Saturday, November 5, 2011

Toad the Wet Sprocket

Last night, I introduced William Shatner's show at Place des Arts. I was there as the representative for the television station, title sponsor of the event.

Earlier in the day, I had been told by the actor's publicity guy that the introduction the night before in Toronto had not gone well and, moments later, Shatner himself claimed it took him a while to get the audience back. As a result of the Toronto incident, they decided I would no longer be preparing a sixty second introduction; instead, they decided to script me. It turns out the script they sent me was thirty seconds long, so I decided to add an unauthorized line, along with a second mention of the station name.

I believe the sentence I added was most appropriate. After mentioning that I was delighted to be there representing the title sponsor, I told the audience beyond the glaring lights, "I'm also delighted to be here to introduce a man who is so interested and inspired by his life, that he interests and inspires us."

Uh-huh, now that's writing.

I had the opportunity to interview the 80 year old actor late yesterday afternoon at his hotel in Old Montreal. I had been assigned to put together a 2 minute 30 second report on the interview. We had an animated and interesting conversation that lasted about a half hour. When I first arrived at the hotel and as I was climbing the stairs with Todd the publicity guy, I asked if I could get a signed picture for my sister-in-law who, according to Susan, is a big Shatner fan. Todd, or should I say, Toad, responded curtly, "no". 

I took an instant sour pill, responding with the same curt tone to the remainder of his questions.

William Shatner is an actor, author, musician, writer, director, interviewer and so much more. He is passionate, interested and inspired by life, as I so eloquently and brilliantly and insightfully and perceptively pointed-out in my on-stage introduction! I was never a "Trekkie" but had, in recent weeks, begun to watch "Shatner's Raw Nerve" and enjoyed watching episodes of  "!%&$ My Dad Says".

David Sedell, my camera guy at the shoot is a huge Shatner fan, and rated meeting him as highly as the time he met George Harrison! We wondered whether the actor would be willing to pose for a picture with the two of us. David's idea was to have the three of us stand in front of the rolling camera and take a freeze frame from the video. Shatner agreed.
I'm glad we didn't ask Toad.

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