JiBCon 2016 – Part 2!
Have you had too many photos of Jared and Jensen at JiB yet?
I didn’t think so.
All the guests looked incredible – vacation does that to you, doesn’t it? I forgot to post the few photos I finally remembered to take during the cocktail party. I was so enjoying just chatting that I forgot I had my phone with me until our time was almost up. I appreciated Misha taking the time to pose for me anyway though.
All the panels at JiB were pretty awesome. In keeping with the “it’s okay to just talk about whatever” norm at Jibcon, Richard and his good friend Tim Omundson did a panel, which Richard started out by asking for their ship name, “Is it Gain or Cabriel?”
Tim talked about how proud he is of Richard for all he’s accomplished, especially as a director, and how hard he worked to get to that point. Awwww.
Mark Sheppard was a bit less snarky than he usually is at the US cons, but no less sincere. Look at this epic Rob hug. Awwww.
Rob said that Eric Kripke intended for Chuck to be God at the end of Season 5, though he told Rob that it would be hard to bring him back, since he was, you know, God. Rob was supposed to look more like God and less like Chuck at the end of S5, and remembered thinking “I hope this was what they had in mind.” (It was).
Going back to work on Supernatural, Rob said, was like going to work with friends. 80% of the crew is the same as in Season 1 and they’re all good friends with the actors. It’s not like being the new kid at school like it usually is, it’s like going to work with the friends and the crew he loves.
Richard talked about directing ‘Just My Imagination’, which he talked about at length in an interview here on Fangasm when the episode aired. He said it was extremely daunting, that even though Jensen and Misha warned him about how much work it is, he still underestimated. He also said that Jared and Jensen know their characters so well, you don’t direct them so much as they come in prepared and professional. And they expect you not to suck too.
Oh, and randomly, the best thing he cooks is a bologna and cream cheese roll up. Yum.
It was Tahmoh’s birthday, so the guys brought him out a cake and sang Happy Birthday. I never get tired of seeing how much they care about each other and enjoy each other’s company. It really is, as many of them have said, like being on the road with a traveling carnival.
Tahmoh and Gil did a panel together, which ended up being the two of them getting to know each other and discovering all these things they had in common – from a small town, the awkwardness of not being ‘cool’ when they were younger. It was sweet, watching them bond.
Later Tahmoh, Travis and Gil all did a panel, which turned into a boxing fest when their end of panel burlap bag had boxing gloves in it. Tahmoh actually is a trained fighter, I think, so he had fun with that. Then they invited someone from the audience to come up and give it a try, and a kickass female fan stepped up and ‘knocked out’ Tahmoh to the cheers of the crowd.
The guests enjoy this con because they’re all on vacation, which means they had some great tourist stories. Tahmoh’s jewelry story was the funniest. As a group of them walked around Rome, a guy approached Tahmoh and tried to give him a necklace, as happens all over the place to everyone who looks like a tourist. He politely said no, but the guy wouldn’t take no for an answer.
Guy: For you, my friend, no charge.
Tahmoh: No, thank you, that’s okay.
Guy: No no, I had a good day with my wife, I want you to have it, my friend.
[Tahmoh finally relents.]
Guy: But…. not such a good day with my kids, they are hungry, my friend, if you can give something for my kids…
Tahmoh: No here, take it back, my friend.
Guy: No, no, my friend, just something for my kids…
Of course that means eventually Tahmoh hands over some money, and instead of getting back the appropriate change, the guy gives him yet another necklace that he doesn’t want.
And that’s how Jason Manns got a new necklace too.
Tahmoh also had very nice things to say about working with Jared and Jensen, although he did say that they’re notorious ball busters.
Tahmoh: You expect leads who after ten years are phoning it in, but not Jared and Jensen. They give you 110% all the time, ten years in.
Misha said that after bringing West with him to SeaCon, he was confused by all the women coming up to his dad and professing their passionate love.
West: Why is my dad having a relationship with all these other women?
