Raider of the Lost Convention
 
Conventions? Why did it have to be conventions?
 
The name’s Jones. Jasminka Jones – I wish… I am preparing for one of the most unusual undertakings of my life: attending a Supernatural Convention. A European adventuress and a human psyche’s archaeologist I am equipped with leather jacket, gorgeous heels and a whippy mind and ready to board that plane that will take me all across the great divide to Los Angeles. The city of angels…
 
What am I going to find there? Angels? Demons? Real Ghostbusters?
 
Since the last convention in November, beautifully covered by Alice, who was actually there, various news found us – Supernatural won the People’s Choice Award for Best SciFi/Fantasy show. Cast and crew have celebrated their 100th episode (to air on April 15th) and given a special thank-you message to the fans on that occasion.
 
Jensen Ackles got engaged. Jared Padalecki got engaged and is now a married man. Impostors have pretended to be Jensen and Jared on twitter and/or facebook which made the actors voice an official statement via their faithful bodyguard. All this caused a massive uproar in the fandom, and not always of the polite or pleasant kind (which might have contributed to the Supernatural fandom earning the doubtful honour of being awarded the ‘craziest’ fan base around).
 
And it was announced that Supernatural would be back for a sixth season. 
 
Since I have been honoured by becoming an official writer for this site last fall some aspects of my life have changed considerably: I have received recognition as a writer (which means even more to me as I am not a native speaker) from people from all over the world, people I have never met. I had to make time to write on a regular basis which is more fun than I expected (and sometimes more trouble, as my real life – job requires more of my time than expected for this year (as the patients that find me seem to be even sicker than they used to) and the people I love in my life do so, as well).
 
I have encountered – via the www – some of the most generous, sweet, intelligent, kind, humorous and witty minds, among them language teaching Vikings, dead-pan Über-librarians, alligator loving Brits, charming Canadian bards, chocolate addicts from Britain to the Adriatic, flowers from the Tropics, some endearing red headed monster … I could go on…You know who you are. You all restored my faith in this fandom which was wounded at times after reading certain comments concerning some of the matters mentioned above. So – thank you. It’s not for granted.
 
If any of you have read my article "In Fear of Fan Conventions - The Wicked at Rest?" you might remember my uneasiness in regard of going to a Con in general. That is still there – in part – but my joy of visiting Creation’s Salute to Supernatural Convention prevails and thrills me the closer I’m getting to the day I’ll actually be at the airport to check in.
 
As far as the guests are concerned – this is going to be a Con rich in testosterone – as there are, so far (I’m still hoping for some kind of last-minute announcement) no Supernatural ladies among the special guests. Which might also mean that they are busy working, and I’m always happy to know that an actor has a job (as opposed to the many who don’t).
 
Let’s see, who will be there? The endearing ‘Prophet Chuck’, Rob Benedict who will also give a concert with his band (did you know the guy was actually a fine musician, would that be a heavenly gift, too?), the angel we love to hate, ‘Zachariah’ Kurt Fuller, the-Archangel-formerly-known-as-Trickster, Richard Spreight, Jr., the epitome of cool ghost facers, AJ Buckley and Travis Wester, the-angel-turned-brother-in-arms, Misha Collins, the surrogate father the brothers couldn’t do without, Jim Beaver and, of course, the Winchesters themselves, Jensen Ackles and Jared Padalecki.
 
As I’m writing this it is still hard for me to believe that I am actually going to say hi to all those amazing actors, take pictures with some of them and enjoy what stories they will like to share. There are some questions nagging at my brain that I hope to be able to ask.
 
And a special treat awaits, too – I was lucky to win a so-called Meet&Greet with Jim Beaver, which was not too difficult, as there were only seven bids placed at the auction Creation announced while there was a quantity of ten offered. As I was following that auction, I kept thinking: what’s wrong with you, people? This is a man of immense heart (anyone who has read his book must have noticed), a film historian, a brilliant actor – imagine what you could talk to him about, and you’re not bidding?
 
Everyone, it seems, threw their bids in for a half hour of private q&a with Jensen and Jared and the bids exceeded any reasonable amount.  It was interesting to follow that auction (I have to admit I did not even place a bid, as it was clear I wasn’t ready to pay almost a month’s pay for that), how the names of the bidders came up, were thrown off, then came back up… I guess Sotheby’s could not make it more thrilling.
 
