Chris Walsh (chris_walsh) wrote,
Chris Walsh
chris_walsh

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Work that worked: "Star Trek: The Exhibition"

I just wrote this in a friend's entry (friends-locked, so I won't link to it) asking what unique jobs we've done:

A volunteer gig at the National Air & Space Museum in August 1992, at Star Trek: The Exhibition. This is still possibly the coolest gig I've ever had. We helped with pass-taking (the exhibit was so hugely popular that people needed free passes to enter at certain times), traffic and crowd control, and just talking Star Trek. And I'd been a fervent Trek fan since 1983, and I had plenty I could talk about with people.

I was there the day that the exhibit's 500,000th visitor showed up. Luckily, he was a fan of both Original Trek and Next Gen Trek, not some non-fan along to appease a significant other who wanted to geek out about seeing original tribbles. You see me in some of the news coverage shots. (There was a close-up of my arms as I sorted passes.) The exhibit ran for 11 months total; had it been open a month more, it would've had one million visitors.

The cherry on top of that assignment was a Labor Day Weekend event Air & Space also hosted, where we Star Trek volunteers helped. The museum set up a tent on the grassy block next door (the block where the National Museum of the American Indian now stands) and did an expo on prototype Mars rovers. Some a foot long, some big (one was 18 feet tall). I also took pictures: I'm fond of the moment where a bunch of kids were allowed forward to touch and herd a cute, bug-like rover that would back up and change direction if it ran into obstacles.

Not paid in money, but paid in memories. I'm glad I did that.

As for actual paid gigs, I've directed traffic at a county fair (hand gestures and an orange vest were my tools!), helped set up a one-weekend book sale in a closed Home Depot (now a supermarket, last time I was back in Northern Virginia), driven cars (real beaters) at a car auction, and taken driver surveys at gas stations.
Tags: star trek, work
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