Lynn didn’t make it to the Supernatural con in Pittsburgh until Saturday, thanks to having to work all day on Friday (boo!!), so this first part about Friday is all Kim.
Conventions are always super busy, jam-packed weekends. Panels. Photo ops. Autographs. Sometimes I do meet & greets. Hanging out with old friends. Meeting new friends. It is a full schedule, to say the least. For the convention in Pittsburgh, I added another thing… I helped Lynn with her book sales (Family Don’t End With Blood) at her table in the vendor area. How many ways can I spell exhausted? I have newly found respect for vendors, for Lynn. Working in the vendor area and trying to do all the convention things is beyond exhausting. And for the record – I would totally do it all again. And again.
Lynn: I have that in writing now. Excellent… *evil cackle*
Kim: Thank Chuck for my dear friends Kim and Stacy, for helping me set up Thursday night, for sitting with me at the table all weekend, for giving me the time I needed for photo ops and autographs (and a meet & greet with Kim & Briana). Thank Chuck they were there to make sure I had water and food, and a few stolen moments to breathe and pull myself together for photo ops.
That said, entering the airplane hangar – at least that’s what the theater feels like – to sit down for a panel was a like entering my zone… sitting down, taking out the camera, watching the panels through the comfort of my lens… yes, this is where I belong.
Rob could not be there on Friday, so we had just Richa…
That is one million percent Inaccurate. Wrong.
When did the word ‘just’ become an adjective? When did it begin to carry that negativity? Every day of my life, I have to tell people that, no, I don’t have a job, that I’m ‘just’ a mom… as if being ‘just’ a mom is somehow less, somehow unworthy. Sure, the popular phrase “Just Do it” implies a positive message of strength and endurance, but usually adding the word ‘just’ to describe anything is somehow, less. So can we stop saying that? I’ll stop using the word to describe myself, and ya’ll stop using the word to describe yourselves, and let’s just simply stop using the word as an adjective of negativity, ok?
So starting over…
Rob could not be there on Friday because he was attending a film festival. As a result, we were treated to the impeccable hosts of the utter effervescence that is Richard Speight, Jr, along with the always delightful Jason Manns, and the incredibly talented Louden Swain band members Billy Moran, Michael Borja, and Stephen Norton. We were given witty banter, and fabulous music, and as Richard put it, we were in the “warehouse of fun” and it was awesome.
Gil McKinney took the stage for the first panel on Friday. He sang a little bit of As Time Goes By for us. He talked about his love of music, including his love for Elvis and Michael Buble. He talked about filming The Grudge 3 in Bulgaria. And he answered a question about pranks.
Before I get to that, I’d like to let you know something that actually happened at this convention. Several of the celebrity guests asked the audience, “how many of you, is this your first convention?” Easily it was more than half of the audience. Let me say that again – more than half of the fans were at their first convention! Gil made the comment, and I think Kim and Briana commented on it as well… they don’t mind answering the prank questions, telling these stories again because for some fans, it is their first time hearing it. (And everybody else gets to take a drink or fill in a spot on your bingo card, so win-win!)
So Gil was asked about pranks. He told us about the time when Jared had to show him something on a computer. When Gil, playing Henry, looks at the computer screen, well, it was apparently a picture of a rather large, very naked man. And Gil graciously demonstrated the pose for us.
I missed most of Jason’s panel, because I was doing photo ops and manning the FDEWB table, and you bet I’m sad about that. But I did get to hear him sing a little bit, so all is right in the world. Dayum, that man can sing.
The last panel on Friday featured Kim Rhodes and Briana Buckmaster. Or Brian, as she’s known in some circles. LOL The panel began with Kim taking a video as we all sang happy birthday to her husband, Travis, and then they answered questions.
They talked about their spinoff, Wayward; there will be six season regulars, all women, featuring a variety of inclusive characters. Kim said something that really struck me as quite powerful. She said, “You all know the phrase family don’t end with blood… well, it doesn’t begin there either.” Think about that for a minute. Isn’t that true of our fandom?
