kate: Sam from S9 photo shoot looking dead at the camera with arms crossed (SPN: Sam wears sweaters)
[personal profile] kate
This was my first Supernatural convention, and I think it was a really interesting experience. I'm pretty sure I was spoiled forever by my seat, which was 4th row from the front, 4 seats in on the left hand side (facing the stage). Especially when J2 were pretty much set up exactly in my sightline. I was pretty thrilled that I am technically deficient at that point because I screwed up deleting stuff off my phone and it kept telling me I had no storage, even after I'd deleted all the Misha vids from the day before. So I have no J2 footage or pictures, which is actually okay – I really enjoyed just watching them, it was nice. So here's what I've got. The pics and vids I took with my phone (so not great quality, but they're close, and there are some really great moments) are here: http://soleta.net/kisa/houstoncon/ (sorry, but there's too much to try and embed!) and the write up (as much as I can remember) is below.

I am confused by Richard Speight Jr. Just by his name, really. Like, I thought most folks called him Dick, but Rob kept calling him Rich. I am just… I don't know what to call him. I think it's cute that Matt calls Rob Robbie, though. The three of them are ridiculously adorkable together. But I digress.

I think the first panel was Gil McKinney, and he was just delightful. He was very sweet, and he's a Texan, so he brought his parents to the show! He really can sing, too, wow.

So Gil! He apparently not only auditioned, but tested for Sam! Wow, what a different show it would've been. He's great as the boys' grandfather, but I can't even imagine where things would've gone if he'd ended up as Sam. He joked several times about the boys' and JDM getting their looks from him.

He was asked about working with Misha and he expounded on that for a while, and come to think of it, everyone who talked about Misha (except J2, because you know they can't possibly do anything but tease the hell out of him) talked about how wonderful Misha is.

He also talked about the death scene, and it's hilarious that everyone that does the convention circuit is clued into the slash, because he started talking about it seriously, and then slipped into, "I laid on the floor, Jared had his arms around me… caressing me… Jensen was there… Looking into my eyes…" It was hilarious, and also kinda sweet.

I don't honestly remember much about Rob. He's sweet and self-deprecating and funny, and (like all of them) hopes he can come back. People seemed to want to ask him more about writing choices than other folks (except maybe Tahmoh, who got a couple of really interesting questions) so there was a lot of "can you explain this?" and "what happened here?" kind of things.

Someone asked about his singing, and he told a story about how when he got the Chuck part, he had a three day gig right before shooting and he blew out his voice. So he was really nervous about coming onto set, between I'm not sure what? Some general nerves, maybe, and having a blown-out voice, but then Misha? I think it was Misha, or maybe Jensen, said they liked his scratchy vocal effect. (That reminds me that he did an impression of his first meet with Misha (I think I have this in the vids) that was hilarious.)

When asked where God was during the apocalypse (I'm not sure whether they meant the Raphael S6 bit or the leviathans S7 bit? Because God was hanging around for the S5 one…) Rob said he was in a bunker somewhere, catching up on Game of Thrones. (And now I really, really, REALLY want the fic where God hangs out in the MOL bunker and is just spying on the Winchesters because it's amusing. And then whoops, they catch him some night stealing beer or some shit, and they're like, "CHUCK?!" and he's like, "Shit." And it comes out that he's God, not a prophet, and they demand he fix everything.)

I've always liked Kim well enough from her twitter, and I fucking LOVE Jody Mills, so I was happy to sit in on this panel. What I hadn't expected was to just have an immense jump in how much I loved her – she is FUCKING AMAZING, y'all – and then the immense sadness of finding out Houston was her last convention – she's retiring from the circuit. She said she reserves the right to come out from retirement, and I hope she does, because I will travel anywhere in the U.S. to see her again and do a meet and greet with her. She's AMAZING. Such a lovely person, and funny as hell. She's just balls to the wall, so funny and energetic and gorgeous, and honest – with herself and her audience. It's brilliant.

