This year’s Vegas con was special. I know I say that about pretty much every con, because they’re all special in their own way – but no convention had ever been like this. This was the first convention after we found out that Supernatural is ending after next season. When I heard the news, I couldn’t wait to be with a bunch of people who truly “get it”. Fellow fans who are just as devastated by the news as I was, and who love the actors and the Show enough to support the decision anyway. I just wanted to talk to people who understand, and get lots of hugs too. And that’s pretty much what I got.
My friend Laurena from Winchester Family Business and I roomed together at the Rio, where I’ve had all sorts of misadventures before including the traumatic experience of having our bathroom explode in the middle of the night and our room be overtaken with sewage (literally) like something out of a horror movie. The Rio always brings adventures of some kind, even if it’s only the adventure of walking five miles each way from the hotel through the casino to the convention center which is more or less in the next state over. Maybe an exaggeration, but maybe not. There’s also the drama of the Starbucks which insists on closing at 3 pm every day and the serious lack of fast and easy takeout. And the smoke-filled casino.
But actually, I have as many fond memories of the Rio as traumatic ones. This year, like every year, was a time to catch up with friends old and new. I got to see HR’s brand new Richard sculpture along with the rest of the gang. This fandom is so damn talented!
This year, I just wanted to immerse myself in the arms of the SPNFamily, both cast and fans. So that’s what I did.
My friend Alana and I spent a lot of time talking about how many fans were confronted with derision in their non-fannish lives and being judged for grieving the loss of a television show. So we sat down and filmed a video for her channel, which you can watch on her channel (link below). We hope it helps a little bit as we all help each other get through this. And try to look forward to the next year of Supernatural!
I’ve grown to love being part of the “vendor squad” at the Supernatural cons. We’re like a traveling band of wanderers, but we all look out for each other and support each other. There’s always someone to watch your table while you run to the bathroom or pat you on the back when you’re tired or lend you some packing tape or just share a laugh. I was right next to the lovely Jason Manns’ table manned by the equally lovely Misty when he wasn’t there. It was nice to catch up with Jason again and to reminisce a little about the early days of the fandom and some of his first concerts, including in my hometown many years ago! Jason contributed a free digital download of ‘Soul’ to one of our first books, Fangasm Supernatural Fangirls, and a Station Breaks free song to Family Don’t End With Blood too, so he’s part of the FDEWB family.
I flew in on Wednesday night and arrived at about 1 am after flying for 9 hours including layovers, so needless to say I was absolutely knackered. I checked in and started dragging my suitcases across the casino floor when I heard someone call out “hey, are you Fangasm?”
A young woman in a Supernatural tee shirt who looked very distraught was asking, so I said yes. Nearly in tears, she asked if I could help her, because her roommate wasn’t getting in until tomorrow and the hotel was not letting her check in because she was under 21. As though stranding her in the middle of a casino was a better idea! I got back in the check in line and gave them a guarantee for her so they’d give her a room – so for the rest of the weekend whenever I saw her, she’d joke that I was her savoir. Hey, we’re all SPNFamily.
Thursday was kicked off by our host Richard Speight Jr., as always, and Louden Swain.
Then it was time for Adam Rose, who I haven’t seen in a long time and really enjoy. Adam immediately acknowledged the elephant in the room.
Adam: I heard the news…I’m really excited to see how they wrap things up. It’s great they get a year to do that.
What are Aaron and his Gollum up to?
Adam: Last time we saw Aaron and his Gollum they were at a disco in Germany so I feel like they’re having fun.
He’s also up on his Supernatural memes, including the one he stars in from his episode.
Adam: Oh my god these guys are psychopaths… I love that meme!
Adam was not spared some J2 pranking on set.
Adam: I’m doing this intense scene with Jensen and I see Jared pop up (off camera of course) holding this paper with a phallic object on it. I cracked up. So then, 13 takes later…
He also said he wasn’t aware of the fanfic that was already out there when he shot the scene about being “Dean’s gay thing.”
Adam: Because Jensen is such a great actor, he got all flustered in that scene and now it’s still a thing! There’s a moment where Dean is like all awkward, “Okay be citizen” and Jensen was just so good, bumping into that chair. And the fans just took it and ran!
As we do.
He also had exciting news – he just booked a new Netflix series with Dennis Quaid, his 30th series!
Adam: But this is a unique fandom and family. Thirty shows and none have had the impact this show has had on my life. I had no idea.
Next up was another of my favorites who I haven’t seen in a while – the lovely Lauren Tom, who had similar nice things to say about Supernatural.
Lauren: I think Supernatural fandom is the best fandom on Earth. I’m a proud mama to see everyone supporting Jared and Jensen.
Lauren is also on a new show.
