LeVar Burton didn't miss acting when he directed Star Trek: Voyager

LeVar Burton didn't mind not being in front of the camera for Star Trek: Voyager.
2024 Peabody Awards - Awards Show
2024 Peabody Awards - Awards Show / Charley Gallay/GettyImages

Once a member of Star Trek, always a member of Star Trek. No matter when, no matter where, and no matter the position. Once you're Trek, you're Trek for life. That's the situation for all who've starred or even guest-starred on a Star Trek show or film. Once you're on screen, you're galvanized for life. Yet, just because you may have owned the spotlight once, doesn't mean you'll come back and get it again.

Not everyone is Kate Mulrew, Patrick Stewart, or William Shatner. Sometimes the end is just the end. If you're lucky, however, you don't need to wait 30 years for a comeback. You may just find you have a different set of skills, like Star Trek: The Next Generation's LeVar Burton. Having finished his run on The Next Generation, Burton continued acting and looking for work but also started directing some.

In fact, Burton was one of the first few directors to work on Voyager, directing the seventh episode of the franchise "Ex Post Facto". The man who brought Geordi La Forge to life stepped away from the spotlight to help launch Voyager in 1995. The show hadn't even debuted yet on UPN and was already getting writeups about the show.

Burton happened to be on set when Entertainment Weekly came calling. It's here that Roxann Dawson famously flubbed her one line, causing Burton to pull her aside and give her a pep talk. It's also here where Robert Picardo was getting asked to attend Star Trek conferences for a full year in the future.

For Burton though, it was a chance to take some of the load off. Speaking to EW (via TotallyKate.com) in 1995, Burton revealed he didn't miss the grind of being a Star Trek actor, saying;

"“Do I miss that? Nooooo, sir. I don’t have to get up at 6:00 a.m. I don’t have to get into a space suit. I don’t have to put on that VISOR. Miss it? No.”"

Burton directed some of the better episodes of Voyager, so he left an impact on the franchise even when he wasn't dawning that visor. That said, we could always go for more Geordi La Forge.