There’ll be twenty folks there with the leads in this half hour, but I’m not sad not to be one of them (I might have been had I actually put in a bid, I guess).  I’m very happy, very, to have the chance to say hi to Mr Beaver and perhaps be able to say after that hour that I have met him (well, exchanging smiles and pleasantries while getting an autograph can hardly be called ‘meeting someone’). I would love to ask him a few questions about Old Hollywood and his book.  Apart from being touched by his personal account of that tragic period of his life (for those of you who don’t know what I’m referring to: Jim Beaver wrote a book, ‘Life’s That Way’, describing in a heartfelt, sad, funny and deeply honest manner how he accompanied his wife through her fight with cancer and his life after losing her to that illness), it moved me, as I lost my mother to cancer a couple of years back.  
 
I’m looking forward to attend that convention for the fun of it, of course, but there is also a part of my soul that owes this show a thank you. Not only for the innumerable moments that Supernatural supplies in abundance, you know, moments that made me laugh and cry or sigh and drool or cringe and fret …
 
One of the core elements of our favourite show is loss. The loss of a mother, a girlfriend, a father, loss of friends dear, and – as a result of all that – the loss of innocence and sometimes even hope. But – Supernatural also shows us how the characters deal with it all, sometimes overcome it, and how they learn to hope again. It is, however, merely a TV-show, and Sam and Dean and all the others deal with it as bravely as we’ve seen them do it, because Sera Gamble decided it in her script or Jeremy Carver threw in one of those cool one-liners. The brothers so far keep their sanity, according to the Winchester Gospel Eric Kripke crafted to astutely.
 
In real life there are no scripts.
 
I have no wish to bore you with too many details, so without much ado let me just put it like this: over the last years I had to bury my family and someone very special that I loved. I still haven’t grasped the whole weirdness of being the last of my gene pool. As Jim Beaver wonderfully describes in his book, sometimes the pain is excruciating, sometimes you try to play it down, and sometimes you can be very happy despite the experience of loss – which is probably the most astonishing aspect of it all.
 
I occasionally found myself in a mind set very much like season one Sam or season two Dean, even more so as the best moments in my life have always been those I shared with my loved ones. I usually don’t need much to feel happy – give me a moment with a dear person, and it is bliss. It is quite strange that the concept of loss has become very much an integral part of my life, albeit it’s precisely what I have been afraid of more than of anything else. But perhaps we are given exactly such trials in our lives because they will help us grow.
 
I am blessed with wonderful friends who constantly came during that time over to make sure that I ate or just to be there, in case I needed anything. They became a new family, one that ‘don’t end with blood’, and suddenly I had a second father, an older brother, a niece, a supernaturally-close sister and other dear sisters and brothers. I am lucky, indeed.
 
So – why in the world would I need a tv-show?
 
The answer is quite simple, actually – to survive the occasional night, when sleep just won’t come… but many thoughts instead, when (kindly allow me to paraphrase the awesome Emily Brontë) the entire world is a dreadful collection of memoranda that they did exist and that I have lost them.
 
And in those nights I didn’t want to call up my friends again to cry on the phone I would watch Supernatural. Reading, my usual distraction, wouldn’t do, as thoughts have a habit of wandering away from the words on the pages, no matter how marvellous those words are. But this show managed to capture my whole attention during hard periods of my life and allowed me to forget for a while or to remind me of my strength.
 
A quote from Frank Capra’s ‘State Of The Union’ very much sums it up, as the Winchesters are the guys ‘who screamed for a warrior’s courage to face the private battle of everyday life’.
 
The writers have given us the most incredible story here, but the actors have put their life sparks into it and move us to the core. Hardly any other show I ever watched was of that quality. I don’t intend to bother any of the actors with my story, certainly, so they will never know about some of the deeply personal reasons why I feel grateful to have found this show, but getting there, telling them that I love this show and how much fun it provides will suffice for me.
 
Because – apart from all other aspects – this is what glues us to the screen: the sheer fun we have watching Supernatural.
 
I still can’t believe that I’ll be in L.A. the night this hiatus ends and watch it for the first and only time live (I can take for granted that the tv set at my hotel will provide CW, right?) which will be exiting… and probably one of the subjects fans will discuss at the con, as we all expect something huge with the next episode. It will be a tragic one, undoubtedly, as it will deal with Bobby and facets of his life before he became a hunter (as far as I know). So, better make sure to have Kleenex at hand.
 
