Chicon Friday People, Saturday Night Special, Misha and More!
One more post from Chicon before the new week begins, and with it a new episode and a new con. We really are a lucky fandom.
I really enjoyed Misha Collins’ panel (as I always seem to). This one was a mix of funny and emotional, with some awkward moments thrown in because it wouldn’t be a Misha panel without them.
There was Misha telling a rather hilarious story about taking his meet and greeters to a nearby woods and sitting on a log…which ended up with him smelling like poop and trying to clean off with a towel in a hapless Creation volunteer’s hotel room.
Rob had to smell him to make sure he no longer smelled like…well, poop. Apparently not.
There was the story about shooting last night until 3 am…
Misha: No, not porn, Supernatural!
Crowd: Like we said…
Apparently the guy behind him on the plane kept pushing his seat back upright every time poor exhausted Misha tried to recline his seat to get some sleep, claiming it was hitting him “in the tummy”. Clearly not a Supernatural fan.
There were a few awkward moments when fans got emotional trying to tell Misha how much he means to them. Sometimes when that happens, the crowd isn’t entirely on board with the time that takes up, but it seemed most fans were empathizing with their fellow fans. This time, as a fan sobbed while saying that Misha saved her life, the hall erupted in support – and encouragement for Misha to give her a hug.
Misha: The entire crowd just turned into an angry mob. ‘Hug her, you asshole!’
Misha had a serious and touching moment talking about his mom, who he said was an idol for him. She broke a lot of rules, but she kept her principles (which sounds a lot like Misha himself).
Misha: My mom wouldn’t take shitty jobs, so we lived in a tent for months and didn’t have a home.
But he admired her for sticking to her principles, and says he learned to keep his own.
My favorite part of the Misha panel was when a fan asked, ‘What does it mean to have such an awesome fan base?’
Misha: Isn’t that a self congratulatory question?
He went on to say that having a fandom like this one is “like winning the lottery. It’s very humbling to hear someone say they look up to you. It makes me want to be better. I see fans as potential collaborators. If we collectively set our sights on something we could move mountains. We could do amazing things.”
(I would argue that he HAS done amazing things, with Random Acts – and collaborating with fans. It’s what he wrote about in the chapter he authored for our book, Fan Phenomena: Supernatural. It’s an inspiring story, and one that’s going to continue.)
Misha also talked about the intense degree of support he sees in the fandom. That people are really taking care of each other. To people who are fighting to stay here (and stay alive), Misha said, ‘There’s a safety net of love and care available and they can reach out,’ echoing the sentiments of Jared and Jensen’s AlwaysKeepFighting campaign.
Near the end of his panel, someone let Misha know that Jensen had just tweeted that he was coming to the Saturday Night Special that evening.
Misha: Oh man! Holy smokes! I’m totally gonna throw my bra at the stage!
Everyone: Totally understandable.
We’ll get to the Saturday Night Special shortly, but first a few of my favorite photos from Friday and Saturday. Osric cosplaying….he wouldn’t say who. Dean Winchester perhaps? And looking great.
Ruth once again giving out hotel toiletries and slaying everyone with that gorgeous accent and incredible red hair (which was still ‘done’ from set the night before).
And attempting to teach the entire hall to kick-ball-change (with varying degrees of success) and then filming it.
Kim and Briana doing their second joint panel together and proving that they have the same kind of chemistry together that Jared and Jensen do. There was an emotional moment when Kim confided that Mark Sheppard was part of the reason she was still here on this earth. Briana reached out instantly with a hand on her shoulder and rubbing her back. SPNFamily, y’all.
Kim did a panel with Osric on Saturday too, which turned out to be all kinds of cute as Kim tried not to curse too much in front of Osric, and he was as impressed with her epic tattoos as we all are.
Tyler and Osric opening fortune cookies (Osric: I had to be here so it wouldn’t be racist…) and sharing a laugh and a bonding moment.
Travis wearing the Jared outfit that Osric wore in the Supernatural Parody so they could auction it for charity, and then looking totally cool once he took it off at karaoke.
And thanking fans for their kindness to other fans and bringing them up onstage to hug them. (And an epic Travis and Rob hug too…)
Mark Sheppard alternating between being his snarky King of Hell-ish self and being so obviously over the moon happy about the impending birth of his new baby girl. Oh, and he had an awesome outfit on.
And his panel-ending heartfelt words about what fandom means and why it’s the best thing ever, which I look forward to at every con.
Richard, Rob and Matt proving that “three is a magic number” indeed, and making us all laugh so hard it was literally painful. We’re so excited for the episode that Richard directed – look for an exclusive interview about it here! And now we know that Matt had already filmed a new episode of Supernatural (on which Rob also had a voiceover) – kudos for keeping it so quiet, boys!
More kudos for Richard being the person who holds the show together as master of ceremonies, and Rob and the band for letting there never be a dull moment. Cons have gotten so much better since these guys took on such important roles — and they were great to start!
Bob Singer getting all the hard Show-related questions (some of them ones that there’s no way a director or producer could possibly answer) and tackling them all with good humor even if his answer wasn’t always what the fandom was hoping to hear.
And unexpectedly proving he can play a mean harmonica!
“Who knew when we hired Rob that we’d get this?” he joked, hugging Rob.
Then it was Saturday night, and anticipation was high. I had drinks with the lovely Jeni from Random Acts (who looks like a devil here but is actually an angel), and had some fangirl fun with Laurena from Winchester Family Business and my partner in crime, Kathy, posing with the Jared and Jensen cutouts who were hanging out by the registration desk. (The Jensen one disappeared sometime on Saturday…whose bedroom is he decorating right now??)
The Saturday Night Special was definitely bra-throwingly awesome.
Misha came out to kick things off, and while he didn’t actually play the guitar he was carrying, he sure as hell looked hot standing there with it.
One of my favorite moments of every Saturday Night Special is when Rob sings “Mama’s Jam” and Matt Cohen leaps off the stage to become the band’s Number One cheerleader. No one could possibly stay in their seats with Matt encouraging us all to dance along, often from his vantage point standing on a chair and shaking his (very nice) booty.
Matt is also a rockstar in his own right now, belting out “Blister In the Sun” as we all sang along.
Kim, Briana and Ruth all proved their musical chops at Chicon; Kim sang with Rob on one of my favorite Louden Swain songs, “Eskimo” (and plays a mean tambourine).
Briana sounded and looked the part as she kicked ass singing “Stop Draggin’ My Heart Around”. I mean, seriously. Look at her! And find some youtube and go listen too.
Ruth joined Rob and the band for a flirty rendition of “Cool If I Come Over”, which was all kinds of adorable, and sounded great.
Hearing Osric and Rob sing about “family’s all that we got” in “When I See You Again” (with Richard Speight on bass) makes me teary eyed. It has so much meaning to this cast, and this fandom, I just….
Oh, and Osric can rap! And guess what? So can Tyler!
Rob introduced “Downtown Letdown” by saying “I know lots of us struggle with depression, myself included…but we’re still here, right?” Although his songs certainly deal with his own struggles, it was the first time Rob had come out and talked about depression openly, and it had a big impact on the audience. Every time one of the cast is open about their own struggles, it inspires someone else to keep fighting. Did I already say I was emotional?
Shortly before Rob and Louden Swain played “Worlds Collide,” two men asked if they could sit in the empty seats next to ours. They were quite lovely, and we said sure. They watched intently, often smiling and looking as emotional as I was feeling. Maybe more, believe it or not. Hmm, we thought, were these friends of Rob’s?
Rob introduced “Worlds Collide”, as he always does, as written about his very good friend Paul, who lives too far away and who he rarely gets to see. This time, he said, with obvious joy, he’s actually here.
Kathy and I looked at each other. Of course! No wonder the guy next to us looked so emotional!
Paul sat absolutely rapt during the song, his eyes brimming, a huge grin on his face. Every now and then, Rob would look over at him as he sang, and Paul would smile back. When the song ended, he ran to the stage and Rob leaned down to embrace him, both of them clinging hard to each other. It was yet another moment of genuine emotion that I think we all felt privileged to be part of.
Mark Sheppard killed it on drums as he always does, and all of our favorite photographers, Chris Schmelke, killed it on bass, and Creation’s Stephanie Dizon showed off her amazing voice. Richard Speight joined the band for a beautiful rendition of “Seven Bridges Road”, and then Jensen Ackles took the stage and the place went absolutely wild.
Jensen came out to introduce Bob Singer, who can play a mean harmonica and seemed to have an absolute blast rocking out with Louden Swain and so many of his SPNFamily cast.
It’s always heartwarming to see how much this cast cares about each other, and how much they support and appreciate each other’s talent. I was lucky enough to be on set one day when Bob Singer was directing (the Slumber Party episode), and it was fascinating watching him interact with both the actors and the crew. It’s clear how much they respect him, but he was also very much one of them, joking and teasing and doing the things that we all know makes this cast unique. Robbie Thompson, who wrote that episode, was on set too that day, and it was way too much fun watching Bob rib him with affection, and seeing the mutual respect the two men had for each other.
A little later, it was Jensen’s turn to sing. You’ve seen the video, but let me just say that there is something magical about Ackles doing his rockstar thing.
He so obviously loves it, and his enthusiasm is contagious; every time he makes eye contact with the audience, the energy level goes even higher.
In fact, he got so into it that in the middle of an amazing rendition of ‘Simple Man,’ he said eff you to needing to stay separate from fandom and ran through the auditorium on his own, high fiving fans and generally making everyone completely lose their collective shit!
Rich and Rob played backup for rockstar Jensen, which just added to the emotional power of the song. Is there any other cast like this? I think not.
After that we had Carry On, and Rob singing the song that always makes me literally sob, “She Waits,” all of us singing along and waving our lit phones like the lighters of the rock concerts of my childhood.
And then we had “A Little Help From My Friends,” with everyone belting it out together and in support of Rob, and by that point, I had pretty much used up every tissue I was smart enough to bring.
What an amazing weekend. What an amazing cast. I’ve said this countless times, but I feel privileged to be a part of this lightning in a bottle that is this Show and this fandom.
Check back soon for our special Halloween chat with Supernatural’s Chad Lindberg and much more!
Photos by me
Edits by the wonderful @arkine13
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