Supernatural Vancon 2016 – Friday and Saturday
I wrote an article on this year’s Vancouver Supernatural convention for MovieTVTechGeeks that you can check out over there (link at the end), but wanted to add my own more personal moments (and the 5,298 photos I couldn’t include in that article…). Vancouver is one of my favorite places in the whole world. It’s where the Show I love is made, which makes it special already. It’s a gorgeous city that takes my breath away with its beauty every time I come back (especially this time, because the weather was five days of perfection!). And it’s where some of the best experiences I’ve ever had have happened on the set of Supernatural.
I don’t even mind the twelve hours of flying, because once I walk outside and realize where I am, I’m wide awake and smiling, brimming with memories of all the good times. Vancon is one of my favorite cons for another reason too – fangirls. SO MANY FANGIRLS! It was one of the first Creation cons, and there are still many people who came to that first one and have come back every year since, me included. So Vancon means lots and lots of socializing – there’s nothing like being with fellow Supernatural fans to make you feel like life is just plain GOOD.
I flew in on Thursday to spend some time catching up with friends – dinner with a bunch of people I’ve known since the very first Creation con, during which we all reminisced about the past seven or eight years of con-going and marveled that it had actually been that long. Know what’s really remarkable? How many people were Supernatural fans back then and are still fans now. Not that some of my favorite fangirls haven’t left the fandom for other ones, but I’m eternally grateful that so many remain.
After that, it was drinks with more fangirls, including my fangirl brain twin, Amy, the amazing Superwiki herself, Jules, and a couple of Lusty Fangirls. A few Supernatural alums came by too – the talented Ryan Curtis, filmmaker and former SPN FVX head, and Rick Worthy, who memorably played the Alpha Vamp a number of seasons ago. He came by with his equally adorable dog, Buddy.
In other words, Thursday I already didn’t get enough sleep. Totally worth it though.
Friday kicked off the con, which was hosted by Kim Rhodes and Briana Buckmaster since Richard Speight Jr. was filming Criminal Minds. Richard long ago dubbed this convention “Porncouver” though, which Kim and Briana did their best to live up to. I make no secret of the fact that I adore Kim and Briana. One of the reasons we wrote Fangasm Supernatural Fangirls was to challenge the prevailing societal messages that women shouldn’t be too passionate or too sexual or too angry or too REAL. That’s what Kim and Briana do too, and if they do it with a lot of four letter words, that’s fine with me. I admire their genuineness. They make me laugh, they make me nod my head and say oh yeah, me too. And they set a tone for the con that wasn’t exactly PG, and that’s fine with me too.
First up was Julian Richings, who is adorable. Only on Supernatural does Death get to be adorable, but he is. He’s an appealing mix of boyish enthusiasm and self deprecating humor, and he has way more energy than I do. I love the way he talks about his character – how much he loves the nuanced way that Death is written. Unlike in other shows, perhaps, Supernatural’s version isn’t one dimensional, and that allows Julian to play him as somewhat human. I mean, he loves pickle chips!
Jason Manns did a “quoncert”, which means he both answered questions and played us some songs. To say that everyone was excited for the release of his new cd, Covers With Friends, was a serious understatement. Have you ordered your copy yet? And included the hashtag #getjensentonumber1? That was Jason’s idea – to show Jensen how popular his cover of Simple Man is, which would hopefully convince him to record a CD of his own.
I was lucky enough to be there the first time Jensen performed at a convention in the US (Asylum was the first time he sang at a convention – with Jason!). He did a concert for a room full of maybe 20 or 30 people, along with Jason. I was doing an interview in the green room after and he immediately wanted to know how it was – he was genuinely worried that it hadn’t been good. Which was entirely INCORRECT. It was amazing, and he’s only gotten better since then. How about that CD, Jensen??
