Vegascon is one of my favorite conventions – it’s four days of craziness, tons of my favorite fangirls and fanboys, a thousand miles of walking, and Jensen Ackles singing at the Saturday Night Special. What’s not to like? (Except maybe the thousand miles of walking part…)
This year was even crazier than before, since I was also working in the vendor room to sell Family Don’t End With Blood and our other books. But in between meeting tons of awesome fellow fans and signing lots of books, I managed to take in a bunch of panels. So I thought I’d share some of my favorite moments and photos below.
Day One: Thursday
I had to work late on Wednesday teaching, so I couldn’t fly in until Thursday afternoon. I was trying very hard to get there in time for Richard and Rob’s kick off, but the shuttle I booked to save money took its sweet old time winding its way through Vegas before finally stopping at the Rio – which was, predictably, the very last stop. That means I missed Gil and Osric onstage together, which made me very sad, and caught only part of Jeffrey Parise’s inaugural con panel. I have to say, I was taken aback by what a nice guy he is – and how attractive! Let’s just say Asmodeus is neither of those on the show, so that was a pleasant surprise. He’s also very amusing. And he spells his name the same way as my son, so of course that’s a point in his favor too. Also, he looks sort of familiar…
@Kreespa: Have you and Tim Omundson ever been seen in the same place?
One of the most amazing things about this year’s Vegas Supernatural convention was the Saturday Night Special, when Jensen Ackles shocked the crowd by bringing Slipknot and Stone Sour singer Corey Taylor onstage to sing Bon Jovi’s Dead or Alive with him and Louden Swain.
All week long we’d been wracking our brains trying to figure out who the ‘special guest’ that Jensen was bringing to the SNS might be – but I’m fairly certain NOBODY figured this one out! Like many Supernatural fans – and many of the Supernatural cast – I’m a huge music fan too, so this was a performance that was almost overwhelming in how awesome it was. Last year at Comic Con we got Kansas, now we get Corey Taylor? We are a lucky fandom indeed.
When I heard that Corey was a Supernatural fan, I couldn’t wait to talk to him about how he ended up onstage with Jensen and the band – but I had no idea I would enjoy our conversation so much. It was forty minutes of two people who are passionate about the same thing sharing that love, and a lot of laughter – and just a whole lot of fun. Which means Corey and I are now on a campaign to get a few things to happen. More on that later.
I’m home sick with the cold from hell, which might explain why when Corey called I literally could not convince my phone to go to speaker mode. Anyone who has read ‘Fangasm Supernatural Fangirls’ knows that technology and I are not friends, so this should surprise no one. Corey, for his part, was extraordinarily patient while I struggled with technology, until finally – success!
We chatted for a few minutes about kids and the challenges of parenthood, which as Corey said, often means you just run around all the time trying to spend as much time with them as possible and planning your schedule out way in advance to make sure you’ve got enough time to be Dad. He worries about doing a good enough job and not messing them up, but honestly? That’s what lets me know he’s probably doing a great job – if you’re worrying and planning, you care a lot, and that’s what kids need more than anything.
Corey: Thank god for that!
Anyway, eventually I took my psychologist hat off (or maybe my fellow parent hat) and we got around to talking about Vegas, music and of course Supernatural.
Lynn: I loved your performance of Dead or Alive with Jensen so much. The fandom absolutely went insane over it. Tell me about how you ended up singing with Jensen Ackles and Louden Swain at the Supernatural convention in Las Vegas?
Corey: It’s kind of a crazy story. I’ve been a massive massive massive Supernatural fan for years. I didn’t start watching right away but I started watching around the third season. And I went back and binge watched the first two seasons as much as I could and then started buying the DVDs from there.
[At this point in the conversation I was already going OMG ME TOO because I also started watching in a serious way in Season 2 and then went back and did the exact same thing – so the fangirl in me was already squeeing and thinking about how much I related to Corey as a fellow fan]
I’m just about to drag out my suitcase and toss some things in there to head to Las Vegas for the Supernatural convention that starts on Thursday – and I’m ridiculously excited! Vegas is one of my favorite cons. It’s an extra day of fun, it’s got so many of the friends I don’t get to see nearly enough all year long, and Jensen sings at the Saturday Night Special. The first time he did that, in 2015, was one of those experiences you never forget. Nobody expected him to come onstage and turn into this total effing rockstar, so afterwards we were all a bit stunned. Nobody could stop grinning; no one could stop hugging each other. We clung to each other like we’d just witnessed a piece of history, overflowing with wordless pure unadulterated joy. It was one of my favorite con moments ever.
