LeVar Burton is pretty darn close to being a real-life superhero. He encouraged millions of children to ask what Burton calls the great “what if” questions by inspiring their love for reading during his years of involvement with the television show, Reading Rainbow, which ran for 26 years on PBS.
After Gene Roddenberry offered him the role of Geordi La Forge in Star Trek: The Next Generation in 1986, Burton went on to direct episodes for each of the various Star Trek series in production. He has directed more Star Trek episodes than any other former regular cast member.
Discovering science fiction when he was a child was a turning point, and he reveled in sparking youngster’s creative imagination, Burton says. “I believe the Star Trek series must have inspired a child or children who watched it to grow up to be a scientist or engineer.”
The writer, director, actor and producer stays wired into today’s technology through Twitter, where he has more than 1.3 million followers. He says the direct, two-way conversation possible with such social media tools as Twitter is important: “It’s without the gatekeepers being in the middle.”
That background made him an ideal participant on a conference panel called “Twitter and celebrity: A match made in heaven?” at the recent 140 | The Twitter Conference LA .
The panel was the concluding session of the first day of the 140 | The Twitter Conference LA organized by The Parnassus Group in Los Angeles, Calif., where the how-tos of Twitter and its tools for business development were discussed. The two-day conference with two dozen panel discussions brought together the worlds of business and celebrity and focused on getting the most out of the real-time Web.
Michael Sean Wright, who handled interviews for building43 at the conference, discusses with Burton the endless possibilities of imagination and inspiration. Wright, the founder of nicefishfilms, is a live documentary film maker, writer and tech nut.
Links relevant to this video include:
- LeVar Burton Web site — http://levarburton.com/
- LeVar Burton’s Twitter — http://twitter.com/levarburton
- nicefishfilms — http://nicefishfilms.com/blog
- 140 | The Twitter Conference LA — http://parnassusgroup.com/twitterconference/
- 140 | The Twitter Conference LA
- LeVar Burton
- Michael Sean Wright
- social media
- Star Trek