(My favorite pic from the con by far. Thanks @guynormanbee.)
The biggest challenge as editor of this site is trying to keep con reports, especially since there were so many this year, fresh. I mean, as fan experiences, conventions can be equated with the same high one gets on religious retreats. You come back refreshed, renewed, thrilled to meet your fellow brethren, and at times with a new perspective on things. Then you go back to your daily life and itâ€™s all a sweet memory. When reading about cons through reports, they get dry as toast after a while.
I know, Iâ€™m sure youâ€™re saying, â€œCome on Alice, what does this have to do with what was said at the J & J panel?â€ Well thatâ€™s it. Iâ€™ve got the full breakdown on this site of every J & J panel this year. A lot Misha too. A lot of other con guests, which are mostly the same guests each time. Did something extraordinary happen at this weekendâ€™s Salute to Supernatural that didnâ€™t happen at other cons? Yes and no. Mostly no. But hereâ€™s some of the really fun facts about this weekend in particular between all the panels, special events, and private Q & Aâ€™s.
There are some mild spoilers here folks. Nothing thatâ€™ll give away the farm, but if youâ€™re even the slightest bit spoilerphobic, this might not be for you.
Jared and Jensen
Jared and Genevieve are having a boy. The baby is due in March. Congratulations to the Padaleckiâ€™s! Man are their lives about the change.
Jared had requested to fans on Twitter when the news broke that instead of sending him and Gen gifts, make a donation to St. Judeâ€™s Childrenâ€™s Hospital. Winchester Bros.com (good friends of ours) setup a fundraiser to do just that. So far, $10,900 has been raised. Jared was quite humbled by that. I believe another congratulations is in order!
Speaking of fundraising, Jensen too has had his own inspiration of late. Back in Toronto, as reported here by Karen, he auctioned off a special jar of rock salt. He took some rock salt from an upcoming episode they were shooting and created two jars. Jerry Wanek, the set design genius of Supernatural, created a custom label for these jars and Jared, Jensen, and Jim Beaver signed those labels. The second of those two jars was auctioned off yesterday in Chicago.
This time, Jensen was raising money for his nephew Levi. He was born with Downs Syndrome, and his sister-in-law is raising funds for Team Levi for an upcoming buddy walk. The walk is supporting the Downs Syndrome Guild of Dallas. The winning bidder paid $5500 for this special collectorâ€™s item. Jared and Jensen were both in awe. Jaredâ€™s reaction, â€œI canâ€™t count that high.â€ Jensenâ€™s reaction, â€œMy sister-in-law is crying right now.â€ He gave the woman a hug and the rock salt was hers.
As for the rest of the panel, Jared and Jensen were their usual entertaining selves. They took a poll of first timers and it was half of the room. Jensen apologized to everyone for the prior guests at the con. Of course that list was quickly dwindled down to Sebastian.
I was too distracted for a bit of the panel. You see, Jared was hot (yes, insert your own suggestive comments here). He always is at these things. He wouldnâ€™t take off his sweater though, so he got a fan from a...fan. He kept sitting up there on the stage fanning himself and that hair kept flapping in the breeze. I honestly donâ€™t remember half of the answers to the questions because I was too entranced by the Padahair. So yes, there was my shallow moment of the con. I am not proud, but oh so happy. Incidentally, one of the questioners did start with, â€œJared, your hair is miraculous.â€ He pretended not to hear so she could repeat that.
I got to play instigator in a way! Several fans through Twitter were urging me to ask Jared and Jensen during their panel about the Metronome bit that Guy Norman Bee talked about in Toronto. Well, chances of getting a turn to ask a question at these things are about a million to one. Guy was urging me through Twitter to shout â€œMetronome!â€ When I pointed out that I could have be tossed out of the auditorium, Guy used his power of influence to help out. He made an appearance, went up to a fan at the mic and had her ask the question. Sadly, Jared and Jensen werenâ€™t about to spoil what that was, but still, itâ€™s awesome to get that question asked. It involves a dance move, thatâ€™s what we learned here anyway. Jared and Jensen wouldnâ€™t demonstrate and we can only hope it makes the outtakes.
For those questioning if weâ€™ll be playing the game of â€œspot the scarâ€ on Samâ€™s hand for a while, Jared said itâ€™s permanently scarred. Theyâ€™re going to have to address that all the time now.
I died laughing over Jensenâ€™s little slam about his co-star. He was asked how long he was supposed to be on Smallville. Two years, but then he was picked by David Nutter for Supernatural so they killed Jason off. He was told it was him and â€œa guy from The Gilmore Girls.â€ He joked that guy was Milo Ventimiglia. Of course Milo went onto better things with Heroes and he got Jared instead. â€œToo bad we didnâ€™t get him, for I would have been the tall one.â€ (You all do realize heâ€™s joking, right?)
The guys already have a dream guest in mind. Michael Rosenbaum. â€œYES!â€ I say.
Spoiler alert!! Episode 8 is going to be hilarious. It even made Bob Singer laugh, which never happens.
A fan asked Jared if Sam would continue to be affected by Hell. Yes, he will have constant reminders. He may want to take the high road, but itâ€™s not going to be easy. That wasnâ€™t really the answer the fan was looking for. She mentioned to Jared that Sam used to be so much more emotional. Jaredâ€™s answer is priceless. â€œDo you want me to cry?â€
Jensen had shared this at his private Q & A in Toronto, but this time he said it at the panel. He talked about the two cut scenes from â€œThe Girl Next Door.â€ The first was them filming the cheese actually being poured on the clerk. The props guys made a concoction with white chocolate. Jensen said the shot of the cheese melting all over the guy was perfect. They cut it. Ditto for a montage of Dean goofing around in the cabin during that 3 week time period.
It seems that Iâ€™m not the only one with some concerns over the writing. Jensen during his private Q & A talked about how he and Jared just rewrote an entire scene for an upcoming episode in which Sam and Dean have a falling out (I hope Iâ€™m not spoiling things for anyone, but if youâ€™ve been watching the show lately, you have to know thatâ€™s coming). The writing was that terrible. Jensen said it was a bad romantic comedy and Sam and Dean would never talk like that. Sablegreen was at that session and will have more details later (as will my good friends Lynn and Kathy at Fangasm) but it was very interesting to hear that after I talked at length with numerous people this weekend (including Maureen Ryan) who are really concerned with whatâ€™s happened to the writing quality.
(Update, here is Fangasm's report on the Jensen Q & A. That should give much better detail than what I have here. fangasmthebook.wordpress.com/2011/10/24/jensen-ackles-â€“-keeping-it-fresh-at-chicon/ )
I did get a few minutes with Clif Kosterman (Jared and Jensenâ€™s bodyguard for the four of you that might not know that), and delivered to him the â€œA Thank You To The Supernatural Crewâ€ book put together by Yirabah. For those that donâ€™t remember, Yirabah asked people to send their special thank you messages to the crew of Supernatural. She got many great responses so she put them all together in a book and had it professionally printed. It came out amazing! She mailed a couple of copies to me and I gave one to Clif yesterday. He thought the book was really cool and he would personally take it back to Vancouver to give to the crew. Guy Norman Bee saw the book too (and liked it), and signed my copy of it.
Iâ€™ll post pictures of the book later today (or perhaps tomorrow since Iâ€™m playing catch up) but a big thank you again to Yirabah and her helpers, Tim The Enchanter and Supernarttu.
Poor Misha. Itâ€™s really bad enough heâ€™s gotten the shaft from this show, but he suffered from having the worst questions at any panel Iâ€™ve seen in the history of Supernatural cons. These questions were just so bad. I actually admired the job Misha did in fending off these bizarre statements (â€œDo you have a refrigerator in your hotel room?â€, â€œIs it a good idea to put â€˜Wave of Celestial Intentâ€™ on your resume?), but when one of the questioners started talking back to a complaining audience, things got ugly. I talked to fans in the lobby about it the next day and they were outright pissed off. One even told me he and a few others walked out.
Thank you Guy Norman Bee for answering my question about filming with digital cameras. I've tried to get that answer for two years now from someone involved with the show. Thrilled you shared such great info to a tech geek like me.
Top prize for the â€œYou had to be thereâ€ panel goes to Mark Pellegrino and Sebastian Roche. Iâ€™m not entirely certain why Creation thought it was a great idea to put these two together, but man did one X-rated panel come from it. It was impossible to transcribe. Sebastianâ€™s answers often veered into songs with made up dirty lyrics involving balls, d***s, and somehow, ear muffs. Mark, the facial expressions alone to everything sold the entire panel. My laugh out loud moment came when the two re-enacted a zombie chase. Brilliant! Itâ€™s gotta be on YouTube somewhere.
I would tell you all how fantastically awesome karaoke was, but then Iâ€™d be breaking the cardinal rule. What happens at karaoke stays at karaoke.
If you havenâ€™t seen it already, I implore you to check out Maureen Ryanâ€™s article spurned from a conversation this weekend between her, me, and Lynn and Kathy of Fangasm. She calls it "Tough Love For Supernatural." Iâ€™m actually quoted in the article and I think it raises many great concerns. I know several people have been turned off by her recent negativity toward the show, but try to look at the suggestions she gives constructively. Is that the kind of Supernatural you want to see?
If you want more detail about the con, there are two places you can go. Check out my Twitter timeline at @WinFamBusiness. I tweeted during several panels, with the heaviest detail coming from Misha and Jared and Jensenâ€™s panel. Apparently my tweets during Mishaâ€™s panel got quite a bit of attention (even Clif said something about them). Also, as usual, if you want links to all the con reports, that can be found at the Salute to Supernatural Chicago 2011 page on Supernatural Wiki.
All in all, it was another fantastic weekend for me. Chicago is like a family reunion for me though since itâ€™s my fourth con in a row here. I caught up with many familiar faces and met several others I hadnâ€™t before. It was a weekend loaded with great conversation. Iâ€™m going to put out a more in-depth commentary about the numerous discussions I had with fans and fellow bloggers about the current state of Supernatural (donâ€™t worry, itâ€™s not overly negative). It might even replace my review for this week. In the meantime, more reports will be coming from Sablegreen about the con soon.