This July’s San Francisco convention was special – first, it was the last of the dedicated Supernatural Official conventions that Creation Entertainment put on, which made it a bittersweet experience for those of us who, like me, have been there since the beginning. Sure, there are new conventions planned that include Jared, Jensen, Misha and many more Supernatural cast members, but there was something poignant about this being the last “Official” Supernatural con. I got emotional as soon as I saw the old familiar stage banner up there. What a great souvenir of a wonderful time that would be – too bad my living room isn’t quite big enough for it even if it ever was offered up!
The con was also special because it was the 100th Saturday Night Special. That also made me all kinds of emotional, because I was there for the evolution of the Saturday-night-at-a-con shenanigans that eventually became the SNS. Originally there was a dessert party on Saturday night, and the actors would go from table to table and do a round of what Kathy and I referred to as “speed dating” where they had a few minutes to chat with whoever was at that table and then move on to the next one. Sometimes there was a centerpiece contest too, meaning fans who are more creative than me would make SPN themed centerpieces and then the actors would judge them and pick a winner. It was a bizarre sort of evening, but I’m nostalgic about it now. Also, ice cream. At least I think that all used to happen on Saturday!
Then Saturday was briefly some kind of fan talent show I think, with the actors rather awkwardly judging who was the ‘winner’. Spoiler alert: Winner is a strong word. Then there were concerts – early on, it was Steve Carlson, and for a little while the Brian Buckley Band, and eventually Louden Swain. Talk about a lucky fandom!
And then came the Toronto convention when Rob Benedict had a stroke (you can read his first hand account of exactly what happened in the powerful chapter he wrote in Family Don’t End With Blood) and he wasn’t able to perform for a while. The next convention, the other cast members and friends got together to put on a special concert to support Rob – the very first Saturday Night Special. It was a really emotional evening, with most of the actors performing, and it became a beloved tradition that was even more joyous when Rob stepped back in as front man for the SNS evenings.
So celebrating the 100th SNS felt really special.
The San Fran con had been cancelled multiple times, so it also felt special just to finally get there – and my friends Alana, Lauren and Eloisa were all there too. Friends are a huge part of what makes cons special every single time.
I caught a bit of the Gil McKinney and David Haydn Jones panel on Friday afternoon when I arrived – two of my favorite people, both of whom have chapters in either Family Don’t End With Blood or There’ll Be Peace When You Are Done.
Gil talked about being grateful for all the work he’s been able to do as a working actor.
Gil: And for the auditions. The audition is the work. I may not be the most well known actor, but I’m proud of every single thing I’ve done.