There was extra excitement in the air when Creation’s Supernatural convention returned to the Gaylord Opryland Hotel in Nashville earlier this month – not only was it the last Supernatural con of 2021, but it was a chance for friends to come together to celebrate the holidays in grand style too. The Gaylord is a ridiculous hotel (but I mean that in the kindest way), so gigantic that there’s a freaking river that flows through it and you can take a boat ride down it from one side of the hotel to the other. It is always decorated like it’s Disney World, but for the holidays, they went all out. I am always slightly disoriented when I’m there because it’s a maze of bright lights and indoor jungle pathways, and have been known to get hopelessly lost and call my friend Alana to come find me. I don’t have much of a sense of direction. I also still have an injured knee, and a hotel that’s a boat ride long is not the best place to be when you can’t walk very well, but despite that, I was looking forward to Nashcon 2021. And it didn’t disappoint!
Friends who I hadn’t seen in far too long were at this con, and there were joyful reunions throughout. One group of friends had their whole room decorated like a motel the Winchesters would frequent, free postcards with gorgeous fan art on them hanging on their room door and free for the taking. Another group of friends proclaimed this “Gown Con” and packed their fanciest dresses, then posed for photos all over the hotel – which is just made for photo ops! Other friends wore their own unique versions of Santa hats, which ranged from nice to definitely naughty. I was reunited with my partner in crime, Kim Prior, who of course had her camera and incredible photography talent with her to make the con extra special (as you can see throughout these posts!). And it wasn’t just the fans who were glad to see each other – the actors are also grateful to be reunited, this time with Matt Cohen and Gil McKinney rejoining the fun.
I got in mid day Friday, and managed to catch a little bit of the threesome of Gil, David Haydn Jones and Adam Fergus. Their panels usually go a little off the rails and I always appreciate that. There were sweet moments too though – Gil said that he can’t really facetime with his 5 year old daughter when he’s traveling because she just loses it seeing him when he’s not there. Awww.
Gil was also happy to talk about how it feels to be the Winchesters’ grandfather.
Gil: I mean, Jared and Jensen and Jeffrey Dean, they came out of me…
Gil told some of his ‘yes I was pranked’ stories from Supernatural, including the time there were suddenly filthy pictures on a screen, designed to make him laugh during his coverage.
Adam clarified what’s true about the Supernatural set and the pranks though, after sharing a few pranks he’d experienced too.
Adam: All that and the environment on Supernatural made it more collegial, made us all feel like part of the family.
David came dressed as a cowboy – maybe a guest spot on Walker is in order? He said he knew about Supernatural’s reputation as a great show to work on even before he was cast, because his roommate at the time was a big fan.
A fan asked how it was to play someone so different from himself in Ketch, and David said it was fun simply because he was so different.
David: I’m gonna be brave enough to come out and say I’m anti murder…
The panel did go off the rails eventually, with a fan asking them to play truth or dare and something about if Supernatural was a telenovela.
David: I’d be Sam and Dean’s stepfather….and dominate them… (something about spanking…) …you’re welcome, Ao3!
The Adam and David bromance was in fine form too.
You can read all about Gil’s experience on Supernatural and how the fandom changed him in the chapter he wrote in Family Don’t End With Blood, and about David and Adam’s experience in There’ll Be Peace When You Are Done.
Kim Rhodes and Briana Buckmaster were next up, equally overflowing with affection for each other and the SPNFamily.
How can you not be smiling right now just looking at those faces??
Kim talked about her experience, both positive and negative, on social media.
Kim: I felt like standing up on Twitter, I was wearing a big target. I’m neurodivergent, my words don’t always word right. Whereas Tiktok is just fun.
Briana added that might be because it takes more effort to come for someone on Tiktok, that platform differences have an impact. I totally agree, though Tiktok certainly has its share of wank too.
Jim Beaver was at this convention, his first in a long time, and he got lots of love. Gil, David and Adam all agreed that Bobby would win in a fight with their characters. Kim talked about how much she loved Jim and the chemistry between Jody and Bobby.
Kim: When two crusty people get together…
They both had kind words for Supernatural and its cast.
Briana: In my first episode, I was secretly pregnant. Well, it wasn’t a secret to ME… I love that episode because it gave me my career on Supernatural. I auditioned a month before for Nurse No. 2 on Supernatural and was so upset because I didn’t get it. But if I had, I wouldn’t have gotten Donna – or be here!
