Kim and I and quite a few of my other friends have had a bit of a tough time this weekend, since we’re all very aware that we had planned to be at the Creation Supernatural convention in Nashville right now. We’re missing our favorite show, and we’re missing our favorite cast, and we’re missing each other – so we thought it would be therapeutic to take a walk down memory lane and remember all the fun times we’ve had in Nashville in the past. So here are a few memories from me, and alot of pretty pictures and more memories from Kim. Enjoy this walk down memory lane with us!
2011 and 2012
[Lynn] I went to the very first Nashcon, as it was then called, way back in 2011. It was before I did convention recaps here, back at the time Kathy and I were working on our very first book about Supernatural and fandom. We hadn’t planned on going, but impulsively decided to take a road trip down to Nashville, with Kathy’s ever-patient husband Dave as our driver. We stopped for hushpuppies along the way. Yum. I remember being awestruck by the Gaylord Opryland hotel complex, and getting lost every time I tried to make my way from our hotel room to the convention area. I had no decent camera and no decent seat in the back of the GA section, but Dave did manage to grab a giant cardboard poster of the Impala advertising the convention from a stand in the hallway on the last day of the con because I didn’t have the guts to – it still hangs in my office at the university to this day. Thanks, Dave.
Nashcon 2011 was also an incredible experience because it was the first time I got to witness Jensen Ackles and Steve Carlson play together. They did a jam session for a small group of people, and it was amazing – even though Jensen was clearly anxious. I caught up with him in the green room later and he asked with trepidation if it had been “okay”. OKAY?? It was fangirl heaven – and it seems even more special now, almost a decade later, as Jensen and Steve have released their amazing Radio Co collaboration. Here’s a small excerpt from my write up of what we were treated to that day (alas, no photos were allowed):
The last song they saved until last for a reason – it was the first song they ever played together. Steve was working on it one day and Jensen came over and started singing harmony. So Steve threw him in the woodshed (aka studio) and that’s how they recorded “Come Around More Alabama”.
Steve: He thought he was coming over for a beer, and I threw him in the woodshed and put him to work! And now that’s one of the most requested songs on itunes, because of Mr Ackles’ popularity.
Jensen (interrupts): And your genius writing skills.
Their rendition of the song was incredible, the harmonies spot on, everyone in the room pretty much riveted. Afterwards, Jensen gave a heartfelt thank you to the fans for their donations (proceeds in part going to charity).
Jensen: It’s humbling and gratifying to be around people who are so supportive. You guys are awesome.
As he and Steve got up to head out, Jensen stopped once again, and sounding a little choked up, shook his head and said, “Best fans in the world.”
We couldn’t agree more, but it goes both ways. Right back at ya, guys.
2011 was also the year we spent a lot of time in the green room doing interviews for our first two books, Fandom At The Crossroads and Fangasm Supernatural Fangirls. We were chatting with talented singer and great guy Brian Buckley while Jared was also in the room, so we got to witness him starting his Twitter account and hear the conversation that led up to making it @jarpad! We were privileged to be there as he watched his follower account slowly start to take off. Hard to believe that now, in 2020, he has 3 Million followers!
This seems to be the one blurry photo I managed to take in 2012 at Nashcon, but I remember it being a special convention for it being the first con after one of our books had been published, and how gracious and supportive the entire cast was about wanting a copy.
This is my photo op for that year – I have absolutely no clue what I asked them to do at this point or why Jared looks so worried. My guess is this is a depiction of Sam and Dean’s current situation, but what that was in February 2012, I don’t know! Please enjoy Sam’s worried sensitive face and Dean’s protective smolder anyway.
Picking up with Kim now (and her unbelievably superior photos…) and what she wrote back when these earlier conventions happened… (With occasional real time interjections by both of us because some things have definitely changed in the last four years!)
[Kim] 2016 seems so long ago! Reading the old article really brought back the memories! I’ll just mention a few of the highlights.
The Gold Panel began with Jared and Jensen walking onto the stage, both carrying coffee. Jared immediately announced: “Jared, 0. Nashville, 1.” After the concert last night, Jensen texted Jared to ask to go out for a nightcap. Jared was already asleep, texting ensued, and their night began.
At one point, Jared commented that he could sweat in the snow.
