The Duality of Leonard Nimoy

With all of the STAR TREK cast members Ive had the sheer pleasure of meeting over the years, the only time I had a chance to speak with Leonard Nimoy was during his 2010 appearance at Dallas Comic Con. I was doing some studying up on a panel (I think it was the FLASH panel with John Wesley Shipp and Amanda Pays), when Nimoy stopped into the Green Room for a break. Knowing it was likely my only time where Id see him that weekend, I waited for an appropriate moment (where he wasnt eating or drinking anything), introduced myself, and asked about his love of photography.

Over the last 40 years, hes had numerous art installations of his stunning portraits, but the one that I was floored by was his series of black-and-white shots of women as goddesses through various cultures. He positively beamed, and mentioned that he had the luxury of being able to put another project he had been working on called SECRET SELVES, where he asked people from all walks of life Who do you think you are? and shot the resulting answers. (That exhibit has since been published, and well worth your time and Amazon dollars.)

Not once did either of us mention TREK, Spock, or sci-fi. The moment passed, and I had already intruded far too much on his time. I thanked him for his vision, and left him to his break.

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Growing up as a fan of STAR TREK, there are things you latch on to. Kirks bravado. Scottys mania. McCoys hissy fits. Uhuras grace. When it came to Spock, we latched on to something else his duality. His constant struggle to maintain composure and heritage, while working with hundreds of sentients who were the epitome of bellowing chimpanzees when compared to Vulcan stoicism. When he would skewer someone (usually McCoy) with a deliberate barb, it was to not confuse his calculating nature for aloofness or dispassion. Later, when Kirk (prematurely eulogizing Spock in WRATH OF KHAN) said his [soul] was the most human, it broke us, because we knew the dichotomy of the statement rang truest of all.

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As a child, I spent accumulated days in front of my mirror working to arch my left eyebrow. DAYS.

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When Nimoy reprised Spock for the Abrams TREK films (Spock Prime, hes called), it serves as a vision of the Vulcan / Human at peace with himself. It reminds me of how Nimoy finally came to terms with his dual nature, where there was everything else he did charity work, acting in MANY other roles, directing, and the photography and there was Spock, looming over everything else. The two most successful books Nimoy produced were his 1975 autobiography I AM NOT SPOCK and his 1995 counterpart tome, I AM SPOCK.

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I cant eulogize Nimoy, as I only knew him from his work, and our five minutes of conversation. What I can say is his passing leaves a hole in my heart, and the hearts of legions of fans worldwide.