DC Con is one of my “home cons” – that means I can drive there instead of flying. I hate driving, but it’s still better than spending a fortune to fly, so I started down I95 on Friday and actually managed to navigate to Crystal City without any major mishaps – until I got to the parking garage that is. I then drove around for a ridiculous amount of time to find ZERO spots. Finally, in desperation, I inched my Honda into a spot that it barely fit into, and then went through some truly disturbing acrobatics to inch my way OUT of the car. Not fun!
I cheered up when Carrie Genzel came by my vendor table soon after I got set up. It was SO good to see her again and have her at a con – I sadly didn’t get parked in time to catch her actual panel on Friday with Nate Torrance, but hugging her made up for it a little. Carrie wrote a powerful chapter in There’ll Be Peace When You Are Done and is an inspiring person in so many ways. Follow her on social media if you don’t already!
Friday night was a rare tourist excursion while at a con, joining friends for a tour of DC with our tour guide extraordinaire Smiley. The bus stopped for us to get ice cream too, and I got to catch up with some SPN Family friends I hadn’t seen in far too long, and get to know some new ones a little better too.
Saturday I caught some of the Matt and Rob panel. Rob and Rich are watching the show from the beginning for the Supernatural Then and Now podcast, and Matt is also watching the show – it’s been interesting to hear all their takes on this show that I’ve watched from pretty much the start.
Matt: I was impressed that Jensen Ackles was the same badass in early seasons as he was in Season 15.
Someone asked Matt, if John Winchester picked a theme song for Supernatural, what would it be?
Matt: Miley Cyrus, I Came In Like A Wrecking Ball.
Rob: If Chuck chose the theme song, it would be What If God Was One Of Us.
Also Rob: It’s all fun and games until I actually get to Heaven and God’s like, oh no, not you, I watched the show… I’ve actually signed some bibles – I’m like oh, I’m glad that you liked my book…
Rob said he did his first con right after The Real Ghostbusters aired, and he was scared shitless, then thought OMG this is exactly how I felt in the episode!
(When I live tweeted that it apparently said he was scared shirtless and now I’m laughing at my own mistakes – no shirts were frightened off)
The conversation turned to that time Benedict Cumberbatch was being interviewed by Matt for EW and pronounced him “hot”.
Rob, apropos of nothing: If I married Benedict Cumberbatch, he’d be Benedict Benedict.
Matt: I just interviewed David Boreanaz and he was like, why are you not ON the show, you look like a SEAL!
I mean, accurate…
It was nice to have Matt a a con again (Matt, Rob, Kim and Briana all wrote chapters in Family Don’t End With Blood too).
Saturday also had an awesome ladies of SPN panel with Carrie Genzel, Samantha Smith, Kim Rhodes and Briana Buckmaster.
Carrie got some props for being amazing at karaoke the night before, which I missed due to playing tourist with friends (and Smiley).
Kim always has something inspiring to say. We all miss Rachel Miner being at cons – Kim said that she and Rachel share sometimes feeling like they’re a burden to people – but they’re working on it!
A fan asked how it would go if Jody and Donna raised Jack and he was truly like a four year old, but with powers.
Briana: not well.
Samantha: I can attest to that…
They all talked about how much there was a family vibe to the Supernatural set.
Briana said she felt like part of the family after the “donut” scene. Recently they all went out to dinner in Toronto and Jensen told the donut story and Briana protested that was not how it happened! (I’m always up for hearing the story though!)
Carrie: When I came back to do my second episode ten years later (Just My Imagination), there was such a family vibe with the Supernatural cast and crew, it was like a reunion.
Samantha: They didn’t want that family vibe to end on Supernatural, and so it was self perpetuating.
It contributed to the show running for so long, she added. Carrie chimed in that the fandom is also really special.
I caught a bit of the Tahmoh Penikett panel too – it’s been too long since I’ve seen him, and he also wrote a wonderful chapter in There’ll Be Peace When You Are Done that I love, full of behind the scenes insights about working on Supernatural and his portrayal of Gadreel.
Tahmoh talked about the matrimonial line of his Indigenous heritage – a Supernatural fan (Emerson Odango) also wrote a chapter in Peace about his view of the show from his own Indigenous heritage. Emerson was at the convention too, so I also got to say hi to him again!
Tahmoh also wrote about the Supernatural fandom, and reiterated his experience at the con.
Tahmoh: I’d known about fandom for years, but the Supernatural fandom is different.
He said that there’s a side of him that people don’t often see.
Tahmoh: I don’t show this side to people I don’t know well, but I’m goofy and I love to make people laugh with those I’m close to.
No wonder he fit in so well on Supernatural!
Theme song? Ride the Lightning by Metallica. (Another reason he fit in)
Be sure to catch Tahmoh in the new Netflix show ‘Devil In Ohio’ coming soon.
Then it was Misha Collins, always a highlight of Saturday. He gave Rob a kiss as he took the stage. Awwww.
Misha told some amusing stories about his time working in DC as an intern, including opening some mail he probably shouldn’t have but did – with hilarious results.
Misha said that it took him a while to feel like a part of the family.
Misha: I felt like the new kid on Supernatural for a long time. It’s a show about two brothers, and then here comes this weird angel…
He said the road to becoming an actor wasn’t the usual one for him.
Misha: I decided to become an actor because of awkward conversations like, oh, what do you do? Uhhh…nothing…
A fan asked what of himself he brought to the character of Castiel and he gave a serious answer.
Misha: I have a certain reflective melancholy that I think I brought to Cas.
He reflected back on some of the ill conceived pranks they played on each other, including that time he lost a bet to Jared and paid him back $1600 – in change. Then Jared donated it back to him for Random Acts – to his car. His friend still has that car and there’s still change sloshing around in it!
Someone asked him about favorite quotes and he shared one that, coincidentally, Jared has also shared as a favorite.
Misha: I like the quote, pain is mandatory but suffering is optional, as a reminder for me to pull myself away from the stories that are making me feel worse.
There was a weird moment when a fan gave Misha a gift bag full of “surprises”. He grimaced, agreeing to look in “as long as it’s not a dildo…” I guess it wasn’t, but it also wasn’t anything he felt appropriate to share.
Despite that bit of awkward, it was a great panel!
At some point on Saturday my friend Alana and I did autographs, sharing some of her good news with the cast that made everyone smile, and then we did a photo op with Jared and Jensen and Baby! That’s about as close to a photo op with Sam and Dean as you can get, so it felt special.
Sam and Dean reading the real life stories of the guys who portrayed them and how Supernatural changed their lives (and the stories of many of their fellow actors and fans)….pretty meta!
Saturday Night was Louden Swain time, with an awesome show of old Swain classics and new songs. Kim and Briana both joined in, and Jason Manns and Rob and Billy sang ‘Hallelujah’ with the customary audience sing-along for the chorus, which always gives me chills.
They reprised their acoustic rendition of ‘She Waits’ that happened of necessity at the last con when there was a power outage, and it was hauntingly beautiful.
Rob’s delighted smile literally lights up the room!
Fans passed out the traditional lights so we could all hold them up for ‘Amazing’.
Tahmoh Penikett joined the rest of the band and guests for ‘Mama’s Jam’, clearly having a great time.
And then it was Sunday! Which meant the Jared and Jensen gold panel to kick things off.
The boys introduced each other with some mutual admiration.
Jared: Jensen freaking Ackles!! (fans self)
The fan who asked everyone about their theme song asked them too.
Jared: Faithfully. I’m on the road a lot.
Jensen: On The Road Again. Old school.
They still sound like brothers, don’t they? Or Winchesters!
There was, as there always is when these two are onstage together, a lot of goofing off and a lot of laughter, and it invariably is like a shot of pure serotonin to watch. This panel was no exception!
Jared told the story of when he was auditioning for Sam and Kripke told his manager that he was looking for a “smart actor” to play Sam, and his manager was like umm, he’s a mathlete!
Jensen: (fondly) Nerd.
Jensen told the story of how he and Jared met at their auditions. He read initially for Sam, as he’s said before, but really wanted to read the other part – Dean.
Meant to be.
They are now both producing, Jared for Walker and Walker Independence and Jensen for The Winchesters, but they weren’t labeled producers on Supernatural.
Jared: if we were, we’d have all the gag reel footage!
Literally everyone: SOBS
The best parts of the panel for me were when the two reminisced about their time on Supernatural with such obvious fondness. They recalled the time the two of them and guest star Taylor Cole got the giggles and just could not stop.
Jensen: That’s how much fun we had, for 15 years.
They had fun onstage together too – at one point Jared was enacting memes and Jensen was just giggling.
There were also some more serious moments, which I also loved. They both talked about how much they love working together with each other, because both value being emotionally available in a scene.
Jared: Jensen can do that because he has a black belt in acting.
That half hour always goes by way too fast! Of course there was the traditional fist bump, and a pat on the back to send them on their way.
I love Alex Calvert, and was happy to be able to watch some of his panel on Sunday also – I like the blonde hair!
A fan asked, what are Jack and Cas doing now?
Alex: Something fun and peaceful. Maybe Jack is learning to surf…
He also said that yes, Jack was born like a full grown man.
Alex: He came out fully this large. There’s a reason my mother didn’t survive…I’m sorry, mom.
The afternoon Jared and Jensen panel kicked off with Jared spinning around so much on his chair that he got dizzy and had to ask Jensen, “where are you?”
Once again, the highlight for me was both of them talking about an actual reboot of Supernatural (as opposed to the prequel).
Jensen: When Sam and Dean put their boots back on…
Jared: I never took them off!
(That’s true, those are Sam’s boots he’s wearing)
Jensen talked about a Supernatural blanket that a fan made and gave him that he used to curl up in his trailer with – that apparently had Sam and Dean on it.
Jared: Weird, that’s us on it!
Jensen: And you’re softer than me…
A fan asked what they’d like to see as far as roles for each other.
Jared: I’d like the world to see Jensen play a dad.
Awww again (I don’t think Soldier Boy really counts since he immediately tried to kill his adult son upon finding out lol). But he’s about to get his wish on Big Sky, with Jensen playing girl dad Beau Arlen, aka Sexy Sheriff!
Jensen: Jared is smart and analytical, and he brings that to his performances, so I’d like to see him in that kind of role.
I don’t know why they got talking about gag reel moments, but Jensen talked about that early seasons gag reel moment when he’s trying to clean Sam and Dean’s guns.
Jensen: it was Phil Sgriccia’s idea to have Dean clean Sam and Dean’s guns – without looking!
At one point they acquired a unicorn onstage.
I have no idea why. A little JIB prep maybe?
Jared consoled Jensen at one point, and then appreciatively sniffed his hand.
I can relate, Jared. He smelled damn good that day. Actually they both did.
Just like Jared and Jensen got up to no good on the Supernatural set sometimes, Jensen said that on The Boys set, he and Karl Urban together were trouble.
(In the best of ways, I’m sure)
Favorite versions of their characters?
Jared: Soulless Sam.
Jensen: Scared Dean in Yellow Fever.
They had some kind words for their co-workers too, including Shoshannah Stern and Ruth Connell.
Jensen: I can watch Ruth Connell act all day. Every one of her takes is gold.
Someone asked what an unattainable goal for them would be, and Jared said that if he knew he wouldn’t get injured, a base jump in one of those flying suits.
Jensen: You want to be a flying squirrel? You wanna be flying Jensen??
How would they like to be remembered?
Jared: I’d like to be remembered as someone who cared about people.
I think he’s got that one in the bag.
They talked again about Supernatural and how it was such a unique and important experience for them both.
Jensen: We were never bored on Supernatural. We’ll never have an experience like we had on that show. But the great thing is – we can go back.
All too soon it was time for the last question, which meant some Robsen singing.
And then the traditional fist bump and pat as Jared and Jensen thanked the fans and each other for another great convention, and the fans responded with heart hands in return.
I drove home as soon as the panel was over, desperately trying to make it before the sun went down – which I might have if I hadn’t opted for a Starbucks stop! (That was after some wonderful friends volunteered to help me get my squeezed in car OUT of the too-small parking spot. Luckily the van next to me had left by the time I got back to the garage – phew!)
This was a great convention, full of Supernatural love and some of my favorite people in the entire fandom. I had lovely dinners and adventuring with friends and only wish I’d had more time to spend with every single one of them – it’s the best thing ever when it’s a con full of friends who all “get it”. I’m grateful.
You can read what Jared, Jensen,
Misha and the other Supernatural actors
have to say about the show and the fandom
in Family Don’t End With Blood and
There’ll Be Peace When You Are Done –
links on the home page here or at: