It’s not every day that an average person gets to talk with a celebrity, and to be fair it’s kind of nice even if I had to admit when speaking to Gates McFadden that I’ve never been much of a Star Trek fan. The upside of the conversation is that apart from mentioning her costars and how she came to the show, and a few things I might have asked just out of curiosity, Gates didn’t really seem inclined to talk about the show or the movies that much. She was ecstatic to talk about her friend and former costar LeVar Burton when it was mentioned that his turn as a guest host on Jeopardy! is coming up, and in truth that’s how I was contacted to have this little chat for her new podcast, ‘Who Do You Think You Are?’. Writing an article on the fact that Burton is getting his shot managed to gain me at least passing notice which led to the 10 minutes that were an absolute blast talking to this very intriguing actress.
Needless to say the conversation didn’t last as long as it could have since unfortunately, being an introvert, my own fumbling and bumbling cut things short. My only hope is that Gates didn’t think she was speaking to a tongue-tied fool, but I’ll admit that I was content to listen to her speak, since she had a few interesting things to say and did her best to tug a few words out of me. Yes, I’m kind of a quiet person that doesn’t talk much, as my words are sometimes far more eloquent and readily available than my power of speech. But I’ll say this, Gates is a very eloquent and intriguing woman. Some folks might ask ‘how would you know after 10 minutes?’. Well, if you listen, pay attention, and listen to a person’s tone as much as their words, you’ll hear far more than if you simply listen to the gathering of syllables and consonants that a lot of us take for granted so often.
Her career started before Star Trek, which was fun to talk and hear about, as she spent a great deal of time on and around the stage, and was even a teacher at one point. When she took the time to ask anything about me I’ll admit, I fumbled and sputtered a bit since it’s not everyday I get to talk to someone famous, and as someone who barely speaks ten words to anyone other than my family in a month’s time, I don’t always have the words I want to say on hand. My only hope is that Gates didn’t think I was too much of a stuttering bumbler to take seriously when I told her the most important words I feel could describe me to anyone, “I’m all about the story.”
Take that as you will, but there’s more truth in that than in any long-winded explanation I could give to anyone, and it describes what I believe in and what I value, outside of my family and friends, to a tee. All I have to say at this point is a hearty thank you to Gates McFadden for taking the time to speak with me, it was an enjoyable 10 minutes, and I’m going to make sure I don’t forget it.