As you may know, Legion of Leia has an amazing partnership with our friends over at Geek Girl Authority! Hey, we ladies of sci-fi have to stick together and support each other! Check out this amazing piece from the wonderful Audrey Kearns about her experience on a trip to Dragon Con If you’re going, check out her panel. Info below!
Every year before I go to Dragon Con, I post this piece. Why? Because IT WAS THE BEST DAY OF MY LIFE! Please enjoy this essay about when I shared a flight with some of the biggest sci-fi icons ever. But first…
NOTE: I’m hosting a panel at Dragon Con this year. If you’re going to be there, I’d love to see your pretty face. 5 Truths and a Lie Panel, Saturday, Aug 30, 8:30pm, Hilton Crystal Ballroom. Panel has me, Eddie McClintock, Garrett Wang, Grant Imahara, Meaghan Rath, Sam Huntington and Hugh Howey. It’s going to be a blast.
Okay, here’s my essay!
I woke up this morning depressed that I was leaving for Dragon Con in Atlanta. I had been excited all week, actually all Summer. It’s Dragon Con, the biggest Sci Fi and Fantasy gathering in the country! I am going for the weekend, my sister and niece are going to come up and meet me in Atlanta—how can I not be excited?!
I was depressed because I do not like flying, I mean really don’t like flying. I get pretty scared on planes. I especially don’t like flying without my husband, plus I just wanted my husband to come enjoy the weekend with me. Nevertheless, I went to the airport and got on the plane. In fact, as I am writing this, I am on the plane to Atlanta experiencing turbulence. They won’t let me get up to get my Ativan but they will give me a glass of wine. It is their fault if I puke!
But I am not going to puke. Want to know why? Because if I do, I will be puking on…
Sean Maher from Firefly. I will be puking in the presence of Jonathan Frakes from Star Trek: TNG, Richard Dean Anderson from MacGyver AND Stargate SG1, Bruce Boxleitner from Babylon 5 and Nichelle Nichols from Star Trek: OS. Somehow, I booked the flight with the celebrities who are appearing at Dragon Con!
You see, I was upgraded for some reason to First Class and now I am surrounded by these amazing Sci Fi icons, plus there is a guy who announces for ESPN College Football sitting in the seat next to me. I can’t think of his name. Before he boarded the plane, I spilled coffee all over his seat and was cleaning it up as he arrived. He wasn’t forgiving. He looked at the seat and without any form of greeting said, “I’m wearing a white shirt” and sighed. I offered to switch with him but he said no. I don’t think he was experiencing the euphoria of the First Class Cabin like I was. Actually, I just looked over at him, he’s looking a pictures of girls in bikinis on his iPad. Maybe he is feeling some kind of euphoria.
I digress, here is the chronological events of what happened when I boarded. The first person I see is Doctor Simon Tam (Sean Maher) from Firefly and I am tickled inside like when a child gets a surprise ice cream or they get to stay up late or you just told them they are going to Disneyland. You get the picture. My seat is right next to him (with the aisle in between us)! I sit down and immediately start thinking of ways to say, “Hey, can I have a picture with you?” before we have to turn our phones off.
As I get settled in my super cool first class seat, I look up and………Holy Crap! That’s Uhura! UHURA!!! Nichelle Nichols is coming down the aisle to sit right behind me. I try to secretly take a picture of her but she just looks at me and smiles wide. She looks absolutely radiant and lovely. She is wearing the coolest Star Fleet pendant around her neck.
I gather myself because I have to talk to her too, right? O my goodness, I sit there trying to gather my courage and I almost harness it but then I look up and see that Commander Riker (Jonathan Frakes) is sitting down and right behind him is Colonel/ General O’Neill (Richard Dean Anderson—you know, MacGyver) and next to him is Captain Sheridan (Bruce Boxleitner). They’re all shaking hands and laughing. This is insane. How is this all happening? I’m on a plane with all these Sci Fi heavy hitters seated all around me. I quickly grab my phone and try to secretly snap a shot of Riker and O’Niell. Unfortunately, after I take the picture I look at the result on my iPhone. O’Niell is all blurry and Riker is glaring at me. He’ll be forever glaring as long as that photo lives.
I get out my iPad and it is really dark in the cabin. I stand up and look for a light switch, Uhura is standing up behind me playing with the AC vent. She looks at me and says, “On or Off?” about the AC. I reply, “I’m just trying to figure out the light” I sit down and think Fuck! That’s all I could think of to say to her? I have to make this happen! So, I stand up and turn around and say to Uhura:
“What panels are you speaking on this weekend?”
She replies, “Huh?”
“Are you speaking on any panels this weekend at the convention?” I reply, slightly embarrassed.
“I have no idea,” she says laughing.
“O my goodness, that’s hilarious.”
“I don’t know what convention I’m going to. I didn’t even know what city I was going to until this morning.”
And that was the conversation. She does so many conventions, she just goes where she’s told. Love it.
So finally, I turn to Simon Tam (Sean Maher) who is across the aisle from me. I open up with my same stupid “pick-up” line that I used on Uhura.
“What panels are you speaking on this weekend.”
He replies, much like Uhura with “I don’t know.” I laugh. He says “I think I’m doing one a day. I know that Jewel (Staite) is flying down and we are going to do one together.”
Some small chat after that, he politely asks my name, I give him a card and we take a picture. I look like a giddy dweeb in the picture, but I don’t care.
Sean Maher and Nichelle Nichols couldn’t have been kinder people. So generous, lovely and kind souls. I didn’t get my nerve to talk to Frakes or Anderson. Frakes started watching The Hunger Games on his T.V. and Anderson fell asleep, with his shoes off. So, now as I write this, the plane is on its descent and I have to turn off my iPad. My fear of flying never surfaced because I experienced 5 hours of nerd heaven with some great Sci Fi icons, in the sky no less!!! (I also experienced four glasses of wine). The thought of crashing didn’t occur to me. There are too many important people on this plane! I mean if something happened, Commander Riker would have taken control, MacGyver/O’Niell would patch the damaged electrical system with the screw from my watch and my wedding ring, Uhura would stay in communication with the ground and repeat everything they say, Captain Sheridan would stand and pontificate and Dr. Simon Tam would help all of wounded while looking dreamy.
Couldn’t have been safer!
P.S. I did end up getting a “happier” picture of Jonathan Frakes at the Atlanta Airport.
ONCE AGAIN! NOTE: I’m hosting a panel at Dragon Con this year. If you’re going to be there, I’d love to see your pretty face. 5 Truths and a Lie Panel, Saturday, Aug 30, 8:30pm, Hilton Crystal Ballroom. Panel has me, Eddie McClintock, Garrett Wang, Grant Imahara, Meaghan Rath, Sam Huntington and Hugh Howey. It’s going to be a blast.