I never would have expected that he would also be there for me.

And yet.

Ron Moore wrote Wesley’s final episode, Journey’s End. Ron knew Wesley needed to do something different with his life. He knew that Starfleet wasn’t right for Wesley. He knew that Wesley couldn’t keep defining himself through someone else’s expectations. I don’t know if he knew that I also needed that (I didn’t even know it at the time), but like so many other people who watched Wesley’s story, I was inspired by Wesley’s courage and conviction. And I followed him out into the Great Unknown.

I was surprised to discover that as I got to know myself all over again for the first time, I also got to know Wesley. If Wesley could matter so much, to so many people, why couldn’t he matter that much to me, the actor who played him? It took a long time and a lot of work to find the answer to that question. I wrote a whole book about it, in fact. But what’s important is that much in the same way I had allowed myself to be defined by how I was measuring up to someone else’s expectations, I had allowed my relationship with Wesley Crusher to be defined the same way. And the end result of that was a lot of self-inflicted pain and sadness for me. I don’t think it’s a coincidence that around the same time I finally felt seen in the world, I was able to see Wesley the way so many others did. It was a lot of hard work, but it was worth it. I was, and am, worth it. Getting to know Wesley Crusher, to see him the way he was seen by the people who loved him, to love him the way he always deserved to be loved … you can see the parallels, right? Believe me, it was all worth it.

Wesley and Kore may blink out of existence and never come back on camera again. Or they might go literally anywhere through all of space and time, from Strange New Worlds to Discovery to Lower Decks (but not to season three of Picard. Sorry, nerds.). I honestly don’t know what comes next for them in canon, but I’d be lying if I said I haven’t spent some time thinking about it.

I may get to tell more of Wesley’s story at some point – his journey over the last 25 or so years is something I’ve spent a lot of time thinking about – as a writer or as an actor. Maybe both. But even if that never happens, if I never get to be Wesley Crusher on camera again, I will have the privilege of hosting The Ready Room, where I get to be a Starfleet veteran, a member of the exclusive “Legacy Star Trek” club, and an unashamed superfan who gets to take other nerds into the Room Where It Happens. I get to celebrate everything we all love about Star Trek in all its incarnations, for my job. 

I love the life I’ve built for myself. I love and am intensely grateful for the place in Star Trek that belongs to me, as the actor who played Acting Ensign Wesley Crusher, who now plays The Traveler Formerly Known as Wesley Crusher, who is the host of The Ready Room.

I and Wesley will always be part of The Next Generation for the rest of our lives, and that would absolutely have been enough. The fact that we both get to be part of not just The Next Generation, but also part of the larger Star Trek universe, is a privilege and a gift that I will never take for granted.

We talk about how Star Trek is so inspiring when it shows us what’s possible, what we can achieve for ourselves when we work hard and work together with compassion and empathy for each other. For me it goes deeper than that, because finding love and compassion for Wesley Crusher allowed me to find love and compassion for myself.

Welcome home, Wesley. I missed you so much. Thank you for being there for me when I needed you.

a really nice article about me at trek movie dot com

credit: TrekMovie.com

TrekMovie.com has been posting about Star Trek Mission: Chicago, and today they wrapped up their coverage with a really nice write up about my spotlight panel, including some discussion of my Wesley Crusher head canon, specifically why he appears as a lieutenant in Nemesis:

Well, here’s what I think. I made the following choice. Wesley is, of course, a Traveler. Wesley learned a very long time ago that space, time, and thought are interconnected in ways that the vast majority of sentient beings do not understand and don’t know how to utilize to its full extent. And he has then been able to effectively be a Time Lord and kind of move through space and time. I have decided that whatever species you are from as a Traveler, your physical body will continue to age at a normal rate that is consistent with your species of origin. As I said, I spent some time thinking about this. I have been known to write my own fan fiction about my character.

So Wesley really wanted to be at this moment. He knows that this moment happens. He knows every moment that happens. It’s just part of the terrible knowledge that comes with being a Traveler guy, I guess. And Wesley made a choice: How will they expect me to appear? What will make them comfortable? If I show up as a god-being, it’s going make everything weird and make it all about me and I don’t want it to be that. If I just show up as like a lieutenant… that sounds like a thing that would make sense. Sure, let’s do that. But I get to be at the wedding of my very closest friends and family and I get to see them.

I also talked about one of my ridiculous ideas for Lower Decks:

The story is that Wesley just thinks Mariner is like super cool and just wants to impress Mariner so much. And Mariner could not be more annoyed and just bored and unimpressed with this fucking guy. But Boimler is like, “Do you have any idea who’s on the Cerritos!” Boimler is running around like an incredibly excited dog. He’s like, “I can’t believe it’s happening!” And he just keeps inadvertently cockblocking Wesley. Now Wesley isn’t trying to have anything romantic with Mariner, he just wants her to think that he’s cool. That’s all he cares about. And he just cannot get it done.

That is just so hilarious to me, and so silly, it feels like the kind of thing I could convince Tawny and Jack to do with me just as a reading of a few scenes, you know? Feels like the kind of thing they’d be into.

I mean, how can you NOT want to see this guy reverse some polarities?

Mischief Managed (#throwbackthursday)

On June 24, 2004, my author’s copies of Just A Geek arrived. According to the metadata, I picked the first box up at 8:32pm. What a weirdly granular bit of information to have.

There’s an essay in Still Just A Geek called “Do something kind for future you.” When I was the guy in these pictures, I didn’t understand what that meant. I couldn’t think about future me, because present me needed everything I could give him just to survive.

But the guy in these pictures, who can’t believe he’s a real, published author, who going to spend way too time feeling like a failure, has no idea that he’s giving a gift to future him. He’s holding a Maurader’s Map that I will eventually use to find all the things that were deliberately kept from him, and me. And when I find them, and I tell his and my and our story, he becomes a New York Times bestselling author, because he isn’t alone.

I want the guy in this picture to know that I can remember everything he hopes for at this precise moment, how scared he is that it isn’t going to happen, and how much that prevents him from just enjoying it. I remember his pain, and how he blamed himself for all these things he couldn’t control. I need him to know that he’s going to be okay.

Buddy, you aren’t and weren’t and never were a failure. At ANYTHING. You are enough. You were always enough.

I am a New York Times Bestselling Author

Yesterday, around noon, I posted on my Facebook:

I’ve been doing these very long days of press and promotion for Still Just A Geek. It’s a lot, and it’s exhausting, but it’s awesome and I’m grateful for all of it. I haven’t had this much fun doing late nights followed by early mornings since I was in my 20s.

I’m also still doing Ready Room, so today is a day that featured me getting up at are you fucking serious o’clock, putting myself together for a webinar I was part of for Microsoft, then going straight to the set, where we did a couple episodes for Strange New Worlds (OH MY GOD I WANT TO TALK ABOUT STRANGE NEW WORLDS SO MUCH IT IS KILLING ME THAT I CAN’T).

I am so happy, y’all. I am content, I am grateful, I am proud of the work I have the privilege to do.

… and I am so physically and mentally exhausted. I feel like I’m going to cry.

I’m taking the rest of this day off for religious observance, and I really hope I can find a nap in there, somewhere.

After I posted that, Anne and I had lunch together, and then I went into my gameroom, where I could sit quietly and just … not do anything.

Some time passed. I’m not sure how much, but it was enough for me to start feeling sleepy. I leaned my head back, closed my eyes, and did one of those long exhales that starts in your shoulders and rolls down your body.

Then my phone rang.

Okay. In 2022, few things make me as suspicious as my phone ringing. Nine in ten times, it’s bullshit. This time, I saw that it was my lit agent.

“Hello?”

“Do you have a minute to talk?”

“I do.”

“Okay. I am connecting you to a conference call.”

Over the next thirty or so seconds, literally everyone at my publisher announced themselves. Then my manger announced himself.

Oh fuck. I thought. I’m in big trouble. I dont’ know what I said or did, but I must have REALLY fucked up.

You’ve seen the title of this post, so you know that I was mistaken. My editor told me he had news. Still Just A Geek is on the bestselling indie bookshop list, and it’s on the New York Times hardcover nonfiction list, AND it’s in the top ten on the combined hardcover and ebook nonfiction list.

OMG

Wait. What?

Yeah, I heard it correctly. Still Just A Geek, one week after publication, is on THREE bestselling lists. OMG.

I thanked everyone for being part of this. It’s a blur, but I think I said something like, “it’s important to me that everyone who can hear my voice right now knows how grateful I am for your support and for everything you’ve done to help me get here. I know this isn’t the first time for you, but it is for me and I just don’t know what else to say or to feel.”

I called Anne and told her. Then I called my sister and told her. Then I texted my TNG family and told them. Then I walked around in a circle for what felt like an hour while I tried to process what this all means. I’m still working on putting it all together.

When I wrote Just A Geek in 2004, I knew it wasn’t ever going to chart, but I still held out hope, you know? Like, maybe if this book charts, it will Prove To Everyone and so forth. So there was this disappointment baked in from the very beginning that was identical to the disappointment I allowed to infect everything I did back then. Feeling like you aren’t ever going to be good enough for your dad will do that to you.

So when I wrote and did all the work for Still Just A Geek, I redefined my expectations, and my conditions for success.

I decided that I woudn’t have any expectations, at all. I just hoped that we would somehow communicate to anyone who would be interested in my story that it existed. I wasn’t going to let sales or reviews define for me whether it was successful or not. Just getting to tell my story was enough for me.

But I’m not gonna lie: I’ve been joyfully walking around for about 18 hours, obnoxiously reminding Anne and Marlowe that they now live with a New York Times bestselling author. I have every intention in the world of signing my friends’ cards and stuff, “New York Times Bestselling Author, Wil.”

This is objectively cool and exciting. It is a big deal. I get to update my bio, and for the rest of my life I get to carry this achievement. I love that, and I love that this means my chances of having another book published went up. But more than anything, I love that this can be amazing, and wonderful, and exciting, and such a beautiful gift, without it affecting how I fundamentally feel about myself or my work. I was already proud of the work, and grateful I was supported while I did it, and I am so incredibly happy that I didn’t need this to happen to get there.

When I turned in the final draft, what feels like forever ago, I wrote myself a note that says, in part, “Whatever is going to happen when this is published has already happened. You just haven’t observed the results. What is important and what matters is everything you did to get here. Don’t fall into the trap of letting someone else’s definition of success affect how you feel about your work. No matter what is in our future, we did something special that nobody can take away from us.”

I am so glad that past me consistently looks out for future me. It’s such good advice! I love that guy.