She was very new to television and nervous about trying to hit her mark, so when Jensen failed to get her to break during the donut eating scene, it was actually because she wasn’t paying attention to him.
Briana: I was trying to hit that tiny mark!
Kim said that when she got the part of Jody, she called an old friend who’s a police officer and did a ride along with him to try to understand better being a police officer. She also said it was a while before she could really let herself love Jody, because she was convinced they were about to kill her off.
She’s glad that didn’t happen, and so are we!
They talked a little about the backdoor pilot and how they all did fight training to prepare for it. Each character had a different style of fighting too.
While that pilot didn’t get picked up, both Kim and Briana expressed their gratitude to the show.
Briana: Supernatural allowed Kim and I to really expand our characters, and I’m so grateful. That’s rare in television. And I got to do this thing that changed people’s lives.
They also shared the good news that the Wayward Podcast will definitely be continuing.
You can read Kim and Briana’s thoughts on Supernatural and how the show and the fandom changed their lives in the chapters they wrote in Family Don’t End With Blood – both are excellent writers, which is probably a surprise to no one.
Two other people who wrote very personal chapters in Family Don’t End With Blood were on stage later that afternoon – Rob Benedict and Matt Cohen!
This was Matt’s first convention since the end of 2019, believe it or not, and it was SO wonderful to have him back! Matt and Rob were so happy to see each other and to be back onstage together. So much so that if they were on a desert island, they said they’d wish for each other. And peanut butter.
You probably had to be there – or watch the videos!
He skipped the traditional leap from a chair in favor of a modest little jump, saying that the pandemic had wreaked havoc on his body – he actually injured himself pretty seriously trying to teach his son Macklin how to skip. OUCH.
I can relate, Matt – my damn knee is still a mess! OUCH.
Matt was pretty freaked out by the tornadoes that narrowly missed our hotels the night before (as was I). We were all awakened in the middle of the night by our phones loudly announcing that we needed to take cover. As an East coaster, tornadoes are not something I’m used to, so I was pretty freaked out too as the tornado sirens went off outside our hotel windows.
Matt: That siren sounds like it’s The Purge, and I’m in my robe downstairs like what’s going on??
It turned out to be a terrible tragedy with loss of life and a lot of destruction, with many people collecting donations and toys for affected families after the convention.
Both Matt and Rob expressed gratitude for being able to play multiple characters and all the other opportunities that Supernatural brought them. Rob apologized on behalf of Chuck being such a dick, though that’s the literal opposite of Rob himself.
Rob: I did terrible things… I killed a fucking dog!
He reiterated that Chuck liked both women and men and predicted he’d invite everyone into the shower, like “C’mon in, Chief…” I have no clue what that was in reference to at this point, but at least that makes Chuck sound more endearing than the other things he did.
He also had a controversial idea for an alternate ending where they pull away from the bridge scene and it’s God closing a book (presumably Chuck).
Me personally: Nope nope nope!
Matt shared the very good news that the short film he made (and directed), Mama Bear, is a project that we’ll see more of, though he’s not sure he’ll be directing. I had the privilege of seeing it when it first came out and it is awesome, so I’m really looking forward to that.
Matt talked about directing in Season 15 of Supernatural and said that Jared and Jensen were surprisingly well behaved when he directed – then added that maybe that was because he only worked with them for a few days and they were in studio!
Exciting things coming up for Rob too – he’s got solo music out that rocks, and 9 more songs are coming in January! And Kings of Con, which I absolutely adored, is going to be a movie! Matt and Rob’s panel was the good news panel, seriously.
Both Matt and Rob are also excited about both SPNFamily related prequels in the works – the Jensen Ackles’ project, The Winchesters, and the Jared Padalecki prequel for Walker. Me too!
Saturday is always Misha day, and his panel is always amusing and sometimes touching too. He talked about discovering fanfic back in the day on LiveJournal – which, if you want to read more about that, you might want to read ‘Fangasm Supernatural Fangirls’. Our very first chat with Misha right after he started on the show took place about that time and covered some of those same topics, at times hilariously.
Misha: Back in the day, fanfic was a taboo subject.
He added, tongue in cheek: And I’d like to go back to that!
He’s a bit more savvy now, however. A fan asked about the “soulfisting” scene with Sam, as fandom calls it, and Misha seemed to know right away what they were talking about.
Misha: Sadly, there’s not a better name for that…
Later someone asked what Cas would write if he wrote poetry.
Misha quipped: Probably about soulfisting. And then Dean’s reaction to reading it would be to go to Sam and say, ‘dude, we need to get this guy outta the bunker!’
A fan asked if he has anything from the Supernatural set, and Misha reeled off all the things he happened to take. Trenchcoats, an angel blade, some mugs, some of the Supernatural books, a demon knife… Then he winked.
Misha: Just kidding!
He also reminisced about some of the fun times he had on the show, especially behind the scenes with Jared and Jensen. He laughed as he talked about all the gag reel footage that they filmed of the episode where he encounters Jared thinking he’s a married dude in glasses and a sweater named Justin.
Misha (laughing): We filmed a lot of me and Jared just having fun during that episode. At first Phil Sgriccia was like, print it! Then the next day he was like nope, never mind, destroy it! But we had fun.
I bet they did! (Fandom appreciated the outtakes that we did get at least!)
He talked a little about Castiel’s evolution, saying that after his first episode, he got a note from Kim Manners saying not to be so ‘spooky’!
Misha: Castiel being human contributed to his changing over time too, so that he was a little less a fish out of water.
Who would he have liked to work more with?
Misha: I would have loved Cas to have more of a relationship with the avuncular Bobby Singer, and for me to get to work more with Jim Beaver.
In fact, when Jim Beaver took the stage a little later, Misha returned to give him a big hug and reiterate how much he hopes they get to work together. More awwww. Of course, they also had to make a joke.
Jim: You seeing anyone?
Misha: Yes, but it’s not exclusive…
Misha has also been working on exciting new projects. He said he really enjoyed doing the Bridgewater podcast and is looking forward to Season 2. He’s also really enjoying filming ‘Road Food’, giving an example of the episode that takes place in Detroit and how fascinated he was by the city’s evolution and its return to urban farming.
He’s also planning to record the audio book version of his poetry book – it was actually supposed to happen the day before, but had to be postponed. But it will happen, Misha promised.
He gave a little impromptu poetry reading from his book of poetry at the con.
Misha blew the fans kisses as he left the stage, and then it was Jim Beaver’s turn. We haven’t seen Jim at a convention in a long time, so he got a big ovation.
Little did Jim know at the time he booked Supernatural what a big impact it would have on the next 15 years of his life (he writes about it in his chapter in Family Don’t End With Blood).
Jim: All I knew about Supernatural was that it was about two hunky guys chasing demons!
He’s not wrong though.
Over the years, Jim said, some of his favorite dramatic moments of his entire long career happened on Supernatural. I will never get over all the actors who have been on the show expressing so much gratitude for their experience – it warms my heart every single time.
Jim on his fellow Supernatural actors: It’s hard to express how deeply we all feel about each other.
Jim said that he actually wrote a script for an episode back in Season 7 that had a character arc for Bobby that started with him and Jody in bed – then Bobby answers a knock at the door, and it’s Jody! Uh oh.
Sounds like a Supernatural episode, NGL
Jim said that his experience filming the series finale was an emotional one.
Jim: On the last day of filming, we all wanted to be careful because of Covid – but we all really really wanted to hug each other!
I can only imagine.
I wanted to hug all my friends too, though we did our best to stay Covid safe throughout the con. Saturday night I joined friends Alana, her awesome mom, Lauren, Kim and Karla to get some fabulous burgers from Stax in the Gaylord. We found a table by the railing that was a bit isolated so that I was able to take my mask off for some quick bites of burger and a delicious milkshake before immediately replacing it. It seems like you’re ‘outside’, but in fact the entire hotel is encapsulated, so it didn’t feel as safe as being on a real veranda despite their air filtration. It was, however, in the perfect spot to watch the Gaylord’s Christmas light and fountain show, which was pretty striking if not exactly up my alley.
And then it was time for some entertainment that is very much up my alley – the Saturday Night Special! Stay tuned for part 2 of Nashcon fun coming up soon!
You can always remember how special
Supernatural and its cast are with the books
written by the actors and fans – Family Don’t
End With Blood and There’ll Be Peace When
You Are Done. Links here or at: