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My New Jersey 2011 Con Story
ChuckWriting
farawayeyes4
First appeared on The Winchester Family Business June 23, 2011

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(photo courtesy of acsgrlie)
My vacation started on a sour note, boding ill for the rest of the trip. I live in Southwest Minnesota, and the day I landed in NYC, a tornado struck. Thankfully, no one was killed or injured. My town emerged largely unscathed as far as massive property damage, but we did lose a ton of trees and suffer some minor damage. My car, a 2001 Chevy Impala, emerald green and my pride and joy, however, suffered severe hail damage. Yes, his name is Dean. Never fear, he'll be fixed soon enough. It was about a week before the convention, and I feared that with this ill omen that it might not be as good as I'd hoped.

Boy was I wrong. Somehow, the universe decided to make it up to me with this convention. It certainly went after my car, so it had to find a way to say sorry. This was it.

This was my first convention, and going in I had no idea what to expect. It was better than I could have ever anticipated---for so many reasons, as you'll see. It was an amazing whirlwind of a weekend. Let me take you through it.

Friday

I arrived at around 1 PM, got myself checked in to the hotel and set up in my room. I changed out of my grungy travel clothes into my new fancy jeans (a new for me, since I generally think such jeans silly) and a nice tank top. I also put on the new high heel open toe elf boots to complete the look. I went down to the registration table, got myself bagged and tagged so I could move freely into the hall and find my Gold weekend seat. You know what they say, "Go big or go home."

I took my seat and met a few of the fans. I was so taken with looking around and taking in the scenery, too. They had large, beautiful banners on the wall that they auctioned off later on in the convention. I happened to sit next to the one of Jared in a tank top. I don't know what it went for, when all was said and done.

I had arrived and gotten ready around quarter to two, so I had just made it in time to see the first panel of the weekend: Gabriel Tigerman. He's funny, a delight to see on stage, and I have to say I still miss his character Andy. I've always liked Andy. He was goofy, a bit silly, but we all know that when he wasn't high as a kite that he was probably extremely smart. Gabriel told this embarrassing story about meeting Michael C. Hall of Dexter that, I hope, set everyone at ease for the upcoming weekend. Even actors who've been on TV before sometimes get tongue tied or embarrassed meeting other actors that have been on TV! The poor thing said he had those Invisalign Braces, was in the process of taking them out to eat, just when Hall walked past. It was not a pretty picture. I can only imagine how long it took for Gabriel not to be entirely and thoroughly embarrassed by what had happened.

I thought it was funny when someone asked Gabriel who he would like to be if he could be anyone for one day that he instantly said "Michael C. Hall." He said he'd like to be him simply because he's cool, but also so he could really make that Gabriel Tigerman's day by giving him some compliment. After what had happened with the braces, who can really blame him?

We had the Yes/No trivia game, which I watched at first. When they had a second round, I joined the fun. It was interesting to see how obscure they were going to get on some of the questions. At least you had a 50/50 chance of being right! They asked a question about what monster Sam and Dean brought to Crowley in Caged Heat. Was it a Rugaru, yes or no? I knew this one instantly, mainly because my cat, Peyton, is nicknamed the Rugaru. He eats a lot and is always hungry. I missed two questions later, but it was fun while it lasted!

We had Kim Rhodes next for a panel. She's so funny and was an instant hit. I had NO idea that our Sheriff had been the mom on Suite Life of Zack and Cody. I admit, I've watched it a couple times. I never made the connection. She's so very un-Disney in person. I got in line to ask her a very particular question. I'm from Southwest Minnesota, about 90 minutes from the real Sioux Falls. Let's be clear: Sioux Falls is about 100,000 to 150,000 in population. It is NOT a podunk little town. The other problem: there is no way they'd really have a woman as their Sheriff. I asked her if she had ever been to the real place, and she confessed that she had not. Kim said that she had wanted to try an accent, but the producers nixed the idea, saying they thought that Sheriff Jody Mills would have been from some place else, ending up there at some point. She thought perhaps they were actually in a suburb of Sioux Falls. I suggested Canton, and Kim said she'd try and pass that along to the writers. At this stage, I'd doubt it'd change anything, since they've only had Bobby on the outskirts of Sioux Falls since season 1. It's one of those differences between our world and the Supernatural World.

Kim said that she has her own secret OTP couple. She'd love to see the Sheriff and Bobby get together, simply because she'd love to see how that'd play out. After all, the Sheriff and Bobby are rather opposite in how they handle some things. She is a strong character and woman, and Bobby most certainly could use such a woman in his life. I just don't know that they'd be able to make this work. It's a cute idea, though!

