Whoosh! Issue 39 - December 1999

AN INTERVIEW WITH ROBERT TREBOR
Exclusive to Whoosh!
By Kym Masera Taborn and Cynthia Ward Cooper
Copyright © 1999 held by author
2239 words



Author's Note: Robert Trebor is the Renaissance man of the Xena and Hercaverses. He acts (Salmoneus, Marco, Francois Demarigny, and B.S. Hollingsfoffer), directs (Hercules: The Legendary Journeys' A Rock And A Hard Place), writes for the comics ("The Theft Of The Young Lovelies" Topps Xena Comics, nos. 1-3, 1997), appears at conventions, and on December 1, 1999, he will have a book released called "Dear Salmoneus; The World's First Guide To Love and Money".

The premise of "Dear Salmoneus" is that since Salmoneus is the one major mortal in the Xenaverse who has never died, he has been able to reincarnate endlessly throughout the millennia giving much needed advice on romantic and financial matters to the great and near-great. All the characters of both shows have asked Sal for counsel (including Argo), as well as such persons as Monica Lewinsky, Ken Starr, Jerry Springer, The Spice Girls, Stanley Kubrick, OJ Simpson, Margaret Thatcher, Anna Karenina, the Y2k Bug, Tamagoitchi, Ross Perot, Donald Trump, Gary Coleman -- the list is just too large to list here. There is also a 24 page photo spread with pictures never before seen anywhere (16 pages of new photos and the eight page photo essay "How To Hum To Fertilize Your Internal Flower"). The shipping date is scheduled to be December 1, 1999. If it is not in by then, you should be able to place pre-orders from your local bookstores. It is published by Image Publishing in Fullerton, California.




A Renaissance Man (01-05)
"Dear Salmoneus" (06-12)
Missing in Action? (13-14)
What's on the Agenda (15-16)
Salmoneus and Joxer (17-18)
Fan Club News (19-20)
The Convention Circuit (21-33)
Biography



An Interview With Robert Trebor



Robert suddenly realizes he's at a Buffy con by mistake

Robert Trebor, a man of many talents

A Renaissance Man

KYM MASERA TABORN:
[01] You are the Renaissance man of Hercules: The Legendary Journeys/Xena: Warrior Princess. You act, direct, write for comics, make convention appearances, and now have written the book, "Dear Salmoneus; The World's First Guide To Love and Money". Do you have any philosophy that you have developed to work on the show on so many different levels?

ROBERT TREBOR:
[02] (Blushing modestly at the Renaissance man remark.) Actually, I'm just trying to rekindle the creative bursts of energy I had when I was a kid. I used to compose music, write and direct 8mm and 16mm short films, create these odd kinetic sculptures and moving dioramas (I'd put my "John Smith" or "Pocahontas" on strips of construction paper extending out each end of the shoebox so you could move them in and out of the teepee. Do 3rd graders make these shoebox dioramas anymore? [Editor's Note: YES!]), write short stories and movie reviews, as well as act in plays. You know, the kind of activity a lot of children do when they don't want to play sports.

[03] Of course, one didn't have to earn a living in those days. A maxim I remember comes to me at this point, "Children are rewarded for being good; adults are rewarded for being useful". Of course the real pleasure as an adult is when you can combine the two. I'm just trying to flex creative muscles that may have remained dormant for a while and hope that the end product is both good and useful.

TABORN:
[04] Do you have any preference for a medium?

TREBOR:
[05] In terms of preference of a medium of creativity, whatever seems most challenging and fun at the time. I've really enjoyed writing this book ["Dear Salmoneus"] because there I was staring down the blank page everyday. Nothing to rely on but my "wits". I beat that sucker into submission on a regular basis!



"Dear Salmoneus"

With special pop-up insert.

Cover of "Dear Salmoneus"
Click here to see an enlargement of the above graphic
(click then go get a cup of java)


TABORN:
[06] What possessed you to write a Salmoneous book (as opposed to, say, an autobiography), and why now?

TREBOR:
[07] The reason I chose to write a humorous satire with Salmoneus as the World's first advice counselor rather than an autobiography is, I haven't lived long enough or led a debauched enough life at this point, unlike, say, Mr. Campbell (wink, wink, nudge nudge Bruce). Also, Salmoneus is way more popular than Robert Trebor, and I want to ride his broad hairy shoulders to financial glory!