So I always look forward to Vegas!
I was determined to post my Orlando con report before I leave for Vegas, so here it is, with almost an entire day to spare. Sure, that con was over a month ago, but hey, at least I met my admittedly generous deadline.
So, OrlandoCon 2018…
Orlando is a great place to have a convention in the middle of January, especially for those of us who live in the Northeast US and are sick of being frozen half to death. So I was thrilled to fly down a bit early and spend some time with my friends Liz and Kristen and Kim. The con hotel was across the footbridge from Disney Springs, so we trekked over there to explore and shop and have a delicious dinner in a café full of animated dinosaurs. Definitely in Disney!
The last con of 2017 was once again in San Francisco. It was an emotional con for me, because exactly one year ago, as I was attending this same convention, I got the news that my dad had unexpectedly passed away. I remember being in shock, only telling a few of my closest friends there – but word got around. My friends from Creation made sure I was okay, even walking me to my seat. My fellow fans checked on me all weekend long. And word got out to the cast too, who were incredibly kind. I remember Matt Cohen jumping off the stage in the middle of the Saturday Night Special, enfolding me in a hug and telling me how sorry he was for my loss; Jared and Jensen hugging me for a long time, asking me what I needed. Everyone was just so very kind – fandom and the SPNFamily at its best.
This year, the anniversary brought all that back. I was touched that many people remembered it had been a year, and didn’t hesitate to bring it up. Cons can be therapeutic for a lot of reasons, and this one definitely was. There’s nothing quite like being enfolded in your SPNFamily when you’re feeling emotional, for whatever reason.
It was also Mark Sheppard’s last convention with Creation. He’s been to just about all of them since he started on the show, so it’s just been a given that I’ll see him whenever I’m there. I’ve come to expect that Jared, Jensen, Misha and Mark will of course be there, every single time. Mark will be snarky and will answer one in five questions but will melt every time there’s a baby in the audience, and will suddenly get very real and give a heartfelt testimony about why he loves fandom before he leaves the stage. I don’t like change – I love Mark’s panels. I was tremendously honored that he wrote an essay for Family Don’t End With Blood, with many of those same heartfelt words about his love of fandom. I was lucky enough to spend a bit of time in the green room with him and other cast a few times, and was able to get to know him and his lovely wife Sarah a bit. It’s weird to think he won’t be there again.
Because this fandom can always be counted on to be awesome, Mark’s last con didn’t go unrecognized – just like Alex Calvert’s first con didn’t either. There were signs for all of us to hold up with the line Mark had wanted to say in his last episode, that inexplicably got cut. ‘Even when I lose, I win’ on red signs were held high all over the ballroom when Mark took the stage, and he was clearly moved. He pulled out his phone and started filming, and from where I was sitting, I could tell how much it meant to him. As the panel progressed, Mark was more serious than usual, and there were several times that I could see his eyes were glistening. Or maybe that was mine; it got hard to tell. I didn’t expect to be as emotional as I was, but when Mark left the stage I had already grabbed for the tissues several times. Thank you, Mark, for the amazing job you did bringing Crowley to life, for being a fan yourself and for loving fandom the way you do, and for being a part of Family Don’t End With Blood.
Those were the very emotional parts of this con – there were also parts that were purely fun. (Isn’t that always the case with cons? Half strong emotional reaction and half laughing until I’m needing a tissue for an entirely different reason).
Let me set the scene for you… it is a beautiful evening. The temperature is around 80 degrees, and it might drop to the upper 60’s by the time the sun sets. There is a slight breeze, so I am glad I brought a hoodie.
The Hilton Resort is a beachfront property. White sand, so soft and smooth under your toes. The soothing sound of the ocean as the waves gently cascade onto the beach. Walk with me along this beach, towards the lava-rock pier. Before you get to that pier, there is a lagoon on your right. Behind this lagoon is The Great Lawn, an area of soft green grass flanked by palm trees and hotel towers.
Now picture this lawn filled with round tables, each one with 10 chairs. Rows and rows of tables. And the tables face the stage. And behind the stage are palm trees and that lagoon, and to the right is that pier. Where the sun sets every night, in a glorious haze of blues and yellows and golds.
This is the scene for the Saturday Night Special. In Hawaii. Special. Is. So. Right.