She also told us that she has trouble with singing. It makes her cry. It was so interesting to see how open she was. If anything, Kim shoots straight from the hip, and usually what comes into her mind comes out of her mouth from what I could tell. I found it refreshing and instantly found myself liking her all the more. I had loved her appearances on the show in the first place, but now they're a bit more enriched by having seen her on stage.

Someone asked Kim which set of boys were more fun to work with or were more mischievous. She hadn't been pranked by Jared and Jensen. She did say they had this goofy thing about riding around on scooters on set. She said, no offense to Zack and Cody, that she'd rather work with Jared and Jensen----the looks, after all. I can't say I blame her. I'd love to see those two on those scooters. It's probably comical.

Our last guest for the afternoon was Corin Nemec, who played the dastardly Christian Campbell. He was a delight on stage, too. I thought it was funny how he mentioned his love for B-movies. He's made a few by the sounds of it, too. I must admit, I have a guilty pleasure and love affair with them myself. Sure, they're usually ridiculous and stupid as hell, but there's just something appealing about some giant shark or crocodile or man turned into insect that just makes me giggle.  I actually sat through both Sharktopus and Dinoshark. Most of them are so predictable, stupid, and bizarre that once you start watching you can't stop!

I thought it fascinating that he found out as he read the scripts what his character was going to do and when he started he didn't have all the facts. I've never acted in my life (no that one act play where someone stole my line in 4-H does NOT count), so his explanation about finding out things about his character as he got each script was neat. He said that if he had known his character was actually possessed by a demon he would have done things a bit differently. He was depressed when he read that he died, but then was like “hell yeah” when he read that he was a demon only to be bummed when he found out he was killed off again AS a demon this time.

We had our autograph session next, and I got each photo signed. Kim put on mine that she has to get the accent right, considering I'm actual Minnesotan born and bred. Gabriel signed his with the message that he was sorry that he was dead, and Corin put on his that he was glad to have met me. It was nice to see that you could at least say a couple words to them, rather than strictly being rushed past as fast as possible with no chance. Sure, you couldn't spend all night there, but at least I could say a few words of thanks and the like. I'd love to see them all return at another convention I attend.

We had an evening break, which gave me a chance to catch my breath, get some things organized, and get a small bite to eat. I checked my phone,  checked Twitter, and saw a tweet from Matt Cohen that left me puzzled. He said that he had arrived and been “iced” right away. I had no idea that this would become a huge deal through out the weekend.

Then it was time to go down for the Brian Buckley Band performance. I must admit, I had only heard a couple of their songs before the show. I didn't really know much about them going in. Their performance was amazing. Brian Buckley hit notes I didn't know was possible, and I really found myself fascinated and enthralled by their music. It's nice that Jared and Gen have championed such a talented musical group, and proves to me that all of us, writers, actors, musicians, and artists might be in different mediums, but we're all one family in the end. I had to get their CD and a t-shirt. I got the CD signed by Brian, in green marker. Green is my favorite color, which Brian admitted was his also. I'd love to see a full show of theirs someday. I think it'd be a wonderful concert indeed. Just like all the guests at the convention I've met thus far, Brian Buckley was very approachable, sweet, and a great guy.

The Karaoke Party. I had no idea what to expect here, either. I expected a bunch of bad singing, none of which I'm afraid to participate in. I sing badly in my retail store's backroom on a daily basis, usually at the top of my lungs and off key on purpose. Karaoke does not scare me. It started as a typical karaoke party, but then Richard Speight Jr said it was a chair free event. It went wild after that. Song choices were made, but we didn't simply listen to just the person who selected it. Everyone joined in. I danced and danced and danced. In my elf boots, that was not necessarily a good idea.

Someone wrote a song for Richard, entitled "Santa Gaby." As I work in retail, I have had any liking for Christmas music sucked out of my soul. This coming Christmas season, I'll be giggling every time I hear "Santa Baby," well at least for the first three to four days. It's okay, my coworkers at my store already think I'm crazy anyways. Richard seemed bowled over by this and wore the Santa hat with pride for quite awhile after.

Matt and Richard announced their nuptials after someone gave Matt a wedding gift. I'm assuming they were giving it to Matt for his REAL wedding, but it turned into something else entirely once Richard got his hands on it. They said that they had gotten married in New York, as that state now allows it.  Matt said that Richard was a beautiful bride. The party was their reception and we were all invited to celebrate! Something tells me the slash portion of fandom will now have a new OTP couple to play with. They really have no one to blame but themselves.

