Sunday is always a fun day at a Supernatural con – also always the most hectic! It’s alot more fun (and a bit less hectic) if you have a ton of friends there to help out in the vendor room and to share the special moments with during panels and photo ops and autographs. Some of my favorite people in the entire universe were at Dallas con, so Sunday was extra fun.
And Jared and Jensen were there too, which definitely makes the day special.
The gold panel kicked off the day at 10:30, which felt much too early to both of us. And to Jensen, who savored his customary cup of Starbucks in between answering fan questions.
Lynn: The floof is impressive from the side, isn’t it? (Okay, who am I kidding, it’s impressive from any and all angles. Jensen’s recent back-to-work selfie proved that beyond a doubt)
Jared wore his customary gold panel beanie, which I think is as much a security blanket as Jensen’s coffee and allows them both to wake up and get comfy with the crowd as they settle back into con space.
Jared’s beanie really brings out his beautiful eyes, doesn’t it?
A fan asked about their Saturday routine when they’re at a con. Jared prefers a steakhouse dinner, which he says they often have the night before a con in whatever city they happen to be in. Jensen said that he works out in the morning, so he sleeps in as late as he can.
Lynn: I’m with you, Jensen. Also, the floof is out of control in this next photo – and eye crinkles! And that little boy grin! Kim captured some of my favorite moments, which always makes me happy because I can just concentrate on my live tweeting. I no longer even bring my actual camera when I know Kim’s going to be sitting next to me – why bother?
They were also asked about advice for planning a wedding.
Kim: I especially loved Jensen’s answer; as a wedding photographer, I take it as my responsibility to make sure the bride and groom have a quiet moment to themselves. Jensen said someone had given him that advice, to make the time to sit back and take it all in and enjoy the moment.
Lynn: I’m sure someone else more memorable gave Jensen that advice, but I got momentarily excited because I gave him that advice too. Shortly before his wedding, I was at an album release party in LA and Jensen was there. I must have had one drink too many, because I ended up giving him unsolicited wedding advice about the importance of making sure that he and Danneel had FUN, and not getting too caught up in worrying about all the details. I guess I kept patting his shoulder enthusiastically to emphasize the importance of this advice, to my great embarrassment when a friend helpfully pointed that out after the fact.
One fan asked them if they were the embodiment of an onomatopoeia, what would it be?
Jared: Bang! Whoosh! OMG!
Jensen: You’d embody OMG?
Jared (beaming proudly) Mm hmm. Look closer…
Jensen to the fan: What would you be?
Jensen: You win.
Lynn: I was just impressed that they knew exactly what that word meant – and I’m just as impressed that Kim, who did this first draft, knows how to spell it…
The next fan thanked Jensen for his amazing performance at the Saturday Night Special. Then she said that as a result of his performance, she’s the embodiment of puddle. Jensen completely lost it, as did most of us in the audience.
Jensen: “Clean up on aisle 3!”
Um, excuse me, you mean clean up in ALL the aisles….
They were asked what they will miss the most after the show ends, which made many of us tear up. It’s not that we don’t know it’s happening after next season, but talking about it so concretely makes it all so very real.
Jared (clearly getting emotional too): Hopefully we’re saying ‘see you later’ to our characters not bye.
He dabbed at his eyes for a second, then laughed.
Jared: It’s too early to cry, right?
Jensen: What I’ll miss about playing Dean is his badassery… what makes these characters real to us and to you is the mix of badass and vulnerability. We will miss that.
Damn, he’s so right. And we so will.
The Sunday Dallas J2 panels were some of the most delightfully dirty we’ve ever had the pleasure of witnessing.
Fan: My husband has a long torso…
Jensen: (glancing at Jared, who famously has a long torso) You know what they say about guys with long torsos…
Fan: It’s not true.
