Slater here. Yes, THAT Admiral Conrad Slater, the CIC of Starfleet Command what was forced to step down during the darkest hour in the Federation’s battle against the Klingons. And not only have I donated to the cause of AXANAR, I’m in the Fan and Donors groups (I also admin both, so ON YOUR TOES ☺).
I’m already in PRELUDE, and I’m being told that I’ll be in the feature (in what guise, I’m not sure of yet. Think JGH…). So why did I donate?
Because I BELIEVE in AXANAR, and its take on Gene Roddenberry’s image of Star Trek.
Growing up in the 1960s, I was able to occasionally watch part of an episode of TOS before my dad would change the channel. But my big introduction was during my teens, when I could come home from school and watch Star Trek in syndication. As a geeky teenager long before geeks were cool, I suffered the humiliations of others – not good at sports, very shy around girls, and a music and theater geek to boot! I would come home and be ‘transported’ to the world of Kirk, Spock, and McCoy. And the ship that took me there? The ENTERPRISE, NCC-1701. I LOVED that starship. It symbolized freedom, equality, justice, tolerance, and the escape from everything out in the real world.
I turned into a real Trekkie, buying and reading the books, playing crude computer games, attending a few conventions (I have a Wrath of Khan video signed by Uncle George!), and of course watching the movies. I was at the first showing of TMP, and I remember standing and applauding as the famous bow-on shot of the refitted Enterprise came on the screen. There were tears streaming down my cheeks. I actually ripped the armrest off the seat as I watched the death of that gallant ship in Search for Spock, and I still tear up when the 1701–A is revealed in The Voyage Home.
I watched the other shows, but TOS was always the one I’d go back to. It saved me as a teenager. It kept me sane. It made me hope for a better world.
And so a BIG JUMP to three years ago. I’d been singing professionally (I still do) and teaching, and had just gone back to school to get a Doctorate. Brian Holloway, an actor and makeup artist I had the pleasure to work with in a musical, calls me up and asks if I would like to be involved in a project he’s heard about. Brian is the makeup technician on Star Trek: Phase II/New Voyages, and has always asked me to come up to New York and work, but I’ve never been able to. But the more he told me about this project – pre-TOS, all about the history behind the battle of Axanar – I became more intrigued. So I caught a flight to Charlotte, drove over to Brian’s house, put on the makeup and uniform…
…and did a video audition for KHARN.
And I got the part! Really – I could have played Kharn! Then Alec asked that other guy – what’s his name, Hatch something? – and the rest is history. 😛 I’m very cool about it – he’s the perfect choice for Kharn. So I thought that was it, until I received a message on Facebook from Alec, asking if I would like to play a Starfleet Admiral in PRELUDE. They shipped me Tony Todd’s tunic, and after clipping it in the back to make it fit (Mr. Todd’s a BIG GUY), I had a friend of mine take the pics. Thus Slater was born.
I’ve been involved in a number of projects over the years that at the beginning seemed to be game-changers, but they have always come apart at the seams for various reasons. But this is different. The people behind it show a true love for what they do, and they also share a love for Trek. It resonates in their souls. I read it in their posts, I hear it in the podcasts. And they want to share this love in a very big way that’s never been tried before – to create a studio-quality film, using some of the best talents in the business, and take not only Trek fan films, but independent films, to a whole new level.
That’s exciting, and I want to be a part of that.
And all of this has come about from the miracle of the internet. I have yet to meet Alec, Robert, Diana, or Boomer (can’t forget Boomer!) in person, but they have brought me into their world with open arms (or paws, in Boomer’s case). And I’ve also met – and become friends with – some dear people in the fan and donor pages; people who check in with each other, help them through rough patches, encourage them when they’re down, and congratulate them when good things happen.
I’ve been rather taken aback from the interest in this future Neville Chamberlain, and how people want his story told. It may happen – that’s in the power of those other than myself. But it’s been a fun ride. I’ve actually been recognized by people as Slater. One was at a classical voice competition where I was a judge (the singer came up to me after he sang and asked), and another was walking out of the library of the university where I work. A group of new students were being shown the campus, and one kid did a quintuple-take worthy of Patrick Stewart and told his friend, “Dude! Look! It’s Admiral Slater from PRELUDE!” I walked away, grinning.
AXANAR is a BIG THING, folks. It’s going to be great. And I’m saying that as a fan, not as someone who had a VERY SMALL part in its birth.
Please donate, and tell your friends. www.savethefederation.com