Jensen: Then why are you wearing so many layers??
So of course, Jared began to strip them off, and you bet your ass I shot those pictures.
*Side note: Looking at the pictures later Sunday night, Lynn may or may not have screamed when this one came up.
ETA: [Lynn] Shhhhhhh!
They talked a little bit about the Show. Jensen told us that he ad-libbed the entire scene of Dean dancing in the ring in Episode 18. He also told us that Dean is naked, ironing underwear in Episode 20. Seriously, can you just not tease us like this?
Jensen also talked about the picture of him as a cheerleader in high school. He explained that he was a baseball player, not actually a cheerleader; the picture is of him pretending to be a cheerleader for the school’s Powder Puff game. Danneel still says that makes him a cheerleader.
Jared started the (afternoon) panel by explaining the nightcap adventures from the night before. He said he didn’t wake up hungover, he woke up drunk “with nothing on but the radio and Saxx underwear.”
[Lynn: There might have been a few people fanning themselves after that comment]
A fan asked Jensen about filming “Ten Inch Hero” with Danneel.
Jared: I loved her sex scene.
Jensen: (makes a face)
Tim Omundson also had a panel on Sunday:
He told us that he loved playing Cain because he is such a badass character. He has spoken with writer Robbie Thompson about the possibility of Cain returning; Tim thinks an episode with Cain and Rowena would be of epic proportion.
Tim also told us that he had gone to college with Richard Speight Jr. and was thrilled to be on stage with him (playing harmonica) in the concert. He said that it had been 20 years since he & Richard had played music together.
Tim also explained to us the difference between a man bun and a top knot – I agree, Mr. Omundson, the man bun is not very becoming.
[For the record, I heartily disagree! Jared or Tim with a man bun?? Bring it! –Lynn]
A few more pics…
The Gold Panel began with Jared telling us that his daughter will be born very soon, and he’s a little nervous about having a girl… Jensen immediately laughed at him.
The boys took turns playing the keyboards. Jared played while Jensen answered a question and vice versa. At one point, Jensen played and Jared moved across the stage, resting his foot on the thing and sang a little “la la la” thing.
When asked how they want the show to end, Jared said he wants to watch the series finale in Lawrence, Kansas with fans.
[Lynn: Remembering that moment now is emotional. At the time, we still thought that “the end” was something so far in the future, it didn’t even seem like it could be real. Now that it’s almost here, I’m nostalgic for those days, when we all believed the Show would go on forever…]
The panel ended with a sweet moment between Jared and a fan. She asked for tips on how to be happy. Jared sat down at the edge of the stage as he talked about being away from his family, and that is a hard thing sometimes, but he also thinks being at the cons is good for his mental health too, so he believes it’s a balancing act. As Jared spoke, Jensen listened quietly, but then he walked over to Jared and put a supportive hand on his head, then ruffled his hair, because, ya know, big brothers never resist the chance to mess up little brother’s hair.
[Lynn: Damn it, that moment made me tear up and it’s happening again now…]
The next panel was Samantha Smith. It is so interesting to go back and read what I wrote about this panel.
“Ok, to be honest, I really wanted to go to her panel, I really wanted to hear what she had to say about Mary… but at the same time, I was hesitant to go in. I’m not a fan of Mary. I mean, I don’t hate Mary. But c’mon folks, I’m a Mom. And I’m just having a very hard time understanding most of Mary’s choices this season.
I’m a Mom, yes, but I’m also an adult. So I took a deep breath and walked into the theater because that was the only way to hear her words, to hear her speak about Mary. And I’m so glad I was mature enough to listen.”
“Samantha said so many things about Mary. She knows that Mary shouldn’t have lied, but she wants us to understand that Mary really is doing her best. Mary has had a tough time relating to adult Sam and Dean. She’s had a tough time figuring out where she fits in this new world, so she’s trying to find herself, and she’s doing that so she can take care of her family. Samantha said Mary is single minded about ridding the world of monsters, and she can see the BMoL have a plan to do just that, whereas the boys don’t have an actual plan. Yes, the woman from the BMoL tortured her son, but she was a rogue. Mary is trying to see the BMoL as a useful tool, something that can help her sons, something that can make a better, safer world for them. Samantha said, “Sam and Dean have earned your trust. I don’t think Mary has yet. But you will like her again.”
Okay, that’s fair. As a mom, I understand Mary a little better now. My opinion, but perhaps Mary hasn’t been portrayed in that way so far; perhaps Mary is being shown as a little too badass, a little too disconnected. But I do understand Mary’s line of thinking now – ultimately, she’s just trying to protect her boys. And while I may not agree with her choices, her decisions, I absolutely agree that the boys should be protected.”
Time for the afternoon panel with Jared and Jensen! The panel began with their usual jump, and then the crowd sang Happy Birthday to Jensen. An adorable little girl went to the stage to give Jensen a rose. Awww.
Jared and Jensen then sat on their chairs, only to realize the chairs swiveled. They are now five year olds. And that pretty much set the tone for the entire panel.
The big screen behind them kept freezing and making the boys laugh. Jared starts doing things to Jensen, like touching his nose, pinching him, and so on. Jared is not actually touching Jensen, but it looks like he is on the screen. Jensen tried to act annoyed, but he can’t help but to laugh at Jared’s antics.
And then Jared attempted to tell us about their distillery tour they took the day before, which involved the term ‘bung hole,’ and they started laughing and couldn’t stop laughing. Eventually, Jensen walked off stage, and then there was some sort of loud noise; when Jensen came back, he was bleeding because he had cut his finger.
Shout out to that quick-thinking nurse who gave Jensen a bandaid. Seriously, that fan is a Nurse. And if we’ve learned anything in recent days, it’s that Nurses are freakin Heroes. THANK YOU.
There were so many funny moments. Jared talking in a southern accent, which led to Jensen feeding other accents to Jared… Jared said he was afraid of bears… Jared fell out of his chair… J2 often scare people with their sneezes… I remember laughing until my cheeks hurt!
There were serious moments, too. Jensen said that playing Dean Winchester has given him brothers, friends, a life that he only dreamed of, and he’s very grateful. Jared said yes, they will have separation anxiety when show ends. Jensen said he doesn’t believe there’s an ideal ending for Supernatural, but he would like it to be left open for the movie two years or so later; Jared thinks they need to die in the series finale. Can we not talk about that?
Ugh. That hurts more than a little now, knowing the Show is so close to the end.
[Lynn: Also I still want that movie!!]
I had photo ops after J2’s panel, so I arrived late for Mark Sheppard’s panel… which meant I had to walk all the way to my seat… late… and of course, Mark called me out. He asked, “Are you okay?” And it was only a little bit sarcastic. It could’ve been so much worse, so I’ll take it!
I may have missed part of his panel, but I was there for the important part, and I’m paraphrasing:
Mark talked to us about how proud he is to be an American citizen. He talked about the importance of voting, saying it is a privilege. He urged us to vote, and not just in the big elections, but in all of them, from your local school council, to mayor, to senators, all of them…
He also explained Freedom. It is not the freedom to say get the f*** off my lawn. Freedom is to do, to create, to make change, to make things happen, to support things, to do the right thing…
He talked about that it really, truly does not matter what your politics are – Republican, Democrat, etc – what matters is that you vote, that you hold your representatives accountable, that you do your part to make a change when a change is needed.
Mark closed his panel by reminding everyone, “if you need help, don’t stay silent, if we see someone hurting, we should do what we can to help.”
Given the current situation in our country, in the world… this virus that has spread literally everywhere and completely changed our way of life, of living… my final words from that article have never been truer:
Whatever it is, wherever you are, do your part to make a change.
Help one another.
And now I’d like to add one more thing… Wash. Your. Hands.
Alas, Lynn and I did not write a recap for Sunday that year. Please enjoy these pics instead.
[Lynn: This is what I wrote after last year’s Nashville con, which was extremely emotional for me…]
Nashville will forever, for me, be the last con before we “knew”. Before we had to recognize what we’d known all along, that this is finite — and that the Show will end after Season 15. Everyone, including the actors, has assured us that the conventions will continue at least for a while, but there’s no doubt it will be different. We won’t have current canon to argue about, for one thing. Jared and Jensen may be working on different and exciting projects, but most likely they won’t be co-leads of another show, so they won’t be working together. Misha will be off saving the world (or possibly being President) and the three of them won’t have any “let us tell you what happened during filming yesterday” tales. Of course they’ve accumulated a lot of those over fifteen seasons, but still, not the same.
