Saving Captain Kirk

 

I was in my late teens/early 20s and a stage tech at a dinner theatre, in a hotel, attached to a convention center in Valley Forge, Pennsylvania. Yes – it was as random as it sounds…

 

 

I was in my late teens/early twenties and a stage tech at a dinner theater in a hotel, attached to a convention center, in Valley Forge, Pennsylvania. Yes — it was as random as it sounds. Forty minutes to show time we get a call from the GM. Shatner was on at a Sci-Fi convention next door, his sound system wasn’t working and the natives (geeks) were getting restless. Could I and lead sound tech, Mark Kaplan, come right over?

 

 
Mark looked like Groucho Marx. He was a jittery guy and would make announcements on mic with all the wrong inflections to hilarious result. Example: When dedicating one performance to the sad passing of Robin Roe (pronounced “Row”), the daughter of our room manager, Mark announced it like someone had just won a new car. “Today’s performance is dedicated to the memory of ROBIN ROOOOOOOE!”  Completely inappropriate and yet wacky at the same time.

 

 
We get to the convention center and sure enough, there was William Shatner on a little platform stage in the middle of a sea of fans. There was a set piece that looked like a paper mache-like cave with fog and a glowing light coming from inside where Shatner would enter and exit. We arrived from the cave and joined him onstage. He said to us, “Oh, hello and thank God.” As I was fiddling around with the wiring, I asked, “This is a circus. Is it always like this?” Wide eyed, he touched my elbow, “Oh you don’t know.” We got the mic up and running in a matter of minutes.

 

 
He wanted to give us a proper thank you but there were tons of people waiting for him to speak. So, like a proper tech, I just said, “There you go! Have a good time.” exiting quickly to give him his stage as he publicly thanked the crew.

 

 

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