Nichelle Nichols began her professional singing and dancing career in her home town, Chicago, at the tender age of 14. As a teenager she was discovered by the great Duke Ellington, who hired her to choreograph and perform a ballet for one of his musical suites, and finished the tour as his lead singer. Nichelle has performed in the U.S., Canada, and Europe, including guest artist with Lionel Hampton’s band.
When Nichelle was cast by Gene Roddenberry to create Chief Communications Officer Lt. Uhura, fourth in command of the Starship Enterprise, in his legendary TV series Star Trek – in the words of Dr. Martin Luther King – it became “The first non-stereotypical role portrayed by a black woman in television history.” Nichelle subsequently co-starred in six blockbuster Star Trek motion pictures and is still in constant demand to appear before millions of “Trekkers” who keep the dream alive around the world.
Among her many notable TV and film credits, she co-starred with Cuba Gooding Jr. and James Coburn in the Disney motion picture Snow Dogs, with Ron Perlman and Daniel Riordan in the TV film Captain Zoom in Outer Space, and with Maxwell Caulfield and Levar Burton in the Sandy Howard film The Supernaturals, as well as singing and dancing with Sammy Davis Jr. in Porgy and Bess. Nichelle also co-starred on the NBC blockbuster television series “Heroes” as Micah’s grandmother Nana in the New Orleans storyline during Season 2.
Nichelle’s recent work in several independent features has allowed her to portray other challenging and varied characters. Among them, This Bitter Earth with Billy Dee Williams and Richard Roundtree, Tru Loved, co-starring with Jasmine Guy, The Torturer, a powerful three-character film/play that examines the psychological effect of our presence in Iraq, and Lady Magdelene’s, in which Nichelle both starred and Executive Produced. Lady Magdalene’s also showcases Nichelle’s talent as a singer and songwriter with two of her original compositions being used in the film.
She was twice nominated for the coveted Sarah Siddons Award for Best Actress for her performances in the theatre productions of Jenet’s The Blacks and the Oscar Brown Jr. musical Kicks and Company. She starred in the touring Broadway hits, Horowitz and Mrs. Washington, and Nunsense II. In her one-woman show, Reflections, she “becomes” twelve legendary female entertainers, using her beautiful three-octave vocal range to rave reviews.
Nichelle was guest soloist with the Erie Pennsylvania Philharmonic Orchestra for their 80th Anniversary Celebration as well as the solo artist with the Symphony Orchestra of the California State University-Northridge, where she previously was commencement speaker for their School of Arts.
Nichelle was awarded her much deserved star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame on January 9, 1992. Just a few weeks before she became the first African-American to place her handprints and signature in the cement walk at the famous Mann’s (Grauman’s) Chinese Theatre along with her other command crew members of the Starship Enterprise who were also honored in a special exhibit at the Smithsonian’s National Air and Space Museum in Washington DC, an unprecedented accolade for the entertainment industry.
Nichelle’s autobiography “Beyond Uhura”; her first sci-fi novel “Saturn’s Child”; and it’s sequel “Saturna’s Quest” received critical acclaim. Nichelle was conferred a Doctor of Arts, honoris causa, from Marywood College on their 80th anniversary at which she delivered the commencement address. In July 2002 she was inducted as an Honorary Member of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority.
Nichelle’s public service activities have been equally outstanding. In 1977 and 1978, under contract to NASA, Nichelle took on the daunting task to successfully recruit the first women and minority astronauts for the Space Shuttle Program, for which she received NASA’s distinguished Public Service Award for her pioneering efforts. She supports astronaut Dr. Mae Jemison’s youth foundation The Earth We Share and continues as a member of the Board of Governors of the National Space Society.
In 2004 Nichelle was selected as one of the International Human Rights Consortium’s Fete d’Excellence Laureates. The commendation reads:
You have been selected for the Medaille d’Excellence 2004 in the category of ‘Edutainment.’ This is in recognition of your being a true innovator, a woman of courage and commitment to the deepest values of excellence through your artistry within the world of entertainment and also as an innovative educator and patron to learning and inspiring the budding minds and hearts of youth.
NASA and Nichelle are once again working together. Their focus is on President Obama’s STEM Initiative which encourages America’s youth to pursue studies in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math as the US once again takes leadership in the advancement and exploration of space . At the behest of NASA Nichelle now travels to NASA Aames Research Center in California, Johnson Space Center in Houston TX, Cape Canaveral in Florida, NASA Headquarters in Washington DC and other youth oriented programs in support of STEM education and the space program. Partnering with Nichelle in these efforts is Ivor Dawson, the Founder of the Traveling Space Museum.