I have had little preparation for a con. I’ve read some reports about conventions, of course, and watched some videos on youtube, but those can’t really explain what goes on there. For me, attending a convention like this will be virgin territory. Ha! Okay, get out those explorer tools, girl, as this expedition is about to begin very soon.
 
I’m curious like hell what it will be like – about the fans I’m going to meet (and perhaps some of the pennames that appeared on this site will get faces, which would be exciting!), what the atmosphere will be like (and I hope the wicked will indeed be at rest – there is no space for derogatory comments on the actors’ private lives etc), what the actors will be willing to share. There will be numerous moments that will capture my attention, I’m sure, and I look forward to that adventure.
 
This was very personal, I reckon, and I hope I did not bore you to death. Those of you still breathing might want to read my Con Report – which will also be a personal one.
 
As I was advised not to carry my notebook, I will finish my article (which I will have begun writing in my ever present journal) the moment I return to European soil (a week later, as my trip will carry me from Los Angeles to Washington D.C. for a few days – I could not justify visiting the US for the Convention only, I had to stay a bit longer and meet you yanks, as it’s been a while since I’ve been there), and you will already have read the reports about the panels of the guest stars elsewhere.
 
What you will get from me will be impressions of the Convention, moments to treasure, stories to be moved by, encounters with the actors… what will happen at the photo ops? Will Rob Benedict’s band Louden Swain rock the room? How will it be meeting Jim Beaver? What will the Saturday Night Dessert Party be like? Is Kurt Fuller a bad guy in real life? Will I sing Karaoke? Are the ghost facers capable of carrying a conversation without constantly referring to the ‘annoying Winchester douche nozzles’? Will I utterly forget my English grammar when meeting ‘the guys’? Will Misha Collins solidify his reputation of being unpredictable?
 
Well, I suppose there will be even more to discover, as this is an expedition, an adventure, and I very much feel like an explorer already. And in the end, I’m sure, unlike my dear brother in spirit, Indy, I will have to say: yes, it had to be conventions.
 

Comments  

Mary Bardicvoice
# Mary Bardicvoice 2010-03-24 05:36
Hey, Jasminka - I hope I see you there! Look in the cheap seats in the back for a woman with short, two-tone hair, bright blonde bangs contrasting with dark brown plush fur ... About the con itself, expect long lines and a lot of relatively empty waiting time in between events. Talking with the folk I meet tends to be the best part, along with hearing from the actors. Hope you have a great time!
Suze
# Suze 2010-03-24 08:03
Hey Jas, hope you and your gorgeous heels have a most illuminating time and come back safe to share the gory details with us stay-at-homes!
Karen
# Karen 2010-03-24 08:27
Hi Jasminka

This was beautifully written…wasnâ €™t bored for a minute.
I am a bit envious of this adventure you are about to embark on.
Maybe one day I will be able to take on such a quest myself.
I fully believe this expedition of your will be a successful and memorable one.
Just think you will be meeting the wonderful people that have brought something special to our lives each week
And of the different variety of fandom you will be able to see at first hand in their habitat. Yes there will be some you will have to keep your distance and only observe them. But there will be so many others you will be able to interact with and even befriend.
Just know that your site buddy’s here are behind you and are wishing you the best adventure of you life.
Supernarttu
# Supernarttu 2010-03-24 09:20
Hi Jas. This was lovely and I ain't bored at all. You have a way with words that's really colorful and interesting.

I'm sorry to hear about your rough years but I'm glad you've made it through and found our show, and this site :-)

I'm too a little jealous about your trip (well, I've wanted to go to the US for two decades now basically, ever since my sister went for her first time and told me it's a must!), I mean the landscape alone... *sigh* And you get to meet all those wonderful people and the J's :D Can't wait to read about your experience, I bet it's going to be amazing.

I hope you have a wonderful, relaxing, safe and a kickass vacatio n! See you soon...Or you know :D
Sablegreen
# Sablegreen 2010-03-24 11:11
Safe traveling Jas. Look forward to hearing from you from LA. Take good notes!
RedBird
# RedBird 2010-03-24 12:19
Hi Jasminka. Great article. As I mentioned before, I'll be at the LA con, so I hope we'll meet. I'm a little (financially) crazier than Mary. I'll be up near the front - the tall redhead with glasses. You can see some pics here:
http://sites.google.com/site/hamiltee02/home

Have a safe trip!
RisenShine
# RisenShine 2010-03-24 12:45
Hi Jasminka! I'm so looking forward to your convention report and your impressions. I decided against L.A. and bought a ticket for Vancouver instead and I hope to meet (and greet) Jim Beaver at the Con here in Germany. I would have placed a bid! Alles Gute!!
BagginsDVM
# BagginsDVM 2010-03-24 12:55
Have a wonderful experience, Jas!
I was at the Chicago con last November & am going to the Vancouver con in August, rooming with a friend I met at a Lord of the Rings con nearly 5 years ago. We became friends then, & have gone to numerous cons & even to New Zealand since then. I've met some of the greatest people at these events!
Yes, there will be long lines & lots of waiting, but it is worth it, both to meet the actors & new friends (& catch up with old friends)!
Dawn
Julie
# Julie 2010-03-24 13:28
Hi Jas, Thank you for a very special article which I have read through tears, I know you know why.
I too feel like I now have friends all over the world.
Hope you are having a wonderful time, we are all thinking about you and living `it` vicariously through you. Ju x
Bevie
# Bevie 2010-03-24 13:30
Jas, I hope you have an amazing time at the con.

I love this show as you do for many of the same reasons you wrote about in this article. Amazing how it can fill up some of the holes in our real life lives.

I look forward to your comments when you get back.
Randal
# Randal 2010-03-24 13:40
That was an extra swanky (and very heartfelt) write up and now I wish I was going too because I have the sudden desire to buy you a purple nurple and toast you and all the rest of the groovy folks here. And a second purple nurple because then you might agree to karaoke. :D
Robin Vogel
# Robin Vogel 2010-03-24 14:20
Ah, honey, I read this with such exhilaration! I've been to several conventions, but don't have the bucks to attend anymore, at least not right now. I wish I were going to this one so I could meet you, hug you and toast the wonderful writer you are!

I had the pleasure of a two-hour breakfast with Jim Beaver last year. He's a sweetheart of the highest order! My camera broke, and he took it and tried to get it working again. No luck, but it was a pleasure sitting beside him (I almost forgot to give the poor girl's seat back to her), watching him fiddle with my camera. He was so nice! I maneuvered to sit across from him, the best seat by far, and talked to him about his little girl, the show, all sorts of things. He's forthright, funny, and loves Dr. Pepper soda! Jim is a regular guy, GREAT sense of humor, and when I asked if I could hug him, then gave him a ridiculous bear hug, he didn't mind at all!

You are in for the time of your life, and I, for one, want to hear EVERY DETAIL!

Love, Robin
Freebird
# Freebird 2010-03-24 19:50
Hey Jas, what a wonderful article!! Thank you so much for sharing, I love to read your articles!

I've never been to a con, but Jim Beaver and Louden Swain are my MySpace friends, so I'm a regular Jim's Blog-reader and Louden Swain-listener. I believe you will not be disappointed. And all the other people you'll meet :P ... can't wait to read your report!
Have a safe trip and enjoy yourself!!!!
Lara
Freebird
# Freebird 2010-03-24 19:52
Hey Mary Bardic Voice, so nice to have you here. Because I wanted to tell you how much I love your reviews!!!
A safe trip to you, and have a lot of fun!!
Lara
anene
# anene 2010-03-24 20:01
Hi Jas!
I'm going to be attending the L.A con too. Hope to meet you too in person and tell you how much i like your articles and have a great weekend together. Maybe even watch the new episode together. Good luck on your trip. :-)
Ardeospina
# Ardeospina 2010-03-25 21:53
Jas, have a great time on your trip to the convention and on the rest of your whirlwind U.S. tour. I can't wait to hear all about it when you get back!
Evelyn
# Evelyn 2010-03-26 01:49
Hey Jas, I realize you might not see this till after the convention, but I hope you have a great time and that meeting the 'boys' and everyone else involved will be all that it can be for you. I did not know your story, thanks for sharing, and I am truly sorry for your loss and pain. As you told me on another post awhile ago - it's amazing the strength that we find within ourselves and realize that we are actually stronger than we thought we were. And it is so true about this show and how we relate so much of what goes on with this fictional characters with our own lives as well as enjoyment and fun we get from it.

So, have a kick-ass time in LA, wish I could be there (or at any Con for that matter). Have fun and welcome to the U.S. of A.