Jensen and Jared: totally crack up
Fan: We call it “jumbo shrimp”…
Jensen: That’s Jared’s new nickname. Just add a little cocktail sauce…
Jared: (snickering) cock…tail…sauce…
For the next several minutes, the panel disintegrated into an R rated discussion of jumbo shrimp, with Jared and Jensen goading each other to new heights of hilarity and everyone losing it.
At some point, they couldn’t ignore the elephant in the room any more. Jensen finally asked why there is a giant shrine (poster) of Jason Manns hanging at the back of the theater. Of course, we explained to him that Jason is missing. Poor Jensen, he was so confused.
Jensen: Does Jason know he’s missing? Because I literally just talked to him and I don’t think he knows he’s missing.
Us: He knows, we’re signing a book for him to let him know we’re looking for him.
Jensen: Wha—how did this happen?
Everyone: Richard started it.
Jensen: Well that explains everything. Lead with that next time.
Jensen also shared one of his embarrassing teenage moments by telling us the story of how he was stopped by police – a lot of police – on the highway. Something about being forced to the side of the road and then taken away in handcuffs.
Lynn: I don’t know, I kinda got lost in….thought…at that point…
Kim: He would not tell us what he had done. WE STILL DON’T KNOW.
That was one of the best gold panels – the half hour goes ridiculously fast, but the gold panel always keeps the lights up so the boys can see the fans, which makes for not only some excellent reciprocal conversations but some pretty pretty pictures too. As you can see.
After the gold panel ended, we were off to do photo ops and meet-&-greets, Lynn had a m&g with Jensen while Kim had one with Rob.
Lynn: Sadly, my m&g was during Rob’s panel, so I missed almost all of it. But Kim was there, because Rob. Because, if you know anything about Kim at all, it’s this: Kim loves Rob.
Rob had several things to say about the show. He said he thinks Chuck would like another chance with Becky, even though she’s a bit cray-cray; however, he thinks God is still enjoying dating. He went on to say that God wouldn’t want to date Cas, because of the whole workplace-relationship thing; and of course, he is everyone’s dad, ya know. But he’d like to date Andy (Gabe Tigerman).
He also talked about the episode ‘Don’t Call Me Shurley’ and how great it was to work with Curtis Armstrong, calling him a gifted actor and comedian. Rob is excited to see where the story goes with God in Season 15, adding that he thinks that we might have several questions about God finally answered. He also said he thought God would’ve looked forward to meeting his grandson, Jack. Maybe they’d go fishing together… He didn’t think God would actually kill him. But did He actually kill him?
A fan suggested a theory that if God wrote the Supernatural books, then perhaps that created a tulpa, thus making Sam and Dean, and Chuck, real. And now God realizes that is what happened, so now God is trying to take them out of play. Rob’s answer was that he “thinks the final season will be epic,” and that’s all fine and dandy, Rob, but No. No one takes these boys out of play. Just NO.
There were many more questions in his panel, such as Rob would live in Italy if he could choose to live anywhere; if he could write a big-budget film, he would write about an astronaut who comes back from Mars and then joins the police force with his now-grown son and it becomes a buddy-cop movie called “My Dad: Martian Cop.” Lol
But perhaps one of the funniest moments in Rob’s panel came when a fan asked him why he (God) created mosquitos.
Rob: “9 times out of 10 you make something really beautiful, and then sometimes you get a mosquito, sorry.”
Alex Calvert was the next panel. Every time I’ve seen Alex at a con, he’s been unfailingly entertaining. And we now know that all the other actors envy his fashion sense, which he seemed embarrassed but pleased to find out.
Alex of course didn’t give any spoilers for next season, but he did allude to Jack’s mental and emotional state from last season.
Alex: I don’t know about you guys but I kept waiting for Jack to snap. We’ll see in season 15…
What’s his favorite version of Jack?\
Alex: The naive version. Because I’m usually not playing innocent in my roles. I’m a bad guy.
Lynn: With that precious face???
Someone asked what sort of parents the Winchesters were, and Alex took issue.
Alex: Oh, I don’t know…I mean, would you lock your child in a box? Wait some of you said yes!
