Armstrong goes where no Star Trek actor has gone before
-- APTRA Academy
NOTE FROM HAL: As we were planning APTRA Academy
2002, it struck me that having a real actor play a
victim in the boot camp's wild fire simulation would
just enhance it's sense of reality. And, that's exactly
what happened when Vaughn Armstrong, who plays such
roles as Admiral Forest on Star Trek Enterprise, volunteered
his time to the Academy! Remember the scenario at
the camp is a growing brushfire (triggered by a methlab
explosion) is raging through parts of Malibu. Vaughn
will play himself, but his role will be a distraught
and disoriented actor who was rocked from his bed
when his next door neighbor's house (methlab) blew
up. He's injured, has been separated from his family,
is desperately trying to find his kids and is an emotional
wreck! It was amazing to watch this man play out such
a role -- if it was really on TV -- he'd get an Emmy!!!
you so much Vaughn. What follows are his post Academy
A few days ago Hal Eisner asked me if Id like
to help a bunch of college kids. He hit me where I
live. I have a son whom I just dropped off at the
dormitory of an art school. I miss him dearly. At
the same time Ive been feeling very fortunate
to be able to do what I love for a living. Add these
two elements together and stir in a need to give back
to the community that has been so good to me and you
have the potion that made me jump at the chance. The
answer was yes before he finished asking. Am I glad!
The morning was crystal clear, and so was the mission.
Simple: help these kids learn to do what they love
for a living. It doesnt get any better than
that. Hal brought together a group of volunteers in
this beautiful little canyon in the Malibu hills to
run some 30 students through a boot camp designed
to train the student to be a television and radio
news broadcasters. And by the time they leave, they
can take on anybody or anything and tell you all about
it in living color.
what a group of volunteers! I was surprised he didnt
have #43 himself. He did have most of the local police
department in full regalia, most of the fire department
and their equipment, including a helicopter spraying
water on the hillside just yards from us. He did have
some of the most prestigious reporters and anchor
people. He did have some of the finest technicians
and camera people in the business. All volunteering
their time to help make the dreams of these young
people come true.
These people put together an incident to be reported
that had the smell and the taste of reality. And they
did it with such dedication and verve youd have
thought they were being paid. This was an event that
may change a life or two. Done out of the kindness
of some very professional and experienced hearts.
And the students were superb! They were eager and
bright and excited to be there. The combined positive
energy of the people in this event was something to
behold. I almost hated to leave.
I must commend you, Hal on the event. These young
men and women who took part will never forget this
day and the lessons they learned at your camp
it could lead them to employment.
So, Hal, thanks my friend. When someone is committed
enough to ask for help in something like this I encourage
everyone to just say yes. Theyll have a great