Generally, our friends tend to be like us. We share interests of course but we also tend to have walked similar paths. When the stories of our childhoods are interchangeable we feel a stronger connection to one another. It’s a beautiful bit of meaningfulness that makes for common ground. Shared experience is the bedrock of connection and sometimes that can come from unexpected places. For Jeff, it was during a Q&A session with Vic Mignogna:
Jeff: Last Fanexpo Vic Mignogna was hosting a screening of Star Trek Continues. He plays Kirk in the series and was showing the newest episode.
Moh: What is Star Trek Continues?
Jeff: It’s basically a bunch of stars taking on the roles of the characters from the original series to complete the old 5 year mission the first Enterprise was on. They shoot and act in the same style as the series.
Moh: So what made this stand out for you?
Jeff: Well I was there with another friend and after the screening someone asked him if they would keep going after finishing that 5 year mission. I think she asked about whether or not they would do a comic crossover with Dr. Who or one of the dozens that the comics have done over the years.
Moh: Sounds fun, what was Vic’s response?
Jeff: That they wouldn’t do it. Thing is, he started talking about his childhood and that really hit home for me. That he was a kid and wanted to go to space in the same years that the big Sci-Fi stuff started happening. Trek, Star Wars, Dr. Who. He went on and on about how it doesn’t matter what you like, that there is no hierarchy. You like what you like and he likes it all.
Moh: Your thoughts?
Jeff: How could I deny it? I’m a living example of it. I think most people are. That we like all sorts of things. Hell as he is starring in a Star Trek passion project I’m watching it with a Dr. Who tattoo on my arm.
Moh: I can see why that would stand out.
Jeff: Oh, that’s not the memorable part. I got to show him.
Moh: At the Q&A?
Jeff: Just after. He stuck around to meet with people and I showed him my tattoo. He smiled ear to ear when I told him how much it meant to hear my childhood mirrored by his own. It was like meeting a future version of myself if that makes sense. Like, him discovering different sorts of Sci-Fi and Fantasy and just revelling in it? I think that’s what it’s like for most people. That they don’t choose a side, they just go with what they enjoy. As funny as the joke sometimes is about nerd rivalries I think it’s all fake. We all usually just like what we like and find some common ground or have friendly debate. Hearing someone who works in the industry say things like that publicly? Makes you feel good.
Common ground is a magical thing no matter where you find it but it feels great when it comes from on high.