Because Family Really Don’t End With Blood

It’s World Mental Health Day. As a psychologist, this day carries an important message – the same message we all tried to convey in Family Don’t End With Blood. The Supernatural actors — Jared, Jensen, Misha, Mark, Kim, Briana, Ruth, Rachel, Gil, Osric, Rob, Matt and Jim — wrote their own chapters, about their own personal experience on the show and in life, in order to NOT be silent about the challenges we all face in life. They wrote courageously, especially as public figures who are often cautioned to be quiet about their struggles and present a perfect persona instead, about battling anxiety, depression, self doubt. About times when it was hard to keep going, and how they did just that. They shared their struggles because too often we all think that we’re the only one. The only one who feels this bad, the only one who’s this terrified, the only one who wants what we want or loves what we love. We all need the validation that comes from knowing that others have felt the same way. When those others are our favorite actors on our favorite show — or our fellow fans who share our passion — that validation carries even more weight. That’s why we all, fans and actors alike, wrote this book.

That picture at the top of the page? That’s Jared and Jensen expressing how they feel about each other’s chapters in FDEWB. Family Don’t End With Blood has been out for five months now, and in that time I’ve been privileged to hear hundreds and hundreds of stories from fellow fans about how reading those personal essays, in an actor’s or fan’s own words, has inspired someone else to keep going. I try to pass those on to Jared, Jensen, Misha and the other actors and fans who wrote chapters so they will know that when someone reads their words, they have an impact. They help someone feel less alone, or less ashamed, or less consumed with doubt or sadness. I can’t tell  you how much that means to all of them. Honestly, it was hard for them to write those chapters. It took a long time because it was important to them all to get it right, and it was very scary to put themselves out there like that.  But when you read their words, you know that they get it. You know there’s a real bond there, between actors and fans, that’s unique and rare and very special.

So on this day, remember that. Remember that You Are Not Alone. Hug someone in our #SPNFamily today, either in person or virtually.

 

Tell someone how you feel, and remember that many of your fellow SPNFamily have felt some of those same things.

Take Jared’s words to heart and Always Keep Fighting.

And remember that in this fandom, for both fans and actors, Family Don’t End With Blood.

–Lynn

A portion of proceeds goes to Random

Acts and Attitudes In Reverse

 

The #WoManns Con – Supernatural New Jersey!

New Jersey con holds a special place in my heart, simply because it’s the closest con to my hometown of Philly. That means I can actually drive there instead of flying, which makes being a vendor a bit easier. That also meant I could caption this con ‘Adventures in Vending’ because we definitely had some adventures – and some misadventures.

Being a Supernatural con vendor is like joining a tribe of frankly awesome people. For the SPN Creation cons, it’s mostly the same group of friendly, creative, resourceful folks at every convention – and because those cons happen a few times a month on average, the vendors get to know each other very well. They’re like a group of traveling carnies, moving their wares from one city to the next. They have each other’s backs just like the rest of the SPNFamily does, and I would trust any one of them if I was in a tight spot.

That doesn’t mean vending is easy. My friend Karen offered to help me out at NJCon, so we drove up together. The day before, the FedEx guy delivered my many many boxes of books, each of which weighs over 40 pounds. I bolted out the door as soon as he pulled up and asked what the policy was for leaving the books in my car instead of on my doorstep, and luckily the very nice FedEx man agreed. When Karen and I got in the car the next day, I swear it felt sort of like getting into a rocket ship – the boxes of books in the trunk and back seat made the front of the car point dangerously towards the sky.

With apologies to my poor overburdened Honda Civic, we started out, slowly making our way north to scenic Secaucus. The giant convention center had a back loading dock where we could unload the books, so we drove up there and asked where we could park to unload lots of boxes of books. The bored looking man waved us into a spot and said we could park there. Karen and I looked at the very long ramp across the lot where we would have to enter the convention center and exchanged a look of dismay. That was a steep ramp and a long way with forty pound boxes of books!

True to my always-frantically-busy-and-not-quite-prepared state, I hadn’t been able to find an actual hand cart but I’d brought along my green and white striped beach chair on wheels that doubles as a transport cart. You know, for taking your cooler to the beach or whatever. If it can transport a cooler, I thought, why not a box of books? So Karen and I heaved a box out of the trunk and onto the beach chair. The canvas sagged but didn’t break, so we counted that as a win. Then we began the trek up the long steep ramp. After a few minutes of struggling, we finally got up and into the convention center, wheeled the books and the chair down the hall and found our vendor table. One box down, ten to go!

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Charity Auction: Misha’s Eye Mask

At the Salute to Supernatural Convention in Pittsburgh earlier this month, Misha Collins told us about his eye mask. He explained he received a toiletries set a few years ago, and it included an eye mask. He tucked that mask into his bag, and he wears it while traveling.

As he described it: “It looks like an oil rag that one would see at a gas station… so disgustingly filthy.”

A few minutes later, Richard and Rob brought said mask to Misha onstage.

Rob’s face really says it all…

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Eventually, Misha threw the mask into the crowd. Well, “throw” is a strong word. Think of it more like an attempt to throw the mask, much like he attempted to throw that paper airplane at Jared and Jensen a few years back. Suffice it to say, the mask did not go very far. In fact, it landed on the floor in front of the first row.

And most of the people in the first row actually just watched it fall to the floor, perhaps cringing a little in disgust.  An inspired  young woman in the first row did, however, reach down and pick it up. She laid it gently on her lap. And Misha’s panel continued. Afterwards, that young woman approached us, telling us she’d like to give it to charity, and asking if we could help. We talked about some options, and the plan began to take shape.

The young woman asked Misha to sign the mask during autos. At that time, she explained to him that she would be giving it to us to auction, with the proceeds to benefit Random Acts. At first, he was a bit surprised. “Why would anyone want this mask? It’s so nasty.” But despite his skepticism, he signed the mask and happily approved her choice to donate it for a charity auction. Hey, it’s for a good cause!

So without further ado…

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Charity Auction: Misha’s Eye Mask! See Misha in your dreams every time you close your eyes!

Okay, but seriously, all proceeds benefit Random Acts and their Hurricane Relief Effort.

Bonus!

Also included is a copy of Family Don’t End With Blood, which includes a chapter written by Misha! (And twelve other Supernatural actors, who all told their personal stories about how the show and the fandom have impacted them). Every copy of Family Don’t End With Blood also benefits Random Acts, and Attitudes in Reverse. Misha, Jared, Jensen and everyone who wrote chapters are proud of that — and of the powerful chapters they wrote too. (If you don’t win this auction, you can still purchase a copy of the book and make a contribution to Random Acts – links at the top of the page).

Here’s Misha in his Family Don’t End With Blood shirt inspiring you. How can you not be inspired by that face??

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This auction is worldwide, and we will pay for the shipping!

The auction runs for 10 days beginning September 26th, 2017.

Please support this auction, Random Acts, and the Hurricane Relief Effort.

Misha’s Eye Mask Auction

Thank you for your support!

Lynn & Kim

#SPNFamily

 

Supernatural’s Gil McKinney and Osric Chau – On Writing Books, Releasing New Music and New Seasons of Television!

 

It’s been a while since I had a chance to sit down and chat with Gil McKinney and Osric Chau, two of my favorite guest stars on Supernatural (as Henry Winchester and Kevin Tran) so I was happy to catch up with them at the Supernatural convention in Chicago this summer.

It’s been a busy year for Gil – he has a new baby, wrote a chapter in Family Don’t End With Blood, and just released his first EP (How Was I To Know), produced by fellow SPN Family member and talented singer, Jason Manns. After a wildly successful kickstarter, the EP was released this summer to rave reviews. Family Don’t End With Blood, was released this summer as well, and many fans have said that Gil’s chapter has inspired them.

It’s been a busy year for Osric as well, who also wrote an inspiring and personal chapter in Family Don’t End With Blood. And of course because he’s a regular on the smash hit Dirk Gently, on BBC America. As we sat down to chat in Chicago, filming was just beginning on Season 2, which starts airing next month, and Dirk Gently was about to conquer Comic Con in the gigantic Hall H!

Gil and Osric did a panel together at this convention, something they haven’t done in a while. I was there for their first joint panel, several years ago, when they haltingly started to get to know each other after being thrown together somewhat randomly, and I watched as they developed a genuine fondness and a lot of chemistry. It was a joy to see them onstage together again.

A fan asked about the book they both wrote chapters in.

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Behind the Scenes of Supernatural with Robbie Thompson

One of the absolute highlights of this year’s Comic Con for me was sitting down to chat with Robbie Thompson, gifted comic writer and screenwriter who wrote some of my very favorite episodes of my very favorite show. That would be Supernatural, in case you didn’t know. Which is pretty much impossible unless you’ve just stumbled over this blog for the first time.

I attended Robbie’s panel on Intersectional Feminism in Comics, which was awesome and entirely inspiring, so we were all in a good mood afterwards. We decided to try to find a room where there weren’t a million people around, and took a bunch of friends with us – Laurena, Candice, Anne and Kamila – who were down with listening in to our epic interview. They will henceforth be referred to as the Peanut Gallery (‘PG’). For the most part, they were PG. The most part. Just sayin.

After several false starts traversing the ginormous convention center, including being barred from using the press room for our interview, we found an empty room with lots of empty round tables. Robbie, ever the intrepid one, shrugged and said, ‘how about this one?’

Occasionally a Comic Con staffer would come in, take a look at our oh-so-professional interview in progress, and quietly back out. Score!

I start the interview by tossing my handwritten notes about what I’m dying to ask and my little vintage audio recorder on the table.

R: (points to Lois Lane like tape recorder) Look at this, so professional..

L: Hey, it’s ancient, it’s done a million Supernatural interviews.

R: Uh oh, look at this, guys…(points to what appears to be a big stack of questions, a la Inside the Actor’s Studio)  There’s going to be some Bernard Pivot in there. There may be some things I say off the record…

L: Of course, you know I’m good with that. (but honestly? There weren’t many!)

R: Okay let’s do this!

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