Tim Russ at the Creation convention in Las Vegas, July 29, 2004
Tim was the first major guest to appear at this convention. Well, actually, he was supposed to be the second one, but since Cirroc Lofton was late, the first major Trek actor to appear on stage on Thursday, was Tim.
He started out talking about "Bugsters!" and its soon-to-be-released sequel (Yeah!), but of course he forgot to mention it had won an award last year. Since I was the first in line for questions I reminded him of that, thus giving him a chance to promote it even more, and then I asked about his recent directing assignments, and he mentioned the latest FBI-Files he had directed, air dates for which would be up on his website soon. By coincidence, one of them is about a gang that robbed the cashier at the Bellagio in Vegas. Tim also mentioned some other recent projects of his, like "Roddenberry on Patrol", and he said he hoped they could show it at the convention, but I don't think they got around to doing this. When he had finished his answer, he looked over to me, who was standing at the mic, and he said: "Thank you, Maria!" which I found very sweet.
Then he answered a few more questions, like e.g. would he do more audio books? He said he'd do them in a second. He thought the story line of the Genesis-books was very well written, and the production value of these audio books is fantastic, you really get a feel for a place, thanks to the background sounds and music. Of course it is hard work, since one has to do thirty or so different characters, and one has to remember what each of them sounds like, so that they are consistent throughout the book. It is also difficult because one has no other actor as a foil, somebody one could act off, and the recording booth's acoustics makes it hard to turn a page of the script without causing some noise that should not be recorded.
Another question was about his hobby astronomy (the person who asked the
question had seen the recent article on Tim in the Astronomy magazine): what type of
celestial bodies does he
like to observe? He said he particularly likes globular clusters, but galaxies
are interesting as well.
Tim also performed his Voyager-parody song "Space, exciting and new..." and read his other parody about Captain Lameway, Chocolatay, Twosocks, Kleenex etc.
Then it was time for autographs. I had a group picture from the cruise, showing me, two friends of mine and Tim, that I had him sign for me, and he personalized it, even though I didn't ask for that (Creation personnel don't want you to ask the actors for personalizations, but of course they don't object if the actor decides to do it on his own). Jedda was sitting with Tim, and since I had been holding up the line enough already, I gave her the pictures I had taken of their daughter Maddy in Seattle, rather than Tim. She liked them very much, and showed them to Tim, and of course we were holding up the line even more, but since Tim is very fast at signing and had done many more autographs than Walter Koenig, whose table was next, and since the line of those that already had gotten Tim's autograph and were waiting for Walter's was rather long already, that was not really a problem.
In the evening there was the so-called "Dessert Fantasy"-party. Ice cream and cookies were served, together with coffee and tea, and several actors performed. George Takei read from his autobiography, Walter Koenig did a monologue from "Christmas Carol" and Tim sang a few of his songs and accompanied himself on the guitar. I was surprised to see that he had brought almost the whole Russ-clan with him: in addition to Jedda there was Maddy, Angela with her daughter Jisel (and Angela said she had the rest of the family with her as well, but little Marcos would not have been quiet during the performances, so he had to stay in the room with his father), and Tim and Angela's mother. We greeted each other, and Jisel was surprised that I knew who she was - she didn't remember me after almost three years.
Then the actors had to go from table to table and talk to the people a bit and have their pictures taken with the fans. Jedda and the two girls stayed next to where my friend Judy and I were sitting, while Tim was making his way from table to table. The kids are adorable. They were playing between the tables and talking to us and we took a few pictures, while waiting for Tim and the others to reach our table. After we all had our pictures taken with Tim, George and Walter, the kids were getting interested in our cameras, Jedda joined us at the table, and we had a lot of fun when Maddy experimented with Judy's camera, trying to take a group picture of everybody else. When Tim finally was done and came to pick up his family, Maddy had reached the point where she actually could hold the camera still long enough to get us all in the picture. We laughed and congratulated her on the achievement, then we said good night and left. We had had a fantastic evening!