When asked what she would like for her character, she said "to get laid!" And then said "but not by either of the boys" (because she is a smart cookie) and someone in the audience shouted "Donna" and she was all "hell yeah, she's hot!" I fucking love her SO MUCH.

She went on to say that she like Sam better because he killed her son, but that she's coming around to Dean. I'm sad to hear she feels that Jody feels maternally toward the boys, because I love me some Sam/Jody, but it was pretty funny how she crushes all over Jensen. She was talking that he will purposely troll her because whenever he comes around, she gets all giggly. I love her.

One woman came up with a question (I wish I had recorded this part – this was the question that got me to start recording at the start of the question, not later) that was basically, "Do you realize how amazing you are, how you inspire so many women and what a great role model, because I don't think you do, and you are, etc. etc. etc." I started recording right after that, and there's a couple of minutes of her trying not to cry, and the audience yelling things like, "We love you, Kim" and her just losing it. Then she says she got sober 6 months ago and I stopped recording because it felt too personal. I kind of wish I hadn't, though, because she was so amazing, she talked about how she felt like she couldn't be loved – not because people didn't love her, just because she couldn't accept it. And then she said that she can't take credit for people being inspired by her because it's the message and not the person. I love Kim a lot and hope I get to see her again, she was terrific.

Saturday… I was going to skip or sleep late or something… OH RIGHT! I had gotten THE BEST idea for my… *mumble mumble can't say mumble* and I had been writing it, and I didn't want to go down to the con. Eventually I decided I really did want to see the panels and made it down, though I missed Richard's panel or intro or whatever at the beginning. I feel a little bad about Richard? He's a really good host, actually, he does a great job as emcee, I just… *hands* I find I'm the same about Louden Swain. I have opinions about Rob's singing but I'm just going to keep those to myself because nobody cares.

I do have to say that Louden Swain did do really excellent intros and outros for most of the panels. The two I really remember is God is One of Us (I don't know the actual song title) for Rob and Big Balls by AC/DC for Mark Pellagrino. There was an actual Crowley song for Crowley (no idea if they wrote it or it's just a song I don't know), and a little ditty they made up called "Where's Misha?" for Misha.

Sebastian is a stand-up routine, not a Q&A. And that's fine, I guess? I am not a huge Sebastian fan, I felt awkward and uncomfortable for most of his panel, and while I was fine with him running around and singing with the audience (The Police's Walking on the Moon), I just… Yeah, I don't know. I don't think I would've really enjoyed it even if he had actually talked about Supernatural. He's just not my sort of dude; or rather, he's not what I was looking for from the con. He's hyper as hell, it's crazy how much energy he has. I think I emailed [personal profile] clavally that he's like coke and Mark Pellegrino is like Valium. Oh – there was a thing where he was making fun of Mark Sheppard's "cardio" … whatever. Tweet? Instagram? I dunno. Whatever. It was sorta funny, I guess? It was a theme for Saturday.

Mark Pellagrino was so calming after Sebastian. He was very kind and hugged every one of the people that asked a question, and he answered them all thoughtfully. He's not my thing either, but I enjoyed his panel a lot. He did this weird thing where he would bring his leg up, and sort of half-sit, like, if he'd gotten all the way to sitting, he would've had his one leg on top of the other – his right ankle on his left knee, if that makes sense. He did it a bunch of times, abortively a bunch of times, and once apologized for stretching. It was a little odd. But a nice panel, anyway, thoughtful questions and answers, and a lot of teasing of the people in Castiel costumes.

The panel with Richard, Matt, and Rob was HILARIOUS. I love these guys, they are so funny, and play off each other just beautifully. I have four or five vids of them, one about which Disney Princess they'd be and another playing fuck, marry, kill with Jensen, Jared, and Misha (hint: they all want to fuck Jensen… much like the rest of the world). I don't remember a lot of their panel because I was starting to get anxious about Misha, but they were funny and cute and I really enjoy the three of them. Ido have three or four good videos of these guys. Oh – there was a thing that they were saying in their photo op, the three of them, everyone always wants to hug Matt and Richard and Rob just sort of stand on the side. Aw. Poor guys. (I think this was in response to who is the best-looking cast member? Which Rob eventually answered "Matt" (Matt answered Gil, I think?).)

