Supernatural Fun Times in Charlotte 2018!

 

I don’t usually do conventions back to back, which explains why I wasn’t going to do the Supernatural Denver con – because there was a Supernatural con in Charlotte the very next weekend and I already had tickets. But some of my friends (you know who you are…) are filthy enablers, and I ended up going to Denver after all. That turned out to be a wild and wonderful weekend, but let’s just say that I arrived in Charlotte already pretty tired – and that’s before the con had even started! Luckily I was too busy having fun to really feel the exhaustion until Sunday rolled around and the adrenaline rush that always happens at a Supernatural con was over. (Then I pretty much slept for 12 hours in an attempt to avoid con crud – so far, successful!)

Thursday I flew in and got to meet a friend and fellow fangirl (and fellow writer) who I had only known online – which is always such a treat! Gail Martin is a talented writer whose fantasy genre novels are very popular with the Supernatural fandom, so I couldn’t wait to talk writing and SPN with her. She’s also a Charlotte local, and that means we had delicious barbeque for lunch – and hush puppies! YUM! If you know something better than sharing your mutual love of Supernatural with a new friend over great food, I’m listening.

YUM

Gail dropped me off at the con hotel and I had time for a quick dip in the pool, then it was time to set up my vendor table. My friend and partner in crime (and brilliant photographer) Kim Prior and her bestie arrived by car (which means Kim also brought a car full of food and a cooler full of drinks, so yay!)  This con was at the Embassy Suites in Charlotte.  I think every Supernatural con should be at an Embassy Suites – not only do you get a little mini kitchen in your room and a separate bedroom and living area with sleeper sofa, but you get FREE breakfast and dinner time snacks every day!!! Not one to ever turn down free food, I set my alarm to get up early enough to partake of the buffet breakfast every morning – they even had an omelet bar and a waffle station! Friends, fangirls, free food – I was in heaven. Oh, and the Supernatural cast too…

Thursday night in the vendor room I got to meet lots of people who had read Family Don’t End With Blood and been touched by it. Over the course of the weekend, dozens of people confided to me that the book had changed them in some way, or had even inspired them to keep living. I hope that I somehow convey how much that means when someone says that – that is what we hoped the book would do, that it would inspire people to “always keep fighting”. That’s why the fans who wrote chapters and all the actors who wrote chapters were brave enough to share their own struggles with depression and anxiety and addiction and so many other things – to validate others’ struggles and inspire them to keep fighting. I know it takes courage to walk up and say that to me, a stranger – but I am so honored by it, every single time. So thank you.

Friday morning, after the free buffet of course, the con kicked off with Rich and Rob, who showed off the traditional new Borja shirt for the con. Charlotte, get it?

The man himself… Mike Borja

And then we had a panel with the adorable Rachel Miner.

I will never get over how Rachel’s face lights up when she comes onstage and hears the roar of applause. She has become one of our favorite guests, and has inspired so many people to look at life in a positive way and to keep going no matter what the obstacles.  I am so so glad she wrote a chapter for Family Don’t End With Blood — she’s a role model to many in the fandom, and she understands the importance of representation. At Charlotte, Rachel reiterated something she’d talked about the weekend before in Denver.

Rachel: If I was back on the show, I’d want to be in the chair. Representation is important.

Rachel, in turn, is inspired by the fandom.

Rachel: You guys inspire me. You’re not afraid to love – the characters, the show, and each other.

I also love her unabashed love for her character.

Rachel: I’m with you, I fangirl Meg too.

She also appreciates how unique the character is.

Rachel: Early on the show I feel like the demons used sexuality to get power, but Meg didn’t. She was just strong and it wasn’t particularly gendered. I love that you still find her sexy.

She said she loves that Meg was a woman who could save the day.

Rachel: I never wanted to be the woman who like throws her shoe…

She also is an unrepentant Megstiel shipper, which I love about her – ship what you ship, Rachel! No shame.

Rachel: I loved the Meg Cas dynamic and how that played. Oh, that sounded dirty…

And I love when she talks about her favorite scene with Jared, which is one between Meg and Sam where Meg gets to say “Go save your brother, my unicorn.”

Awwww

Jason Manns also entertained us, which meant we got his excellent story telling ability and also a lot of great music.

A good friend of Jason and Louden Swain, musician Hayden Lee, joined in along with Richard Speight Jr. and the band to sing a beautiful version of ‘Wagon Wheel’, and we also got some Station Breaks.

That was after a guitar tuning crisis that had Hayden giving an epic “IDK” as Rob worked diligently to get his guitar to where he wanted it. Ah, the stresses of being a musician…

Jason also let us know that we can look forward to a Christmas album from Gil McKinney, who I miss a lot at the cons. And he had some more serious things to say too, about learning a lot from Rob Benedict about what it takes to do the hard work of being a musician.

We also were treated to a Julian Richings panel on Friday. Julian hasn’t been at a con in a while, so it was great to see him.  I just got finished writing the Afterword for an upcoming book on Death in Supernatural, with Julian writing the Foreword, so I guess you could say we just wrapped up working together. I’m gonna say that at any rate.

I adored Julian’s choice of tee shirt.

Someone asked him the requisite prank question, but Julian said that for whatever reason, Jared and Jensen don’t really prank him.

Julian: Sometimes I see them kinda go off together and start scheming, but then they’re like “no” and they don’t do it. I don’t know if it’s respect or if it’s like, “no, not the old guy…”

He talked about Death’s relationship with Sam and Dean, and had this to say about Death’s bond with Dean:

Julian: I’m more like an older uncle with a cheeky young man when I’m with Dean. Jensen and I evolved that relationship.

Julian also has so much love for the other incarnation of Death on Supernatural, Lisa Berry.

Julian: I think Lisa and I should team up. The Death Squad!

I tweeted that and Lisa chimed in that she totally agrees. That would be epic!

Kim and Briana’s panel was a lovely mix of bawdy and funny and serious and inspiring (par for the course for their panels, which I love). Briana had some really helpful things to say about working on loving yourself, saying that she still has to practice being kind to herself every day looking in the mirror. She also talked candidly about discovering the benefit of therapy, which made my psychologist self very happy – it’s so important to get the word out that therapy is nothing to be ashamed of, but rather something to be proud of!

In a tweet that somehow got misinterpreted (live tweeting is impossible, seriously), Kim talked about some of the things that make Supernatural special, including that at its heart it’s a show about a relationship, not just dudes killing things or whatever. That’s something we stereotypically think of as more ‘female’ but it’s equally important to all humans – and something that sets Supernatural apart.

Both Kim and Briana will be back on Supernatural in Season 14 – in fact, Kim has already filmed an episode. In answer to the question of will Jody get to interact with Cas, Kim was cagey.

Kim: Yes, I’m in a scene with Cas….by your definition…

Hmmmm.

She also said we get a touching moment between Jody and Sam coming up, which made me very excited indeed.

Briana didn’t have any information on what sort of episode she and Donna will get, but I’m glad they will at least be in the Universe!

Someone asked Kim and Briana how they managed to work around Jared and Jensen, when they’re so good looking. They pretty much said it’s a tough thing – no one is immune to their beauty!

Briana: I told my husband when we’re around Jensen our upper lip sweats, and he was like oh yeah I get that…

Yep. Pretty much everyone gets that.

Kim: I once apologized to Jensen for objectifying him, and he just laughed and said “I’d be pissed if you didn’t”.

Have I mentioned I love Kim and Briana??

Friday night was more eventful for me than usual, because my friend Alana (of YouTube fame as @_KingBooks_) decided to put in our names to sing Africa by Toto along with her cousin Ashley. Cue a massive case of stage fright and anxiety.

Alana: They probably won’t even pick us.

Of course DJ Liz and Richard were more than happy to pick us, so sure enough, we soon found ourselves called to the stage. I contemplated running away (and so did Alana, don’t let her fool you…) but it was too late – up the ramp we went. I’ve known Kim and Briana and Matt and Richard for a long time so they know that other than a few group singalongs with the Creation gang to Carry On, I have never been up on that stage voluntarily for karaoke – so they were sort of OMG what are you doing here? Add to that their fondness for Alana and we had hugs all around as well as mics thrust into our hands as the familiar notes began to play.

I swear I didn’t want to do it – and then I had a mic in my hand and all I wanted to do was sing! I blame Alana. And Kim, Briana, Richard, Matt and Julian. And Toto of course.

The whole experience was awesome, the crowd batting colorful balloons around and swaying back and forth as we sang. Julian ran the gauntlet (aka moose knuckle corridor), Kim and Briana and Matt sang with us, and it was generally a whole helluva lot of fun and you should all do it if you get the chance.

You can watch our epic rendition of Africa in Alana’s Friday Night at Charlotte video – karaoke at 11:00!

Friday at Charlotte vlog

You totally sang along, didn’t you??

Afterwards the three of us had to try to calm down for like a half hour before we could go back in. Which Alana of course vlogged. Don’t laugh at us too hard!

