Interview With Terry Morgan

When Terry Morgan isn’t working with Star Trek: Phase II, he’s working his day job as a professional magician. He is a true, seasoned-pro. Having started in magic at the age of 7, Terry has been lucky enough to see and learn as much magic as any of us could wish for. He’s had the priveledge of spending time with such legendary magicians as Doug Henning, Harry Blackstone Jr., and the amazing Kreskin to name only a few. He has performed at the Magic Castle in Hollywood, CA, and was hired by Disney to perform at 2 of their magic shops at the Magic Kingdom. In the past 20 years Terry has performed at countless private functions, been hired by major companies to work their trade shows, and has been seen at many resorts throughout the area. Terry is also in demand to provide magic lessons and has been asked to present lectures to fellow magicians on many original effects he has created. A well-polished act is always a treat, treat yourself to seeing Terry Morgan.

1.   If Star Trek, the original series (which lasted three seasons) was supposed to be a five year mission, what happened to those last two years?

That assumes that one season equals one year, the three seasons of Star Trek could have taken place in only the first year of the five year mission.

Assuming that one season equals one year, the remaining two years would be covered in the New Voyages and Phase II episodes.

2.   Of all the Star Trek fan-films out there, what sets Phase II above and apart?

Two thing stand out for me.

The quality of the episodes and the involvement of Industry Professionals.  Anyone who watches the New Voyages/Phase II episodes in order, will see an exponential improvement in quality from one episode to another.  Each episode we learn things which allow us to make even better episodes in the future.

Many TV and movie professionals (some who worked on the original Star Trek) volunteer their time and talent just because they are fans and want the opportunity to make new episodes of Star Trek.  Many of our scripts were written by legendary Star Trek writers such as D.C. Fontana and David Gerrold.

3.   Who makes money off of it?

No one involved in the production makes any money.  Everyone involved in the production is there on “their own dime”.  We all pay for our own lodging, food and necessities during a shoot. The only ones benefiting financially from Phase II are the motels, hotels, cabins, restaurants and stores patronized by our volunteers.

4.   How does the Phase II budget compare to that of the original series?

We are making episodes of Star Trek for a fraction of the original series budget (and that’s in 1960’s dollars).  The biggest saving of course, is labor costs.  Since we are a crew of volunteers, the episode budget covers such things as building materials, carpet and paint, fabric for costumes, makeup, etc., etc., etc.

5.   If copyright laws allowed Phase II to charge a dollar for every download, how would that change the budget?

Since our episodes have been seen by millions of people worldwide, we wouldn’t need to worry about budget.   We would have enough money to make the episodes and perhaps provide lodging and food for the volunteers.

6.   How is it possible to have professional looking special effects in a show that is produced by volunteers?

Thankfully, we have many talented volunteers who do either do special effects for a living or for fun.  Industry name such as Tobias Richter and Pony Horton are involved in our production.  We have also had a good relationship with schools that teach how to create special effects.  The Dave School in Orlando Florida provided special effects for one of our episodes as a class project.   We also have Pyrotechnic expert Howard Brown to handle effects such as smoke, sparks, fire and explosions.

7.   Have you ever been working with someone on set or in the green room, covered in paint or doing something else not-so-glamorous, just to realize later that the person was famous or otherwise highly-accomplished?

Many times.  One which quickly comes to mind is one of our G&E crew.  In real life he is a prominent psychiatrist.   The actor who plays Dr. McCoy is a real life Doctor.  The actor who plays Captain Kirk is the best Elvis Impersonator in the World.

8.   From how far away do people come to work on a Phase II Shoot?

We have people come from all over the World.  We have had volunteers come from England, Australia, China and Spain.  We have people from this country come from Washington State, California, Florida and all points in between.

Terry With Barbara Luna

9.   Why do so many people not only donate their time and talent, but pay their own way, even pay their own room and board to participate in a Phase II shoot?

This is a Star Trek fan’s ultimate fantasy.  Star Trek Conventions are fun, but we would rather “make” Star Trek than stand around and “talk” about it.  We have had the chance to sit down and talk (and joke) with Walter Koenig (Chekov), George Takei (Sulu), Barbara Luna (Marlena Moreau), Denise Crosby (Tasha Yar), Gil Gerard (Buck Rogers) and Director/Author David Gerrold among others.  So far, I have personally participated in the filming of seven episodes.  Many of my fellow volunteers have been doing it longer than I have.  All these folks have become my second family.  Recently, two of our volunteers past away unexpectedly.  Members of their Phase II family attended the funerals along with their actual families.  I look forward to each shoot as a family reunion.

10.  If a fan wanted to donate a few dollars to help Phase II, how would they do so? How would the money be used?

Information on donating to the Star Trek Phase II production can found on our web page: www.startrekphase2.com or www.startreknewvoyages.com

All donations will be used to cover production costs for such things as building materials, carpet and paint, fabric for costumes, makeup, etc., etc., etc.

11.  How many different hats have you worn with Phase II?

Just two.

My main job is Security.  I am a “real” Red Shirt Security Officer.  What do I do?

Mainly make sure no one has access to the studio except authorized personnel.  I also give the actors privacy to rest, study lines or get their make up applied.  Occasionally, I have to escort people off the property for disturbing the production by refusing to follow rules.

