Happy 100th Con Supernatural! Part Two of my NJ/NYC adventures (you can also read about EW’s sneak peek Season 14 premiere party and Jensen and Jared on Live with Kelly and Ryan in Part One here)
The Supernatural New Jersey con is the closest I get to a “home” con – a less than two hour drive from Philly. The key word there being “drive” – as in, no airfare! Woohoo!! I packed up my car with many boxes of books and headed out on Thursday up the NJ Turnpike to scenic Secaucus, happy not to have to deal with airport and parking and TSA. Apparently I got a bit too cocky though, because no sooner had I arrived at the vendor section of the gigantic Meadowlands convention center than I realized that I hadn’t brought my usual backpack for flights to cons – so I had only part of what I needed for my vendor table!
NOOOOO! Luckily the convention center is adjacent to a giant Walmart, so I trekked over and had my promo pics reprinted, then trekked back to finish setting up. (My friends and I returned to Walmart later that night to stock up on supplies for the con weekend, which included an alarming amount of Beefaroni and ramen noodles, bags of chips and possibly some Lunchables but hey, con weekend!) We love Embassy Suites with their mini kitchens in the room and free breakfast buffet every morning – between that and the Walmart, we were set. And it’s a good thing, since I was on my own in the vendor room – luckily fandom is always wonderful and generous, with fellow fans offering to grab me drinks and pretzels or time for a bathroom break.
This con was special because it was the 100th Creation Supernatural convention – also christened Schmelke Con for the one person who has been at all 100 and taken over 250,000 photo ops to prove it — the one and only Chris Schmelke! There’s no overestimating the difference Chris has made to these conventions – photo ops are a special thing and nobody knows how to make them more special than Chris. We interviewed Chris for one of our first books, Fangasm Supernatural Fangirls, and it was immediately obvious that he truly cares about fans’ experience – he gets it. And so he does everything necessary to make sure those few moments allow a genuine connection. Chris will be the first one to say that Supernatural conventions are unlike any other, and in part that’s because these actors also go out of their way to make the photo ops special.
There were all sorts of special decorations celebrating the 100th con and Creation even handed out bracelets to commemorate the occasion, so it was very cool to be there!
Richard introduced Friday’s first guest panelist, Rachel Miner, by giving her well deserved props for her work with Random Acts. She was asked about her initial reaction to her character Meg, and said that she got to read her audition scene with Jared and Jensen. Eric Kripke was there too, and they both ended up laughing; she knew right away that she loved the character.
Rachel also talked a little about the evolution of female characters on Supernatural and in media in general. She had a chance to chat with Nicki Aycox, who first played Meg, at a convention several years ago and Nicki said that when she wanted to cut her hair and have short hair, that was initially an issue. It was a really big deal at the time that she played the character with short hair instead of wearing a wig.
Rachel also reminded me of something I’d forgotten. Years ago at a con, someone asked her what her dream project would be, and she said “Supernatural but with chicks”. Wayward, anyone?
Samantha Smith was up next. She was asked what Negan from The Walking Dead (Jeffrey Dean Morgan) would think of Mary Winchester.
Sam: The important question is, what would Mary think of Negan?
If she could bring someone back though, it would be John.
Sam: We need to have a talk about how he raised the boys.
Someone asked if she thinks of Jared and Jensen like sons (which would be tricky since they’re too close to the same age). Sam said she thinks of them more like little brothers.
Sam: But they may be a little bit afraid of me. Which is good, because someone has to manage them!
She hasn’t been totally immune from J2 pranking though. Once when she kept messing up her lines, Jared started playing this really loud and long sounds of a car wreck. Ouch.
She gave us a little bit of information about Season 14, saying that yes, there would be some Sam and Mary bonding coming up. It’s about time, Show! Gimme all the emotional Sam moments, please! It’s no secret I’ve struggled with the character of Mary and with her mothering/not mothering Sam and Dean. Samantha said that in a way, she thinks Mary feels more maternal to Jack than to them, because they were grown men when she came back, but she helped raise Jack. And also because Alex Calvert isn’t a foot taller than her!
