The following article was first posted on my author page on Facebook March 8th and wrapped up a planned five article series about my adventures at the Emerald City Comic Con.
Welcome to Friday and my final planned article on the Emerald City Comic Con. I say planned because I’m already planning a bonus article Monday as I cannot possibly cram every awesome memory into just five articles. Also I’m planning on publishing my novel In The Flesh next week barring any more technical difficulties.
Today, as promised, I would like to tell you about Sir Patrick Stewart. Th…ere were, as I mentioned in a previous article a large number of people in line to get his autograph. For that reason we were told beforehand that there would be no customized autographs. This may sound disappointing but the reality is that the convention people were trying to make sure as many people as possible got the chance to get an autograph and say a few words of welcome or squeeing school-girl fandom.
Sir Patrick Stewart, as Jean Luc Picard of Star Trek: The Next Generation, I am positive has heard all of the Trekker nerd questions which have been spoofed so well over the years. “In episode 37, act 2 scene 4 a unnamed red shirt came onto the bridge…” And so on. So it is highly unlikely that there is any comment or question he hasn’t heard before. Or so I thought.
We get up to see him and he’s smiling very graciously and busily signing photographs and in my 27 seconds I say, “I loved your role in The Eleventh Hour and I’m so sorry there were only 4 episodes. I wish there were more of them.” (If you talk fast you can get it out in 27 seconds, just watch your diction.)
Sir Patrick Stewart looked up at me and took a deep breath, clearly caught by surprise. He smiled and said, “I loved it too. It was the only show I was ever in that got cancelled.”
He looked like he wanted to say more because here, now, was something interesting that he hadn’t gotten to talk about a bazillion times before but, according to the love of my life who was in line with me; as soon as he got that surprised expression on his face his handlers went to DEFCON 3. They had to keep the line moving and there was real fear in their eyes that Sir Patrick Stewart and I would get into a rather involved discussion. My love, who envisioned us being carted away by security, gently urged me to keep moving and the moment was lost. Alas. Still, I managed to say something to Sir Patrick Stewart that he had not been expecting and hopefully he enjoyed the little interchange as much as I did. Ok, probably not but maybe it was a little diversion for him.
Later we found seats, well actually we just stayed in the seats we managed to score for Dirk Benedict’s panel, to hear Sir Patrick Stewart’s panel discussion. For the record, I would listen to Sir Patrick Stewart read a dictionary. His voice and that accent are divine. There are no words to properly sum him up. However awesome you think he is, in reality he is exponentially more awesome.
He’s so charming and gracious. He said he was experimenting with humor and, touchingly, he is rather uncertain about his sense of timing and style of humor. It just warmed my heart to hear this huge star, this enormous celebrity share a little of his own uncertainties with us. There is a quiet strength in that that few people appreciate or even know about until they see it.
He told us so many wonderful stories while he was on stage. He told the story of how he got the job as Jean Luc Picard in Star Trek: The Next Generation. Then someone asked him what it was like working with Sting in Dune and that’s the story I would like to share. Now my memory is not perfect so some of the little details might be off but I think I remember most of it pretty well.
Apparently, Sir Patrick Stewart being in Dune was a mistake. He said that director David Lynch thought they had given the part to someone else. “Now,” He began the story, “I am not a big follower of popular music. Mostly what I listen to are more classical in nature. So we’re on set and everyone is talking about this Sting guy and treating him like royalty.
One day on the set he and I are off to one side by ourselves and I say, ‘So, you’re a musician?'”
“And Sting says, ‘yes, I am.'”
“And I said, ‘Ah, what instrument do you play?'”
“Sting answered, ‘Bass.'”
“So I said, ‘Ah, you know there’s one thing that I’ve always wondered about and that is how do you managed to carry
those big things around everywhere. They’ve got to be heavy.'”
“Sting said, ‘no. I play bass guitar.'”
“Oh, oh, right.”
“So I said to him, ‘I heard you play in a band. What’s the name of it?'”
Sting answered, “The Police.”
Now everyone in the audience is already chuckling. Sir Patrick Stewart looks out at us with this delightful, and I dare say playful, twinkle in his eyes.
“You won’t believe what I said next. I said, ‘Oh, you’re in a police band.'”
Of course the audience erupts into laughter and Sir Patrick Stewart seemed to enjoy the reaction quite a bit.
He went on to say that he was certain there would be no more call for him in any more X-Men movies and then he got the call to do another one. From that segue he mentioned that he and Sir Ian McKellen along with two other as yet unnamed major stars from this side of the pond would be doing a set of live performances in New York coming up in the fall. He knows who the other two stars are, he told us, he just isn’t allowed to say yet.
He also talked a little bit about his work to combat global violence against women and several other charities he’s involved in. He’s a very busy and has such a big, generous heart. He’s such a complex person too and so willing to share of himself. I can’t imagine the ECCC getting a better keynote speaker and what a simply delightful way to top off three days of non-stop fun. Ending on such a high note makes me anxious for the next ECCC. K.