Years ago I learned the power of intention in a very dramatic and exciting way. I also learned that when you have a powerful enough “why” then the “how” takes care of itself. I want to relate the story here so you can see why once you put out the intention for something to happen you have to be open to how the universe wants to bring it to you, even if it’s not the way you expect. You’ve got to have faith that the universe knows what it’s doing, and not be emotionally attached to the manner in which it manifests. When you try to control the “how” too much, you often block the universe from bringing you what you want.
I’m a huge Star Trek fan. And so it was in 1993 that I decided I simply had to get onto the Star Trek: The Next Generation set. I really wanted to be an extra and appear in an episode, but my main goal was to get onto the set and even talk to some of the actors. I made my wish, and I also made a bet with my roommate who thought he could accomplish this before me. The fool!
I watched the credits and discovered that Central Casting hired all the extras. Okay, no problem. I went down there, signed up, and said, “Now can I be on Star Trek?” They said, “Don’t call us, we’ll call you.” I waited for months and no one called me. I needed a new plan.
I told everyone I knew of my wish to be on Star Trek. My mom found out that one of her friends’ friends was the caterer for the show! Hmm. She said they might be able to arrange for me to be a temp worker for the day and then I could maybe feed the actors. That wasn’t really what I wanted but I filed it away in case I needed it later.
My Sister’s Roommate
My sister was living with a roommate who actually worked on the Paramount lot as a production accountant. And better than that, her father was the VP in charge of Finance for all of Paramount (a high mucky muck!). She was willing, but unfortunately unable, to get me on the set. The set for Star Trek was very high security because those darn trekkies were always trying to sneak onto the set and steal props. So even she was not allowed onto the set unless she had a special pass. She sent me some autographed copies of scripts, but that really didn’t satisfy my longing.
One day, I got the call. My mom’s friend’s daughter, Megan, was a young actress and she got cast in the episode, Rascals, an episode where four of the main characters get turned into kids. She was to play Ensign Ro as a child. And because Megan was under 18 years of age, it was required that a legal guardian accompany her and stay on the set all day. My mom’s friends were kind enough to agree to pretend I was Aunt Erin for the day and let me watch out for their child. She was working just 4 days and we arranged for me to arrive on the 4th day, after the lunch break, where I would be able to “guard” her for 4 hours. I was elated, excited, and ebullient. My dream was coming true!
Back to the Roommate
I told my sister’s roommate that I was going to be a guardian that day and she suggested I come early and have lunch with her in the commissary. I accepted. I was pretty hot back then and I dressed in a manner that would, er, accentuate my assets (this is important for later) and drove to Paramount. I got onto the lot with no problem since I was on “the list.” I met the roommate for lunch and could hardly eat because I was so excited!
I was supposed to meet Megan’s father at 1:00, but we got done with lunch early so my friend told me she would show me around the lot and drop me off where I was supposed to go. We headed towards the Star Trek sound stage. I saw two people in Star Trek uniforms walking towards me! Who could it be? Oh, just extras… the ones who stole my job! Ah well. No bitterness there. We kept walking and now we were near the trailers. I looked inside one curiously and there was Gates McFadden (Dr. Beverly Crusher) eating an apple and studying her lines. My heart leaped. She looked up and said hi to us because she recognized my sister’s roommate. They chatted ever so briefly but I was not introduced.
Star Trek was filmed on 3 sound stages. My sister’s roommate told me that usually only 1 or 2 are “hot” each day so she took me to one of the sound stages that they weren’t using for filming that day. We walked right onto the set! She said this was probably because it was lunch time and security was more lax. I didn’t care. I walked eagerly, if not a little warily, onto the set. I saw what I thought was Whoopi Goldberg (who plays Guinan) talking to… her mom? Weird, she’s so short! (I didn’t know it at the time but this was the young girl playing Guinan as a child. Not Whoopi at all. Remember that I didn’t know what the episode was about at this point in time.) Then I saw it. The bridge of the Enterprise. The seats were covered in plastic. I didn’t care. We walked all around the edges because to walk directly on the set was cause for immediate incarceration and removal of your Star Trek green card.
Off to Meet Megan
By now it was 1:00 and I didn’t want to be late. My guide took me to the spot where I was supposed to meet Megan. I saw a Ferengi. Excitement rising very high! Then a security guard came along and asked us our business. I told him why I was there and he let me pass and even said, “I hope they make you an extra!” From your mouth to God’s ears, man! I noticed he was taking a nice long look at my cleavage (this was to come into play shortly).