Saturday morning, after that epic night, was made bearable by the free buffet. This time I stood in line for the omelet bar and OMG was it good. Also? They even had grits on the buffet, much to my delight. They’re hard to get in Philly, so that was a treat. Then it was off to the vendor room to sell some books and meet lots more people who’ve read Family Don’t End With Blood and been inspired by the chapters – several people specifically wanted to tell me that the chapters written by Jared Padalecki, Rob Benedict and Kim Rhodes meant alot to them. I love hearing what people who have read the book think, so thank you to everyone who came by to tell me that the book meant something to you.

One of the first panels for Saturday was Mark Pellegrino. Mark jokes around alot in his panels, but he did answer a few questions seriously instead of tongue in cheek in this panel. He shared that his childhood had been challenging, and that he didn’t really know what it felt like to belong until he went to high school.

Mark: I enjoyed high school because it was the first time I experienced a sense of belonging. It was familial in a way I hadn’t had before.

A fan asked him what his favorite pick up line was, but Mark said he didn’t have one – or want one.

Mark: I feel like people with pick up lines aren’t the happiest people. They’re not being themselves, are they?

In response to a question about what scared him, Mark confessed that he agrees with Sam Winchester.

Mark: Clowns are wrong. It’s not just a Sam thing!

He also commented about other actors who have played Lucifer, particularly Rick Springfield’s turn with the character. Apparently he read in an interview that Rick said that he didn’t watch any of Mark’s or other actors’ performances as Lucifer, because he wanted to do it his own way. That didn’t sit well with Mark, though he did give Springfield some props about other things.

Mark: I think Rick is a good actor and musician and he’s got a rockin’ bod, but it’s about character consistency. I thought Misha did a great job.

I agree that Misha did a great job, although I got a kick out of Rick’s arc just in general, even if he was more Rick Springfield than Supernatural’s version of Lucifer. I mean, it’s Rick Springfield!

I guess the whole Rick-as-Lucifer thing didn’t go well for Mark – he found out about it in article saying Lucifer had been recast and was like WTF? He felt betrayed by people he knew and trusted, hurt that they hadn’t told him – but it turned out that’s not what had happened at all, it was just a temporary casting.

Cue a relieved Mark Pellegrino.

The Ladies of SPN panel with Kim Rhodes, Briana Buckmaster, Ruth Connell and Rachel Miner was next and is always one of my favorites, because all of them are friendship goals. They have a text thread that’s endless and keeps them all in touch so they can support and inspire and sometimes just amuse each other on a daily basis. And they are all very grateful for what Supernatural and the SPNFamily have brought them – they all wrote chapters for Family Don’t End With Blood talking about those changes and challenges.

Rob attempted to rap as an introduction, which….didn’t go so well.

Ladies: Dad rapper…

Poor Rob. He tried.

The tag line for this panel was “If you wanna play with it, you gotta talk about it” – and that should tell you a lot about the rating for the panel, as well as how much fun it was.

Honestly, these panels remind me so much of why I fell in love with the community of fandom in the first place – it was a community of mostly women who could be REAL with each other. We could tell raunchy jokes and talk about sex (gasp!) and express anger and fear and love and passion and lust and everything else without worrying that we wouldn’t be accepted by the rest of the community. That’s what these women do, both onstage in panels so that the audience is validated too, and I suspect in their continuous text threads. The panels are a mix of serious talk that never fails to inspire me and make me feel understood and hilarity that makes me laugh so hard I’m crying again. Just like fandom!

Kim makes me cry just about every single panel. This time it was when she and Briana talked about their young daughters, with so much love and appreciation.  Kim also had some wise words about happiness and how you can find it even amidst a lot of things you have no control over.

Kim: I know that I can’t control the universe but I can find my own joy.

Rachel: I don’t think my inspiration will also be yours. What is important is you find your own inspiration that will work for you.

This panel included someone who works for the MindBody app talking about what it does, and lots of straight talk about waxing and bedazzling. As you do.

Oh, and we even got talk about merkins.

Ruth: I was going to wear a giant ginger merkin for that naked Rowena scene with Mark Sheppard, but the mood on set that day wasn’t right for it.

Briana: Is that the one you wore as a beard for karaoke?

Ruth: (cracking up) Yes.

OMG lol

Fan: Who’s the angel, witch, demon and hunter in the group?

Everyone: Rachel is the angel

Ruth: I’d still be the witch.

Briana: Clearly the demon.