I had moved closer to the stage, wanting to be immersed as much in the party as possible. It earned me a ticket on stage. Richard crooked his finger at me, signaling that he wanted me on stage. I pointed to myself, as if to ask “me?” Richard nodded, crooked his finger again, and once I pushed through the crowd, he hauled me on stage. I got to dance through "Eye of the Tiger." Now that song is even more special! I had no idea I'd have such amazing luck. While on stage, I got to dance with Matt Cohen, who is quite the snazzy dancer---and even though it sounds shallow, even more attractive in person! Kim Rhodes looked down at my painful boots, got this shocked look on her face and exclaimed "Those are AWESOME!" I told her they cost me $35, that I had gotten them in Long Island at some store I can't remember the name of, and didn't have the heart to tell her that my poor toes were in absolute agony. Once the song was over, we all were shuffled off the stage. I took a space by the side of the stage, close to the front and kept dancing. A tiny, tiny part of me wanted it to end so my poor toes would no longer suffer, but I figured "no pain, no gain." My feet could suffer if the party could continue to be this damn good. We sang "Carry On My Wayward Son," and ended the night on "Love Shack." It was more than I had ever expected, and when I finally made it back to my room I was giddy. If anything, the whole convention was totally worth it simply because of this. I highly recommend anyone go to at least this part of it if you don't go see anything else. It's even better than I've described here, and I thank Matt, Kim, and Richard for being the best hosts ever.

Saturday

The first guest on Saturday was Steven Williams. I remembered him from the X-Files as Mr. X, and have always liked him. He was even cooler in person than he is on either show. As much as I liked him as Mr. X, though, I'll always like him best as Rufus. Something about that curmudgeon just strikes a chord with me. And seeing him with Jim Beaver on the show against Bobby, what a perfect pairing on the show of two actors and seeing the magic they made in their respective roles. I found it interesting that Steven would rather be facing the aliens than the monsters, as someone asked him. He also thinks there's so much more out there that we human beings don't know and that what we do know doesn't really amount to much. I have to agree with him. He was extremely philosophical, and I found myself thinking deeply on very little sleep. I had hoped to ask him about his impressions of Kim Manners, as Kim was a part of both the X-Files and Supernatural, too. Unfortunately, the panel ran out of time and they excused everyone in the question lines.

We had another trivia contest, this time a "stump the experts" style game. I decided to ask rather than be an "expert." My question was where is Adam from, city and state? I've been to Windom, Minnesota, as it is not far from my town. I remember when I first saw "Jump the Shark," and the location popping up and being stunned. It just seemed like such an odd choice, and I'm fairly certain it was rather random. I wouldn't be surprised if they hovered a finger over the map, circled it down and whatever town in Minnesota it landed on was the town they chose. Even so, it's just neat that I've been to a few of the places actually on the show---and the smaller ones, not the big cities. It was answered and a few prizes were given out. I wasn't sure how many people had caught that. After all, on Supernatural, it's pretty rare that we see the same place twice or that often (Bobby's being an exception).

We had another first appearance for a convention with Rick Worthy, the Alpha Vampire from season 6. He was really neat to see. I rather had liked his scenes in the show, and he was really creepy. On stage, he was very sweet and humble, nothing like his character. He seemed just thrilled that fans would want to see him at this, considering how small of a role he played in the season. I thought it was interesting that in his preparation for the role he checked the episodes with vampires only to get a feel for what the Supernatural twist on the lore was. It seems almost everyone has their own twist on it, after all. The question about pranks came up again, and Rick said that he was also not pranked by Jared and Jensen. I'm beginning to think it's largely a mythical story about the boys pranking. He said that he really enjoyed his time on the show, that the atmosphere was wonderful, and that he'd love to find a way to come back. It seems that everyone would love to come back. Several questions pertained to his time on Battlestar Galatica, and he expressed that he wished it would have gone on longer.

After this, we had a look at the "Real Supernatural" with Jason Gowin. It seemed technical difficulties wanted to lord the day, so most of his audio and video simply refused to cooperate. He was mentored by George Lutz, the man whose family is the basis for the Amityville Horror. I've seen Ghost Hunters on Syfy, but not really watched his show Extreme Paranormal. I've seen some of the things he was trying to show, technical difficulties and all. His stories about encountering various angry spirits was fascinating to listen to. It's hard to say how much of what happens in this investigations is real paranormal or human imagination, but there's got to be something to all of it.

Matt Cohen was our next panel, and boy was he a delight. He came out in a t-shirt with a giant maxi pad strapped to his back. He said that this was carry over from another convention, after a fan slapped one on his back there. He seemed to have a lot of fun with the joke. His panel was funny. He told us a story about how he wanted to be on a show that is all female cast, but they told him he couldn't. He decided to show up in Daisy Dukes, shaved legs, a wig, fake boobs in a tight top, and make up. It got him on the show. It's a webseries and I'd absolutely love to see it. Something tells me that it's crazy and over the top and silly---and judging by how Matt Cohen is in person, funny. It also confirmed that I had made the right decision in purchasing a last minute ticket for a photo op with him. I figure I had danced with him the night before, it was only fair. I couldn't believe when he said that he had broken ribs. After last night's dancing, I can't imagine how much that must have hurt! He was hugging people endlessly, too.

Again, Matt was "iced" and I learned what it meant. Someone gave him a Smirnoff Ice, which he had to drink while on one knee. It's a frat party game of some sort. If someone gives you a Smirnoff Ice and you do not have one already, you must drink it. If you do, then the person trying to “ice” you must drink both. Somehow this just seems silly, but it did provide some entertainment. Matt charged us fans with the challenge of getting Misha iced the next day. He said that Misha would talk his way out of it somehow. The gauntlet was down now and we HAD to go through with it.

We had the costume contest, and it came down to Mary on the ceiling, the fugly scarecrow from "Scarecrow" and Pam. The fugly scarecrow won, though the best costume by far was that of a child in a cat suit in the locker. They divided adults and children, and since there was only one child in the running they automatically won theirs. It was such an adorable costume and I'd love to see that come to my house on Halloween. Even if you've never seen the show or that episode, how can you not like the costume? It's cute!

I went after that to get my photo taken with Matt. I told him that he was adorable, to which he said thanks. They snapped the photo, and I am pleased to have it signed by him, too! I could tell that this was not a chore for him. I can only imagine having your photo taken so many times with random people must be weird, but he handled it well.

The big attraction of the day was Richard Speight Jr. Our resident Trickster turned Archangel (or is it the other way around?) was a joy. The way he just connects with the fans is something to see. Richard talked about his time on the show, the Bring Back Gabriel campaign, and his Pepsi Max ads. He said that his favorite scene to shoot was the warehouse one, simply because it was just him and Jared and Jensen, acting. There wasn't any real special effects or action or what have you. It was just them presenting the scene. He also admitted that he had never been pranked by the boys, either. I think it's an urban legend the more I hear that they haven't pranked such and such guest actor.

I managed to ask him about his Pepsi Max commercials, of which I am a huge fan. I asked him which one was his favorite, after he said that his favorite athlete to make one with was Mark Sanchez. He said that his favorite commercial was the one with Snoop. The snap in the commercial that identifies him as Gabriel to us Supernatural fans? Purely coincidental. He said that he was supposed to push a button on some device, but the director found it cumbersome, so told him to simply snap his fingers. He told them after wards that all the Supernatural fans would notice that instantly, to which they were pleased. They love the fact that we embrace those ads. I did even before I had watched Supernatural, they're just good commercials, and with so many bad ones it's nice to see good ones!

What really got my attention was his talk about his time on Band of Brothers (something he'd also mention in his second panel on Sunday). So often we think of him as the dark comic on Supernatural, the Trickster. To hear him talk about such a serious role in such a dramatic story, and to have met the real band of brothers was amazing. I've meant to always check it out, but I most certainly will now because of how moved he was by being in it. It's a testament to how powerful of a story---and a true one---it must be.

After that, we had photo ops with Richard. On a whim, I asked him if he'd pick me up, which he did. He had to do it twice, as he blinked. The photographer managed to get my gladiator sandals in the frame, too! I'm so glad I got to take a photo with him, as I am with all those I got a photo op with. He was so at ease, thus making me feel at ease. It really helped me during the weekend to see how personable each and everyone of these people were!

We got in line for the autographs a while later, and when I got to Matt, I asked him how he had danced with a broken rib. He said he'd taken about five or six Advil and some scotch. I said that'd do it and then told him that he was adorable again. He just is! Richard signed my season 3 DVD set, which just seemed appropriate considering “Mystery Spot.” I told him those are some of my favorite episodes. I told Steven that I had remembered him in the X-Files and that I loved his work, and I told Rick that it was so nice to see them. Again, the graciousness each showed was amazing and commendable.

Later that night, we had the cocktail party. Each guest for Saturday went to each table and talked to us. It was a nice treat. I actually manged to ask Steven about Kim Manners. He said that he hadn't had a chance to work with him on Supernatural, but had on X-Files. He said that Kim had struggled with personal problems, had overcome them, only to end up with the cancer. He said that Kim was a fighter to the very end and had such a vision that it's a shame he's gone. I agree. The genius we see in the episodes he's directed are so evident. It went by so fast, and by the end of it I was so tired. As soon as the guests were done for the night, so was I!

Sunday

The big final finish to the convention. I woke up around quarter to six---without an alarm clock, got ready, and went to the Breakfast that both Jared and Misha would attend. The breakfast was fun, amazing, and full of the same flavor that the rest of the convention had. I was a bit back from the stage at my table, but I certainly felt at ease once Misha and Jared started to riff off of one another, telling jokes, stories, ribbing each other and the like. I think we all learned what should NOT be read to children---and that young children at these conventions is a bit like taking young children to the Renaissance Festival shows: adult jokes ahead! WARNING. Just don't read Samuel L. Jackson's childrens book to your children---you know, unless you really want to hear that language repeated out of a small tiny child mouth. If that's your thing, then by all means! It was also a continuation of the Great Icing. They tried to trick Misha into drinking the Smirnoff Ice, which he declined and wheedled his way out of---just as Matt Cohen predicted, by the way. Something tells me that he could outfox Crowley---oh wait, Cas DID. It was a lot of fun and the atmosphere was very easy and laid back from my stand point. It set a lot of the tone for the rest of the day and set it on the right foot in my opinion.

Shortly after the breakfast ended, I ran to my room to get my stuff and put it in holding so I wouldn't get stuck paying for another night, tidied up a bit, then went down to find the room for the Private Q&A with Jared---of which I had a ticket. On the way down, I rode the elevator with Steven Williams, who was very personable and a delight. Who says you can't brush with actors at these things! I got to the room with my ticket, waited for them to let us in with our randomly drawn seat ticket, sat down, and waited for the main attraction: Jared himself.

He came into the room, took the chair provided, and the Q&A was underway. Of course the burning question was about the customs incident Jared encountered going to Vancouver, which led to him bemoaning the other security issues he's run into. Basically it seems that he ran into an extremely zealous security agent. The guy had pulled the four or five other passengers ahead of Jared aside, so I don't think it was a personalthing.

I had gone in with a very particular question in my mind. I had come up with it shortly after winning the ticket back in early June. When I had first won the ticket, I had some trouble thinking about what to ask, but once I had the question, I knew I HAD to do it. Here was my one and only chance and I was not about to let it slip away.

I saw an opportunity to jump in, and said "Not to change the tangent," to which Jared said, "Oh please, do." I nodded and said, "I'm a writer and I don't get actors." Jared replied that he didn't get writers, so that was okay. I went on to ask, "How do you, as an actor, approach your craft?" He seemed pleased to be asked such a question. He said that he had learned a lot from the unquestionably talented and legendary Peter O'Toole. He said that as an actor he tends to say things different a few times, change a gesture, the emphasis on a word here and there, alter things until it seems to fit and is organic to the scene. It makes sense that they would want to make it seem as realistic and organic as possible, otherwise it comes off as forced and fake. The fact that Jared can find it in himself to bring his characters to life on screen the way he does is a testament to his artistry---and Jared admitted that he doesn't think he's an artist. I'd beg to differ.

I was fascinated to hear him talk about his craft. As a writer, I'm very much aware of craft and I focus upon it as a foundation for my own work. Without the good craft, the story can fall apart and it's interesting to see how an actor approaches interpreting a writer's work to bring it to life either on stage or screen. If anything, it made me much more curious about how actors work. I'd love to be on set, as a fly on the wall, to see the process from the table reading to the shooting that ends up on the screen in the end. Something tells me that the metamorphosis from words on a page to what we watch each week would be a fascinating thing to witness. I don't ever think it just happens, that they just show up, say their lines and somehow it just comes out the way it does on screen. I can tell just by how both Jared and Jensen---and Misha and Jim and Mark and all of the wonderful cast members act that they are truly devoted to what they do. There is a lot of hard work going on that I don't think those of us not in acting can ever truly understand, and judging by interviews done by Jared to Jensen to several of the other recurring cast members they all feed off of each other's skills, enriching the final product.

