Happy Birthday, Misha!
Today is a special day – the birthday of a special person. So I wanted to share some of the stories we’ve heard about how Misha Collins has inspired Supernatural fans and changed lives. That’s the theme of our new book, Family Don’t End With Blood (which has other amazing stories of how all the Supernatural cast have changed lives), so it seemed fitting to share a few fan stories in honor of his birthday.
I still remember the first time we met Misha, way back in Season 4. We had been on the Supernatural set (a visit chronicled rather hilariously in Fangasm Supernatural Fangirls) and were scheduled to interview “the new guy” that evening at the hotel. Our set van pulled up behind another Supernatural set van as we arrived at the hotel, and out jumped Misha. Except he looked nothing like Castiel!
Instead of a trenchcoat and a stern face, this guy had on a tee shirt and faded jeans that looked like they were vintage 1970s flared jeans. And damn, did they fit him well! And he was smiling! I turned to Kathy and said ‘nobody told me he was so hot!’
Shhh. I don’t think I’ve ever told Misha that story.
He turned out to not only be hot, but smart and thoughtful and hilarious. We interviewed him in the hotel bar (mistake, btw – try to decipher your audio recording with the background noise of 50 people partying on a Friday night!) and he turned the tables on us within about ten seconds to ask us questions instead of answering them. He brought up the chemistry between Cas and Dean before we could even ask about it, and was as eager to talk about fandom as we were. And totally 100% unafraid to be real. I adored him from that very first meeting.
You can read more about that night with Misha in Fangasm – and you can also read the chapter Misha wrote for our next book, Fan Phenomena Supernatural, in which he tells the story of becoming part of this crazy wonderful SPN Family in his own words (with all that same genuineness – and hilarity).
But we’re not the only ones who want to sing his praises. Here are just a few excerpts from what fans told us when we asked recently ‘how has Misha changed you?’
(I can relate to the Gishwhes stories, btw – this year was my second time, and my team and I have now done some ridiculous things in the name of charity, which I 100% do not regret!)
Misha is a huge inspiration in my life. He is such a kind, selfless, intelligent person who is always lending a helping hand. He cares deeply for his family, friends, and fans. Misha motivates his fans to spread kindness as well as chase their dreams.
…I didn’t want to eat, to go outside. I didn’t want to live. But one day I found Supernatural and Misha. I know he doesn’t know it, but with only his tweets he made me smile. His positive mood helped me move on. Without realizing it, I started to smile, to laugh again. I won my fight with depression thanks to him. And after being bullied my whole school life because I am different – even weird to some people – he helped me with that too. Now I’m happy for being weird, I think it’s a good thing. Some people say he would be proud of me. I don’t know if he would, but I’m doing my best to help other people, to become a better person. He changed my life.
I’m trying to think of examples of how Misha changed my life and helped me keep fighting, but that’s not easy when something works on so many levels and nearly all the time. It’s like he was “appearing” in my mind every time he is needed… I’ve lost count of how many times I was having a very bad day or worse, I was depressed, and there it was. A post or a tweet or a facebook live that made me feel better (not only from Misha, from the other cast members too!) Misha has this way of making people feel like he cares for each and every one of them and if he could, he would send personal messages to everyone, answer every comment, call everyone and hug everyone (I feel the same way about Jared). Don’t get me wrong, I have friends and I love them and I have no idea what I’d do without them. But sometimes you just need all the love in the world to feel better, and then having a big SPN Family helps a lot.
P.S. – I have to add this – thanks for Cas. He helps too.
– Daga (@morechaotic)
Misha inspired me to embrace my weirdness. As a bisexual, Wiccan, mixed race, feminist fangirl, I have a lot of weird to embrace, and Misha really helped me accept myself as is. Castiel inspired me to embrace humanity. I’m a rather cynical person, but Cas’ love for humanity made me remember all the good and beauty there is in human nature. He also taught me to forgive myself for my mistakes. If I can forgive Cas for betraying the brothers and breaking the world once or twice, certainly I can forgive the much smaller scale mistakes I’ve made. This is a work in progress, of course, but Cas inspired me to try.
And gishwhes. Gishwhes inspires me to break out of my comfort zone. During the hunt, I’m frequently faced with things I want to do but feel very anxious and scared about trying. I discovered through gishwhes that I can push past my anxiety and that I am stronger than the fear that holds me back. And that is something that I carried over into the rest of my life.
(On Gishwhes) We’re not friends anymore, we’re family. We’ve supported each other through crises big and small, we’ve seen babies born, and we’ve done some damn stupid things in the name of kindness and charity. I’ve travelled to cons to meet team mates and fellow gishers, and last year I travelled to the US to meet probably the best friends I’ve ever had in my life….Earlier this year I attended Purcon and was lucky enough to spend a bit of time with Misha (I got him to doodle on me and later I had the doodle tattooed on, so it’s a permanent reminder of what he’s done for me). I was able to thank him for all the extra people I have in my life. All the extra people I have to love and all of the extra people who love me back! The main thing that Misha and Gishwhes have changed in my life is that there’s far more love in it than there has ever been before.