Sam has been enjoying working closely with Jared, who, she says, is “kind of a goofball.”
Sam: We’ve been watching a lot of silly videos, like shopping cart videos and people falling down…
Sounds about right.
Next up was the Jason Manns “quoncert” – oh wait, he insists it’s “quancert” because the ‘a’ is for ‘answer’. Hmmm. Anyway, it was lovely as always to hear some beautiful Manns music interspersed with questions and answers.
We got some Station Breaks with Rob and Billy, some Wagon Wheel with Richard, and a soulful rendition of ‘Stand By Me’ among other songs.
Jason said he’d gotten some questions about why he’d shaved his head, but that it was coming in handy for all the practice runs he’s doing for the Bad Idea Tour (the run for charity he’s doing with Jensen, Jared, Rob, Adam and Rachel).
Jason: Now I know why Jared sweats so much – he runs every day!
He also said that while initially he was the experienced singer and the one encouraging Jensen to do more singing in public, in a short time Jensen “turned into a rockstar” and then helped Jason become more comfortable with performing onstage.
And the day wasn’t over yet! Next up were David Haydn-Jones (in his New Joisey blue velour tracksuit) and Adam Fergus. These guys are awesome together, with tons of chemistry and playing off each other in a way that is constantly amusing. Adam is the one bouncing off the walls with energy and jokes, and David is the slightly more serious one, and it just works.
David confided that he was an emo teenager and sometimes lonely, which prompted Adam’s cheering him up.
He also questioned his fashion choices.
David: Can anyone take me seriously in this headband??
At one point, Adam’s innuendo-filled commentary about wanting an….intimate….reunion scene between Mick and Ketch went so far that David just threw up his hands.
David: Why don’t you go on over to Ao3 and flesh that out with some fanfiction??
Now that David has a song out sorta, fans suggested he should do a song on Jason Manns’ next Covers With Friends. Which one should he do?
Adam: I’m Too Sexy…
David did say that he would jump at the chance if invited, Jason.
It was another birthday-filled weekend at this con, including a joint birthday cake for Adam and David. Awww.
Finally, to wrap up Friday panels, we had Kim and Briana joined by Clark Backo at her first convention. She was a bit nervous at first, I think, but soon she totally got the hang of it and it was great to have her at the con!
Kim: Anything you want to say before the inquisition….I mean, the questions?
Someone asked what their guilty pleasure songs were and I loved Clark’s answer.
Clark: I’m not gonna feel guilty for something that makes me happy.
Damn right! (I think that’s the plot or subplot of all our books, in fact)
There was a great Doctor Who question that got a fabulous answer. Where would you travel with the Doctor?
Kim: Which one? Because if it’s David Tennant, he’s coming straight to my bedroom!
Spoken like a true fangirl.
Briana said she’d travel to the swing era and learn to swing dance. But she’d be the one doing the flipping – one of those “tough girls flipping dudes around”.
I have no doubt!
They talked about representation, and Kim added that even though it might be not what’s expected, she came out of seeing Black Panther and felt, not so much represented, but celebrated.
Briana said that right now she as a professional, she relates to comedic women, who are using their voices for people who aren’t being heard. Being heard and finding your voice, as a woman, is something that both Kim and Briana write about in their chapters of Family Don’t End With Blood. As I sit here today feeling discouraged about being heard at all, it’s women like Kim and Briana who give me hope that we will be.
There was a lot of fangirling going on at the panel, from Harry Potter to Doctor Who to Kim Rhodes saying she just wishes she was Deadpool.
They also had some good stories about working with Jared and Jensen. Clark had a leg swipe battle with Jensen and in the midst of his kinda showing off his prowess, she actually won! Kim and Briana told the story about Jody and Donna in the backseat of Baby that eventually involved ‘road scissors’ (look it up…) and Jensen laughing so hard he was beating his hands on the steering wheel. lol
All three women bonded over their Wayward Sisters experience.
Briana: I knew I loved Clark when I saw how much she could eat. She would go to craft services and put entire sandwiches in her pockets.
I mean, who hasn’t though??
Kim: Weapons training was a bonding experience. Kat Ramdeen was like YEAHHHHH!
Clark: The group of us on Wayward Sisters, it just worked.
Friday night was a nice dinner with the folks from Attitudes in Reverse, one of the two charities that Family Don’t End With Blood benefits. It’s always so good to catch up with the people on the ground floor doing the work of challenging all the harmful stigma around mental illness, suicide and depression. I’m so honored that the book benefits AIR and to be on their advisory board.
Here’s to you, AIR!
Then it was time for a rockin’ karaoke! There was birthday celebrating for Matt Cohen, continuing the epic SPN birthday weekend. Someone did a Hillywood Show rendition of the Ghosbusters theme, and of course when the question ‘Who you gonna call?’ rang out, the entire place erupted in “Winchesters!”
Richard, Adam and Matt all got totally into ‘Dancing Queen’ and somehow Matt emerged from a group dance on the floor with a bunch of fans wearing a tiara. As you do.
Day 2 kicked off with more Richard and Rob shenanigans, and then an awesome ladies of SPN panel with Emily Swallow, Kim Rhodes, Briana Buckmaster, Ruth Connell, Samantha Smith and Rachel Miner. They all have a giant text chain, with some of the other Supernatural women in it too – Alaina Huffman, Lisa Berry, Shoshannah Stern – and they keep each other in the loop for important conversations.
Emily: They all helped me pick out my wedding dress!
(Emily recently got married and her hubby was at the con too)
At one point Briana jumped off the stage and then struggled to get back on because the stage was SUPER high – cue getting by with a little help from (your) friends. I feel like this photos just sum up what these women’s friendship is all about (Emily and Rachel were coaching from the stage).
They also came up with a name for their girl band (the Twatwaffles) and the name of their first single: Bite Me.
Sam Smith talked about that very emotional scene between Mary and Dean where he finally tells her that he hates her – and he loves her.
Sam: It really felt like he was mad at me. We stayed in it between scenes and after he was like I’m so sorry and I was like me too! And he’s a really good crier.
Ruth: Working with Jensen Ackles is like staring into the sun. He can even move his eyeballs in separate directions! It’s too perfect, it’s too much!
(The one and only time I’ve ever run screaming AWAY from Mr. Ackles is when he snuck up and did that freaky thing with his eyeballs to me when I was unprepared. He was quite pleased with himself for my reaction, btw)
Rachel: I’m still thinking about the last question, but yes, Jensen Ackles is really hot.
The R2M panel was next, another of my favorites. It started out with demonstrations of flossing technique for some reason, and then segued into how Matt Cohen ended up running down the street naked for Kings of Con while Rich and Rob filmed it and their wives all made sandwiches. I guess when you’re partnered with one of these guys you just go with the flow!
Richard apparently had to do some tricky editing since covering up Matt’s naughty bits was more challenging when they were more or less swinging in the breeze while he ran lol.
Creation helpfully put up a little clip of Rob’s naked bottom (actually Andrew Lincoln apparently) from Kings of Con episode 1 so we could all remember how much we miss KoC.
Matt gave a shout out to Supernatural creator Eric Kripke’s new movie, A House With A Clock In Its Walls, which he says is excellent.
Someone asked who on the cast they’d like to be stranded on a desert island with. I can’t remember what Matt and Rob said, but Richard quipped –
Richard: Jared, because he’d be able to reach the coconuts!
Rob was asked what Chuck would do if Becky came back, and Rob had such an adorable answer. He started out with bravado, saying he’d be like “you could have been dating God!”
Then he thought more about it and allowed that Chuck would then probably ask her out to dinner.
Rob: (shyly) Because I like her…
Emily Perkins, were your ears burning?
Jason Manns and Chris Schmelke brought out a birthday cake (or possibly birthday donuts?) for Matt, so we got to sing to him again – never enough birthday celebrating for this cast!