I was so thrilled with this answer. It was more than I could have hoped to hear back from him in this Q&A---and I think it emboldened me.

I went on to say to Jared that I am currently working on my own piece. Here's a little back story on it: I have a BA in Creative Writing, which I earned in 2006. Since then, I had fallen into a retail job and hadn't done much writing much to my shame and frustration. I came across Supernatural back in October on a "staycation" and fell in love with the writing. I fell in love with it so much that by January I was working on my own original works, falling in love with craft all over again. I would LOVE to thank all of the writers personally for giving me my writing voice back by inspiring me so much. My emphasis is on fiction, and thus I am writing a novel. When I sat down to formulate my main character, I was very particular about it. I had this pipe dream or far off unreachable wouldn't that be neat kind of idea if it could happen notion that I'd love to see a very particular actor in the role if I could. So, I really laid all of my cards on the table here after Jared asked if my piece was a screen play.

I said back to him, rather boldly and unabashedly, "No. It's a fiction piece, but if I could ever get it converted into a screenplay, I would cast one actor and only one actor: YOU."

He seemed blown away by that, then said that he really wanted to read the piece in question. It was probably just one of those once in a life time moments, and this genuine, sweet, humble man who is a star on an increasingly popular by the day show had just given it to me. I had decided to go big or go home, and cashing in all of my chips had paid off---more than I had even known it would.

Once this was over, the questions turned decidedly away from airline security problems to questions about the show and his work and the like---which made it so much fun. He let the cat out of the bag that they're filming 23 episodes as opposed to the normal 22---all because of our fan efforts. This was warmly received, as can be imagined. Of course, some people decided later on to make this seem bad on the internet and in Twitterverse, as in this could be the final season of the show simply because of the extra episode, but I don't think that's the case. I'd hope if the cast and crew were ready to put a punctuation point on this show they'd have the sense to tell us upfront that this was the final season. My guess is that it is not and therefore all a good thing on this extra episode. Even if it is the final season, I do hope that they give us a satisfying end none the less.

People asked him about scenes such as those like in "The End" playing Lucifer, as well as the ever popular question about the differences between Sam and Jared---to which Jared did his famous third person talking thing. Funny thing is he caught himself, said that it was kind of weird, and then kept doing it anyways! Someone asked him if he wanted to get into directing the way that Jensen has done to which he said no. If he had a choice in an episode to direct, however, he'd have chosen "The End." He said this episode because he was hardly in it and thus would have had an easier time sitting in that chair rather than trying to do both acting and directing so much. I think that fascinating. I'm only a writer really, so I don't know much about the directing or acting aspects, but I can imagine that doing both together can be difficult.

Another person asked the dreaded amulet question. Jared's answer was extremely thought provoking and interesting. He said that, at least from the actor's perspective, that the thing whacked Jensen in the face a few times. He said that the amulet is absolutely a symbol of Sam and Dean's relationship, but just because it is no longer there does not mean that the bond is severed or weakened or damaged. What was most fascinating about his answer was how he used his wedding ring as an example. He said that just because he took off his ring, which he did in his explanation, that it doesn't mean he loves Gen less or that he'll sleep around on her. He's still as committed to her as he is with it on---just as Sam and Dean are just as much brothers with or without the amulet. It just seemed to make sense. He also said that he didn't feel that Supernatural liked to linger too much on sentimentality as a show, which I can say I agree with. It was just a neat answer and while I think all of us as fans in general would love to see the amulet return, I don't think it's necessary. Judging by Jared's answer, my guess is we'll never see Dean wear it again save in fanfiction, of course.

He also gave us hints at the upcoming season, saying that is scarier than it has been in awhile. He was very enthused about this development. Jared also mentioned that we're going to delve into Sam's experiences in the Cage more now that the Wall has collapsed. This made me feel good about the upcoming season. I don't generally like spoilers of any kind, but he managed to be just teasing enough that we knew a bit more than when we went in, but didn't have the whole puzzle laid out before us, either. I think he's picked up some skill on what hand to show and what one to keep to the vest. I like the idea of them delving into scary, too. I'm not sure how they anticipate doing this or where this will take the show, but strap me into my seat and let's go! It was nice to hear how enthusiastic he is to go to work on this upcoming season, and as anyone knows, the happier someone is at work the better the end result. Something tells me that this will be a great season coming our way.

