Tuesday, December 29, 2015

Thank You, William Shatner

Michael Salsbury
Today, I'd like to express my gratitude to William (Bill) Shatner.  When I was younger, Bill's work as Captain James T. Kirk in the original Star Trek series was both entertaining and inspirational.  Shatner's portrayal of Kirk brought to life for me many things.  We saw Kirk's honor, loyalty, and discipline carry him through difficult situations.  We saw his iron will and determination bring him through torture, emotional crises, and overwhelming odds.  Shatner's acting, which some might call over-acting (but I don't), helped me realize from a very young age that we can endure much more in life than we realize by simply buckling down, gritting our teeth, and pushing through it.  Think of Shatner's Kirk fighting through some alien torture and imagining myself doing the same has gotten me through many challenges throughout life.

As much as Kirk inspired me, Shatner the man has inspired me far more. Yes, he's been an actor in such varied roles as a senile lawyer (Boston Legal), police officer (T.J. Hooker), and starship captain.  But he's also written novels and memoirs, recorded music albums, produced several television shows, voiced animated characters, and just about every other creative pursuit imaginable.  Some of them have been big hits, some may not have been, but the fact is that Bill Shatner took the risk.  He put himself and his reputation on the line to create something he believed in.  He's endured harsh criticism at times, but weathered it all with grace and self-deprecation.

Despite being over 80 years old, Bill hasn't stopped.  He's helped develop motorcycles, video games, commercials, breeds and shows quarter horses, plays on the World Poker Tour, charity work, and more.  He seems practically fearless and willing to try anything.  What's more, he seems to succeed at so many different things it's hard for me to think of him as "an actor" anymore.

I met Bill once, many years ago, at a convention in West Virginia.  He was charming, friendly, and humble despite the adoration being shown him by the attendees.

I continue to be amazed and inspired by Bill Shatner and the work he's done.  He's been an inspiration to take creative risks, to power through difficult situations, and gracefully endure critics.  More than anything, I wish him happiness and a long life. I hope someday to see you in person again, Bill, and thank you for all you've done for me from a distance.

About the Author

Michael Salsbury / Author & Editor

In his day job, Michael Salsbury helps administer over 1,800 Windows desktop computers for a Central Ohio non-profit. When he's not working, he's writing, blogging, podcasting, home brewing, or playing "warm furniture" to his two Bengal cats.


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