Mark Sheppard came in late. It was pretty funny – as they were setting up for his panel, they brought over a table, and then put a plant on it (wtf) and then brought out a steak and fries, and then silverware, and then a bottle of water. Turns out he had just got in from set (took a redeye last night) and you could tell. He was pretty grumpy. I've seen Mark before; I went to Shore Leave in Baltimore the year they brought in David and Kate Hewlett, and Mark was there. I didn't really know him then, except as Badger on Firefly, so it was weird to hear just how many shows he'd been on that people were fannish about. Now I know better, so I expected a much broader range of questions (a lot of people knew Kim from The Suite Life of Zack and Cody, so there were a lot of questions about that; Mark P and Tahmoh also got a lot of questions about other shows).

So anyway, Mark comes onstage, sits down, and starts eating his steak during the song. Rob does a little song and dance thing which is hilarious, and then asks Mark if he needs anything, and then comes to the mike to say "don't ask Mark if he needs anything, HE WILL MAKE YOU GO GET SOMETHING FOR HIM." Apparently he wanted a sparkling water.

So he started with his crazy travels (he drove from Vancouver to Seattle and caught the 5:45am flight in from Seattle (what the hell) and obviously was both famished and cranky. After he took the edge off, he started wandering around, going around back to yell at people in Castiel costumes (and there were a HUGE number of them, and like, HALF of them were in his question lines, it was hysterical).

Mark was pretty mean to almost all of his questioners. When asked what the best and worst thing about working on Supernatural was, he was all "everything is awesome. I get to be rude to people for a living [referring, I think, both to con audiences as well as when he's in character as Crowley]. I don't think there's anything bad…" *hangs head* "Misha."

When asked who he'd like to work with on Supernatural that hasn't been on the show, he talked about Matt Bomer (who is a good friend of Jensen's), and then mentioned that he once asked Jensen if Matt was the prettiest man in the world, and Jensen answered, [done in Jensen-growl] "Yeah, Matt's the prettiest man in the world."

I am glad that I recorded most of Misha's panel because I just wanted to stare at him the whole time. I cannot explain how much I just sort of sat there slack-jawed. He is waaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaay more handsome in person, for one thing (which is saying something, as he is not my typical sort of dude (you may or may not know that I am hair-sexual, so of the three of them, Jared is the one that hits my kink)), and just… he is really lovely.

So I got about 90% of Misha's panel on video. It's uploaded in six or seven parts, numbered sequentially. It's got most of the good stuff, the stuff about riding Jensen as a horse and having fantasies, the tampon stuff (a brief pause as I picked it up), and… other things I can't think of now. But it's mostly there.

My two personal Misha stories:

He collected feminine products for Salvation Army (ugh, why them?! but what can you do), because it was brought to his attention what a waste it was that one of the GISHWHES items from last year (art with feminine products? something like) was a waste of a resource that shelters and poor women need very badly. So he asked the audience to bring feminine products (which of course they did) and he built a fort onstage (or some of his minions did, rather). And someone, thoughtfully, had only given a single wrapped tampon, so they gave it to Misha and he played with it, pushing it through and out of the holder. And then he threw it into the audience.



And then, I didn't bring anything for people to sign. Because I had a gold ticket, I could get alllll the autographs, which I didn't bother with the first day, but which I was DEFINITELY going to bother with Saturday. I didn't want actual autographs, though, because I just don't DO autographs. I don't keep stuff like that. I have a picture of me and my wife with Kate and David Hewlett signed by both of them, and it's sitting in a closet somewhere. I've thrown away most of the autographs I've gotten, honestly. I just... what the hell am I supposed to do with them?