In addition to her work with NASA Nichelle is currently working with filmmaker Gilbert Bell on his new film project Omaha Street. Omaha Street will be shot with Nichelle serving in the dual role of Executive Producer and co-star.
To communicate with Nichelle:
Facebook = Nichelle Nichols Communication Page
George Takei is best known for his portrayal of Mr. Sulu in the acclaimed television and film series Star Trek.
He’s an actor, social justice activist, social media mega-power, star of the upcoming Broadway musical Allegiance, host of the AARP-produced YouTube series Takei’s Take, and subject of To Be Takei, a documentary on his life and career.
Takei’s acting career has spanned five decades, with more than 40 feature films and hundreds of television guest-starring roles to his credit. Takei is a member of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, Academy of Television Arts and Sciences, Actors’ Equity Association, and Screen Actors Guild-American Federation of Television and Radio Artists.
With the outbreak of World War II, Los Angeles, California-born Takei and his family were placed behind the barbed-wire enclosures of United States internment camps along with 120,000 other Japanese Americans. Takei spent most of his childhood at Camp Rohwer in the swamps of Arkansas and at wind-swept Camp Tule Lake in northern California. At the end of the war, Takei’s family returned to their native Los Angeles.
Inspired by this difficult chapter of American history, Takei developed the Broadway-bound musical Allegiance, an epic story of love, family and heroism in which he stars alongside Tony Award winner Lea Salonga. Allegiance’s record-breaking world premiere at the Old Globe Theatre in San Diego in 2012 won multiple awards and will be followed by a Broadway run in 2015.
Now a community activist, Takei serves as chair of the council of governors of East West Players, the nation’s foremost Asian Pacific American theater. He is also a member of the Human Rights Campaign, the largest national lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender political organization. Takei is Chairman Emeritus of the Japanese American National Museum’s Board of Trustees; a member of the US-Japan Bridging Foundation’s Board of Directors; and served on the Board of the Japan-United States Friendship Commission under President Clinton. In recognition of his contribution to the Japan-United States relationship, Takei was conferred with the Order of the Rising Sun, Gold Rays with Rosette by His Majesty the Emperor of Japan in 2004.
To Be Takei, a Jennifer M. Kroot documentary on the life and career of Takei, premiered at Sundance Film Festival in January 2014 and was released in select theaters across North America in August 2014.
Takei shared a Grammy nomination with Leonard Nimoy in 1987 in the Best Spoken Word or Non-Musical Recording category. Takei also received a star on Hollywood Boulevard’s Walk of Fame in 1986. And in 1991 he left his signature and hand print, in cement, in front of Grauman’s Chinese Theatre. His autobiography, To the Stars, was published in 1994, and in 2012 and 2013 he published Oh Myyy! There Goes The Internet, and its sequel, Lions And Tigers And Bears: The Internet Strikes Back – both about his forays on social media and the internet, making the Amazon e-book and paperback best-seller lists in 2012 and 2013.
Mashable.com has named Takei the most-influential person on Facebook, where currently he has more than 8.3 million likes. He has 1.5 million followers on Twitter.
Takei and his husband, Brad Takei, were married at the Japanese American National Museum on Sept. 14, 2008.
David Yost is an American actor most notably known for his role as Billy, the Blue Ranger on the international television series The Mighty Morphin’ Power Rangers. Yost completed over 200 episodes of the series and starred in the feature film Power Rangers: the Movie. The feature film was produced by some of Hollywood’s leading producers like Jon Landau (Titantic & Avatar) and Suzanne Todd (the Austin Powers franchise & Alice in Wonderland).