I told Jared that some of my favorite scenes of the series are when he plays Lucifer in "The End" and then again against Sam in "Swan Song." He seemed to be taken aback by that. It's hard to explain why I would pick those scenes---and now of course his work in "The Man Who Knew Too Much" is also another favorite of mine, too. I just find his acting in all of those scenes to be so captivating and admire the artistry that he had to put into them. It's also one of the catalysts for me to choose him as my actor of choice. It must have been hard to do and he should most certainly be proud of that work. As a fan, I enjoy them, as a writer and artist myself I find them to be just so wonderfully done and spot on for what was needed in the script. It just seemed to transcend for me in some way and it's a reason I return to them often. I truly appreciate the effort and art that went into those scenes.

I must have felt really damn bold or had eaten something to make me less shy or something because I said, “I hear you have a birthday coming up. Can I give you a birthday card?” He said sure and stood up, took it, and before I knew what was happening hugged me! I'm so glad I bought the damn high heel boots, because I'm only 5'3 and 3/4" and he's, well, not. I just hope he liked what I tucked into it. I guess I won't really know anytime soon. I told him that I was turning 29 myself in a matter of two months and he said he'd tell me what it was like. My guess it's not much different than 28.

All too soon, the Q&A portion was over and Jared was shuffled away to get ready for his later panels---and photo ops. Metamorphic Rocks can certainly tell me if I missed anything. She was a pleasure to meet!

It was time to stand in line for the Jared and Misha Duo Photo Op, and I ended up in line with Metamorphic Rocks, who is a sweet heart. I had no idea I had made any impact with my Soulless Sam article, at least not really, and she made me feel humble by her response in person to it. To hear that someone had read it more than once---besides ME---means a lot, so thank you! I was so glad to have stood in that line with you! Hopefully, between working on my novel and such I can get my ass in gear to write other articles for the site than this long winded Con story.

I got my photo taken, which is odd for me because I generally HATE having my photo taken, but hey when it's with these two, bring it! They were gentlemen. It happened so fast, but the end result was very much wort it. If I knew how to get it onto the computer and share, I would! (I didn't get a chance to buy the JPG. Is that online somewhere even if you picked up your print or whatever?) I thought it turned out well, although I still looked elf size next to both of them---high heels or no high heels.

The panels with Jared, then Jared and Misha, then Misha alone were a lot of fun. I think it's just awesome that these actors take time out of their busy schedules to come and talk to US the fans, answer some of our questions---be they silly or serious---all with genuine respect and interest. So often we hear about TV stars or movie stars being aloof or fake or rude----these two were neither, and the atmosphere they created together was a joy to be a part of. The way Jared and Misha play off of one another is delightful and the way they managed to joke around just made this whole thing seem casual. The infamous Words With Friends Incident came up again, and Misha told Jared that he STILL has loose change in his car. Jared again confirmed to the whole crowd this time what he had in the Private Q&A: Season 7 is SCARY. This was warmly received.

Just for you, Alice, someone asked Jared about his hair. If he had a choice, he said he'd grow it even longer than it already is. I rather liked that answer, mainly because I like long hair and it seems to suit him. I noticed that he has this thing about running his hands through his hair continually. I wonder if he knows he does it. He did tell a funny story about his older brother Jeff, a surgeon no less, giving him a bit of a cut in the off season once. His brother was trimming the hairs at the back of the neck, Jared felt a slight pinch and groused at him for trying to be funny. His brother fell to the floor hysterically laughing, and Jared reached up rubbing the spot to find blood! This made Jeff laugh harder, I guess. I think Jared learned why he should trust his hair stylist on this one.

It was funny to see how many times someone would ask Misha a question, to which he'd rib Jared because for once the question was for HIM. Jared tried to butt in a few times, just to get Misha back, which was funny as hell. The giant birthday card everyone signed (I hope that Jasper the Dog, a star in his own right, got to sign it, too!) shocked Jared and made him very happy. He admitted he'd put it up in his trailer on the actual day as he'd be filming. Later on, other gifts were given to Jared, which Misha tried to steal at one point. Jared cradled them the rest of the time he was on stage. It was hilarious. If either one ever doubts their ability to possibly do comedy, they should rewatch this panel back and see how funny they are. The timing is there. They could so do it! Hell, they should watch "The French Mistake," particularly Jared's acting as Sam tries to act (talk about hand painting the hand) and failing at being Jared. How someone who can pull off Lucifer can sell such inept acting is beyond me.