Osric Chau was up next. I miss him doing panels in full cosplay, but I like the newly serious side of Os that is so inspirational. It’s been fascinating to watch the evolution of Osric as a performer and as a person; he learns from everything. It’s one of the things I so admire about him, his openness to experience and his willingness to learn something new from everything that happens to him. I’m really glad he’s sharing that with the fandom, and hopefully inspiring others to do the same. Also his Pokemon Go stories just get funnier and funnier. That’s one thing that hasn’t changed over the years – still a fanboy and still proud of it!
Os is much beloved by everyone, cast and fans alike. See?
Another great thing about having a con in Vancouver is that so many SPN actors live there. That meant we got some surprise guests. Kim and Briana brought Wayward Daughter Katherine Ramdeen (Alex) onstage – apparently we’ll see her and Claire (Kathryn Newton) again in Season 12. I got to know Katherine a little at the SPN Ladies Con earlier this year, and I love that she’s a gamer and as down to earth as they come. She and second surprise guest Tyler Johnston joined Kim and Briana and some fans for a raucous game of Supernatural Cards Against Humanity, which was hysterical. (If you’ve ever played it, you can imagine).
Katherine fit right in, while Tyler blushed a bit. Which was adorable.
If you missed our interview with Tyler last month, catch up and read it here – he’s a great guy, and a Supernatural fan! Tyler came to karaoke too, along with Brendan Taylor (new Doug) and Erica Carroll (Hannah). One of the highlights of karaoke was watching Julian bopping around onstage – I want even half of his energy! Only on Supernatural is Death an awesome dancer.
Friday night was a fun evening of great conversation and dinner with Adam Williams, Supernatural’s VFX wizard, and his lovely girlfriend, Lucy. Time for a Caesar, a drink I can’t seem to find in the states and thus always have when I’m in Canada. Yum! Once again, stayed up too late. Once again, no regrets.
Saturday started off with Sebastian Roche, who definitely fit in with the Porncouver vibe (as always). He never answers many questions, but he usually sings and dances and is entirely entertaining. This time was no exception. We all did a lot of singing along too, while Sebastian stood on a chair and urged us on.
Mark Sheppard was slightly less snarky than usual because his wife, Sarah, and his adorable baby Isabella were there. I think most of the audience melted as he carried his daughter around to introduce her to the SPN Family. She looked suitably approving.
Mark always makes me tear up a bit when he talks about his love of fandom – how much it means to the actors that we all get behind their charitable causes and support everything they do. Fandom isn’t utopia, and sometimes we bicker and fight over silly things, but at the end of the day, fans do an amazing amount of good in the world. It’s wonderful to hear that reflected back from the cast with so much appreciation.
Instead of a threesome panel with R2M, we had a twosome with Matt and Rob. Much less hyper than usual without Richard, and we all missed him, but it gave Matt and Rob a chance to be surprisingly sweet to each other. Someone asked them to describe each other, and instead of making a joke, which was what I expected, they did.
Thank god a fellow fangirl had graciously brought a six pack of Kleenex to the con for me – how nice was that? And how useful…
I still haven’t gotten used to seeing Matt on my television screen so often as I wander through my living room on afternoons I’m not teaching. I keep forgetting he’s on General Hospital now (of course then I have to sit down and watch…)
Rob will soon be on Criminal Minds with Richard, and of course we’ve got Kings of Con to look forward to coming up this fall!
Misha Collins headlines Saturday – he had to touch Rob’s clean shaven face, just like everyone. Awww.
This panel included Gishwhes-induced lead paint lawsuits and Misha being adorably overwhelmed by a fan who was grateful for being inspired to go to art school.
Misha: That’s one of the things I love most about Gishwhes, is seeing people try things they never would have tried… And ideally humiliating themselves.
Misha talked about sending Sam and Dean back to the beginning of time and the Big Bang, so everyone in the universe was propagated from that first spec of particle and Sam and Dean. Which sounds like another sort of Big Bang altogether, frankly.
He also pitched a body swap episode.
Misha: I feel like I could inhabit Dean pretty well…
Or he’d be up for a musical or a cross-dressing episode, which got a lot of whoops from the audience.
Kim and Briana challenged Misha to show off his knowledge of what the Eiffel Tower is.
Misha: You can’t do it alone.
Audience: Do it with Rob.
Which inevitably ended up in a demonstration that involved all four of them and Billy being the voyeur audience stand in and taking photos.
Kim: You’re welcome.
Briana to Rob: You know what? Your Tower leaned just right…
Misha also did a panel on Sunday, which started out even less PG rated than his first one. He was tied up in photo ops, which left Rob and Kim and Briana to pass the time with the Castiel cardboard cutout that joined them onstage. By the time Misha took the stage, that cutout had been through some interesting activities.
Rob: (sheepishly) We might all have had intercourse with your cardboard cutout…
M: is that why it’s so sticky?
Rob: we tried to re enact the Eiffel tower with your cutout, but it was more like the golden gate bridge. Didn’t really work. The most uncomfortable fake sex I’ve ever had. And I’ve had a lot.
A panel that starts like that, you know it’s going to be wild.
Misha was thoroughly confused by the fact that there was nobody lined up to ask him questions – because the fans were thoroughly confused by the lack of the ‘list’ that Creation has taken to putting up of the people who win the question lottery for J2M. Fans hurriedly scurried up to the mics.
Poor Misha had fans complain that this was not their favorite Gishwhes (Misha: social graces!). Then someone asked about the most inappropriate thing he’d done in college.
Misha: I was nuts in college.
Misha: I knew that coming up here was a mistake!
I’m always impressed with Misha’s not-quite-legal exploits, and that he somehow got away with every single one of them. Including running around campus naked on the coldest day of the year to get on the news.
Fan: Is there tape of that?
Misha is quite impressed with the fandom’s ability to find relics of his past online, including VHS training tapes for the IRS from decades ago. I’m sure the news one is out there somewhere too. Fandom?
Fans also brought up is unfortunate propensity for swallowing heirloom tomatoes, which made poor Misha even more confused.
Misha: is that some kind of double entendre?
He also gave some semi-serious parenting advice, based on his own experience of initially being determined to be the ‘cool parent’ who didn’t do all that ‘kid shit’ – and then finding out that doesn’t work. You have to adapt your life to them. Which is pretty good parenting advice actually.
Show-wise, Misha talked about acting with Rob in that heart to heart scene with Lucifer and God.
Misha: How was it to act with Rob?? I was like, Jared, slap me in the face, I can’t believe I have a scene with Rob! That’s how we get ready for scenes. Jared, slap me, slap me harder!
Misha: Am I not supposed to talk about how we slap each other…
Misha: I feel like there are all these inside jokes….what happened to you people?? Oh, it’s Kim and Briana!
Audience: Rob has not been keeping them in check.
Misha: I know, he’s doing the Eiffel tower.
Audience: with your cardboard cut out
Misha: I know, I could smell his musk on it
Fan: How do you recognize that?
Misha: This is what it’s like right before a riot happens…
Someone asked if he had carpal tunnel, which turned out to be an insinuation about self pleasuring, and a flustered Misha confessed that he worries about how he holds his microphone, because some schmuck out there is going to take a picture with him holding it at his crotch and that will be out there.
Kim: Well now it is. Show me again?
Misha: The crowd is unruly and a borderline mob.
Kim and Briana: Yay!
That’s pretty much how it went on Saturday afternoon. And I feel like the crowd didn’t get any less unruly as we all headed to the Saturday Night Special later that evening, with anticipation at a fever pitch since Mr. Ackles was to be joining in. But I’ll save that for the next report – stay tuned tomorrow!
Photos by me and the talented @mamaprior. Edits by @arkine13 with gratitude.
My report for MovieTvTechGeeks is here – https://movietvtechgeeks.com/supernatural-vancouver-con-fans-make-pilgrimage-spn-mecca/?page_y=0
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