Las Vegas Supernatural Convention 2014
I had the pleasure of returning to the Salute to Supernatural convention here in Las Vegas again this year. Last year was my virgin run, and well, I guess I came back for more. Cleary I wouldn’t be going if I wasn’t a Supernatural fan, and yes I am a fangirl when it comes to this show. This was the best way to let my fangirl side out for a free run.
I didn’t go for the full four day package this year. I had to at least attempt to be responsible for some priorities in my life, no matter how tempted I was. I opted for the Saturday event, mainly because that was the day that the lead actors Jensen Ackles and Jared Padalecki would be appearing. Hopefully next year, and I do plan on going again, I can swing all four days and watch and listen to the other panels of actors and crew.
If you have never been to a convention before, it is pretty much a jammed packed all day event of scheduled panels and activities down to the minute. All you are required to do is strap in for the ride. The panels for Saturday started with our host for the four days, Richard Speight Jr, coming out to open up the day, and sadly for that day, he had to fill in for a sick panelist. Mr. Speight Jr. is better known to the Supernatural fan as the trickster or the angel, Gabriel. The man has only been in four episodes over the now nine seasons of the show, but he is as beloved as the boys.
I should also mention that the convention had its very own house band. I can’t speak for the other conventions, but last year we had the honor of the same band. The band is called the Elastic Waste Band, and their alter ego is the real band, Louden Swain, led by Rob Benedict who is another actor from the show who played the beloved character, Chuck. When they represent The Elastic Waste Band, the band gets into crazy character donning 70s leisure suits and tuxes. They don wigs and accents and completely different names as the play covers and time in with jokes and moments made by the panelists. They know how to get the audience pumped up, make them laugh, or entertain them in general. I believe that they are a great asset and hope they return next year.
The next panelist was Chad Lindberg who is known to the fans as Ash. His panel mostly focused on his passion of the paranormal and ghost hunting. Thursday night of the convention, Mr. Lindberg led a group of fans on a ghost hunting venture out to the local haunted hot spot of Bonnie Springs. He is very into the paranormal and has been on the reality series, Ghost Adventures, a few times. Even Aaron Goodwin from Ghost Adventures was hanging out at the convention during Lindberg’s panel. He talked a lot about his personal paranormal experiences and how his fascination with it usually drove what roles he chose as an actor. He brought a few gadgets known to the ghost hunting world up with him just to see if they would go off. They did so maybe we it just wasn’t him and us fans present. It was a very interesting panel hearing about his experiences and advising some fans how to handle their own.
Richard Speight Jr returned for his panel with partner in crime, Matt Cohen, and brought along Rob Benedict. It was a treat for the Saturday only guests, because Benedict didn’t have a panel scheduled for that day. I should also mention that Rob Benedict had been recovering from a stroke since October. This was the first con he’s fully been back for since the incident. He was fully recovered and energetic as always, which was fantastic to see. I even heard there was a special welcome back video made by the fans for his Friday panel. We supernatural fans are nothing but love. The group mostly answered questions from fans and promoted their newest work. Special mention for Richard Speight Jr and his short film that he wrote and directed called, America 101.
The next guest was Misha Collins, who plays the beloved Castiel. Mr. Collins is always a delight and just a fascinating individual all around. His energy and wit is always top notch even though his can be very easily distracted. I don’t mind that so much, because those distractions are always entertaining. He spoke a lot about his creative projects that he has partnered on with his wife whether they be in the entertainment business or not. She seems just as creative as he is, which should make for a very powerful couple. This man is definitely someone I would invite to my fantasy dinner table for the interesting conversation alone. Misha Collins was as big of a joy as last year, and I was glad that I got see him, since his panel for Saturday was a recent addition.
My friends and I decided to take a lunch run after Misha’s panel, and since you have to make a life decision on who to miss in the full packed day, we had to choose to miss out on the Osric Chau panel. I had a time constraint with my upcoming photo op and my phone was in desperate need of a charge. As unlucky as it was to miss out on his panel. I did have a slight run in with him later in the day. Nothing fancy or extreme fangirlish, but I did give a smile and a nod as I stood beside him waiting on my friends while they were making a Starbucks run. I personally have this weird thing about celebrities private vs. public time. I just don’t want to bug them on their own time. Yes, they were here for the fans at a convention, so that is what they are there for. I just have my own issues with that kind of thing. I am not the person that will chase down someone for an autograph. I remember meeting Jane Espenson, writer and producer currently for Once Upon A Time and then Buffy the Vampire Slayer, after a lecture she gave at my university during my freshman year. I got a weird look from my friend when I told him that I didn’t want to go up and get an autograph from her. He had to talk me into it. I still have it, but I feel weird about having it. Everyone has the right to want those things, and there is nothing wrong with it. I am just not that person. A point that is even further made when it came to my photo op with Jensen and Jared.
I was nervous at first. I actually have never been in the presence of a celebrity before in my life. My run in with Osric happened after this, so I was walking blind as far as my reaction. While I love both the actors, Jensen is my current celebrity crush and has been for some time now. I kept going down the check list of 1. He’s a stranger. 2. He’s a person. and 3. He’s married. I believe I am a sensible person and this should have been enough to keep me calm. Then I kept having horrible flashbacks of my awkward teen years and my love for my Backstreet Boys and Devon Sawa, and the wallpaper their posters created in my room. I have convinced myself that I grew out of that crazy, but what if I was wrong and Mr. Ackles will forever remember me as that Las Vegas Con girl? Thankfully as I was ushered into the room with the other patiently waiting fans and saw them for the first time in close proximity, my first thought was, “They’re not that tall.” Both Jared and Jenson are tall, especially Jared, but for some reason I expected bigger than life giants. That right there was the moment that I could relax and knew I could handle it. When I actually got up to them for my picture, which was very assembly line, I told them both thank you for coming to the convention and doing the show. This was happening as they both ushered me in place for the photo. Jensen smiled and said thanks, but it was Jared that would cause me panic until I actually saw my photo printed later that evening.
Jared decided to engage with more than a simple thank you. He leans down with his 6’ 4” self and says, “No, thank you, baby. You’re why we do this.” If you are a Sam fan, you would probably be melting into puddles of fangirl goo after hearing this. I was startled and not in a necessarily good way. My inner feminist roared up at the moment he said “baby,” and the dialogue in my head went “Who the hell is he calling baby?” Thankfully this was not said out loud, which would have come off very badly. I couldn’t help the reaction. It is way too natural for me. I would like to tell the Sam and Jared fans that I am not now nor was then mad at Mr. Padalecki. He was being engaging and friendly by using an endearment. He just didn’t know me personally. He doesn’t know that I am fiercely independent and practically a feminist, especially one that believes “baby” is an intimate term and should have permission before using it with me always. It took probably five seconds for reality to hit and to laugh at my own reaction and throw it aside as my own personal crazy towards someone being nice. Unfortunately, it only took two seconds after his statement to have the actual picture taken which turns out was before I got over myself. For those who know me, I don’t always have to speak what is on my mind, because my face is usually quick to portray said thoughts and gets me into trouble quite a lot. Being that thrown off by Jared’s proclamation could only guarantee that my face expressed what my mouth did not. After leaving, I was terrified that my birthday present to myself would have me looking especially sarcastic and indignant. Only I would end up doing something like that to myself. I am happy to announce, that picture did indeed turn out well, and I saved myself from immortalized embarrassment.
There were two major panels left in that day. One was with Jim Michaels, Co-Executive Producer of the show. This one was the most fascinating to me. I always love to hear about the development of a show an inner workings. He hasn’t exactly been around for the entire series, but he has put in quite some time, going on five years now. Audience members asked about the current conflict between the brothers on the show and whether it was going to get resolved. This has been a source of discontent for fans this season, because this particular fight between the brothers seems out of character and drawn out, not to mention down right annoying. He answered vaguely saying that there has to be conflict otherwise the show would be boring, but the point was to resolve that conflict, which would happen. It was just a question of when. He also discussed the new spinoff series. The title has been changed to Supernatural: Bloodlines. I am hoping that they drop the “Supernatural” part, but that’s me. The boys actually just flew in from finishing up the backdoor pilot for the spinoff series that will air later in the season. For those who do not know what a back door pilot is, it is where an already existing show takes an episode to introduce and focus on the new characters and storyline for this supposed new show. Usually, there are no definite plans of production of that proposed show, because they want to see and test audience reaction to the episode and gage whether it is worth actually making. Since Supernatural never does the norm, they have been confident enough to begin filming the new series before this backdoor pilot even airs. We will all just have to wait and see.
The final panel of the day was of the boys themselves, Jared Padalecki and Jensen Ackles. They were, as always, entertaining, busting out on stage donned with a cowbell and a tambourine to join in with the band to sing the con theme song, The Boys Are Back In Town. They were very grateful and playful with the audience and the fans that asked questions. They were asked questions that ranged from story and character progression on the show to what their wrestling tag team name would be as well as finishing move. They could only come up with the finishing move, which they naturally felt needed to be named the Impala. The boys enacted such a finishing move on a fan after he asked why the brothers were currently acting like bitches on the show. It probably made that guys day. They performed and came up with an impromptu haiku at the request of a fan. They seemed pretty proud that they could manage it too. They did state after being asked about the future of the show they were on board for whatever the series had to offer whether it be one or another ten years as long as the story was still good. That was pretty nice to hear, because I don’t want such a good show to keep hanging just because it can and not because it should. Their panel ended with Jensen and Jared doing their best Vanilla Ice, prompted by an earlier joke made by Jared after Jensen used the phrase “to the extreme” in one of his answers. It was a hell of a way to end a day, I tell you.
That was the end of just one day. Can you imagine what all four would be like? As we were leaving, I decided to ask a girl who dressed up as a “Busty Asian Beauties” cover for the costume contest for a picture, because it was a really original costume that I loved. I even asked her if it was okay to share her picture here and she obliged. Thank you, again, to the girl that made my day with that costume. It was fantastic! For those that don’t understand the reference, the beloved character, Dean, apparently has a specific preference for his porn voyeurism with the “Busty Asian Beauties” magazine. It has been an ongoing joke throughout the whole show. So, hat’s off to you, my dear. That was well done.
Funny story to end this long account. As I was waiting to take the above picture, someone suddenly came up to me and yelled “Boo” in my ear. Now since facial expressions are my first go to, I was getting ready to throw my best “what the hell” look at the person who did it. When I turned to look, I am greeted by the smirking face of Mr. Mark Sheppard, loved and known to the fans as Crowley, King of Hell. He just turned and continued on down the hall like the boss he is. I couldn’t even get mad at that. The con was a blast and I recommend all Supernatural fans to attempt to go to one at least once. Also special shout outs to Liz and Hilary! Thanks for taking the time to meet with me at the con. It was truly my honor to meet you both!