A fan asked for parenting advice, and Briana’s answer was phenomenal. She said you can listen to the advice of experts and family and friends, but ultimately, you have to parent in the way that works for you. What works in one family may not work in another. For her and her daughter, she said, “I’m not worried about raising a lady, I’m worried about raising a woman.” I also have a daughter, and I have worked very hard to instill confidence in her, to show her that strength and intelligence are powerful tools to be proud of, to be confident on her path and to not let what others might think even be a factor in her life… because I am raising a Woman. And let me tell ya, my daughter is 24 years old and she is #WaywardAndFierce.
That brings us to Saturday. Well, Friday night.
Lynn: The Super Shuttle finally dropped me off at 11 pm, but of course I woke up right away when I got there since Kim and I hadn’t seen each other in a while. Cue some good fannish conversation before we both collapsed. Also Kim is an excellent con roomie – she stocks our room with all sorts of goodies, which is like some kind of utopia when you’re at a crazy busy con trying to sell books and go to panels and do photo ops and god knows that never leaves time for food. We had subs and Doritos and cinnamon muffins and my favorite flavors of yogurt because Kim is just that awesome. I had to sample a muffin after my long flight (okay, fine, it was like an hour from Philly…) but hey, my Super Shuttle ride was almost as long!
Then it was Saturday.
Lynn: So Pittcon was notable for a few things. First, it’s held in a gigantic glass walled convention center with a truly spectacular view of the river. Our vendor table where we had copies of Family Don’t End With Blood and Fangasm Supernatural Fangirls for sale was in the far corner, which probably wasn’t the utopian place for a vendor table but had a spectacular view. The hall itself is cavernous, both in width and in height. It’s a bit weird not to have the whole thing filled (that would be like filling Hall H at Comic Con practically…okay, not quite, but…) – on the other hand, being able to watch the guests come and go to the stage area through the catwalks overhead was a treat. Of course most of them had to ham it up too as they crossed.
One of my highlights happened right away, because Richard Speight kicked off Saturday by singing ‘Sympathy For The Devil’ with Louden Swain. Wearing glasses. I don’t know what it is about Richard in glasses, but let’s just say it’s not a bad thing. In fact, it caused all sorts of delighted noises on my twitter feed. Gotta say, I agreed with every one of them. There’s something about a smart man in glasses. Playing a guitar. We also celebrated Richard’s birthday with Jason Manns bearing birthday cake and a Happy Birthday Dick message.
Kim: One of my highlights was the Kim and Briana and Gil panel. I particularly liked their comments about bullying. Gil talked about being bullied for a while in school, walking around with his head down, trying to get through the day, and then Briana said, “finding your tribe is so important to surviving life;” Kim said, “Learn to laugh at yourself. Humor will save your life.” That’s so true, on both points. So much of my twitter feed is funny – memes and sarcasm, and watching some people completely lose their minds over new photos or promos – and some days I really need that. And finding your tribe is so utterly important. I thank God every day for bringing this fandom and these friends into my life, especially Lynn. #PartnerInCrime
Lynn: Ditto. #LotsOfCrime
Kim: I also loved Briana’s comment about beauty. She was talking about her role as Donna and she liked that she didn’t have to make herself small for the camera. She said, “There is beauty in every size and it’s important to work on confidence muscles.” Imma need this on a shirt, please.
Lynn: Me too. Actually just about everyone needs that on a shirt.
Lynn: Kim and Briana were trying not to swear, which I have to say was kind of weird. They made sure to say that they didn’t feel like they had to conform, but that it was out of respect for the people who were lifting them up (regarding the spinoff). Personally though, I kinda missed the unfettered spontaneity.
Though Kim did say to the fans “you f—king did this!” when talking about the spinoff.
Lynn: Damn right.
Also? Kim and Briana are friendship goals.
Briana: When I first met Kim, I knew I wanted to be friends with her.
Kim said that when she first met Gil, they were doing a karaoke and it wasn’t going very well, so she commented that to him in sympathy. Gil misunderstood and took it as a personal criticism.
Gil: I’m doing the best I can!
Lynn: The R2M panel was a favorite for both of us. First, because Rob was back – and yes, Rich and Jason did a kickass job, but yes, I also was overjoyed to have Rob with us. So was Richard, who swept him up in a full body hug. Awwww.
Some favorite questions and answers…
Kim: Matt, Rich and Rob as cartoon characters = Risky, Sexy, Sweaty. I’mma need that as a shirt too.
Lynn: Does it come with pictures?
They were asked their favorite acting jobs besides Supernatural and Kings of Con.
Rich: Band of Brothers.
Kim: I watched this (for the umpteenth time) over the summer, but this time I watched it with my daughter… it is still as hauntingly good as it was the first time.
Lynn: One of my son’s favorite programs.
Lynn: Matt made a point to say that he liked CMBB because it was about him and his acting instead of about his body or his looks. Not only did he get to keep his shirt on, but for a while all that was exposed was his eyes, which is a great challenge for a (great) actor.
Kim: I’d like to add that I think he needs to be cast in some serious, meaty, dramatic roles because serious-fully-clothed Matt is a thousand times hotter than shirtless Matt, just sayin. Yeah, shirtless Matt is cute and whatever, but Matt looking at you with a serious face or a hurt face, oh my heart.
Lynn: I have nothing against Matt shirtless, he’s a beautiful man, but I think the entire fandom agrees that he’s even more beautiful beneath the surface. Amazingly kind and caring and compassionate, and a great dad and husband and friend. And a huge proponent of fandom too. Read the chapter he wrote in Family Don’t End With Blood and you’ll see what I mean! He’s just so much more than a pretty face. Though his face is definitely pretty!
Richard also talked about the pilot he just did for Amazon, called Skyward. If you haven’t checked it out, it’s worth a look and you can put in your vote toward getting it picked up too. Thumbs up!
Lynn: Matt was asked about the chapter he wrote in Family Don’t End With Blood, in which he wrote about racing cars when he was younger (among other personal things). He says there may be racing in his future too.
At the end of the R2M panel, we filmed a get well message for Tim Omundson, who we all miss very much. I tweeted it with a ‘we love you Tim’ message, and Tim replied with a ‘Love you back’. #SPNFamily
Then it was time for Mark Sheppard.
Lynn: Every time Mark comes out to do his panel, I feel a wave of sadness knowing that he won’t be doing these particular cons much longer.
Mark actually answered a bunch of questions!
Ad libs that made it into the show: “You’re good, but I’m Crowley.”
Lynn: That was in my interview with Robbie Thompson that I posted last week too, it’s one of Robbie’s favorite ad libs.
Favorite episode he wasn’t in? The French Mistake.
Lynn: Oooh good choice. (Love me some French Mistake…)
If he had an imaginary friend? The Winchesters. They were my imaginary friends.
Mark also said that he loved his scene with Misha, the Agent Beyonce scene. He had some high praise for Jensen in that scene.
Mark: Jensen is the best non verbal communicator on the planet, the best non verbal comedian…
Kim: I’m gonna have to agree with that, because Ackles kills me with his listening face during panels OMG.
Lynn: He can say more with just a lifted eyebrow than most people can say with a page of dialogue, I swear.
Does Crowley like cats?
Mark: What? This isn’t Alf. No they’re evil. You don’t own cats, cats own you.
Kim: LOL #TRUTH
Lynn: This is why I don’t own cats.
Mark gave an interesting answer when asked about Rowena and Crowley. He said that he thought Crowley felt cheated out of having a mother, since Rowena was Fergus’ mother, not his. He actually thought Rowena should have been his love interest…
Kim: I don’t ship, but omg I’m here for that!
Lynn: I absolutely ship, but I really liked the relationship between Crowley and Rowena as sort of mother and son, with those bits of Fergus that came through sometimes. The way they fought against any acknowledgement of that love, and yet I always felt some small bit of it was still there. I still wish they’d done more with that.
Mark also told the story of how he met his wife, Sarah, who was a Supernatural fan long before she met him.
Kim: That was absolutely adorable, such love in his voice as he spoke of her.
Lynn: It totally was. I had to tweet it to her. Awww.
One of the last questions for Mark was how does Crowley feel about Sam and Dean?
Mark was uncharacteristically serious when he answered: Maybe his actions at the end speak to that.
Lynn: God, I’m so sad that we won’t have Crowley on the show anymore. So very sad.
Kim: I still can’t bring myself to accept it.
Richard sang the Pina Colada song to end Mark’s panel, which was random but quite amusing.
