If you’ve read Fangasm Supernatural Fangirls, you know that conventions are always an adventure. Pittcon was no exception (I tweeted about a half a million tweets at the con with that hashtag, btw, only to belatedly realize it was supposed to be #spnpitt. Which sounds really unattractive. Why you have to mess with hashtags?? We had a system here!)
Anyway, Pittcon was no exception. I decided to take a Greyhound bus to save money, thus having more to use for the important things in life – like a photo op! I was feeling like a relatively smart person for that $27 round trip fee as I dragged myself out of bed at 4 am to catch the 5 am bus out of Philly. We made a few pit stops, I had an Auntie Anne’s pretzel, I even managed to doze a little on the way. Hah! Brilliant decision. Or at least I thought so at the time. Stay tuned for my post-con travel adventures…
So I arrived at the convention center, breezed through registration, and walked into the hall just as the con was starting – perfect timing! I did stop and gape for a few minutes before making my way to my seat, because holy hell, the hall was cavernous! It looked more like an airplane hangar than a hall, with the seats taking up only about a third of it and the stage approximately 3 miles away. I’m not a big fan of having cons in convention centers, so I wasn’t exactly thrilled, but hey, at least the seats were comfortable. (Unlike NJ Con, also in a gigantic convention center, but with hard plastic little seats lashed together so that we were literally sitting on top of each other.) The stage wasn’t too horribly high, the seats were cushioned, and lots of fangirl friends who I hadn’t seen in quite a while were there, so I was a happy fangirl.
And believe it or not, the sound was great (because Liz is a genius) and I love the new lighting Creation has going – it does the Saturday Night Special justice!
I wasn’t sure what to expect from the con itself either – unlike just about every other con, Richard and Rob weren’t going to be there to kick things off. (They had an excellent excuse, as they were finishing up filming on Kings of Con). Matt wasn’t there either, hard at work on General Hospital. Osric (and maybe someone else?) had to cancel as well, so the line up had changed quite a bit from what it was when they made up the stage banners.
Luckily for all of us, Creation made a brilliant decision. Kim Rhodes and Briana Buckmaster were our hosts for Friday and into Saturday. You all know I love them (see our recent interview with them right here on Fangasm for evidence), and I was pretty sure that they’d be awesome emcees. But even I didn’t realize just HOW awesome they’d be! If you thought Richard was sassy and delights in pushing the limits just a wee bit, triple that and then triple it again – that was Kim and Briana.
Kim made an attempt at reading the rules and regulations, while Briana either mirrored the expression of most of us in the crowd or attempted to distract her. Sometimes I think they really ARE Rich and Rob!
I love that Kim added ‘ships’ to the non-discrimination policy – we’re all fans here, let people ship who they ship or not ship anyone at all, it’s all good! There’s so much hate out there in the world, let fandom be the antidote not part of the same problem.
Friday was fucking awesome – and I use those words deliberately. The WaywardAF campaign was something many fans could relate to, and that sentiment was obvious at the con. Fan after fan dared to be very real when they stepped up to the mic to ask questions, especially of Kim and Briana. It’s not like you have to use four letter words to be real, but I couldn’t help but think that the freedom to use the ‘f word’ at the mic and on the stage set a precedent for genuineness and waywardness that is sometimes lacking at Creation cons.
Gotta say, I fucking loved it.
Gabe Tigerman’s plane was delayed, so Jason Manns jumped in to take his place and kick things off. His panels are a delightful combination of answering questions and entertaining us with his guitar and beautiful voice. He told the story of meeting Eric Kripke at a con years ago and Kripke saying he wanted to use Jason’s music (and Jason being like umm, my music isn’t exactly the kind you play on Supernatural…). Eric being Eric, he found the perfect way to do that, of course – giving Jensen as Dean the chance to roll his eyes and toss the offending ipod into the Impala’s backseat.
We also usually get a little of Gil McKinney’s beautiful voice, and this con was no exception. Also? He looks really adorable in that hat. The ability to rock a hat like that is something he shares with Jensen – and not many others.
Gil’s love of the show and the character he played always comes through in his panels; I really hope that Henry comes back one of these days. He’s a Winchester, after all! And about to be a first time daddy, something we’ve witnessed with so many of the SPN cast. Awwww
Gabe finally made it, and I seriously don’t think he’s aging at all. He still looks like an adorable little kid when he smiles, which is often. Kim and Briana first welcomed him as their lowly intern, then later did an impromptu intervention to get Gabe in the WaywardAF mood – which meant he finally started being as fucking wayward as they are. Adorably.
Andy Gallagher is another one of those earlier characters who has become iconic, and it would be great to see him again too. In the interim, you can see Gabe in approximately every other major commercial on television.
Kim and Briana did a panel too, which was both amusing and emotional – much like Kim and Briana. In our interview with them recently, they talked about being real with the fans and onstage, and this time was no exception. There’s so much for fans to relate to in what they talk about, because they’re willing to talk about the stuff that matters. They’re willing to be vulnerable, and genuine, and that makes them an inspiration to many of the SPN Family.
I invariably need to search my backpack for tissues at some point in their panel, either because I’m laughing hysterically or something touched me so much. We got a few hints that they’ve at least thought about making Wayward Daughters something in the future – web series, maybe? I would SO be behind that!
During a break in the action, I trekked off around Pittsburgh with some fangirl friends in search of lunch – which turned out to be a helluva lot farther from the convention center than we thought. We backtracked after a lovely stroll (it was about 100 degrees out…) and found a place that had cold drinks and poutine tater tots and proceeded to talk fanfiction and fandom and of course SPN, so I was a very happy camper indeed. Dinner was with some of my favorite inspirational people – the Attitudes in Reverse gang. And the burgers were on English muffins, so life was good.
My favorite moments of any con are the family moments, either between cast members or between cast and fans, or between fans and fans. Ruth gifted Briana with an American flag for getting her visa.
And there were hugs. So many hugs!
I never get tired of witnessing the enthusiasm with which this cast greets each other.
Rob’s face though. I can’t look at it without smiling.
Saturday saw Kim and Briana hostessing again (after helming karaoke the night before, thereby proving they also match Rich and Rob for stamina) until Richard arrived mid day.
Gil and Alaina Huffman did a joint panel for the first time, which was great because they’re good friends in real life. Which means they have excellent chemistry and are more than comfortable both teasing each other and being affectionate.
Also, everyone in the audience wanted Alaina’s shoes. Even though there’s no way in hell I could actually stand up in them, let alone walk.
Ruth Connell was up next; I love to listen to audience reaction to Ruth from people who only know her as Rowena.
“She’s so pretty!”
“She’s so tiny!”
“She’s so nice!”
She is. As always, Ruth brought giveaway items for fans who have the courage to step up to the mic and ask questions.
And we did a rousing version of V Club Mega with the now requisite ‘flawless, absolutely flawless’ ending. Ruth livestreamed our efforts, which I never end up getting to see, but from my vantage point, I think we lived up to the ‘flawless’ designation.
Ruth tends to make me emotional when she talks about how grateful she is about being a part of the SPNFamily – she had been trying to get an audition in the US for two years when Supernatural came up, and she thought, if I can’t get this one, there’s no use trying in the US. Thankfully, that all worked out!
Mark Sheppard was uncharacteristically affectionate during his panel, giving out impromptu hugs and hardly giving anyone a hard time. (I think being a new dad of that adorable babysheppard is having an impact, Sarah…) One fan was really struggling to hold it together, and he stood there with her for many minutes while he answered other fans’ questions, making sure she was okay before he let go. Awww.
He also found a baby in the crowd, as he often does. I tweeted a photo of him snuggling her, and the proud parents tweeted me later to say ‘Best anniversary celebration ever!’ I guess so!
Kinda looks like the king of hell is dreaming about his date with Jody Mills way back when, doesn’t it?
Then we got R2M, finally back together and with us once again. It’s very weird not to have Richard be the host throughout the con, or to have Rob fronting Louden Swain, or to have Matt there from the beginning – so it was sort of weirdly emotional just having the three of them onstage. Matt got the majority of questions at the beginning of the panel, which made him so adorably happy, he was practically bouncing across the stage to answer.
Matt: Best panel ever!
Everyone is excited about Kings of Con – both the fandom who supported it and the cast who have appeared in it or shown up to offer their support. Filming wrapped on Tuesday, and I can’t wait to see it!
Misha Collins rounded out the Saturday panels, looking yummy in all black. Something about a jacket with zippers too, I don’t know…
One of the interesting things about the gigantic Comic Con-esque convention center were the glass walled walkways that flanked the hall, which the guests had to walk through to get to the stage. We could always tell when a panel was about to begin, because the guests would stroll along above our heads. Misha, of course, took advantage of the catwalk to have some fun with us, much to the delight of everyone waiting for him.
He definitely had that rockstar look going on when he arrived in shades, livestreaming the panel.
Misha seems excited about Season 12, and of course about Gishwhes, which I have somehow managed to sign up for once again. Last year was so much fun, I couldn’t resist – though it happens to fall smack in the middle of the family vacation. Something tells me my kids are not going to want to give up too much beach time for making kale hats…
Luckily our team is a laid back for-fun one – a helluva lot of fun was had last year! And it’s of course for a very good cause. Have you signed up yet??
Don’t worry, his panel wasn’t all serious…
Saturday night we had an unexpected treat after a delicious dinner – fireworks! I wanted to say the city was celebrating having Supernatural in its midst, but I think it was their bicentennial. Either way, we had a perfect view from the balcony outside the convention center, overlooking the river.
And then, it was time for one of my favorite con happenings – the Saturday Night Special!
Stay tuned for more!
Read more of our Supernatural con adventures and behind
the scenes on Supernatural in Fangasm Supernatural Fangirls!