Kim: I’d still be the hunter…but a much lazier hunter…

Everyone shook their heads at that, because sometimes the amount of energy that Kim has just about explodes all over the stage, so….yeah. Lazy? Not so much.

One thing they all agree on? They all want to be in an episode together. One in which they wear sparkly gowns and eyeshadow.

The panel was still firmly in R rated territory when Rich and Rob and the band returned to the stage. Rob blushed, and Richard had a quip ready.

Rich: I’m not sure what topics were covered, but I guarantee this was the dirtiest hour of the con.

Point.

The R2M panel was as hilarious as always, if not quite as dirty.

Richard had some interesting directing insights to share, which I always love hearing. The episode that he directed that he was also starring in as both Loki and Gabriel was particularly challenging. He said that he had dinner with Jared and Jensen before filming, and Jared gave him some insight that helped.

Richard: He told me how he did it with Jensen when he’s directing, like a little nod if it’s right, and we did it like that too.

I absolutely love how they all support each other and have all contributed instrumentally to furthering each other’s careers both on and off the show. These are true friendships – life changing ones.

Richard: I’m so honored to cut my directing teeth on a show like Supernatural. Directing myself was a tremendous bonding experience with Jared and Jensen because while I’m filming no one is behind the monitor so we had to trust each other. Serge Ladouceur [director of photography] and Brad Creasser [camera operator] too, we all had to trust each other.

Best part of playing both Loki and Gabriel?

Richard: Watching me kick my own ass. You don’t get many chances to do that and to direct yourself doing that too!

They all talked about the process of having prosthetics and make up and what those contributed to the crafting of a character. Again, they were eager to give credit to everyone who makes a television episode work.

Matt: There are wonderful people who do prosthetics and hair and makeup. The beard and tattoos and all that I had when I did the guest spot on Criminal Minds really helped create the character. (And that was a fascinating character!)

Matt also shared (and acted out) some of his most embarrassing con moments, which had me laughing so hard I cried.

Literally.

I don’t remember why someone asked ‘who’s your dream weaver?’ but Matt immediately piped up, “Sigourney!” and then was so pleased with himself he cheered. It was kinda adorable.

Sigourney!

A fan asked Rob if he was worried that when he gets to Heaven, God will be angry at him for portraying God.

Rob: Not really.

Matt: Maybe Rob will get to Heaven and realize he really was God all along…  (breaks into song) What if God was one of us…

Rob also was asked what Chuck’s reunion with Castiel would be like, compared to his reunion with Lucifer.

Rob: More affectionate, because Castiel is my favorite angel.

Richard (affronted): Hey, I’m right here!

Rob gave us some more info on the new Louden Swain album that will be released next month, with acoustic versions of some of our favorite songs. I cannot wait!!!

Misha Collins panels are always enjoyable and often inspiring – this one was both.  When he came out, everyone started singing Happy Birthday to him – two cons in a row with birthday wishes for Misha!

This joyous celebration is in oddly stark contrast to the weird internet rumor that people at this con were either threatening Misha or planning to threaten Misha at the con, neither of which were true. Sometimes it’s a weirdly jarring experience to be AT the con and know what’s happening and to be reading something entirely different on social media, generally from people who aren’t even there. This con, it was Misha rumors. For anyone who was worried, it was all good – better than good, even.

Misha also got a few show questions, which I always enjoy. He said it was particularly tough for him to play the scene where Jimmy, who has died, comes back to say goodbye to his wife. The scene was difficult because it was emotionally wrenching, but it was also hard for Misha to play a completely different character after only playing Castiel for such a long time – something Jensen Ackles had to deal with in Season 14 as well.

Misha: It was emotionally hard for me to play that scene where Jimmy is dead and came back to say goodbye. I hadn’t played anyone other than Cas in so long.

He also said that his favorite thing was playing Cas as human – which I heartily agree with. I was disappointed that we didn’t get more of human!Cas, because the opportunity to explore what it means to be human when you haven’t been before could have yielded so many fascinating insights into who Cas is. Sometimes these arcs end way too soon (other times they inexplicably go on way too long lol)

There was plenty of frivolity and laughter in Misha’s panel, as always. Including some discussion of his junk.

Fan: What’s in your pocket right now?

Misha: Well, a banana…

He also told the story of a guy who took a photo of his junk in the bathroom and how he kept checking to see if the photo had ended up on the internet yet.