Lynn and Kim: Shady side eye each other. Look, all our kids turned out all right – and no, we never locked them in boxes.
Good moments on the show?
Alex: (wryly) There are none. Just little moments of trauma…
A fan told Alex that Courtney Ford talked about meeting him for the first time when she was sobbing in the makeup trailer after the giving birth scene, and asked how that went. Alex said he just sort of said hello but didn’t intrude.
Alex: I didn’t want to interject with a crying woman, maybe she wouldn’t appreciate some dude doing that.
Maybe not. Good answer, Alex.
Alex also had some lovely things to say about the cast and crew of Supernatural.
Alex: They are a family. Last year they had a big goodbye for Samantha and they had one for Mark.
Everyone in the audience, silently: Mark….which Mark? Is Lucifer actually gone?
On his bro of the year –
Alex: I’d say Ruth Connell.
Someone told Alex about Briana’s comment that all the male actors have crushes on him.
Alex: That explains all the topless massages I’ve gotten backstage…
He also had some very nice words about Misha.
Alex: What a blessing.
That he is.
Then there was that adorable moment when a little boy went up on stage to show Alex how to do the floss.
They both managed it – that little kid was GOOD at it! (Reminds me of the little video of Jared and Jensen doing the floss too, also pretty darn good at it).
Then it was time for Jared and Jensen’s main panel! Jared took off his beanie and his over shirt and Jensen switched from coffee to water, so yes, it was afternoon.
Excuse me while I exclaim about their magnificent hair at this con. Both of them. I mean – look at it!!!
Jensen asked Jared to recite all the states, and he obliged. I love how they both say “Howdy y’all” when he gets to Texas. Boys.
There was a whole thing where Jensen patted Jared on the chest as he showed off his shirt (given to him by the lovely Maisie from set).
Jensen: There’s a whole mountain range here…
Later Jared had occasion to pat Jensen’s chest and noted that Jensen has mountains too.
Jensen: Texas hill country…
Jared fans himself delightedly.
One of the things that makes conventions in Dallas so special is that Jared and Jensen’s families often come to the con. Both Jensen’s parents and Jared’s parents, along with his sister Megan (and her amazing children’s books in the vendor room) came to the con. They are both clearly close to their parents, and their parents are clearly very very proud of their sons.
Lynn: I had a chance to chat with both the Padaleckis and the Ackles, since they both stopped by the Family Don’t End With Blood table. I worked with Sherri Padalecki, Jared’s mom, a bit when he was writing his chapter for the book – he kept sending her up in the attic to try to find the photos of him as a little boy that he wanted to include with his chapter! So I got to know her a bit through that, and it was wonderful to see her again and tell her about the thousands of people (literally) who have let me know that the chapter that Jared wrote has meant a great deal to them – for some, his words have quite literally saved their lives. She and I were both a little emotional talking about it. I love how proud she is of him, and I love that as an English teacher herself, her pride in his writing is extra meaningful. As well as her pride in how much he’s had to go through and how courageous he’s been in always keeping fighting – and inspiring others to.
I also got to chat with Donna and Alan Ackles about the chapter that Jensen wrote in Family Don’t End With Blood. Somehow they didn’t have a copy of their own (my bad OMG) so I gave them one and let them know how many people have let me know that Jensen’s chapter has been an inspiration for them. So many people who read his chapter were dumbfounded that he has struggled with anxiety, because I think he seems so together onstage. The fact that he was willing to make himself vulnerable by writing about how he feels on the inside was tremendously helpful to people. Jensen Ackles has anxiety too? Then I guess we can all be understanding of ourselves when we do!
Jensen’s parents are also clearly very proud of him. They were looking for Jared’s parents, so I brought them over to the Padaleckis. I was struck once again by how unique this Show and this SPNFamily are, that Jared and Jensen’s entire families are all so close. When will something like this ever happen again? It’s lightning in a bottle, for sure.