SO ANYWAY. I went to the Return of the King premiere in London (more than a decade ago, now *boggles*). And I went with a couple of great ladies, and one of them didn't want autographs - she asked for handshakes instead. Ian McKellen and Viggo were both super-impressed and happy. A few of the hobbits were confused but lovely about it. So that's what I decided to do. I was going to shake their hands and thank them. Of course, I was only planning to do this with Misha, because I don't really care about Sebastian Roche or Mark Pellegrino, and while I like Mark Sheppard, I don't feel as strongly about him as Misha.

Unfortunately, it was an assembly line. So when my row got called, I got stuffed in Mark Sheppard's line. I shook Mark's hand and told him he was a lovely person and I enjoyed most of his work. He had a great handshake and said "that's very sweet." Which was awesome! (Especially because I was kicking myself about the way I phrased it - "most of his work" – I meant "what I've seen, I've loved" but I think the phrasing makes it sound like "most of your stuff is great! But some of it is just utter shit" which... he didn't notice, I guess?) And then I skipped Sebastian's line (which was out of control - he chats WAY more than Mark) and went to the other line, which was Mark P and Misha. And I tried to get out of Mark P, but the gatekeeper was so close to him that he would've seen me skip the line, so I just had him sign my badge and said thank you.

AND THEN MISHA. I pulled out the tampon (I'd been toying with the idea of him signing it) and said, "You threw this at me, so I just wanted to say thanks," and he grinned. And then I said, "And I'm not going to make you sign anything, but I want to shake your hand and tell you what a wonderful human being you are." And he took my hand in both of his, put his head down, and said, "No, I'm not." And I squeezed his hands and said, "Yes, you are." And he said thank you and I was ushered off.

And then I was shaking. And I realized that I am going to save up a ridiculous amount of money for the Misha meet n' greet because there is nothing I want more than to be able to sit in that man's presence for 45 minutes (or walk with him around somewhere) and just breathe the same air. I love him. He really is truly a wonderful human being.

(WTF am I supposed to do with this now? I have a tampon Misha threw at me. I can't just throw it away. But it's a tampon. WTF. I AM SO LOST.)

I missed Colin Ford on Sunday; I just wanted to sleep off the nerves from Misha and I wrote in the morning again, and then I was packing up and getting out of the room on time (another reason I hate Hiltons, no late checkout because my status isn't that good yet, ARG) and then I just went down to sit in my seat while I waited for the panels. While I was waiting, I made sure I could get my wristband off, and then went looking for someone in the nosebleeds that was sitting alone.

See, I made my travel plans assuming the convention was run like a work convention; everything ends relatively early on Sunday so that people can get home for work on Monday. Uh, NO. If you go to one of these conventions, I highly recommend you take Monday off. If you can only take one day off, I suggest taking Monday, if you have to travel to the con. Skipping most of Friday, you're really not missing that much, and chances are you'd get in early enough of Friday to go to the karaoke. But Sunday. Well, I had the latest flight out, and I still missed the opportunity for a photo op with Misha and the gold panel that J2 does for just the gold package folks. So, since I paid for that panel (pretty much it was the entire reason I bought a gold package), I decided to give it to someone who was there and could hang around to see it and would appreciate it.

So, I walked to the back of the room and there was this girl sitting on the floor by herself. I said hi, told her that I couldn't make it to the gold panel with J2, which also came with their autographs, and asked if she would like to go in my place. She asked if it was for free, which, ha, I hadn't actually thought of the idea that I could sell it, so I was like, "Yeah, of course!" And I just said that I was there alone, and saw her sitting by herself and wanted to give the opportunity to someone who could appreciate it. And then she started to tear up and said thank you, and I told her to meet me by my seat after the J2 panel and I'd give her all the stuff she'd need to get in. It was pretty awesome to make her day like that.

