Questions With Ron Glass

You often find B-grade S.F. celebs at shows like the one I just attended. No offence to anyone's acting ability, which is often A-grade. I mean that many are on cheap TV shows and don't get paid stellar amounts so the prospect of signing autoraphs for the plebs for a few hours for $20 a shot is an attractive one. The likelihood of finding Patrick Stewart risking Carpal Tunnel Syndrome/Repetitive Strain Injury on a summer weekend in Indiana is low!

Occasionally, they're there because they haven't worked too much in recent years. One telling sign is when the character they played is named alongside their real name, just so you know that they really are famous. I met Paris Themmen at a show I worked in Europe several years ago and was much more impressed at his uncredited role as a bowler during the opening of The Big Lebowski than as one of the kids from Willy Wonka & The Chocolate Factory.

Wearing the costume from the movie that made you famous is also a dead giveaway. This means you last weekend, 4th Ghostbuster Ernie Hudson. He couldn't have made more than $400 all weekend. (Perhaps he needs to work on some catchphrases for the full, pathetic effect.) Tricia Helfer of the new Battlestar Galactica, on the other hand, easily took home three or four grand. Kudos to the company I used to work for, for booking several The Lord Of The Rings main cast (including Elijah) for fan club promotions between 2001-2003 and paying their expenses and appearance fees in full so fans could get autographs for free, which is not the norm at these things.

So I was in line/queued up for Tricia Helfer when I noticed Ron Glass had no-one talking to him. Mr. Glass is known here for roles on Barney Miller, Roots, Good Times, The New (i.e. The Black) Odd Couple, and others that were never exported to Britain. I know him from the Firefly series and Serenity movie. Turns out, he's from Indiana too. I jumped lanes to meet him, and he offered his hand as I approached.

FP: I don't have anything to sign. I've come to worship at The Altar Of Ron.
RG: [chuckling] Well, you are very welcome.
FP: I was lucky enough to see one of the Serenity previews--
GHW: Aaaah!! I didn't see it yet.

A grey haired woman, supplied by the show management, was Mr. Glass' escort for the day. (Tricia Helfer had a burly Z.Z. Top reject.)

FP: I won't say any spoilers. Ron, I was interested how much information you ever got about your character's background. Were you briefed beyond what was in the dialogue?
RG: The first I ever knew was when the script arrived.
FP: So you don't know any details about his links to the Alliance?
RG: Nope.
FP: Do you have your own theories?
RG: Not really. That's for the writers.
FP: So, we'll never know... unless there are sequels, of course.
RG: [smiling] Unless there are sequels.


Blogger TheGirard said...

dude...Ernie Hudson!!!! that was cool. It's too bad Catherine Bach wasn't there like San Diego last year, I would have gotten her autograph

Blogger Trundling Grunt said...

The guest celeb list was a bit "Huh?????" this year wasn't it?

Anonymous Shig said...

It may be a result of the day job, but I can't bring myself to flatter the egos of people who expect to be recognised in public by talking to them. I just ignore them, or growl. Still, I'd have said hello to Shepherd Book if I'd seen him with that haircut.

Blogger thisismarcus said...

Are the London streets particularly star-studded of late? I agree about the fawning... studying and working in film and theatre did a lot to demystify an actor's lot for me. They put their pants on one leg at a time just like you and me. But, unless they're being a jerk about fame themselves, I want to respect their privacy too.

Guests at a show is kinda a different social situation and I was glad to be able to discuss a craftman's work with him - however brief and unilluminating the conversation was!


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