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June 2009

Star Trek: now and then

Warning: Spoilers below...


I admit that when I first heard that Star Trek was coming out with a Prequel I was afraid that even with J.J. Abrams direction, they could not capture the spirit of the original show or the characters, without the original cast. (Which would be impossible now that many are no longer with us.) So I thought it would, well, suck. 

I admit, I was wrong.

2startrek460As a matter of fact, I took my time to go and see this movie, but when did I saw it in style at the IMAX theatre. I was excited to see what they came up with, being limited by the magnitude of the impact of the original series on television and on pop culture. Plus, they had the fan base to contend with; those loyalist and Trek Freaks that hang on every potential inconsistency. But writers: Roberto Orci and Alex Kurtzman found their way around it while still having sensitivity to the truths of the Star Trek Universe. 

They not only created a movie that was consistent with the essence of the Star Trek's original series by paralleling current times, in a future setting. But they also successfully created a story line that is wide open to infinite unknown future adventures by creating a new time-line. So now, for these new Star Trek stars playing classic Star Trek characters anything is possible. Because they did what Star Trek is famous for, incorporating current issues into the plot line, they were able to spark a connection with a new generation of fans that may never have been exposed to the original series.Star-trek

As far as the characters I felt all but one did justice to the originals. The only one that I felt failed at this was the role of Chekov. In the original series Walter Koenig was a hottie, I understand that all the girls wanted him. In the movie, Chekov was played by a boyish, Anton Yelchin, who just didn't cut it for me. I don't blame him, I blame casting. He simply wasn't right for the role. 

But those who really did a stellar job in recreating the characters were, of course: Zachary Quinto as Spock, Karl Urban as Bones, and Simon Pegg as Scotty.

Chris Pine as Kirk didn't suck either and following William Shatner is no easy task since Shatner is so associated with that role. I was, however, disappointed that they didn't do the quintessential Kirk thing of having his shirt ripped off Ripped_shirt2during hand to hand combat. There were enough fights in the movie, they certainly could have fit that in! But never the less, all these new Star Trek Stars are certainly cuties!  

Zachary Quinto excelled in creating a young believable Spock. This is impressive not only because of the magnitude of the role and the specificity necessary to create such a character, but because Leonard Nimoy, (the original Spock) was also in the movie playing an older version of the same. They even had scenes together, upping the anty for all to draw comparisons.

But was my favorite was Karl Urban as the lovable Bones, because I believe he did  DeForest Kelley proud (if only De was still here to appreciate it). Deforest Kelley was the only actor in the original cast who was truly satisfied with Star Trek as his claim to fame. Enjoying and appreciating every moment of work and acknowledgment he gained from it. Knowing this, make the fact that the spirit of the character,  which De originally created with love, was honored so truly in this movie warms my heart.

TREK Tribbles online - Credit Paramount Domestic Television

The only think that could have made it better would be more tribbles!!

The Power of Fear

Fear We’re human right? And one of the conditions of being human is that sometimes we are afraid. Fears can show up in many different ways: It can be seen in what we choose to do; how much we share with others; how we live our lives.

With the state of our economy, war and the uncertainty of this day and age, people who have never had to face fears, are having to do so. FDR's words, "The only Thing We Have to Fear Is Fear Itself," ring true. If we don't deal with fear, it will be the driving force in our lives. What can we do to avoid this?

Too often we allow fear to rule us and we don’t even realize it. Most of us are raised to deny our fears. The problem is that if we don’t acknowledge it, fear impacts our lives in ways we don't see. It shows up as shame or anger; shame about something we’ve done or an aspect of ourselves which we are insecure about; anger as a way to protect ourselves from our fear or to create a false sense of being in control.

I believe that to be truly fearless we have to face our fears.

Ironically, fearlessly looking fear strait in the eye, gives us the power to create a life that is full of wonder. So, fear doesn’t have to be a bad thing, it can be a gift that teaches us what we value and how to create it.

I do what CK says,“I advocate (and practice) placing the fear front & center. In dueling these demons we accept their presence and then we start robbing them of their power.” The impact of the fear is much greater when we pretend it’s not there.

It is ineffective to try to quell fears by avoiding them. This works against us by making them more powerful.  You can’t take fear away if you ignore it. When fear becomes invisible to us we are broadsided by it’s impact. Like anything we are blind to, it’s much more likely to cause damage. Just think about that bump in the road you don’t see coming, it throws your car off track and damages your shocks. But by opening our eyes to fear, you can minimizes its repercussions. 

The first step is to figure out what we are afraid of. If you’re unsure what frightens you, start by paying attention to the secondary effects of fear (anger and shame). These are great indicators of what holds us back. By naming our shames and angers we can figure out what we need. And we can evaluate how realistic our fears are. 

Sometimes when fear is taken out of context it is just plain silly. It’s like being afraid of flying when you’re not in a plane. So take the time to write it out, explore the realism of each fear. Play out the worst-case scenario should your fears come true. And you’ll start to see how much energy is wasted on false fears.

For those fears that are genuinely scary, knowing the potential consequences helps us to prepare appropriately. Fear is there to keep us safe.

By understanding the significance of each fear, we can gain insight into our needs and desires. For instance, if we have fear of failing, that doesn't mean we shouldn't try. It means we should address the issues that stand in the way of our success. Otherwise, we'll be stuck in the cycle of not trying so we don't fail. Don't ignore the fear, face it and take charge of it. Celebrate the lessons received from the knowledge gained by admitting fear.

Embrace your fears and you’ll be surprised how fearless you really are.

The Tony's Win!

Tonyawards2009-300x420 Even a week later, I can't stop thinking about the Tony Awards!

We all know that Billy Elliot took the Tony's by storm and Alice Ripley in her stunning performance in Next to Normal deservedly won Best Leading Actress in a Musical. But what I loved best was that this year’s Tony Show had more musical numbers than ever.  My true love is Musical Theatre after all.

It was so smart of the Tony's to include performances from Broadway Touring Companies of several past Tony Winning shows. These touring productions are preformed all over the country and are most of America's first experience with Broadway.  Theatre should thrive all across the nation and these touring companies give those, who can’t get to the Big Apple, a chance to see great theatre in their hometowns. What a gift! And what a treat to see them up on Radio City Musical Hall's stage again.

Dolly at the tonyAnd then there was the fact that 9 to 5, Dolly's first Broadway Musical, which was clearly over looked in the nominations for “Best Musical.” To make up for this oversight, 9 to 5 was the first un-nominated Musical in history of the Tony’s, to be asked to perform in the opening musical montage along side those shows that were up for this award. (Personally, I think the American Theatre Wing felt embarrassed for snubbing her after the nominations were already out.) 

Frank Langella’s of Frost/Nixon, was one of my favorite Tony presenters when he polked fun at the nominating committee for overlooking him on A Man For All Seasons.

But the most moving win was Karen Oilvo for Best Featured Actress in a Musical. She was so gracious and touching in her acceptance. The thing is, she wasn’t going to even audition for the role of Anita in West Side Story,Karen Olivo because she’s not a dancer, and was comfortable enjoying the success of In The Heights, after their Tony win last year. But she did it anyway and work really hard to be the dancer she needed to be for this show. And just look what happened. It goes to show, as she said in her acceptance speech, “If you stick with it and you surround yourself with people who love you, you can do anything!”

But by far the winningest performance of a Musical Number at the Tony's was: Neil Patrick Harris’ Eleven O’Clock number, which he preformed at 11:03. How creative and amazing he is; what a great performance incorporating, seemingly on the fly, all the winners and highlights of the evening.

And the Tony goes to…Neil Patrick Harris: