Yesterday, I received some very sad news: Tom Deishley, an actor and performer who portrayed the Klingon “General Motog” at Star Trek: The Experience in Las Vegas for more than ten years, had died in his home sometime on Monday.
If you ever had the chance to visit Star Trek: The Experience, you likely saw Tom walking about the facility, mostly cruising through Quark’s Bar and Restaurant or perhaps up in the “History of the Future Museum” area leading to the attraction’s rides. Like the other costumed performers, he would pose for photographs, or regale visitors with tales of his glorious battles and even–occasionally–challenge uppity humans to “combat,” armed or otherwise.
I didn’t know Tom personally, though of course I encountered him from time to time during my various visits to The Experience, but the people who did know him and told me about him always spoke of him in the highest, most glowing terms. As was the case with all of the actors portraying various Experience denizens, Tom took great pride in his role and never broke character while in costume and in the public eye. The dedication routinely exhibited by him and his fellow performers added another key layer to the attraction’s “immersive” effect, and made it such pure fun to just be there.
Today, the news of his passing was made even worse with new information revealing that Tom had been killed in his own home, apparently during a burglary gone horribly wrong. Police are still investigating, and the extended family of former Experience performers and other employees along with their friends are mourning this tragic loss. I do count a few of those people as friends, and my thoughts today are with them as well as with Tom’s family and friends.
Rest in peace, Tom.