Supernatural Orlando Con 2022!

The Creation Supernatural convention tour returned to Orlando for the first time in a long time last month, in a new hotel with a very lovely pool and lots of palm trees. I got there just in time to catch some of David Haydn-Jones and Adam Fergus, David looking very Florida indeed. Without any context when I arrived, Adam was saying to David, “you like to go deep!” and David was agreeing. They like to joke that their panels are mostly innuendo, but I for one enjoy that thoroughly.

Someone asked who their characters were closest to on the show, and Adam said that there was a special bond between Mick and Sam – but that Mick also wanted Dean’s approval.

David said that Dean and Ketch grew close – after all, “I’ve tended Dean’s wounds…”

Kim and Briana were up next. Kim said she’d started watching Supernatural again and was up to season 4.

Kim: I forgot how much I loved the Ghostfacers!

What was the first time they met Jared and Jensen like?

Kim: The first time I saw them, they were riding mini bikes around the set playing catch with each other.

She thought oh god, they’re not going to be helpful at all when she had to do a big emotional scene after Jody lost her family, but the boys surprised her.

Kim: But when my scene started, they were both like, “what do you need?”

Briana: Jared and Jensen are amazing hosts. They’re so aware that they’re only as good as the people they work with.

Briana: I was introduced to Jensen and I just kept on walking because I saw his face and said, uh oh, that’s pretty…

Understandable.

Kim: For some reason, Jensen makes my upper lip sweat and all I hear when he’s around is mmmmmmm.

Also understandable.

Briana: Phil Sgriccia told Jensen that I was a professional comedian, so he took it as a challenge to try to make me break in the donut scene.

He failed.

Kim said that her character Jody had a special bond with Sam, because he saved her from having to shoot what had been her son.

Kim: That was the foundation of her trust in those boys. She would have died for Sam.

They both talked about how knowing the Supernatural fandom taught them that being on the ‘celebrity side of the fence, they still saw fans as loving – and that, for Kim, let her feel okay about loving Neil Gaiman as a fan herself.

The caption: weapon of choice or sex toy?

I’ve been watching too much of the boys, so my instant reaction was: both??

Friday night I had dinner in the outdoor courtyard under the palm trees and then joined a bunch of other fans in the ballroom to watch the Supernatural pilot. It was so much fun to watch it all together, everyone clapping at all the iconic moments. Damn, I love this Show.

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Back To Where It All Began – Supernatural Chicago 2022!

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.

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Supernatural New Jersey 2022!

I definitely could not have anticipated how eventful the NJ Supernatural convention a few weeks ago would be! It’s my “home con”, which means I can drive to it. I hate driving by myself so I was happy to be able to drive with a friend, and we headed out early, full of gleeful anticipation. All went well until we got there and drove around the parking garage – and could not find a single spot. I am not a fabulous driver on my best day, and an unfamiliar garage that was nearly impossible to navigate was not helping. My friend was equally nervous, so I couldn’t convince her to take the wheel either – so we gave up and parked at the hotel entrance. She stayed with the car while I went inside and asked what I should do if there were no spots.

Lovely security guy standing nearby: Ma’am, that’s not possible.

Me: I can’t swear that I didn’t just miss them in my panic, but I did not see any.

Lovely security guy (sighing): Okay, come on.

He rode in the back seat as we drove back into the garage, and patiently navigated our way to the entire wing of the garage that was hidden in the back. Oops.

Anyway, I’m a fan of the con hotel for life thanks to that lovely security guy.

In between being in the vendor room, which still feels like a family reunion after we all missed cons for so long. I caught a little of Kim and Briana’s first panel.

They’ve talked before about how much they loved doing some of their own stunts (and would have done more if Wayward Sisters went to series), but Briana also said that she didn’t really know how to move for some stunts. She did an imitation, laughing at herself the whole time.

Kim said she was inspired by the film Wonder Woman, especially how she looked out for her little sister, which was a very Supernatural thing to say. Similarly, they talked about how important it is to “get back on the horse” when you’re had a setback.

Briana: Just make sure you have your people around you. Fandom is a great example.

Kim and Briana together are always magic. There are so many lifelong friendships that were forged from this show and this fandom. They gave us some examples by reading their most recent text conversation aloud. Complete with emojis.

Kim talked a bit about shooting the scene of vamp Dean biting her, which she didn’t mind one bit – except that Jared and Jensen were busy making all kinds of jokes, including yelling for condiments!

I personally would not have wanted the Supernatural finale to end any other way, but I know some people found it really hard to have Dean die so young. Kim had an alternate ending: Sam and Dean turn out to actually be little kids playing, with a little toy Jody and Donna… then we pan up a tree to Cas… and Lucifer… in real life. Waiting.

Dark, Kim! But adorable too.

They gave us the good news that they’re about to record more of the Wayward Podcast, which I really enjoy. Yay!

If you’d like to hear more from Kim and Briana, they wrote very powerful and frank chapters in Family Don’t End With Blood – which are also very inspiring.

Adam Fergus and David Haydn-Jones also had a panel on Friday.

Adam said that David is more like Sam and he’s more like Dean in real life, though I can’t imagine either Sam or Dean in that velour track suit even if they were in New Jersey!

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Supernatural Indy Con 2022!

This was my first convention in Indianapolis, though not my first time there since I’ve been to other conferences and business meetings in the city. It’s a quick 1.5 hour flight so I got there on Friday in time to at least catch a few panels – though I was very sad to miss Gabe Tigerman’s panel. I love Gabe and I love his chapter in There’ll Be Peace When You Are Done – I at least got to say hi later that afternoon luckily.

I did catch some of Adam Fergus and David Haydn-Jones panel, which turned out to be delightfully full of all kinds of innuendo and just blatant naughtiness. These are good things imho.

David said he was lucky to get the role of Ketch. He had his final callback for Supernatural after working until 6 am the night before filming a Hallmark movie and he was exhausted. (But apparently not too exhausted to throw on a suit and be perfect for the part!)

Adam agreed, and gave him all the props for his portrayal.

Fan: Sorry David killed off your character, I liked him.

Adam: I liked him too!!

They had some amusing stories to tell, including the one about David and the motorcycle helmet – they couldn’t find one that was big enough to fit his head, so when they put it on it looked like a little kid’s helmet – which apparently was hilarious.

They also had a few serious things to say about their roles on the show. David said that one of his favorite character moments was when Mary told Ketch “this is just a one night” thing. He wanted to show a glimmer of broken heart in Ketch. Near the end, David said that Ketch also felt guilty and wanted to redeem himself.

David: In the hospital, that was the first time he called them ‘friends’.

Adam: Mick and Ketch were brainwashed as kids, but Mick was trying to break out of that.

Both Adam and David had lots of positive things to say about working on Supernatural.

David: The best working experience I’ve ever had is Supernatural. Jared, Jensen and Misha are the best, and the crew that’s been with them since the start and stayed the whole time, that really says something.

Adam talked about the first prank the boys played on him and then about the atmosphere on Supernatural and how special it was.

Adam: It’s so much fun to do what we do, and on Supernatural they are all so nice, and the leads never phoned it in – ever.

A fan asked about shipping Ketch with…. (pause)… Rowena?

David: I thought you were gonna say Ketch and Mick.

Adam: I was hoping!

Jason Manns helped out with the music and the emcee duties on Friday, along with Adam.  It’s always nice to have his beautiful voice on stage.

Kim Rhodes and Briana Buckmaster were up next. A fan asked Kim to answer a question about working with the boys on Zach and Cody and Briana attempted to answer – hilariously.

Briana: So Zach and Cody were in the make up trailer…they liked to put on their own rouge and makeup… just like Jared and Jensen!

Kim: lol

Someone asked them their favorite words and Briana said “audacious”.

Briana: I love the word audacious. It’s used sometimes to mean that women are being too bold, but I love being told that!

Her favorite quote is by Isadora Duncan: “Darling, don’t let them tame you!”

Kim: I love the word “home”. It means different things to all of us, but we all know what it means.

Kim invariably makes me tear up at some point in the weekend. In a good way.

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What Happens In Vegas – Creation Supernatural Con 2022!

The Creation Supernatural convention’s return to Las Vegas this month was extra emotional for me. Vegas was the last convention that happened before the pandemic became a pandemic, which means it was the last convention of the Before Times. This year, I was once again with my friends who were there with me at Vegas 2020 as we all started to wonder what the hell was happening and clung to each other bolstering our courage to fly back home after a last round of pina coladas and uncertain goodbyes. I remember hugging my friends that night, not knowing it would be a very long time before I saw them again, and then flying home as the world changed around me.

I don’t think the Before Times will ever return in the same way – the world has changed now, in so many ways – so that Vegas 2020 con will always be a symbol of how the world was pre Covid. Despite the fact that things aren’t the same, though, it felt incredibly good to be BACK. To have Jared and Jensen and Misha and everyone else who made the pilgrimage back to where we left off two years ago on stage once again. It felt healing, even if it wasn’t exactly the same – and it felt hopeful, which I desperately need right now.

I have no choice but to be extremely Covid cautious, and all my friends were incredibly lovely and considerate as we ate in our hotel rooms instead of the restaurants we usually frequent and avoided the actual casino (okay, I do that part every time I’m in Vegas…). Creation has done a great job of making the conventions themselves feel safe enough even for me, and I’m very grateful for that also. In 2020, the new book with chapters by the show’s actors and fans that I had put together to celebrate the legacy of the show, There’ll Be Peace When You Are Done, was not yet released. In fact, it was at the printing press as Vegas 2020 happened, with me on the phone frantically trying to coordinate some last minute changes (I see you laughing, Alana King…). I was thrilled to be able to bring the book to Vegas con this year and share the inspiring messages the actors put together about why Supernatural and the SPNFamily made such a difference to them – and will always be with us.

Vegas con, like all cons, reminded me of the good in the world – and in the fandom. My friends got there early and set up the vendor table for me, Betty working her magic on setting up those banners and convincing me to finally use Venmo and Sue getting everything so organized that we even had printed signs for the table! The con was a reunion with so many fellow fans who I hadn’t seen in way too long, so the weekend was a constant OMG it’s so good to see you fest too. Like the best shot of endorphins all weekend long – and add to that a reunion of sorts with some of my favorite people who made that little show I love so much.

Here are a few highlights from the panels that I caught – work ensured that I missed the entire first day and part of the second, unfortunately. Boo on having to work for a living.

It was wonderful to see Felicia Day again – Charlie is so many fans’ favorite character. In fact, there are multiple chapters in There’ll Be Peace When You Are Done written by fans whose lives were touched by the character of Charlie in such a positive and powerful way.  I love her sense of humor and her ability to tell a story.

Felicia: When I got the call that Charlie was going to die, I thought OMG my performance was so bad that they wrote me off the show!

She understands that many of us take issue with the way Charlie died, but she also has an enduring appreciation and gratitude for Supernatural and all it brought her.

Felicia: Charlie could have fit through that window, just saying…. But it’s all okay, because even when you’re dead on Supernatural, you’re always part of the family. I would have loved to be on more, but making television is hard and I’m not gonna second guess the people who make this show and loved this show.

She’s excited about the prequel The Winchesters as a fan of Supernatural, especially because Robbie Thompson is showrunner – and of course also created the character of Charlie. She does wish that OG Charlie could have had a story line with Cas though – that would have been fun!

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