Ah, the intracacies of fame. He also said that his kids have taken to wearing SPN tee shirts with his face on them, because they miss their actual dad. Ouch.
Cas needs a vacation, Misha said, then added “and a massage from Sam and Dean.” He then had second thoughts about that.
Misha: Then everybody will be like, you’re queerbaiting the fans and we’d be like Nonono it was just a simple massage, for his emotional health, I can’t believe you’d read that into it. Oh I’m gonna get shit for this, aren’t I?
I don’t know, did he? I’ve always loved Misha for just talking about whatever – he is NOT hung up.
Let’s see, what else? Oh, there was Jensen taking off his jacket….
My favorite moments of the con were three very different things. First, the retelling of the Infamous Train Story, which I’ve heard about a dozen times told by various people who were there and who were not there. But this time, we had the additional pov of a major player in the Train Story – Gen Padalecki, whose luggage left behind on the platform started the whole thing. And OMG, did Gen ever add to the story!
First, nobody had ever mentioned that Gen was stoned at the time, which just made the whole thing funnier. She helpfully acted that part out, miming her sitting in her seat on the train and kind of floating along, arms waving, clearly chilled out and happy.
Jared and Richard each told their ‘side’ of the story too, at times agreeing (like when they each took a side of the train and ran to find a conductor, and both ran back to meet in the middle and share the news that there WAS no conductor at that end).
Jared and Richard: OMG THERE’S NOBODY DRIVING THE TRAIN!
Rob added to the fun as unofficial narrator, and together the four of them made us all laugh so hard it was literally painful. Sometimes I watch this cast interact and just marvel that we got so damn lucky. They are all amazing – and hysterical!
The other favorite moment that I’m sure I share with everyone is the epic J2 hug that came at the end of the con. Jared, of course, had missed Jibcon last year – he writes extensively about that experience in his chapter in our new book – and it was very difficult for both him and for fans who had missed seeing him. So at the ending ceremony he talked about that hard time, and how grateful he was for the support he had gotten that allowed him to be there this year – Jensen was beside him, and Jared wrapped his arm around Jensen’s waist as he did so, then rested his hand on Jensen’s shoulder as he often does, drawing support from his friend. Jensen had changed into an Always Keep Fighting/SPN Family tee shirt at some point, and he opened his shirt and gestured to it, saying everything he needed to with the words on his chest.
Then he turned to Jared, shirt still held open so Jared could read the words there. Jared placed his hand on Jensen’s chest in acknowledgement, and I started to get choked up. It was a moment so full of meaning, so much said between these two men without any words at all, that it made my heart catch and my throat start to ache as I fought back tears.
Jared was still looking out at the fans, including us in the emotional moment, when Jensen reached up and grabbed his face to pull him into a hug, going up on his toes to be able to wrap Jared up like he wanted to. It was one of those hugs that seems to happen in slow motion, there was so much emotion behind it – you could see that by their body language, Jensen’s hand wrapped around the back of Jared’s head, Jared’s flat to Jensen’s back, pulling him in, and then mirroring the hand pat to the back of the head. Sam and Dean hug the same way, with many of the same gestures and all the same emotion, and it struck me so hard then. They are Sam and Dean, in this same way – they are brothers. They love each other and need each other, spend the vast majority of their time with each other, are always there to support each other.
My heart felt like it was going to burst right then, let me tell you. It’s a good thing I was trying to take pictures, or I might have just imploded with feeling or something. (Also luckily I wasn’t the only one taking pictures, since there are some amazing ones out there).
Gen smiling behind the boys, and later Jensen pulling her into a spontaneous hug too, only made the moment more perfect. I hope you could feel all that support Jared, because it was coming from all of us too.
My last favorite moment of the con will likely not be anyone else’s. At one point in his solo panel, Jensen was talking about Dean. (It’s no secret that Dean is my favorite fictional character of all time. Which is still an understatement). How he grew up too fast and was alone too much, and as a result he has closed himself off to some extent – in other words, he’s developed a lot of defense mechanisms.