[08] As to why now, someone bought my pitch and gave me an advance. Under those circumstances, I thought the only honorable thing to do was to sit down and write it.

TABORN:
[09] Could you share with us some of the content of this book?

TREBOR:
[10] This book, "Dear Salmoneus--The World First Guide to Love and Money", may be the most important investment you'll ever make on the road to romantic happiness and financial freedom! Or it may not be. Everyone's an individual. Salmoneus answers questions from all our favorite Greco-Roman characters of myth and legend, as well as modern day personalities like Monica Lewinsky, Jerry Springer, The Spice Girls, OJ, Stanley Kubrick, Donald Trump, and scads of other notables trying to find the pot of gold and/or a loving heart and trying to keep a protective distance between them.

TABORN:
[11] Do you have any PR tour planned?

TREBOR:
[12] I will be doing a signing in Orlando at Sci- Fi City sometime during the weekend of Dec 11. I will also be signing at some stores in Southern California before Christmas, details to be worked out. So look for me!



Missing in Action?

The chant for goiter removal

Salmoneus demonstrates on how to hum for inner peace and other needs,
from his forthcoming book, "Dear Salmoneus"


TABORN:
[13] Why has Salmoneus been absent for the past couple of seasons?

TREBOR:
[14] I honestly have no idea. You'd have to ask the producers and writers. I know I've been available.



What's on the Agenda

TABORN:
[15] What are your plans now that Hercules: The Legendary Journeys has ended, and there are not any appearances lined up for Xena?

TREBOR:
[16] I'm working on several projects to both act in and direct. I don't like to talk about them until they become more concrete. But one is a very exciting one-man show I'm writing for myself to act. It's an updating of Gogol's "Diary of a Madman" that takes place in modern day Russia. I've done 20 minutes of it for a workshop audience and it was extremely well received. I'm also going to act in a little movie called "Tropical Storm" at some point soon (wink to merpups).



Salmoneus and Joxer

TABORN:
[17] What are your opinions about the comparison between Salmoneus to Joxer in terms of sidekicks and character development?

TREBOR:
[18] Joxer's been in many more episodes than Sal, so he's had a wider chance to do more different kinds of behavior and reactions. It's only natural. It's a shame the writers never put Sal and Jox together in the same episode. I think it could have been hysterical.



Fan Club News

TABORN:
[19] Your fan club has been reorganized (president resigned, etc.). Do you wish to make any statement about that?

TREBOR:
[20] Actually my official fan club is disbanding (pause to wipe a tear away). I think this is true for many of the characters now. But there will be a wonderful final issue of the Fan club Magazine and my Palindrome Pals Website (http://www.bbtel.com/~michelle/BobTrebor/index.htm) will stay up so fans can know what I'm doing.



The Convention Circuit

New

Salmoneus reveals more about himself in "Dear Salmoneus"


TABORN:
[21] You were quite active in the convention circuit. Considered a "perk" of appearing on a popular TV genre show, how do you feel about the phenom? Did you do them before or was Hercules/Xena your first conventions?

TREBOR:
[22] Yes, Hercules and Xena were my first exposure to the wonderful wacky world of conventions.

TABORN:
[23] Have you done cons other than Creation? How do they compare?

TREBOR:
[24] I've now done many other conventions besides the official Creation ones. There are several comparisons and I really enjoy each kind of convention I do.

[25] Creation runs the convention very smoothly and professionally and their checks never bounce! This is of great interest to me, especially this past year (ahem, Northeast Supercon in NY, and I Think Therefore I Con in Houston, and Friends of Fantasy in Las Vegas). It really is a drag when enthusiastic people want you to attend their functions, agree to terms, and then have to renege on those terms because of inexperience and financial mismanagement. This is not good karma!

[26] On the other hand I had a wonderful time in London this past year due to Sean Harry's professionalism, and all terms were met. Last year in London, at the Hercules/Xena Symposium and also Cult TV, everything went swimmingly and a good time was had by all. It's nice to get more personal with the fans and spend more time with them than a Creation Con would permit you to do.

[27] In fact the vast majority of fan driven cons are a blast. Starland in Denver and Dragoncon in Atlanta were particularly delightful this year and I'm always up for attending one when I can. I just have to make sure a certified check is waiting for me when I arrive. Those few times when the hosts welch on you really leaves a bad taste in the mouth.

[28] Also, some fan cons expect me to sell my autograph, which I never, ever do. I always say I get paid for acting, not signing. On the other hand, I'll be happy and proud to sell my book, because that took real creative time and labor to produce.

TABORN:
[29] Is the con circuit as easy as it appears? Some actors look like deer in front of the headlights while others sail through. Do you think stage experience helps or is "coning" a different skill all together?

TREBOR:
[30] Isn't "coning" the removal of earwax by use of a candle and funnel? No, I'm afraid stage experience is not helpful at all in this highly suspect procedure. On the other hand, "conning" is an activity in which Salmoneus has particular expertise but I'm not going to give out any trade secrets here. As far as an actor appearing at a convention, yes, stage experience is very helpful to a performer at a Con, because you're working to a live audience, as opposed to a movie camera and crew. I love that aspect of it, the immediate feedback of laughter or applause, or food being thrown at you (just kidding). You'd get THAT in the theatre.

[31] My con experiences really make me want to get back onstage in a play. That's one of the reasons I'm working on this Diary of a Madman project.

TABORN:
[32] Do you have any advice for actors who face the opportunity to do the convention circuit?

TREBOR:
[33] My advice to any new con performers is relax and enjoy yourself! There's no need to put on an "act". The fans want to enjoy you and you're there because the hosts believe they already do, so that's 3/4 of the battle.




"Dear Salmoneus", available on December 1, 1999




Biography

Kym Masera Taborn Kym Masera Taborn
Editor-in-Chief/Publisher Whoosh!
IAXS Executive Committee Kahuna
http://whoosh.org/taborn
BA History 1980 (British and Commonwealth). MA Music 1984 (Early Music Performance Practices). JD Law (Just plain old law) 1991. Kym practices law for the Federal Government in the seismically active canyons of the Santa Monica Mountains. Kym was the founder of IAXS and currently is the President for Life. Kym is 41 and happily lives to tell of it in Calabasas, CA with Wes, her incredibly patient husband of thirteen years, and Ira, her loyal eleven year-old son. As Alan Freed avers he coined the term "rock and roll", Kym avers she coined the term "uber" to describe a genre of Xena fan fiction.
Favorite episode: It is still...DREAMWORKER (03/103)!! Let's face it, it is THE ONE.
Favorite line: Gabrielle to Xena: "You're not much for girl talk, are you? Of course, you're not like most girls." PROMETHEUS (08/108)
First episode seen: CRADLE OF HOPE (04/104)
Least favorite episode: THE QUILL IS MIGHTIER... (56/310)

Cynthia Ward Cooper Cynthia Ward Cooper
Editor, Xena FAQ
Assistant Editor, Whoosh!
Cynthia Cooper was born in Fort Riley, Kansas on December 18. Her early years were marked not only by incessant travel, but also by the knowledge that her birthdate had been calculated to maximize her parents' tax benefits. After a number of adventures, Cynthia moved to Dallas, where a promising career as a neo-punk hair model was cut short due to an unfortunate follicular accident. While waiting for her hair to grow back, she earned a master's degree, and is presently employed as a technical librarian in a Dallas-area academic library. Her present obsessions include Hong Kong action movies (thank you Rob Tapert!), Richard III, and the study of ritual cannibalism (though she hastens to assure all that she's a vegetarian). Cynthia has been an ardent Xenite since the very first broadcast, and frequently expresses the opinion that the world would be a far better place if everyone would just sit down together and watch Xena once a week.
Favorite episode to rewatch: THE DEBT (52-53/306-307), and DESTINY (36/212) ("I like the flashback eps")
Favorite episode overall: THE GREATER GOOD (21/221) and REMEMBER NOTHING (26/202) Anything with the Amazons
Favorite line: Xena: "I've got nothing but bad news for you" DESTINY (36/212)
First episode seen: SINS OF THE PAST (01/101)
Least favorite episode: A SOLSTICE CAROL (33/209)

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