The "DeForest Kelley Theatre" Creation Convention Las Vegas 2009
Hello my friends! I've just returned from the latest Star Trek convention and thought I'd update with a little convention report.
Attendance was high (approximately 1500 attended). Supposedly this was 300 less than last year, due to the removal of Star Trek the Experience, but my goodness it still felt crowded.
First of all I was delighted to discover that the two ballrooms that the activities occured in, one was dedicated to Gene and Majel Barrett Roddenberry and the other one to DeForest Kelley. Both entrances to the ballrooms were decorated with banner's with the honoree's name. Eugene "Rod" Roddenberry was on hand and did a lovely tribute to his mother.
One thing that happened that was cute/ funny/ moving. I'd forgotten to turn my cellphone off and it was set on it's loudest setting. The day before I'd set the ringer to Dr. McCoy ranting about: "It's a song you green blooded Vulcan! The words aren't important, what's important is that you have a good time singing it!" to show my friend Melinda. While a guest was up on the stage, someone had called me and of course De's voice, loud and clear, came up out of nowhere! Anyone in the general vicinity heard it (it was pretty loud). It freaked them out to hear his voice and of course there was laughter.
Another thing that was very moving was the appearance of Mr. Lawrence Luckinbill (Sybok on Star Trek V). What a very gracious and humble man! When they'd first introduced him, a man came out on stage that was dressed like Sybok and looked exactly like Sybok in the film. We thought that was Mr. Luckinbill and we all gasped! Actually it was a fan dressed up like Sybok with an uncanny resemblance to him. Mr. Luckinbill came out on stage, laughing and delighted that the fan looked so much like him.
During the question and answer period with Mr. Luckinbill I was able to ask a question. I asked what he could share with us about his memories of working on the very intense patricide/euthanasia scene with De on Star Trek V. He hesitated for a few moments and got very emotional (we both were) and replied: "De was one of the most wonderful gentlemen actors that I had ever had the pleasure of knowing/working with." He went on to say that De was very ill around the time of the shooting of that scene and he looked at Mr. Luckinbill and asked him: "Are you thinking what I'm thinking?" Mr. Luckinbill replied: "I sure am." De said: "Let's just do this."
I had to really hold it together not to burst into tears while at the mic. There were quite a few tears in the audience when he answered my question about De. Lisa
Oh God, here in my dressing room with the door shut, I am alone with Thee...Can not an actor be God's man? Convention classes me and my fellows among the loose and thoughtless. So Thou art my secret. I triumph inwardly to find Thy presence and taste the mystic joy of Thy friendship. While the world suspects not, Thou teaches me subtle ways to resist despair, to master my passions, to heal unworthy weakness; the rare medicine of Thy presene is for me, to, as well as for the cloistered monk or meditating scholar. Teach me to be great among the many who are content to be called great. Let me be an unusual person because of that simplicity of heart and lovableness of nature that I learn from Thee. Dr. Frank Crane (printed in "From Sawdust to Stardust: The Biography of DeForest Kelley" by Terry Lee Rioux) DeForest Kelley carried a clipping of this prayer in his wallet all his life.