On October 15, 2015 I boldly went… onto the set of Star Trek Beyond.

After auditioning that August, I was invited to act as an extra on the final day of filming at the Meydan Racecourse in Dubai. The production had been filming around Dubai in Jumeirah Lakes Towers (JLT) and Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC) (where some set shots were captured).


I arrived on set at 11 am Thursday, October 15 and left at 5 am the morning of Friday, October 16 (18 hours total with 17 of them being active on the set). By 9 am that same morning I was on campus at American University in the Emirates (AUE) teaching MKT 200, Principles of Marketing!

This wasn’t my first time on a set — I have appeared on three game shows.

However, this was my first experience on a movie set. It was impressively overwhelming. Several hours into the night I started to feel as if I actually was living in the Star Trek universe! Unfortunately I don’t have any pictures as we were prevented from bringing our mobile phones.


Strangely, despite the futuristic character of the world in which Star Trek is set, all of the extras were “Amish  adjacent” during the filming — we actually had to speak with each other!

I didn’t see myself on screen, but the set I was on was featured towards the beginning of the film as the USS Enterprise arrived at the Yorktown Space Station. My mind is also filled with memories I will remember forever:

  • A Walk to Remember: I quite literally I walked for 12 hours straight (more or less). For a majority of the shots in which I appeared I walked with a similarly costumed character — either side by side or single file. My feet ached for a week and I wore sneakers to work!
  • Green Screen: I walked in front of a green screen with my face covered by an extended knit turtleneck part of my costume (this made it nearly impossible to see). The crew also took a series of photographs of me and did a 360 degree 3-dimensional body capture.
  • Meet and Greet: I shook hands with Simon Pegg after his scenes in the film concluded. I had just seen another film of his, Man Up, and shared with him how much I enjoyed it. At one point during a break I also used the bathroom at the same time as Zachary Quinto (but I didn’t shake his hand).
  • Social Experiment: One of the most interesting aspects to the experience was that people naturally grouped themselves together with others in similar costumes; even people in different Star Fleet uniforms and different ranks segmented themselves together.
  • Well Armed: The costume I wore was alien-esque (I had four arms), but I did not have an alien head.  I was able to wear my costume with my face showing during my work on set and got to walk in front of, behind, and along side several of the main characters including Chris Pine as Captain Kirk and Zachary Quinto as Spock.

After the movie was released I appeared for the third time on Ben Olmos’ “The Satisfactionist Podcast” with Shah Qhan — a friend I made on set. Shah and I discussed our experiences as extras; there is a great amount of detail in the recording if you’re curious to learn more.

We also shared our thoughts about other entertainment topics. However, I edited those segments out and only kept the Star Trek Beyond commentary. If you’d like to listen to the full podcast you can do so here.

Notably, while I didn’t make it into the film they were filming bonus features for the DVD — so look for me there!

Live long and prosper.

Arrr Matey!

talk_like_a_pirate_dayToday is International Talk Like a Pirate Day! Launched in 1995 by John Baur (Ol’ Chumbucket) and Mark Summers (Cap’n Slappy), the pair proclaimed September 19 as the day when everyone should talk like a pirate.

It was initially an inside joke between the friends, but grew when American syndicated humor columnist Dave Barry promoted it in 2002.

But, beyond tales of pirates, it’s also the 9th anniversary of this blog. That’s right, September 19, 2007 was the first post here on Doctorious!  What is this blog about? To quote the “Doctorious Defined” page:

This blog celebrates my adventures in academia while revealing my in-class, on-the-road, and at-home experiences; topics tackled include business, education, technology and a personal focus on Autism.

Some things haven’t changed since then, including the focus of this blog; I am even still using the Neat! theme (which has since retired by WordPress).

However, almost everything else in my life has changed, both personally and professionally.  Most notably, since September 8, 2014 this blog has primarily focused a on my experience as an expat in Dubai, UAE.

In addition, here are some fast facts about Doctorious in:

  • 142 Posts (including this one)
  • 14 Pages (static informational pages)
  • 245 Comments (mostly tags to posts)

I haven’t been as prolific as I planned to be, but I have been writing more in recent months. I appreciate those of you who have read this blog and hope you find it interesting, informative, and entertaining. Here’s to the next nine years, matey!

Two years ago I began my journey from California to Dubai. I took two United flights on September 7, 2014: one from Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) to Washington Dulles International Airport (IAD); then my second from IAD to Dubai International Airport (DXB).


After flying 9,357 miles and traveling nearly 22 hours — including an almost 4 hour delay in Dulles  — I arrived in Dubai the evening of September 8, 2014. Coincidentally Lady Gaga arrived that evening for her first UAE concert ever two days later.

My time in Dubai has presented me with many challenges and many rewards as well; it’s certainly shaped me as a person and a professional. I have been enriched with memories and moments I would have not encountered elsewhere. Being an expat has been a notable time in my life; I am fortunate to have experienced it.

Having taught only adjunct prior to leaving the US, I experienced an evolution from “feral to formal” (as I call it) at two universities: Jumeira University and now American University in the Emirates (AUE). I am grateful for those experiences and treasure the time I’ve had here; I feel I’ve made a difference and made an impact.


The biggest challenge and source of uncertainty for me has been not being present in lives of my two sons, Jacob and Max; especially Jacob, who turns 13 on the 10th (which was my first day at Jumeira University in 2014). I’m mindful of the short number of years I have left until they leave for college.

bgjvlzokjt2I’m at a point of pause as I determine my next steps. I am unsure where I might find myself in the future and what I might be doing; remaining here is an option as well.

I have enjoyed living in Dubai — where Bedouin meets Blade Runner (my idea for a new tourism slogan; what do you think?). It is a crossroads of cultures and has given me an experience unlike anywhere else.

So, here’s to two years; may the next two — wherever they are — be as meaningful and memorable!

To further explore my experiences in or about Dubai, please read the following: