Eric L. Watts, Dragon*Con Director of Star Trek ProgrammingEric L. Watts
Dragon*Con Director of Star Trek Programming
Eric first began watching the original Star Trek series in the afternoon after getting home from junior high school in the early 1970s.  As a high school sophomore, hoping to connect with other fans of the show, he bought a copy of All About Star Trek Fan Clubs in 1977 and was amazed to discover that one of the names on the magazine's pen-pal list was a fellow student in one of his very own classes!  He introduced himself to her, who then loaned him a copy of the fanzine Off the Beaten Trek, in which the lead story dealt with how Spock had to deal with the death of Captain Kirk on a landing party mission.  A lifelong friendship---and a brand new Trekkie---was born!  A year later, in 1978, he attended his very first Star Trek convention: Vul-Con, a one-day event at Greenville (S.C.) Technical College with no guests but an auditorium filled with fanzines, home-made costumes and enthusiastic fans buzzing with rumors about the possibility of Star Trek returning as a major motion picture!
       In the summer of 1980, Eric founded the United Federation of Trekkers in Columbia, S.C., of which he served as president for the next eight years.  Within three years, the UFT grew to become the largest Star Trek fan club in the state, with over one hundred dues-paying members.  As president, he was a featured guest on the daily radio talk shows on WIS-AM 56 and WSOC-FM 100, was interviewed on several occasions by The State, The Carolina Reporter and The (USC) Gamecock newspapers, and in 1983 was featured in a segment of Columbia's local edition of PM Magazine, on WIS-TV.  Eric also served as editor and publisher of the UFT's monthly newsletter, Captain's Quarters, which at one point was sold on local newsstands as a mini-fanzine, as well as the UFT's one-shot fanzine, Star Sector One.  Club activities included monthly meetings, viewings of original series episodes on 35mm film at the local planetarium, serving as costumed ushers for a science fiction-themed concert presented by the Columbia Philharmonic Orchestra, attending Star Trek motion picture premieres in costume and annual picnics and barbecues at a local park.  After eight glorious years, Eric resigned the presidency of the UFT and editorship of its newsletter in 1988 and relocated to Atlanta, Georgia, to attend the Art Institute of Atlanta.
        In 1990, Eric joined the Atlanta in '95 WorldCon Bid Committee, a group dedicated to bringing the 1995 WorldCon to Atlanta.  During the next two years, he served the bid committee as its Volunteer Coordinator and as Central Mailer of its internal amateur press association, Atlapa.  It was during this period that he met, worked with and became friends with Ed Kramer, a founder and then-chairman of Dragon*Con.  At the 1992 WorldCon in Orlando, following the announcement of Glasgow, Scotland's successful bid for the 1995 WorldCon, Ed asked Eric to join the Dragon*Con organization and develop a track of programming devoted to Star Trek.  Nine months later, in July 1993, Eric unleashed the very first TrekTrak... and Dragon*Con has never been the same!  Fourteen years, more than three hundred programming events and many dozens of programming participants later, TrekTrak, under Eric's singular direction, has become one of Dragon*Con's most popular, well-attended and highly respected tracks of programming.  In 2002, in recognition of TrekTrak's tenth year and its many contributions and achievements that helped make Dragon*Con the twelfth largest annual convention in Atlanta, Mayor Shirley Franklin proclaimed September 2, 2002 as "TrekTrak Day" in the City of Atlanta.  In 2005 and again in 2006, TrekTrak's most popular annual event, the Miss Klingon Empire Beauty Pageant, was recognized by America Online as one of the Top 11 Most Offbeat Beauty Pageants Across America.  The MKE pageant has also been featured in Discover magazine, Shock magazine, Spin magazine, Creative Loafing and on
        In 2003, Eric published Star Sector Two, a 72-page Star Trek fanzine set entirely in the Original Series universe.  In addition to his service aboard the USS Republic, he is also a member of the IKAV Nemesis, the IKV Blackfire and an honorary lifetime member of the Klingon Imperial Embassy.  Eric was honored to be selected as the Fan Guest of Honor at Sci-Fi Summer Con in Atlanta in June 2004.
        In September 2006, Eric served as a production assistant on the upstate New York set of Star Trek: New Voyages during the filming of the episode "World Enough and Time," featuring George Takei as Lt. Sulu.  In October 2006, Eric was interviewed by CNN's Hong Kong news anchor Hugh Riminton about Star Trek's 40th anniversary in a segment on CNN Today, broadcast live around the world on CNN International.  Later the same month, he appeared in Star Trek costume in an episode of CNN's Future Summit program featuring "iconic sci-fi forms of travel."
        Eric joined the USS Republic NCC-1371, a chapter of STARFLEET International, in 2003 and was elected Commanding Officer in May 2006.  After establishing an all-new Internet presence for the chapter, creating a successful Member Benefits program for the membership, coordinating a busy schedule of chapter activities and nearly tripling the membership roster in his first six months, Commander Watts was promoted to Captain by STARFLEET International in December 2006.  In March 2007, Captain Watts received the STARFLEET Region 2 Commanding Officer of the Year Award at the 2007 Region 2 Summit in Columbus, Georgia, and in August 2007, he was awarded the STARFLEET International
Commanding Officer of the Year at the STARFLEET International Conference in Denver, Colorado.  At the 2008 Region 2 Summit in Montgomery, Alabama, in March 2008, Captain Watts received the Region's Best Printed Newsletter, Most Informative Web Site and Recruiters awards.
        Eric created and was the editor and publisher of The New Moon Directory, an annual index to amateur press associations, from 1988 to 1997.  He was a member of the amateur press association Imaginapa from 1980 to 2002 and served as its elected Central Mailer for 14 of its 23 years.  He is also a former member of several other amateur press associations, including Apa Enterprise, Talking of Trek, GAPS, Atlapa and Dragon*Citings.
        Eric is currently performing in his thirteenth season as a member of the Atlanta Gay Men's Chorus.  Since 1993, he has served that organization at various times as newsletter editor, web site administrator, marketing committee chairman, office manager and a two-year term on its Board of Directors, and he currently serves on the archives and marketing committees.  He is also a member of Atlanta Prime Timers and Georgia Right to Life, and a former longtime member of Southern Bears, for whom he also served a one-year term on its Board of Directors and briefly as newsletter editor.
        Eric started performing stand-up comedy in 2000 and has performed at The Comedy House in Kennesaw, Eddie's Attic in Decatur and The Kudzoo Cantina in Bowdon.  In May 2000, he placed as a finalist in WB36's Late Nite Laff-Off competition at Dave & Buster's in Duluth, and was a featured performer at Eddie's Attic's Third Annual Gay Comedy Festival in June 2001.
        An avid karaoke fan, Eric took first place in a local karaoke competition associated with the Karaoke World Contest USA organization in February 2006.  He then advanced to the Georgia state finals, where he took third place in March 2006.  That led him to the Region 6 semifinals (GA, AL, TN, NC, SC, FL), held in Pell City, Alabama, in May 2006, where he competed against 26 excellent vocalists and where he says he "had fun."
        Eric is Dragon*Con's longest-tenured track director and is honored to serve this, his sixteenth year, as Dragon*Con's Director of Star Trek Programming.