At Nashville, I didn’t have that knowledge that things would be changing in a year. All I knew was that we were finally getting to see the best cast ever again after what felt like a long gap – since 2018, in fact. Seattle didn’t happen, so it felt like it had been a very long time since we’d had the actors onstage ‘touching base’ with the fandom, either in person or on video. A long time since we’d been able to ask them questions and see them laugh and enjoy their camaraderie. Maybe that’s why Nashville had an energy to it that took your breath away.
[In case you forgot… in March of last year, just before this con, Jensen reigned as King Bacchus at Mardi Gras. For the morning Gold Panel, the stage and mics were decorated with Mardi Gras beads, and most fans wore gold crowns as we sat in the audience. Jensen quickly went backstage, and returned wearing his crown.]
Jared: Ladies and gentlemen, appearing for the first time, King Ackles! All hail.
A fan asked about Jensen’s experience being Bacchus and we immediately knew this was going to be a day to remember and panels that would be some of my favorites of this entire wild crazy ride.
Jensen: I must say I was expecting more of a skin show than I got.
Jared: I would’ve shown you my chest.
Jensen: I know you would. He does it all the time.
Jensen to Jared: I must say you look fetching today (his luggage didn’t come with him)
Jared: I showered Tuesday.
Jensen: So he didn’t have his luggage, so he went shopping and I’m very proud of you. Someone helped you out today, didn’t they?
Jensen also told the story behind the Red Hood cosplay photo shoot he did with Stephanie, their on-set set dec crew person. Fanboy Jensen is one of my favorites.
They talked about running the marathon and offered tips:
Jared: Go a lot slower than you think you should.
Jensen: Start drinking water a week before the race, because if you wait until the day of the race, you’re already dehydrated.
The infamous prank question got asked.
Jared: Every time we mess with Misha and Alex, it makes me very happy.
Jensen: A day or two ago, we were doing a very intense scene with the three of us, where Alex turns to look at Jared and there was… a little more exposed… than he expected. When the camera wasn’t on him, Jared thought it was a good time for a little more exposure. There were no beads to throw, but if there had been, I would’ve thrown them!
Jared: (cracks up)
Jensen: All Bob Singer could see is Alex laughing too hard to do the scene, he couldn’t see Jared, and we hear him yell from off set “Damn it, Jared!”
They also talked about the 300th episode:
Jared: We only used one camera for that scene, and it never felt forced. They just let us be our characters. There’s a lot of ad libbing done in that scene. Like “my girl” – wasn’t scripted.
Jensen: We knew that scene was gonna be emotional and we just had to stick with it. You have to feed off each other’s energy, and Jeff brings so much to the table. Unlike the other night when I’m getting emotional sitting alone on a tree stump in the middle of the woods weeping. In the freezing rain. It was a crane shot through the trees, so they couldn’t block the freezing rain. There are no words to the scene, just Dean sitting alone weeping. It was so cold I was like, can’t we do this in the car? And Bob Singer said, that’s not cinematic, and I was like, who cares? I’m cold and my tears are freezing on my face!
Then we were off to do photo ops. Kim caught a bit of Rob’s panel.
There was also a little Rich and Billy fun, because Rich delights in introducing Billy in various ways designed to embarrass him. And Billy looks adorable. But then again, he usually does.
Rob talked about his movie “Waiting” and explained about set crushes. Sometimes you just click with someone on the crew or another actor, or you just think someone is really cute. By the end of filming, apparently Ryan Reynolds said Rob was his set crush #adorable #ofcourse #Imeanlookatthosebabyblues
A fan asked what he would bring if he was stuck on an island, and Rob said Misha, because he can build a shelter — look what he’s done in Nicaragua! Also his guitar, because he needs music, and he could always use it for firewood if he had to.
And his dog Lilly for companionship… or food (crowd boos)
Rob: Come on, what if I need to eat? (more boos) Ok I’ll keep her, she’s a good dog.
Then we had a Ruth Connell panel, and I was thrilled that it wasn’t opposite my meet and greet as usually happens, which drives me nuts.
Ruth: Thank you for being here, even though I don’t have perfectly symmetrical freckles [like some people we know…]
Ruth really likes Jensen’s freckles. And she’s not the only one.
She got to talk a bit about Rowena too. She said she created a backstory for Rowena before filming the scene about hating/loving Fergus and it matched incredibly well with what the writers wrote.
Then it was time for the main J2 panel of the afternoon. The boys got a huge screaming welcome from fans who hadn’t seen them in a long time.
Jensen: It’s good to be back. We missed you, you guys are fuel for us. It fuels us to continue doing this show that we love. We’ve been runnin’ on fumes since February since Seattle didn’t happen. We didn’t get refueled.
Jared: I feel like this is the longest we’ve gone without seeing our extended SPNFamily!
Jensen: We were going through withdrawal.
They always ask how many first timers there are, and when lots of people cheered, Jensen snarked “Where have you been? We’ve been doing this for fourteen years.”
Fan at the mic: Well, I am fourteen.
Jensen: OMG we’ve been doing this your whole life!
There followed a hilarious spiraling out of control J2 unable to get their heads around the fact that a human who was born when their Show began is now walking, talking….a freshman in high school… getting a driver’s license soon… At that realization, Jared burst into (fake) tears. Jensen consoled him as Jared wiped his tears all over Jensen’s shirt.
They joked about Season 28 and everyone screamed their approval, but now I’m writing this After and it isn’t so funny anymore.
They got into a mock fight during which Jared knocked over both their chairs and Jensen mock ran away, which was also hilarious.
(J2 secrets then commenced and Jensen cracks up even more)
Poor Jared’s suitcase didn’t make it to Nashville (which resulted in him having a kickass outfit, just sayin) which was a repeated source of ribbing. In fact, this one question was a veritable gold mine of content.
Jared: I have an open suitcase all the time. Misha slept at my apartment the other night, he can probably vouch…
Jensen: Wait, WHAT?
Later, Jared tried (and tried and tried and tried) to make everything into an analogy for baseball. Jensen was not having it – even though to most fans listening it totally made sense!
Jensen (interrupts finally) What the hell are you talking about?
This spat was so animated that Jensen eventually had to walk away and pull a director role and OMG it was hilarious. Jared incorporated a little impromptu dancing thanks to the band’s encouragement and corrected himself mid sentence when he said “a island” instead of “an island”.
They then went toe to toe disagreeing on how to interpret a fan’s question, which was both hysterical and kinda weirdly hot. Maybe that’s just me.
Jensen: Do you need to lie down and take a nap? I promise I will never forget your suitcase.
Finally, in exasperation, Jensen threw up his hands.
Jensen: I’m just gonna blame the cream colored pants.
Then there was the young fan, who in all fairness was 5’10”… she mis-heard what the boys asked her, and replied “I’m good.” Jared picked up on the innuendo, until she continued her question with “I’m 5’10” and I’m twelve…” Jared got up to go over because he couldn’t believe it.
Jensen kept calling after him, “She’s twelve, twelve, one-two, not a two and a one, one-two, not even a teen in it…”
Jared gave her a hug and Jensen joked that everyone on that side of the room was screaming “Jared, Jared, I’m 13!” to get a hug. He acted that out, so Jared promptly ran over and gave Jensen a giant hug. My favorite part is the look on Jensen’s face as he realizes Jared is coming in for the hug, just this pleased expression that says so much about their friendship.
Honestly a few fans just won the day. This fan went on to ask where Jared was able to find pants long enough for his legs, which prompted Jensen to say they actually wear the same size pants, Jared’s torso is just abnormally long.
Jared: And something else too…
He had to hide his face for that one.
Even a question about whether the denim shirt that Jensen has is shared with Misha (who has a similar one) resulted in this.
Jensen: It’s like baseball…
Jared then went down a path of sort of explanation about Misha begging them for stuff…naked…
Jensen: Is this the kinda things that happened at the sleepover?
Which apparently went nine innings. You can’t make this stuff up.
The most moving portion of the day was when a fan asked about that amazing scene in Prophet and Loss where Sam loses it, frantic to get his brother to change his mind and not sacrifice himself. The fan – and all of us – wanted to compliment Jared on an incredible performance, but for Jared, he said he cried himself to sleep after that day.
Jared: For some reason, the words would not come. I’m a professional, I’ve never had a moment where I couldn’t get it out. I knew that I was messing up, and I literally ran off set when the scene was over.
As soon as Jared began to get upset remembering it, Jensen jumped in to tell the story.
Jensen: The words and the actions weren’t syncing up. I’ve worked with this guy more than anyone in my life and I’ve never seen it with him. He just couldn’t do it. So much that I was like, did you take some cold medicine, or did you eat something, it was that weird…. He wasn’t able to find the emotion. And I just watched and he was spiraling. I tried to say you’re fine, go walk it off, and nothing was happening. He was like, I just can’t do it. And it was awful to watch someone who’s so solid every day, the guy’s a machine. I felt the same way I did when I saw Rob in the hospital after his stroke. It’s heartbreaking.
Jared couldn’t look at Jensen then, but he pounded his fist on Jensen’s knee the way they do when they want to reaffirm their connection and are feeling emotional.
Jensen: That hug at the end was, I think, a little more Jensen hugging Jared than it was Dean hugging Sam. But hey buddy, you made it.
They exchanged fist bumps, then knee bumps back and forth, before they moved on.
The last question fan, Theresa, also won the day by asking Jensen to sing Sweet Home Alabama. Which he did! With Jared clapping and cheerleading.
The con ended with a Speight panel which focused a lot on his directing – something we’ve interviewed him about many times here on Fangasm over the years.
Richard said his favorite thing, but also the most difficult, was directing himself. He loved directing Just My Imagination and working with the super talented Nate Torrance. Nate’s audition tape was made in his Ohio kitchen, but when Rich saw it he thought, that’s him, that’s Sully.
Richard also said he’d love to direct Rob on Supernatural too, saying, “Rob’s such an open performer, he can’t not show heart.”
He went on to express his gratitude to Jared and Jensen for giving him the opportunity to direct. He said, “They could have said no to me directing. It’s their show. I’m forever grateful for their big hearts and all their support.”
[Lynn: Richard contributed a chapter for the new book, There’ll Be Peace When You Are Done: Actors and Fans Celebrate the Legacy of Supernatural, that traces his own evolution with the show and its impact on him, and what he thinks its legacy will be. I could listen to him talk for hours!]
[Lynn: This is how I ended the write up of the 2019 Nashville panel last year…]
I want to remember that feeling, when a con ended but it seemed like the Show and the cons and the incredible family we’ve all built together would go on forever. When we weren’t yet faced with the reality that there is an ending and we now know when it will be. Throughout the weekend, our friend Alana King and Kim and I vlogged our experience for her YouTube channel, and I am so grateful. We were sleep deprived and hungry and exhausted from traversing the gigantic Gaylord Opryland again and again and we never did find time to take that river boat ride through the hotel, but we were giddy from the pure joy of being with SPNFamily and the Best Cast Ever.
We ended the day with our friends Alana, Shelley and Haley, making as many jokes as Jared and Jensen had onstage and constantly finding a reason to add in “That’s what she said” like the ridiculous people we are – and it was glorious. I want to hang onto that feeling of pure joy, because even when this is all over – and that will be quite some time from now – the people I’ve come to know and love and the inspiration I’ve taken from the Show and the actors will always be something to treasure. I’m feeling grateful that I have these articles and photos to remember the little things that time will try to erase. Because this Show and this fandom are special.
[Lynn] Reading back over this now, I realize that this is when I started putting together There’ll Be Peace When You Are Done, because it does seem so important to have something to hang onto, something we can see and read and touch that will remind us how special al this has been – the show itself, the cast, the cons, the fandom. We hope that’s exactly what it will be for the SPNFamily.
That wraps up our look back at #SPNNash over the years! We hope you have enjoyed walking with us down memory lane!
– Lynn and Kim
Pre-order the new book written by the actors and fans of Supernatural,
There’ll Be Peace When You Are Done, which also includes more of Kim’s gorgeous pics,
and join the cast in celebrating the incredible legacy of this incredible show.
Preorder at: https://www.peacewhenyouaredone.com/