Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Two Actors Meet in an Alley

The actor and playwright Ethan Phillips (aka Johnnie) sent this email to several friends today and I asked him for permission to publish it here. If I remember correctly, Johnnie and I first met when we were both waiters for Brew & Burger back in the seventies. Soon after that he landed the role of Peewee on Benson. Much later he played Neelix, the chef aboard the Voyager on Star Trek. Neelix's biography describes him as “a Talaxian originally from Rinax, a moon of the planet Talax, in the Delta quadrant.”

Ethan Phillips getting prosthetic makeup applied for the character of Neelix.

By Ethan Phillips

Once many years ago when I was working on Star Trek I experienced the sweetness of Robin Williams. It was about 6 a.m. on the Paramount lot and I had just had my Neelix makeup applied. I left the makeup trailer and made my way to stage 16; to get there I had to go down a long alley between stages 8 and 9. As I turned the corner to start my way down the alley, I saw someone turn at the other end of the alley and walk towards me. It was dark, just before dawn, and as the two of us approached each other, I saw it was Robin Williams. When we were maybe ten feet apart Robin shouted, “Mr. Neelix!” He then went into a very funny totally off-the wall two-minute riff on being an alien chef. The jokes and puns and crazy sounds and accents were nonstop, and it was obvious he knew the show and my character very well. I was his only audience. I was beaming! After a few minutes, with the kindest smile, he bowed, and said, “I love your work,” and he walked on down the alley. I felt like the luckiest actor in the world that day.

No comments:

Post a Comment