With JONATHAN FRAKES (William Riker), 2007.

With GATES McFADDEN (Beverly Crusher), 2007.

With BRENT SPINER (Data), 2007.

With GEORGE TAKEI (Mr. Sulu)
, 2006.

With GEORGE TAKEI (Mr. Sulu)
, 2006.

, 2006.

With LeVAR BURTON (Geordi LaForge) and MARINA SIRTIS (Deanna Troi), 2005.

With MAX GRODENCHIK (Rom), 2005.

, 2005.

With LeVAR BURTON (Geordi LaForge), 2005.

With GARRETT WANG (Harry Kim), 2004.

With GEORGE TAKEI (Mr. Sulu), 2003.

With JAMES DOOHAN (Montgomery Scott), 2001.
Eric with Grace Lee Whitney, Dragon*Con 1999
With GRACE LEE WHITNEY (Janice Rand), 1999.
Eric with Robin Curtis, Dragon*Con 1998
With ROBIN CURTIS (Lt. Saavik), 1998.
Eric with Chase Masterson, Dragon*Con 1997
With CHASE MASTERSON (Leeta), 1997.
Eric with Ethan Phillips (Neelix), 1998
With ETHAN PHILLIPS (Neelix), 1998.
Eric with Robert Beltran (Commander Chakotay), September 1997
With ROBERT BELTRAN (Chakotay), 1997.
Eric with Nana Visitor (Kira Nureys), 1997
With NANA VISITOR (Kira Nureys), 1997.
Eric with Roxanne Dawson (Lt. B'Elanna Torres), May 1996
With ROXANN DAWSON (B'Elanna Torres), 1996.
Eric with Siddig el-Fadil (Dr. Julian Bashir), May 1995
With SIDDIG EL-FADIL (Dr. Bashir), 1995.
Eric with Andrew J. Robinson (Garak), May 1995
With ANDREW J. ROBINSON (Garak), 1995.
Eric with John DeLancie (Q), May 1995
With JOHN DeLANCIE (Q), 1995.
Eric with Majel Barrett Roddenberry (Nurse Chapel, Lwaxana Troi), May 1995
Eric with Rene Oberjonois (Security Chief Odo), October 1994
With RENE OBERJONOIS (Odo), 1994.
Eric with Armin Shimerman (Quark), March 1994
With ARMIN SHIMERMAN (Quark), 1994.
Eric with Patrick Stewart (Captain Jean-Luc Picard), October 1993
With PATRICK STEWART (Jean-Luc Picard), 1993.
Eric with Kim Cattrall (Lt. Valeris), June 1993
With KIM CATTRALL (Lt. Valeris), 1993.
Eric with Colm Meaney (Chief Miles O'Brien), June 1993
With COLM MEANEY (Miles O'Brien), 1993.
Eric with Marina Sirtis (Counselor Deanna Troi), 1992
With MARINA SIRTIS (Deanna Troi), 1992.
Eric with Michael Dorn (Worf), 1992
With MICHAEL DORN (Worf), 1992.
Eric with James Doohan (Scotty), 1992
With JAMES DOOHAN (Montgomery Scott), 1992.
Eric with Denise Crosby (Lt. Tasha Yar), 1990
With DENISE CROSBY (Tasha Yar), 1990.
Eric with Walter Koenig (Chekov), 1990
With WALTER KOENIG (Mr. Chekov), 1990.

Eric with Nichelle Nichols (Uhura), 1989
, 1989.

Eric with Jonathan Frakes (Commander William T. Riker), 1988
With JONATHAN FRAKES (William Riker)
, 1988.
Eric with George Takei (Sulu), 1984
With GEORGE TAKEI (Mr. Sulu), 1984.
Copyright © 1998-2008 Eric L. Watts.  All Rights Reserved.