Next up were Adam Fergus and David Haydn-Jones, who once again proved that they should always do panels together. They came out to ‘Just The Two of Us’, an inside joke for those of you who were at SPNIndy – and a perfect song for the two of them.
Both Adam and David had lots of compliments for the Supernatural cast.
Adam: It’s amazing how engaged those guys are after almost 300 episodes.
He related a story where once he said something as an ad lib about how ‘this tomato juice would be better with some vodka’ and Jensen overheard and was like, that’s awesome, you should say that!
That kind of encouragement and respect, they said, is rare to be given to guest actors, and rare to be that dedicated to your craft after so many years.
Someone asked Adam what would have happened if Mick had survived.
Adam: I envisioned him eventually taking down the BMoL with the Winchesters, because he did have a change of heart. I think he realized that it wasn’t all black and white, and the Winchesters live in shades of gray. He and Sam had a bond starting because they were both like academics, and I think Dean was starting to come around too.
David related a story about believing in real life supernatural stuff, and then asked how many in the audience believed too. When a bunch of people raised their hands, he grinned.
David: That’s my kind of weirdos – I feel at home here, I really do.
That struck me as such a genuine thing to say, and it’s the perfect introduction to the next panel – which was, of course, Misha Collins!
As I’m sitting here writing this coverage of Misha’s panel, there are some people on twitter insisting that I “hate” Misha or I don’t include Misha in my con reports or that Family Don’t End With Blood doesn’t really benefit Random Acts or all sorts of other things that are both untrue and really hurtful. It’s confusing because I’ve never missed a Misha panel in all the many many cons I’ve attended – not because I “have to” cover them, but because they are invariably some of my favorite con moments. Nobody pays me to go to cons and tweet them or do these write ups. I do it to share, because I so appreciate it when I’m not able to be at a con when someone else shares. But it’s more than that, which is why it does hurt. I love Misha. I liked Misha the very first time I met him, in a Vancouver bar for a chat that ended up taking three times as long as it was supposed to because it was just that fascinating. He was the very first actor to write a chapter for one of our books (Fan Phenomena Supernatural). I’ve done Gish three times, consulted for Random Acts, donate 20% of proceeds of Family Don’t End With Blood to Random Acts and Attitudes in Reverse. I respect him, support him and just plain enjoy his company. In fact, on days like today, when the world feels pretty damn hopeless, it’s Misha and all he’s doing to change the world that gives me hope.
The chapter he wrote in Family Don’t End With Blood is all about how the SPN Family will always have your back and how much that means to him. So I’m going to try to ignore all the other stuff, and I’m going to continue to cover Misha’s panels and support RA and have a blast doing Gish and try to remember that in any group there are people organized around defining their in group by attacking anyone perceived as “out group”, whether they are or not. It’s what’s happening on a larger scale all around us, so I suppose it shouldn’t be surprising here within a fandom – and I’m perfectly aware there are “haters” in every in-group because I try to follow all sorts of people on Twitter as a researcher — but it still leaves me feeling sad. Which I guess was their goal, so kudos on that.
Misha’s panel, on the other hand, was totally uplifting. I told him the other day that he’s sort of become what used to be my Jon Stewart/Daily Show fix back in the day because he makes me feel sane in the midst of insanity. If you haven’t seen the pie challenge videos on the Supernatural set benefiting the Vancouver food bank, please go check them out. Misha took so much joy in pie-ing Jerry Wanek – and they’re raising lots of money for a very important cause. In fact, Supernatural raised the most money of all the shows that participated – go SPNFamily!
Speaking of pie in the face, Misha said that when he took his turn as the pie-ee, he didn’t expect Jensen and Jared to pie him too, and ended up with so much whipped cream that he had to use a Q tip to dig it out of his ear!
I’ve always appreciated that Misha is comfortable talking about fanfiction – that was a large part of our very first conversation – and while he is a bit more cautious than he used to be, he still can answer those questions.