Fan in the back: Not yet, I checked…

And he told a few of my favorite stories again, too. The time Jared kept fondling his balls when the camera was only on Misha and Misha kept getting in trouble for cracking up. Finally Jensen appeared to take pity on him, saying “just look at me, man.” Misha did, feeling grateful, and then Jensen very deliberately smirked and winked at him.  Of course, poor Misha cracked up once again. He reiterated that the most dangerous times are when Jared and Jensen are in a scene together, for obvious reasons.

Misha: They feed off each other!

And he told the great story about Maison when he was trying to convince her not to grow up, which he always tells in this adorable little dad voice with accompanying expressions.

Awww.

No, you’re never gonna grow up!

But he also got serious more often than he usually does.

He answered a question about how the actors cope with the very brief moments they have with fans at autographs or in photo ops, when the fan shares something very serious and there’s no time for them to really react – nor do they really know how. This is something I’ve talked with many of the actors about, including Misha, with my psychologist and my fan studies hats on, because it’s something that’s difficult for them. The thing about these actors is they actually DO care, so they don’t want to say the wrong thing or not say enough, but there are also constraints that need to be there. Misha gave a thoughtful answer – I told him later that he did a good job getting the point across, I thought.

Misha: We don’t always know how to interact, it’s an intense brief connection but we don’t really know the fan, and sometimes we feel ill equipped to deal with all we hear in such a brief moment.

I so appreciate that Misha often tries to enter into a dialogue with fans that’s completely genuine – it’s a real desire to connect that goes against what you usually see in celebrity-fan interactions. It’s one of my favorite things about him.

Someone asked what it would be like after the show ends, and Misha answered for real. For all that fandom likes to imagine negativity between the actors, in reality they’ve all been in the trenches together for a long time and respect each other a great deal.  This is a unique journey they’ve all been on together, just as we fans have been on a unique journey together. That creates a strong bond, because nobody else outside of this experience will ever be able to truly understand it – that’s something reserved just for those of us who are along on this wild ride. That goes for the actors as much as the fans.

Misha: We’ve all known each other a long time and we’ve bonded and love each other. We feel like we’re doing something really cool together. I hope we’re still close in 20 years and we get to grow old together.

Misha ended the panel summing up what is so special about the Supernatural fandom, which is what he writes about in his chapter of Family Don’t End With Blood.

Misha: What has really impressed me is how this fandom takes care of each other.

He also made an impassioned plea for everyone to get out and register to vote, which he and Richard Speight have made very easy to do right at a Supernatural convention.

Misha: You guys are weirdos who come together, and I am as well. What we can do is get out and vote, get engaged and be informed to make change.

[Stay tuned for a special article on the Saturday Night Special by Kim Prior, including some of her awesome photos]

Sunday kicked off with the J2 gold panel, which was amusing as always even though the boys are usually pretty tired (especially after two back to back cons).

Jensen teased Jared about the too-short mic stand.

Jared: Was Rob last here?

Luckily they did have their coffees…

Jared and Jensen joked about working with Shoshannah Stern (and how awesome she is) – she taught them some signs, but didn’t tell them that what they were really signing was “I smell like bullshit”. Hahaha. I tweeted that and Shoshannah replied:

Shoshannah: TBH I taught them a whole lot more than that. They are gentlemen, so they are being discreet about my potty mouth. Er… hands?

 

 

In the middle of the panel, a fan suddenly ran up to the stage – with candy for the boys! She was trying to go so fast that she ended up falling, and Jared and Jensen of course helped her up like the gentlemen they are. And then grinned over the candy. My photo of that moment ended up looking like a famous meme that’s been going around for months, which amused me to no end.

The boys teased each other as much as ever. At one point, Jensen pulled out his phone and consulted Siri to see if Jared was using a double negative properly (he was).

A fan commented on the fact that Jared was more or less clean shaven.

Fan: Fan: something good must have happened because you don’t have the hiatus beard.

Jared: (mock affronted) What’s wrong with my hiatus beard?!

The fan hurriedly tried to explain that she assumed that Sam must have found Dean since he wasn’t so sad that he couldn’t shave anymore, clearly.

There was quite a bit of talk about the brand new Supernatural Parody 2 from Hillywood Show, because it’s just that awesome. Jared and Jensen clearly had a blast working on it and nothing but praise for Hilly and Hannah and their professionalism.

Jared: How come I was the only one whose pack they took off between takes though…

(It might be because he kept bumping into things and playing with it, just saying…)

[Be sure to check out our epic interview with the Hillywood sisters last week here on Fangasm!]

There were some show questions, which always make me happiest. A fan asked if there were things they wish they’d been able to do differently, as far as their characters go.

