Our friend Deborah was lucky enough to attend Jared’s meet and greet at DallasCon, and shared a few of her recollections. We’ll be at Jared’s meet and greet at Toronto Con in a few weeks ourselves, and this just made us look forward to it even more.
We chatted with Jared a bit at Dallas too, and were touched that he wanted to introduce us to his mom, since we’re both in education. We could totally see Jared being an English professor if he hadn’t become an actor. Of course, it might be hard to pay attention if your prof looked like Jared….
Jared’s parents sat in on his meet and greet too, watching from the back as Jared chatted with fans. He shared an amusing story about being on a flight recently. He was sitting with Mark Pellegrino, and Jensen, Danneel and JJ were sitting in front of them. Everyone was very respectful, but he said it was funny watching people’s reactions as they walked by and realized how many members of the SPNFamily were on the plane – people would be hitting their friend and whispering “Omg, look at that!”
Fans: Well YEAH!
A fan asked if Jared had made any decisions in Season 1 that he’d had to carry over into Season 9, and if he regretted any. He didn’t say he regretted anything, but he did say that he was told while shooting the pilot that they wanted the character of Sam to be intelligent. Jared himself is a smart guy from a family of academics, so in the first couple episodes he really tried to get that across. We personally think that Sam has proven his smarts time and time again over the last eight years – and that Dean is equally smart, even if he doesn’t always believe it. (And even though Sam keeps reminding him…)
At one point, the discussion turned to food. (Why are we not surprised?) Jared’s brother used to live in Dallas, so he recommended some good places to eat, especially for barbeque.
Deborah: (deliberately being a smartass) Any vegetarian restaurants?
Jared: (deadpans) Get out of the room.
Deborah: (still being a smartass) But are there?
Jared: (recommends a place that makes great chicken)
Deborah: That’s still meat.
Some of the meet and greet was quite touching. A fan brought a blanket that she had spent three months crocheting for Jared, and joked that if he didn’t want it, he could just touch it and then she would keep it forever. Which we understand completely. Jared’s dad came up to admire it, and of course Jared did want to keep it.
One of the most emotional moments of Jared’s meet and greet came after a fan talked about how incredible the Season 8 finale was, and said that the Show – and Jared – should get an Emmy.
Entire room: *nodding enthusiastically*
Jared said that for him, talking to fans is what it’s all about.
He doesn’t need an Emmy to know how people feel about the Show, doesn’t need that judgment by his peers.
Fan: House gets Emmy’s, but that show being on the air doesn’t save lives.
It’s true. A fan at the breakfast panel that morning had gotten up to tell Jared and Jensen that she’d been suffering from severe depression, and Supernatural literally saved her life. It was obvious, watching Jared and Jensen’s reactions to what she was saying, that they were very touched.
At the meet and greet, another fan mentioned someone she knew who had a neurological condition in which her dreams were more vivid than her real life. She’s an SPN fan, and dreamt about hunting with Sam and Dean and Bobby, and that has kept her from being suicidal despite the illness. Another fan had stopped taking prescribed medication for depression, but went back to taking it so she would be coherent enough to watch Supernatural. If that isn’t the best kind of testimonial to the power of a Show to have an influence, then we don’t know what is.
When we were researching Fangasm and Fandom At The Crossroads, we heard so many moving stories of how Supernatural has changed fans’ lives, and sometimes – literally — made life worth living. And of course we have our own stories too, which is why we wrote the books — to tell our stories and theirs.
But we still think Supernatural deserves that Emmy. What do you think, SPNFamily?
One of the things that makes SPN so unique (and awesome) is the way the actors have so much FUN. Photographic evidence from Jared and Jensen’s panel:
Stay tuned for more from DallasCon! You can read more about the stories of SPN fans and the cast and crew who make the show in Fangasm, available now on Amazon and in Fandom at the Crossroads: Celebration, Shame and Fan/Producer Relationships , also on Amazon.