Tahmoh was a lot like Mark Pellagrino. They have similar bearings. Both uber-professional and just calm and thoughtful and awesome. A lot of people had really interesting thinky questions about the show (two different people asked crossover questions between Dollhouse and Supernatural). He told the story about getting to set and right before his scene with Jensen, the director said, "Would you like to see what Jared did?" (He hadn't even known Jared was going to be doing Ezekiel/Gadreel) and he was all, "Uh, yeah," and then the director told him he had 5 minutes, so he basically got the gist of what Jared was doing and was thrown into adding it into his interpretation on the spot. Great story. His voice is actually better in person; I find whatever he was doing for the Ezekiel/Gadreel voice to be annoying, but his natural voice is quite wonderful.

A lot of the questions were over my head, and I don't remember much (and couldn't record anything and was anxiously awaiting the J2 panel) so I just sort of sat back and enjoyed his panel, though the above is the only specific story that sticks with me.

J2. Wow.

So, first off – I am not sure that J2 knows they're called J2. Someone actually said "Hi J2" and they sort of glanced at each other and Jared made a comment, something about "both of us" and it was kind of funny, actually, because I do not expect them to know that the fans call them J2, so it was a little validating to find out they didn't instantly recognize that as something about them. (I actually LIKE fandom having some things that are just fandom's; J2 is like that for me. I'm a little sad that they've heard it, now.)

Secondly, THEIR DADS CAME OUT ON STAGE. Richard gave this whole long spiel about 37 years in the future, blah blah and then J2's dads came on stage. And holy crap, you can see why Jensen is aging gracefully, that's for sure. He definitely takes after his dad. They both hugged both of the boys, and it was just cool.

Thirdly, JFC these guys are good-looking. Now, I'm not a Jensen girl. (I know, the only person on the planet.) So I found it interesting that unlike Misha and Jared, he was not more attractive to me in person (roughly twenty feet away from me). Just… I can appreciate the general aesthetic pleasingness of Jensen, but he is just not my type of guy. So, I am probably now a Supernatural outcast. The only living person who does not think Jensen Ackles could compete against Matt Bomer for prettiest guy in the world. (For the record, I'm pretty sure no one could compete against Matt Bomer for prettiest guy in the world.)

Jared, on the other hand. I have always found Jared to be more attractive to me than Sam (I love Sam for other reasons, though his hair helps). The con footage of Jared is just much more attractive than show footage of Sam. And there is just such a HUGE difference between Jared and Sam. It's easy as pie to pick out which one a picture is of.

And I tell you, Jared is a bazillion times hotter than Sam. Just, WOW. It's pretty funny, actually, because Jared is just brimming with confidence, where Sam is always a bit under the weight of unworthiness, and Jensen comes off as nervous/uncomfortable where Dean is always confident, so maybe that's it for me. I do appreciate me some confidence.

I don't fault Jensen for his nerves, btw. I totally understand that the two of them are doing something scary as hell (and it feels (to me) like Jared understands Jensen apprehension, and that's why he takes the lead in the panels, to give Jensen some space (also, Jared thinks VERY quickly on his feet (bad puns galore, but still, he thinks very quickly and just starts spouting stuff right off – that's a skill))), and I get that Jensen's also trying to protect something. I think he has a sense that people want a piece of him (and they do – more him than any of the other cast members) and he holds his personal stuff very dear. So I don't fault Jensen for being a little nervous or uncomfortable or for playing things close to the vest. I get it. And it's not that Jared and Misha value their personal lives less, they're just more skilled at giving out pieces that appease the fans while not giving away everything. I also get the feeling that Jensen doesn't want to foster a sense of intimacy with the fans, though, and considering some of the stuff that happened to him at early conventions, I completely understand that, and I guess… I'd just like to give the guy his space. He has enough people clamoring for him. I'll go over here and clamor for Jared and Misha instead.

I really did nothing but stare at the two of them (mostly Jared), so I remember almost none of the questions from the panel (except the slow mo fight)… oh wait. I made some notes! So I have three things (all about Jared):

1. When asked what Sam would say to Dean when he died, should he have had the opportunity, he went with "I'm sorry I lost this battle but I'll bring you back and win the war." Which just about made my heart break out of my chest. If that was really off the cuff, it just speaks so much to Jared's intelligence and empathy for his character.

2. Jared reads Malcolm Gladwell! :D :D :D :D THIS MAKES ME SO FUCKING HAPPY! Malcolm Gladwell is amazing and I'm just tickled that Jared not only reads him, he's read at least two of his books, because he couldn't remember which one his story was out of (The Tipping Point or Blink (I think it's Blink, but I couldn't swear by it)). (The thing he paraphrased was the study about holding a pencil in your mouth or above your lip (simulating a smile or a frown in facial muscles) and how it had a significant effect on your mood – just from the physical doing of a thing, with no attachment to your emotions.) Oh – this was in response to a question about taking Dean and Sam's emotions home with them (the questioner was not actually very coherent, but the boys just picked up on one part of it and ran with it – they did this often and often went slightly sideways off the intent of questions). They both talked about how the body and the mind are sort of uncoupled – how you know you're not upset, but you're telling your body to be upset, and sometimes the body takes over and does it on its own, and it's hard to calm yourself down out of that. (Jensen also mentioned anger, which I imagine is pretty relevant to him right now, and Jared says he hates to get the note about "will we see tears?" because, well. Honestly, I think because he's not Jensen and can't produce them on command, but because he feels (and I agree) that it's not tears that make it an authentic performance, it's the emotion behind the scene. Still. For my money, Jared (and thus Sam) is not a crier. He's just not. He never has been, and any time I see tears, I figure they're saline. There's nothing wrong with not being a crier, but apparently people wanted it from him on a few occasions.

This also reminds me (this should probably be 2.5 by now, but oh well) that they were talking about makeup and prosthetics and Jared told a story that I hadn't heard before, about the season finale of season 1, where he was on a stretcher, with a prosthetic over his eye and it was hot and in the sun, and it started to melt into his eye! They took it off and gave him the eye patch that's actually in the scene. Jensen said something about feeling bad for Jared, what a bad day that was. The two of them are really ridiculously close, you could just see how they did everything as a unit, it's nuts. It's really heartwarming.

And call this 2.75! While talking about crying, Jensen said something to the effect of "Dean Winchester doesn't cry. His face leaks." He also talked about how, with the prosthetic over his eye in Swan Song, his brother jumps into the cage, and gee, what happens but Dean Winchester's face leaks, which meant Jensen's prosthetic was extremely uncomfortable.

3. When asked whatever happened to the demon blood, or, as the questioner called it, Sam's demon side, Jared says he thinks Sam's demon side still exists, and he hopes it does because it offers somewhere for the writers to go. I believe this is also the question where Jared talked about all the Sams and Deans that exist in canon and got a massive cheer for soulless!Sam, which then made him give us a big grin. Seriously, evil!Sam is about as hot as Jared. It's the confidence thing, I'm pretty sure.

Unfortunately, I had found the link for the full J2 panel in San Francisco and watched it Saturday night. It was unfortunate because a lot of the stuff in the Houston panel was stuff they just talked about last week. Roughly half of it felt like it was straight from the SF panel, and there were other things I've seen in other con footage. The slo mo fight was brilliant, and I could listen to Jensen talk about directing all day long (I have actually formulated a directing question for the next time), and, well, I'd happily listen to Jared natter on about anything, but they have GOT to get sick of answering the same 10 questions. So anyway, that's me. Thinking up good questions for the next time.

After the J2 panel, I pretty much had to book it out of there to catch my flight, so I found the girl I'd offered the panel/autographs to, gave her the stuff she needed and gave her a hug. I hope she had a really great time. Seeing pictures from the panel, I'm insanely jealous and very sad. But I'm glad someone got to go in my place, anyway.

And that's it! I… um. Bought a gold package for Chicago later this year. Not even because I want to go to Chicago this year, but because I want to go to Chicago in 2016 with [personal profile] clavally, and I needed to get a gold package this year to try and get better seats for next year. What a fucking racket. Totally worth it, though, absolutely.
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