View From The Table: Marc Singer
The erudite action-hero takes convention appearances seriously
Action-adventure hero and classically trained actor and playwright Marc Singer is busier than ever. In the span of the current calendar year, the versatile performer has guest-starred in an episode of AJ and the Queen, played the title role in the Southern Shakespeare Festival's production of Macbeth and is currently in casting mode for the world premiere of his new theatrical drama about the perils of Alzheimer's Disease.
This weekend he's in town for meet and greets with fans at Dragon Con, but the majority of the convention attendees will probably want to dwell on his past performances as The Beastmaster and the lead in V from the '80s or perhaps from his much more recent stints in Archer and Beauty and the Beast.
No matter the decade, the erudite entertainer welcomes anyone who takes the time to approach him. In fact, he encourages the interaction and conversations. You don't have to buy an autograph to spend a moment with Marc Singer at the Walk of Fame.
INsite spent a few moments in conversation with Singer last month to discuss his Dragon Con appearance.
Do you remember your first fan convention?
I do. Without mentioning the city, I do remember feeling very much like a fish out of water and I didn't quite understand the entire ethos of the event. But it was during that particular con that I actually began to feel a deeper social responsibility as a celebrity than I'd never felt before. I really began to feel a deep affection and a sense of gratitude for being included in the same humanity that attended the cons. As opposed to thinking that my side of the table was something that was somehow set apart.
The fans who make the effort to visit you are making a real effort to reach out and approach you at the table.
That's true and now I make it my business to greet everybody, shake hands and assure them that there's no transaction necessary - other than the fact that they can say hello. It's a good chance to see the people they've admired on the screen and really get a sense of meeting someone they might not have dared to come see otherwise. I love sending people along the celebrity route and encouraging them to speak to everybody.
That's such a healthy attitude. I've seen a few celebrities who seem to be "on the clock" when it comes to greeting fans.
I think those people are actually missing something. The gift is not in what we give to the public. And I hesitate to even set myself apart from anyone else by saying 'the public.' The gift is not what we bring to them, the gift is what we receive from them. If we're open to that and appreciative of that, it's a far greater gift than anything we can offer.
That's very true. If it weren't for their support over the years, you probably wouldn't be invited to the convention.
Not only that, but whatever stories we might be impacting in the future will be more impowered by the fact that we've embraced the stories of the people we're trying to communicate with.
It is fascinating the watch the interactions between the guests and the fans. You can see every possible emotion as you pass by the tables.
See it as this: I approach my duty as a guest as if I'm on a mission. For me, that mission is to validate whatever they may bring to the table that's positive. And to help ameliorate anything they may bring that is unformed in a negative sense. I am especially thrilled when a family approaches the table because I get a chance to encourage the younger generations and admire them for the possibilities of their lives and reinforce in them the idea that they really can have fun in their achievements all of their days.
As a veteran of the cons, I've seen some heartwarming moments as well as the jaded celebrities who are basically there to sell some stuff. Obviously you've seen it as well. The old, "Black and whites are 20 dollars and colors are 30" spiel.
Exactly. But the thing is, the guests should recognize in the fans that they share the same qualities. We all have some of the same qualities of fandom. We all have people we admire, whether it's from the stage or the screen or any field. We are all romanced by the dreams we see portrayed before us and the people who portrayed the characters within that dream. It's a wonderful exchange whenever I get a chance to meet the people I admire. So I can completely relate to the fans who attend the cons. I just hope that what they see in me when we meet will actually enhance whatever quality they imagined they saw in me in any particular role.
That's exactly why I haven't met a few of my heroes. I don't want to ruin the facade.
Right. You don't want to tarnish that image that you've carried with you for years, possibly. I remember meeting Clayton Moore who played The Lone Ranger. I was already a "star," if you want to call it that. I was the lead in the television series V. I was working on that and enjoying the fleeting glory of celebrity. But when I met Clayton Moore, I was just overwhelmed that I was speaking to the Lone Ranger. He was every bit as kind and heroic in person as I had always imagined him to be when I watched him on-screen. It was a great, wonderful moment for me. So I completely understand and empathize with the importance of that moment.
Dragon Con runs August 29 through September 2. For more information visit dragoncon.org.