CreativityEngaging Culture

Mr. Spock And The Joy Of Working With Real Stars

Years ago, I produced and directed a documentary film and hired Leonard Nimoy to narrate the project. At the time he was at the peak of his career and had done the Star Trek TV series and released a number of Star Trek movies as well. As a result, his agent put me through the grinder – after all, the agency didn’t want their star client dealing with a novice. But after working through the details of the fee and contract, we all showed up at the studio to record the project. During the process, Leonard couldn’t have been more gracious and professional.

In fact, I’ll never forget that when we ordered sandwiches at lunch, as soon as they arrived, Leonard grabbed the box himself and started handing them out – making sure everyone had what they ordered.  He wasn’t interested in being a “celebrity,” he was interested in being a friend. It turned out to be a fantastic day, and that experience – plus plenty of others taught me something important: People who actually are “stars” are a joy to work with – it’s the people who think they’re stars that’s the problem.

In my experience the stars I’ve worked with have been professional, gracious, and worked incredibly hard. But I can’t say that about some others I’ve worked with who are convinced they are the stars…

Perhaps the simple truth is that it’s fantastic working with someone who has nothing to prove.  And now that I think of it, that’s a pretty good thing to remember as we grow in our careers….

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      1. That is what I have seen as well. Usually the one running the show is the one who doesn’t have to throw their weight around. The classiest people are the ones who are good at their craft.

  1. I didn’t know the man, but felt unusually sad at his passing. He was an integral part of my childhood after all. His finest hour? For me, his final scene with William Shatner in Wrath of Khan (hands down the best Trek movie).

  2. I got to hear Leonard speak in 2011 at Phoenix comicon and it will remain one of the best moments ever for me. So glad you got to have this experience with him. He will be truly missed. ♥

  3. I saw Leonard Nimoy and William Shatner at a “Trekkie” convention in about 1995ish. I was providing projection for some video rolls as well as for I-Mag for their chat and Q&A with the audience. I’m sure most folks here will recall the infamous SHATNER GOES NUTS sketch on Saturday Night Live. Guess what…that sketch was based on reality. Shatner was rude to people, would cut them off when they were trying to ask a question, and was just completely dismissive of the folks paid his way to Houston. How bad was it? It was so bad that Shatner lost his patience and his temper at a lady who, being so awestruck at finally seeing and getting to ask a question of Shatner and Leonard Nimoy that, in her nervousness, she became tongue tied and rambly. Shatner blew up at her, WHAT THE HELL IS YOUR QUESTION LADY?? he asked, and then wouldn’t let up. He began deriding her for taking so long, and that there were other people wanting to get to the microphone. The woman continued to get flustered. She finally burst into tears and walked away. She finally gets to meet her television heros, and she is mocked and abused from the stage. Leonard, who understood what the woman was trying to ask, took the high road and answered the womans question. He was kind. He was respectful to the audience. And he was patient. He understood what this meant to the people who paid 20+ dollars to spend the day at a gathering like this. Shatner did nothing but show contempt.

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