Fan: Have you ever read or seen fanfiction?
Misha: How old are you?
He then told the story of discovering slash fic for the first time, and being so naïve that he read ‘Castiel unbuckles Dean’s…’ and then went wait, I don’t remember that happening in the script!
Someone also asked him about sharing clothes with Jensen, hurriedly insisting “I’m trying to make this platonic…”
Misha: You’re failing.
He explained that Jensen has a thing about wearing the same outfit more than once to a con, but he’s perfectly happy to have his “hand me downs”. As would most of us, Misha!
Never let it be said that Misha isn’t motivated by being told “you can’t do such and such”. He says that maybe the reason he got into acting in the first place was that his college theater director told him he couldn’t do acting and so he promptly thought “fuck you, I’m gonna be an actor!”
Thanks, theater director.
After playing the same role for so long, Misha said he sometimes worries that when he gets cast as another character, he’ll end up just playing Cas.
Misha: Castiel has woven himself into the fabric of me. I think I might be broken!
He also told a priceless story about wrestling with Jared and Jensen, and while the three of them were “trying to hurt each other” they were also, incongruously, discussing politics. Weirdly, while they were physically pulling out all the stops to really hurt each other, when talking politics they were being very polite.
Only these three!
Someone asked his favorite prop and he said Castiel’s pimpmobile. It was a rental so they weren’t supposed to actually use the hydraulics – in fact, because they did, it cost them $10,000 when they broke it. Oops.
He also helped a young fan named Alexander conquer stage fright.
Misha: Wanna come onstage?
Misha also got serious some of the time, especially when a fan asked who in his life is a big support to him. Like many of the other Supernatural actors, he’s not afraid to be candid, knowing that it helps validate other people’s experience.
Misha: I have these periodic dark spells, maybe a few weeks every five years. I call it “molting” but it’s probably depression. My wife and a few close friends support me through it.
I do think it makes a difference when the actors talk about their own tough times, which is a lot of the point of Family Don’t End With Blood. Misha also told a painful story of being a young boy and at a slumber party where the other boys took his pants off while he was asleep and took pictures! Awwww man, poor Misha.
Mark Pellegrino joined Misha for the end of his panel, which gave them an opportunity to talk about Misha’s portrayal of Lucifer, aka Casifer. Misha went to Mark’s house before he took on that character for some advice on how to play him.
Misha: He told me that he plays Lucifer like he either wants to kill you or have sex with you.
They then traded compliments about how brilliant each other’s performances as Lucifer have been.
Saturday night dinner, and then it was time for the SNS! Fans gave out little baggies with glow sticks and personalized messages like “Enjoy the little things” and instructions on when to light the glow sticks for She Waits. Every single con, fans put a lot of time and energy into organizing and purchasing and handing out glow sticks or finger lights or something so we can all collectively show Rob Benedict our support for him and how glad we are that he’s here with us. EVERY single con. So to whoever put together the glow sticks and inspirational packets, thank you.
Louden Swain rocked it as they always do, and this was one of those Saturday Night Specials that had an extra energy to it. Adam Fergus introduced Matt Cohen, who belted out “Seven Nation Army” and then leapt off the (very high) stage at the end of his performance!
Rob rocked out so hard at one point (Leg Up maybe?) he broke his shoe and had to duct tape it back together in the middle of the set.
Chris Schmelke came out to play bass as he always does, and then took a rare turn at the mic to thank both the band and cast and the fans.
Chris: I wouldn’t be here without the support of these guys and you guys. I fucking love you.
Right back at ya, Chris.
Ruth Connell proved once again that all those doubts she wrote about in her chapter of Family Don’t End With Blood were unfounded, belting out a sultry version of “Number One Crush”.
Kim Rhodes ripped the place up with a heartfelt and oh-so-relevant “I’m Just A Girl” – pretty sure when she sang “I’ve had it up to here” every single woman in the audience screamed it right along with her.
I know I did.