Fate Stabs Me In the Back
I see Megan and I see her dad. I say goodbye to my sister’s roommate and walk jovially to greet my “niece.” And then it happened. The squashing of all my hopes. Megan’s dad says, “We’re really sorry Erin, but Megan’s not feeling well and I’m taking her home. She got sick doing a scene earlier today and so they are going to film other scenes this afternoon. I’m so sorry, but you won’t be able to be her guardian today.” I stood there in shock and dismay. No! Khaaaaaannnnnnn!!!!! I pleaded with them to reconsider, but truth be told, Megan was looking a pale and sickly white. Damnit, Jim!
Back to the Security Guard
Megan’s dad knew how upset this would make me so he grabbed the security guard who was appreciating my “assets” earlier. He said, “Hey, this is my sister, Erin, who came all this way to be a guardian for Megan and as you know, Megan is leaving the set for today. Would you be willing to let her on the set to watch them film this afternoon’s shots?” The security guard said, “I can’t really do that. But since it’s lunch time, I could probably give you a quick, and I mean really quick, tour of the set. As long as you’re not a trekkie! Because we’re not allowed to bring any trekkie’s on the set.” I swore up and down that I had only the vaguest idea what the show was even about and what the heck is a trekkie anyway? I pushed my boobs up a little higher, his eyes lit up, and we were off!
The Grand Tour
First we walked into Engineering. The set looked a lot smaller than it did on television. I started asking the security guard a ton of questions and that made him pause to answer them, thus giving me a lot more time on this “quickie” tour than he expected. I touched the console in Engineering, running my fingers over the panel pretending I was Geordi La Forge, Chief Engineer. The security guard said, “Don’t touch that, Miss.” Oops, sorry, big-strong-security-dude-who-could-probably-eat-me-in-one-bite. Next, we’re walking out of Engineering and I tripped on the legs of someone who was sitting behind the set. I turned around to apologize. I said, “Oh, I’m so sorry,” and who do I see?? Levar Burton, who plays Geordi LaForge. He was studying his script and eating a sandwich. He waved up at me and said, “That’s alright.” I was elated. The security guard said, “Do you know who that was?” Playing the non-trekkie role perfectly I said, “Oh, uh, no. Was he one of the actors or something?” The security guard was satisfied that I was no threat. Clearly he did not hail from Betazed.
The Transporter Room
Next we got to the transporter room and I said, “Oh, what’s this supposed to be?” He started explaining and I ran onto one of the transporter pads, and said, “Beam me up, Scotty!” He told me to get off or we would have to leave. I apologized again and flashed him some more cleavage. The “girls” were my best friends that day I can tell you! On with the tour.
We walked into Sick Bay and I saw a little baby doll in a bassinet with wires and funky devices all hooked up to it. On the face, someone had drawn a beard and mustache and written “Riker” on the baby’s chest. The security guard said that the cast liked to play practical jokes on each other all the time and that was one of them. He also showed me that on the consoles were written funky words and phrases that had nothing to do with the show, like, “Brent, did you drink too much last night?” and things of that nature.
The Tour Ends
He took me on a tour of the Bridge area and I got to walk into the Captain’s Ready Room. He explained that the stars that Captain Picard looks out at was really a roller with stars on it that recycle every minute or so. He dropped me off and told me he had to get back to work. I left feeling so excited! My dream had come true, and not in the way I had imagined. I found out later, from Megan’s dad, that the guardians were not actually on the set, but put into a little room to wait and it was really boring. So he said the tour I got was probably way better than what I would have seen if I was “watching” Megan for the day.
Isn’t it funny how that works? I was so emotionally attached to being Megan’s guardian that day because I imagined that I would be sitting there, on the set, watching her film. But the universe knew, in her infinite wisdom, that I would really be sitting in a room somewhere, totally isolated for 4 hours. So I got the experience I wanted in an unexpected way. It’s, er, too bad Megan had to suffer for my dreams to come true, but she’s fine now.
The Moral of the Story
Cast your bread upon the waters and then watch for it to come back to you, but remember that it might come by boat, seagull, dolphin, or in a bottle. Keep your eyes open and accept the manifestation of your intention the way the Universe sends it to you.