Captain on the Bridge!
Written By: Randy Hall
Published: Issue 12
Last issue's column discussed how to use questions to convention guests as a way of promoting BBK. But you may have noticed that one very special guest was missing from that discussion: William Shatner, the man who brings Captain James T. Kirk to life!
It almost goes without saying that the most receptive group to our message is a gathering of Shatner's fans. But how do we make the most of such an opportunity? I have a few suggestions along that line.
For starters, we need to stay in touch with the Official William Shatner Fan Club so we can learn as far in advance as possible any conventions where he'll be a guest. And at the very least, we need to have BBK fliers in a prominent place there, or put one on as many seats in the auditorium where he'll be speaking if we can. (That might require some coordination with the convention organizers, but if they've chosen Shatner as a guest, they're probably Kirk fans, too.)
Another thing we need to do is increase our visibility at such a convention. Having a table in the dealer's room would be great, but that costs a lot of quatloos. Still, we have a number of options available to cut down the cost of that, such as sharing a table with another group, like the Shatner fan club or even the Excelsior campaign. And yes, I realize there are those who think that might undercut our BBK message. Nevertheless, it beats not getting it out at all! And think of how many fans we could give lists of people to write to about Kirk's return.
One of the projects we've been dancing around for a long time is the production of T-shirts with the message "BRING BACK KIRK!" on them. Pardon me for using my column as a bully pulpit, but we've got to get organized on this. I know many members would love to have one to wear at conventions (myself included), and this would be a great way for those who are uncomfortable with handling flyers to be part of the movement. Let's pull together and get this done as another way of letting people know about the BBK campaign!
Of course, all this leads up to the big moment when William Shatner comes onto the stage. I can tell all of you from personal experience that he's a wonderful guest, with funny stories and lots of projects to talk about. And we should use this opportunity to state how great it would be for him to reprise the greatest role of his career, James T. Kirk!
But let's not go overboard and have dozens of people push for BBK. There's only so much Shatner can say on the subject, and it puts him in an awkward position to have to repeat that over and over. Instead, once BBK has been mentioned a time or two, try asking about the Kirk novels he works on with collaborators Judith and Garfield Reeves-Stevens (including PRESERVER, which has just hit the stands). Or his recent appearance as the Big Giant Head on the second consecutive season finale of 3rd Rock from the Sun. The low-budget but well-done film FREE ENTERPRISE is another thing that can be discussed to let the audience know that he's still able to do other roles and therefore can handle another outing as our beloved James T.
And here's a concept near and dear to my heart. Ever since I got into BBK, I've thought it would be a great thing for as many of us as possible to get together at a convention where William Shatner is a guest. It'd be fun to actually meet those of us who've been working in this effort to bring Starfleet's greatest captain back to the canonical land of the living. I realize this could be an expensive thing to do, but we'd have a pile of pictures and lots of anecdotes we could share, and then we could put them up on the BBK website! Sounds like fun to me!
From the "everybody's human" department: I completely overlooked the convention recently put on by Slanted Fedora in Chicago, which had as one of its guests Leonard Nimoy! Did anyone attend this event? Was there any discussion of bringing Spock back (and Kirk, too)? Anyone with any information on this con, please let our officers know or e-mail me at RandyHall@aol.com.