(The very first time we met Jared – at Jensen’s theater performance of A Few Good Men – Alan Ackles walked up to buy some candy at the concession counter and Jared exclaimed across the lobby “Papa Ackles!” and they were so excited to see each other. Jared was there to surprise Jensen, so he apparently pleasantly surprised his dad too.)
I saw Jensen later and he said his mom had asked him why HE didn’t give her a copy of Family Don’t End With Blood.
Jensen: So thank you very much.
Me: Oops, sorry, did I get you in trouble?
Jensen: You’re not.
I wasn’t. His mom is awesome.
Both Jared and Jensen expressed their appreciation for their parents’ love and support throughout the years. Then Jensen added this:
Jensen: I’m thankful to them for the gift of laughter. I want that to be what I do with my own kids.
I feel like both Jared and Jensen are already well along that path, judging by the adorable photos and videos of lots of giggling happy kids that they and Danneel and Gen post!
Jensen said he has done some voice work that isn’t out yet, so that’s exciting.
There were some serious moments too, especially when Jared and Jensen began talking about Sam and Dean and looking back on all these years of portraying them. The affection they feel for their characters is palpable, and so is their sadness about having to give up playing them. What’s their lasting legacy?
Jensen: These brothers fight for each other and they fight to stand for something.
Jared: The boys always did the best they could.
They both already know how the show is going to end, which seems like both a blessing and a burden to carry for the entire season. It’s a testament to how much they care about the quality of this last season and the ending of the Winchesters’ story that they met with the writers and showrunners already to understand the ending.
Jared got emotional just talking about it – and I get emotional every time I think about it.
We also had story time, which with Jared and Jensen is ALWAYS a good thing.
They enjoy it as much as we do, in fact.
Jensen related the Jared-meets-his-idol-Eddie-Vedder story, which I will never ever get tired of hearing because Jared having a fanboy moment and totally losing his cool is the most validating story ever.
Jared: That was me…
Jensen didn’t have any stories, though it is something he thinks about.
Jensen: I’m always afraid I’ll make a fool of myself with someone I fan.
Every single person in the ballroom: Same, Jensen. Same. Like this weekend in fact…
At some point in here everything went off the rails when a fan said something about killing Ruby 2.0 and Jared jumped up to go after her, and Jensen jumped up to intercept him, and then they just cavorted all over the stage again and again, Jared mock trying to get to the fan and Jensen physically holding him back while also doing the airline pilot imitation of “Abort, abort…”
It was just completely hilarious and somehow warm and funny and affectionate too. They look for all the world like puppies sometimes, rolling over each other and mock fighting for the fun of it.
Jensen: C’mon, big guy…
All too soon, it was time for the last question. Which meant Jensen singing with Rob and Jared bringing the last question fan on stage.
The fan foolishly let Jared hold her cell phone, which meant he read that her alternative question was “What are your sexiest moves?
Fan: OMG no!!
Of course they had to demonstrate. Adorably.
Jared and Jensen ended the panel with their traditional fist bump and signed the stage banners before thanking the fans and saying goodbye.
Babies got back 🙂
The last panel of the day featured Richard Speight Jr. Photos courtesy of Melissa Judge for this section because Kim wasn’t there and Lynn’s phone doesn’t do Rich justice the way these pics do!
Richard: I’m really happy with the album I’m doing with Jason Manns. It’s got a band vibe and that’s what I like. We’re calling the sound ‘drunk country.’ Not because we’re drunk doing it, but that’s the sound.
On the Saturday Night Special –
Rich: We did a Nirvana song last night and I thought it went well. We hadn’t planned on it until a few hours before. #NailedIt
He also mentioned that his son, who was there, said, “Dad, you’re a talented man. You can sing and play guitar and Rob Benedict thinks you’re funny.” #truth
Richard will be back to direct number 7 of Supernatural in Season 15 as well as directing Lucifer, then again on Supernatural number 12, and one more on the back end. He also mentioned that he was intimidated to direct Felicia Day because he’s such a fan and she’s such a pioneer and a force of nature, but it was such a great experience.
