Supernatural conventions are emotional, exuberant experiences. Every fan who attends leaves with their own unique memories. Each impression of the convention is a combination of factors, such as whether the attendee is a rookie or veteran, is meeting friends or attending solo (Farawayeyes discussed this aspect of conventions in her recent MinnCon reflection), and on the specific roster of actors appearing at that con. All of the panels are phenomenal, but sometimes fans are lucky enough to see their favorite actor in person (beside, of course, Jared, Jensen, Misha and Mark who attend all North American cons).
One of my colleagues, @waywrdaughter67, recently attended the convention in Minnesota (#MinnCon to social media users). She shared with me the unfiltered convention recollections from her group of friends. All of these fans are either administrators or members of the Supernatural Fan Wiki community. With their permission, I am sharing their personal reactions with you, to help bring those of you who cannot attend a con one step closer to its magic. I’ve also added some wonderful pictures taken by @PigNaPoke69 to help you visualize what these fans saw (Please respect her art and not copy, download or use her pictures without credit and permission).
The following is an exact copy of their conversation. Remember, their reactions are uncensored so they just may be able to share details or opinions that staff writers would forego. So let’s all be very quiet and listen in to close friends exchanging their impressions of MinnCon!
Going to try to remember some stuff from the panels in very random order…
Jeffery Dean Morgan was great. He talked very honestly about the movie and TV industry (including his utter disgust with the end of The Good Wife; something you usually don’t hear actors do because they don’t want to burn any bridges). He hinted that his Negan character on Walking Dead might be around for a few years on that show. He’d love to have some reason to come back to Supernatural. You probably saw those tweeted photos of him out playing bocce with Jared and Jensen. He calls them his “boys”. Jensen was out doing that instead of doing the Saturday Night Special concert. JDM was a bit surprised that Samantha Smith gets to come back! Maybe he can too.
The concert was amazing because Rob’s mom and brother were there and you could really see how much it meant to him that they see him at a convention (they’d seen him live before, but I don’t think they had ever seen him perform with Louden Swain at a convention), and the audience participation with the sea of purple glow sticks in the audience when they did Purple Rain as a finale, and the cell phone flashlights held up and waving for “She Waits”. Kim Rhodes looked like she might lose it and start crying looking out at all the waving glow sticks for “Purple Rain”.
Bocce…Jared and Jensen told a totally funny story about their experience the night before. They went to a bar that had bocce courts, but you had to sign up for them and they were all busy/in use. Jensen said “we” should pay someone to give up their court, and kind of shoved Jared towards the guy. Jared paid a pair of guys to give up their court. Then he wondered if he offered too much because they didn’t hesitate at all to take the money. But at least then he and Jensen and Jeffery Dean Morgan had the court. Fifteen minutes later, someone who worked at the bar came over and told them their time was up. Apparently, you pay for the court for an hour’s time and the guys they bought it from had already been playing for 45 minutes. Jensen gave this stunned look and said he couldn’t believe they paid $50 (or $100 or whatever it was) for fifteen minutes. Somehow it worked out that they were able to keep the court and continue playing. The way they re-enacted Jensen coming up with the idea to pay someone off and then sending Jared off to actually do it was hilarious.
Kim said that she is definitely contracted for a couple of episodes this season. Briana (Donna) found out that she will be back too when Kim told her; but she doesn’t know exactly when she’ll be back. Kim said that Jody, Donna, Claire, and Alex (this is the first time I’d heard anyone mention Alex this season as part of the bunch) will be back. Kim and Briana’s panel could have been two hours long and I would have loved it. They are so great together.
Rob and Richard talked about the Kings of Con project. It’ll be here soon. Rich told a great story about getting drunk at a party with Rob. Rob stomped off angry over something that happened (with another guest; not Richard). Then Rich gets a call from Rob who had walked SOMEWHERE but he didn’t know where he was. He was pretty drunk. Richard told him to look for cross streets and call a cab to bring him back to the house where the party was. Rob did that. When Rob was safely back at the party, Richard asked for the cross streets where Rob had ended up…it turned out he had been AT THEIR HOTEL. He had walked all the way back there from the party. So Rob had called Rich from their hotel to tell him he was lost and didn’t know where he was. Rich thought this was hilarious. Quite a good story.
Rich said that Rob’s scary stroke really brought them together. Rich was in the hospital with Rob when the doctor came in and told him they had to give him an injection right now to help stop the stroke and there was a chance it would stop the stroke and Rob would have permanent damage…there was a chance it would stop it and he’d recover…or there was a chance the drug would make Rob bleed out and he would die. Rob could physically not talk at this point (because of the stroke) and Rich thought he was trying to get across that he wanted to call his wife. The doctor told him that his wife couldn’t help him now and he had to decide NOW. He did it, and Rich was the only one there with him for that. I didn’t realize it had taken Rob almost a full year of rehab to relearn everything that was affected by the stroke. He is 100% or better right now which is incredible. He had to re-learn walking and talking. Watching him rock out at the concert? It’s hard to believe.
Mark Pellegrino was a great guest. He was a horrible guest back when I saw him in 2011 in Chicago (gutter humor; which I like; but it wasn’t funny then; it was just a way to deflect questions). Maybe he was somehow under the influence back then? He hinted that he’d come a long way. He gave very thoughtful answers. Some rather philosophical. He hopes to do more producing and writing. He tried to buy the movie options to the books Racing in the Rain (ironically, a book about car racing and life that my boss loves; a story told from the point of view of a dog, mostly; very deep and touching story, apparently), but part-time race car driver Patrick Dempsy outbid him on it. He talked a bit about how he feels it’s so greedy that movie rights are sometimes bought up before a book is even published and then the studio or person that buys the rights does nothing with them…sometimes for a decade…then the rights expire and it’s back on the market and he hopes he gets another crack at Racing in the Rain. He’d rather the rights go to someone who is ready to move on the story NOW. Can’t argue with that. He really enjoyed playing Lucifer and felt rather sympathetic towards his character. He said he would welcome the chance to write (I THINK he said “write”, not “direct”) an episode of Supernatural.
Trying to remember anything specific about Osric. His panel was great! I loved listening to him! He talked about overcoming your past (being bullied by his brothers so he bulked up and decided to become a bully, essentially, to defend himself, until he realized that was not the way to live). What an incredibly sweet guy. When I got his autograph we talked about fear and pushing through fear (in my case; fear to do karaoke; I did not do it this time…but never say
never). Very philosophical and totally wise beyond his years. He’s way into Pokemon Go (couldn’t even leave it alone to come onstage; it was charging and buzzing and notifying him in his pocket) and was questioned by a cop for sitting in a dark alley in Vancouver at 2 am (after he finished a day of shooting whatever he is currently working on) trying to find Pokemon (sitting in his car). Turns out, the cop really wanted to know how he could download the Pokemon Go ap in Canada (apparently there’s a trick to it)…so Osric showed him how.
Kim Rhodes teared up talking about her daughter and some great advice she got from a fellow actress. Kim’s daughter is autistic, and she admitted to this person (not an SPN cast member) that she was afraid that she (Kim) was the only one who would ever love her daughter. This person told her that the people who love her daughter just the way she is are the right people. Kim likened that to the SPN family. We are the right people. It was great advice all-around.
Briana seems thrilled to have a recurring role. She got into acting a bit late (in her 30’s) and SPN came along just when she was getting sick of the rejection.
Jared and Jensen said that Briana is such a comic genius. They really enjoy her. They’ve enjoyed working with many of the female guest stars and singled out Felicia Day and the woman currently playing Billie [Lisa Berry] and Briana as some they really enjoy.
Jared genuinely cracked Jensen up when he took off on the “salmon Dean” thing again. They were imitating a salmon with bow-legged fins and Jensen couldn’t stop laughing. At the very end of the panel, the last question was a request for Jared and Jensen to re-create the scream in “Yellow Fever”. They did. Jared acted like he was about to open up the locker and Jensen totally re-created the scream.
Jensen is, appropriately, a bit overwhelmed about the upcoming twins. Jensen said Jared broke the news to Gen by asking if she had heard that the Ackles are going to “catch up to us and pass us” and then Jared joked that he dragged Gen straight to the bedroom because he can’t let Jensen “win” the child-count race.
When asked the best thing about being dads, Jensen recalled a recent specific moment when he was carrying a very sleepyJJ upstairs to bed and she woke up and drowsily looked up at him and said, “Daddy, you’re so strong,” before falling back to sleep. That got him.
Jared said he loves watching Tom and Shep play together. They are becoming their own people and they have secrets between each other that are just theirs (that they don’t share with mom and dad). He really loves seeing that; what they are to each other.
Travis Aaron Wade always does such heartfelt panels. He came across as a great guy (and I’m not a huge fan of his Cole character; wasn’t developed enough). He brought a mom and daughter up onstage who he had raised money for so that they could attend the convention. He told a great story about being a broke actor in LA…meeting someone at a bar (maybe for a job prospect?)…at a time when he really couldn’t even afford to buy a single drink. He went and sat there with this drink he couldn’t afford and someone sat down next to him and ordered the same thing (it was a scotch or something and Travis had asked for the cheapest they had; apparently, they didn’t have anything cheap in this place). He looked over and it was Paul Newman. Travis was completely star-struck; Paul Newman was one of his heroes, of course. He didn’t say anything to him, even though they locked eyes for a moment before going on to just sit there and drink their drinks. Travis said that, the whole time, in his head he was screaming, “I’m having a drink WITH Paul Newman!”. When Paul Newman was done, he stood up and looked at Travis and said, “Thank you for that,” and left. Thanks for not making a scene.
The day that Paul Newman died, Travis had stopped to get himself a lemonade and he got back into his car and heard the news on the radio. He looked down and realized the drink he had bought was a Newman’s Own lemonade. He thought that was a rather meaningful moment. Great story. He truly admired Newman’s model for fundraising with the Newman’s Own company. (Sidebar; I’ve been made aware of the controversy surrounding Travis Aaron Wade’s behavior with fans at other conventions. My comments about him here only reflect my experiences with what I directly observed at MinnCon and are not intended as any sort of commentary on the controversy.)
Misha’s panel…someone asked for the craziest photo op request. Misha got his very “put upon” look and said that originally he thought that a photo op meant you stand next to a fan or put an arm around them and have a photo taken. But, thanks to the creativity of our fandom, “Now we’ll basically do any crazy, humiliating, BDSM pose you ask for.” I love Misha. He talked about a GISHWHES challenge where he had people show up at a park to give his mom flowers (?) for her birthday. It turned into a bit of a mob scene that freaked his mom out a bit. He didn’t think that many people would show up. He is always surprised by the GISHWHES results, including the arrests and court martials (apparently there have been some!). Loves that people will do it. Loves the raising of money for the charities.
Told a very “Misha” story about his daughter. He and his wife don’t let their children watch TV that much, so when they are allowed to, the kids think it’s a huge treat. They have a sofa and a TV in the basement. Once, his daughter stood up on the TV sofa and said something like “Uh oh, Daddy” and proceeded to poop on the couch. She had been so excited to watch TV that she didn’t want to leave to go use the bathroom. However, her first instinct was to catch it (her own poop), but then that immediately disgusted her and she wiped her hand on the couch, smearing it across the whole thing. Misha just couldn’t believe that he was now sitting on a very poop-smeared couch before trying to carry his daughter, at arm’s length, up to the bathroom.
We had William Shatner come out onstage! Yes. William Shatner. Captain Kirk. The 50th anniversary Star Trek convention was down the street (also being run by Creation) and since Shatner and Misha go back and forth on Twitter all the time and like to talk charity work…they both came out to introduce Louden Swain before the Saturday Night Special concert. They tried to say “Louden Swain” together and Shatner kind of completely messed it up, but Misha said it with him and of course he (Shatner) got a standing ovation because…he’s William Shatner! I wished he would have stayed long enough to sing something (his bad singing is pretty legendary), but he didn’t. He was only there for a few short minutes.
I wish I could remember more from the Jared and Jensen at the moment! It was a very good panel. I’m sure it’ll come back to me in little bits. Or you can watch it on YouTube, I’m sure! Jensen said the grenade launcher from the Impala trunk will finally make an appearance this season. There was no discussion of the possible end of the series. I’m sure I’ll think of more.
Can’t think of anything specific from Ruth’s panel and I missed some of Mark Sheppard‘s waiting for a photo op. Mark Sheppard was LESS snarky than sometimes. He still gave the audience a bit of a hard time, but he seemed much more…thankful. I think it was him at the end of his panel that said, “Thank you for my life.” I know he means the life he gets to live because of his work, but wow. That was nice.
I built an SPN-style motel room screen. We made marshmallow nachos (“Just My Imagination”) and photographed it (with one of us holding the nachos sitting on my green Coleman cooler and the rest of us reaching for them behind her)…tweeted it to Richard Speight (episode director) and he re-tweeted it! Also tweeted it to Jenny Klein (episode writer) and she commented how sweet it was that we did that and asked how the nachos were (not as bad as you’d think).
Friend #2 (gold panel):
I can’t recall that many highlights from the gold panel, but…
During the introductions, the Creation guy (I can’t remember his name) said that attendance at Minncon was the largest ever, which is pretty impressive. Jared said that Minneapolis was his favorite convention venue — maybe because of the large stage?
JDM crashed the panel for a few minutes, hugged the boys and left.
Jared and Jensen had fun playing with a pillow shaped like a giant hamburger.
Jared joked about not being able to see people who are under a certain height — including Lou Bollo (the show’s stunt coordinator). They also talked about how Jensen got slightly injured doing one of his own stunts recently.
Someone asked to see the boys do their “whip and Nene”, but they joked their way out of it (thankfully) and Jared “sort of” did it.
Someone asked why Dean and Sam, after being so close as children, didn’t talk for 4 years while Sam was in college. Jared said he blames Sam for that, because he was trying to get away from his family and from hunting.
The boys joked about how they vandalized Steven Amell’s parking space when they were on the set of Arrow.
Someone asked J2 to name their favorite season finales. Jared mentioned the finale for season 1, and J2 went on to describe how something unpredictable happened. The truck that hit the Impala was supposed to keep going, but because the car and truck got stuck together when the crash happened (and it was too expensive to re-shoot the scene), they had to re-work the season premiere for season 2, because the truck driver had to be part of the episode when he wasn’t originally supposed to be.
Toward the end of the panel, a woman stood up to ask a question and told J2 that she’d flown all the way from Hawaii. She than asked the boys if they would like to “get laid”. After an uncomfortable beat (while the audience sat in uncomfortable silence), Jared said “sure” and walked over to the edge of the stage, followed by Jensen. The woman pulled out two leis and placed one around each of their necks.
Someone also asked about the prank that Mark Sheppard played on Jared. Mark had mentioned the prank during his panel. It turns out that Jared was doing a series of brief station introduction announcements, and Mark altered the language on the teleprompter to make Jared announce ‘The Flash on the “Mark Sheppard” network’ with a fake hashtag. Jensen was in on the gag, too. He’d recorded the whole thing (he played it for the audience during the panel, complete with Jared’s profanity when he realized he’d been tricked) and kept the joke going to try to convince Jared it was real. I’m not doing it justice — it’ll be funnier when you watch it on Youtube.
Fan #3 (main panel):
Osric talked at length about his struggle with his agents and managers about his choice to wear a dress to the Leo Awards Ceremony (which he won) and how the more everyone said that he shouldn’t do it the more he KNEW that he had to in order to fight against the convention of what should be acceptable. LOVED that story and he looked incredible in the dress.
Jeffrey Dean Morgan also gave a really good story about how he got into acting by accident/ pure chance just because he helped a buddy move from Seattle to LA and then immediately got some acting jobs out of the blue, but that it then took him 25 years to actually build a career. He also talked about the set of The Walking Dead and that he gets along famously with Norman Reedus – they love riding motorcycles together. Then he asked the entire audience to help him with his second tweet ever by flipping Norman off while JDM held a sign saying “Norman we love you” and taking a pic. He seemed like a SUPER cool dude you just want to hang out with!! And in the auto session he was very engaged and started conversations with almost every fan in front of him.
Briana and Kim were talking about some ‘extra curricular activities’ they are planning…..possibly a web series or something along those lines….plus a project they are working on together hosting a WAYWARD DAUGHTERS CAMP at some point. They just genuinely enjoy each other and it pours out of them all the time.
Travis Aaron Wade gave up some of his panel time to allow a fan to propose to his girlfriend and gave them a special book that he enjoyed and used for inspiration, which was also very sweet. (I cannot see him as anything but sincere and caring…) And he got a bunch of service men and women on stage with him and challenged them to a push up count down (he then did 50 and didn’t even breathe very hard!!!).
Misha said that they collected so much money with the last GISHWHES, which was going to support two carefully chosen Syrian Refugee families each for 3 years, that they had to keep looking for more families to support….he guessed the final number to be 10 families that could be supported instead of the original 2. WOW.
Misha also came out on stage in a very funny way – crawling out of the fake bushes and deco – interrupting the end of the Richard, Rob and Matt Cohen’s panel. They told him that he doesn’t exist until he was properly announced which then developed quickly into an impromptu dance piece with Misha slowly rising from a crumpled crouch to his full unfolded height while the other three danced around him like they were conjuring him into existence. TOO FUNNY!! You should watch the Misha panel…he had a LOT of great stories, including the origin story of why he only wears orange underwear nowadays – which he showed us giving himself a wedgy in the process!!!
Ruth told a touching story about her chosen Charity “Hope Chest” and how the GISHWHES item supporting it made her cry. And she was phenomenal in the Quad panel with Osric, Kim and Briana where she told a fan asking what is not to be missed during a trip to the UK about this apparently rectangular sausage with the funniest suggestive hand gestures that had us all laughing and in tears (including Briana and Kim).
During that panel Briana also taught Osric a very cool full body undulating dance move, that was then used copiously during the panel and during the concert at night.
SAT NIGHT SPECIAL was amazing (even without Jensen) because they ALL got so much better!
The J2 panel you can all watch for yourself. But some of the smaller ones were almost as enjoyable, because the actors all seemed to have a blast.
I forgot my favorite moment of the whole Jared and Jensen panel in Minnesota! For me, this was worth the price of the whole ticket!
Jensen pointed out what a grammar Nazi Jared is. He started giving examples, such as (these are NOT direct quotes!):
Jensen might say, “Danneel took JJ and I to the store” and Jared will say, “me.” (“She took JJ and me,” would be grammatically correct). Then Jensen would repeat, “No, she took JJ and I,” and Jared will say “me”…(making it sound like Jared went to the store with Danneel and JJ). Jensen then just yelled at Jared onstage, “Stop making it all about you! This isn’t about you!” So very funny. He said Jared does this with everything; all the time. I love that Jared is a grammar police kind of guy and that Jensen is totally over it. If the video of the regular panel comes up, you should watch this part. Loved it.
Oh; totally forgot about the Osric dress story and that’s even what I talked to him about during autographs. He rocked that dress at the Leo awards and I was so glad he did that! So glad I got to tell him that. He also said, during the autograph, that he had been trying on the dress at the store with his stylist and was surrounded by girls looking for prom dresses with their moms. There was much discussion about whether or not he should wear the dress…discussion AT the store with the stylist and one of the moms overheard and told his stylist, “I really hope the boy gets to wear the dress.” Awww!!!! Love that in spite of all the fears his agents had, (they actually told him that maybe he could make an official statement in advance of the awards ceremony that he WAS NOT gay; just so he didn’t get typecast in the future…really??? Screw that! So glad he didn’t do that!), he had virtually NO negative reaction. He went with his gut and his gut was right and I loved it. I mean, shut the front door; look at him and Briana in one of the photos posted online from that night! He looks incredible! It reminds me of one of my favorite comments about SPN fandom I have ever heard. Somehow, one of the straightest, most masculine-driven shows on TV ended up with a fandom that is the exact opposite.
My friends’ memories are reminding me of more. JDM said he really wanted to be in a band when he was younger and living on the west coast. Early on, he was around some folks who really made it huge (like Nirvana and Pearl Jam!). One friend thought he looked the part of a rocker enough to actually PUT him in his band…which he did for only about 3 gigs because he was horrible. I think he said he only operated the “wind” sound on the keyboard for some songs; or something like that. He said that, nowadays, he is not the best husband/father because he is inclined to leave his family and take off on his motorcycle. Yes, he and Norman Reedus have that in common.
Yes! Kim and Briana’s possible web series! I would sign up for a Wayward Daughters camp/con in a second with them.
Loved Misha’s orange underwear story in response to the rather groan-worthy fan question of “boxers or briefs?”. Misha took a tired question and turned it into a great story.
During the 4-way Kim/Briana/Osric/Ruth panel (it was great; you’d think 4 people at once is too much; it’s not)…Kim said the rules were, one of them would answer the fans’ question while one would nod enthusiastically and the remaining two would make out. That’s how they would handle the questions. They all acted out making out with each other at various points. Ruth always nodded first; so as not to be in the “make out” pair (leading to lots of Kim and Briana faking making out), but eventually someone else jumped on the nodding and Ruth had to fake a kiss with Kim. They were so incredibly entertaining together.
I think I saw a tweet from Kim just yesterday; maybe she’s back on set? She said she was just about attacked in a hug by Ruth Connell when she showed up. I love that they are so close because of all this craziness.
BTW, the new lottery system for who will get to ask a question (the questions aren’t screened; just the names of who might get the chance to ask are chosen by a lottery now) is GREAT! No more people lined up all over the place, and the questions were better; I have to think because it included many more people than just those willing to sit on the floor for a couple of hours to ask a question. So much better (especially the Misha questions). I like that, now, those who have physical issues that prevent them from standing in line or sitting on the floor for hours have a shot at getting to ask a question as do folks who previously couldn’t wait in line because they were getting autographs or having photos taken when the question lines were forming.
I told Adam [Malin – a Creation Entertainment co-owner] that I loved Kim and Briana. He divulged that they will be doing some of the con hosting duties in the future! Wow! Awesome! They’d be great. They did that one 4-person panel with Kim, Briana, Osric, and Ruth all together which was a really great panel! They played off each other so well. He said he’d pass along the feedback that that particular 4-person panel was a big hit.
I asked him what their best-attended con location is (just curious). He said he thinks it’s Chicago.
I hope your enjoyed our eavesdropping! Did you like this format? Did you learn anything you hadn’t already heard? Let’s give these friends our support for the courage it tood to share their stories with us, and give their website a glimpse!
I’m going to #ChiCon in 3 weeks so more con reports to come!