Skip to content

A Family Affair – Vegas Supernatural Style!

March 19, 2014
Jared and Jensen by KarenCookePhotography

Jared and Jensen by KarenCookePhotography

Vegas Con is like a Supernatural con on steroids – it’s an over-the-top, nonstop, emotional rollercoaster of a con, with fans sobbing with joy leaving the photo op room or hugging friends they haven’t seen all year or collapsing in exhaustion on a conveniently placed bench. Of course it is – it’s Vegas!

We live tweeted the entire con (except for the beginning, thanks to an airport shuttle that took the scenic route to the Rio…) but we thought we’d share some of our favorite con moments here.

Favorite thing the first: the SPNFamily. The entire con was a family affair – and I mean that in the literal “family don’t end with blood, boy” way. We reunited with dozens and dozens of our fangirl friends from all over the world, sharing the SPN squee over late night drinks in the bar or pizza parties in someone’s hotel room. The SPN cast did pretty much the same thing (okay, they probably weren’t passing around people’s photo ops to ogle, but otherwise…). This was the first con that Rob Benedict was completely “back” after his stroke at the Toronto convention last October. He’s now 100%, which he certainly proved by playing an amazing Louden Swain concert on Thursday night and then entertaining onstage with the Elastic Waste Band for the entire weekend – and if you’ve ever seen Rob onstage, you know that doesn’t mean standing still and singing. The fandom welcomed Rob back with a video of “What I Like About You”, with fans holding up messages of love and support to a background of con and Show moments. By the time the vid was over, Rob was tearful onstage and there was not a dry eye in the audience as he told the fans how much their support has meant to him as he recovered.

Near the end of the con, Misha Collins came out onstage to express his feelings about Rob being back too. It was Misha’s idea, since he felt so much emotion seeing Rob well and healthy again – Richard, Misha, Jared and Jensen were there for Rob after he became ill, and they were all clearly devastated by the thought of losing him. It was an emotional moment onstage, a reminder that the actors are SPN Family just like the fans. The affection they feel for each other plays out in the same way it does in con hallways as fans welcome each other after long separations – in hugs. Awww.

Jensen and Rob hug by KarenCookePhotography

Jensen and Rob hug by KarenCookePhotography

Richard and Rob

Richard and Rob

Rob and Osric

Rob and Osric

Sebastian and Jensen

Sebastian and Jensen

Rob and Sebastian

Rob and Sebastian

AJ and Rob

AJ and Rob

Kim hugs a fan

Kim hugs a fan

In fact, there were more emotional moments at this con than at most. We cried at least four times, which may be a new con record. Once was during DJ Qualls’ panel – he started off sharing some confidential (and questionable) escapades from his past, and then turned serious as he opened up about his history of coping with panic attacks and surviving childhood cancer. He kept joking that someone must have given him truth serum, but the candor was greatly appreciated by the fans. After all, most of us can relate to going through some sort of challenge and coming out on the other side – for many, fandom is one of the coping strategies that helped us do that! We chatted with DJ later and told him how inspiring his panel was and how much the fans appreciated his honesty.

Lynn: I sort of felt like that was a bit of fannish group therapy you were doing up there.

DJ: It sort of was, wasn’t it? I don’t know what happened out there…

Lynn: Whatever it was, it was awesome.

DJ: *beams*

Also, DJ is seriously adorable. Just saying.

DJ tells it like it is

DJ tells it like it is

The family theme was in evidence throughout the con. After an amusing intro by Richard (do you want me to bring out Guy Norman A, Guy Norman B, or Guy Norman C…) Guy Norman Bee brought his adorable daughter Lulu onstage. He then related a hysterical story that every fan could relate to – when he met the star of his daughter’s favorite show and had a fanboy moment asking to take a photo, and then was then promptly rebuked by Lulu for not facetiming her in. Well DUH, Guy!

Guy Normal Bee and his adorable daughter

Guy Norman Bee and his adorable daughter

Aldis Hodge brought his very proud mom. Misha Collins brought his adorable son West onstage too, who is every bit as much of a free spirit as his dad. And just about as cute too. Chad Lindberg brought his dog, who was also adorable, but seemed less than thrilled about being onstage in front of thousands of people.

Misha and West

Misha and West

Chad and his somewhat overwhelmed dog

Chad and his somewhat overwhelmed dog

Favorite thing the second: the house band. The Elastic Waste Band, aka Louden Swain in 70s prom attire, played the entire weekend, proving that their stamina is rivaled only by intrepid SPN fans. Having the band onstage to riff off the guests means there’s never any down time, and it was an invitation to most of the guests to spontaneously belt out a song (Aldis and Jensen) or grab a guitar (Sebastian) or enthusiastically play the cowbell or the tambourine (Jared, Jensen, Misha, Ty, Mark, Matt….okay, just about everyone). Without the EWB there to facilitate, fandom would never have had Jensen and Jared rapping to Vanilla Ice, so clearly we all owe them a debt of gratitude that we can probably never repay. Thank you, EWB!

Favorite thing the third: The reciprocal relationship. We write a lot about the so-called reciprocal relationship between fans and the creative/production side in our books, so we love watching the actors interact with the fans at conventions. It’s sort of a mutual appreciation fest that just warms our hearts. In addition to the vid for Rob, fans also made a video for Felicia Day, and proclaimed it #FeliciaAppreciationDay. The vid was beautifully backed with ‘All Hail The Queen’ and had clips of fans talking about how much she had inspired them. Once again, not a dry eye in the house – including Felicia! We had a chance to talk to Felicia briefly, and were excited to hear that she has a copy of “Fangasm: Supernatural Fangirls” on her nightstand ready to read. We have a feeling she’ll relate.

Felicia takes the stage

Felicia takes the stage

Felicia (and all of us) get emotional

Felicia (and all of us) get emotional

Favorite things the fourth: Jared and Jensen. The boys always bring it at cons, but they were positively glowing at VegasCon. Jim Michaels told us the night before that they were still filming late into the night/early morning, but doing a panel in the afternoon and evening clearly agreed with them. They came onstage playing cowbell and tambourine, composed a haiku about each other onstage (and were adorably proud of themselves for doing so on the spot, lol), made up an impromptu wrestling tag team move (which they named the Impala, naturally) and then leapt from the stage to demonstrate it on a very surprised fanboy, who exclaimed afterwards, “I’ve been Impala-ed!”

Shallow observations of the day: Jared’s hair was perfect. So were Jensen’s jeans.

Perfect. By KarenCookePhotography

Perfect. By KarenCookePhotography

Also perfect. By KarenCookePhotography

Also perfect. By KarenCookePhotography

The boys were their usual teasing, laughing, adorable selves during both the Gold panel and the evening panel, and full of energy even after not very much sleep (being new dads must have them pretty used to sleep deprivation by now). Another favorite moment was their depiction of Sam and Dean if Supernatural ever got less angsty and full of brother drama and a bit more quiet. Right, Jensen said, Sam and Dean would be sitting on the couch, watching tv, drinking a beer….

vegasconipad 2014 420

And it wouldn’t be a J2 panel without some joking about Jared’s height. By Jensen.

Who's taller now??

Who’s taller now??

Jared and Jensen finished up their panel with an impromptu rendition of “Ice Ice Baby” accompanied by the Elastic Waste Band, which was seriously the BEST THING EVER. In fact, it was so epic that Vanilla Ice himself tweeted out the video!

@vanillaice Have you seen Jensen Ackles from Supernatural rapping to Ice Ice Baby? https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=x2_F-cS0Dh8&feature=youtu.be

J2 rap Vanilla Ice

J2 rap Vanilla Ice

We spoke to Jared later that day and told him that we thought that panel was possibly the best J2 panel ever.

Jared: I think so too!

Kathy: You set the bar pretty high there…

Jared: (ponders) I guess we did…

Lynn: How are you gonna top that?

Jared: (grinning – with dimples!) Guess we’ll just have to.

Lynn and Kathy: (are melting, because DIMPLES!)

Dimples! Jared by KarenCookePhotography

Dimples! Jared by KarenCookePhotography

Since we weren’t able to go to any meet and greets, we enlisted a trusted fellow fangirl to ask the question we were dying to ask Jensen. He had alluded to the challenge of playing Dean as he was starting to go to a ‘dark place’ back when we last chatted with him in the fall, so we wondered how he was dealing with it four months and many dark episodes later. It turned out that someone else asked a similar question, comparing the challenge for Jensen of acting opposite Jared as Soulless Sam to the way things are between the brothers now, since they have another sort of emotional separation between them. Jensen said that it was hard, he’s so used to the way Dean is with Sam, and this is so different. It’s also difficult because he goes through the same emotions as Dean (which can’t be a picnic right now!)

Jensen: I know the character so well, my body doesn’t know I’m acting.

He went on to say that in October, November, December, things got so heavy that he was taking it home with him and getting depressed – he felt like he was burning the candle at both ends. Luckily he found some excellent coping strategies. Danneel helped him through it and was his “cheerleader” (Awww) And Jensen also asked to do the fight scenes in First Born himself, since he really needed to work off some stuff and he knows how to throw and take a (stunt) punch. He worked with his double, Todd (and knicked him with a plastic knife, much to Jensen’s dismay) – but Todd was fine and the fight scene really did turn out to be epic.

Pensive Jensen. Mmmm.

Pensive Jensen. Mmmm.

Jensen also joked that it was great to get a Dean-centric story line, except it gave Jared time off and him none. Gee thanks, he added with a grin.

(We’re finding it hard to be sympathetic, having just watched the amazing new episode this week. HOLY CRAP!)

Anyway, back to the con. Favorite things the…okay, I’m giving up numbering, because these are really all my favorite things… Misha Collins. Misha was onstage a lot, which is always a very good thing. He did panels on Saturday and Sunday, and judged the Cas costume contest (where he was very impressed by the Pizza Man). We were impressed with all the amazing fannish cosplay. There was even an Elvis!Cas. Of course there was.

Elvis Cas! aka @HikaruRose

Elvis Cas! aka @HikaruRose

Lots of Misha onstage gave us plenty of opportunity to take pictures of him. Like Misha making out enthusiastically with a lifesize Justin Bieber cutout. As you do.

Misha and Justin Bieber. Sort of.

Misha and Justin Bieber. Sort of.

Watching Misha interact with West was so cute that you could practically hear the AWWWWs reverberating around the ballroom. Misha remarked that his mother raised them without many limits, and always encouraged them not to be afraid to do things differently. He seemed surprised that he and Vicki are finding it necessary to set some limits anyway (apparently peeing on your little sister is where they draw the line…). But we have to admit, we’re glad that Misha’s mom knew the value of fighting normalcy – it’s made Misha the unique person he is. We got a chance to sit down with Misha for a chat on Sunday afternoon, to talk about the Show, his directing debut, and our new book ‘Fan Phenomena: Supernatural’, in which Misha has a chapter. Yep, we’re making Misha Collins a published author once again. Check back for that soon! For now, have some more pretty.

Misha and West

Misha and West

Misha being Misha

Misha being Misha

Misha. Sorry. Not really.

Misha. Sorry. Not really.

More favorite moments:

Chad Lindberg getting some EVP action onstage – hey, it’s a Supernatural con, what do you expect? Chad also brought along some of his Ghost Hunters pals, so clearly the spirits couldn’t resist showing up to make a little noise. (We caught up with Chad for the latest on the Vegas ghost hunt and his new projects too, so look for that interview soon)

Chad brings the supernatural to Supernatural

Chad brings the supernatural to Supernatural

AJ Buckley and Travis Wester inspiring a Ghostfacers chant from the audience, and playing with a light saber that AJ confessed he’d called a “life saver” as a kid. Hehehe.

Ghost - Ghostfacers!

Ghost – Ghostfacers!

Kim Rhodes showing off some of her awesome ink.

Kim shows off her ink

Kim shows off her ink

Osric Chau proving his fanboy cred once again by painting himself for Random Acts, having fans act out what was essentially some Supernatural fanfic he’d scripted with him onstage, cosplaying as Kevin Freaking Solo – and by spending the entire weekend walking around the con hotel unescorted so he could meet and chat with fans.

Osric as Kevin Freaking Solo

Osric as Kevin Freaking Solo

Misha admires Osric's fannish commitment

Misha admires Osric’s fannish commitment

Jim Michaels saying he reads fanfic (and seems to have a special fondness for S E Hinton’s…)

Jim Michaels, fanfic fan

Jim Michaels, fanfic fan

Aldis Hodge taking the mic with Elastic Waste Band. Also, biceps.

Aldis jams with Elastic Waste Band

Aldis jams with Elastic Waste Band

Matt Cohen and Richard Speight Jr. hosting yet another kickass karaoke

Lookin' good Matt

Lookin’ good Matt

Corin Nemec being inspiring

Corin Nemec

Corin Nemec

Rachel Miner being inspiring and just plain beautiful

Rachel Miner

Rachel Miner

Ty Olsson jamming with the EWB

Ty Olsson with the EWB

Ty Olsson with the EWB

Sebastian Roche dancing on chairs, taking off his shirt, singing “Get Lucky” in French, and finding a thousand and one ways to say something dirty. Here’s Rob Benedict and the EWB watching in amusement.

Rob watching Sebastian

Rob watching Sebastian

Sebastian gets down with EWB

Sebastian gets down with EWB

Seb is no angel. He just plays one on TV

Seb is no angel. He just plays one on TV

Sebastian dons a fan's flower crown

Sebastian dons a fan’s flower crown

Mark Sheppard and Mark Pellegrino having a little friendly competition about who could get the most “Awwws” out of the audience. There’s something very amusing about Crowley and Lucifer fighting for “Awwws”. Clearly they both have a tender side. Shhhhhh.

Mark and Mark

Mark and Mark

The sassy Mark Sheppard

The sassy Mark Sheppard

Misha and Matt Cohen hosting the Saturday night cabaret. Nobody was entirely sure what that was supposed to be.

Misha: So what are we doing here?

Fans: We have no idea.

Misha: Oh good.

It turned out to be a sort of fan talent show. Fans, not surprisingly, had a lot of talent. Here’s fangirl Karla singing her fan-penned ode to Supernatural. Misha and Matt approve.

Matt and Misha host the cabaret

Matt and Misha host the cabaret

Misha steals - err, borrows - a fan's phone

Misha steals – err, borrows – a fan’s phone

The con had its ups and downs – hence the emotional roller coaster description. One of the emotional ups for us was meeting so many fans who had read “Fangasm: Supernatural Fangirls” and came up to tell us how much the book meant to them, and how it had validated their own experience as SPN fans. Every time someone says that they’re no longer ashamed to be a fangirl, that makes our day – because that’s exactly why we wrote the book. Every time someone says they’re glad that we walked away from TPTB and told it like it is about fandom, that validates us right back. Thanks to everyone who came by to chat with us about the book – it was wonderful meeting all of you!

On the other hand, there were long lines and intermittent confusion about who was to be where and when. Ty Olsson’s panel crossed some boundaries and left us worried about fans and guests alike. And there was, I swear, a two mile walk between our hotel room and the convention ballrooms. Four days of strong emotion takes a toll, and by Sunday evening, we were ready to decompress – we ended the night with Richard Speight Jr. and some friends in the hotel bar, looking back over the last four days and sharing our favorite moments.

Emcee extraordinaire Richard Speight Jr

Emcee extraordinaire Richard Speight Jr

A year ago, we ended the last VegasCon the same way, with Richard in the bar, marveling over how awesome it was to have EWB as the house band and Richard as the con emcee. It was so epic, we wondered what the next year would bring.

Richard: How can they put the toothpaste back in the tube now?

Us: Is that even possible?

They couldn’t – and we’re so damn grateful. Looking forward to more con adventures with Richard, emcee extraordinaire, and the Elastic Waste Band! Just don’t forget the cowbell. Next time we’re getting Misha to sing too.

– Lynn
To read more of our fangirl adventures
with Jared, Jensen, Misha and more,
check out ‘Fangasm: Supernatural Fangirls’
at the link at the top of the page

For more gorgeous photos from Karen Cooke, who is one of the contributing photographers for ‘Fangasm’ and our other books, go here:
http://www.flickr.com/photos/karencookephotography

21 Comments leave one →
  1. Vanda permalink
    March 19, 2014 8:33 pm

    Nice round up of the weekend, I missed most of it as it was happening so it was nice to catch a bit of it here :))

    • spnfans permalink
      March 27, 2014 9:22 pm

      That totally happens at cons, doesn’t it? lol

  2. March 19, 2014 8:50 pm

    Loved meeting you guys. My first spn con but not my last. Not sure how they’ll match up against this one. I wasn’t sure what to expect, I’d seen the J2 panels on YouTube, but wow the guests really brought their A game. I was shocked at how funny and cool everyone was. Also excited to meet fellow fans, actually exchanged contact info with a few. Looking forward to DC. And just wanted to say again, your book makes me proud to hold my head up and say I’m a fan girl. Thanks for that.

    • spnfans permalink
      March 27, 2014 9:23 pm

      You’re so welcome – it makes our day every time someone tells us that, so thank YOU! A pleasure meeting you too, and come say hi at DC Con also🙂

  3. March 19, 2014 9:31 pm

    Hey!Believe it or not, I have just finished Fangasm today in the bus on my way home, and as I’m scrolling down the Facebook I see this article and I start to read and I am like: “hey, this style of writing looks familiar” lol. Anyway, I would like to thank you from the bottom of my heart for doing what you do, for writing THAT book and for not being scared of TPTB or anyone else and do it as you wanted to do. I really enjoyed going through the various chapters and adventures with you, it made me laugh, sometimes it made me almost cry (I would actually but I held myself up as I was on the bus – yeah I was reading it mostly in buses and trams lol). But still, it is really really great book and I feel blessed for having chance to read it! There were few times when even I (as much extraordinary I am and as much I just don’t care what other people think of me) was a bit ashamed of being such a die-hard fan. But your book opened my eyes and now I didn’t only embraced my fanism (? – not a native speaker so I don’t know if sometimes I just don’t come up with various words lol) and yeah, let’s face it, even my sexuality (I mean I’ve been reading AND writing fanfics for a while now, but your point of view made me realize it is not as “bad” sa someone may think of). Also I have realized I am quite a rebel as I have silmutaneously and on multiple occasions broken first two (and probably the most important, if not only two) rules of fandom. I have no boundaries in talking about fandom, even in public, and yeah, even about slash (in public – which sometimes leads to very interesting discussions – but still I do choose really closely to whom to tell the slash things). Yeah, the writer in me is aweking I guess. I’m just not able to write short comments, sorry! So, back to the point! I enjoyed your book very much and it helped me to look on our fandom in different ways, which is really cool, I really appreciate your troubles and time and energy you have given into it. And also I admire your strenght to keep going and hope relationships with your families and friends and good again. And if nothing else I at least have psychologically grounded evidences why these things means so much to me, which is extremelly abnosome because a) there is many people who don’t understand me and even judge me in this and many of them are even my friends and at least I can show them – “here, it is psychologically grounded that I need the feeling of belonging and that’s what fandom is about for me so shut your cacehole, assbutt” and b) I study psychology too so everything even remotely close to this and yet so interesting is like a hidden treasure for me.

    So once again THANK YOU and I’m already looking forward for your next book!😉

    • spnfans permalink
      March 27, 2014 9:25 pm

      Thank you so much, your comments totally made our day!!! We wrote ‘Fangasm’ to challenge that fan shame that so many of us feel, so every time someone says that it worked, it’s just wonderful to hear.

      Thanks again for taking the time to tell us, it’s much appreciated🙂 Hope you enjoy the next book too!

  4. March 19, 2014 10:01 pm

    You’ve given lots of us the courage to participate more fully in fandom, including making plans to go to one of these conventions while the show is still going strong!

    • spnfans permalink
      March 27, 2014 9:26 pm

      Yes!!! Totally go!!! That’s the most wonderful thing to hear, that writing about our experience has given some other fans the courage to go after their own fannish dreams. Thanks so much for telling us🙂

  5. gayle w permalink
    March 19, 2014 10:03 pm

    I’m so jealous. That must have been a blast to be there. If I’m ever in a bad mood, I watch videos of these cons on youtube. Great article. Thanks.

    • March 20, 2014 9:35 am

      Likewise! Wish I was there!

    • spnfans permalink
      March 27, 2014 9:27 pm

      I do the same thing for every con I’m not at. Totally therapeutic🙂

  6. March 19, 2014 11:37 pm

    Thanks for detailing such an amazing weekend! What I am curious to know is, why was Ty’s panel so disturbing? Do tell!!

    • spnfans permalink
      March 27, 2014 9:28 pm

      I don’t think anyone will ever really know what happened, other than the panel went downhill in an unfortunate way due to some sort of inebriation. Ty has posted about it too – whatever happened, it was hard to watch:/

  7. March 20, 2014 7:06 am

    I wish my con experiences were as impressive as yours. Don’t get me wrong, I love going to the Dallas con. It is always fun, and such a thrill to see Jensen and Jared. For the most part, everyone is nice enough; but there has never been anything like you describe. Everyone sticks with their people. I met 2 nice ladies. We are all going again this year. That’s it. No one else even tried to reach out to me. This year will be my 3rd year going. As was the case the last 2 years, I’m not expecting anyone to include me in anything. Last year I made plans with someone who’s blog I follow (I won’t give her name). She couldn’t wait to met me in person and hang out, etc. At the actual con, she blew me off-twice. She was very rude. No offense, but people are not as welcoming as you think. The good thing is, I don’t need them to enjoy myself. The con’s have still been the best times of my life

    • spnfans permalink
      March 27, 2014 9:32 pm

      I’m so sorry to hear that! I’m really glad you met two fellow fangirls and will be going with them this year again – I guess in any big group, there tend to be cliques and it’s hard to break out of them and find like-minded people, especially with how hectic the cons can be. I love that you’re able to have a great time no matter what, which I think is probably the best recipe for joy you can come up with. I swear I could just sit quietly and never speak and just watch the boys onstage and be beaming. lol

  8. Tabaqui permalink
    March 21, 2014 4:16 am

    Thank you so much for sharing all the fun! I don’t do cons – mostly a money thing – so it’s awesome to get a really comprehensive look at what happened when. Tweets just quite fill the void, heh.

    I love that Rachel Miner was there – I know she was ill while filming her last Show appearance – I hope she’s doing better now. Anyway – thanks again! Loved all the pictures and second-hand fun. : )

    • spnfans permalink
      March 27, 2014 9:33 pm

      Thanks so much, so glad you enjoyed! It was wonderful to see Rachel again – she’s a inspiration to anyone who has had a chronic illness or loves someone who does. Her spirit just shines through so brightly🙂

  9. Lily permalink
    March 27, 2014 6:13 am

    Ok, you guys are seriously awesome! I have a deal with my dad, that if i get 90% marks in my school finals, he will take me and my elder sister to the 2015 vancon/dallascon. I’m from india and there are a million fans over here too and all my friends think u guys are awesome! So if i go, can we hang out sometime? I know its really early to ask, but i am going to study my head off for this.. And it will be a very big cherry on the best cake ever if i met you guys too❤🙂 *fingers crossed*

    • Tabaqui permalink
      March 27, 2014 11:02 am

      How awesome for you! Best of luck! Do you have a LiveJournal account? Even if you don’t, you should check out these communities – it would be a good way for you to get in touch with fans who will be going to the con. Beware of spoilers! I don’t know where you are in the viewing cycle, but both of these communities have reviews, pictures, and etc. They also have Twitter and Tumblr accounts.

      http://all-spn.livejournal.com/
      http://positively-spn.livejournal.com/

      The Supernatural Super-wiki site is also a great font of news and past convention ‘stuff’, with links to pretty much everything.

      http://www.supernaturalwiki.com/index.php?title=Main_Page

    • spnfans permalink
      March 27, 2014 9:21 pm

      Of course! Would love to meet you, and will definitely be at those cons — and we’ll keep our fingers crossed too that you hit that 90% mark! You can do it!!!🙂

Trackbacks

  1. The Boys Are Back Part 2: Electric Boogaloo (My Days and Nights at Salute to Supernatural VegasCon 2014) | The Amateur Pop Culture Hour

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

Longreads

The best longform stories on the web

P.O.P.

Getting Along in a World Full of People.

Pondering Fandoms

From a fangirl perspective

Archaeology and Material Culture

The material world, broadly defined

The Fan Studies Network

Keeping fan studies scholars connected.

%d bloggers like this: