Thursday, March 1, 2012
And stunzap! —next thing I know I've been tractor-beamed into leading a tour for fans taking in 4 1/2 days worth of Star Trek film sites, around L.A. and en route to Vegas so as to end up—and extend through—the annual Creation Vegas blowout next August.
Well, actually, he didn't really have to stun me. Or even twist my arm—as if I had to tell you that.
You can read all about the facts of the "Exploring Trek Sites: Hollywood to Vegas With Larry Nemecek" here, but I want to talk about the feelings this all conjures up. Like how I'm flattered to have Teras Kassidy approach me to partner with him on this Trek sites tour ... and how I'm confident to do so, knowing that his Geek Nation Tours has been doing theme tours for various flavors of "geeks" around the U.S. and Europe since 2009. And how I'm thrilled that this has been a great add to his travel agency of 13 years—so I know I've hitched my good name to one that's equally dependable.
I'm also excited to think of Trek site touring in terms of a group dynamic, and a big crowd. But not too big: one example being Teras' quality control, insisting on a one-bus limit so there's no "second class" tour-fans on the "second" bus getting just the faceless audio off a wireless mic pickup from Bus 1, or an exhausted host (ahem) hopping back and forth between stops. I've hit the Trekland sites over the years with friends and visiting "scholars," of course—I'm lookin' at you, Jorg!—but never considered how to maneuver a busload of Trekkies into these sites. And in a schedule that makes sense for fans who are also human beings needing food, shelter and plumbing.
I'm also curious to see what climes and time zones' natives decide to beam in and make up that busload, which will spend a couple days in greater L.A. and then actually hit the road for some rarer sites before we pull into Vegas just in time for the Creation clambake. Seriously, Teras' agency reaches from Oz to Japan to the Americas and then cross the pond to the U.K. and Germany... so I hope we have quite the World Wide Warpcore of fans in the mix for this thing. They ALL can speak English, you know.
Most of all, I'm delighted to do double-duty once again: researching Trek's filming location for all series and movies. My archive of call sheets and memos, and those hundreds of interviews back to 1992, are the best source—but this has been a great poke in the butt to finish doing the legwork.
Of course, we can't go everywhere. Some are not open to groups, and we've only got 4 1/2 days! And—do you go to the obvious sites anyone can get to, like a Paramount studio tour or Vasquez Rocks? Do you play the numbers and favor Original Series or TNG or movies, or include a broad swath of the series? I've tried to factor in all series and their movies—including JJ Trek—and we have the known as well the obscure. For one thing, fans on their own won't get to go to those places with a great tour guide, and for another—well, again, I think a boatload of Trekkies from around the world will be just an awesome experience you can;t easily replicate. Of course, there are planned outs where you can take off on your own if you need your own space, so to speak.
I've already lined up one special: none other than Bobby Clark the Gorn will meet us at Vasquez Rocks—you can see him at the big cons,incuding Vegas, but how many get to hear him talk about that inhabiting that Gorn suit right on the iconic site where he so famously fought James T.? We may add a few more surprises in, too; we already have some "fudge factor" sites bneyond what you will read about, just in case we get a chance at, or have to adjust, to a Plan B due to factors beyond our control.
Seriously, folks, I just can't get across how excited I am to be a part of this. And Teras has all kinds of options for accomodating your not-so-fannish travelmate or spouse... or if you already have your Rio or other Vegas hotel reserved ... or in matching you up to a "double opccupancy" partner. I know it has a pricetag, but if there's any way you can beam in and join us this Aug. 4-13 in Los Angeles ... and wind up in Vegas to survive the Khaaann—well, be there or be dunsel!