To say Marina is someone who's had an impact on my life would be... an understatement. As much as I love Trek and Troi, she really impacted me through "Gargoyles" and her character, Demona. While she didn't write the character, her performance drew me in back in 1994 when I first saw it, and the depth that was given, the Shakespearean background through the ties with Macbeth... it taught me the power of something as simple as telling a story, and what the right actor can do bringing that to life. And as well written as any character is, miscast them and it doesn't matter how good the script is. Marina brought Demona to life in a way no one else could. And is a big part of the reason why I went to film school and wanted to write. Not to mention being inspired to get into the works of William Shakespeare and truly appreciate the classics.
I first met Marina Sirtis at MegaCon 2006 in Orlando, Florida... I was attending school there and figured I'd hit that convention when I saw her on the guest list. It was on a Saturday morning when I got there, the crowds hadn't hit yet and the guest area was relatively empty. There were four people I was there to see. In the first row were three Babylon 5 actors: Tracy Scoggins, Jason Carter, and the late Mira Furlan (RIP). They were delightful, but more delightful was meeting Marina, having her sign some Gargoyles stuff I brought and the ten minute conversation we had... at no point did she sound bored, and while I can't recall the contents of the conversation, I don't believe it was about her work... or it started as such and then turned to politics (she and I are mostly on the same page politically and I think we've remained as such). Then I saw her again at the 2009 Gathering of the Gargoyles convention in Los Angeles, California. I was working on staff for that convention and thus helped manage her line before bringing my own book to sign at the end of the autograph session. Then, later on, I was one of the fans who got to participate in the Radio Play we did at every convention... Gargoyles series creator Greg Weisman would bring or write a script for the play where fans could perform with pros. That year it was Marina as Demona, Keith David, and others. And watching Marina act in person was.... well, it'd turn out to be a twice in a life time experience. Likewise was the chance to eat lunch with her since I was staff and we had a green room for staff and guests.
Then in 2013, I saw her again in Connecticon in, I think it was Hartford Connecticut. And attended her panel for the first time... and I knew she was funny just from talking to her, but hearing her tell all these stories, anecdotes, and her political commentary she'd sprinkle in. Delightful. I then went to her signing and pulled out this gigantic, movie-poster sized Demona poster and she signed it for me. 2014... CONvergence in Minnesota for Gargoyles 20th anniversary, she came out to spend the weekend at that con and a lot of was the best parts of the previous meetings rolled into one. Multiple panels, another Radio Play (and this time I had dialogue with her)... and then she graciously signed every other "actor's" script afterwards... a true pro among us fans and amateurs. And I remember on a Sunday morning sitting with her and Gargoyles creator Greg Weisman (who is a long time personal friend of mine) before the signing started and... we talked about the United States Supreme Court and Game of Thrones. I saw her one more time later that same year at New York Comic Con (finally, we meet in my home town!) and gave her a gift. A piece of artwork I commissioned for being so gracious to us and me... Demona and Deanna Troi playing soccer. Troi in the Spurs colors and Demona with the same tattoo Marina has on the back of her shoulder. With COVID clearing up (well, I hope so... I'm vaxxed, boosted, and I still wear a mask in public), I hope some day to run into her again. I've always appreciated her stories, anecdotes, her sharp sense of humor, and just her as a person... beyond her roles in Gargoyles, Star Trek, Green Street Hooligans 2, among others.
Thank you for the inspiration, thank you for the impact you've had on the person I became. And that inspiration and impact is why I've got this tattoo:
My story starts a little earlier, but Marina changed my life too.I was already a Trek fan in 1990, but I didn't know about TNG then. Welcome from Hungary ,Greg!
Welcome, Greg! Its great to finally hear the details of your time with Marina!! 💙
I love your tattoo! Also, I’m so happy Marina and her character of Demona had such a positive impact on you. Both Marina and her character of Troi helped me. I was crying tonight because I had to put my dog down today. My mom reminded me that it was Troi who said “All good things come to an end” and “Feeling emotions is what makes you human”. I also remember Marina saying how she got through loss. That you have to go through it and start with getting through 1 hour at a time, then one day at a time. And that it’s times like this when you find out who just says they care about you and are there for you and who actually does care. I just keep going back to both these things.
But Marina is truly an incredible person. I don’t know anyone else who cares about their fans and takes the time out to help them like Marina does. I’m hoping to meet her in Richmond; it’s also the day after my birthday, so meeting her would also be an amazing bday gift ☺️ And now that I don’t have to worry about trying to find someone to care for my dog, I can go. Anyway, welcome fellow Marina fan!