Emma Fitzpatrick joined the band for “Cool If I Come Over”, which was lovely.
Briana Buckmaster, fresh from her first headlining gig in NYC, sang “Olive Branch” and brought the house down.
Because they are all such good friends and friends take care of their own, they waited for Emily Swallow to come onstage and sing her duet “Dearly Departed” with Rob until her new husband made it to the convention center.
Jason Manns, Rob and Billy Moran (also known as The Station Breaks) sang a hauntingly beautiful version of Hallelujah, always one of the highlights of an SNS.
Richard Speight put down the bass and picked up a guitar and sang a rockin’ version of “Copperhead Road” which is always another highlight for me. Sometimes I’m just dumbfounded that so many of them are such amazing singers and musicians!
The band did “This Is How” and then Rob sang “She Waits” while the room lit up with swaying red glow sticks and then the audience, as planned, sang a last verse to Rob while he stood there listening.
Then we got an encore of “Let Love Rule” with surprise Justin Guarini and a second encore of “Mama’s Jam” and the place went wild. Rachel and Adam and Emily’s husband also joined in in the fun. There’s nothing like this song, all the cast down on the floor dancing and clapping and running through the convention center and all of us dancing and clapping right along with them.
You can see the joy on everyone’s faces, both on stage and off, as we all get swept up in this song that’s a celebration of overcoming adversity and that you can ‘always keep fighting’.
I always leave the SNS both euphoric and exhausted. And then stay up far too late with my roomies raving about how awesome it was.
So Sunday morning dawned early, for some vendor room time and then to run to the Jared and Jensen gold panel. Luckily the panels were just a drape away from the main section of the convention center which was the vendor room and concessions, so I could just duck through the drape at the eleventh hour.
Despite filming until 2 am on Fraturday, Jared and Jensen were in good spirits. Jensen was a little late coming onstage, and Jared quipped “He’s nervous, come on, give him some encouragement.”
Jensen: He just hit me as hard as he could on the arm – the one that was holding my coffee! He’s like come on, you ready to go? Whack!
There was lots of kid talk to make everyone go awwww. They spent some time on Saturday at the National History Museum with Jensen’s daughter JJ.
Jensen: it was me, Jared, Clif and JJ at the natural history museum – like three men and a baby! JJ is young, she gets tired, so she was like, will you carry me? I said no but uncle Jared will.
Not to be outdone, Jared said that now that Shep and Tom are getting older, he’s getting those uncomfortable questions like “where do babies come from?”
Jensen: And then it’s like, go ask Uncle Jensen!
Jensen said that Arrow, one of his 22 month old twins, has started saying “I love you”. When the other twin, Zeppelin, heard that and saw the big reaction that it got, he decided to start saying it too. So there’s Jensen with the two of them going “I love you”
Jensen: This is what Heaven must feel like…
Gen had sent Jared a cute video of Odette illustrating her propensity for saying “NO!” which he managed to find on his phone and play for us.
Replicating what happened at a previous con where Jared discovered, to his absolute glee, that Jensen’s shirt had pockets – this time, Jared discovered that his own shirt had pockets! Which was seriously adorable.
Also, Jensen had on faded worn jeans with holes in the knees, which was extremely distracting.
Someone asked if Jensen had ever wanted to cut Jared’s hair. Jared said that during the writer’s strike, they both romanticized the idea of cutting off all their hair. Jensen ended up actually doing it, but Jared didn’t.
Jared: It was winter, it was cold!
Jensen: Mine was a little easier to grow back (to show length)!
Jensen has said before and reiterated here that he already has an idea planned out for his next tattoo. Jared said that he also has tattoo ideas.
Jared: But Jensen can attest that sometimes it does take a while to cover them up.
Someone asked a question about favorite scenes and Jensen mentioned the fight scene with Cain in his kitchen.
Jensen: I did nine hours of that fight scene with no stunt double. Because that’s who I was fighting!
A fan asked when we would see Danneel and Gen at a con.
Jensen: You’ll have to ask them because they’re strong independent women and when we suggest something they’re like ‘oh that’s cute but I’m going to do what I want’.
As it should be.
I had to miss Mark Pellegrino’s panel and a bit of Ruth Connell’s panel on Sunday for meet and greets, but ran back to catch most of Ruth’s.
She told a story about Jared and Jensen’s infamous pranks, including one which involved lube and them trying to make her break.
Ruth: But I just powered on while Jared and Jensen were standing there holding these gigantic…objects…
The imagination runs wild…
One of the best and funniest things she’s seen on the set, Ruth said, was the scene where Dean is under a love spell and he and Sam are wrestling on the car.
Ruth: It was unchoreographed wrestling with Jared and Jensen, OMG so funny.
Once again, I can only imagine!
Fan: If Rowena had a daughter, what would she be like?
Ruth: I think she’d be pretty fucking wayward – she could be in the spinoff!
She also had an adorable fangirl moment over Tom Hiddleston’s Loki. I mean, understandable.
And perhaps the weirdest story of all, which I had never heard before.
Ruth: A psychic in England told me a year before I got the role on Supernatural that I’d be filming in Canada and someone named Dean would be important to me.
We all did the V Club Mega dance, which we haven’t done for a while, so that was fun.
Then it was time for the J2 main panel. They did some warming up, and then an in sync jump – a high one this time!
Even their warming up is photogenic though…
Jared: Howdy, New York!
Jensen: (eyeroll) It’s New Jersey!
In response to a question about how things would have been different if John had come back instead of Mary, Jensen had this to say.
Jensen: If and when John comes back…
He then confided that he’d had a conversation with Hilarie, Jeffrey Dean Morgan’s wife, the other night and she said yes, he will be back on Supernatural – even if he doesn’t know it yet!
Jensen also said that things would be different if and when John came back. There would be more of a power struggle because the brothers have gotten used to running the show for so many years and might not just follow their Dad like he might expect.
They both had some amusing kid related school stories. Jared said that his niece asked him the other day, “Uncle Jared, why do my teachers keep asking if I know you?”
Jensen said he was dropping JJ off the other day and the security guard nudged him
Jensen: As I was walking by, he just kinda put his hand on his belt and said “You’re not packin’, are you, Dean?”
Someone asked how they get over stage fright.
Jensen: I don’t think it’s easy for anybody to get on stage and talk, and getting past that is different for everyone. Whether it’s a trick of picturing everyone naked…
Jensen: I don’t think that ever works…
Jensen: He does that walking down the street.
He said that what helps them is that they’re totally blinded up there by the bright lights. But more seriously, Jensen writes about challenging his anxiety in his chapter in Family Don’t End With Blood, and gives the fandom some credit for helping him get past it.
Jensen isn’t quite over that strung-up-on-wires fight scene at the end of Season 13, calling it a damn puppet show with marionettes like “Team America” or something like that.
We got a little bit of Season 14 preview, most notably that Jack is struggling now that he’s lost his grace and is mostly human. That means he’s prone to collapsing since his vessel is having challenges.
Jensen: Every time he hits the floor, that’s like asking for a doggy pile. Alex isn’t a big guy and we are, so that’s like 600 pounds on him. And Misha is so excited to be on this side, he’s the first to jump on!
Jared: My goal for this year is a two hour gag reel.
Literally everyone: YES PLEASE!!!!
Guilty pleasure songs?
Jensen: On the way to school, JJ and I sing ‘Fight Song’. But then I just keep singing after I’ve dropped her off…
He said he’ll look over and someone will be staring and he’ll be like “….my daughter likes it?…”
Someone complimented Jared on all the subtle nonverbals he uses when portraying Sam’s fear and trauma regarding Lucifer.
Jared: I’m very protective of my buddy Sam, and he’s very protective of Dean.
He did research on PTSD when portraying Sam’s struggle after being traumatized by Lucifer.
When Dean returns in Season 14, Jensen said again that he’ll have a lot of trauma to deal with, and that he’ll try to stuff his emotions down and not deal with them. But eventually it will all come out. I seriously cannot wait for that A+ content!!
Jared had some excellent advice which I’m trying to remember myself today.
Jared: It’s not up to me to control how people see me. There’s nothing I can do to change it if someone wants to dislike me or what I say on stage, it’s just my job to go up and give myself and be myself without letting what other people think of me stop me.
They talked about some of their favorite scenes. Jensen mentioned doing the 180 in Baby and shoving donuts in his mouth trying to make Briana laugh, and Jared mentioned the scene where Sam and Dean carve their initials in the table in the bunker. He said that scene felt oddly real to him and Jensen because they were talking about what the characters’ legacy would be and it felt like he and Jensen were confronting the knowledge that someday the show would end and what that would mean for them.
Jared: It felt really real. I remember the line that Sam says, what is our legacy gonna be? And it kinda felt weird, Jensen and I filming in this set that we’d been filming in for several years and it almost felt like we were talking to each other. Like man, the show is gonna end someday…
Jared: It’s not my fault, it’s his fault! (points to Jensen) He’s gonna quit someday.
Jensen: (throws up hands)
Jensen talked about directing and how he loves the prep, when the whole crew sits down and they try to figure out how to make the script into an episode, the collaboration of that.
Jensen: Being a director is like being the captain of a problem solving squad.
Also Jensen: Also I love telling him [Jared] what to do. And then him not listening and doing what he wants anyway.
Probably my favorite moment was when a fan thanked Jared for Always Keep Fighting, and then asked who inspired him?
Jensen immediately grinned and waited expectantly for Jared to say him.
Jared: (gestures in Jensen’s direction…) Stephen Norton!
Jared then acknowledged AKF and insisted on sharing the credit with Jensen.
Jared: When you thank me for AKF, when the first AKF campaign happened in 2015, I had known this guy for the majority of my days and nights for seven, nine, ten years?
Jensen: I was told there would be no math…
Jared: So I hate saying this in front of him, but this guy had ten years of influence before I was comfortable enough to say this is what’s going on in my world behind closed doors. So, round of applause for this guy.
Jensen listened closely, eyes downcast as Jared got emotional. When Jared had finished speaking, avoiding eye contact as though it were Dean and Sam and no chick flick moments, Jensen reached over and slapped Jared on the back. Jared slapped his knee in return. You get the feeling that said it all between them.
Meanwhile, I needed my tissues. It’s that comfort that also allowed Jared to write his incredibly candid and powerful chapter in Family Don’t End With Blood. As much as Jensen likes to tease Jared for working on his chapter while they were on vacation, it’s due to his support that Jared had the courage to write it all down the way he did – and that has allowed the book to make a difference for people who read it and also struggle.
All too soon it was time for the Last Question. Jensen and Rob sang the intro, and a young fan took the stage. (Youtube link for Jensen and Rob’s rendition of Last Question below)
Fan: I’m really nervous.
Jensen: Oh don’t worry, this is just like three times the size of a usual convention crowd…
Fan: Oh no, I’m not nervous because of all them, I’m nervous because of you!
Everyone: Can relate.
The panel ended with Chris Schmelke and a 100th Con celebration cake.
Jared and Jensen signed the banners, then returned to the stage and gave each other a chest pat and a fist bump, and left the stage to lots of applause.
I was very sad to miss the Kings of Con panel and the convention closing since I had to finish up in the vendor room, though I could hear the familiar strains of ‘It’s the end of the con as we know it…’ from my table and sang along.
I had a late dinner with friends after autographs and then grabbed a few hours of sleep before getting up at 4:45 am to head for New York City and the Supernatural Season 14 premiere party with Entertainment Weekly and Jared and Jensen on Live with Ryan and Kelly. Who needs sleep when you’re busy fangirling?
Stay tuned for my first episode review of Season 14 coming up next week – Hellatus is almost over!!!
You can read all the actors’ chapters in
Family Don’t End With Blood, links at
the home page!