Star Trek’s Chase Masterson special guest at Bakersfield Comic Con

Rick's Reviews

Chase Masterson will be one of the special guests at the Bakersfield Comic Con. (Photo courtesy of Chase Masterson)

BAKERSFIELD, Calif. (OPINION) — Those attending the Bakersfield Comic Con being held Nov. 20 and 21 at the Kern County Fairgrounds, 1142 South P Street, will have a rare opportunity. Special guest Chase Masterson – whose long list of acting credits include playing the Bajoran Dabo girl Leeta on “Star Trek: Deep Space Nine” – generally only attends larger conventions.

Masterson agreed to make the trip to Bakersfield as a favor to those who are putting on the convention.

“I have done quite a few conventions but obviously with the pandemic, things changed,” Masterson says. “Steve (Wyatt) is such a great friend, I wanted to do Bakersfield.”

Joining Masterson as special guests for the two-day event will be: legendary drummer Simon Wright; comic artist Larry Hama; artist/inker Sam de la Rosa; actress Diane Salinger; and Disney artist Mike Royer.

Hours of the convention are 10 a.m. – 5 p.m. each day. Admission for those 12 and older is $10 for one day and $16 for both. There is no charge for those under the age of 12. There is a $5 charge for parking.

The reason Masterson attends conventions is twofold. She loves the opportunity to meet and talk with fans. She’s still amazed there is so much attention for her time on “Deep Space Nine” despite that show ending more than two decades ago.

A bigger driving force for Masterson is that conventions give her the opportunity to talk about a social issue that is extremely important to her. Masterson, who experienced bullying while in school, co-founded the Pop Culture Hero Coalition in 2013. It is a non-profit organization that speaks out against bullying, racism, misogyny, cyber-bullying, LGBT-bullying and other forms of hate.

“This is a wonderful way to let people know the work we are doing with the coalition,” Masterson says. “The coalition is one of my great passions because I believe the work we are doing is so powerful. We are truly impacting lives.

“It’s such important work and the need is so great. I see a direct relationship between stories we love and love to celebrate at comic cons and how they can impact our real lives.”

Getting the chance to share her message is definitely a direct result of the long career the Colorado native has amassed. After finding a passion for acting through her mother who was a theater director, Masterson headed to Los Angeles.

Her first major acting role was playing Ivy Lief on the daytime drama “General Hospital.” Masterson found working in that arena where an episode is filmed in a day to be a good training ground.

“Daytime drama has a lot of demands for an actor in terms of you having chops especially if you are on every day. It is quite a workout,” Masterson says. “A lot of people scoff at soaps but no part of this business is easy.”

She used those skills in a variety of entertainment jobs that ranged from guest spots on “ER” and “Sliders” to the film “Yesterday Was a Lie.” She’s also been the voice in “Robotech: The Shadow Chronicles,” hosted “Sci-Fi Entertainment” and starred in the audio production “Vienna.”

Her career is loaded with projects that fall under the sci-fi umbrella. She didn’t grow up as a particular fan of the genre but once she worked on “Deep Space Nine,” that world was opened up to her.

“‘Deep Space Nine” was a show that I had actually prayed to be on. I knew that ‘Star Trek’ had a very solid following for its actors,” Masterson says. “It was an excellent decision in terms of the art and business of show business.

“It was a great show and had a strong connection to its audience. So, I knew it would be a great idea. What it has done for me has surpassed what I had expected.”

Masterson stresses that acting is her first love but she has also pursued a career in music. Along with getting to sing in many of her acting jobs, Masterson has released several independent jazz CDs.

“I always sang and danced from an early age. My first acting role was in ‘Oklahoma’ when I was 5. I was in the chorus,” Masterson says. “Singing and dancing was always something that was dear to my heart.

“The work as an actor has always taken precedence although I love the work as a singer. It is particularly wonderful to be able to express intentions, thoughts and feelings as a singer. There is an intimacy that music brings to people that is so powerful. I don’t know if I feel like I am better as an actress but that has always been my focus.”

She will share her passion for acting, music and her work as an activist at the Bakersfield Comic Con. For more information visit the event’s website.

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