Lauren: And I get to stab somebody in the balls! That and getting to punch Mark Sheppard in the face are highlights of my career…
She had very nice things to say about working with Jared, especially in the scene where Linda Tran finds out about Kevin’s death.
Lauren: Jared was so supportive and so present in that scene.
Lauren also got to do lots of her own stunts on Supernatural, since she used to be a dancer.
Lauren: Supernatural has everything. I did my own stunts, it has humor, it’s scary… Because I played such a strong part on the show, I get more badass parts and I’m even getting to do some video games. It’s been so positive.
Julie McNiven was asked about the car sex scene with Jensen (of course). She gave a rather hilarious soft porn director’s narration of just how that went which really takes any suggestion of romance out of it!
Her favorite scene to film, perhaps surprisingly (but not really) was the fight scene with Amy Gumenick.
Julie: We rehearsed that for days, and I got a bestie out of it!
She was wearing a shirt that said Thankful Grateful, and like every single guest star ever, had some really nice things to say about Supernatural.
Julie: This show has brought me so much. You fall in love with some characters you play and miss them. I grieved that loss, then went back and binged Supernatural to catch up. I wore this shirt because that’s how I feel about this show.
And how knows, we didn’t see any black wings when Anna died, so….
Julie: I don’t know if I’m in the Empty. Or maybe I’m just a fuckin’ file of ash!
Julie also learned something from playing Anna.
Julie: With Anna I got to play Anna’s transition to finding her footing and being a badass and that parallels real development as a woman too.
We also got a Tahmoh Penikett panel, another SPN alum we haven’t seen in too long. Tahmoh wishes he’d had more scenes with Misha Collins.
Tahmoh: The dynamic between Gadreel and Castiel was ripe for more angel humor. Misha and I were like, hey that was funny! Both Gadreel and Cas don’t really get pop culture, and that’s the humor potential.
He said he tried to show the conflict and nuances in Gadreel and not just play him like a villain. He also loved how Jared played him (first).
Tahmoh: I love how Jared played Gadreel, the physicality of it, almost like a superhero.
And on the fight scenes that he had with Jared, he had this to say.
Tahmoh: These guys are professionals. They goof around but in a fight scene he’s very professional. Jared’s a big guy, and he’s tough. Not tougher than Master Chau though…
He also had some kind words for Jensen Ackles.
Tahmoh: I love when an actor gives 100%. Jensen and I were in this very emotional scene, and then….Jared farted. Twice. Jensen looked at Jared and was like, you done?
Tahmoh is currently working on a film project on residential schooling and hoping to film in the Yukon and employ indigenous people and tell an important story
And that was a wrap on Thursday! We had some autographs, then it was dinner with friends and for once a night that wasn’t tooooo late. After the mostly sleepless night that was Wednesday, that was a luxury.
Friday began with Rachel Miner, as it often does.
Rachel to the crowd: I love you so freaking much. It was so beautiful to watch this family come together and help each other [over the past weeks of everyone grieving the upcoming loss of the show]. This SPNFamily is never ending.
Rachel also talked about how the show and the fandom have changed her, which is what she writes about in her chapter in Family Don’t End With Blood too.
Rachel: You have to find where you belong. I haven’t gotten to feel that way a lot and you guys have helped me with that.
She has struggled with letting other people support her, and talked candidly about the marathon that she did with the rest of the cast.
Rachel: It was hard for me to let them help me in the marathon but I love that everyone got to see what good people they all are and that we have each other’s backs.
Rachel is also an unabashed Megstiel shipper, and loves her character. She felt that as a demon, Meg shut off her feelings because of all her trauma, until she met Cas, and that’s sort of what happens in real life with trauma too.
Rachel: I love the scene with the Cas kiss because I was already struggling physically so Misha actually picked me up to help me. But it looked hot too. And yes he’s a good kisser. Is it killing anyone else that the Empty is going to take Cas when he’s happy?
She also appreciates Meg’s relationship with Dean.
Rachel: I think Meg and Dean respected each other’s wit and I love that she wasn’t shaken by him and he wasn’t by her.
As a demon, Rachel believes that Meg shut off her feelings bc of all her trauma, until she met Cas. And that’s sort of what happens in real life with trauma too.
Next we got a lovely quoncert from Jason Manns.
Jason: You may not know this but it’s common for a musician who had 18 seconds of his song on a show to then play conventions for that show for 13 years….
Jason will be back in the studio with Richard Speight Jr. shortly and said that working with Briana on her CD was super fun (we all pretty much knew that).
He also shrugged when saying that his 18 month old son is now so much more famous than he’ll ever be.
Jason: I was just trying to amuse him and it went viral.
Beatboxingbabydaddy, that’s Jason.