October of 2014, I was having a really really bad day. And so I tweeted that “I just really want to talk to @mishacollins.” I wasn’t expecting a reply; just kind of shouting into the void. Until he replied, “What do you want to talk about?” To say that I was blown away is an understatement. I don’t even remember what I said back. We really didn’t talk, but he tweeted me three hours later to check on me and apologize for the delay (I think he was working that day). That day showed me that Misha really does care about his fans, that he shows kindness every day, even to a complete stranger. Misha is wonderful.
Misha Collins has changed my life…Last year I ended up in a coma for four days due to a severe seizure. When I woke, I was so angry with the paramedics, my friend and just about anyone else who saved me. I honestly wanted to just be done…. I was wasting time surfing the internet when somehow I ran across Gishwhes. That’s when I learned about this really compassionate person who loved life. I wanted to learn more. How could he love life so much when I couldn’t see anything but blackness? The more I read about him, about his actions, his love for humanity and for life, the more I wanted to live like him. I started watching Supernatural and learned about Jared and his struggles. I joined a group on Twitter. And I realized I might actually be okay. Then I joined Gishwhes. I didn’t have a team, I had no one to ask to even be on a team. But a team reached out to me!!!
Misha Collins is THE example of living and loving life. His passion and compassion are such incredible forces that he can touch people without ever knowing the impact he has on them. I will never be as creative or easygoing as Mr. Collins, however every day I make sure to show love and kindness to whomever I can. He has inspired me to start a new path, regardless of illness or insecurity, and this path is by far the best I’ve ever taken. Misha Collins’ example of goodness toward others has inspired me to step out of my sadness.
When I was younger, I wanted to be an artist. But as I got older, society, my family, even myself believed I had to be something more – a “real” career that would be better for me financially. So I went into healthcare to be a Physician Assistant. I wnted to help others even if it meant losing a part of me by distancing my emotions from what I was doing… After thousands of dollars in student loans, I began to panic. This wasn’t something I wanted to do.
It wasn’t until two years ago when I actually did some research on Supernatural and began learning who Misha was… I fell in love with this flamboyant person and his character. Misha’s story of an unorthodox upbringing, to being bullied, to holding many interesting jobs, to becoming a huge charity campaigner – in addition to dressing in drag, standing up for his beliefs, his character portrayals, and being the epitome of a hands on parent…it’s somewhat overwhelming, but I was inspired. I wanted to be a better person because of this person I have never met. Most importantly, I wanted to love what I was doing (and subconsciously make Misha proud). The best part about this path is I get to stay me with my emotions intact. I’m not much of a people-person unless helping others, I am shy, and I am a little weird. I am forever grateful there are people like Misha out there who share in the craziness, who want to help, and aren’t afraid to be themselves. Ever since I decided to pursue my art career, a weight has been lifted off of my shoulders. I may be in debt for the rest of my life because of a former career mistake, but hopefully at the end of it I can say, ‘I enjoyed my life’, not, ‘I simply survived it’, and I thank Misha for that because he made me want to try and embrace what I really wanted to do.
(On her first Gishwhes) I laughed more in that week than in the whole year before. After the hunt, I reverted back to my hermit ways, but my house wasn’t so dark anymore. And my hermit ways turned into semi-hermit ways. I had funny stories to tell at social events and I was more comfortable going out again. Over time I made new friends, and lost them, and made new ones. I still struggle with depression, but every year Gishwhes gives me a reason to let it go for a while… Over time I have built up friendships with team members that drag me through my dark days…I hope other people get the same joy from it as me.
It is so hard to put into words what Misha means to me and how he has inspired me. Before I started watching Supernatural, my life was humdrum and I didn’t really look forward to anything. The show has made me feel young again. Misha is my hero. He does so much for others… He came from such a regular life when he was young, so he is easy to identify with. One thing he does that makes him special is that he lets us all know to be ourselves, it’s okay to be silly and wacky. It’s great not to be normal, normal is boring. We can be ourselves and do our best, because we are all different. I love Cas too; he is so sensitive and makes you want to just hug him.
I have depression, but all I have to do is think of him and I smile no matter what…. I am so lucky to be in this world at the same time as him.
— Elizabeth O.
We couldn’t agree more. We’re all lucky.
Happy birthday, Misha – keep on being you!
You can check out ‘Fangasm Supernatural Fangirls’ and
‘Fan Phenomena Supernatural’ on amazon, at the links
On this page!
All story excerpts used with permission. Thank you, SPNFamily!