He thinks it would be fun to have himself and Rob playing Sam and Dean, with Robbie in a booster seat as they drive along. Lol.
Richard also had some lovely things to say about fans and fannish creativity.
Richard: We’re all blessed with beautiful art by the artists in this family. I’m always impressed people are inspired by these characters.
And what about fan fiction?
Richard: I think about fan fiction what I think about all fiction. Be creative. Be inspired.
Lynn: Richard was one of the very first people we interviewed when we started writing books on Supernatural. We spent many a late night after a con talking about fandom and fan fiction and shipping and why certain characters and stories resonate so strongly with fans. He’s one of the most thoughtful people I know; he gets it.
Richard also had some heartfelt words for Jared and Jensen as they go into their 15th and last season.
Rich: The reason why Supernatural is on the air is because of Jared and Jensen. They are kind to each other, to the cast and crew, to the fans. Every single time.
And now there’s something in my eye….
Rob and Norton joined Rich onstage for the traditional ‘It’s the end of the con as we know it’ and we all sang along and said goodbye.
That’s the end of #SPNDallas!
The end, we said…
But it wasn’t the end of our fangirl adventures! The next day a bunch of us flew to Austin for more fannish fun. We ate alot of fabulous food, had way too much fun taking selfies and doing impromptu photo shoots everywhere we went, and spent a wonderful afternoon shopping in “SoCo”, South Congress Street. It’s one of the parts of Austin that still embodies the city’s unofficial slogan “Keep Austin Weird” (Every one of our Uber drivers told us that the locals are afraid they’re losing that to lots of people relocating there from California and high tech areas). I hope that doesn’t happen, because I love the city’s embracing of its weirdness. It’s very Misha Collins.
Our forays included a shop where we found a copy of Lynn’s book, ‘Supernatural Psychology’ on the shelf and Limbo Jewelry, where we got to check out Danneel Ackles’ jewelry collaboration and do some good in the world with her.
Then it was time for a latte (because Lynn…have you met me?) and more photo shoots. Hey, we had Kim with us. When you’re hanging out with a photographer, you can’t avoid the photos…
That night we celebrated “Supernatural Day” at San Jac Saloon with lots of fellow fans, and the next day we celebrated our friend Alana King’s 21st birthday with her very first beer at Family Business Brewing Company (why no, she did not like it, why do you ask? But at least she didn’t throw up like Jensen told us he did when he drank his first beer).
Check out her video about our Austin shenanigans on her YouTube channel (@_KingBooks_ on twitter) -and our friend Laurena’s recap of our adventures on the Winchester Family Business site too! That’s what happens when a bunch of bloggers and vloggers have some fangirl fun!
We took a tour of the brewery, hung out with lots and lots of fellow fans, and enjoyed the ambiance of FBBC. Even when it rained for a while, it was cozy and kind of nice to sit inside with friends and watch the rain pour down on the trees outside. And of course, since this is Texas, the sun was back out 45 minutes later. Weird.
Our friend Liz joined us for the shenanigans and was kind enough to drive us all over Austin at all hours (shout out to all the Texas locals who were so generous about giving us rides all over creation, including Bev and Betty and Liz!)
Later that night, we celebrated Alana’s 21st a little more at Stereotype, the bar that Jared part owns. Some of us kicked ass at the basketball arcade game, some of us kicked ass (a little) at the corn hole game on the patio, and some of us just balanced blocks on our heads because, well, drinks.
We stopped for late night drive thru burgers and milkshakes as Liz drove us back to our Air Bnb and honestly? It was a good good night. A good good couple of days. It’s not just this show that has changed so many of us – it’s the friends it’s brought us, the adventures, the misadventures.
-Lynn and Kim
You can read the book that Jared and Jensen
(and many other actors) wrote chapters in,
Family Don’t End With Blood, by clicking the
links on the home page!