LeVar Burton's passion, enthusiasm and can-do-it attitude practically crackle through the phone line. When he visits Tulsa on Sunday for an appearance at Trek Expo 2007, he'll share that passion with fans, and he'll also be looking for something.
He's just finished directing and acting in a low-budget film tentatively called "Tempting Hyenas,” which stars Tulsa native Alfre Woodard. "I'm coming to my sister's hometown!” Burton said during a phone interview from his car while on his way to begin edits on his film. "What I'm looking for is the place that produced such an extraordinary human being; that's what I'm looking for. And I imagine I'll find it.” Burton, 50, played chief engineer Geordi La Forge for seven seasons on "Star Trek: The Next Generation” and in four feature films. "Tempting Hyenas” is his first film project with Woodard since 1996's "Star Trek: First Contact.” "Alfre called our work process every day on the set, she called it a master class, and that was such high praise because, A, her standards are really high and, B, she is a master,” he said. His latest project has him excited, and Burton says the movie he and his crew made is much better than the movie he made in his head when he decided to do the project. "My heart right now is in being a storyteller and telling stories that I care about,” he said.
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Trek Expo 2007•What: Sci-fi/fantasy convention featuring celebrities, merchandise, exhibitor booths, auctions, sneak previews and special events. •When: 6 to 10 p.m. today, 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Saturday and 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Sunday. •Where: Crowne Plaza Hotel, 100 E Second, Tulsa. •Tickets: Start at $20 for general admission. •Information: (918) 369-0650 or www.trekexpo.net. •Featured guests: LeVar Burton, Kate Mulgrew, Ron Glass, Claudia Christian, Suzie Plakson, Robert Picardo, Ethan Phillips, Andee Frizzell, Richard Anderson, Bonnie Piesse, Sean Kenney, Robin Wayne Bailey, Selina Rosen and Keith Birdsong. •Featured events: Supper With the Stars ($25), benefits Tulsa Boys Home, 7:30 p.m. Saturday, followed by Robert Picardo and Ethan Phillips in "House Calls” ($15). •Note: Many celebrities will attend Trek Expo all three days and will sell signed photos in the exhibitor area. Most charge to autograph items you bring. Some autographs require special tickets. For more information or the appearance schedule, go online to www.trekexpo.net.