Freelance writer and poet from London; if you would like to read my poetry, please check out my book, 'Poems on the Page', available from goo.gl/Ta4oAX.
Get your photo taken with your favourite stars
Collectormania is returning for another year at the Dons Stadium in Milton Keynes. The Showmasters event brings fans of cult television, animie, and sports together to meet their favourite stars, collect memorabilia, and share their love of all things geeky.
I have been going to Collectormania for several year now, and although it means getting up at the crack of dawn to get there for the 9am opening, it is well worth it. The convention takes place every May bank holiday, and last year - like every typical Bank Holiday weekend - it was wet, windy, and cold (not a good combination when you're at a football stadium). Well aware of what the weather was going to be like, I was well prepared and wrapped up warm.
So the guest line up? First person I met was Suzie Plakson who has appeared as several characters in Star Trek. She was very friendly. First thing she said when I walked up was 'I see you're all covered up. Smart girl.' I told her that I was wearing several layers, and she, wisely had done the same. She looked like a Russian eskimo. I asked who her favourite character that she played was, and she said the Female Q because she didn't have to get up at 3am to go for make-up. Sounds as good a reason as any to me.
I then met Jason Mamoa from Stargate. He wasn't very talkative though. He didn't actually even look at me when I went up to him, so I felt a bit disappointed. Star Trek's Michael Dorn was similar - not very talkative but at least he was polite and gave me a friendly hello.
I then had a ticket for a Star Trek talk, and was really happy that I was in the second row. The first row is reserved for gold pass holders, and there weren't any gold pass holders at the talk, so there was no one in front of me and I had a great view. Suzie was the first to come on. She said that she was the warm up act (which makes sense considering her outfit), and then about five minutes later, John Schuck arrived. He was a very nice guy, and talked about an occasion in the make-up chair when he asked why they didn't apply the prosthetic directly to his skin. The make-up people said they weren't exactly sure how to get it off again, but he stupidly said, 'ahh, do it anyway.' When it came to taking it off, his face was raw. Poor guy.
After about twenty minutes Nichelle Nichols - the marvellous Lieutenant Uhura - and Dorn finally arrived. The first question posed was about the new Star Trek film, and how all the possibilities for the characters had changed. Nichelle was completely confused by the question and started waffling on about something completely unrelated. And then when Dorn explained that the person had been referring to the 2009 movie Nichelle said, 'Oh, I never saw that,' and everyone laughed. No wonder she was confused. She spoke with much more clarity and humour when she was asked about her encounter with Martin Luther King. She was so animated, and put on voices, and was really just acting the meeting out; it was very interesting and fun to listen to. I met her after the talk, and since I have her autobiography, I asked her sign that for me. Later on I was able to have a photo shoot with her.
The photos take a long time to get developed - I had to wait until 6pm, which is closing time of the show - so in the mean time, I browsed the dealers' stalls and picked myself up some goodies, including a soundtrack to Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone and Star Trek Insurrection, and the novelisation of Star Trek: The Motion Picture. There were also some trading cards that I liked, including costume cards, a Flintstones booster pack, and a 90 card Voyager base set for only a £1.
But my two best buys were Draco Malfoy's wand, and a knitted Worf. There were a number of knitted characters including Spock, a Ferengi and a Tellerite, but I just thought Worf looked the best.
This year's convention is between 25th-27th May, and as usual, there is another great line-up of guests. These include Ray Park, who played Darth Maul in Star Wars, the voice of Doctor Who's K9, John Leeson, and the one and only Gillian Anderson from The X-Files. Amongst the sports guests you'll meet footballer, Peter Shilton, boxer, Frank Bruno, and the racing driver, Stirling Moss.
Entry to Collectormania 19 is free, but you can find the autograph and photoshoot price list here. Most are between £15-£25, but some of the bigger guests will be more expensive. You can pre-order photoshoot tickets from Showmasters.