The weekend of October 22-24, Creation Entertainment held an Official Star Trek Convention in Rosemont (near Chicago), Illinois. I was there to speak and to enjoy the festivities, and so I thought I would share my impressions of the weekend. We also have a photo slideshow from the event.
Creation Impresses at Chicago Con
Startrek.com has an excellent guest by guest discussion of the weekend, however, I wanted to offer a few, more thematic observations about this weekend’s event (which, by coincidence, happened to end on October 24th, the 19th anniversary of the passing of Star Trek creator Gene Roddenberry). This was my 25th Star Trek convention and I could honestly say it was perhaps the most fun and heartwarming of all the events I have attended.
The weekend began on a sad note as word spread in the line that Leonard Nimoy could not attend due to an emergency. Star Trek fans showed their true spirit of cooperation and compassion as there was, at least around the area in line where my family and waited, no complaining and much concern that everything was okay with Leonard. When host and Creation CEO Adam Malin announced the reason for the cancellation was a surgery, the audience sent its best wishes through applause to Mr. Nimoy.
What could have been a disappointing weekend was instead one of the best displays of what makes Star Trek fans, actors, and conventioneers so admirable. Perhaps it was because of the economy and the tough times many are facing, or perhaps it was the inspiration of an absent Nimoy, or both, but there was an unplanned theme that pervaded the weekend: that of being committed and passionate about one’s life and endeavors, or restated, making the best of given situations.
Many of the guests spoke about this theme, from the youngest star Jacob Kogan (Spock) to some of the more seasoned performers like Marc Alimo (Dukat) Perhaps the best expression of this was in the words of Casey Biggs (Damar) who spoke about how everyone could live their life as an artist, encouraging the audience to treat every endeavor and experience as if they were creating art, whether it as having dinner or at work. This recurring idea was an inspiring subtext that was mixed in with all the fun and laughs.
Jacob Kogan at Star Trek Chicago
The actors really brought their best game on, to repeat a phrase. They not only gave talks, but nearly every single actor and actress pitched in to help the weekend be a memorable experience, from the excellent Rat Pack singing of Casey Biggs, Armin Shimerman, Vaughn Armstrong, Max Grodenchick, and Jeffrey Combs to the Shakespearen performance of several of the actors. In addition then to all the chatting about Star Trek’s past, present, and future, fans were provided many chances to be entertained by talented musicians and actors.
Another reason this weekend was excellent was host Adam Malin. He was not only enthusiastic, his obvious love for all science fiction, especially Star Trek, helped him be more of a representative of fans instead of just a emcee. Creation is returning to more of its roots, with such things as the return of personalized autographs, more fan interaction with celebrities, and more fan participation in the weekend. There were costume contests, music videos, two trivia contests, and many, many generous give-aways and prizes. I estimate, although I could actually be underestimating, that Creation gave away about $5000 worth of items and gift certificate to the fans. Malin made the weekend fun and filled it with events and it was good to have a genuine fellow fan in charge of the convention.
Chase Masterson at Star Trek Chicago Convention
Another impression of the weekend was just how generous and friendly fellow fans are at conventions. The word "convention" connotes a convening of people with a similar affectation. This weekend was indeed a convening of friends and fellow fans. Politeness and encouragement were found in questions asked of celebrities and interactions among the fans themselves. I am always proud to be a Star Trek fan, and for whatever my opinion is worth, this weekend showed me why that is a good and right feeling to have.
Thanks for Creation Entertainment, all the guests, and fellow fans for creating a weekend where everyone had the chance to forget about everyday problems for a few days and celebrate optimism.
Here is a slideshow of images from the Star Trek Convention in Chicago by Ratnik via Flickr
All Photos: Rattapong Sangern
See all you conventionheads in Vegas at the Rio 2011!!!!!
Jacob Kogan made such a cute Spock! I want to see more lil’ Spock in the next movie!
Thanks for your uplifting report.
#3 I 2nd the motion. Glad to hear that everyone remembered what Star Trek is all about. And Creation did too. I was gratified to know about the fans response to Nimoy’s emergency was of love and concern and caring. To him and to each other. I hope everyone there had fun. And will keep living the dream. God bless you all. And my prayers for the Nimoy. Family.
What John (the author of this article) didn’t say was that he did two presentations at the convention: one on Saturday in which he shared the Nicholas Meyer personal collection of Wrath of Khan photos, and one on Sunday in which John displayed on screen hundreds of Star Trek collectibles over 44 years of Trek. His presentations were not only informative, but VERY interesting. They were a definite plus for the convention. Thanks John for this article AND your great presentations and all of your hard work.
Is it just me, or is Chase Masterson becoming even more beautiful as the years go on? Considering that she was such a stunner in her role on DS9, that’s saying something indeed!
And what a nice write-up about the convention. Brilliant!
Thank you Scott for the kind words!
From what I hear, Christopher Lloyd is an painfully shy person. Avoids doing interviews, etc. I’m surprised he does events like these at all.
I have a lot respect for him overcoming something like that to talk to the people.
Hahaha…I know Chase Masterson personally and since I live just a bit from Chicago, she invited me down to hang for the weekend. I was only there from Saturday afternoon through Sunday, but it was a wonderful con. Every guest was extremely personable…I had the pleasure of talking industry tidbits with Armin Shimmerman for almost a full half hour.
During his QA session, Lloyd let slip he’s filming an episode of “Fringe” with Nimoy soon (health permitting)! Can’t wait.
@ Hat Rick — Yes, she does. And she’s just as genuine and sweet in person as she is on-screen. I’m honored to call myself her friend.
That’s me in the bottom pic by the vendor booth (in stripes next to the woman in blue).
This was a fun convention…the best one Chicago’s seen in quite some time. Had a great time. Was a little down after hearing about Leonard Nimoy, but definitely glad he’s doing better and Creation continued to make the convention flow. The energy and excitement of these guys was a thrill to experience, especially the DS9 panels and the Klingon panels. Christopher Lloyd was also a new experience. He was great to listen to, it was actually one of the more peaceful parts of the convention. He was quite mellow and friendly.
Nice report, John – and my buddy and I really enjoyed your collectors presentation.
Looking forward to the 45th Anniversary con, coming to Chicago next Fall.