Interviewer: Why 1/8th Bev?
1/8th: Seriously? BASIC QUESTION here. OK!! I'm plastic, right? I mean, thank God I wasn't a cardboard cutout; life would REALLY have been one-dimensional. At least I have the possibility of standing up on my own two feet without a stand.
Interviewer: Why go public now?
1/8th: Because I lived in a box for more than a decade, my friend, in a dark storage unit. That's a lot of time staring through cellophane with only a trading card for a companion. I'm talking YEARS of inactivity! My Paramount/CBS-licensed-existence was a complete waste of packaging, I'll admit it. Life was lonely in the dark.
Interviewer: How did you manage to cope?
1/8th: I became tougher. Rigid. It felt, like, if someone didn't move my legs soon, I would stay motionless forever.
1/8th: My boss. Gates McFadden. I gotta say, she was my enabler. She needed me, so she gave me some responsibility instead of just paying storage fees. She literally opened up the box for me, and honey, I saw the light of day. We've both grown. Can't thank her enough… Wait... I take that back. I think I HAVE thanked her enough, but she's still making me work it off in the theatre. The world of plastic action figures is not for the faint of heart. You feel rigid because you ARE.
You show up at conventions ready to meet and greet the fans, but who wants to pay for such a tiny autograph? DO YOU HAVE ANY IDEA HOW LONG IT TAKES ME TO WRITE 1/8TH BEV ON A PHOTO? The pen weighs as much as my LEG and, without wrist joints, making the number 8 takes major core strength. I work hard at it. But you know the fans, they have no idea what the life of an action figure is really like. They imagine you flying first class, getting the best table at restaurants- lol. I live in the compartment in her purse while she’s on the king-size bed. I might as well be Tupperware in a uniform; a mime on the streets of Paris has more expressions. And forget about undressing. You feel like you are one of thousands, which is why I finally opted to have plastic action figure surgery. I was dying inside. I needed more plastic. Bigger boobs, longer legs, plastic hair extensions… or at least hair that moved. My flexibility is still compromised. For example, I can do splits but a pile' is impossible. But fans tell me my cheekbones have more definition.
Interviewer: Why travel with Gates?
Interviewer: What kind of jobs have you been able to get?
1/8: Sadly no one will hire me as a doctor, so I'm an Artistic Director for EST/LA in Los Angeles.
Interviewer: That's Ensemble Studio Theatre Los Angeles, right?
1/8th: Correct. Gates uses me and she admits it openly. She leans on me to bring awareness of her theatrical activities. It's called non-profit theatre. EST/LA. But I call it action-figure trafficking; you and I both know there are laws against that sort of thing. But I have respect for what she, no, what we're trying to do. You might not think so, but developing new plays with important stories and themes -- just like the series -- it's hard work. It takes a global village, ya know? And she and I are, somewhat unfortunately, iconoclasts. Yeah, in some ways being an Artistic Director of a not-for-profit theatre company is tougher than my warp-speed job as Surgeon General of the Universe! Of course, that was another century, so it's hard to make comparisons, but I want to be clear: I fervently hope to make it back to the way my life was when I was first molded.
Interviewer: Gates, anything to say in response?
Just in case you haven’t figured it out yet, Gates McFadden herself was gracious and game enough to be our guest interviewer and converse with her 1/8 counterpart. If you enjoyed the piece – hell, even if you didn’t – please check out her theater’s official site (click HERE), her 1/8 blog and also the ESTLA auctions on eBay, which raise funds for the theater group. Finally, Star Trek fans in L.A. should be sure to grab tickets for ESTLA’s upcoming benefit production of The Last Look Back, starring Brent Spiner and directed by McFadden, and set to run October 4, 5 and 6.