Jared: Sam has done some things out of character that make Jared sad … cough Amelia cough…  but I can forgive him. He was grieving.

That’s pretty much how I make sense of that whole inexplicable out-of-character arc too – Sam was out of his mind with grief, and that makes all of us behave out of character.  I like that Jared and Jensen care enough that they have to come up with their own head canon too.

Another fan complimented Jared on his portrayal of Sam dealing with the return of Lucifer in Season 13, especially that scene where Lucifer resurrects him, much to Sam’s disgust. I totally agree, Jared acted the hell out of that scene, letting us see all of the residue of Sam’s trauma and the rage he could barely hold back.  I hope Jared knows how much we all really do appreciate how much care he takes with his portrayal of Sam – as do all of them with their characters.

They talked a bit about their start in the business when they were only 18, to a fan who was also 18 and described herself as ‘a baby adult’. Jensen said he moved to the west coast by himself at that age, and even though it was difficult, he went because he didn’t want to be in the position of asking himself what “could’ve been”.

Jensen: I grew up pretty fast, living on my own at 18.

Jared agreed. His eventual advice to the ‘baby adult’ was to let this question guide her decisions: If it’s not gonna hurt you or someone else, try it.

Good advice. I think it’s sort of the moral of Fangasm: Supernatural Fangirls.

A fan got up to the mic and thanked Jared for his #AKF campaign and both Jared and Jensen for their charity work and for inspiring her. Jared was quick to reassure her.

Jared: AKF is not me and Jensen, it’s all of us. You have a family here.

Jensen: It’s not just us, it’s you guys sharing your stories with us too, that inspires us.

That’s pretty much what all our books are about – the reciprocity of the SPN Family, unlikely though it is.

Ruth Connell did a Sunday panel, and I was beyond thrilled to be able to catch most of it this time – the last few cons, I’ve been in a meet and greet or had photo ops or something, which made me all kinds of sad. Love me some Ruthie! (Clearly so does Mike Borja…)

Someone asked her take on whether Rowena really is afraid of Lucifer, especially in those bonding scenes with Sam. Ruth said yes, she thinks that she is, but that she’s always also thinking about what might be best for her and help her get what she wants. I think that goes without saying, but I also think Rowena was legitimately scared, and that her bonding with Sam was therefore genuine (and one of my favorite scenes).

Ruth brought bracelets for My Hope Chest, the small charity that she supports which provides breast reconstruction for women who want it after surgery. If you follow them on twitter @MyHopeChest, Ruth gave you a bracelet.

There was a fair amount of discussion of Ruth’s gorgeous accent, which she says is much more appreciated in America – but that she also tries not to talk too fast because otherwise people can’t understand her. One fan confided that when her dad first heard Rowena’s accent, he said ‘no way is that real, it’s too overdone!’

As always, I loved Ruth’s outfit. She says she’s a pro at shopping at second hand stores and finding bargains – which partially explains why her clothes are always so unique.

Ruth: We didn’t have a lot of money growing up so I got bullied for my clothes and being clever at school so I wanted to have the right thing to wear when I could buy it. Clothes are like a costume, I enjoy it.

I enjoy it too, Ruth!

A highlight of the panel was a fan and her interpreter giving Ruth her sign language name – which is signed at the corner of her beautiful smile!

Next up was the J2 main panel.

After the requisite J2 jump, Misha Collins, Jason Manns and Rachel Miner came onstage to announce that they and Jared and Jensen, along with Rob Benedict, will be doing the “Bad Idea Tour” for charity – to benefit Random Acts and to fight childhood hunger. Jensen gets credit for the name, since he keeps insisting that it’s a bad idea, but he said that he and Jared have already started training and running together. (Yes, bandaids come in handy for the nipple chafing…) They announced the run and Jared then took off his jacket to show off their Bad Idea Tour shirts, so thank you very much for that!

You can donate here –

The Bad Idea Tour

And you can also contribute or join in with Jensen and Danneel on their charity Soul Cycle takeover in Austin, which benefits both Random Acts and OutYouth. I’m so psyched that they all are so supportive of such important organizations that are making change in the world. And very sad that I don’t live in Austin.

One of the interesting show related questions prompted Jared to explain that early on, he had trouble not reacting (as Sam) as though supernatural things happening were out of the ordinary and weird. Eric Kripke helped him understand that the supernatural isn’t weird to Sam, it’s just his parlance – saying ‘dad’s on a hunting trip’ was something Sam would instantly understand.

