"Star Trek" actor John de Lancie teaching at Quartz Mountain, appearing at Tulsa's Trek Expo
John de Lancie of “Star Trek” fame teaches a class at the Oklahoma Summer Arts Institute at Quartz Mountain. (Photo by Ashley McKee/The Oklahoman)
From Friday’s Weekend Look section of The Oklahoman.
Sessions fit Q to a T at state arts institute
Actor John de Lancie is accustomed to playing many roles, from acting in TV shows, films and stage productions to directing radio plays and operas.
So, it’s not surprising that de Lancie, best known for playing the impish, godlike alien Q in “Star Trek: The Next Generation,” worked in some multitasking when he accepted a teaching position at this month’s Oklahoma Summer Arts Institute.
For the past two weeks, the 61-year-old performer has been training aspiring actors at the rigorous academy for Oklahoma high school students. The intensive program takes place “out on the frontier” at Quartz Mountain Resort Arts and Conference Center near Lone Wolf in southwest Oklahoma.
“I roll out of bed, go and teach, have a little something to eat for lunch, go and teach and have a little something for dinner, and listen to lectures. So, I’m arts-immersed … just like the kids,” he said with a laugh during a recent phone interview from Quartz Mountain.
Once his students give their final acting performance tonight, de Lancie is headed to Tulsa, where he will appear Saturday and Sunday at Trek Expo 2009.
Though he doesn’t do much teaching these days, he accepted the Quartz Mountain job because of the quality of the program. His usual instructor jobs involve professional actors rather than students – “you know, people who you can pressurize without any compunctions,” he said with a laugh.
“When you’re teaching young kids, a lot of them just haven’t done this … and they certainly haven’t done it at a level with somebody like myself who is coming from the point of view of saying, ‘Listen, this it’s how done and let me explain to you and show you,” he said. “There’s no coddling here because we’re putting up a show and it’s being done very quickly.”
A first-time instructor at Quartz Mountain, he said the program teaches students that just because they’re not in a scene doesn’t mean they’re not engaged in a performance. His students will perform tonight a spoofy adaptation of Arthur Conan Doyle’s “The Lost World,” a sort of performance art homage to radio shows, complete with musical ditties for commercials.
“We’re going to give a nod to the notion of a radio show, but there’s also a great deal of movement. … It is much more a play than it is a radio play,” he said. “It’s a three-ring circus.”
The multifaceted performer said his wide-ranging roles not only make him a better teacher, they make up just the kind of career he had in mind when he got into the entertainment business.
“I’m no good after about three months at anything. I am ready to move on, so the notion of seven years on a TV show is just not particularly something that I would be wanting to do,” he said. “My idea of a great year would be a play, a half dozen readings, a couple of movies, three or four TV shows to pay the bills.”
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