Then we had Jake Abel’s panel – Kim manned the book table while Lynn sat in on Jake’s panel.
Jake has a great sense of humor and is very entertaining.
He joked that Adam should finally come back to Supernatural, appearing in the very last minutes of the episode. He could say “heya Sammy…” – and then he gets hit by a bus.
Jake also shared the story of the time he was on set and acting a scene with the boys, trapped in a booth with Jared when Jared just casually lifted his leg up and let out a huge fart, and then proclaimed “I’m Fartacus!”
At one point he made a rule that everyone had to start their question with a compliment, which resulted in some hysterical beginnings.
Fan: You’re really pretty.
Other fan: We hate to see you go, but we love to watch you leave.
Kim: How cool would it be if everything in life was like that?
Near the end of his panel, Jake shared his favorite memory from the Supernatural set – one evening, Jared and Jensen invited him up to the roof of one of their trailers to sit and watch the sunset and have a beer, their dogs playing beneath. What wouldn’t we all give to do that?
Then it was time for Misha Collins!
He said he was tired, since he couldn’t sleep on the plane thanks to a fly bothering him. He put on his sleep mask, which is a shabby and much-used red thing. Rich and Rob examined it and I think they all decided it was too disgusting to keep, so Misha tossed it into the audience.
Misha: The front row just recoiled, like ewww.
But someone did pick it up, and guess what? Later that day they brought it over to our vendor table and offered it up so it could be auctioned for hurricane relief! So that’s exactly what we’re doing. Believe us, it’s got lots of Misha DNA on it for sure. Ahem. Stay tuned!
Misha shared some kid stories, which I always enjoy.
West and Misha were rock climbing and West got to the top first and said, “Dad, I’m always going to beat you at everything.”
Misha asked if anyone else had seen totality during the eclipse.
Misha: I really am an eclipse slob.
Lynn: He meant to say snob. But slob was kinda funny, so everyone started to giggle.
Misha then owned up to it, and talked about the Argentinian news channel that found him at the eclipse and filmed him without having any clue that he was Misha Collins.
Misha: I really am an eclipse slob… because their headline was “Misha doesn’t shower.”
Ba dum dum.
Talking about filming the pizza man scene, he said, “Well, we’re not allowed to watch porn on set, but I was boning up on…”
And then left it at that.
Kim: Oh Misha.
If J2 were vegetables: he said Jared would be snow pea, Jensen would be spinach. Because it is soft and wilting.
Kim: Oh Misha.
He also said he loved filming Timeless because any excuse to interact with Eric Kripke is welcome.
Lynn: So agreed.
Kim: My favorite part of his panel came when Misha talked about filming the night before with J2 and how it got so out of hand that J2 had to be sent home. Okay, yes, it was a funny story – poor Misha – but funny nevertheless… honestly, the friendship with these three is a blessing. It is so refreshing to hear about and see men loving life, sharing good times together, as friends… Sadly, I don’t think there is enough representation of men in this way… men are either spouse-beating bad guys, or criminals, or villains, or warm & fuzzy saps that somehow get the girl in the end, or unrealistic superheroes… but J2M, these guys are real friends and it warms my heart.
Lynn: Well, sometimes – like this time Misha was relating – they are totally BOYS. He was trying to film a serious scene and Jensen turned a scripted gesture into one that was definitely less G rated.
Lynn: Then Jared had a foot in his crotch while staying totally focused and in character where the camera could see him (while he was totally not where the camera couldn’t see!) so that everyone kept asking what the hell was wrong with Misha. But yes, it does warm my heart. My favorite part of the panel? People kept telling Misha how hot he was and he kept blushing adorably.
One more Saturday note. Billy Moran’s hair was 100% on point. And it took fandom only 48 hours or so to find his hairstylist so we could all thank him. Or, you know, bribe him.
That brings us to the Saturday Night Special. We grabbed a quick dinner in the hotel restaurant (OMG delicious fries with everything but the kitchen sink piled on top of them), I ran up to the room to get my kazoo, and then we headed back over to the convention center for the Louden Swain and friends concert.
Woohoo! Stay tuned for more!
–Lynn and Kim
If you’d like to read the chapters that all the
actors wrote, check out Family Don’t End
With Blood at the links on this page!