Roadtrip! SPNFamily goes to NJCon
What a treat it was to DRIVE to a convention instead of fly! One of my university colleagues who also watches the Show came with me to Secaucus NJ (which the guests mostly called See-Cock-Us…) to help out in the vendor’s room to sell our Supernatural books. It’s no secret that I’m not a fan of the convention center cons, but the vendor’s “room” was just a portion of the giant floor, so I got to meet lots of people who had read the books and stopped by to say they really related to them as a fan of the Show (or stopped by to say “What? Books on Supernatural fandom? Misha wrote a chapter?”)
It was wonderful to meet so many of you and to hear what you liked about ‘Fangasm’ and ‘Fan Phenomena Supernatural’!
That said, the convention center chairs were uncomfortable, the sound wasn’t good, and there was only ONE bathroom. My hotel was right next door (and lovely), but constantly running back and forth in various states of desperation wasn’t my first choice of how to spend my day. My colleague actually left after Friday to indulge in her comfy seats and good sound system at home. Next year NJCon returns to the comparatively luxurious comfort of a hotel and plenty of bathrooms, so yay! Maybe I can convince her to give it another try.
But the sense of SPN Family was strong at NJCon (which sounds very Star Wars, but really, it was) and that’s what I enjoy most about cons. I know there’s always wank and infighting and disagreements about where the Show should and shouldn’t go and who the characters should and shouldn’t be, but that doesn’t erase all the warmth and support and enjoyment we get from Supernatural and give to each other. All of us. The cast, the crew, the fans, everyone. So, in the spirit of remembering the good stuff, here are some of my favorite moments and some of my favorite pictures.
The airplane story. Always a favorite! Richard was busy directing Supernatural, so Rob and Matt took on hosting duties, and did a fabulous job. Someone said that Rob laughed that they’ve told this story so many times that he’s not entirely sure how it actually happened, but suffice it to say that whatever went down, it was hysterical. It goes something like this: Nervous flyer Richard is sitting in the back of the plane. Nervous flyer Matt is sitting with Rob, so that Rob’s lack of fear of flying can keep him calm.
Misha is in the bathroom. Suddenly, there’s the worst turbulence any of them have ever seen – the kind where the bottom drops out and everything goes flying. Carts rolling down the aisle, cups of coffee suddenly airborne. Poor Matt freaks out, then looks over to Rob, thinking oh, he’ll be all calm, he’ll make me feel better. Except not so much – Rob is pretty much screaming. AAAAAHHHH! It’s a duet.
When things calm down, Matt and Rob (good friends that they are) are immediately concerned about Richard. Has he had a heart attack from the abject panic? They go to check. Richard at that moment WAKES UP and asks some ridiculous question about the menu. He slept through the whole thing! Matt was furious, but really I feel the worst for Misha, who was in the middle of peeing at the time. That whole sudden drop thing? What was going down suddenly went up, resulting in Misha covered in his own pee. O—o.
Then there were the shenanigans between Osric, Gil and Ruth, which were deliciously naughty. Osric and Gil tied up for Ruth’s enjoyment (fanfic, anyone?).
Gil giving Ruth a massage.
Gil quipping that this wasn’t quite the threesome he’d dreamt of, and Matt jumping into the middle eagerly, saying it totally worked for him since he’d always had a thing for Osric.
Oh, and Osric dressed as Sam complete with stilts so that he was taller than just about everyone. And getting a huge kick out of it too!
That was also a nice shout out to the Hillywood Show, since Osric was Jared in their Supernatural Parody. Shake It Off is now a staple at karaoke, and more than one fan was showing their Hillywood love.
When are we going to get those girls to a con?? I’d love to hear more of their behind the scenes stories of filming the Supernatural Parody, and it would be awesome to screen it at the con so we could all sing and dance along.
There were many lovely fan moments, when that ‘reciprocal relationship’ that we like to write about so much could be seen. Those are always some of my favorite parts of a con.
Misha surprising a fan with the author of her favorite book (and also Misha’s pal), Matthew Thomas who wrote “We Are Not Ourselves”.
Travis hugging the fan who his organization T.r.u.4.t.h. was able to bring to the con with the support of many fans.
Rob and Travis hugging the fan who made one of the winning videos.
Ruth Connell getting a lesson in Tumblr from a fan (who also happens to work for Tumblr, so… expert!)
And learning about Ten Inch Hero from a fan dressed as Priestly.
The way the cast loves each other is basically my favorite thing about any convention.
Matt and Rob taking videos of everyone singing Happy Birthday to send to Richard, who couldn’t be there (All three of R2M have September birthdays!) Rob and Matt kicked ass as hosts, though we all missed Richard – Matt and Rob included.
The way Matt Cohen is such a fanboy for Louden Swain. I love watching him watching them – rocking out to Mama’s Jam, running through the crowd exhorting us to scream louder. He’s their biggest fan, and it warms my heart.
Rob’s little crush on Ruth.
Hugs. Lots and lots of hugs.
Mark almost always kisses Rob as they’re all leaving the stage after singing ‘A Little Help From My Friends.’ It’s like a “we’re so glad you’re here” kiss after Rob’s stroke a few years ago, and it always makes me a little misty eyed.
Misha kissed Rob a bit more passionately, which worked perfectly from my angle (though from others the bit of space left between them sort of messed with the intention). Either way, it was kinda hot.
Misha stripping off Osric’s (many many) shirts for Random Acts at the RA celebration on Friday night. Misha was looser than I’ve ever seen him on Friday night, dancing and generally having a blast – and it was so much fun to watch.
Mark speaking passionately about his love of fandom, and Tahmoh’s, Tyler’s and Erica’s smiles.
I loved Misha’s panel on Saturday too, which I thought struck just the right note of naughty and nice (much like Misha himself). I told him that later that day, and he surprised me by wanting to know why I thought it was a good one. I’m not sure he necessarily realized that it went as well as I think it did!
Also, my camera is in love with Misha’s blue eyes. They’re such a unique shade of blue, with some grey mixed in.
I also confess to admiring Misha’s taste in pants. The very first time we interviewed Misha, right after he joined the Show, he jumped out of a set van that was in front of ours and the first thing I noticed was his pants. No, this isn’t naughty, honest! He had on very faded denim jeans with so much flare that they could be called vintage 70’s bell bottoms instead of bootcut. In fact, he looked like he’d walked right out of the 70s, and what can I say, I have a thing. (Okay, I have a few things, whatever.)
My camera seems to have a thing for Jensen and Jared’s eyes too, which also are multi-hued (and gorgeous). Did the casting director for SPN just have a thing for men with pretty eyes??
Maybe I should just have done a “pretty eyes” post…
On Sunday, fandom once again surprised Jared and Jensen with something to show our appreciation for the AKF campaign — thousands of glow sticks and a rousing chant of ‘Always Keep Fighting’ greeted J2 when they came onstage. (Well, actually they came onstage before they were supposed to, intending to surprise Rob, and were thoroughly confused when we sent them offstage again! But it was worth it).
Once they realized what was happening, the boys raised their own glow sticks — and Jensen snapped a picture for them.
Some other favorite J2 moments?
The boys getting emotional about the “Brother” fanvid that was shown at the con, talking about how watching those emotional scenes between Sam and Dean brings back all those feelings. They both knelt down to tell the fan how much the vid meant to them, along with a smiling Rob.
Jared suggested that we should all watch an episode of Supernatural together at a con one of these days. Back in the day, when SPN was on Thursdays or Fridays, there would often be episode watching parties at the cons. I remember more than one time that our hotel room would be jampacked with fangirls – and once when Kathy and I watched with Variety’s Mo Ryan and WFB’s Alice Jester. Good times. And good idea, Jared!
Another emotional moment was when Jared answered the question of what Sam would be doing if Jessica didn’t die (and Sam went to law school). He said that Sam would be trying to expunge Dean’s records for credit card fraud and get him out of other legal problems. “Sam would still be saving Dean, just in different ways.”
Cue me grabbing for tissues.
And Jared and Jensen saying that the other night after work, they were talking about how they’ll never have anything like this again. I think many of us feel that way too; knowing that they realize it, as much as we do, made me warm all over. People have long called Supernatural and the SPN Fandom “lightning in a bottle”, and I can’t think of a better description. This is special. Not perfect, I know. But special.
Jared: You can’t recreate this. We have family from the show. And all of you guys.
He gestured to the packed auditorium. Jensen nodded, and said that the fans inspire them. When we first set out to write about this little-known show called Supernatural so many years ago, one of the first things we asked Jared and Jensen was how they felt about fans. Going back and reading what they said to us in ‘Fangasm Supernatural Fangirls’, I’m struck by how open they were to developing a more reciprocal relationship with fandom even then. No wonder this crazy thing has developed the way it has!
Jared says that Supernatural is about reaching out and helping others, and he and Jensen love to see fandom doing the same.
And speaking of that, fans presented a check to Jared and Jensen for Attitudes In Reverse. Mark Sheppard, Jared, Jensen and several other cast members talked again and again about how one of the best things to come out of Supernatural for them was watching the fandom be a force for good. This was one of those times.
There were plenty of funny moments, as always.
Jensen telling the story of a crew member (and friend) crashing the Impala and horribly dislocating his shoulder.
He told the first part of the story, then lobbed it to Jared for the punch line:
When the paramedics got there, Jared joked “Oh his face is fine, it always looks like that!”
Jensen also told the story of a guest actor who was playing a demon that the Winchesters had tied to a chair to interrogate. Suddenly the guy started to lean forward in his chair, then his head kept going lower and lower – yep, he had passed out! Jensen’s quick reflexes kept the poor guy from hitting the floor.
Like I said, maybe he really IS Batman.
Then there was that moment that someone asked about football positions and Jared said that Sam would definitely be a tight end.
Jensen: Nope, not gonna laugh…
While there were of course J2 hugs, there was also this adorable hug me-don’t hug me-hug me exchange, where Jared would lean over for a hug and Jensen would pull away, only to lean back in as soon as Jared turned away.
Entire auditorium: Hug him!!!
Another fan moment was the last question, which is when J2 traditionally bring the fan up onstage. This time, the fans were quite prepared – hence this selfie of a lifetime.
Jensen sang a bit of ‘Your Love’ at the end, and chased after Jared to make sure he was included by playing his customized cowbell. There are so many moments when one of them watches out for the other; sometimes it’s hard to believe I’m not watching Sam and Dean onstage.
Jared signed the banner. Apologies for the shallow photo.
Mark and Rob signed off with a heartfelt thanks to the fans, which made me get a bit teary eyed AGAIN. I’m going to start bringing lots more tissues to cons.
So who’s ready for the season premiere this week??? ME!!!
Photos by me
Edits by the ever awesome @arkine13
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