Toronto Con 2015 With the Supernatural Family
The Toronto Creation con is always a little bit more emotional than most, because everyone remembers that’s where Rob Benedict had the stroke that almost killed him. That was two years ago, and Rob is fine – as Richard says, better than ever and healthy as a horse! – but he almost wasn’t. The fact that it was his Supernatural family who saved his life is emblematic of the feeling many fans have that the show has saved their lives too – maybe not quite as literally (though maybe every bit as literally), but nevertheless Supernatural has changed many of us. Toronto con is about celebrating Rob’s life, and about celebrating the fact that we’re all SPN Family. Maybe that’s why all the guests were bursting with enthusiasm at this year’s Torcon, and why the Saturday Night Special erupted in an emotional rushing of the stage by the last few numbers.
Rob and Matt did an incredible job hosting in NJ (and in Rob’s case, running back and forth to both host and perform with Louden Swain!), but it was wonderful to have Richard back. He adds so much energy (and hilarity) to the convention, and his chemistry with Rob and Matt is a joy to see. Three really is the magic number. (Though I did get a big kick out of watching Rob and Matt both diss and miss Richard at NJCon…)
I spent some time chatting with Richard about his directing stint on Supernatural last week (look for that interview when the episode airs!) and tried to explain what it is he brings to the conventions. I think I came up with manic energy, but not in a clinical sense. The good kind of manic! Later I was talking to Jensen and Jared about the last few cons and about Richard’s contribution and Jensen laughed and said, like a certain ‘je ne sais quoi?’ I was momentarily stunned because Jensen was speaking French to me, but yes, I think that’s as good an explanation as any. Welcome back, Richard – and OMG I cannot wait for that episode!
Richard was in a great mood, rocking out to the band and generally having a blast.
Toronto con is all about Rob, though – every one of the other actors, especially the ones who’ve been friends with him and on the con circuit for a long time – let him know how glad they were that he’s here and alive and well and better than ever. One of my favorite moments of almost every con is how much they all show that love during the Saturday Night Special.
Mark plays the drums and has the absolute time of his life – now there are two drum sets next to each other onstage so they can both play, and I love watching Mark get so into it. He also makes sure to let everyone know that if they’re not planning on coming to the SNS, what the hell is wrong with them? (Usually in his King of Hell voice, which is pretty intimidating). But he’s totally right.
I also love watching the evolution of Matt Cohen at the Saturday Night Special. He’s gone from unsure if he wanted to get up and perform to knocking it out like a total rockstar.
He also is a huge Louden Swain fan (as am I). During Mama’s Jam, you can usually see Matt dancing onstage or running through the hall exhorting the crowd to get to their feet and dance with him. Sometimes that means he’s dancing on chairs or leaping from the stage, and his sheer fanboy joy watching his friends perform is … I’m gonna overuse the word heartwarming, I know, but it just is.
The moments when everyone is singing “With A Little Help From My Friends” are always emotional. Alaina, Richard and Kathryn put their hearts into it.
Misha Collins had a great panel again at Torcon. I especially enjoyed Misha being adorably flustered every time a fan stepped up to the mic to tell him how much he meant to her. He literally blushed and had to hide his face once or twice, he was so overcome and so unsure how to handle it.
He also made the rounds of the hall and stopped to hug a young fanboy who he said he’d watched grow up with SPN, taking photo ops since he was a small child. Misha seemed genuinely thrilled and astounded – just as he was by everyone who told him what an impact he’d had on their lives.
I also loved the moment he took a fan’s phone and it took most of the onstage cast to figure out how to unlock it. Then they took some Awkward Family Photos. How can you not love these people?
Another highlight was Richard doing a hysterical bit about how the fans at the back of the auditorium would take a few minutes to be overcome by Jared and Jensen’s “masculine musk”, miming the gasping and groaning and theatrically falling to the floor that would inevitably eventually ensue.
Even funnier? Jensen and Jared’s reaction to this, with Jensen first facepalming, then rapping to a #BlameTheMusk impromptu theme song and Richard faceplanting at their feet. You cannot make this stuff up.
Then there was Jared being pushed out into the hall in a big rolling receptacle of some sort, and looking ridiculously adorable the entire time. I sat there gaping and tweeting “What even” but honestly? It was ridiculously cute. He crashed the always-composed-and-in-control Mark Sheppard’s panel to bust him for taking a long time to do a scene on Friday night, and it was priceless seeing Mark actually become flustered, muttering “I’m scared now…”
I also got a kick out of Alaina Huffman filling in for Ruth and flustering all the guys in her leather pants and Friday People tee shirt. She tried to fill Ruth’s shoes by giving out hotel toiletries, but confessed she had no idea how Ruth managed to get so many. “Does she steal them?” Alaina brought lollipops instead.
Also Alaina telling it like it is about women in film and television, and asking the important and relevant question: Why can’t all those secondary characters be women??? Her feminism is a good fit for much of the audience, who applauded wildly.
Erica Carroll totally won me over by also telling it like it is, being frank and honest about her interpretation of Hannah and her relationship with Castiel. She played against the idea that they had a romantic relationship, seeing Hannah as an angel, not a sexual being, while also aware of the impact of being in a human vessel. It was a breath of fresh air to hear her thoughtful insights and to realize how much backstory she had constructed for the character – and it showed.
Hannah it seems was killed off for good in last week’s episode, which is unfortunate. Both Erica and Lee Majdoub did a fabulous job bringing the character to life. Then again, this is Supernatural, so who knows?
There was also Gil McKinney singing up a storm, including an emotional collaboration with Osric and Rob. As they sang about “when family’s all that we got” it felt so right.
Also, Gil should wear cowboy hats more often. Just sayin’. (This one had an actual Impala on top, with working headlights and taillights. Fannish creativity for the win!)
I also loved Gil and Osric and Alaina teaming up for a trio panel that was just racy enough to be a helluva lot of fun.
I am always beyond excited to see Osric cosplay – but this time, his cosplay was in keeping with the theme of the weekend: thankful for Rob. He came onstage dressed as Rob’s character from ‘The Sidekick’ which was obviously a total surprise to Rob. Rob’s absolute glee was wonderful to see.
This cast, I swear. They are so good to each other, so full of love and appreciation and support for each other. And as they are fond of saying, it’s mirrored in the fandom the vast majority of the time.
Rob even wanted a photo op with Osric. Which Richard and the band delighted in teasing him with before they finally took the actual picture.
Mark Sheppard is still smiling way more than he used to, anticipating the birth of his new baby and mentioning his fiancé every time he runs across a fan who’s taller than him, which is all kinds of adorable. I always love his heartfelt words about fandom and his reminder that the geeks have inherited the earth. This time my favorite Sheppardism was “it’s the shows made with love and care that we love and care about.” He was talking about Supernatural, and it’s so damn true.
Tahmoh Penikett is also very thoughtful about his character, and I love hearing his insights on Gadreel. But my favorite Tahmoh story from this con was about Joss Whedon, who he so clearly feels a great deal of affection for. Apparently Joss and Tahmoh both love to dance – knowing they used to “bro out” and go out dancing together just warmed my heart.
Kathryn L. Newton was adorable; I love her enthusiasm for her character, and the way she fangirls over Jared, Jensen and Misha, trying to figure out how to get them to take a picture with her when she was on set. I think we call could relate.
And she had to take a selfie.
And of course there were some Jared and Jensen favorite moments. The last question, and those goddamned bowlegs.
A hug for their most recent director, Richard Speight Jr.
Jared and Jensen taking an epic con selfie.
Jensen acting out the part of lovestruck Jared mooning over Gen. Or wearing an exploding salt vest. Or that time he was drinking with Mark Meloche and tripped over nothing and split his chin open. Ouch.
Jensen breaking the tambourine and then pretending to fix it with Rob. Not so much.
Jared enjoying his custom cowbell.
And all of us enjoying Jared enjoying his custom cowbell. This photo pretty much says it all.
Pardon me for the few moments of objectification.
Jared came out to say goodbye before he left, once again thanking his SPNFamily and expressing his love and gratitude. Misha also took the time to say goodbye before he too headed out.
Thanks for another great con, everyone.
Are we all ready for a new Supernatural on Wednesday night???
Photos by me
Edits by the lovely @arkine13
For more from the Supernatural cast, check out
‘Fangasm Supernatural Fangirls’ and ‘Fan
Phenomena Supernatural’ at the links at the top!