Carlos Ferro is one of the leading voice acting talents working in the industry today. A star of the award-winning, best-selling GEARS OF WAR, GEARS OF WAR 2 and GEARS OF WAR 3, Ferro is known to video game fans worldwide as the voice of COG soldier Dom Santiago. In addition to his work on GEARS, he is also known as the voice of Michael Corleone, head of the Corleone family in THE GODFATHER II and Leonardo da Vinci in ASSASSIN”S CREED 2, ASSASSIN’S CREED BROTHERHOOD and ASSASSIN’S CREED ASCENDANCE. Ferro has lent his voice to such well-known properties as FINAL FANTASY, BEWARE THE BATMAN, SCOOBY-DOO, THE CLEVELAND SHOW, JUSTICE LEAGUE, SPAWN, REIGN: THE CONQUERER, X-MEN: NEXT DIMENSION, TONY HAWK’S AMERICAN WASTELAND, SCARFACE: THE WORLD IS YOURS, QUANTUM OF SOLACE, INDIANA JONES AND THE STAFF OF KINGS, RANGO THE VIDEOGAME as well as the popular SAINTS ROW and UNCHARTED franchises. Anime fans know him as the evil Thomas Waltham from GOLGO 13: QUEEN BEE. Ferro is also an accomplished actor and club DJ who has starred in landmark television shows such as STAR TREK: THE NEXT GENERATION and tours under his DJ moniker “the Domfather.”
Since 2001, Christopher Bevins has directed, cast, produced, acted in, and/or adapted scripts for over 100 anime series, movies and specials. His anime acting credits include Japan in Hetalia, Yogi in Karneval, Apollo in Aquarion, Amata in Aquarion EVOL, Fastener in Panty & Stocking, Gandhi in Nobunagun, Life Cool in Yurikuma Arashi, Hagakure in Danganronpa: The Animation, Lahar in Fairy Tale, Sherlock Holmes in Soul Eater, Lafitte and Shu Shu in One Piece, Shishi Wakamaru in Yu Yu Hakusho, Mercutio in Romeo x Juliet, Hanamori in Princess Jellyfish, Bee the Puppy in Dragon Ball Z, and Beck the Dog in BECK: Mongolian Chop Squad. He can also be heard as various characters and critters in Space Dandy, Attack on Titan, Toriko, Steins;Gate, Baccano!, Fullmetal Alchemist (both series), Ouran High School Host Club, Sgt. Frog, Black Butler, Big Windup!, Shin chan, Fruits Basket, Case Closed and many more. Chris has also worked on several video games, most notably as the English-language voice of Dhalsim in the Street Fighter IV franchise, as well as numerous cannon-fodder characters in Borderlands 2.
Chris’ primary job is as a voice director, with casting and directing duties on Michiko & Hatchin, Princess Jellyfish, Karneval, Hetalia: The Beautiful World, BECK: Mongolian Chop Squad (with Taliesin Jaffe), Sengoku Basara, Aquarion EVOL, Jormungand, Last Exile – Fam, The Silver Wing, .hack//Quantum, King of Thorn, Heaven’s Lost Property, Samurai 7, Speed Grapher, Witchblade, El Cazador de la Bruja, Burst Angel, and Dragon Ball GT. His most recent directing work includes Danganronpa: The Animation, Ping Pong: The Animation, Yurikuma Arashi, Nobunagun, and Unbreakable Machine Doll.
Follow Christopher on Twitter @VoiceofBevins
Dana Snyder is an American stand-up comedian, actor, producer, and voice artist, best known for playing Master Shake in Aqua Teen Hunger Force, and the film Aqua Teen Hunger Force Colon Movie Film for Theaters, both part of Cartoon Network's Adult Swim franchise.
Snyder was hired to voice Master Shake on Aqua Teen Hunger Force, without auditioning, based solely on his speaking voice during a phone callto Dave Willis. Snyder also provided the voice of Gazpacho on Chowder, Todd and Benny Lee on the G4TV show Code Monkeys, "The Alchemist" on The Venture Bros., and Granny Cuyler on Squidbillies. He also voices Leonard the Koala in The Penguins of Madagascar and plays a teacher named "Mr. Baldwin" on the Disney series Fish Hooks. He played Alistair in Open Season 3. Snyder provided the voices of Sam as well as Cold Fusion Reactor Dad on the web series Suicide by Side. He also narrated the Adult Swim web series Sipes Stories that he co-produced with Andy Sipes. He has also starred on Adventure Time as The Wizard from the episode "Little Dude" in the fifth season. He also played the voice of Belcitane within the White Knight Chronicles, and the White Knight Chronicles II. He also shows up in the web series "Bravest Warriors" in season 2 episode 6.
Karan Ashley has had a career that has span over 20 years as an actress, singer, radio show host, reality star, writer and TV and film producer. Karan Ashley is currently working on the projects: Uncensored Reality, Uncensored Radio and Grow Up Already