The day begins early on Sunday mornings for any Salute to Supernatural convention, and this one is no different. My roommate for this convention was one of my closest friends, Katy; although we had an alarm set for 7:30, we were awake at 7:00, full of nervous energy and excitement, and did I mention nerves? I’m so thankful that she was there with me for the weekend – as she ate her bagel, she gently, quietly suggested that I eat a little bit of cereal before I left the room, reminding me just how full the day was going to be, reminding me that I really need to eat at least a little bit, that it would calm my stomach. I did manage to swallow a few bites of Cheerios.
It’s Sunday. It’s the Jared and Jensen Gold Panel at 10:00. Then it’s off to so many photo ops. And a panel with Mark Pellegrino. And the afternoon panel with Jared and Jensen. And then more photo ops. And another panel with Mark Sheppard. And then autographs with Jared and Jensen. Oh, and in all of that, yes, I had my first Meet & Greet with Jensen.
I simply must give a big big thank you to Katy. She kept me sane and focused and well fed for the weekend, especially today. She probably doesn’t realize how much it meant to me to have her with me.
I will get to the J2 panels and ops and details and all that glorious beauty a little later.
For non-gold ticket holders, Sunday began with Mark Pellegrino.
No, no, that’s not correct. Sunday began with a welcome from Richard Speight Jr., the boys from Louden Swain, and of course, #ActualRockGod Rob Benedict. They reminded us of the Rules & Regulations – Do Not take a camera into the photo op room. Just. Don’t. Do. It. Insert another photo of Rob here, because, omg, how adorable is he?!
As I started to say but lost myself in photos of Rob… Mark Pellegrino took to the stage. He was wearing a black beanie, which he rubbed against his head throughout most of his panel, perhaps in an attempt to alleviate his headache – yes, apparently the combination of the high altitude and a few drinks the night before had left him feeling a bit under the weather. And I’d like to add that it was just adorable, watching him work his way through the panel and the questions while feeling the headache.
Mark answered so many questions, I can’t remember them all. He was asked if he would be coming back to the show this season; in his answer, he neither confirmed nor denied the possibility; he did say that he would love to come back because it is such a great group of people and he enjoyed working with them. In response to another question, he said, if he did come back, “The first thing Lucifer would do would be to bi***slap Crowley.” Now that’s a confrontation that I need to see, like, now.
If you haven’t sat through one of his panels, then it is important to know that Mark likes to bring fans on stage with him while they ask their questions. I think he brought up two, perhaps three, fans, putting his arm around each of them as they nervously asked their questions. Mark is definitely charming! This is my 2nd time to sit in on one of his panels. I am struck by how incredibly soft-spoken he is, especially when interacting with a fan on stage. His quiet tone is soothing and calming, and yet somehow creepy and scary and frightening, and dare I say sexy, all at the same time – I mean, he is Lucifer. I can’t help but imagine that I’m witnessing a conversation with the Devil himself, and that is slightly unnerving. And Mark is aware of that. He asks us several times why the questioners, why the fans, seem afraid of him; he says, “You know I’m not actually Satan, right?”
Before I get into the details of the two Jared & Jensen panels, I’ll start with a few pictures.
To be completely honest, many of the details blend together. I don’t remember if this comment came from the morning panel, or maybe that comment from the afternoon panel? I’m a photographer. Taking pictures is my thing. I’m so focused on the details, like lighting and ISO’s and shutter speeds, and what if these pictures don’t turn out? What if these pictures are too grainy or too blurry or the color is bad? I have enough worry with these details, so keeping the details of who said what when is not at the top of my priority list, ya know? So instead of trying to keep the two panels separate, I’ll just mention some of the highlights.
Jared and Jensen talked about the “Baby” episode. It’s clear they loved shooting this one. They talked about how it was to actually film it; the scenes would be set up by the crew, then everyone except Jared & Jensen would leave, hiding far far away so as to not be captured by one of the many cameras mounted on the car. They explained that it was actually really cool, to be just the two of them in the car with literally no one else around. They would run through the scene, but there was no one to actually say, “Cut,” so they had to take it upon themselves to do it again, if they thought anything wasn’t quite right about the take. They also said there might be a few excerpts from their many takes on the gag reel, and given the ornery grins on their faces, I’d say we’re really going to love the gag reel!
One fan asked Jensen if “it was a coincidence that he was born in Dallas in the late 70’s and his initials are JR?” For those of you who don’t know, J.R. Ewing was a character on the hit show “Dallas” in the 1970’s. Jensen laughed and then shared with us this little fun fact: His father actually played J.R.’s doctor in the show, and Jensen used to visit his dad on set when he was a kid. Of note: Jensen did not actually confirm or deny that his initials are in any way connected to JR Ewing.
The boys also talked a little bit about their families. The story that stuck with me is one that Jensen told about watching a movie with JJ, and how she kept moving closer and closer to him until she was eventually just nestled head to head with him; Danneel came in, but Jensen shushed her away because he so loved the moment.
Jared loves playing with his boys. He talked about looking forward to watching his boys grow up, and wanting to be there for those pivotal moments in their lives.
Seriously. As a mother of two (adult) children, I just can’t tell you how much I enjoy listening to them talk about their kids. I cherish those memories I have with my children, and I truly hope Jared & Jensen have a lifetime of warm & fuzzy memories with their children.
Other highlights included a discussion of pranks. Jensen pulled out his phone to read to us from the list that he and Jared made when Misha (Collins) directed an episode last season. Yes, Jensen still has that list. They also talked about holiday traditions – including watching the Cowboys game on Thanksgiving Day, decorating the Christmas Tree, enjoying the cookies and other recipes from Danneel and her family, to name a few.
And of course, the “Losechesters” line made its way into both panels.
Jared: We aren’t the Losechesters!
Jensen: Wiggling your eyebrows up and down doesn’t make it better.
Jared: Yes it does.
Wiggled eyebrows or not, that is and always will be one helluva line.
I am always touched by their passion for their work, this show, and our fandom. A fan asked where they would like to be in 10 years. Of course, both Jared and Jensen said they would like to spend more time with their families, but they also told us that they frequently talk about the show and its impact. They get it – they understand that the show is bigger than just the two of them. Jensen explained that “the show may not continue for the rest of their lives, but what this show has become, that will be with us forever.”
They also said they continue to find inspiration in doing the show, as well as from us, the fans. They really, truly love doing it. They know how fortunate they are to be a part of this show, and a part of this SPNFamily. To paraphrase Jared, he said, “This show has a message, about brothers who never give up and just keep fighting… And I think that message transitioned into this idea of not giving up and then into the charity work… and it has made our community closer… and that inspires us to work harder… to come here and talk to you and hug you… Honestly, we just thank you.”
A fan asked, “If you could only say one word for the rest of your life, what would it be?”
Somewhere in all of that, and I honestly don’t remember which part or which story or which comment, but Jensen said to Jared: “Did I just make you cry?” To which Jared replied: “It’s allergies.”
Right. I guess we all have “allergies” now. “Sorry, I can’t talk right now. I have J2itis. No, no, I’ll be okay. I just need to wrap up in my #AKF tshirt and watch some eps and some con videos and re-live all of these moments.”
And that’s a wrap on the J2 panels in DenverCon.
I’ll leave with two more tidbits.
I had my first Meet & Greet with Jensen. Jensen Ackles. Oh. My. God.
The rules are clear. To quote Castiel, “We aren’t supposed to talk about it.” With that in mind, I will only say four things:
1 – As this was my first M&G, I tried very, very hard not to stare. Or show my shaking nerves. Or drool. Because, well, Jensen. Jensen Ackles. (Hey, 2 outta 3 ain’t bad.)
2 – The entire 30 minute session focused upon the show, with questions and discussion about episodes, directing, and the like.
3 – In the car wash scene from the “Baby” episode, yes, Jensen really was wearing shorts. And there was music playing. And there might have been some dancing and shenanigans. And it might be on the gag reel.
4 – And this goes out to Creation… if there is ever a real, live, breathing guy in one of his M&G’s, please for the love of Chuck, please let your volunteers take pictures of Jensen’s face as he walks into the room. That is all.
And I’ll leave you with this final story:
I had a photo op with Jensen and Misha, which was just, guh, heaven. In an attempt to give me a full sandwich hug, and because I’m so short and they’re both so tall, well, I kind of got lost in the actual picture. So, oh woe is me, I had to do it again. Bummer, right? Not really. I had to hug them a second time. Twice. Let me say that again – I had to hug them, they hugged me Twice. Swoon.
The Jensen-Misha op took place at the same time as Mark Sheppard’s second panel. I knew I would miss some of his panel, and looking at the time, I realized I had missed most of it. As I walked to the theater, it hit me… I would be walking in late. Laaaatttteee. I stood at the back of the theater, wrestling with my options. I had to get from the back of the theater, to the other side, then up the aisle to my seat, and without Mark seeing me. He was roaming the theater, as he often does. What if he sees me? Will he berate me for being late? Will I have to explain to him that I had been in the photo op room with Jensen and Misha? Would he berate me for that? I finally mustered the courage, and began the journey towards my seat. Suddenly a volunteer stepped in front of me and said, “You have to wait here for a minute.” Oh what hell is this, I wondered. Surely she is not going to actually bring my lateness to Mark’s attention?
Then Jared walked into the theater, right in front of where I was standing. I may or may not have stopped breathing for a few seconds.
Then Jared was running. And Mark was chasing him. And I just wanted to get to my seat. And as I was about to cross the aisle, there’s Jared running right in front of me with Mark in hot pursuit. What’s Happening? What’s Happening?!
I made it to my seat, unnoticed by Mark (yay!) but completely out of breath (damn altitude). Katy tried to explain to me something about Mark’s phone. I still don’t know exactly what happened, but it was hilarious just to watch the two guys chasing each other around the theater.
After Mark’s panel, we began the wait for autographs with Jared and Jensen. And with those last breathtaking one-on-one moments with Jared and Jensen, the weekend came to an end.
So, um, is it Jacksonville yet?
just a mom with a camera.