For some people a middle name must be more than meets the eye, case in point — Jason Burrows. His middle name of Michael just wasn’t cutting it, so he took legal action and changed his name to something with a bit more power and pizazz — Megatron!
Burrows, who works as the Assistant Imaging Director for 96.5 Jack-FM here at CBS Radio in Seattle, as well as troops as a 501st Legion member in the Titan Garrison under the designation TK-757, decided to change his middle name to Megatron for a variety of reasons, all stemming from a conversation about tomatoes as he explains below.
Why did you decide to change your middle name from Michael to Megatron?
The decision to change my name came after a long discussion that a few of my friends and I had about middle names,” Burrows explains. “My ex-girlfriend’s brother changed his middle name from Bernard to Tomato when he was in high school. Bernard was a family name that he really didn’t care for, and he had been called Tomato on his high school sports teams for years, so he asked his mom for permission and made it happen.
After that conversation, we all talked about what I could change my middle name to, since Michael was so “ordinary.” With all the excitement that my friends and I had about the Transformers movie coming out and Megatron being my favorite character from that universe, it was an easy choice. I also liked the fact that my middle initial wouldn’t change, so my banking and financial paperwork could stay the same. I can still maintain the “professional” Jason M. Burrows, while having the fun of a totally unique name. At first, the whole thing was all theoretical, but after researching the cost and process, I decided to go for it.
What was the legal process like?
The legal process was surprisingly easy. The hardest part about it was gathering the $100 for all the court fees. I didn’t have the extra hundred laying around, so my friend Adam suggested that I ask for donations. On a whim, I posted the story on my Livejournal page with a PayPal donate button, and my friends answered the call! My friend Deven donated the initial $20, then suggested that I have people sponsor a letter after that, so each letter of Megatron is “owned” by a different friend!
Once I had the cash in hand, I chose to go to the court July 2 since the movie was opening at 8pm that evening. I filled out the paperwork, turned it in with the filing fees to the clerk and was told to be back at the courthouse at 1:30pm to go before the judge. I agreed and showed up to Judge Eilleen Kato’s courtroom. She came in and said that she’d be hearing name changes first. The first lady got up and changed her last name to honor her birth family. Next, a family went up, and the mom and dad both said that their daughter would like her name changed to Jessica, so the judge signed that order. I was third on the list. I walked to the front, where she had me raise my right hand to swear that I would tell the truth, whole truth and nothing but the truth. She asked if my name change was to defraud creditors, I said no. She asked if it would be detrimental to anyone else, I said no. She then asked if I was indeed changing my middle name to that of my childhood hero, I smiled and said, “Yes Ma’am.” She said, “Then I do order and decree that your name be changed from Jason Michael Burrows to Jason Megatron Burrows” with a huge grin. There were quite a few chuckles from the courtroom. I was handed the paperwork and headed back to work.
Did you face opposition from your family?
I actually haven’t told my parents about the change yet! My sister thinks I’m nuts, but she’s getting a kick out of how much fun I’m having with it. She’s due with her second kid in September and I’ve been sending her a bunch of name ideas. After I informed her of the name change, she told me not to bother sending Transformer names.
Did you friends and family think it was pretty cool?
Most of my friends love the fact that I changed my name. I’ve only received a few weird looks, but for the most part everyone thinks it’s pretty cool.
How do you think the name change will affect how people see you?
I don’t believe it will affect how people view me. I think that most people won’t ever know, since I don’t regularly use my middle name. The people that are close to me know and they like it, so that’s good enough for me. A few people have said that they’d be interested to see what future employers think when they look at my resume, but I figure if you don’t have a big enough sense of humor to find the fun in my name, I probably don’t want to work for you anyway.
Do you feel more powerful now?
That’s a good question. I think I’d have to say yes, I do feel more powerful. Now, once I install the fusion cannon on my arm, I’ll be set. *laugh*
Gun, Tank, T-Rex or Jet — which is the best Megatron and why?
The Generation 1 version of Megatron will always be my favorite. The gun all the way. One of my favorite memories as a kid was flying into Reno with my grandparents after returning from the Philippines. I had my original G1 Megatron in the gun form in my carry-on bag and got stopped by security. I ended up having to put him in a cardboard box and check him as luggage.
If there was a Transformers-Star Wars crossover, how well would Megs work with the Empire?
Ooh, Transformers-Star Wars crossover… that’s tricky. I think that the Decepticons would work well with the Empire to start, but the power struggle between Vader and Megatron would end up working against them, leading to the Rebel/Autobot victory — unfortunately.
Any advice to fans who want to go about legally changing their name to their favorite character?
My advice to fans who want to change your name would be — if you really want to do it, put on your Internet flame-retardant armor and go for it. And ignore what people say on forums. I’ve been called a lot of names since people found out, but in the end I’m happy with my decision and that’s much more important to me than what other people think.