BRENT SPINER IN AUSTRALIA!!!
Sydney, December 19, 1988
Yeeeesssss!! Wheeooooh!!! He finally came here!! Brent in the Merry 'Ol Land of OZ! I've been wanting to meet him for years!!! Well to quote Gill Godwyn "I'm in Heaven ..." Ya! Am I stoked or what!!! The last time I was this stoked was last year when I went to America and flew into the two mile wide crater of Mount Saint Helens in Washington State, and later that week, when I met and was hugged by Peter Cullen (The voices of Optimus Prime and Ironhide) at BotCon '97 (A Transformers convention)!! I still can't believe I've met Peter and Brent - two of my favorite actors!!!
I wore my black with yellow writing: "How Do You Find An Android In The Dark" T-Shirt - with the answer on the back, underneath glittering crystal yellow eyes -- "Lore Only Knows..."
It's surprising how much comment I get from that shirt. Even non Trek fans love it!
Brent was at the premiere for "Insurrection" on 18 December, which I won't spoil for those who haven't seen it yet but it's very funny in parts! Data is indeed smooth ;) - and he should do more Gilbert & Sullivan!
Brent said he'd seen the movie and hoped we enjoyed it. He also said that Star Trek fans had always gotten a bad rap, and he perceived us to be very warm and friendly people :)
A woman in the audience asked him if he could 'go into Data,'
Brent said, "I say this with the deepest respect, but you do realise Data is a fictional character ..." Which brought laughter from the audience.
I'm not sure if it's his first time in Australia, but he seemed to be enjoying himself!
Ironically, Holodiction '98 was held at the Wesley Center .... The "Troublesome Little Man Child" center as Lore would say ;)
Unfortunately, no recording devices were allowed at the Con, so I did my best to scribble down notes as Brent spoke. Unfortunately, sorry, but I couldn't catch everything, not having positronic hands, :) but some things I've heard him talk about at other conventions which I've had the privilege to listen to recordings to or read reports. Now to transcribe my scrawl ... Here goes!
Titania's Log, StarData ....
"Ladies and Gentlemen, would you please welcome, Mr. Brent Spiner!..."
"G'day!" he said, in an Aussie accent, walking on stage dressed in a black outfit, black shoes and white socks yes, I noticed! :)
Waves of applause and multitudes of cameras flashing ... It was one of those 'camera don't fail me now ...' moments.
Brent looked into the audience and asked, "would anyone like to take photos?" Hee hee! Needless to say laughter erupted like Mount Saint Helens! Then Brent started to pose for pics, facing different sections of the audience and grinning!
He said that he'd rather get straight into questions, rather than Leonard Nimoy who practically gives a life story before hand. "Well ... I was born in ...." :)
As always Brent told us he wanted to steer clear from two areas: Star Trek and his personal life ... I was waiting for that! It's like his trademark! He also said he wouldn't be answering questions truthfully! Tee Hee!
He said he'd been approached to star in Voyager as another character and so he said he may want to do that at some point.
As I have heard him do at previous conventions, he began his answers with "Yes, Ma'am" and "Yes, Sir." He's so polite!
Gotta love 'im!
He told us he likes to play small parts a lot, because he can take them way over the top, but with large parts, sometimes you can't do that. He told us he loved working on "Out to Sea" with Jack Lemmon and Walter Matthau (Those guys so sweet together)! Gil Godwyn was great! Brent also said he loved working in "Phenomenon." He said even when he has a small role in a film, he says he tends to think he's the star! ... Although John Trevolta would disagree, Brent said :) Well Brent is always the star! Even when he was in "Miss Firecracker" for around 50 seconds!
Someone sneezed in the audience and Brent said, "Bless you!"
I was lucky to have a question answered by him too! I felt wonderful actually having the opportunity to ask him a question! First I thanked him for coming and he said, "thank you for coming too! If no one came, it'd be a drag! It'd be boring ..." Which made us all laugh and made me glad. I asked him about Lore, and told him that I felt Lore and Data should've reconciled their differences. Brent said that he likes Lore and a reconciliation between the two brothers would have been good. I was glad that he thought that. Maybe it'll happen someday. He also said he believes Lore's parts are at the bottom of the ship somewhere, and envisions them attaching themselves to one and other ... and Lore becoming whole again... I can just see that too! This would make for a great scene!!
A baby began to cry at one stage when Brent was talking about playing Data. Brent looked sympathetic, and said, "aww ... stop pinching him! It's perfectly fine for you to cry. If I did that I'd look stupid!" The baby cried on and Brent said, "I'm sorry, I don't want to ignore you, but I'm going to have to..."
He began to speak of props and locations (Oh, Risa is on Stage 16, according to Jennifer Hetrick - Vash, who was also a guest at the convention. Very nice and funny lady, struggling to learn Aussie slang, Mate!)
Brent said that scenes outdoors, the snakes and spiders were all attracted to 'the gold guy.' Well can you blame them? Everyone loves Data ... and maybe he was playing Lore that day...Well gotta give the guy a chance :) Brent also said that he was voted for the one to first get sick on the ship in "Generations" - he was the last! He was also voted the one who would first need oxygen, climbing a mountain and it was Patrick who first sucked on an oxygen mask groaning, "I'm really not feeling well..." Brent does a hilarious Patrick! Hee hee!
He said he loves cats, but not acting with them. He dreads reading a script with Spot in it. "Data watches Spot sleep... the cat wasn't even tired!" I heard him say at another Con that they had to wait all day until the cat tired out! Brent said there was only one scene with Spot that went off without a hitch" "Data feeds Spot Tuna. First Take."
He told us there were two cats who played Spot, Brandy and Monster. Brandy is the more placid one, whilst Monster is the more rambunctious and Brent said he couldn't explain why Spot started out being male, than was suddenly female. Writers can't seem to make up their minds!
He told us some of his favorite Episodes included, "Measure of a Man, The Offspring, First Contact... All Good Things..." Can't remember all, but basically the ones with Data in
Brent said it was a luxury working on a TV show for seven years, both for the money and working with the cast and crew. He was happy with his character - he couldn't be happier. "It was an Actor's Dream."
"You're always brilliant," an audience member said.
"Do you think so?" Brent asked.
He went on to talk about Jonathan Frakes as a director. "Jonathan's a tyrant. He screams and beats his actors ... I'm kidding of course" he smiled. "Jonathan's great."
Someone in the audience heard that he was going to spend 6 months in Australia and asked what he would be doing, to which Brent replied "Sleeping!" But then went on to say that he unfortunately wouldn't be staying here for six months - he was only kidding! But he said he'd like to come back here. He told us he's never been mobbed before and if he stays out of profile, people don't seem to recognise him as much, but occasionally he would give a profile just to see - and he gave us profiles :)
He went on to talk about "Brothers" and said he believes, "There's a little Data in all of us, and I'm Data, so there's more of him in me." Maybe there's some Lore in us too. He said he loved working on "Brothers" because he got to work with his two favorite actors! Ours too!
He said about the cast: "we amuse each other more than we amuse anyone else..."
Brent told us that practical jokes weren't played on the set, but he'd sometimes ring up Patrick's girlfriend and say (Patrick's deep voice) "Hello, Darling ...." Hee hee!
Brent's favorite scene was when Data said, "Aye, Sir." :)
He also told us he didn't have his emotion chip in right
A guy yawned in the audience and Brent asked "Sleepy?!"
He said he'd only seen about 20 TNG episodes. He'd read them, acted in them and knew what was going to happen and he wanted to save some for later and, "watch myself prance about as a young man..." :)
Brent considers himself an historian on films. I should've asked him what film "Aww, take heart Little Lady, we'll fix their wagon..." came from!
He also said Data was his favorite character, Strange, that! But he also loves to play Lore.
He said, "Data's been changed by me more than I have by him." He also said the people draw the meanings that they need from
the scenes, - what it means for them, creating a symbiotic relationship between the audience and the character. He's so understanding! When he was doing "Legacy" the very end scene, when he was looking at Ishara's yellow proximity detector, he said that he had emptied his mind of all thought at that moment and he received volumes of mail telling him what he was feeling!
He said he'd sung in several musicals on Broadway ... "I've sung in the shower..."
And his hobbies are sleeping! "I love to sleep," he says.
He told us he has a door knob hanger which says 'To be with ones self in peaceful slumber is the greatest peace of all.' He said he's a bed potato!
He told us that he liked acting with DeForest Kelley and said that Dee is a sweet person and a real gentleman.
The baby began to cry again and the father took him out of the room.
"You don't have to leave," Brent said. "We're enjoying it!... I did say I wasn't telling the truth the whole time ... no really," he said with a smile, "Via Condios." (God Bless in Spanish)
Brent's Dream List: Continual employment ... and to play a character with multiple personalities, much as playing Data has allowed him to do.
He was asked about working with Stephen Hawking.
"I loved Stephen Hawking," he said and that having him on Star Trek was one of the greatest moments of television, even if it didn't say so in the 100 Greatest Moments In Television - those things never seem to say what matters most!
Brent said that it took a while for Stephen to answer questions and that he had asked Stephen what was the answer to life?
Someone in the audience yelled out "42!"
And Brent said "That's what he said!"
Of course "Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy" fans know what this means - or do they?!
Brent said that Stephen won the poker game in that episode. He also told us that about a year later, he saw Stephen in the street.
Stephen said, "where's my money from the poker game?"
Brent had said, "the check's in the mail..."
On the role of Data, Brent said, "who plays that guy? He's sensational!" :)
He also said he would love to come to Australia and perform. We'd love to see him here!
A child two ross in front of me asked Brent how long it took to put his make up on, and some people to the right of me groaned. Brent flashed them a look and looked a tad annoyed, but then he smiled and said "someone over there knows the answer..." He said the make up took about two hours to put on, and that he had to be at work at 5.45 am, whereas Patrick could breeze in at 7am and have a dry mop wiped over his head! Brent said the make up wasn't his favorite part of playing Data.
Brent was told he had time for one last question, unfortunately. "I'll wait for a good one..." he said.
A guy asked how Brent felt about the success of Data action figures.
"I said I'd wait for a good question," Brent said. "Just kidding ... If it's good enough for Alec Guinness, it's good enough for me. One more question ... not because yours wasn't good ... I love you," and he smiled.
Brent was asked about roles he'd really like to play.
He told us Danny Kaye's "The Scarlet Pumpernickel", and also told us that he auditioned for the role that Mandy Patinkin (a close friend of his) won in "The Princess Bride." I would've loved to have seen Brent in that, though Mandy was great.
"Hello, my name is Inigo Montoya. You killed my father. Prepare to die ...." Brandish sword ...
Brent would've been sensational!
He says he enjoys feature films - primarily the catering!
He's also love to do Data again and days he hopes the writers can come up with something good!
A lady in the audience told Brent that she idolised him and asked him who he idolised. He looked at her and said "you!" That must've been a buzz!
"Thank you all for coming," he said. "I really appreciate it."
He walked off stage and I blew him a kiss as he left! He was truly charming and it was great to finally see him, laugh with him and talk to him. He spoke for about 2 hours, but it didn't seem like it! He was going to Melbourne for another appearance on the 20th.
When he came back for the autograph session, he stood at the microphone and said, "thank you for coming ... I'd like you to turn to page 73 of your Bible..." We all laughed.
There were abut five rows of us and I patiently waited, with some gifts I had brought for him, a blue, white and black cloth of Australian Aboriginal art "Tides of the Dolphin," and one of those nice name things (on spacey paper) which has a person's name in calligraphy and what it means. I'd also written a letter - there was so much I wanted to tell him and there wasn't time and so I wrote it all down and put it in a Christmas card with a Dove on it. I'd also include some pics of me dressed as Data, Lore, Soong, Lal and the Crystalline Entity! Hope he doesn't think that was too corny! I couldn't believe I was finally going to meet him!!!! Even if only briefly. I wanted him to sign a picture of Lore, but couldn't find my official photo at home, so I took the "'Ol Yellow Eyes Is Back," album cover.
He said "Hi," when I approached him. I smiled and said, "I've wanted to meet you for so long..." I hope that didn't sound too fanish! I gave him his gifts.
"Are these for me?" He asked and I nodded.
"Thank you very much," he said smiling.
I smiled and told him I really liked Lore and Data and said that I thought Lore had been given a bad rap.
"That's always the way, isn't it?" he said.
I smiled and shook his hand. It was such a thrill!
I told him that it was an honour meeting him. "You too," he said. He's such a sweet guy! Aww heck, at the risk of sounding fanish - he was gorgeous! He really does have lovely eyes!
I went back to my seat on cloud 9 with a silver lining. I Hey I'm still there from when I met Peter Cullen!
When the Autograph session ended, Brent stood, thanked us again, and pretended to throw a boomerang he'd been given into the audience! I waved to him as he left and hope to see him again!
Ee gads, I love that guy! He's really enhanced my creativity and given me so much inspiration. Watching Data and Lore and some of Brent's other characters has really helped with my self development, self esteem, amongst other things. It was wonderful, finally after seven years, to sincerely thank him for that.
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