Jensen talked about struggling a bit to figure out how to play Michael, after playing Dean for so long. Normally he and Jared don’t need a lot of direction, but because he was anxious about playing Michael, Jensen asked director Richard Speight to keep an eye on him and let him know if something didn’t feel right.

“Watch my back,” Jensen asked Richard. He did, and as a result, Jensen said that Richard helped him craft the character.

I will never get over how much this cast appreciates each other. I have heard every single one of them give credit to one of the others, specifically and genuinely. They are truly grateful for each other and trust each other so much – which is both a reason why they’re in Season 14 and a result of being in Season 14.

One of my favorite moments was when a man stepped up to the mic and told Jared and Jensen that he’d just binge watched the entire show in an alarmingly short time.

Jared: What are your favorite 3 episodes?

Guy: The Third Man. The first five minutes.

Jared: What happened in the first five minutes?

Lots of people in the audience: You did shirtless pull ups.

Jared to guy at mic: Good choice.

It was, not gonna lie.

There were, of course, a lot of hijinks. Jared messing with Jensen behind his back.

Jared photo-bombing when Jensen takes a photo of a fan with bodyguard Clif.

 

Side note: There were an oddly large number of people who got up to the mic and then didn’t have an actual question, or worse yet, weren’t even big fans of the show. I’m not sure why you would go to the trouble of putting in a piece of paper in the question box hoping to ask a question if you didn’t have one! Luckily the J’s make everything amusing. But really, if you don’t have a question? Just don’t put your name in the box!

One good question was about what would happen to some of the important things from the show when it does end.

Fan: Will Baby go to the Smithsonian?

Jensen: If by Smithsonian, you mean my garage, then yes.

There was a hilarious exchange when someone asked Jared what season was his favorite Sam hair, and Jensen became incredulous.

Jensen: What?? What am I missing? It’s always the same! It’s been the same for 13 years!

Literally everyone in the audience: NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO

Jensen to Jared: Seriously, you’ve changed your hair?

Jared (explaining to the audience): He always says looking at me is like staring into the sun, so he can’t remember…

The more people called out their favorite hair seasons, the more incredulous Jensen became. Finally, in exasperation, he tried to compare it to when Danneel cuts her hair and he doesn’t notice.

Jensen: Is this like that thing where I’m like, honey did you change your hair? And it’s like, yeah, 6 MONTHS AGO!

Jared (deadpans): Don’t call me honey.

When a fan eventually produced a photo of Jared’s Season 9 long Gadreel hair, Jensen stared for a minute.

Jared: That IS long…

Jensen: Dude, you do sorta look like the cover of a romance novel.

Jared: That’s the nicest thing you’ve ever said to me.

It was glorious, every minute of it. Also? I love Sam’s Season 1 hair (bangs!) and whatever season it was so gloriously long and lush and every time it was windy he looked like a Loreal commercial.

Jared told the story about how when My Bloody Valentine was released, he went with Jensen and costar Kerr Smith to see it in the theater.

Jared: Imagine someone sitting right behind us putting on the 3 D glasses and being like, wow, these really work – it looks like they’re right in front of me!

Someone asked about how it would be when the show ends (nah nah nah I can’t hear you…)

Jensen: I used to think about that a lot, but I don’t anymore.

Jared: It will be hard for you guys….it will be hard for us too.

 

Understatement.

When Gilmore Girls was mentioned, Jensen pretended to go into fanboy mode and hyperventilate. Jared patted him on the leg to console him, then playfully smelled his hand, which he often does after touching Jensen onstage – I think just to make him blush.

Then it was time for the last question, which means it’s time for Jensen to sing a little with Rob. I’ll take whatever singing Jensen Ackles I can get!

And some Robsen.

The woman who asked the last question was foolish enough to give Jared her phone, ostensibly to take a photo.

Jensen: Oh no, big mistake!

Lady: It’s okay, it’s locked.

Jensen: Oh that won’t help. He’ll figure it out in seven seconds.

Sure enough, about seven seconds later, as Jensen predicted, Jared had her phone unlocked! Then when they went to actually take the picture, they couldn’t get it to work. The lady called for her husband, who was in the audience, then Jared looked down at her phone. There was an instant text from her husband.

“Hi Sam,” it said.

Honestly, the last question lady and her husband sorta won the panel.

Jensen laughed so hard he doubled over.

Then he fixed her phone.

Jensen: I’ve been fixing his messes for thirteen years…

You can’t make this stuff up.

She also, on a more serious note, thanked Jared for his AKF campaign, and he gave her a big hug.

