All I can say is that Oz Comic-Con 2014 in Brisbane was amazeballs! To be honest, it was the first time in my life I’ve ever been to a convention focused on comic books, sci-fi, fantasy and everything nerdy. Which now means I need to rethink my budget so I can factor in the expenses to visit the next one — where ever and whenever that will be, year after year.

To see all the cosplayers is really a great experience. The amount of time some have spent to look like their favourite characters is unfathomable — at least to me. When you’re not sure if they are the real deal or a very devoted fan, you know they’ve gone that extra mile to make their costume look absolutely awesome!

What attracts a lot of people isn’t just the cosplayers and the amazing merchandise you can buy there. It’s where you can have the chance to meet some of your favourite actors. Have them sign a photograph while you exchange a few words with them, maybe even have your photo taken with them. Then sit in at one of their panels where you might be lucky enough to ask them a question or two.

OzComicCon2014_01Earlier this week I had the amazing opportunity to speak with Chris Judge. An absolutely awesome experience. Talking with a famous actor that is able to show he is a very grounded person, and not that different from you and I, is amazing and inspiring.

Of course, it’s when they get on that stage, start answering questions from fans and interact with them, you truly see who they are as a person. Again, just amazing.

Chris Judge had two panels that were open for everyone, one on Saturday and one on Sunday. I ended up going to both. That’s how much I enjoyed hearing Chris Judge talk about is experience playing Teal’c in Stargate SG1 and all the crazy stuff he got up to on set.

His reputation for pulling pranks was so bad that he got blamed for anything that went wrong on set.

“If it rained I got blamed for it.”

He was also infamous for duct taping people to things around the set as prank. But what made the crowd roar with laughter was the stories about the farting contests they had on the Stargate SG1 set.

“[One time] I let one go [and] it was great. [We] had to stop shooting for 40 minutes.”

Chris Judge didn’t only tell stories about his antics on set. He also told about how much he appreciate his fans and that it’s thanks to their devotion to the show that made it so successful.

OzComicCon2014_02Then to see William Shatner later on stage was almost unfathomable, as he is an actor I’ve grown up with as a kid. Not only knowing him from Star Trek, but from The Twilight Zone and Boston Legal, to name a few.

Hearing him talk about how Star Trek has inspired so many people’s lives was really great. Especially how the moon landing in 1969 increased the ratings of Star Trek, which in turn sparked a greater interest in space exploration. Making us realise that TV shows don’t only entertain, but also educate and inspire us.

Which is especially what the Star Trek franchise has been best known for, dramatising what we humans are doing on this planet to each other. Juxtaposing things we should be able to be with out, such as racism.

To experience something like this, as in, being in the same room as someone you’ve only seen on TV is not part of my daily life. As far as I know, this might be the first and last time I ever get the chance to meet Chris Judge and William Shatner. Which is why I decided to grab the opportunity to say hi, in person, and get a signed photograph from them both.

Money well spent if you ask me. As I will now enjoy having the memorabilia to remind me having met these two amazing actors.

Too often the media focus only on the fame that surrounds these actors. What we forget, which they discussed in both their panels, and I’ve mentioned earlier, is how their shows have had a huge, personal impact on people’s lives — sometimes even politics. Which is something we need to keep in mind, that they sure earn a good living doing what they love, but they also touch a lot of hearts with what they do.

As mentioned, they don’t only entertain us, they also inspire us to become better persons.