Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Saying good-bye to my Captain Kirk

For the last 8 years of my life there has been only one actor to me besides William Shatner that has been Captain James T. Kirk, and that is James Cawley. Watching James as Kirk as a fan for the first 4 years of that span and the last 4 as a crew member of Star Trek: Phase II. In that span these episodes were released: "In Harm's Way", "To Serve All My Days", "World Enough and Time", "Blood and Fire Parts 1 and 2", "Enemy: Starfleet!" and "The Child."

I have to be honest, the reason I liked James so much as Kirk before I met him in person was because he was not Shatner and didn't try to be Shatner. There have been people who have criticized him by saying he's not Kirk because he isn't Shatner or Pine. I maintain that without James and Phase 2, there would be no JJ Trek movie, and therefore no Chris Pine Kirk. Besides, James is not Shatner... James embodies Kirk with his personality and his body language.

As a crew member I was amazed and dazzled by James. I was unprepared for his charisma, generosity and friendship, that to me is James. And as an actor, he has so much range... in fact on an episode I was the Script Supervisor, I was about ready to kill him because he kept changing and playing with his lines... but it only made the scene better, because he is in the head of Captain Kirk, and knows what he thinks and feels, so he knows how to get the best out of himself for the role.

I have to be honest... I was shocked and heart-broken when I heard about James stepping down as Captain Kirk, it was almost like watching Spock die in "The Wrath of Khan". And James has his reasons for leaving the role, but during the June shoot he was as happy as I have ever seen him. And honestly I understand his reasons for doing this, I know that every crew member on Phase 2 is sad that an era is about to close, but as James has said our job is to have fun and to continue to make our episodes better and better each time out. To that end Brian Gross will take over the center-seat from "Bread and Savagery" on. James and I have raved about Brian looking like William Shatner, but also acting like Captain Kirk. I look forward to working with Brian in the fall for "Troublesome Minds" written by Dave Galanter. I would also look out for Brian's first appearance as Captain Kirk soon, if the posts I am reading are correct.

And, don't worry... there are still a couple of Phase II episodes of James as Captain Kirk, to end his historic run as James Tiberius Kirk, "Kitumba" and "The Protracted Man". My final thoughts on James are these: William Shatner left some pretty big shoes to fill, and he did it without the aide of a girdle, he did it with his own style and presence. Although he is leaving the cast as the Captain, he will always be the Captain of the crew of Phase II as he continues to inspire us to go boldly... where no fan has gone before.

To the Great Bird of our Galaxy... Thank you James for everything, As Captain Kirk, a fan, an Executive Producer and a dear friend

Sunday, July 8, 2012

Hailing frequencies Open with... Jasmine Pierce

We are now lucky to have the new Lt. Uhura, Jasmine Pierce here on the blog for an interview. She was at the June shoot where we completed a vignette called "Boldly Go..." written by Dave Galanter and an episode called "Bread and Savagery" written by Rick Chambers.

1.What is it that you both do for your “day job", if you can talk about it?

I am an actress and I work at the Lee Strasberg Theatre and Film Institute in New York.

2. What is your connection to Star Trek? and how has it affected your life?

Star Trek was not a world I was greatly exposed to growing up, but it found me and I'm glad to be a part of it now.

3. How did you first hear of Star Trek: Phase 2?

I was introduced by the director of Bread & Savagery, Mark Burchett, who hired me at a movie theatre in Cincinnati, Ohio ages ago.

4. What was the audition/Orientation experience like?

The Orientation was an exciting experience for me because I had no idea what to expect walking into this environment. I was blown away by the professional-level work that all of these volunteers had produced, driven solely by a passion for Star Trek. I've never felt more welcome on a set before.

5. You came into the fold at an interesting time, with all the changes and fun stuff that was going on at the shoot... What was it like for you to be with the most passionate fan base in quite frankly the galaxy? and did you feel intimidated

I never once felt intimidated, I only felt welcomed and accepted. It was inspiring to see people work so hard not for a pay check, but in honor of something they are passionate about.

6. "Bread and Savagery" was your first go around as Lieutenant Uhura, how hard is it to be the character and what have you taken either from Nichelle Nichols performance or the other young ladies that have portrayed our Communications officer?

I did a lot of research watching Nichelle Nichols and I did my best to gather what the fans' ideas of Uhura were. My tactic in taking on this role was to learn as much as I could about it and forget it as soon as I was on set so I could relax and bring myself to the character. I couldn't be successful trying to be Nichelle Nichols' Uhura. I had to be my Uhura and I hope that the fans see the Lieutenant they've grown to adore.

7. What is your favourite memory of being on set or just hanging around with the crew?

My favorite moment was the first time I walked out of the make-up room in full Uhura gear. Everyone was so excited to see my transformation into the character, and so supportive of me taking on the iconic role.

8. In your own words, how would you describe both the atmosphere on set and Is it really a "family" as some people have described it?

I think Phase II is exactly a family. They are put together like a family, they get through challenges like a family, and most importantly at the end of the day, they can get together, swap stories, and bond like a family. This is something truly special.

9. Are you amazed at the volume and quality if the Trek episodes that RFS produces? And do you see an end in sight for the 5-year mission?

I am amazed by all that RFS has produced and I hope it lives on in honor of Star Trek!

10. Are there any other projects you are working on? Whether it is Star Trek or Something else

I recently graduated from NYU and am working on developing my acting career.

11. Any other thoughts you'd like to share with our readers? If you'd like to promote something you are in or are interested in here.

I just want to thank all the fans for the endless support I've received so far. I know Trekkies are quite particular people and the encouragement they've offered me is more than I could have hoped for.

Please visit my website for future updates: !
And you can like my fan page on facebook:

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First of all I want to Thank Jasmine for agreeing to do this interview, and for being apart of the Star Trek: Phase 2 family, I know you guys will all be impressed when you see her performance.

Next, there are several more posts coming stay tuned for them

Until next time Trekkies.... Live Long and Prosper