Jared had some heartfelt and wise words for everyone about learning to forgive ourselves, something he’s had to struggle with. He writes about that in his chapter in Family Don’t End With Blood, and how difficult it is for all of us.

Jared: We’re all trying to do the best we can, and sometimes we’re gonna make mistakes.

At the end of the panel, there was a birthday cake.

For who?

Jensen: That guy!

That guy!

That guy was Richard Speight Jr.  Jared immediately helped Richard take off his hat and his glasses, which seemed to suggest another cake-in-the-face, but for whatever reason somebody thought better of it and Rich blew the candles out instead. It may have had something to do with the fact that they melted all over the top of the cake…

Here they are singing to Richard, and Jensen and Rob singing the Last Question song too –

Jensen, Jared and Rob sing Last Question and Happy Birthday to Richard

The Kings of Con panel was a fitting end to a great con, notable for a fan gifting Rob with a bag of popcorn, which he cradled like a true popcorn lover would. I enjoyed hearing him talk about his love of popcorn because it brought back memories of watching Rob and Jensen film a scene at the end of Season 11 in which Chuck is munching on popcorn. When the take was over, Rob kept the popcorn!

OTP 🙂

The panel was also notable for the young woman who had been collecting mad libs words all through the con and finally took the stage and read the completed mad lib during the Kings of Con panel. It was as irreverent as you’d expect a mad libs to be (or at least that’s how we played it when I was a teenager…)

A fan asked Rob and Rich if they had any fanboy embarrassing moments, and Rob was quick to raise his hand.

Richard’s was with Steven Spielberg when he couldn’t think of anything to say after the initial greeting.  Rob related his epic fanboy moments with Eddie Vedder, when he ended up asking for a cigarette even though he doesn’t smoke just hoping Eddie would look at him. We’ve all been there, guys.

And all too soon, that was….the end of the con as we know it!

I had dinner with a group of friends who I’ve known since way back in my early LJ days, which was such a treat! Also the little cheesy muffins at this restaurant were delectable. Once again, good friends, good food and good (fannish) conversation – and I’m a happy fangirl!

Then it was back to the con hotel for autographs. Jared and I talked about Family Don’t End With Blood, which many people were asking him to sign, and that always makes me so happy – I hope he believes me when I tell him how many people he’s inspired with his amazing chapter.

When I walked up to Jensen, he and his handlers were all laughing. I asked them to please share whatever they were drinking, and they all protested that they were just exhausted.

Jensen: We’re just reduced to giggling, this is two cons in a row…

Me: I know, I’m totally with you!

Jensen: OMG that’s right you are, you’re totally with us!

He grabbed my hand in solidarity and with a big smile, and for some reason (possibly the same level of fatigue…) that just propelled me right into giggling along with them. This went on for an embarrassingly long time during which I tried to say something serious to him and couldn’t stop laughing.

Me: Damn it, I’m trying to tell you something serious!

Jensen: giggles

I finally managed to revisit something we’d talked about earlier without busting into laughter – how hard it was for him to not fall back into being Dean when he’s on set in those familiar places and around those familiar people. We all absorb those cues that tell us who to be and how to be, and it all happens unconsciously, so for him to have all those cues and have to consciously ignore them and become someone else (Michael), is just incredibly difficult.

Jensen: You’re telling me!

The next person in the autograph line asked me to stay with her while she told Jensen a touching story about meeting some fellow fans at the con (who decorated her hotel room).

Me as he signed her book: That’s what it’s all about, isn’t it?

Jensen squeezed my hand again, because really, that is what it’s all about.

Alana, Ashley and I sat in the ballroom for a while after our autographs, watching the room slowly empty out and just letting the good feelings in the room wash over us. We could hear Jared chatting with fans to one side, and the fans in Jensen’s line kept breaking into song spontaneously on the other side. We sang along a bit to Carry On, feeling lucky to be there and sort of dreading the post-con let-down that would inevitably follow. We stopped by the photo op room to pick up jpeg forms and photos, got some Chris Schmelke hugs and kisses, and then headed back to our hotel rooms to finally crash.

Monday morning most of us didn’t have to leave at the ass crack of dawn for a change, so we met up for (free) breakfast once again and to reminisce about the con and ogle each other’s photo ops. Then Alana, Ashley and I caught an Uber to the airport, had a few more Starbucks-fueled adventures, and took our respective flights back — to a new semester and work and ‘real life’.

But with lots of good memories!

–Lynn

You can read the chapters written by all the

Supernatural actors in Family Don’t End With

Blood – details to order at the home page!

 

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