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Michael Dorn; one smart Klingon

Updated on February 16, 2015

Recognising Niche

Michael Dorn began playing
the character of Worf in
Star Trek; The Next Generation
in 1987.

He never decided he needed
to do Shakespeare or 'expand' his portfolio.

Michael Dorn was Worf, the only
Klingon in Star Fleet, through the
entire series of STNG, and if that
wasn't enough, he continued acting
the role of Worf in the movies, then,
back onto television in the series; Deep Space 9.

Unlike other Actors who are confused about roles and their position in the
Universe, Michael Dorn grasped the fact that has escaped every actor who
has ever appeared in a popular television series;

Stick with what works, because that will insure you work.

In and Out of Character

To portray Worf, a Klingson, requires quite a bit of make-up, as you can see from the
photo above. Hence Michael Dorn could be sitting next to you at a sporting event,
and you might not realize it.

He has all the fame and recognition in character, all the comfort of privacy outside of it.

Michael Dorn could become a pilot, could enjoy his life, and didn't have to wonder
where his next paycheck was coming from.

Michael Dorn is unique.

So many popular television characters grow enormous egos. They decide they are
so important and significant to the rotation of the Earth that they determine reality.

As their egos explode they demand more money or have 'creative differences' with
writers, or need to expand their repertoire and wind up has beens never having
really made it.

This is because they don't seem to appreciate that outside of a narrow band
of fans who watch that particular show they are Nobody.

Reality bytes

There are very few actors who appear in television serials playing popular characters who get fantastic movie offers. Very few go from the small screen to the large one with great success.

For every George Clooney or
Denzil Washington there are
thousands who fade into oblivion,
hundreds of Harry Hamlins, Jimmy Smits, Keith Cobbs.

A few Actors are so central, they
may take the show with them when
they leave.

This means that making a sequel becomes impossible.

The show goes off the air and is soon forgotten save for a handful of fanatics.

Frequently, ego driven performers are replaced by other actors who create as
popular, if not more popular characters. There is no way back for the fool who
leaves the successful show for nebulous big breaks which don't happen.

CSI proved that when in 2008 two 'central' characters left Las Vegas. They
were replaced by others. 'Where are they now?' could be asked, if anyone remembers them.

Although Michael Dorn has played other characters besides Worf, they are small shrug away roles. As he has never made being Worf a problem, he continues to work.

No doubt, if called upon to become a Klingon again, in a movie or another Star Trek version, Michael Dorn will do so, because he never made it a problem.


It is with a sense of awe I recognise Michael Dorn's uniqueness.

One would think that any actor who has a virtually 'permanent' role would consider
this the greatest acheivement of their chareer and never make it a 'problem'.

One would think that as Actors don't hire themselves but are employees, they
would grab onto this lucky break and never let it go. They would be so alert to
the public's affection for their character they would protect the role with every
atom of their being and be the easiest person to work with on a set.

Yet, the majority of Actors are so stupid that they never appreciate that the
audience is fascinated by the role, not the person behind the role.

Michael Dorn is unique in that he realised being Worf was all he ever had to do
to ensure that paycheque.

And instead of making it a problem, embraced it.


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