BurCon: Giving Thanks

It’s rare for me to find something that fully seduces and captivates me. I’ve found that as I get older, I have a markedly finite amount of patience for things I have to try to like.

When I find something that sucks me into its snare immediately, I appreciate it like a foot rub after 12 hours on my feet.

Supernatural was one of those snares. Our own fabulous Kristin McFarland told me to watch it, and I remember when I posted a Facebook status inquiring about others’ thoughts, it quickly became the highest-endorsed show anyone had recommended since Hannibal stormed the Alps with elephants (and that was even way before he got into cannibalism and Jodie Foster’s head).

The pilot sucked me in. I’ll admit to having previously thought the premise a bit thin — two brothers fighting demons and looking for Dad — sort of like Buffy with less than 50% of the X chromosomes. Admittedly, there are a few issues in that vein, but as the show progressed, I began to feel a warm regard for it, and before too long, I was sitting it down to tell it how ardently I admired and loved it.

What Supernatural accomplishes with a fervent and zealous deliberation is best exemplified in its ability to turn a humorous episode into a soul-searching exploration of its characters and their very evident humanity. Last night Spouse and I watched French Mistake (Ep 615), which is known for its über-meta hilarity — and in that episode I saw a glimpse of some of the finest acting Jared Padalecki has ever done when they’re back home, and he’s staring at a wall.

That might not sound particularly compelling, but he slaps the wall, thumps it with his hand a couple of times, and you see a dozen emotions flicker across his face. And because of that, I felt something.

That, my friends, is why I spent eight months drooling, binge watching, and ultimately saving-scrimping-pinching to be able to attend a Supernatural convention.

It’s been my first real foray into active and contemporary fandom. Buffy — my beloved Buffy — ended before I found it. All the things I loved as a kid — Fear Street, the Nightworld, X-Men, Power Rangers, Star Wars, Lord of the Rings — all of it was pre-Twitter, pre-Internet, and without any knowledge of what cons were or how to find them. I loved those things alone, from the relative sanctity and safety of my own room.

Supernatural has been, in some ways, the first fandom I found to be a home. The actors and creators feel like genuine people. When Jared hashtags #SPNfamily on Twitter, he means it.

There’s something to be treasured in getting to see a show build itself each week, in the chance to digest each episode after a thorough chewing instead of swallowing whole seasons in one bite like some kind of…Leviathan.

Is it worth it to spend money (lots of it) to fly cross-country (or cross-ocean, as many did) and see the faces of a show’s actors in person? That’s really up to you — you can be a superfan without ever having been forcibly removed from the set. The greatest thing about the experience is getting to love something together, cast and fans. And that’s what I learned this weekend.

Plus, a hug from Misha never hurt.

For me, the weekend was distinctly special. I got to meet Jared, Jensen, Misha — all of the obvious cast members. Which was really wonderful and exciting. But perhaps even cooler for me than those very brief hellos in the autograph and photo op queues was getting to spend a bit of actual time talking to Osric Chau, Travis Wester, and Felicia Day. Osric is absolutely delightful, Travis is a fellow fantasy author, and Felicia…well. Felicia is Felicia. I don’t really have words.

I also got to meet our lovely Shauna Granger in person as well as another writer I’ve known via Teh Internetz for a couple years, August McLaughlin. So as it is, these pictures…

Shauna and me! Live! In person! FOR REALSIES!
Shauna and me! Live! In person! FOR REALSIES!
August and me -- if you don't know who she is, get on that.
August and me — if you don’t know who she is, get on that.

…Mean as much or more to me as these pictures…

Yep. That's a J&J sammich made of Emmie.
Yep. That’s a J&J sammich made of Emmie.
Felicia and I are ready for battle.
Felicia and I are ready for battle.

Most of my pictures didn’t turn out very well for the weekend…but there’s always next year. And until then, the ones above (all four of them) are the ones that really count.

Oh, and this one! Which I never would have gotten without Shauna having the chutzpah to ask for:

Me with producer and writer Adam Glass.
Me with producer and writer Adam Glass.

One of the other awesome moments of the weekend — getting to talk writing shop with Adam Glass, who has been with the show for years. *Salutes Shauna*

This week, I’m giving thanks for so much. For this show and the people who make it. For getting to meet friends in person after years of knowing them online. For getting to hear Mark Pellegrino sing Sweet Transvestite. For Osric as Rapunzel.

Would I go back? I’m already planning for next year.

Who’s with me?

PS: If you want to hear more about my weekend, I posted a vlog about it. It’s a long’un, but there’s some good stuff in there!

