All Supernatural conventions are emotional; it’s been that way from the beginning for me, because I’m so emotional about this Show and this fandom. Over the years, that’s only become more true. Not just for me, but for all of us – for the fans whose lives have been changed or even saved by an unlikely little show on the CW, and for the actors who make the show and have been interacting with the fandom for the past decade. It’s amazing, unprecedented. I’m writing a new book about it, with chapters written by those fans and those actors, so maybe I’m primed to be even more emotional than usual. But I think anyone who was at Minncon would agree that emotions were running high all weekend.
Minncon is inevitably going to require several posts – now that my camera actually takes photos that aren’t just little blurry err-that-sorta-looks-like-Misha pics, I’m overwhelmed with how many I want to post and a bit frustrated that I can’t post ALL of them! But there’s also a lot to say, and I want to do justice to the emotionality of the weekend. Saturday was a difficult day after Richard Speight took the stage to announce that Misha had been mugged the night before and had been to the hospital for stitches. In true ‘Always Keep Fighting’ style, Misha was at the con nevertheless, not up to doing a panel, but determined to take the photo ops fans had paid for and were so looking forward to. If you ever doubt the creativity of either cast or fans, you wouldn’t if you’d seen the 1,001 ways that Misha and fans came up with to take a photo with Misha’s mouth (and stitches) covered! He came back on Sunday for more photo ops and autographs, and while he was banged up and more reserved than usual, he told me he was doing okay – that he’d been better, but he’d also been worse. A pretty healthy attitude for someone who’s dealt with a fair amount of crap and knows he’ll have to deal with the psychological impact after the physical impact has healed.
When something very unfair happens to someone who really really doesn’t deserve it, it hits all of us hard when we care about that person. We immediately want to DO something to help, so our friends from Random Acts set out a journal where fans could write Misha a note of encouragement and support. Hundreds of fans came by their table in the vendors’ room to do just that. Within hours of learning about the attack, fandom had #WeLoveYouMishaCollins trending number one worldwide – which definitely lifted his spirits. And of course his fellow actors, who are his SPNFamily too, were there to support him. In typical guy style, that support shows up in teasing as often as it does in hugs, but Misha felt it. Jared and Jensen were angry enough on his behalf to say they wished those guys had attacked them instead, with an understandable ‘let me at ‘em’ response.
Richard: Better yet, how great would it have been if it was Osric?! They’d all have broken shoulders! He can take down some muggers if he can take down a moose!
The fandom and the cast came together in support of Misha, much like when Rob Benedict suffered a stroke at the Toronto convention. It was one of those times when fandom, at least as far as I saw, put aside their differences when it comes to fictional characters and rallied around a real human being who needed their support.
That heightened sense of emotion carried over into the Saturday Night Special, which I’ll write up separately, and to Jared and Jensen’s panels and meet and greets on Sunday. There were serious moments, and there was also LOTS of laughter — so much that I’ll do a separate post that’s going to be devoted to just that, Jared and Jensen laughing. I defy you to look at them cracking each other up and not smile yourself!
I was very fortunate to be able to go to both Jared’s and Jensen’s meet and greets, so can share some tidbits from each.
Jared’s was first, with a new Creation chair arrangement of one big semi circle, with Jared’s chair in the middle. It definitely looked like he should be teaching a class, but is seemed to work well since everyone had a clear view of the gorgeous Mr. Padalecki. I’m not complaining.
These are just a few tidbits, not verbatim, not a transcript, you know the drill.
Someone asked Jared about doing those emotional scenes in Supernatural, and whether it was harder to get “into” them or out of them. Jared said it was easier to get into them.
Jared: Me and Jensen, we aren’t lying when we play those scenes. I’m telling Sam’s truth. I get Sam. I love Sam. He’s a part of me.
I can imagine that would make it easier to feel the character’s genuine emotions, but then there you are, really feeling it, when the director calls cut!
Jared talked about getting some good advice from Peter O’Toole when he was filming with him. Jared shared that he’s an emotional guy, and he was emotional on set one day. O’Toole told him, “those are Tom’s tears. Don’t waste Jared’s.”
He tries to apply that to Supernatural as well. To remember that those are Sam’s tears, and not to waste Jared’s.
Another great question was about how Sam and Dean changed during Season 10. Jared said that they did change, just like Jared and Jensen themselves have changed, and that he likes the changes in Sam. The biggest change for Sam, Jared said, is his re-commitment to his brother. He also said that those changes are permanent, that they will continue in S11.
Which made me want to jump up and down, but I refrained.
Picking up the theme of change, someone asked how Jared and Jensen have changed each other? Jared said again that he’s an emotional guy, and that Jensen helps him by telling him at difficult times to “keep moving your feet.” It’s like “Always Keep Fighting.” And Jared, for his part, has changed Jensen, who has become more emotional – and Dean too.
A fan asked about his favorite versions of Sam, and Jared joked that he’d played about 46 versions of Sam, and Jensen has only gotten to play a few versions of Dean. He liked playing demon blood Sam – for obvious reasons, but also because it was a bit of a power trip. There would be a bunch of huge stunt guys who could kick his ass in real life, but demon blood Sam would kick theirs (not in real life, but still). He also liked playing Soulless!Sam, who he played as very logical – sort of like a mathlete, which Jared actually was in high school.
There was a little anecdote about the teen!Dean episode, and how it wasn’t actually scripted that Sam pulled the car seat back so his legs would fit. Jared actually did have trouble fitting in it!
One of the fans was a paranormal investigator (listen up, Chad Lindberg!) and asked Jared if he believed. He told the date night ghost story that he’s told before, which never fails to give me goose bumps.
He and Gen were on a date night at a historic old hotel in Austin. They noticed a light flickering in their room.
Gen: That’s weird…
Jared switched out the bulb with another light – then both started flickering!
Later, Jared woke up to someone tugging on the sheets from behind – only to see Gen asleep in front of him. In true Winchester fashion, Jared calmly told the ghost that they were friendly and just trying to get some sleep, and then (somehow) went back to sleep. In the morning, they woke up to find the curtains, which they had carefully closed, wide open. And then they turned on the television (which was programmed to come on with Mario Lopez advertising the hotel or something) – and instead, what came on? Supernatural! Dean and Benny in Purgatory.
Jared: Okay, okay, we got the message!
Jared’s a great storyteller – I can’t do this story justice in print!
There were also some serious moments in the meet and greet. I asked Jared for his perspective on that very emotional moment at Comic Con when the lights went down in Hall H and fans all held up their candles and chanted ‘Always keep fighting’. (See our Comic Con article of last month for more detail). I was there, and was quite overwhelmed with the emotion – and I could see the moment Jared finally realized what was actually going on, so I was eager to hear from him how it impacted him.
He said that he didn’t realize at first what was happening – it’s Comic Con, after all, and the world (and the networks) are watching you. When he was handed the note that explained the candles, he didn’t read it right away, thinking that it was something for later. It wasn’t until Richard said “you should read that” that he did, and then he realized. He still has his candle and the note. I asked him how he felt about it, about how sweeping and life changing the AKF campaign has become.
Jared: As strange as this may sound, I felt like a father. Like AKF has taken on a life of its own. It’s not about me, it’s not about the show – it’s about understanding that you aren’t alone.
That’s exactly what it’s all about. In a sense, that’s what our first book was about – Fangasm Supernatural Fangirls is all about discovering the community that is fandom. It’s about Kathy and I discovering that, to our surprise, we weren’t alone. It’s what the new book is about too, in a much more explicit way – with other voices, not just ours. Other fans who found they weren’t alone, and the way it changed them and saved them. And cast members, Jared included, whose lives were changed just as much.
Several women were courageous enough to share their stories of keeping fighting with Jared and the rest of the fans at the meet and greet. There were lots of tears and lots of supportive arms around shoulders and encouragement to keep going, to let it out and not keep it in. It was powerful and cathartic and very very emotional. Leaving the details private, one young woman broke down, almost unable to get the words out as she tried to tell Jared what he and the Show have meant to her. Jared got up from his chair in the front of the room and crossed over to where she sat right beside me. He got down on his knees and held her hand and told her how much he admired her courage and how glad he was that she was here.
“You’re not alone,” he said. Hearing the sincerity in his voice and seeing the empathy he conveyed, I think she had to believe him – which was life changing all over again.
