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Creation's Grand Slam VIII - Day One: Friday, 3/31/00

By Jeff 'Koganuts' Koga
Posted at April 10, 2000 - 10:23 PM GMT

[Creation's Grand Slam VIII] [Creation's Grand Slam VIII]

Creation's Grand Slam VIII - Day One: Friday, 3/31/00

[Ethan Phillips]

Ethan Phillips (Neelix)

Since I had seen Ethan Phillips perform some standup comedy at Robert Beltran's Galaxy Ball late last year, I was looking forward to him onstage at Grand Slam. If you haven't had a chance to see him at a convention appearance, I highly recommend it because you can always count on him to provoke a reaction with his jokes, whether it's laughter... or groans.

And true to form, Ethan began his onstage appearance at Grand Slam with a flurry of funny and corny jokes in the style of Rodney Dangerfield and Jackie "The Jokeman" Martling. He then auctioned a color photo of the entire STAR TREK: VOYAGER cast, out of makeup, and the final winning bid was $625.00.

Onto the question and answer session with the fans:

- The cast and crew have just finished filming the sixth season, and the seventh season begins filming in June.

- When asked if he'll ever do standup comedy on a professional level, Ethan jokingly said no.

- Ethan's Neelix make-up takes three hours to apply.

- "Fury" airs in May, and Ethan gave a brief humorous summary which purposely didn't reveal too much information.

- "Neelix is like a spice... a little bit here and there [is all you need for the series]."

- "The Haunting of Deck 12" is a Neelix episode.

- Ethan enjoyed the recent convention in Berlin, but was exhausted the whole time due to jet lag.

- When asked about his daily nature walks, Ethan said it's terrific. There is also a hummingbird that visits his house regularly.

- Ethan would like to see Neelix and Seven together as a couple, and jokingly added that it would be especially good for her.

- The series has a short hiatus of only 2 1/2 months due to the amount of post-production work.

- "God my jokes suck! They really do!" - Ethan

- Scarlett Pomers is nine or ten years old.

- When Ethan asked a fan who her favorite characters were, she replied Seven (which got a huge laugh from the audience since she should've said Neelix to please him), then Neelix.

- Ethan has signed so many autographs since the series first began.

- When asked what the fans should ask Garrett Wang (who would appear on Sunday), Ethan jokingly replied they should ask him why he refused Seven.

- "He's an odd fellow... he's very silly." - Ethan, about Garrett

- "Ask Garrett if he's addicted to heroin." - This got a big laugh, but Ethan asked not to ask Garrett such a question because he is sensitive about his image and would probably handle the joke wrong without knowing its context.

- Ethan apparently wrote many of jokes down on a sheet of paper and taped it to his arm as a cheat sheet!

- "I'm a whore... I'll do anything to make money." - Ethan, about his cookbook

- "How do Tuvok and I get along? Pretty good." - Ethan

- "Too-Party-Hardy-Vok" is Ethan's nickname for Tim Russ.

Ethan then closed his onstage appearance with some more jokes.

On March 24th, I reported on TrekToday that Howard Stern, on his morning radio show, talked about STAR TREK: VOYAGER and the fact that Ethan is a fan of the show. During the autograph session (and on Sunday at Robert Duncan McNeill's fan club cruise), I spoke with Ethan at length about it, and found that Ethan knows a production staffer for SON OF THE BEACH (a new series from Howard Stern Productions) and it was through this staffer that Howard learned that Ethan is a fan of his radio show. I have to add that during the Grand Slam autograph session, Ethan's face lit up when I mentioned Howard Stern, which I found amusing.

[Robert O'Reilly and J.G. Hertzler]

Robert O'Reilly (Gowron) and J.G. Hertzler (Martok)

Unfortunately, when Robert and J.G. made their onstage appearance, their microphones weren't working so they were forced to shout towards the audience (and this is a very large auditorium).

Robert removed his jacket to reveal a specially airbrushed Gowron t-shirt. He and J.G. then performed a mock fight as their respective Klingon characters with imaginary bat'leths, and as it progressed, costumed fans escalated it by handing them "real" bat'leths as well as Klingon and Romulan prop phasers and the like.

Onto the question and answer session with the fans:

- J.G. mentioned the recent The Los Angeles Times article (about STAR TREK and the Excelsior campaign) and said he should get his own series (presumably as his character Martok) or there should be a Klingon mini-series.

- Robert relayed an anecdote about his conversations with security whenever he brings his Klingon "pain stick" with him through airports.

- J.G. is currently writing a book on Martok and Worf, which will feature Gowron, and it will be released in 2001.

- Robert and J.G. are both raising children. Robert talked about his triplets, who are now three years old. He mentioned that when they were two years old, one day he was cooking in the kitchen and they were playing nearby. After hearing periods of laughter followed by silence, he wondered what was going on, so when he went over to ask, one of them asked him to kneel down, and then proceeded to poke his eyes out.

- Regarding "Tacking Into the Wind," Robert said that after filming Gowron's death scene, Robert was lying on the floor and repeatedly asked Michael Dorn to help get him up, and Michael kept turning around because he had heard his voice but didn't know the voice was coming from below him. Robert joked about how quickly they forget you after your character is dead.

- When asked if Martok would return, J.G. jokingly replied that he would after the next season of VOYAGER (which is the last season, hence the joke).

- "What, are you kidding me?! Duh!" - J.G., When asked if he was glad his character in "Tsunkatse" wrestled Seven instead of The Rock's character

- J.G. is apparently a fan of the WWF, because he made comments about how big the wrestlers are and mentioned a few catchphrases like "The People's Eyebrow," "The People's Elbow," and "If you smell what The Rock is cooking." Coincidentally, the WWF was in the Southern California area for their Axxess weekend convention as well as WRESTLEMANIA 2000 on Sunday and RAW IS WAR on Monday.

- When asked about his name, J.G. jokingly replied his initials stood for "Just Garbage," but then added that it really is short for "John Garman."

- J.G. mentioned how great Ronald D. Moore was on DS9, even using the word "genius."

- Both Robert and J.G. said Dave is their great make-up artist and that their respective make-ups took three hours to apply. During that time in the make-up chair, they spent the time in the chair listening to Dave's jokes, catching up on news and gossip ("the dish and the dirt").

- "Show me the money!" - J.G., When asked about acting jobs and if the fact that make-up is involved has an influence on his decision to take the offers (I got the impression it didn't matter to him as long as a paycheck was involved)

- "I like being in make-up and in character - Robert

- Both Robert and J.G. said an actor's life is like going from one family of actors and crew to another.

- When asked what his episode was as Martok, J.G. replied that it was "Once More Onto the Breach." He then acknowledged both the late John Colicos and DeForest Kelley and their lengthy careers.

Robert closed their onstage appearance by reciting from JABBERWOCKY in a Gowron sort of voice.

Marc Alaimo (Gul Dukat)

During the question and answer session with the fans, I got the distinct impression that Marc was very much smitten with Nana Visitor. You'll see what I mean. Sid, watch out [grin]:

- "I had two black eyes for about a week." - Marc, after Avery accidentally punched him during the filming of the pivotal fight scene between Dukat and Sisko in "What You Leave Behind"

- Marc broke his nose in high school in a fight when a guy stepped on his newly-polished shoes in an argument in front of a soda vending machine.

- Marc thought Dukat and Kira would've been a "hot couple."

- When asked about Kai Winn's death ("her just due") in "What You Leave Behind," Marc replied that the everyone enjoyed her death.

- Marc has been working on his house and other projects like the recent stage production here in the Los Angeles area of THE GREEKS.

- "I really loved Dukat. I really did." - Marc

- Marc really wanted a relationship to develop with Kira but it obviously never did.

- Dukat's make-up initially was seven different prosthetic pieces that took four hours in the chair and had to be applied starting at 3:00 AM(!). The make-up time was eventually brought down to two hours.

- The first time Marc saw himself in the Dukat make-up was exciting. He always thought the make-up was strong and dynamic.

- "I've always loved Nana. I'd run away with Nana." - Marc

- When asked about his status as a character actor in Hollywood (as opposed to one of the main stars), Marc replied that he's accepted it, helping other actors into the spotlight.

- In the seventh season, Marc knew that DS9 was ending and that plots were being tied up.

- "If Avery [Sisko] could get out of [death], why not?" - Marc, when asked about Dukat's death in "What You Leave Behind"

- When asked about Ziyal's death, Marc replied that it did affect Dukat.

- Marc said Dukat as a Bajoran wasn't as powerful as a Cardassian and that it took some of Dukat's stature away.

- Marc felt that the angle about Dukat's illegitimate children and mistresses should've been further developed.

- Marc said Louise Fletcher has "...the softest skin."

- "She had it coming, the bitch." - Marc, joking about Jadzia Dax's death

- Marc had only really worked with Nana Visitor and Louise Fletcher, and wished he'd gotten to "play" with Terry Farrell some more.

- Marc was in costume as Dukat as a Cardassian when he was accidentally punched by Avery and subsequently taken to the hospital.

- As a Cardassian, the stiffness and rigidity of the make-up and costume added to the character.

- Marc jokingly misses the paycheck associated with playing Dukat, but he seriously misses the freedom he was given by the producers to play Dukat. He was practically free to play him any way he wanted, and mentioned how much of a well-rounded character he was.

- Parts of the costume were made of leather and poured resin.

- Casey Biggs is directing HAMLET at the same theater that Mark did THE GREEKS in.

- Marc has acted in HAMLET twice before, as Laertes and as Guildenstern.

- Marc was asked by Casey to play Claudius but he couldn't get into it so he bowed out.

[Marc Alaimo and Louise Fletcher]

Louise Fletcher (Kai Winn)

At this point, Louise joined Marc onstage to much applause.

- Marc apparently dislocated Louise's rotator cuff when he grabbed her for one particular scene.

- Marc eventually saw the footage of Avery accidentally hitting him. Louise was there when the accident happened and even heard(!) the punch when it hit Marc.

- This onstage appearance was the first time Marc and Louise had seen each other since the last DS9 episode was filmed.

- Casey Biggs and Marc have been in touch with each other though.

- Armin Shimerman and Louise had known each other before DS9 began. And Armin and Marc had shot a film together in Rome. Both Marc and Louise said Armin was a man with high morals (ironic considering Quark's nature!).

- "'Take Your Tongue Out of My Mouth, I'm Saying Good-Bye'" - Louise, jokingly, when asked what it was like to kiss Marc

- Louise made a lot of suggestions to the writers about Kai Winn but they were never listened to. She wanted Kai Winn to be insane with power... drunk with power.

- Marc is still very proud of the work he has done in STAR TREK even though Hollywood "poo-poo's" the franchise.

- "It's human nature to have tragic flaws." - Louise

- "It's more fun to watch someone who's bad than good." - Marc

- "The lines are blurred now." - Louise, when asked about the transition from the big screen (film) to the small screen

- Marc was on a soap opera for three years.

- In her first role, Louise worked in California as an extra on PLAYHOUSE 90.

- When asked if she had seen any of the Oscar-nominated films, Louise said she enjoyed Hilary Swank's performance in BOYS DON'T CRY.

- Marc and Louise agreed it's easier to play a character for a long time than a short time like a play.

- People have a tendency to confuse Louise for Ellen Berstyn and vice versa. Louise receives credit for RESURRECTION and Ellen receives credit for ONE FLEW OVER THE CUCKOO'S NEST. In Budapest, an Americangirl in a restaurant said to Louise, "I know who you are. You're Ellen Berstyn."

- Marc and Louise worked in the same film, but not together, in Budapest. Both felt that there was something odd about the film shoot, using words like "Texas tax write-off."

- Louise mentioned coming back to Hollywood. She had originally left to have two babies and to take care of them. Her husband worked in the same business in the 1960s and they moved to London. Eventually the European film business declined so they moved back to the States. After working there again, she realized how much she had missed the business, but said she benefited greatly from the break.

- Louise's favorite film or part in a film was the death scene in BRAINSTORM, which took a whole week to film with her own crew.

- Louise has played the mother of the killers in both PROFILER and BRIMSTONE.

- Louise jokingly enjoyed working with Nana Visitor because she was able to say lines like "You may go now, my child."

- Marc said he had a huge crush on Nana, and even said it's hard to breathe around her.

- Louise and Casey have had to loop (re-record) dialogue over the phone for DS9, and she was in London at the time.

Jeff 'Koganuts' Koga is a regular contributor to the Trek Nation, as well as webmaster of unofficial fan sites for John Woo, Chow Yun-Fat, and Garrett Wang.

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