Returning to Pittsburgh con this year was bittersweet, since we knew this was to be the last Supernatural Creation con in the city. I opted to take the train again, which is a beautiful way to see rural Pennsylvania at its best while sipping a cup of coffee and eating a hot dog from the café car. What can I say, I like simple pleasures. Also the seats in the Pennsylvanian go wayyyy back and there’s a footrest, so… I’m easily amused. I was not, on the other hand, amused at all by the fact that the dispatcher saw fit to keep a slow-moving freight train ahead of our passenger train for hours instead of allowing us to pass, so I was late getting in and missed most of the Thursday night fun in the vendor room. Boo Amtrak.
In spite of that beginning, Pittcon lived up to my expectations and made me sad not to have another to look forward to. It was also Pride Week in Pittsburgh, and from our high up window, the city was lit up in a rainbow of colors. There was a free concert every night right below us, so we were treated to a view of the crowd dancing to the music and a contagious positive vibe all around us.
Friday kicked off with Louden Swain and Rob’s rendition of Genie In A Bottle which I assume is an homage to local Christina Aguilera. Rob and the band can rock anything, just saying.
The con was in a different ballroom this year, which was smaller and more intimate and had actual carpet instead of a cement floor so yay, but I did miss watching the cast come and go through the glass skyway as we all waved and they either waved back or did lewd things for our amusement.
Richard: We’re in a different room this year, so no skyway. So no one can be looking at our bottoms…
Not sure why Richard was on a bottoms kick, but we also had a repeat performance of the bit about Rob getting drugs out of his b-hole complete with a Speight original dance performance. I can’t even describe it in words but trust me, it was hysterical.
As we all contemplated our recent financial choices, Richard also summed up why most of us were here.
Richard: Who needs to buy food? I can hug Misha Collins!
Pick your faves and it all makes sense.
David Haydn-Jones was next, and the first fan up to the mic was sort of thrown by the way he sounded
Fan: I didn’t know you were an American so I’m kinda surprised right now…
Another fan asked him how it felt to go from a hated character to one that’s… (pauses) …mostly tolerated?
David: Best faint praise ever.
He proceeded to totally own the ‘mostly tolerated’ description for the rest of his panel, to our great amusement.
One of David’s favorite moments on Supernatural was when he got to fire the grenade launcher, something he and Jensen Ackles have in common.
David: That was a real grenade launcher, and I had to wear headphones when I fired it. Phil Sgriccia was like, “let’s play!” I love my job. (mic drop)
He also loved the chemistry between Ketch and Dean, especially in the episode filmed in the snow, and reiterated what so many guest actors have said.
David: The awesomeness and the kindness of the Supernatural set? It comes from those three guys. [Jensen, Jared and Misha] The best thing about all this is the SPNFamily. The creativity, the community, the kindness. Thank you for letting me in.
Jason Manns was up next. After he explained his connection to the show, someone asked who he’d like to be if he got to actually guest star.
Jason: Obviously you’d want to be the Winchesters’ long lost cousin. But I’d be stoked to be Officer No. 2 who gets killed by a chupacabra… actually I just like saying chupacabra…
Too bad David Haydn-Jones wasn’t still onstage, because nobody says it quite like him… lol
Jason said he loves Season 1 of Supernatural best, because of how special it was to be buddies with Jensen and see him get the show and be successful. The acting scene in The French Mistake specifically is a favorite.
Jason: One of the funniest things I’ve ever seen Jared and Jensen do.
Couldn’t agree more. I cannot watch that scene without cracking up even now, no matter how many times I might have done a rewatch.
Jason said that his pal Michael Rosenbaum (of Smallville fame) has asked him to be on his show Inside Of You, but Jason hasn’t said yes.
Jason: I’m not famous. I should be on the short version called ‘Inside of Who’??
We were then treated to Briana and Jason singing a duet of ‘Better Than That’ which brought the friggen’ house down. Cannot wait for Briana’s album to drop!
Rachel Miner took the stage next and had some lovely things to say about Robbie Thompson, who also wrote some of my favorite episodes of Supernatural. Her favorite episode that she was in is ‘Goodbye Stranger’.
Rachel: I love Goodbye Stranger. I love Robbie Thompson’s writing so much.
Me: Me toooooooooooo!
[David Haydn-Jones also cited another Robbie episode as his favorite – the much beloved ‘Baby’]
Rachel was asked if Jared and Jensen ever played any pranks on her.
[Drink! Prank question!]
Rachel: I don’t know if it’s that they don’t like me [Me: doubtful…] because they don’t prank me much. Jared was farting all day once with a whoopee cushion and finally gave up because I didn’t break.
Me: That explains it!
Rachel was asked which character she’d give a hug?
Rachel: Dean. Dean needs so much healing. But Sam needs so much too…and Cas, he needs it too, he just doesn’t know it…
So all three then. Seems appropriate.
Rachel said she does think that Meg is a hero. She loves that the character is sort of gender neutral. One of her favorite moments was Meg holding her own and getting to beat up Sam.
Rachel: (laughing) Because he’s a little bigger than me…
Just a little.
Rachel also talked about the importance of representation.
Rachel: When it comes to representation, I don’t really feel seen. I’d like to see someone in a wheel chair and what happens when they kiss or make out so it’s normalized.
We got both Kim Rhodes and Briana Buckmaster together at Pittcon, which is always a treat. The news that Wayward Sisters had not been picked up by the CW was still a fresh disappointment, so it was part of the conversation, but Kim and Briana mostly had overwhelmingly positive things to say about the fandom’s support of the spinoff and the impact of Wayward on their own lives.
Kim: It’s this that has had the most impact on me. This is not how I rolled before you guys…
She has also been greatly impacted by her friendship with Briana, describing that moment when she realized that the success of Briana was her success too.
Kim: We’re on the same team.
Briana said she enjoyed fanfic of her character.
Briana: I like to see what Donna gets up to.
I trust fandom is on that.
Kim also had nice things to say about working with Jensen and Jared.
Kim: They’re total gentlemen. They’re door holders.
So that one time when they didn’t hold the door, Kim was totally confused. Jensen stood there grinning and then Jared pranked her by picking her up and spinning her around.
Kim: So I have an answer for the prank question now!
I love that Briana pranked them back one time when they asked her to get in the back of Baby and improv, so she popped up and asked cheekily, “Who’s next?” Jared laughed so hard he had to get out of the car.
Something Briana said really hit home for a lot of the audience. When asked about mental health and self care, Briana said she has to work at it and practice it every day. She has a hard time accepting compliments, so she works on being able to accept love, and in that way she’s also more able to give love.
Pittcon was also Kim Rhodes’ birthday weekend, so the panel ended with a surprise birthday cake. Poor Richard Speight had been standing offstage ready to bring it onstage, candles burning, for way too long as Briana gave her emotional answer that he didn’t want to interrupt. Hence a very waxy birthday cake and a very surprised Kim, who blurted out “Whose birthday is it?”
Friday night was karaoke, which was tons of fun as usual and full of strikingly good karaoke songs thanks to DJ Liz. Con newcomer Christian Keyes joined the fun and it turns out that WHOA he can sing! You fit right in, Christian, no matter how much I’m not a big fan of your character.
Saturday kicked off with Richard Speight Jr. talking seriously about how we need to be kind to ourselves and others. We never know someone else’s journey. It’s one of the messages from the actors who wrote Family Don’t End With Blood too, and one I think it’s easy to lose sight of.
Saturday brought us the always hysterical combo panel of four amazing women – Kim Rhodes, Briana Buckmaster, Ruth Connell and Rachel Miner. I love seeing how close they all are and hearing how much they inspire each other – and us.
A fan asked if they were all in a movie together, what would it be.
Rachel: It would be Wayward, because that has to happen. We’d all kick butts and also be misfits. Like we really are!
Rachel also said she’s inspired by people like Kim and Briana, who say no, that’s not the way the world should be.
Briana, getting unexpectedly emotional, said she’s inspired by the women who are so brave in standing up for other women.
Me: That’s exactly what all four of these women do.
A fan pointed out that Jody and Donna and Rowena are all still alive on the show, which is a bit unprecedented.
Kim: Well, Jody wears a lot of plaid, so maybe that will keep her alive.
Briana: Donna does too.
Ruth: (laughing) Oh, I’d like to see them try to kill your characters now…
Everyone: (nodding vigorously)
Briana talked about the idea of ‘strong female characters’ and said she wanted that to be associated with more than just violence.
Briana: We’re more complex than that.
They can, of course, be funny and irreverent as hell too, which is why I love these panels.
Ruth shared a time that she was filming a scene with Jared and was squeezing his arm, huddled very close to him, and mistakenly called him Jensen.
Jared: (deadpans) Jensen’s bicep is bigger…
Rachel shared the time she had to wear a recording device of some kind strapped to her upper inner thigh and had to adjust it before the scene began filming to turn it back on.
Rachel to the tech guy as she reaches between her legs: I’m just turning myself on…
On the ‘who would you hug’ question, Ruth said she’d hug Sam, then got a twinkle in her eye.
Ruth: I’d like to do something else with Jen…
Once again, lol
The R2 panel was missing the ‘M’ since Matt Cohen was working, but Rich and Rob were hysterical – like a mini Kings of Con episode live and onstage! One of the first fans to the mic handed over some rubber examination gloves to Richard, since it had already been established that Rob had drugs in his b-hole… Hence the many photos of one of them with giant rubber gloves on. You cannot make this stuff up, seriously.
Rob: (indignant) This is just like Perth!
Rob told the story of the time his mom came to a con and watched the R2M panel and was like, “My question is for Matt…”
Richard said to a fan cosplaying traumatized Gabriel: One of the happiest days on set for everyone else was me with my mouth sewn shut.
He said it took 90 minutes but it was really cool watching them do that makeup.
Richard: Like watching painters, but I’m the canvas.
They also had some more serious things to say about Supernatural and the SPNFamily.
Rob: This SPNFamily has acceptance for others, and I wish we could carry that out into the world. It would change the fucking world.
Richard: I’ve met so many people from all walks of life doing these conventions and so many from the LGBTQ family and it’s confirmed my faith in humanity.
A fan thanked him for being an ally.
Richard: I hope someday soon we don’t need to talk about acceptance or tolerance. I’m proud to be an advocate but you shouldn’t need to advocate for who you are.
Rob: If I really was god, I’d first off make a world where we are all accepted. Then I’d make Jared short for one day.
A fan asked Richard why Lucifer ever thought he could kill Gabriel with a regular sword (excellent question, btw).
Richard: Because Lucifer is stupid! Wait, is Mark Pellegrino here??
Rob also told the hilarious story about the time he was admiring a woman’s bottom, and then she turned around – and it was Richard’s wife! #awkward
The next panel was newcomer Christian Keyes (Michael) and Mark Pellegrino (Lucifer). The bad guys panel as it were.
A fan kicked it off with the most awkward of awkward questions.
Fan to Mark: Did you do any pranks when you slept with Jensen Ackles’ wife this season?
Mark: (wide eyed) What?! You’re trying to get me in trouble!
Christian (also wide eyed) That’s the first question??!
Christian had some complimentary things to say about the missing Matt Cohen.
Christian: Matt did great work as Michael. I wanted to do him my way so I watched all of Season 12. I owe you guys that much.
Everyone: An actor who totally did his homework? Yep, he can stay.
Christian also said that “the guys” were very gracious and answered any questions he had while he was on set. I’ve heard countless guest actors say the same about how hard they work to make guest cast comfortable on set, and I think it really makes a difference.
Mark was asked about the “flying fight” scenes he did with Jensen Ackles recently.
Mark: There are two kinds of harnesses they use. One is…very emasculating..
Christian: The thigh holder ones are better, they don’t go where they shouldn’t…
Mark: One harness was so tight I couldn’t actually straighten up, so I had to run like all hunched over (demonstrates)
Christian: (laughing) Okay I have to watch that again.
Christian also endeared himself to the fandom by confessing that he’s addicted to the television show Law and Order.
Christian: I’d go to a fan convention for that and totally geek out.
They ended their panel with some mutual admiration.
Christian: If Michael was switched with Lucifer… this guy over here is the best Lucifer.
Mark: If they were switched, I’d just keep looking the mirror going ‘man, I’m handsome…’
Next up was Misha Collins, who had left his phone at the CVS today and thus couldn’t call anyone or find out where and when he was supposed to be. I love that Misha is all of us.
On the joys of parenting:
Misha: Like when your kids crawl into bed with you at 3 AM…and pee on you…
Misha told a hilarious story about being on Charmed. He was so new that he didn’t know what it meant when they kept telling him to hit his mark, wondering who this Mark guy was and why he was supposed to hit him.
Misha: I was supposed to be a recurring character…I don’t know why that didn’t happen…
I was excited to hear that Misha is working on another cookbook and is toying with another book project, possibly some of his poetry. I adore the chapters that Misha wrote for two of our books, Fan Phenomena Supernatural and Family Don’t End With Blood. He’s a great writer in addition to his acting and directing cred.
Misha also got some prank questions. He said sometimes when he’s supposed to be looking at a computer screen on set, what’s actually on there is not coordinates or whatever it’s supposed to be.
Misha: Sometimes it’s the biggest…you’ve ever seen…
There were some questions about accents. A fan asked what was his motivation for AU!Cas.
Misha: First off, I’m sorry…
He says he’s been encouraging Jensen to come up with an accent for playing his new character (Michael).
Misha: Like maybe India-Russian…
Speaking of pranks…
Misha: The rehearsal for the scene where Richard Speight lands in my crotch went on for like 45 minutes and involved multiple people.
Oh I bet it did.
And the time that Dean was pulling the sheet off Castiel’s dead body (and trying to flex his arm muscles too, according to Misha)…
Misha: I’m trying to be still and not breathe. And…he slaps me in the balls.
Misha’s phone rang while he was onstage and he picked up.
Misha: It’s my wife. Hi I’m onstage and you’re on speaker. Wait, did you just say “you asshole”?
Gotta love Vicky.
Gotta love Misha too.
First two days of the con under our belts, we had a delicious dinner with friends and then got ready for the Saturday Night Special, always one of my favorite parts of the con. Stay tuned for SNS and for Pittcon Sunday with Jared and Jensen!
You can read the chapters written by
Misha, Rob, Matt, Briana, Kim, Ruth,
Rachel and many more in Family Don’t
End With Blood – order info on home page!