After Jared left, and Misha was alone, our resident Angel of the Lord turned God, kept a promise. He taught us how to Tibetan Throat Sing, which was an unusual thing to see. It confirmed everything I've ever thought about what I call "theater people." (Let's be honest, the whole WEEKEND did that). Theater People will do anything. They'll put on silly costumes, talk with funny voices, do ridiculous things, and more---either because you tell them or they feel compelled. This was ONE of those Theater People moments. I still don't get actors. Sorry, Jared, wonderful explanation you provided and all. I. Still. Don't. Get. Actors. I probably never will.

We had another panel with Richard, which was just as fun as the first one! I love how he walks the room, and while some may grumble that they paid to be up front, the ranging the crowd bit he does shows just how he cares for all the fans. Someone asked Richard which show he'd like to dump Sam and Dean next, considering the episode "Changing Channels." Several were suggested, and all of them would be hilarious. I suggested "Psych”even if Richard didn't quite hear it. I think Shawn and Dean would butt heads and Sam and Gus would become fast friends, swapping stories about how their partner creates havoc on a regular basis. Of course more Pepsi Max questions were raised. I see one at least once every baseball game I watch. Now they're all the more funny.

Later, when it came time to get our autographs from Jared, Misha, Brock, and Richard, I was sitting waiting for my row to be called. My luck must have been on my side this whole damn weekend, because they did the name drawing for the $250 merchandise certificate. I suddenly hear my first name, Allison, and my Dutch-German last name being butchered in more new ways I haven't heard before. I knew it was me, because I'm the only Allison Bresdener, Brester, B-whatever I know. Let's just say I managed to go clean house and get more stuff than I had anticipated before going. Lots of t-shirts, pictures, a few mugs, and other misc items suddenly were in my possession. If I thought that was lucky while waiting to get my autograph, I had no idea what luck was waiting for me at the end of the wait in Jared's line.

I step up and set down my DVD set of season 3 (It's a personal overall favorite). I start to say thank you while Jared is looking down, picking through the markers for the silver one to sign the set. He looks up, gets this look of recognition on his face, leans forward, and says with more conviction I can remember anyone having in ages, "Thank you for writing that novel. I really want to read it." I had no intention of bringing it up twice. I don't even remember what I was going to say, so taken aback by his genuine interest in my work. I said "No problem. I'll certainly give you a copy when it's completed." He signed my DVD set, stood up to his full height, leaned over that table, took my hand in a firm handshake and thanked me again (Yes, my tiny hand disappeared in his). I'm still floored that he remembered THAT part of the Q&A, considering all the questions and the panel he had just gone through and all that's not to mention the fact that he was still on Vancouver time and probably tired as all get out. I guess I know what I'm bringing to the next convention, which means I best get busy ASAP, eh? (On a side note, guess who is going to look into screenwriting, too?)

If I could thank him again for not only inspiring me in so many ways in the first place, but now for giving me such encouragement, I would. Thanks, Jared. Your comments probably have done more for my writing than you know---and you haven't read it yet!

I told Richard what I do for a living. I'm the Key Receiver at my store, and I sign the invoices and check in the products for Pepsi at least once a week. It just seemed appropriate to meet the Pepsi Max man. He signed my photo I took with him with the message that I should "key verify me." I'm sort of tempted to put THAT up in my office at work, but my co workers already think I'm crazy enough. I can't say enough nice stuff about Richard, actually. I can extend that to ALL of the actors I met at this convention. Such down to earth people, each and every one of them.

The last guest of the weekend was Brock Kelly, and his panel was just as much fun as the rest of them. He was Iced so many times, I really wonder how he was standing by the end, though. He said that he really had enjoyed his time on the show, hadn't really seen anything but "A Very Supernatural Christmas" before appearing in it, and thus didn't really know much about the show prior. I think that might have been a good thing for him, simply because he wouldn't have any of the material colored by earlier episodes or fandom or anything. As time went on, a special gift arrived from the Private Meet and Greet with Richard Speight Jr. He sent over four or five Purple Nurples, which changed up the Icing. Brock downed them all. I can't imagine how that felt a few hours later. I have a funny feeling this whole Icing thing will be forbidden at future conventions.

All in all, I had a wonderful time at this convention, and I'd love to go to another (obviously with something in hand for a certain someone!). I'd love to meet more of the cast (Jensen and Jim come to mind), as well as more of my Winchester Family Business family! It was more than I had ever expected it would be and I'd have to say it was so worth the money I spent. I'd also love to take my best friend with me next time, if she can find time off from work. It'd be nice to share with someone---making it all the better! If you haven't made it to one in any capacity, I highly recommend it. As you can see, you never know what might happen!

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