Monday, August 21, 2006

"I'm not a drama critic."

Back in my "I'm a total Star Trek geek" days, Universal Studios used to have an attraction called "Star Trek Adventure" in which happy park-goers could get picked to play small parts in a short Trek episode. They'd videotape the various parts and splice it together to show at the end of the attraction. If you were one of the people selected, you could buy a copy of your performance.

I went with my family in the summer of 1989. It was the one attraction I wanted most to check out, so we made sure to get at the very front. In no time, there was a sizable crowd behind us.

Finally, it was time. Someone came out to cast parts for the mini-movie. I stood as tall as I could, hoping to get picked. The guy kept looking right at me and then right past me, just like most of the girls at school did. I saw him point in my direction.

Oh jeez, did he just point at me?

Nope. Close, but nope. He picked my dad. Well, that was cool -- at least I'd know somebody in the thing.

They were still picking people, which meant that I still had a chance.

They picked my brother. (Cue sad trombone: wah-wah-wah-waaaaaaah...)

Apparently, 14-year-old dorks were not on their casting sheet.

Instead I got to watch my dad get transformed into a Klingon and my brother into an engineering trainee. It was neat to see how everything got put together, and we bought a copy of the thing as a souvenir, but it didn't change the fact that I didn't get picked (an unbelievable injustice), and I was pissed off in that way that only 14-year-olds can manage.

In fact, if you look at pictures of our trip, you can tell which ones were taken before Star Trek Adventure and which were after. The post-STA pictures feature me in a state of scowliness, which is saying something, considering I wasn't a very smiley person in the first place.

It was the second time I'd been so close to fun at Universal. On my first trip, there was a thing where they showed how a normal person could seem as strong as the Incredible Hulk, whose show was one of the big hits. Yes, it was that long ago.

They needed volunteers for a demonstration, and my hand shot up in a flash. I was excited beyond belief when the person in charge pointed right at me. I looked to my parents to smile at them, and as I got ready to stand up, the kid sitting next to me leapt to his feet and ambled down to the stage.

So I spent the next few minutes watching him pretend to lift a car and other Hulk-like feats.


There were a couple of versions of the Star Trek Adventure, apparently.

This was like the one my dad and my brother were in:

This is a different one:


  1. dude you dumbass, I got picked first, we were already there when you and dad came walking up and we thought you got picked til we saw your face, you were about to cry.

  2. I stand corrected. I still got shafted, though.