A Letter from Ukraine: The SPNFamily and AlwaysKeepFighting

I wanted to put together a book with chapters by the Supernatural actors and fans about what the show has meant to them and how it has inspired them to get through some difficult times, because over the years I’ve heard so many incredible stories of what the show and the fandom have meant to people – actors and fans alike. A little while ago, I got an email from Iryna, who is risking her life every day to help evacuate people from war-torn Ukraine. Her sister gave her a copy of Family Don’t End With Blood and she wrote that Supernatural and the stories in that book have inspired her to #AlwaysKeepFighting and been a source of support during an unimaginably difficult time.

I’m always incredibly touched when people say that one of the books has helped them, but Iryna’s story really struck me, so I thought I’d share it here. There may be lots of disagreements among fans, a fact that sometimes leaves me discouraged, but the fact remains that Supernatural has been something special and it continues to be. Iryna’s email was a reminder of that, and of what’s really important. I’m so grateful to all the people who wrote chapters in Family Don’t End With Blood , from Jared, Jensen and Misha to longtime fans to new fans who fell in love later in the show’s run. Look at the difference you made, and are still making. Thank you to all of you for sharing your stories (and to the Show that has kept so many people going through whatever comes along, just like the Winchesters).

And if you are reading this and feeling like you need some support and inspiration right now too, maybe Iryna’s email will be that source of inspiration for you.

#AlwaysKeepFighting

Here are some excerpts from Iryna’s story:

Yesterday I finished reading your book Family Don’t End with Blood: Cast and Fans on How Supernatural Has Changed Lives and decided to write you a letter. Well, to be honest I decided to do that, when I was starting to read it.

My name is Iryna and I live in Ukraine. You may know that there is war in Ukraine now. And it’s not like we see it in movies. It is really horrible. I`m very lucky to live in the more or less safe city, but it was also attacked by enemies and people died. I work in the charity foundation and every day help evacuate people… In one of the first episodes of Supernatural (The Benders) Dean said, that monsters can at least be understood — their actions are logical, people’s — not. And it’s really so.

On the eve of February 24, 2022, I had a completely normal life. I studied at a Documentary film school, worked in a team of screenwriters on a family Christmas story, improved my skills as a director of editing and motion design, and made some documentary photo projects, I had a lot of friends. But in one moment all changed. My future became ghostly and shaky.

A new life with the sounds of explosions and air raid sirens, often lasting without electricity after massive attacks, began. The lectures at a film school were stopped, and a lot of my friends left our country. But I still stay. I often joke that it’s because I’ve watched and rewatched Supernatural so many times that now I always keep fighting and not giving up. Although it is very difficult.

To support me, my sister, who is now forced to stay with my little niece in another country, sent me your book, because she knows very well how much I adore this show. She suddenly saw it in the local library. Maybe it was a sign? I’ve read it during air raids, I’ve read it when I came home from a hard workday, I’ve read it by flashlight and candlelight during electricity outages due to massive missile attacks on critical infrastructure.

Even though I’ve been watching Supernatural since 2016, I’ve never been a part of the Supernatural family, even though I knew about it. But now the stories of all the heroes of the book inspired and supported me a lot. It makes me very happy to know that there is such a large community, that people find support in it, that they are not alone. Even the awareness of this supports in a difficult time. I am very grateful to you for the decision to create this book. It is very supportive. All the stories are very sincere and inspiring. I hope that all the heroes will be fine.

Thank you, the community, and Supernatural.

It was a great time.

Best wishes,

Iryna

 

Thank you, Iryna. When I feel down about fandom infighting or missing the Show, I’m going to re-read this and remember how special Supernatural and the SPNFamily are – and always will be.

–Lynn

You can find the books, if you need some

inspiration right now too, at the website:

The First Supernatural and Other J & J Projects Convention – Vegas 2023!

The first “Salute to Supernatural and Other J & J Projects” and the first con of 2023 happened in Las Vegas two weeks ago. Anyone who knows me knows that I am generally a person who loathes change – especially when it comes to things that are important to me. Like Supernatural. So I had a little trepidation flying to Vegas, wondering if the con would feel different, if it would be less “Supernatural” and if that would make me sad. I was nostalgic to be back at the Rio despite my less-than-wonderful memories of the year our toilet started overflowing in the middle of the night (when everyone had been asleep for hours) and we ended up having to switch rooms at 3 am in the midst of a truly horrific mess. Somehow I am STILL fondly nostalgic for the Rio anyway, with its open-24-hours Starbucks and its gigantic Hash House breakfasts and its 20 mile walk to the convention center (yes, that’s an exaggeration). Alas, there’s only one Starbucks left and it closed at 5 pm every day much to my dismay, but I did have some Hash House thanks to my lovely friends.

Most importantly, yes, it still felt like a Supernatural con! Give me the Jared and Jensen gold panel and the Jared and Jensen main panel and the Misha Saturday panel and Louden Swain at SNS and I will continue to be happy. I thoroughly enjoyed the Smallville panel with Tom Welling and Michael Rosenbaum, and the Walker panel with Mitch Pileggi, Jake Abel and Keegan Allen. SNS was awesome and there was no drama (that I witnessed anyway) and phew, I feel like I can relax a bit. I just don’t want to lose what I so love about Supernatural cons, but I’m happy to get to hear some new stories and meet some new people for the other shows I’m watching too.

The new semester just started, so this is a briefer con write up than I usually do, but I wanted to write up some of the fun before I don’t remember it all. I missed Kathy a lot at this con, since my first trip to Vegas was with her – we rode the roller coaster and saw the Criss Angel magic show and generally “did” Vegas, and it will always remind me of her. I still can’t believe she’s gone, honestly. (If you’ve read Fangasm Supernatural Fangirls you understand how unique and wonderful our friendship was). Luckily I had lots of friends at this con, and I’m very grateful.

My friend Sue picked me up at the airport on Friday afternoon after a flight that was long but not arduous largely because I got a very nice seat that had a footrest! So I might have slept most of the way… Anyway, caught some of the Gil McKinney and David Haydn-Jones panel, which was hilarious. When I came in, Gil was telling the story of the time he was filming a show and they gave him a prosthetic penis and it looked like a cave man’s.

David: Why didn’t you keep it? And use it as a hat?

I mean, sure, why not?

From there they ended up talking about hat size…and head size…

David: We’ll try on hats together later…and that’s not even a double entendre!

Gil thanked the fandom for their influence in giving him the courage to go back to performing onstage as a singer – he writes about it in his chapter in Family Don’t End With Blood. And he sang at the SNS in Vegas too, yay!

David wrote a chapter in the next book, There’ll Be Peace When You Are Done, about the impact the Supernatural fandom has had in his life too.

They talked about the flexibility that’s essential to being an actor. David said he first auditioned for Ketch looking scruffy and wearing a motorcycle jacket, but the next time after they took the character in another direction, in a tuxedo!

Gil said that he especially loves working with directors who are also actors, like Richard Speight, Jr. and said he had a great director once who really helped him get back to where he should be.

Jason Manns was the emcee for Friday, and did a great job as always.

Kim Rhodes and Briana Buckmaster had a panel on Friday too, which as always was equal parts amusing and serious (as in, tears in my eyes kinda serious)

What other characters would they like to play?

Kim: I’d like to play Lucifer, angelically… as I pop your eyeballs out…

They told the hilarious story of when they first met on set and Briana apologized to Kim for cussing a lot!

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Happy birthday, Dean Winchester!

This is the third January 24th without Supernatural, and yes, I still miss Dean Winchester. No one – no fictional character – has taken his place in my heart or captured my imagination like Dean did.

I honestly don’t think anyone ever will.

I’m very grateful there are still lots of other people who miss Dean too, and are celebrating his birthday. It’s been Dean Winchester birthday week on Tumblr and Twitter, with amazing gif sets and photos and fans posting about why they love him, from his most endearing personality traits to his most unforgettable outfits. I love seeing how important Dean is to so many people, how many people’s lives he touched in his fifteen years of “existence”.

I’ve written many many times about why I love Dean, from his loyalty and love for family and friends and especially his little brother, to his fierceness when any of those are threatened. He wasn’t always one to talk about his feelings, but Dean didn’t shy away from showing affection to those he cared about.

I love his little boyish delight in so many simple things too – when he’s making up new names for monsters and unrepentantly proud of it or sneaking a chance to climb into the ring and pretend to be a wrestling champion just for the fun of it.

The joy he got from getting to dress up, whether it was for a trip back to the Old West or be a nerd for the day, or to put on a tux and pretend to not want to be objectified.

He found happiness in all sorts of simple things, from the treat of a good burger or a delicious slice of pie to a night off to sit on the hood of the Impala with Sam and watch the stars. From a chance to live the normal suburban life for a day and mow your mother’s lawn to the pure joy of roaring down the road in his Baby, his brother beside him.

I love his strength, but I also love the fact that Jensen Ackles showed us his tenderness and vulnerability,  that he let the sadness he felt in the face of overwhelming loss bring tears that he wasn’t ashamed to let fall.

I love his bowlegs and his impossibly long eyelashes and the freckles sprinkled across his handsome face and his green eyes that people wax poetic about in fanfic.

Honestly, there’s not much I don’t love about Dean Winchester.

Except that he and Supernatural are not on my screen every week.

This past season, we’ve seen some little glimpses of Dean on ‘The Winchesters’ and heard his voice every week as he narrates the new mission he’s on to figure out his parents’ past. It’s not the same as having the Winchester brothers back on Supernatural and back together again, but I don’t think that was the point. The point was keeping the world of Supernatural alive, and our glimpses of Dean help anchor that universe, in another time and perhaps another space. We’ll see him again soon it seems, and maybe get some answers about why he’s there and not in Heaven hanging out with Sam and driving around in Baby.

We’ve also heard Jensen and Jared talk about how much they want to bring back “OG Supernatural” with a revival, which never fails to leave me sitting there grinning and crossing every finger and toe I have hoping that happens. Every time they say it at a convention, the room erupts in cheers, and I can see them drink it in, thinking hmmm, maybe. I know they want to do it; I’m just hoping the insane network landscape right now allows it at some point in the not too distant future. Until then, I’ll enjoy the glimpses of Dean on The Winchesters and keep rewatching the 15 seasons of Supernatural that we were so damn lucky to get.

Take care of him, Jensen, until Sam and Dean are back to ‘saving people, hunting things’ and it seems all is right with the world once again.

Happy birthday, Dean Winchester!

Gifs by green circles, abordelimpala, heytheredean, sasquatchandleatherjacket, mooselys, mishha, itsokaysammy, elainamarie89

–Lynn

You can read Jensen and Jared and Misha’s

(and many more cast) thoughts on their

characters and Supernatural in Family

Don’t End With Blood and There’ll Be Peace

When You Are Done – info and links at:

 

Supernatural Nashcon 2022 – Friday and Saturday with Misha Collins and SNS!

Nashville is one of my favorite Supernatural conventions. It’s usually around the holidays, and it’s usually at the Gaylord Opryland, which is a ridiculous Disneyland of a hotel with a river running through it and a boat you can take from one side to the other and so much walking that it makes my still-messed-up knee hurt just thinking about it. But I kinda love it too – also it’s a con that a lot of my good friends go to, and that alone makes it special.

This year the con was in a different hotel (sans inside river and boat) and Alana didn’t make it, but Kim and I had a lovely room and I was thrilled to have her beside me taking photos – I’ve missed her photos but I’ve missed her being my partner in crime at cons even more! She didn’t make it to many panels but the ones she did make, whew, there are some pretty pretty pictures from them! So this con gets two posts, this one for all the Friday people fun and Saturday with the Saturday Night Special concert, and stay tuned for the Sunday festivities and the Radio Company debut concert wrap up – it was a busy and awesome few days!

I caught a little of Osric Chau and Adam Rose’s panel – when I walked in they were reminiscing about how they initially bonded over Osric’s Goku cosplay. I remember that! I loved the early days of the cons when Os would show up in some incredible cosplay and Gil or Misha or Jared or Jensen would have no clue what to say in response. Priceless!

The two got along famously, and were soon busy planning a joint birthday party – which would inevitably be amazing.

Adam has become internet famous for being the blue cardigan guy on TikTok. He said it’s always funny when someone knows him as that and then suddenly is like, wait, you’re on Supernatural??

A fan asked how he convinced Jensen to do the cardigan TikTok.

Adam: I said, wanna do a TikTok? And he said…okay…

Of course Adam was planning a new TikTok with Jensen – maybe an evil red cardigan? Or maybe one with Jared?

Osric: Do they make them in Jared size??

They were asked what Supernatural’s tag line would be, and pondered.

Osric: Bitch…jerk?

Seems legit.

Osric was asked about doing the first Supernatural HIllywood Show video and said he loved doing it.

Osric: How many casts are so down for doing a parody of their own show??

They talked about writing, which Osric is doing a lot of recently. He also wrote an insightful chapter in Family Don’t End With Blood about his experience playing Kevin on Supernatural, which I love. He said that he was so sad about his character dying that he snuck out after filming that scene without even saying goodbye, he was so emotional.

Briana Buckmaster and Kim Rhodes also had a panel on Friday.

Kim got some questions about autism and had some great advice: if you want to know about autistic people, ask autistic people!

They both talked about how much they loved working on supernatural, with how collaborative and respectful an environment it was for an actor.

Briana: It’s wonderful to work on a show that makes you feel like an artist.

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Supernatural Phoenix 2022!

The Supernatural Phoenix con was special this year – a lot of my friends were there, which always makes it extra wonderful. A bunch of us talked one of our friends into coming to this con, and then surprised her with friends coming in from all over since this would be her last con – yes, she’s over 80, but honestly she’s 80 plus years young! It was so wonderful to see how surprised she (and half of our other group of friends) was to see the other half, and to make sure that the guest of honor enjoyed every second of what will probably be her last SPN con (not that she’s going anywhere, but this is the local one for her!) It got me thinking that someday I’ll have my own “last Supernatural convention” and that made me need tissues. But it was also so much of what cons and fandom are about, making friends from all over who support each other all year long.

In fact, there are only a few “Official Supernatural conventions” left, including this weekend’s Nashville one and the long-postponed San Francisco con in 2023. It feels weird that the rest of the 2023 cons are not called Supernatural conventions, even if we’ll have Jared, Jensen and Misha at all of them and many of the ‘regular’ guests that we know and love. Change is inevitable, I know, but I don’t have to like it – or at least I get to be ambivalent about it! I am excited to meet the casts of Walker and Windy and The Winchesters and The Boys and Big Sky of course, I just want everyone who I know and love to stick around too. Good thing I’m not in charge of conventions, they’d have about a million guests…

Friday was a short day for me because I spent most of it either flying or having lunch with my friends. The hotel had an outdoor patio with trees and water and cornhole and it was absolutely lovely, so we grabbed a big table out there and just caught up. I made it into the convention center in time to catch some of Adam Fergus’ panel and hear his story about being scared of everything as a kid, including the werewolf he was sure he saw at night that turned out to be a hat and coat on the bannister.

Adam talked about how on Supernatural, Jared was surprised to find out he was Irish. He also said that recently he had to do a Texas accent for a role and wanted it to be believable – so he called Jensen! (Actually that was a joke – he said he always has a voice coach when he has to do an American accent)

Someone asked about his favorite episodes and he said that one of the reasons that Supernatural was on for so long was the great writing and the way they took risks, like Baby and Scoobynatural. So agreed!

Speaking of writing, Adam wrote a chapter in There’ll Be Peace When You Are Done all about his time on Supernatural and his appreciation of fandom that’s really interesting, if you haven’t checked it out yet.

Jason Manns was busy as the Friday emcee, and it was nice to see his smiling face.

Kim Rhodes and Briana Buckmaster also did a panel, which started out with Briana channeling her inner Stephen Norton… Shhhh, don’t tell him!

Kim and Briana always have something inspirational to say, and this panel was no exception.

Kim: I am fucking allowed to feel good about myself!

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