With Dragon*Con 2010 only 9 days away, I thought it would be fun to share one of my favorite stories from DC09: meeting Richard Herd.
One of the donations for the 2009 Geek Gala was a script from Star Trek: Voyager. I had brought it to Dragon*Con with me in hopes of getting one of the cast members to sign it. So Robert and I walked over to the Walk of Fame where all the celebrities sit and sell their autographs. I knew that Garrett Wang was on the show, and there was only one girl in line for him, so I took my place behind her.
Well, she must have really loved Garrett Wang, because she just kept talking and talking and talking. My boyfriend nudged me and pointed to his left, where Richard Herd was sitting. For those who don’t recall, Richard has been in tons of movies and television shows – including All The President’s Men, The China Syndrome, the original V series, T.J. Hooker, Seinfeld, SeaQuest, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, and one of Robert’s absolute favorite shows, Quantum Leap.
Robert was very excited to see him, and decided he wanted to ask him a question while we were waiting for Garrett Wang (because the chick was still talking to him.) So Robert moved over to Richard Herd’s line and waited for a while (Richard was also talking to a fan in a kilt). Then Robert got nervous and moved back in line with me. And Garrett Wang and the chick were still talking . . . .
“Young man,” a voice called.
We looked around. It was Richard Herd. We looked around again, then realized he was talking to Robert.
“Young man,” Richard said again. “Would you do me a favor and take a picture of us?”
Robert nodded yes and moved back over to Richard’s table. The kilted fan began explaining his camera to Robert, who nodded and squinted through the lens.
“Hey man,” said the kilted one, “Thanks for doing this for me.”
Robert continued to look through the lens as he said, “I’m not doing this for you, man. I’m doing this for Richard Herd.”
Richard posed with the fan and Robert started snapping the photos. Garrett Wang and the chick were still talking.
“Young lady,” said Richard, looking at me. “Please get that young guy in the hat to come over here – I like his hat.”
He pointed to a young guy wearing a black fedora covered in silver skulls. Evidently, I was staff now too. I hurried after the man and tapped him on the shoulder.
“Richard Herd would like to see your hat.” The young man beamed and immediately followed me to show Richard his hat.
Robert and I took our place back in line for Garrett Wang. He and the chick were still talking. It was then I noticed that Richard Herd’s sign listed Star Trek: Voyager as one of his credits. I pointed it out to Robert.
“That’s right,” Robert remembered, “He played Admiral Paris. It was a recurring guest role – maybe 4-5 episodes?”
The script that had been donated to me was a random pick. I had absolutely no idea who the guest stars were – but I figured, worth a shot, right? We went back to Richard’s table.
“Mr. Herd, my name is Joey and I’m the organizer for the Geek Gala to benefit Youth Homes. Michael Risner donated this script to me, and I’m trying to get it autographed for our raffle. I don’t suppose this is one of the episodes you were in?”
Richard scanned several plastic protector sheets of Star Trek trading cards he had in front of him. His finger stopped on a Voyager card. “Sure, I was in that one. Let me see the script.”
And without requesting a dime, he casually autographed the script and began to leaf through the pages. “You know who else guest starred in this with me? Dwight Schultz – he’s sitting right over there. You go over there and tell him I said to sign this.”
I nodded and thanked him. Robert gathered up his courage and began to talk to Richard about Quantum Leap and how much Richard’s guest episode had meant to Robert.
“Why, I have a picture from that episode somewhere,” Richard said, digging through the pile of 8 x 10 glossies in front of him. “Here it is!”
Robert looked at it longingly. I knew we were tight on money, but I couldn’t let this opportunity go.
“You have to have that,” I said, and before Robert could argue, I paid for it.
As Richard autographed it, he reminded us, “All autographs come with a photo if you want.”
Robert immediately handed me his camera. They posed together, Robert’s eyes beaming. We thanked Mr. Herd again and again.
“Don’t forget to tell Dwight to sign that script.” Richard said.
We didn’t forget. I walked straight up to Mr. Schultz and said, “Richard Herd sent me over here and said for you to sign this.”
“Well if Richard said to sign it, I better sign it,” said Dwight Schultz, and with a flourish he scrawled his name across the cover of the script. We thanked him warmly and carefully tucked our now doubly-signed script safely in to Robert’s bag. We left the Walk of Fame, feeling like we’d won the lottery.
And Garrett Wang and the chick were still talking.
Check out Richard Herd’s website at http://www.richardherd.com