I don’t remember watching Star Trek The Original Series for the first time, although I do remember seeing a commercial for it that sent me crying from the room when I was 5 years old.
I don’t remember falling in love with it.
I do remember being in high school when I was going through an extremely difficult time and every day I wondered if I wanted to keep on living. Every day as I would think about it, I would say to myself – “Star Trek comes on at 3:30pm after school; I will stay alive to watch it.”
And so I did, every day.
I decided that life was worth living after all.
Star Trek literally kept me going; it is my touchstone. I wanted to make it to that shiny colorful hopeful future, and out of the bleak hopeless world I was living in. I set my fortunes and hopes and dreams towards the future, and I continue to do so to this day even in the darkest times.
The moment I turned 16 years old and got my driver’s license, I put on a Starfleet Uniform I made myself, and drove to a Star Trek convention where I ended up improvising on TV as Lt. Saavik. My first improv gig! Even as a shy introvert I was completely driven to conventions. I needed to meet my heroes from the show up close. I needed to be actively going towards my hopeful future and be immersed in that universe, be around like minded people who had the same deep love I had for an old TV show.
I love that there is a future where we figured it out; we outgrew our short sightedness and came together as an entire planet and how clearly that diversity and inclusion is represented on the Enterprise. We got it together and went out into the universe to explore and discover, and encountered new aliens and great beauty and danger in space. I love the action in Star Trek – the battle scenes, the fighting, the romance and wonderful friendships. One of my favorite things is watching the beautiful and sleek Enterprise fly by in her starscape or orbit around an exotic planet.
On difficult days, I decide I’ll secretly be like my Star Trek best friends, Kirk or Spock to help see me through. I’ll walk with a jaunty confidence, ready to swing around and fire a photon torpedo or kiss a green alien man. “You want to have a challenging conversation with me? Fascinating. Proceed.”
With my ham radio license, I am an Earthbound Uhura, trained to send and receive transmissions for the SFFD in case of a disaster. When I go to the store, I make the Enterprise Door swishing sound every time I walk in the door and sometimes I announce, “Nuclear Vessels!” just for fun. Whenever I am driving a starship in any Sci Fi scene, I am pure Sulu. And I pull a bit of Scotty out when I am in one of my shy pockets. You can’t feel shy and talk in a Scottish accent, aye!
I enjoy directing Warp Speed and sharing my passion with my fellow Company Players and the audience. It is so fun to dress in uniform surrounded by sound effects, lights and music and be back in that hopeful future. The things that I love about Star Trek have a chance to come alive on stage, and I’m there, playing and having adventures with my fellow improvisers and bringing the audience along with us. I also feel part of a bigger community. We may not all be Star Trek fans, but we’ve come together for an evening to enjoy it together. It’s the best thing there is.
At night I go outside and watch the night sky. I imagine the Enterprise out there, somewhere. I fling out both arms and open my heart, take me, take me! Beam me up, Scotty! I would love to go boldly where no one has gone before.
But in the meantime, I am here on planet Earth, Stardate 2017. My job is to pave the way as best I can so that something like Star Trek can happen one day, while having fun doing things like improvising Star Trek and having hope in the here and now. Here’s to the future.