Shatner living long and prospering

Well most of us, and I for the longest time, was filled with the nervous energy of making a living, of having three kids and providing a roof and food. And you think, well, there’s no time to ponder the glories of life. That’s not true, because if you begin to realize how quickly it goes and how precious life is, nothing should interfere with the fact that you can hold your child or kiss the person in your life and be appreciative of love and all those verities that we all know and think of as clichés, but they aren’t.

That appreciation starts a little later in life and intensifies the older you get, because the older you get, the more likely it is for you to stop living and end life quickly. I’ve been very lucky with my life and my health, especially my health. The fire of desire has not been banked in my life, and it can happen so easily when you get ill. When you get ill, the desire to live fades, as pain and age creep up on you. That hasn’t happened to me, luckily.

You kicked off the current tour with “Star Trek II” last month and you’ve got the final dates coming up. How has the tour been going?

I’ve been touring, three or four cities a weekend, for the last couple of years. I did a one-man show on Broadway and I’ve toured with music, so I’ve done a lot of touring in my life. I’ll either get in the car and drive to the next venue, which is what I’m doing this coming weekend, with Atlanta, Indianapolis, Detroit and Milwaukee, flying and driving to these venues. The difficult part is, of course, getting to the venue. If it’s driving, you’ve got to drive a couple hundred miles, and I prefer to drive at night, so we’re driving at night after the show. It’s 2 o’clock, 3 o’clock in the morning, if the weather is inclement it’s tough. You get to the hotel, fall into bed, that afternoon you get up and you do it again. And it’s tough, but I chose to do it years ago. I thought to myself, I was doing stage shows and movies and things like that, I thought, I love music and I’ve never toured, and I’m going to do it.

So I began to tour, not in a bus, but I would fly to a place or drive to a place, and I got caught up in the excitement of that travel. And it is exciting. It’s a new city, but you don’t see the city because you go to the hotel and you rest and you go to the venue. But it’s an escape from everyday life, and that’s what happens to these guys who tour all the time. You don’t have to deal with the rent and the kid going to school, you just deal with what it is that’s happening in front of you on stage. So touring has an allure that only those people who tour tend to know about.

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