Chicago was the very first Supernatural convention, way back in 2007. I was there, overcome with anticipation to see both Jared and Jensen together and to be in a room full of my fellow Supernatural fans. Kathy and I, along with our friends Laura and Karen, had stalked the Creation website for weeks to get the best possible seats, and we couldn’t wait to all be together to celebrate the show that was already changing our lives.
It’s 15 years later, and so much has changed. Kathy, my partner in crime who I went to all the early cons with, and to the Supernatural set, and who I wrote the first four books with, passed away unexpectedly several months ago. Going back to Chicago, where this unlikely fifteen years and counting adventure began, without her was emotional. I felt lucky to have so many of my friends there to remind me how much love I have in my life and what incredible friends I have still here with me. I’m so grateful.
Chicago con always seems special because it’s the site of so many memories. Even though this year’s was in the convention center instead of the familiar hotel where so many cons have been held, I still stayed in that hotel so the nostalgia was real. It’s also the con where I met or became closer to some of my best fandom buds, and making new memories with them this year felt extra special.
Also Jared was back and that was something to celebrate for sure – he missed the last convention in New Jersey after his very serious car accident. He’s still on the mend, but it was wonderful to see for ourselves his smiling face and have his banter with Jensen back to normal. It felt healing to all of us, I think.
Chicago had a great line up of guests, and I caught most of their panels since I flew in at a ridiculously early hour. Free shuttle to the hotel, yay!
DJ Qualls was back for the first time in a while – I always enjoy his panels, and he’s incredibly friendly. All weekend long, every time I walked by his autograph table in the vendor room to get to my book table, he was happily chatting and selfie-taking with fans and enjoying it immensely.
DJ: Jensen is good at everything. For the dance number that we did, he had like a 15 minute head start and knew it all.
A fan asked what his craziest dream was, and DJ started to laugh.
DJ: Heh heh, no. I had one after Jared’s accident…I think I was worried about him… and it was like fan fiction…
So no, he didn’t share it!
I enjoy hearing DJ talk openly about things like gender roles and the pressures of masculinity. He said that he got hurt every single time he did some stunt work on Supernatural, but the expectation was that you just “walk it off” so he did.
Next we had what for me was a real treat – a panel with Katie Sarife and Joy Regullano, who played Marie and Maeve in the Supernatural 200th episode, Fan Fiction. It’s one of my favorite episodes and they were brilliant in the parts. I had coffee with Joy in Vancouver years ago and so enjoyed our chat – it’s linked below if you want to get to know her a little.
Joy identifies as a fangirl herself, wanting to represent fans as “smart people with a passion”, and Katie said that her ex-boyfriend was a huge Supernatural fan. He’s the reason she already knew “Carry On”, in fact.
Since they are Vancouver based actors, they knew the show – and Joy had auditioned before.
Joy: The first role I auditioned for was K Tran – which became the character of Kevin!
Both said they loved the episode and the way it ended, except that they would have loved to come back. Understandable.
What was the most fun working on Supernatural?
Joy: Well, Jared is like 6 foot 15, so it was fun being able to boss him around and like, be mean to him. (In the show!)
She also had a scene in which she adlibbed to Jared (Sam): “Look with your eyes and not your mouth” but unfortunately it got cut. I would like to have seen Jared’s response!
Katie: I learned a cool trick from Jensen, of crossing my eyes and the moving just one of them.
(This made me cringe because Jensen has done that to me to tease me and it’s the only time I have ever run away from him lol)
They also enjoyed the comedy in the episode, right down to the “you can’t spell subtext without S-E-X.” Classic Robbie Thompson.
Joy and Katie were asked if Jared and Jensen pranked them, but they said no.
Katie: I think because we were playing teenagers, there were no pranks. Jared and Jensen were really sweet. And not creepy.
I love that everyone who ever worked on the Supernatural set has nothing but praise for the main cast.
Joy: It was like a master class in acting, watching the experienced actors just snap into character like that.
(I’ve witnessed it too, and to a non-actor it is nothing less than amazing!)
Friday also had a great trio panel of Gil McKinney, Adam Fergus and David Haydn-Jones. They joked that it was the “grumpy old men of letters panel”! It was Pride month, and David had on his Yasssss Queen shirt given to him by a fan and some truly awesome rainbow socks.