We left off Part One of our NashCon coverage on Saturday night. After a delicious dinner on the ‘outdoor’ veranda with friends, it was time for the Saturday Night Special, which rocked as always. Also as always, this means that Kim took a billion (beautiful) photos. Yay!
Louden Swain opened the show with “Present Time” followed by “Taxi Driver.”
Kim got alot of excellent shots of Billy Moran. Obviously. All you Billy fans, these are for you – please enjoy!
Nashville native Emma Fitzpatrick joined Rob and the band on “Salt in the Wound”– she has an incredible voice.
Rob was also joined by Tyler James, who collaborated with Rob on his new solo music including the single “Elevator”. Check it out if you haven’t already!
There was extra excitement in the air when Creation’s Supernatural convention returned to the Gaylord Opryland Hotel in Nashville earlier this month – not only was it the last Supernatural con of 2021, but it was a chance for friends to come together to celebrate the holidays in grand style too. The Gaylord is a ridiculous hotel (but I mean that in the kindest way), so gigantic that there’s a freaking river that flows through it and you can take a boat ride down it from one side of the hotel to the other. It is always decorated like it’s Disney World, but for the holidays, they went all out. I am always slightly disoriented when I’m there because it’s a maze of bright lights and indoor jungle pathways, and have been known to get hopelessly lost and call my friend Alana to come find me. I don’t have much of a sense of direction. I also still have an injured knee, and a hotel that’s a boat ride long is not the best place to be when you can’t walk very well, but despite that, I was looking forward to Nashcon 2021. And it didn’t disappoint!
Friends who I hadn’t seen in far too long were at this con, and there were joyful reunions throughout. One group of friends had their whole room decorated like a motel the Winchesters would frequent, free postcards with gorgeous fan art on them hanging on their room door and free for the taking. Another group of friends proclaimed this “Gown Con” and packed their fanciest dresses, then posed for photos all over the hotel – which is just made for photo ops! Other friends wore their own unique versions of Santa hats, which ranged from nice to definitely naughty. I was reunited with my partner in crime, Kim Prior, who of course had her camera and incredible photography talent with her to make the con extra special (as you can see throughout these posts!). And it wasn’t just the fans who were glad to see each other – the actors are also grateful to be reunited, this time with Matt Cohen and Gil McKinney rejoining the fun.
I got in mid day Friday, and managed to catch a little bit of the threesome of Gil, David Haydn Jones and Adam Fergus. Their panels usually go a little off the rails and I always appreciate that. There were sweet moments too though – Gil said that he can’t really facetime with his 5 year old daughter when he’s traveling because she just loses it seeing him when he’s not there. Awww.
Gil was also happy to talk about how it feels to be the Winchesters’ grandfather.
Gil: I mean, Jared and Jensen and Jeffrey Dean, they came out of me…
Gil told some of his ‘yes I was pranked’ stories from Supernatural, including the time there were suddenly filthy pictures on a screen, designed to make him laugh during his coverage.
Adam clarified what’s true about the Supernatural set and the pranks though, after sharing a few pranks he’d experienced too.
Adam: All that and the environment on Supernatural made it more collegial, made us all feel like part of the family.
David came dressed as a cowboy – maybe a guest spot on Walker is in order? He said he knew about Supernatural’s reputation as a great show to work on even before he was cast, because his roommate at the time was a big fan.
A fan asked how it was to play someone so different from himself in Ketch, and David said it was fun simply because he was so different.
David: I’m gonna be brave enough to come out and say I’m anti murder…
The panel did go off the rails eventually, with a fan asking them to play truth or dare and something about if Supernatural was a telenovela.
David: I’d be Sam and Dean’s stepfather….and dominate them… (something about spanking…) …you’re welcome, Ao3!
The Adam and David bromance was in fine form too.
You can read all about Gil’s experience on Supernatural and how the fandom changed him in the chapter he wrote in Family Don’t End With Blood, and about David and Adam’s experience in There’ll Be Peace When You Are Done.
Kim Rhodes and Briana Buckmaster were next up, equally overflowing with affection for each other and the SPNFamily.
The third Supernatural convention of 2021 kicked off on the one year anniversary of the series finale, which means emotions were running even higher than usual as I was flying to New Orleans. Both Jared and Jensen posted a heartfelt remembrance, Jared including his last call sheet and tape mark from that day that is now in his office along with a panel from the bunker. Jensen sang along to Carry On Wayward Son on the radio as he and the family road tripped down to Nola, as emotional as we all were.
It did help to know that they were as emotional as we all were, as we all converged on New Orleans.
This was a challenging con for me physically because I injured my knee two weeks before, on my way home from Charlotte. How did I do that, you ask? Skiing? Jogging? New exercise routine? Alas, no. I got into a car. Just…. Sat down. That’s it. It’s doubly annoying that I wasn’t even doing anything worthy of an injury, but here we are. That made getting back and forth from hotel to convention center a lot harder than usual, though I was very very thankful that I was at the hotel that was closest to the ballroom!
When I got in on Friday morning, after submitting my Covid test and getting my wristbands, I caught some of David Haydn Jones and Adam Fergus’ panel – they have so much chemistry together and always have a lot fun onstage, which makes their panels a pleasure to watch. They both wrote chapters in There’ll Be Peace When You Are Done, giving a behind the scenes look at their experience on Supernatural and with the fandom.
A fan asked when Ketch decided not to be with the BMol.
David: When he got shot in the head?
That’ll do it.
Both agreed that they wished they’d had more scenes with each other. And on a less serious note, there was enough innuendo to amuse just about anyone, with the two planning a spa retreat, some wrestling in the snow, wearing chaps on the first date, eggplants (ahem) and a pillow fight, among other things. Similar to Jared and Jensen, Adam and David clearly enjoy each other’s company and make each other laugh, which inevitably gets me laughing too.
David told the story of the chupacabra gag reel bit again, which I adore. Just him saying that word makes me giggle at this point.
David: You know it’s a good day on set when the camera is shaking!
The best segment, though, was David overhearing an amorous couple last night in the hotel room next door.
I headed to Charlotte last weekend for the second Supernatural convention that Creation has put on in 2021 post pandemic. While the one before, in Denver, was a whole lot of everyone being overjoyed to see each other and simultaneously get accustomed to a lot of new rules, this one felt a bit like “the new normal”, at least the one we’ll have for a while. We’re still in the midst of a global pandemic, so masks and Covid tests and social distancing (and the plexiglass photo ops) are here to stay for now.
It seems the altered schedule might also be here to stay – Jared and Jensen once again did some of their photo ops and both their meet and greets on Saturday instead of Sunday. When they were both working on Supernatural, it made sense that the production gave them Mondays off so they could be at conventions until late – now that both are working on different shows, no other production is going to be as accommodating. Doing some things on Saturday allowed them to finish up autographs on Sunday at a reasonable time so they could be back where they needed to be on Monday morning – in Jared’s case at least, on the Walker set! It also gave them a chance to hang out more now that they don’t get to see each other on a daily basis. I’m a creature of habit, so I pretty much loathe change, which means I miss the way Sundays at cons have been the same forever – but I’m also a realist, and the changes do make sense with the actors all working on other gigs. It made Sunday a bit less hectic at least!
Apparently at the next con, even autographs will be split between the two days, which I actually don’t like at all. If you don’t have a photo op for them to sign, you need to do autographs on Saturday now – but I’ll miss end of the con autographs as a nice way to wrap things up and say goodbye. Ah well.
Charlotte, for me, was different in other ways too. I got there late afternoon on Friday, which meant by the time I got the vendor table set up I missed pretty much everything, including some panels I really would have liked to see. There was once again no Richard Speight, Jr. to host and no Matt Cohen either, so I didn’t miss them -but I DID miss them! Rob Benedict stepped up the plate again as host and house band and generally kept things rolling like the pro that he is.
Friday night was the ‘Saturday Night Special’ concert, so at least I didn’t miss that – and it was a really good one. Louden Swain was on fire, and so were all the guest actors who joined them onstage that night.
Adam Fergus introduced everyone’s favorite photographer, Chris Schmelke, who played bass on Juliet. We missed out on an exhausted Chris at the SNS in Denver, so it was great to have him back onstage with the band!
Jake Abel joined in the fun to introduce her, Kim Rhodes sang ‘Be Me’ (no, it’s not actually called ‘Dimestore Refugee,’ who knew?) and made it clear why it was one of her favorite songs, and David Haydn-Jones channeled his inner rockstar (and George Michael) with ‘Faith’.
It’s over a week later, and I finally have time to sit down and write about Supernatural Denver con, the first Creation Supernatural convention since the whole world changed completely right after the Las Vegas con in March 2020. I remember flying home from that convention, when we had all just barely heard about Covid, wondering what it all meant and how long it would be until I’d be with my SPN friends again. Little did we know that it would be THIS long!
I was only able to go to Denver for the weekend, so I missed the festivities on Friday – and some of my favorite people, including Chad Lindberg, who was only there on Friday. Some friends were kind enough to get my vendor table set up and put out some books, since this was the first convention since There’ll Be Peace When You Are Done: Actors and Fans Celebrate the Legacy of Supernatural was published. The contributors all put together their chapters for that book just as the pandemic began, so I hadn’t been able to bring it to a con until now. I think the book was excited to finally meet the cast and fandom!
And I was finally able to give the actors who contributed to the book their copies – if you haven’t read their chapters yet, have some tissues ready if you do. Hearing how much Supernatural meant to them, and what the experience of bringing their characters to life brought them, makes me tear up every time I read the actors’ chapters.
That was exciting – and so was finally being able to see some of my fandom friends for the first time in 19 months! One of the best parts of conventions is being able to be immersed among people who totally get it – and whose eyes will not glaze over alarmingly if I talk about Supernatural for too long. Therapeutic for sure!
Denver con will definitely go down in history as an unusual con – which I feel like we’ve said about so many things over this past 19 months. There were Covid protocols in place, which meant I stressed myself out trying to get a Covid test that would come back before I had to get on a plane but would also be within 36 hours of me checking into the con – thank you, neighborhood CVS! I’m accustomed to masks all the time, so wearing one for the weekend was no problem at all, and I was relieved that everyone else was pretty good about keeping masks on too. Considering how unsafe I feel teaching in person now, in spite of masks, I felt a little safer at the con knowing everyone was both masked and recently tested.
So that part was good. No fan is ever going to like having a giant plexiglass panel between you and the celebrity you came there to see, but we’re in a pandemic and there’s a lot that we wish was different right now. Waving at Jensen, Jared and Misha is not the same as a bear hug, but it will have to do for now. I have to admire the creativity of some fans, who came up with no-touch photo ops that put that plexiglass panel to good (and sometimes amusing) use!
The other odd part of this con was that the schedule was switched around from what we’re all very accustomed to – there are always things that happen on Saturday (like Misha Collins’ panel) and on Sunday (like the Jared and Jensen gold panel and main panel). Because Jensen was shooting on the Rust film and had to be back on set for Sunday, he appeared on Saturday instead. That caused ridiculous amounts of fan theorizing and conspiracy theory tossing around about why the switch was happening – which was for exactly the reasons put forth, Jensen’s professional obligations – i.e., filming on Sunday. It was different to have solo panels for Jensen and Jared instead of a joint one, and fans had different opinions on that, some happy to have an hour with their fave and others missing the banter that always comes with a J2 panel. In other words, as always, your mileage may vary.
I caught some of Briana Buckmaster, Kim Rhodes and Samantha Smith’s panel on Saturday. The fan who sometimes collects words for a Mad Libs at the con asked them for some adverbs, they talked tattoos, and gave a shout out to Rachel Miner, who we all missed.
Fan: What tattoo should I get?
At that moment, a loud whistle drowned everything out.
Kim: A train, apparently…
Sam talked about how she had decided to leave acting when Supernatural called her to come back for the finale of Season 11. She thought they meant series finale, and was surprised when the show was actually still going – and that she was returning for more than one episode. Briana talked about the rejection inherent in being an actor and having to learn to keep telling herself that she is enough. All three were happy to be reunited and I was happy to have their inspiration back on the stage.
Jensen’s solo panel was next, and he seemed to take a moment to soak up the love when he came onstage.
It really felt like forever since we’d seen them all in person, so there was ALOT of love in that ballroom!
I think all of them prefer being onstage with one of their friends, and he mentioned that he missed Jared being up there with him – especially because it was the first con back and they’d been looking forward to it.
Jensen: It’s just me – I don’t have my brother here!