Before They Die

Our next episode of Holodeck Follies, “Vulcan Hissy Fit”, is next week and, as with each month, I am unsure where to shine the performer spotlight first. It was requested that I speak first of our (normally) unsung heroes — the cast of extras that join us monthly.

Since the inception of Holodeck Follies, I have tried to fight against the statistically disproven cultural belief that wearing a red shirt in Star Trek automatically meant death.

Since you can’t beat them, I might as well join them in honouring this belief. And so, to kick off the performer spotlight, we will officially unveil our Red Shirt Brigade, who will suffer for your enjoyment.

Hugh Cameron joined us for our pilot episode as Ensign T. Early Grey Hott. Half Shatner, half Khan, Ensign Hott was as comfortable in the Mirror Universe as our own. As such, he was a stranger in a strange land when it came to the new ways of the Federation. Will his next return cause ripples across the quadrant? Are tribbles the mortal enemy of Klingons? (Yes!)

Alan Leightizer has shared the stage with us from the beginning, originating the role Ensign Guy Guyson. Ensign Guyson has proven that there may be some credence to the Red Shirt curse, with his recurring demises — it doesn’t hurt that it is a funny bit. He may have received a promotion, but a change in uniform colour does not protect him from his fate.

Zach Mealia has shared the stage with us a few times, including in our special Close Shave fundraiser. His red shirts tend to be rambunctious and well-suited to getting under the skin of the Captain. Last month, he made his official entrance as Ensign Enson Zach, the cargo bay pilfering ensign with the mischievous smile. So far he has survived, but the future is unknown for each of us… especially those named Enson.

Jason Donovan has shared the stage with us once before and it felt right enough to warrant making him a junior bridge officer. His character, Ensign Macauley Mulligan, is new to the Albatross, so his fate is still unknown.

Deanna Dalzell is our guest Ensign this month. Resembling her namesake, Deanna Troi, won’t save her from away mission hijinks, hijacks, and high adventure. It is guaranteed that she has a target on her back, but from whom and from where? The Prime Directive (your enjoyment) forbids us from spoilers.

Lara Harb will be joining us as Ensign Starlight Sauvignon come the summer. Until then, she is safe but she promised to brush up her Ferengi! You may remember her from her guest appearance with KERL, re-enacting Star Trek without having seen it.

So you see, not all red shirts get killed right away! If you include our past guest red shirts, the loss is negligible! Will that change? Does Q mess with Federation captains? (Yes!)

Check out the bios for our Red Shirt Brigade as well as our primary characters, and come welcome them on May 7th at Black Swan Comedy.

Postscript: The title came from me mis-reading a comment by Amanda, a Cocksure Lass (and super-supporter of The Dandies) who thought it sounded like a Cole Porter song.

Thus, here is my first pass at a parody tribute to our Red Shirt Brigade based on Cole Porter’s “True Love”.

Before We Die
Suntanned, windblown
On an away mission on our own
Feeling far above par
Oh, before we die

While the Prime Directive will be our guide
Strange new worlds, seek out new life
So on and on it will always be
Oh, before we die

For you and I have the Albatross
On high, with nothing to do
But to protect and watch over you and me
Live long forever, forever

For you and I have the Albatross
On high, with nothing to do
But to protect or at least retrieve you and me
Live long forever, forever
Oh, before we die