BurCon – Sunday November 24th

I was very lucky to win a ticket to the Supernatural BurCon event for Sunday, thanks to the awesome Debra Kristi!

Because it was such short notice for me I couldn’t do any of the autographs or photo ops with the stars of the show, so I was reduced to taking a few ninja shots of them. I thought I’d share some of the pics I got. Forgive the quality – I forgot my real camera and was reduced to taking pics with my phone so some of them are quite grainy.

photo 4First up! I was lucky to get to meet fellow Spellbound Scribe, Emmie Mears in person and we got to chuckle about the similarities of our hairs. And, thanks to Emmie’s keen eye, we got to meet one of the writers and Executive Producer, Adam Glass. Mr. Glass was very nice and approachable, I think, if we’d had the time, he would have let us talk to him for hours.

It was an added bonus to get to meet Emmie while at BurCon, since we live on complete opposite sides of the country.photo 1

Then, while waiting for the big panel of the day, I just happened to be standing in front of the table where Misha Collins was signing autographs. It wasn’t confirmed that he would be at the con until just a few days before, so it was quite the event for people to get to meet him. I managed to sneak a few ninja shots of him before one of the con organizers shook her finger at me to stop.

He spoke on stage as well and I have to say, he was as sweet as you hope him to be when watching the show.

photo 3After that, it was time for the big panel. Then badass-nerd-girl-fighter Felicia Day took the stage. We were all excited to see her fabulous new haircut (see mine and Emmie’s hairs above to understand)! And she answered questions about gaming, the show, being a nerd girl, working in front of and behind the camera and her hobbies. A favorite question was, “Real or fictional, who would you like to trade bodies with?” Felicia’s answer? “Well, I’d like to have a penis, that’s for sure!” Ultimately it was a toss up between Clive Owen and George Clooney.

When her time was up, rather than signaling her discreetly, the one and only Jensen Ackles snuck up on her and scared the bejeezus out of her. It was adorable. He timed it with the laughter and cheers to one of her answers, so she didn’t register the change in our voices when we spotted him.

image (2)She said she was blushing after he disappeared behind stage again. I know I would have been beet red had it been me!

photo 2
I’m sorry for the grainy quality! I had a fantastic seat, but phones you know…

Then, after a quick charity auction (where a Justin Beiber look-a-like bid $3,100 for an autographed cheerleader uniform, signed by everyone at the con), it was time to see the boys we’d all come to see. Yes, that’s right, J2: Jensen and Jared.

My husband and I were very lucky, years ago, when the show had just finished its first season they were invited to the Paley Festival, we managed to score tickets to see it. For those of you who don’t know what that is, every year the Paley Festival (formally the Radio and Television History Museum) invites casts and crew of (mostly) new popular shows to come and speak about the show. We got to see J & J, the producers, director and some of the writers. We were all impressed with the humor and humility of J & J and I am happy to say, so many years and seasons later, they were just as funny, just as humble and just as photo 5sweet as they were back then.

As you can probably guess, I’m a Jensen/Dean girl, but I didn’t forget about you Jared/Sam fans, here are a few shots of him in his spiffy Fedora. Many girls were yelling for him to take the hat off to see the legendary locks of his, but I thought it was pretty cool!

If you’re curios, that pic in the bottom left corner is Jared signing the charity uniform. They started to play music to pass the time, so Jensen started to dance (that’s why his hands are up like that). It was pretty funny and adorable, if you ask me!

One of my favorite parts of the panel was the moment a fan asked the boys how they got into the more emotional moments of their scenes. What did they do to show their emotions? What would you recommend to an aspiring actor to capture those moments? Well, Jared took the question first and he was saying that he never, ever fakes emotions – what we see is what he’s feeling. And Jensen had this reaction:

imageYep, he’s rolling his eyes and shaking his head, mouthing the words, “Come on…” Hilarious. That is just one of the many moments where the guys traded jabs with each other. At one point, when Jensen got one too many questions in a row, Jared threw up his hands and said he was leaving. These guys are just awesome.

They say don’t meet your heroes because you never know what kind of person they really are, but I can tell you, if you met these guys in real life, you wouldn’t be disappointed. The con organizers specifically asked people not to express their love and adoration when asking questions, so that we didn’t run over time, but some could not help themselves and you know what? The guys didn’t stare blankly, didn’t sigh or shake their heads. No, when a fan told them how much they loved them (or screamed it from the audience), the boys smiled and told them (and the rest of us), how much they loved them too.

It was a great day and I can’t thank Debra enough. BurCon is a yearly event, if you’re a fan of the show, I highly recommend trying to go!