Slater here. Yes, THAT Admiral Conrad Slater, the CIC of Starfleet Command what was forced to step down during the darkest hour in the Federation’s battle against the Klingons. And not only have I donated to the cause of AXANAR, I’m in the Fan and Donors groups (I also admin both, so ON YOUR TOES ☺).
I’m already in PRELUDE, and I’m being told that I’ll be in the feature (in what guise, I’m not sure of yet. Think JGH…). So why did I donate?
Because I BELIEVE in AXANAR, and its take on Gene Roddenberry’s image of Star Trek.
Growing up in the 1960s, I was able to occasionally watch part of an episode of TOS before my dad would change the channel. But my big introduction was during my teens, when I could come home from school and watch Star Trek in syndication. As a geeky teenager long before geeks were cool, I suffered the humiliations of others – not good at sports, very shy around girls, and a music and theater geek to boot! I would come home and be ‘transported’ to the world of Kirk, Spock, and McCoy. And the ship that took me there? The ENTERPRISE, NCC-1701. I LOVED that starship. It symbolized freedom, equality, justice, tolerance, and the escape from everything out in the real world.
I turned into a real Trekkie, buying and reading the books, playing crude computer games, attending a few conventions (I have a Wrath of Khan video signed by Uncle George!), and of course watching the movies. I was at the first showing of TMP, and I remember standing and applauding as the famous bow-on shot of the refitted Enterprise came on the screen. There were tears streaming down my cheeks. I actually ripped the armrest off the seat as I watched the death of that gallant ship in Search for Spock, and I still tear up when the 1701–A is revealed in The Voyage Home.
I watched the other shows, but TOS was always the one I’d go back to. It saved me as a teenager. It kept me sane. It made me hope for a better world.
And so a BIG JUMP to three years ago. I’d been singing professionally (I still do) and teaching, and had just gone back to school to get a Doctorate. Brian Holloway, an actor and makeup artist I had the pleasure to work with in a musical, calls me up and asks if I would like to be involved in a project he’s heard about. Brian is the makeup technician on Star Trek: Phase II/New Voyages, and has always asked me to come up to New York and work, but I’ve never been able to. But the more he told me about this project – pre-TOS, all about the history behind the battle of Axanar – I became more intrigued. So I caught a flight to Charlotte, drove over to Brian’s house, put on the makeup and uniform…
…and did a video audition for KHARN.
And I got the part! Really – I could have played Kharn! Then Alec asked that other guy – what’s his name, Hatch something? – and the rest is history. 😛 I’m very cool about it – he’s the perfect choice for Kharn. So I thought that was it, until I received a message on Facebook from Alec, asking if I would like to play a Starfleet Admiral in PRELUDE. They shipped me Tony Todd’s tunic, and after clipping it in the back to make it fit (Mr. Todd’s a BIG GUY), I had a friend of mine take the pics. Thus Slater was born.
I’ve been involved in a number of projects over the years that at the beginning seemed to be game-changers, but they have always come apart at the seams for various reasons. But this is different. The people behind it show a true love for what they do, and they also share a love for Trek. It resonates in their souls. I read it in their posts, I hear it in the podcasts. And they want to share this love in a very big way that’s never been tried before – to create a studio-quality film, using some of the best talents in the business, and take not only Trek fan films, but independent films, to a whole new level.
That’s exciting, and I want to be a part of that.
And all of this has come about from the miracle of the internet. I have yet to meet Alec, Robert, Diana, or Boomer (can’t forget Boomer!) in person, but they have brought me into their world with open arms (or paws, in Boomer’s case). And I’ve also met – and become friends with – some dear people in the fan and donor pages; people who check in with each other, help them through rough patches, encourage them when they’re down, and congratulate them when good things happen.
I’ve been rather taken aback from the interest in this future Neville Chamberlain, and how people want his story told. It may happen – that’s in the power of those other than myself. But it’s been a fun ride. I’ve actually been recognized by people as Slater. One was at a classical voice competition where I was a judge (the singer came up to me after he sang and asked), and another was walking out of the library of the university where I work. A group of new students were being shown the campus, and one kid did a quintuple-take worthy of Patrick Stewart and told his friend, “Dude! Look! It’s Admiral Slater from PRELUDE!” I walked away, grinning.
AXANAR is a BIG THING, folks. It’s going to be great. And I’m saying that as a fan, not as someone who had a VERY SMALL part in its birth.
Please donate, and tell your friends. www.savethefederation.com
Join the discussion 5 Comments
Sir you look like Chakota’ in that image .. have already noted this in my personal memory banks .. and would hope you continue the mission .. LLAP PALL
Interesting take on how you became involved, thank you for doing so, as well as becoming a donor… As to not having met the High Command yet, that is amazing. With all that has been going on, I bet that I am not the only one who just assumed that you were out there in the mix.
Again, thanks for sharing and as many of us, being a true Trek fan.
Great read! Thanks for sharing with us! Looking forward to working with you.
Steven, l have watched Star Trek from the very beginning – “The Man Trap” in 1966 – and have always been a Trekker, so I really believe in this project as well. “Prelude to Axanar” is an amazing work, a documentary-style short that reminds me of chapters of “The World at War”, “Vietnam: The Ten Thousand Day War” and the even last interviews of “Band of Brothers”. In all these, actual participants on both sides were interviewed and their commentaries were interspersed throughout the footage. Your role as Admiral Slater in “Prelude” is a critical one, because it illustrates the impact and toll a full-scale war had on even the highest echelons of Starfleet, a non-military organization. Axanar promises to be the best Star Trek created in many years, and it’s the people of Axanar; creative, production, cast, donors and fans who drive this spectacular machine forward. I have truly enjoyed watching this project develop for a long time now, and have been delighted to have the opportunity to get to know many of the creative and production people, and of course the actors, all of whom are of the highest caliber. It’s a privilege to be a contributor, and it’s been my distinct pleasure to make some lasting friendships, and I’m very happy to count you among them.
Thanks for sharing your thoughts, the story of your involvement, your dedication to the project, and most of all, for your friendship,
Steven, I grew up on Trek, I was 7 or 8 and would go to my parents bedroom where they had a tiny 14″ B&W TV, and watch it, even when they moved it to the late time slot. I have al the videos, and have watched some of the fan made stuff, but I agree, Axanar is what Trek Can Be. The people making it understand what it is, and what the fans want, and Alecs explanations on TrekYards shows he has put an immense effort into making sure it “fits” in the TOS universe. I am glad you are so passionate about it, Axanar will need a whole herd of passionate supporters before it is done, but I thank you for your efforts and the interview, very well done!