I've always said my top two childhood heroes were Luke Skywalker and Mike Donovan. Everyone knows the name Luke Skywalker, but not everyone Mike Donovan. That's a tragedy because if it weren't for him, alien lizards would've gotten away with eating people and sucking the earth dry.
When I talk to people about Marc Singer, they usually think about The Beastmaster, but he will always be Mike Donovan from the 1980s television series - V . As a kid, I pretended to be Mike Donovan while attending elementary school in Fort Worth, Texas. My best friend played Martin (the alien visitor who was on our side), and we turned the school into the mother ship.
During the day, he would approach me with news about how his people were developing new threats against the humans. At recess, we pretended to blow up pipes and return stolen water to earth. Many years after the show was cancelled, Mike Donovan continued to be a key figure in my nostalgia.
So, you can only imagine what it was like for me to meet him in person. He came to a comic convention in Plano, and it was a memorable experience. He was an incredibly nice guy, and my wife enjoyed meeting him as well.
However, this exciting moment came with some regret. I didn't want to hold up the autograph line anymore. So, I didn't tell him how much his character meant to me. I didn't tell him that I played Mike Donovan on the school playgrounds. I assumed there would be another time, but as conventions came and went, he didn't appear on the guest list.
Then I got into podcasting and launched a celebrity interview show. While developing an episode about childhood heroes, I tried to find a way to reach Marc. It wasn't easy. I came across an email address that MIGHT get to him, but I didn't really know for sure. Nonetheless, I wrote my interview request and sent it off to who knows where.
I never got a reply. I figured it ended up in some random person's inbox, and they deleted it.
Then, months later, someone called my cell phone while I was at work. It was listed as UNKNOWN, and I never answer those. Surprisingly, the "unknown" caller left a message. So, I checked it.
That night, I called Marc back. During our discussion, I finally got to tell him, one-on-one, with no lines of people behind us, what his character meant to me. And that meant a lot to him.
During the interview, he even brought it up, and I confirmed that I pretended to be Mike Donovan in school. He told me and the audience how much that means to him, and he knew I did the character proud.
As they say today - "Uh! The feels!"
At the end of the interview, Marc read the liner I wrote for the show. It was a nice bow tied around a fun conversation and a meaningful opportunity.
"Hi, this is Marc Singer. I played Mike Donovan in the 1980s series 'V'. Scott Murray also played Mike Donovan in school. And thanks to him, no lizards ever infiltrated the classroom. Long live The Resistance."
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