What would it take for Dean to give them up, a fan asked.
Jensen: It would take years of therapy, and Dean has broken down some of those walls but a lot of them are how he survives, they’re defense mechanisms. Tearing them down might leave him so vulnerable he couldn’t live the life that he lives. Obviously, I’m no psychologist, so I don’t know how deep that goes – help me out, Lynn –
I had a moment of “Huh?” and then “Shit, Jensen is talking to me!” before I could compose myself and answer.
Me: Uhhhh, pretty deep…
Jensen: (grinning because I’m probably turning red) Pretty deep, right? I mean, Dean’s pretty messed up.
Me: He is.
Jensen: But he needs to be, I think it’s a tool.
Me: It’s just like you said, it’s a defense mechanism.
Jensen: Right. And he uses that not just to defend against emoting, but he uses it to give him strength and courage to do the things that he does. Some of them are good and some are not, but it’s what makes Dean Dean. He’s a complex character … and that’s part of his complexity, just like we are all complex. There’s certain issues we all have emotionally, maybe physically, and that’s all part of what makes us, us. Sometimes you need to face those issues, deal with them head on and ask for help or sometimes you just have to learn to live with them and deal with them the best you can. I think Dean is trying to do the best he can but some of those walls he needs, he relies on them as crutches.
At that, he turned away from the fan he was answering and turned to look at me with a very pleased grin on his very handsome face.
Jensen: How’d you like that, Lynn?
Me: (probably still bright red): Good job.
Unsurprisingly, psychologist or not, Jensen Ackles understands Dean Winchester better than anyone.
Later when we had a few minutes to chat, he laughingly asked if I got a kick out of him calling me out. I said I was a bit caught off guard and he replied that it would have been really funny if I wasn’t paying attention at that moment.
Oh sure, really funny. NOT.
The ending ceremony wasn’t the end of the con – we got a Rob concert that night, just like we had a Jason one the night before. I have to give Jib major props for lighting, because they really make the concerts look like rock shows and it adds to the excitement. They also pull out the lighting effects for dramatic moments onstage – it’s like live theater sometimes and it’s really fun.
The next day we took it easy and then hopped on a bus (thoughtfully arranged by a fan – thank you!) to head out to a bar to see Jason and Rob perform. Jailbreak was jam packed and about a thousand degrees, but who the hell cared? The concert was AMAZING – Rob and Jason sounded awesome and performed some of my favorites, Tim helped out on harmonica and with vocals and Richard did too with guitar.
And oh yeah, Jensen stopped by too – and ended up staying for almost half the show!
You all know that I’m blown away by Jensen singing, and Jailbreak was a perfect venue. It reminded me of the old old days of SPN fandom, when Jensen would sometimes take the stage at a Steve or Jason show at Hotel Café or L’Scorpion and we would all be swept up in the euphoria of it all. There was a time during this show that Jensen was singing and I was watching Rob, and the way Rob was watching Jensen – his face suffused with so much pride and admiration, as if to say, this is my good friend who I love, and DAMN the boy can sing!
Can he ever! And he can wear that outfit every single time he does, as far as I’m concerned.
Jared and Gen were there to watch and support, and while I wish that Jared would take the stage too one of these times, I was just happy to know they were there.
The harmonies were gorgeous, and it seemed like everyone onstage had as fabulous a time as those of us happily packed into the audience.
Jensen got a phone call from Danneel in the middle of the show and excitedly held up the phone so we could all facetime with her. The adorable quotient went right off the charts when she panned to the back of the car and instead of JJ, it was Tom in the back seat! Jensen called over to Gen and Jared that the kids were fine, and absolutely everyone in the audience melted.
Exhausted, I flew home the next day, and actually managed to fall asleep on the plane (which made the 12 hour flight with one layover more bearable), so utterly happy that I couldn’t even work myself up into any sort of bad mood despite the long flight.
Damn, I love this Show and this cast.
My utmost gratitude to @mamaprior and @arkine13 for the edits and watermarking. Thank you, ladies!
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