I’m sure he conveyed the same to the two fans during the main panel, when both Jared and Jensen literally got down on the floor to reach out to them and let them know that they are not alone. That’s how different Supernatural conventions are – and how unique the relationship that has developed between cast and fandom is.
I think about the early days of the conventions, when the actors and the fans were just getting to know each other. Before we were all “SPN Family”. There was a ‘no hugs’ rule back then; my first photo op with Jensen, I remember standing awkwardly beside him as he sat equally awkwardly on a chair, afraid to even bump my shoulder against his. Now they reach out, instinctively and genuinely, both physically and emotionally, when they see someone who needs it. No wonder the weekend was so emotional.
Jensen’s meet and greet was a bit lighter.
[Vague spoilers] He talked a lot about the upcoming “Baby” episode, which I think fandom is collectively anticipating so much we’re all about to spontaneously combust. He mock complained about being in all the scenes, and then confided with all the glee of a little boy that at the end of an episode he put Baby away by doing a reverse 180 – and it only took him a few times to pull it off! (he said, beaming). He also talked about the three person fight scene that takes place in the back seat, which really makes me wonder how the hell they all fit back there, let alone had a fight! Apparently it was a challenge.
In both meet and greets, a fan asked about filming that longed-for mythical Hawaii episode, which one of them said wouldn’t be much fun if they ended up filming it in Vancouver in the cold and had to stand around wet and shirtless and shivering. We all tried to convey great sympathy while picturing them wet and shirtless. Also, Jensen joked that Dean would have to take a ship because there’s no way he’d fly to Hawaii, so it would be a three week long episode that would be very boring.
Jensen also talked about his soap opera days and did an excellent imitation of the way soap actors stare at each other for way too long after delivering a line, which was frankly hysterical. And spot on.
Someone asked how much leeway he had in making those emotional moments happen for Dean. Jensen said that they “allow me to determine how I want to get to where I need to go.” He said the details of how to get there are generally not in the script. During the season finale of S10, Jensen said that he got emotional when Dean said “please forgive me” to Sam, and that maybe a tear popped out, and he asked to reshoot that because he wanted Dean to be more stoic.
There are two ways of pulling up emotion for an actor, Jensen said. Either you pull from something in your real life, or (and this is easier), you think about your character and what they would feel.
Jensen: Sometimes it works, and sometimes it doesn’t. And if it doesn’t, sometimes the scene didn’t warrant that much emotion.
I asked if Dean also felt a re-commitment to his brother, as Jared had said about Sam, and Jensen said yes. Although they were pulled apart for different reasons, Dean was also distanced from Sam. He felt so guilty for letting Gadreel in, and that influenced his decision to take the Mark of Cain. Dean was going to sacrifice himself to make up for what he did. Then there was the Mark itself, which pulled him away from Sam even more, especially after Cain made it clear that there was no way out. So both brothers drifted away from each other, and are re committed in S11.
Jensen: We address it. There’s a line, like when did we get away from helping people? It’s a reboot of the boys’ relationship. The boys are back in the saddle again and committed to each other.
I gave him a thumbs up and a big grin at that.
Jensen: [also grinning] It’s a reboot. Control alt delete.
If I was excited about Season 11 before (and I was), I’m even more excited now!
I’m still calming down from the emotionality of Minncon – but in a good way. Jared and Jensen are fond of calling the phenomenon of the SPN Family “lightning in a bottle”, and this con really showed why. I tweeted the photo of Jared and Jensen lying down on the stage to connect with a fan with “there will never be another cast like this.” I think there will never be anything just like this again – it’s taken a decade to develop, and it’s now something unique and special and powerful. I feel privileged to be a part of it.
Stay tuned for lots more photos from Minncon, and our long awaited interviews with Tahmoh Penikett and Chad Lindberg, once we return from Vancouver.
For more of our Supernatural adventures and misadventures,
check out ‘Fangasm’ and ‘Fan Phenomena Supernatural’ at
the links at the top of the page
Photos by me!
Edits by the awesome @arkine13!
30 thoughts on “Jared, Jensen and Misha at an Emotional Minncon (with J and J Meet and Greet Tidbits)”
I wonder if the boys feel extra pressure now that they’re not just expected to tell funny stories about the show…now that they’re an inspiration to so many people. Cons have become like a giant group therapy. And I mean that in a good way. I know how healing and cathartic it can be to connect to your SPN family not just online but in person. The whole cast are so amazing about caring for their fans, and they handle their interactions with us with such grace! I guess I just worry that they might feel overwhelmed sometimes trying to live up to so many people’s needs and expectations.
“The fandom and the cast came together in support of Misha, much like when Rob Benedict suffered a stroke at the Toronto convention.”
That’s what I love about this fandom family. We may not always get along, but the majority of us came together to show our love and support for Misha (as we did for Rob). Cast, crew, fans from all spectrums of the fandom, even Misha’s twitter “nemesis” Shatner (lol).. it’s really beautiful. I love it when the fandom unites. I’m so relieved that Misha is okay and that the injuries weren’t as severe as we originally thought – situations like that can go from bad to unimaginably horrible in the blink of an eye, and it gives me goosebumps to think of what could have happened. I hope he felt the huge tidal wave of love we were all sending his way this weekend.
Jared said it best in J2’s panel “Just want y’all to know, we love Misha. We just razz him.” Which goes in line with something Jensen said at JIB last year: “We tease Misha the most because we love him the best.” And that’s what family does. Misha is a lighthearted guy with a great sense of humor – I have no doubt that laughing about the situation now that we know he’s okay will help him heal inside and out.
#WeLoveYouMisha indeed. Always keep fighting, fandom – for yourselves and for each other.
Just FYI, this isn’t really about the blog post, well, kind of, I guess. I was just in the middle of re-reading (I think this is the 3rd time) Fangasm: SPN fangirls. Still amazed at what you guys went through to get that thing written. I’m personally a little late to the party, I didn’t discover SPN until season 8, but hey, better late than never, right? My first convention was VegasCon ’15 (yes, this year) I was a little apprehensive about it because I spent a lot of money to get there–I should also note that it was the first time our family had ever been on vacation (long story). I’ve been to other conventions before, for other shows and genres, but really the SPN Cons have a much different feel to them (even with the sometimes stiff and/or chaos of Creation’s cons. Seriously, were you guys in line Wen night for Vegas? Totally out of wack that was). Anyhow, my husband and I were both blown away simply by how nice everyone was; fans, cast and even the creation staff (Rio also helped us immensely when my husband couldn’t stand walking the distance to the convention center anymore (he needs a hip replacement), they gave us two free days on a wheel chair rental). He and I have never really found a place where we felt we belonged, until now. Besides the convention we also have participated in GISHWHES for 2 years (and plan on doing it again next year!) We support the charities as much as we can afford to do so. And I volunteered for DenverCon (hope to see some folks there!). Before SPN I’d never bothered to get photographs with actors, and I’d only ever gotten two autographs (and one wasn’t even for me). I now have many autographed SPN things and several memorable photographs. It didn’t take years for me to get seriously attached to this little show, and I don’t think it usually takes that long for others either, I don’t think the conventions really took years to build either … I think, it just took a long time to find, and are still finding, all our family members. 😉 #SPNFamily #AlwaysKeepFighting #RandomActs #Gishwhes
Thank you for your report.
I love “listening” to Jensen talk about the process of acting (and directing)! It must be so enthralling to sit there and listen in person and watch him, his facial expressions and body language, when he gives his always thoughtful responses!
I wish people would ask more questions like this during the public joint panel.
Jensen has such a passion for whatever he does, whether acting, directing, even singing (even though we know from Mitch, Clif’s brother, that Jensen doesn’t think he has a good singing voice). He has such a huge heart and compassion for all those around him, whether fans, friends/co-stars. I hope to be able to attend one of his meet and greets in the future.
I often find myself feeling like a proud parent; thinking back on how far our SPN family has come. From a rag-tag group of fangirls to this amazing family that helps one another, has crazy arguments about characters and loves and supports many charitable causes, we have become a force for good in the real world. I haven’t had the pleasure of seeing the boys live since 2009 but I remember that seemed to be when the “ice” was starting to melt, the hugs were beginning to get spontaneous and there was a feeling that walls were starting to come down. It was inevitable that the love of our fandom would eventually make it’s way into Jensen and Jared and become reciprocal!! You pointed out perfectly how they now balance one another; Jensen giving Jared the strength he needs and Jared showing Jensen how to open his heart to this family. They compliment each other so well.
Our Show has done things no other show has, our fans have done things no other fandom has, and our actors have become members of this family in a way no one ever expected them to. “Lightning in a Bottle” is a remarkable phrase for what this all truly is.
Thank you Lynn, for documenting our journey, telling our stories and bringing it all together for the world to understand better. And for always making us smile with pictures of our boys!!! 🙂
Awesome recap! I think I fall more in love with this cast after reading recaps for every con!
There isn’t a whole lot to add to the comments that have already been made, but it gives me joy to just be a part of the conversation with people that feel as passionately about this supernatural (adjective, not title) phenomena! I hunger to read all that is written about the Cons, a pore over the amazing photos and insights….and then cry with emotion…not just in wonderment of the amazing cast/crew/fandom….but with incredible envy. I WANT to be at every panel, in every photo op and have every signature or unexpected contact with ANYONE associated with this “little” show.
Then, I realize I have an amazing family right in front of me, and friends that I interact with everyday. The feelings and emotions I battle with may not compare to the struggles that others face each day…each MOMENT….but I still Always Keep Fighting to not be sucked down the rabbit hole that I SO want to jump into!
Thank you for sharing with us…your joy is also evident. Looking forward to the new book!
First, I gotta say, you have an EXCELLENT camera phone. These are great pictures.
Second… so nice to meet you at last! Loved the tag-teaming on questions.
Third, lovely write-up as always. Creation ought to know that it’s your write-ups that got me going to all the M&G. They are very fun.
Other thoughts: I was so astounded at how empathetic and gifted Jared is when dealing with a fan in distress. It was remarkable. And after reflection on all the back-and-forth this weekend, I find that there’s this inner strength in Jensen that’s unshakeable. Both of them are very smart. They have that ‘goofy boys’ thing in them but they are extremely quick on their feet. I was also struck by the LOVE they all have for each other and the fans. When in Misha’s M&G, there was a constant stream of people going in and out of the side of the room (our room was between them and the beer in the photo ops room — go figure). Everyone of them was checking up on Misha as they breezed thru. And Jensen and Jared, who are CLEARLY in charge, came over to him, gave him a squeeze and a pat full of affection as if saying “we’ve got your back”. It was so moving. They adore that man – it’s all over their faces. And they should. He’s brilliant, kind, and gentle. I think everyone at the con wanted to wrap him up in a blanky, give him cocoa and hug him. So yes, a LOT of emotion. A lot of love.
“Everyone of them was checking up on Misha as they breezed thru. And Jensen and Jared, who are CLEARLY in charge, came over to him, gave him a squeeze and a pat full of affection as if saying “we’ve got your back”. It was so moving. They adore that man – it’s all over their faces. And they should. He’s brilliant, kind, and gentle. I think everyone at the con wanted to wrap him up in a blanky, give him cocoa and hug him.”
I love this so much – and it’s so true. I love how much the boys all care about each other, and I’m really proud of the fandom for showing him so much love, too. He definitely deserves it!
I need to go to one of these Cons! soo expensive and at least 4 hours away
I have to say burdening the actors with your life tragedies seems pretty selfish to me but there are a lot of narcissists in the world.Surely just saying thanks for doing the show it has helped me when I have had rough times is more than enough. If I was at a con and people were being that self absorbed I would be really angry, I am there to hear and see the cast and not hear about other people’s lives, tell it to your therapist folks.
Thanks for writing up the article,
Thank you, thank you, thank you for going to Jared’s M & G!!!
I’m so happy about what both Jared and Jensen said about the guys getting close again. ABOUT TIME.
I have to say that I’m a little worried about the impact that AKF will have on Jared. His baby has really taken off and It must be so emotionally draining to listen to and comfort so many fans in distress.
Glad that Misha wasn’t seriously hurt. The guy needs his own Cliff!
GREAT WRITE UP. THAT IS SO GREAT THAT JENSEN AND JARED SAID THAT ABOUT THE SPNFAMILY. I HAVE SAID FOR YEARS THAT JENSEN AND JARED’S CHEMISTRY IS LIKE “LIGHTNING IN A BOTTLE”! I TOLD JENSEN THAT 1ST TIME I WAS LUCKY ENOUGH TO MEET HIM. LOVE TO READ ABOUT THE MEET AND GREETS!!! THANKS
I hate to inject a little bit of a sour note here. I loved this lovely article, the show, the actors, the incredible AFK campaign , and have a lot of empathy for all the people who break down emotionally when they share their own stories. My problem is that it is increasing with every con.The Meet and Greets are now having people breaking down. I am sure it happens in the photo ops. My problem is that it’s emotionally draining for Jared. He is having his own struggles with keeping his emotions and life on an even keel at the moment. He, being the sweet sensitive man that he is will reach out every time and sometimes cry with them. But is has to take it’s toll. Plus people pay huge amounts of money to attend these things and even extra large amounts of money for the M&G’s. I just think that it really isn’t fair to turn so much of the con (s) into therapy sessions where Jared (and Jensen) but mostly Jared are expected to hug them and comfort them. I know they are grateful to Jared and the campaign but there have to be other more appropriate ways to express that. It happened at a con that I intended a few times and each time the actors felt the need to go and console these people, thus preventing others from having their question answered. The AKF candle thing was very lovely and emotional. But if this kind of thing happens at every con it will lose what made it special in the first place. I worry that this will drain Jared, he gives SO much as it. Jared was completely overwhelmed a few months ago and need to completely unplug from everything, I am sure there were many factors involved but Jensen said very clearly he has a big heart and gives too much sometimes. I am not the only fan that feels this stuff is getting out of hand but most don’t want to sound like a Scrooge.
I concur with your thoughts…though I, too, feel ambivalent about voicing them. I do think that Jared and Jensen, especially, but the entire cast, really works hard at the cons…at least from what I’ve seen and read. It will become more and more difficult for any of them to “pull back” even a bit without the fans feeling slighted.
However, in the same breath, the SPNFamily never ceases to amaze me with their compassion, understanding and love they have for the cast, the crew and “their” boys. (and, much more often than not…one another)
It’s a tough issue. Walking around the hallways and seeing how many (especially younger women and men) who are so deeply affected by these this show and their support of personal issues….it’s a real conundrum. They are overwhelmed and I think most of them expected to be slightly freaked out but few of them actually think they are going to breakdown. It just hits them.
Maybe Creation could set up a video booth where fans go in and record “telling their story”, with the promise that it’ll be given to the boys. That way the boys could watch it while not in the spot-light. And honestly, if they could say it without looking them in the face, the fans might be able to express themselves fully. IDK. I want some outlet for them, I want them to know the boys HEAR them, but I don’t want the fans feeling weird afterwords (I suspect some of them might, based on a few snippets of comments I heard from a few afterwords).
OTOH, what is the first thing Jensen tweeted after he got back to Vancouver? How much he was inspired by the MinnCon weekend. And Jared? I swear the man could be a professional therapist with the skill he demonstrated. So, I wouldn’t want to take that feedback away from them.
Mark Sheppard made a comment in his panel (and in more detail in his M&G). He basically says that when he gets similar feedback he feels like he can’t PERSONALLY guarantee the individual’s safety (when they are in distress) but he is grateful to be able to tweet out “come help this person” and immediately the #SPNFamily is providing positive feedback. He’s really impressed that the fandom supports each other beyond the show. He feels that’s unique.
Having said all this… I haven’t remotely resolved anything except to say that I see the issue as delicate and I’m not sure of a good solution. I don’t think it’s wrong to bring it up because it is a reasonable concern.
SnazzyO this is in reply to you (i didn’t see a reply option for you). I agree this is a very delicate and sensitive issue. I feel for those people. They feel so grateful, want to express that and get overwhelmed by the experience. I understand that. It’s hard enough to just ask any question there. It can be overwhelming for a fan to stand close to one or more of the actors. I don’t know that there is a good solution frankly. But I do think we as fans or maybe Creation can think about this and come up with a better way for the fans to express their feelings. I have no doubt that Jared, Jensen, Misha, Mark and the other actors love their fans and feel bad for their struggles but just maybe (I don’t know) the panels shouldn’t be the place to unload ones personal baggage, On the other hand I know this may be their only chance to say how grateful they are. This is a tough one. The first few breakdowns I saw were very sweet and seeing Jared and Jensen stretched out on the floor at minncon was very touching.They are just so kind. I just don’t want to see it become the norm. Where more of the panel becomes about mental health and depression issues than about the show and the actors.
To: LMD – I agree with you. I don’t think the panel is the appropriate place. It’s an awkward position for Jensen and Jared and the hundreds of other fans in the audience. I don’t want to sound insensitive, but everyone has problems and a lot of people use the cons as a vacation, a way to escape their own problems, and they pay hundreds, if not thousands, of dollars for this.
I’m also concerned about Jensen because, even though as someone mentioned above, he has an amazing inner strength, he’s there as support for Jared, Misha, Rob, and everyone else, but everyone has their breaking point. Jensen has been going non-stop for months now, including doing double duty with panels for some of the international cons, he had a shorter hiatus so he could do prep for directing, he did double duty as director and actor, we hear from this meet and greet that he was in basically all of the scenes for episode 4. From personal experience, it can be exhausting to be a caregiver. Cons should be fun not just for the fans, but also for the actors, I hope Creation comes up with a way to curb the personal stories and non-questions at the panel, I just think it would be better for everyone.
I’m not sure if this is the right place in the replies to put in my two cents. I recently read a Facebook post about how Creation had an announcement on the screens at VanCon to not share personal stories out of consideration to other fans. There were mixed reactions to this, with a few people saying (more of less) that was unfair of Creation to ask this, and others praising the move. I’m in the latter group, and I’ve had trouble articulating why. Then I read one of the responses on Facebook and that person hit it on the head: giving that personal monologue or asking for a hug for yourself or someone else is manipulative.
That was my light bulb moment. When someone asks for a hug at a panel despite knowing you aren’t supposed to use your question to do that (as happened in DC) the actor risks looking like, and possibly feeling like, a jerk if they don’t give in to this demand. (Not to mention that if that’s someone’s only question, they clearly lied to the poor volunteer who handed them the mic.) The same goes for someone who turns their question into a performance all about themselves. I am choosing the word performance deliberately, because while I’m sure some people are genuinely overcome with emotion, there others out there who have now learned from fans getting special attention for breaking down that it’s the quickest way to get that “priceless moment.” I realize how cynical and awful that makes me sound, but as someone who has to deal with a person in my normal day to day life who has these sorts of “performances” I assure you, there are those who will gladly engage in the “my life sucks more” contest to get the attention they crave, regardless of how inappropriate that behavior is at that time or place.
It’s also disrespectful to the fans in the audience who have chosen to not ask for hugs or share hugely personal stories. We all have our things to deal with in life, but the vast majority of the fans respect the request to keep questions to things relating to the show or the actors – and those fans who are treating the con like a convention instead of their personal therapy session will never get that special moment that the manipulators have orchestrated for themselves. (I realize that some people will read this as me being jealous that I didn’t get that sort of treatment. That’s really not it. It bothers me that those who flagrantly disregard the request to “not make it about themselves” are rewarded for the very behavior that is being discouraged.)
There seems to be this notion that the more pain that can be displayed, the more love will be given. I see the same thing happening on Jared’s Facebook page with the Always Keep Fighting campaign. It angers and saddens me that something with so much potential for good is getting hijacked into a competition where the person with the worst life wins. It leaves no room for those struggling who aren’t exhibitionists. I don’t know Jared, so I won’t guess how that affects him, but I suspect that alienating people wasn’t his intent.
My first and most immediate concern is for Jared who was seen at Vancon behind a screen being consoled by Creation staff and then Jensen (see the link provided by Cassiopeia below). It is just so unfair to the actors to unload your personal baggage on them. Especially Jared who is trying to maintain his own equilibrium. If some are “performing” to get attention then shame on them! The more the actors try and comfort fans who break down, the more it has been happening. I completely agree that the actors will look and feel like jerks if they don’t respond. They also can’t publicly say anything about this. There would be a huge backlash. They love their fans but this is taking a toll on them. I am pleased to see that Creation is trying to address these issues. I think that much stricter guidelines will be put into effect as a direct result. Jared (and now Jensen) has done wonderful things with the AKF campaign and deserve much praise for those efforts. As do all the actors who have their own charitable endeavors. It happens to Misha too. I want to see the fans get to express their love, thanks and personal stories of struggle to the actors -just not in panels, autograph session, photo op’s where they have direct contact with the actors. Literally hundreds of people are waiting behind then to have a few seconds of their own. Again I am worried about Jared at the moment. I worry that he will keep working long hard hours and then appear at cons giving out and soaking in those draining emotions until he breaks again.
I hear what you are saying and I agree to a certain extent. My fear is mostly for Jared because he does have such deep compassion for others who are struggling. These tributes while coming from the fans hearts can be emotionally draining. I understand that con goers want to express how much the AKF campaign and SPN have meant to them (in some cases truly saving their lives). I just hope it doesn’t become too much of a burden for Jared to bear.
https://41.media.tumblr.com/306f8d8d1a64a97f48f14b6c2f91ad24/tumblr_ntyd9pv5TH1u2tr6ko1_540.jpg So evidently what I was afraid might happen happened. This is just going to get out of hand. Thank goodness Jensen was there to support Jared and Gen is in Vancouver right now.
I am afraid this is going to be too much of a burden for Jared to bear.
I can understand if you don’t want to post this. But I am really concerned for Jared. I hope fans can understand how hard this is for someone who is not a trained therapist, who just suffered a major breakdown and who is dealing with his own emotional issues.
This could turn very scary very fast.
Thanks for the write up. I finally got to go to my 1st convention! I was there at MINNCON for Sunday only. I have to say that it is the highlight of my life! I can’t believe how sweet and caring Jared and Jensen really are.
You are such a wonderful writer. I was there with you at both M&G’s, but somehow your write-up makes them even better. I could never explain them like you have. Of course they were my first ever so I was kind of in a daze. Eyes glazed over probably. Hmmm, wonder why. 🙂 I am so grateful for your words, both in your books and in person. Thank you so much for signing my books. Fangasm literally gave me validation when I read it.. You know a bit of my story and I just can’t thank you enough.
Just a quick addition. I too have concerns that the many fan breakdowns could drain Jared. I am exposed to people daily with depression, anxiety and a variety of mental issues. Even though I love what I do, it is emotionally and physically draining at times. I just hope he remembers to fill his cup. He is so sensitive and caring. He has inadvertently taken on a big responsibility in some ways with this campaign. I fear that a distraught fan could become more so if they don’t get the response from him they desire. Sorry to digress a bit. But I can’t help being a little bit overprotective mom, even it he’s not my kid! 🙂
Thanks again Lynn!! I can’t read more.
that was supposed to say I can’t wait to read more.
Excellent article. I was at DC con this year myself, and it really is a wonderful balm for the soul, and I made a new friend- who helped me by text thru my post-con blues. I truly am hopeful and excited again about the new season, unlike the last couple of seasons.
Wonderful read, thank you! I was at MinnCon too, my 2nd convention, and I have been an emotional wreck since I left. It was an amazing experience.
Lynn, I don’t comment often enough on your posts even though I read them but I wanted to on this one. Thanks for writing this. I know there is no way you did it without bawling a few times! Lol!!! You know I don’t do cons anymore and you know why but it’s funny because I had just been thinking how things have evolved over the years and then you said the same thing. 🙂 It makes me think, maybe….just maybe….I should consider planning to attend again. But only if you are there. AUUUGHH, how much I miss you!!!!
I can’t tell you how much I look forward to your awesome con recaps! Such a joy for those of us who can’t attend. It makes me feel as though, in some small way, I was still a part of an amazing fandom experience.
I understand why certain fans would want to thank the Js for helping them through hard times. It’s incredible how the show has impacted so many people. But I’m not sure these cons are the right forum. I’d also vote for instead using some kind of journal or videotape to share those experiences. That would give the Js the freedom to choose when and how much they want to listen to. Plus, it’d respect the hundreds of other fans who came to the con to hear the Js talk about themselves and the show.
I have read this more than once. Each time I have , I have sat with tears going down my cheeks. Jared and Jenson are two wonderful men. They are down to earth. Actors that take the love of their fans serious. They look at their fans as part of their family. They share so much of themselves, on screen and off. I cried too when I read what happened to Misha. I’m glad that Misha is doing OK. All the cast of supernatural are wonderful. The emotions and closeness they all have towards one another brings happiness and tears that makes them a family. I’m glad to be a fan, part of the supernatural family. Love to all.