It’s been a busy couple of months! It’s almost Thanksgiving as I write this, and I’m finally trying to catch up on Supernatural convention posts – first up, Kansas City Con!
Three days after getting back from the Supernatural convention at Denver, I headed blearily to the airport again on Thursday night to fly to the next one in Kansas City. I’d never been there, and there had never been a convention there, so that was exciting – enough to keep me awake at least. My lovely roommates had a delicious burger and fries waiting for me, so that helped too. So did a good night’s sleep!
I am rarely able to be at a con on Friday morning, so it was a treat to get to see Gabe Tigerman’s panel. Gabe has a chapter in There’ll Be Peace When You Are Done, and he’s also part of our earliest books, both Fangasm Supernatural Fangirls and Fandom AtThe Crossroads, so it made me all kinds of happy to catch up with him. A fan asked what he would do if he had mind control like his character, Andy?
Gabe: I’d do the same thing he did – steal Baby!
Gabe: I have an evil twin! Though I wish it was identical twins so it could be like me fighting me with a mustache.
Like so many guest actors on the show, Gabe said that Supernatural was his favorite job.
Gabe: As guest actors on that show, we really got to act – and then do these conventions!
He wishes Andy didn’t have to die, because it made so much sense for Sam and Dean to just take Andy’s van and go hunting with him.
I was extra thrilled to hear him tell the infamous 5-legged steer story, about the time he and some buddies went to see the world’s largest groundhog and found it stuffed – and then were chased by a cow with a whole ass extra leg hanging off its side!
He also told the story of him fanboying Michael C Hall at a restaurant, and taking out his Invisalign at the exact moment that Hall walked by and said hello, so that Gabe looked up at him with a spit string attached to his Invisalign hahaha.
Gabe took an informal poll of how many times people in the audience had watched Supernatural start to finish – the winner was 35!!
It’s been a while since I’ve seen Julian Richings too – only in the Supernatural fandom does Death exuberantly take the stage like this!
Supernatural conventions resumed in September with a visit to one of my favorite states, Colorado. I grew up visiting my aunt and uncle who lived on the mesa in a generous-sized log cabin with a spectacular view and a grumpy alpaca named George who lived next door, so I have a special fondness for the state. The altitude, alas, does not have a special fondness for me – which means I missed some of the con while trying to get rid of a banging headache.
Luckily the altitude impact didn’t set in the first night, so I got to out to a local restaurant and sit outside on their deck to enjoy some delicious burgers and the beautiful night. Shout out to some of the crowded table gang for letting me hang out with you for the weekend!
I don’t think I got to Denver early enough to catch any panels on Friday, which was a disappointment, but I did catch some on Saturday in between doing my vendor thing with the books – including Rob Benedict doing a solo panel. He said he’s excited about the new prequel that starts next week, The Winchesters, and all the Easter eggs he expects will be in it.
Rob: And maybe God will be in it…pre Alex!
Rob also said that he’s learning a lot doing the Supernatural Then and Now podcast.
Rob: I didn’t know about Sam’s abilities or that John whispered in Dean’s ear he might have to kill him (before the podcast)
He’s having so much fun watching Supernatural from the start that he interrupted a fan to say “don’t spoil me!” (That’s a tall order considering Rob and Rich are currently watching Season 2…) Of course, he knows where some of the show will end up, or at least the actors.
Rob: It’s so cool to hear Dean say “the family business” and be like hey, one day you’ll have a brewery called that…
A fan asked what would have happened if Chuck prevailed at the end of the show instead of the Winchesters.
Rob: I think Chuck would’ve brought Sam and Dean back anyway because they’re his favorites and he’d miss them.
Rob talked about returning to the show in Season 11.
Rob: I came back in season 11 and came out of the closet as God – in more ways than one which was cool!
He did feel the responsibility of actually playing God.
Rob: The first time I actually spoke as God, I asked Bob Singer, was that okay? He said you’re not gonna be one of those actors are you? Which he said to Jensen in Season 1 too.
Having been on set to watch Bob Singer direct, I can testify to his ‘grumpy old man’ kinda thing, but also to how well he and all the actors worked together and understood each other.
Rob also enjoyed Chuck getting the upper hand though.
Rob: It was so fun doing the scene where I beat up Jared and Jensen – bam bam! It’s like a dance and those guys are so good at it. I rarely get cast as the guy who kicks ass!
He also shared something that RuPaul told a good friend of his, which stuck with me: What other people think of you is none of your business.
There was a panel of awesome ladies of Supernatural, including Samantha Smith, Briana Buckmaster, Ruth Connell and Samantha Ferris, who hasn’t been to a con in a while, so that was a treat! She told a hilarious story about the time she was filming something I won’t spoil (because she said not to lol) and they used a body double for a shot of her ass – and she still gets compliments on it! Shhhh.
Someone asked about Rowena and what she’s probably doing with hell now that she’s in charge.
Ruth: My tag line for what Rowena is doing with hell – make hell great again…
Fan: What would your characters and the guys be doing if they were all in a scene together?
Everyone on the panel: They’d be sitting around the table going what the hell is taking the guys so long?
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).
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…
Kim: For some reason, Jensen makes my upper lip sweat and all I hear when he’s around is mmmmmmm.
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.
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.
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.