We also had what I think was only the second convention appearance for Christian Keyes, who played Michael before he decided to possess Dean. Christian is passionate about lots of television shows, including Supernatural, and loved playing Michael.
Christian: It’s amazing playing a bad guy, you get to do all kinds of things you never can do. Mark Pellegrino is my favorite Lucifer. He had way too much fun playing the devil!
As a fan of the show, it felt a little surreal to Christian having conversations with Jared and Jensen about their kids.
Christian: I’m talking about being a dad with Sam and Dean!
He also was touched that Jensen asked him whether there was anything he should carry over from Christian’s portrayal in playing Michael.
Christian: That showed a lot of class, and he didn’t have to do that.
He also had empathy for Jensen having to wear that flying harness, since he did too.
Christian: When they bring you up in that harness, it goes places it shouldn’t….that was rough…
We also learned that Christian had a difficult childhood, and he’s not only smart and a great actor, but a talented published writer! (Whose books contain a bit of “tasteful naughtiness”). Hmmm
Christian: I’m a survivor of child abuse and foster care and detention. Wherever I was, there was paper and pencil, and I started writing.
Next up was a panel of three awesome ladies – Kim Rhodes, Briana Buckmaster and Lisa Berry. They introduced my friend Alana’s convention gag reel to much appreciation – if you haven’t seen it, run over to her channel and laugh over the cast’s antics!
They were asked about being pranked (take a drink, fandom!)
Briana: I don’t get pranked, but Jared and Jensen do like to make fun of me for things like walking too fast (imitates them imitating her)
Lisa: They haven’t fucked with me at all. What do they think, I’m gonna kill them?
Kim: I totally wiped out filming a scene, and Jared and Jensen at first were like OMG are you okay? When I said yes Jensen said “can we see that played back?”
Lisa and Briana did a musical theater version of Shawshank Redemption. As you do.
Kim, as always, told it like it is.
Kim: I wanted rebellious hair and in Hollywood, rebellious is gray.
Someone asked Briana about how she thought Donna felt when Dean complimented her.
Briana: For Donna, who was in an abusive relationship, I don’t think she realized Dean’s compliment was genuine, but I think it was.
They each told a few funny stories, including Lisa’s about getting on an elevator and being recognized as Death.
Lisa: People recognize me and are like AHHH and I’m like you better take that breath or I WILL take your soul!
Briana said that once she was going through customs and told the very surly agent that she was headed to a Supernatural convention. Suddenly the agent wasn’t so surly.
Agent: OMG what’s Jensen Ackles like??
Friday night was karaoke (and whoa, Christian Kane can sing!) after a late dinner and a too late to bed time….
Then it was Saturday. Mitch Pileggi kicked things off – he’s got a sense of humor about his character.
Mitch: I know Samuel is probably not your favorite character. He was a little grumpy with Dean… Also it was kind a weird that Samuel wanted to bring Mary back. He’s sitting there looking at a picture of his daughter….
His favorite scene, Mitch said, was when he was turned into the YED.
Mitch: I got to sniff Jensen, who wouldn’t like that?
Apparently his daughter loves Jared and Jensen.
Mitch: My daughter adores both the guys so much and they’re so good to her. That’s just who they are. On Supernatural I was working with two guys who are gold, and with Kim Manners who was a big part of my life, and a crew who was like home [since so many of them also worked on The X Files].
Apparently there was one day when his daughter and a friend of hers who is also a big fan were on set and Mitch kept telling them that Jared and Jensen weren’t there – until they surprised them by just walking over. Another time he had his shirt off for a scene and his wife said he looked good, maybe they should get Jared over there. Later Jared came over in a tee shirt and just ripped it off right in front of them.
Mitch also had a chance to work with Misha.
Mitch: My second episode I got to hang out with Misha, another great guy who’s got his head on straight. And he’s so funny!
Also, everyone loves Rob. There are no exceptions.
On Saturday we got a foursome ladies’ panel with Rachel, Kim, Briana and Lisa.
Rachel: When we all sit together, it’s like the coven is back!
On a road trip with all of them? Billie would drive – and pick the music. Donna would pack the snacks. Meg would not pack the snacks. And Jody would nap. Sounds about right.
Perhaps the most hilarious bit was about Jody’s drawer being full of vibrators.
Kim: She’s pretty self sufficient.
Rachel: Meg too, that’s why she keeps this vessel.
Briana: She knows where the buttons are (wink)
They also had wonderful things to say not just about Supernatural’s cast but the crew.
RacheL: As I was having more trouble physically, the crew did all these little things, like flatter shoes and insoles…just little things.
Kim: I showed up with a dramatic haircut and the producers wanted me to wear a wig. So the crew put Jared’s stand-in’s crappy wig on me and showed it to them, and the producers were like never mind.
Lisa: I’ve started noticing what’s different when I’m grateful. We all have to figure it out for ourselves.
Later that afternoon was the R2M panel, which always makes me laugh so much it’s hard to tweet a damn thing!
They spent a bit of time teasing each other about their flying proclivities.
Matt instantly falls asleep.
Rob to Rich: Oh please, please, let Rich fall asleep!
Rob: Rich moves my earphones all the time, and I hate that!
The history of the Elastic Waste Band was revisited (I was there, I remember!) and Matt and Rob cracked up over Richard’s other suggestion for a band name, the Four Skins.
Rich: But that didn’t roll over…
Ba dum dum
Matt also spent some time being hilariously earnest trying to convince everyone never to sky dive.
Matt: And there’s a guy you don’t even know strapped to your back….
Rob: Is he hot?
Matt: (ignoring Rob’s perfectly valid question) And then the chute opens and there are straps right here and everything hurts so bad, it’s like you’ve been riding a horse made of rocks!
Rich: (stares) O—o
There were a few serious moments too, like when Matt said that Rob had inspired him to do something he never thought he’d do (sing onstage) and Rich has inspired him to do something he’s loving doing right now, directing.
I left my vendor table for a few minutes to enjoy a bit of the Louden Swain vendor room jam, and then it was time for a pair of remarkable red-heads, Felicia Day and Ruth Connell.
Someone asked who they’d want to play if it wasn’t their characters.
Felicia: Why would I want to be anyone but Charlie?
Ruth: Who else has sparkly eye shadow but Rowena?
They confessed that they were both nervous about working together, because they respected each other so much.
What would they want to see in Season 15?
Ruth: I think the Mega Coven needs to be resolved.
Also Ruth: I asked Robert Berens what the payoff will be for that scene of Rowena and Gabriel.
From the side of stage: Rich: Yeaahhhh….
Felicia: I want a scene with Jensen.
Ruth: But it’s so difficult, it’s like looking into the sun…. He has perfect freckles! Seriously, he’s a droid…
Felicia: That’s hot.
Felicia also said that when AU Charlie saw the connection between Sam and Dean, she found a reason to stay in the world and maybe chance another relationship.
Felicia is a fan of fandom, which I think most of us know.
Felicia: Joss Whedon showed me that fan families are where I want to live.
Saturday is Misha day – when he came onstage, we all held up pink hearts, so that he looked out on a sea of them as he stepped out.
I love our fandom so much sometimes, it hurts.
Misha often tells some kid stories first, which I invariably enjoy. Like the time recently when he reprimanded West and West said, “whoa dad, who taught you the puppy dog eyes?”
He also told a story I’ve heard before but am amused by every time – that time he threw a punch as part of a scene and did it for real but everyone laughed and was like okay, now do it for real…
Misha did get serious though, especially around the show ending.
Misha: We knew the show would end someday but I think I took it for granted, and I still haven’t thought of what I want to do next. This is such an unusual phenomenon, it’s amazing to be a part of something that goes on so long. I know we’re all gonna miss it, it’s such a part of our psyches. I had no idea all this good would come from Supernatural.
Stephanie from the Supernatural crew joined Misha onstage for a bit and got emotional too talking about the show ending.
Luckily, Misha had some tissues to share with her.
He could also joke about it though.
Misha: I ultimately hope to set up an assisted living for the cast of Supernatural. Every meal will have pie…
Proudest moment in his career? When NASA named a mountain on Mars GISHWHES.
Misha: And when Jared was pinching my inner thigh as hard as he could and I got the takes off anyway.
Misha also said that he recently sent an email to Bob Singer and Andrew Dabb about bringing Rachel back as Meg, which got a huge cheer from the audience.
And to the mom of a trans kid: I’m working on a feature film about a trans kid who doesn’t quite fit into the neat little boxes. It’s something I feel passionate about.
That’s why we love you, Misha.
It’s also why Family Don’t End With Blood benefits Random Acts and Attitudes in Reverse, and all the good work this cast does in making the world a better place. And speaking of that…
Then it was time for something special – Shaving Mike Borja’s head for charity! He had a lovely plastic cape on him and a towel over that, and for a while Misha donned protective goggles while every other member of the cast tried to immortalize the moment on film.
Misha seemed to enjoy his work of being a barber a great deal, Mike looked adorable with or without hair, and fandom raised $5000. Goal met!
Also, this is arm porn. Just sayin’.
That was a triumphant feel-good end to the Saturday daytime festivities, and we all went off to have some nice dinners in anticipation of a very special Saturday Night Special. Which did not disappoint!
Stay tuned for Vegas 2019 Part Two, coming up soon!
You can read the book that the Supernatural
actors wrote, Family Don’t End With Blood,
links on the home page!