How Star Trek Shaped Me


by Jason Zinger

Photo credit to Josh Henderson

Star Trek: The Next Generation is the first TV show I remember watching. Well, that and Quantum Leap. While I loved both, Star Trek has had a larger impact on me. Not only did I connect with it more, but it helped shape me into the person I am today…

Why I connected with Star Trek

A huge fan of both shows, my Dad is the one who introduced me to Star Trek – and Quantum Leap. I’ll never forget the night we sat down together and watched Encounter at Farpoint.

From that moment, I was hooked. For some time, Star Trek was the only thing that connected me with him. Even if we couldn’t talk about anything else, we could always bond over the latest TNG episode.

Over the years, I came to see Star Trek as a source of comfort. A source of relief. A source of knowing that no matter how tough things are, they can all work out okay.

Then, as I got older, I realized just how much Star Trek has shaped me.

Star Trek introduced me to new species and cultures. It taught me to be open to everyone, learning about their culture and experiences rather than jumping to conclusions.

Star Trek also showed me the hidden depths everyone has – even if you don’t always see them right away. You’ve got Riker taking a break from his first officer duties to show off his expert trombone skills. Then there’s Sisko, a captain who’s obsessed with the ancient Earth sport of baseball. Watch enough episodes and everyone on Star Trek will surprise you!

The final way Star Trek shaped me was by teaching me that everything is possible. Seriously. If Janeway can lead her crew back to the Alpha Quadrant, you can’t tell me that anything is a lost cause! Everything. Is. Possible. That message has always spoken to me. Now, in situations where other people might give up, declaring something impossible, I focus on trying to see the situation in a new way.

Star Trek has been a huge part of my life… and it remains one through The Dandies. One of the most exciting parts of our geek improv comedy show, Holodeck Follies is the way we bring our spoof Star Trek universe to life with sound effects, music, and costumes. Want to join the fun? Come see us on June 9 at Comedy Bar and every second Saturday of every month.