I have also worked as a driver, picking up or dropping off cast members and crew members at the Albany and Burlington Airports

12.   At the time this interview goes up, you, my hubby and I will all be knee deep (or more) in a sleep-deprived marathon of shooting, sharing a hotel room with who knows how many other people. Do you have a high tolerance for snoring roommates?

Since I snore myself, I am very tolerant of others with the same problem.

I am usually one of the first people at the studio and one of the last to leave, so I usually have no problem falling asleep.  If sharing a room, I always recommend ear plugs just to be safe.

13.   How would you describe Port Henry to someone who has lived their entire life in the Los Angeles area?

A beautiful small town that has seen better days financially. Some of the stores on Main Street have closed due to competition from the nearby big name stores. But many businesses have survived and provide nearby opportunity for food and other necessities.  The view of Lake Champlain from Port Henry is one of the best on the entire lake.  The people of Port Henry are friendly and are no longer surprised to see cast members in full make up and costume walking the streets of the town.

14.   Of all the Phase II episodes that have been released, which is your favorite?

World Enough and Time

In my humble opinion, everything about this episode is top notch.

The story, the acting (George Takei and Christina Moses were outstanding), the lighting, the special effects (especially the Shuttle Bay sequence), the humor and the very emotional ending. I believe that it not only qualifies as the best episode of New Voyages/Phase II  but one of the best Star Trek episodes EVER (including The Original Series).

My opinion may be clouded because of my emotional involvement with the episode.  I was there when it was being filmed and I attended its first showing at a major Science Fiction Convention (Shore Leave).  We showed the episode to a full Ballroom on Friday night.  When the episode ended, many people came up to us crying, hugged us and thanked us for bringing back “real” Star Trek.  I was never as proud to be involved in anything in my life as I was that night.  When word got around about the episode, the organizers asked us to do another showing on Sunday morning.  Again the Ballroom was full and we got the same audience reaction when the episode ended.  It was a very emotional three days.

15.   Of all the Classic Trek episodes, which is your favorite?

That’s like asking which is you favorite child.

I have many favorite episodes.

If I had a gun to my head and I had choose only one episode it would be:

“City on the Edge of Forever”

Its a great story, its well acted and has great special effects.

Its a wonderful Kirk/Spock episode.  It has a great (but sad) ending and stars a more demure (but still sexy) Joan Collins.

16.   Have you ever used your magical talents either on set or behind the scenes?

When things get boring in the Green Room (waiting for sets to be erected or lighting to be set) I do some magic to lighten the mood.   I have also taught some magic to a number of cast and crew (even Spock).

In one episode (Mind Sifter), Captain Kirk is supposed to make a balloon animal sculpture of the USS Enterprise.  I made a balloon Enterprise to be used in the scene.  Captain Kirk (James Cawley) pretended to twist the balloon, then showed the balloon I made.  The scene ended up being cut as the balloon was thought to take away from the serious nature of the scene.

17.   What’s the strangest thing you’ve ever witnessed in the Green Room?

What happens in the Green Room Stays in the Green Room.

Once there was a bat flying around the Green Room and there was a lot of panic and screaming.

One of my favorite practical jokes:

One of the G&E (Grip and Electrical) crew fell asleep on the couch and the rest of the G&E crew clipped about 50 clothes pins (called C47’s in G&E speak) on to his hat, shirt and pants.  Then they woke him up and he slowly realized he was covered by C47’s!

18.   Where does James Cawley get his superhero-level charisma? Did he fall into a vat of radioactive silly putty?

Certain people just have incredible Charisma. When James enters a room, all eyes are drawn to him. He doesn’t even have to be dressed as Elvis or Captain Kirk.  After you get to know him you realize what a down to earth guy he is.  James does the best Elvis I have ever seen and I have seen a lot of Elvis Impersonators.  Besides the look, the costumes and his dead on vocals, James has the same kind of charisma that Elvis had. This is what makes a special connection between James and his audiences.  To me, James’ biggest attribute is his generosity. James had a dream (New Voyages/Phase II)  and he allows us to share in that dream.

Terry with his childhood hero Mark Wilson

19.   What are some of your favorite memories of performing as a Professional Magician?

Performing at the Magic Castle in Hollywood California, performing at Walt Disney World and performing at Corporate Trade Shows at the Javits Center in NYC.  Meeting Magic legends like Siegfried and Roy, Harry Blackstone Jr., Doug Henning, David Copperfield, Penn & Teller, Dai Vernon and Mark Wilson.

20.   Who shot first, Han or Greedo?

Han

Han wouldn’t give Greedo the chance to shoot first.

For Han, this was a sign of respect for Greedo’s ability.

He was planning on paying Jabba after being paid to pilot Luke, Obi Wan and the Droids to Alderon.

If Greedo had just waited, Jabba would have got his money and Greedo would have lived.

Ultimate fail Greedo.

The shortlink for this post is http://wp.me/p1qnT4-Oo

About AmyBeth Inverness

A writer by birth, a redhead by choice, and an outcast of Colorado by temporary necessity.
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One Response to Interview With Terry Morgan

  1. Pingback: Interviews with the Cast, Crew and Writers – by the Cast & Crew

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