FAN FOCUS: Kevin Palm

In addition to the “Farragut Spotlight” segments, I’m rolling out a new segment called “Fan Focus” – this series of blog segments will showcase Starship Farragut‘s dedicated and supportive fans. 

By the way, thanks to Michael Struck of NEO f/x for the FAN FOCUS video – I had envisioned to incorporate video blogs as part of “MyCaptainsBlog.com” and will do so in the near future…   

For our first FAN FOCUS – I thought we’d focus on Kevin Palm.  Kevin is also known on the Starship Farragut forum as “PiperKev” as he can play some mean notes on bagpipes!   Its also worth pointing out that Kevin served onboard the naval destroyer that bears our ship’s namesake – U.S.S. Farragut (DDG-37) – he’s a true Farraguteer in every sense of the word! 

Kevin Palm (aka PiperKev)

Kevin Palm (aka PiperKev)

 *  Kevin – you’ve been a big supporter of our project and really seem to like Starship Farragut.  We pride ourselves in making “CLASSIC TREK NOW.”  What is it about our project that has made you such a dedicated fan?

I’ve probably said this on the forums to the point that folks are sick of hearing me say it but, in a nutshell, it’s the characters.  Starship Farragut first came to my attention through a set of coincidences.  I had really lost interest in broadcast Star Trek after The Next Generation ended.  I tried to get into Deep Space Nine, Voyager, and even Enterprise, but they just left me cold.  One day, and I can’t remember what led me to it, I stumbled across James Cawley’s Star Trek: New Voyages project and was immediately intrigued by the audacity of someone attempting to make their own Star Trek!!  I saw their pilot and first episode, then I began seeing posts about this new project that was coming online, Starship Farragut.  Well, I spent 12 years in the Navy, and the first ship I was assigned to after boot camp was the guided missile destroyer USS Farragut (DDG-37), so, understandably, my interest was piqued.  I visited your site, looked around, and was extremely impressed by the fact that there was an entire section devoted to the history of the Farragut name, including all of the previous ships named Farragut and the Admiral himself.  No other Trek fan film project had, to my knowledge, delved much into the rich real life naval history that is at the heart of Star Trek.  I was immediately hooked, but my first viewing of “The Captaincy” reeled me in!  Granted, I hadn’t had much exposure to fan films other than New Voyages, but the one thing that became immediately apparent to me was that the main characters seemed like people who had lives before the events in the episode and that made them come alive before my eyes.  That’s one of the main things that makes me a strong Farragut supporter, beyond the awesome special effects and great stories:  the strong characters.  No stunt casting, no retreads of old material, just good storytelling with real characters.  “For Want of a Nail,” I think, raised the fan film bar significantly and proved that you can have a totally original story while being faithful to the TOS era.

*  Is there anything with our project that you’d like to see happen?  For example – any possible storylines or relationships explored? 

One of the things I’d like to see has already happened, after a fashion.  I’ve said numerous times how one of the things that grabbed me about Starship Farragut was the depth of the characters and their implied backstory.  These people have a history together, and I really would’ve liked to see how that came about, like the basis for Tacket and Smithfield’s relationship, how Carter and Tacket first met, etc.  A lot of that was revealed in “Just Passing Through,” which I was fortunate enough to see at the Crew Logs premiere last November.  I’m really hoping that JPT will be reshot and released to the public, because I feel that it adds so much to the depth of the characters.  Beyond that, it would be nice to have a story that has some emotional impact (personal tragedy?) on at least one of the “big three,” because I think that you guys can pull it off, your acting has improved that much.  And, of course, more kicking of Klingon butt!!  ;-D   

*  When we premiered A ROCK AND A HARD PLACE, as well as JUST PASSING THROUGH – you came out from Ohio to see the event and hang-out with us.  What was it like interacting with the cast and crew?

I had absolute blast!  I immediately felt like part of the Farragut family, but I will confess to feeling a bit star-struck at first since I was meeting people whom until then I’d really only seen onscreen.  Mike Bednar took me under his wing, so to speak, when I came down and I was able to spend a lot of time with him and Holly prior to driving up to the premiere.  I want to thank them both again publicly for their hospitality!  He took me to the storage area where I got to see the shuttlecraft and transporter consoles up close, and I also got to handle some of the “hero” props.  Talk about craftsmanship!  I’m sure they looked better up close than the original set pieces did!  ;-D  Getting to chat with you, your dad, Bob, Amy, Mark, Eric, and Michael Day was a treat because it just reinforced to me what a class act Starship Farragut is!  You’re just folks, the same as me, who have created an extraordinary opportunity to do something you love and to have other people get enjoyment out of it.  Not everyone gets to do that!  I’ve made some friendships out of the project and have been able to meet up with Farragut folks on a few other occasions.  I met up with Guy Davis and his fiancée in Texas back in June, and I’m hoping to meet up with Bob and Amy in a couple of weeks when my pipe band lays at Penn’s Colony in Pennsylvania.  That should be fun! 

Starship Farragut Premiere After-Party (November 2008)

Starship Farragut Premiere After-Party (November 2008)

*  Like me, you were in the U.S. Navy – I joined primarily because I needed money for college, but admittedly – I liked the naval structure, which is similar to the rank/command structure of Star Trek.  Was there any influence on you from Star Trek to select the Navy as opposed to the Army or Air Force?

Not really, believe it or not.  I grew up in a fairly small town in Ohio, and my employment prospects out of high school were pretty limited.  I kind of kicked around from job to job for a year or so after I graduated in 1979.  My brother, who was a Hospital Corpsman in the Navy, finally took me aside and suggested that the Navy would be a great opportunity for me both to get out of town and to get myself some excellent career skills.  It was the best advice he’s ever given me.  Well, next to introducing me to the woman who is now my wife!  ;-D   The military structure has served me well throughout my life, and it’s given me tremendous opportunities that I feel I wouldn’t have ordinarily gotten had I not served.  I received my BA while enlisted, so the college money was a definite plus!

*  With our sets in St. Mary’s, Georgia – do you think you’ll be able to come down and visit us when we film our next episodic film?  We’d love to have you there.

Wow, I’d love to be able to say, “yes,” because I’d LOVE to watch you film or to help out on the set in any way that I can, but it’s probably not going to be in the cards for a while, at least.  It’s a bit of a haul for me, but who knows?  I’ve learned, as clichéd as it sounds, to never say “never.”  Until then, I’ll continue to support Starship Farragut in any way that I can.  BTW, if you ever need a bagpiper in an episode, I’ll be all too happy to help!  ;-D

* Any last thoughts you’d like to share?

I just want to say how proud and happy I am for Starship Farragut for the way that your acting, stories, and production values have continued to improve in leaps and bounds since “The Captaincy.”  I was extremely happy for you when you got the studio space in Georgia, and I can’t wait to see the first episodes filmed on them!

Thanks Kevin – it’s fans like you who help the Starship Farragut stay underway!

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2 Responses to “FAN FOCUS: Kevin Palm”

  1. Kevin Palm Says:

    Thanks, John! It looks like one of my wishes has already come to pass:

    http://www.starshipfarragut.com/jpt_reshoot.php

    Very cool!

  2. Greg Greene Says:

    Fan focus is just another thing that makes Farragut awsome! Kievn, the fact that u served on the Farragut. I met John, Mike, Mike, and Holly at the St. Marys studio on Sept 12th. They must have a way with people, I felt right at home also. John gave me a tour, showed me the shuttle craft. Then we took it apart to make room for the bridge.
    Piper Kev you just have to find your way to St. Marys Ga. You wont be disapointed.

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