Raider of the Lost ConventionConventions? Why did it have to be conventions?
The nameâ€™s Jones. Jasminka Jones â€“ I wishâ€¦ I am preparing for one of the most unusual undertakings of my life: attending a Supernatural Convention. A European adventuress and a human psycheâ€™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 angelsâ€¦
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 â€“ Supernatural won the Peopleâ€™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 â€˜craziestâ€™ 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 â€“ 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 â€“ via the www â€“ some of the most generous, sweet, intelligent, kind, humorous and witty minds, among them language teaching Vikings, dead-pan Ãœber-librarians, alligator loving Brits, charming Canadian bards, chocolate addicts from Britain to the Adriatic, flowers from the Tropics, some endearing red headed monster â€¦ I could go onâ€¦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 â€“ thank you. Itâ€™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 â€“ in part â€“ but my joy of visiting Creationâ€™s Salute to Supernatural Convention prevails and thrills me the closer Iâ€™m getting to the day Iâ€™ll actually be at the airport to check in.
As far as the guests are concerned â€“ this is going to be a Con rich in testosterone â€“ as there are, so far (Iâ€™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 Iâ€™m always happy to know that an actor has a job (as opposed to the many who donâ€™t).
Letâ€™s see, who will be there? The endearing â€˜Prophet Chuckâ€™, 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, â€˜Zachariahâ€™ 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 couldnâ€™t do without, Jim Beaver and, of course, the Winchesters themselves, Jensen Ackles and Jared Padalecki.
As Iâ€™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 â€“ 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: whatâ€™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 â€“ imagine what you could talk to him about, and youâ€™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 wasnâ€™t ready to pay almost a monthâ€™s pay for that), how the names of the bidders came up, were thrown off, then came back upâ€¦ I guess Sothebyâ€™s could not make it more thrilling.
Thereâ€™ll be twenty folks there with the leads in this half hour, but Iâ€™m not sad not to be one of them (I might have been had I actually put in a bid, I guess). Iâ€™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 â€˜meeting someoneâ€™). 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 donâ€™t know what Iâ€™m referring to: Jim Beaver wrote a book, â€˜Lifeâ€™s That Wayâ€™, 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.
Iâ€™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 â€¦
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 â€“ as a result of all that â€“ the loss of innocence and sometimes even hope. But â€“ 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 weâ€™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 havenâ€™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 â€“ 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 donâ€™t need much to feel happy â€“ 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 itâ€™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 â€˜donâ€™t end with bloodâ€™, 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 â€“ why in the world would I need a tv-show?
The answer is quite simple, actually â€“ to survive the occasional night, when sleep just wonâ€™t comeâ€¦ but many thoughts instead, when (kindly allow me to paraphrase the awesome Emily BrontÃ«) the entire world is a dreadful collection of memoranda that they did exist and that I have lost them.
And in those nights I didnâ€™t want to call up my friends again to cry on the phone I would watch Supernatural. Reading, my usual distraction, wouldnâ€™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 Capraâ€™s â€˜State Of The Unionâ€™ very much sums it up, as the Winchesters are the guys â€˜who screamed for a warriorâ€™s courage to face the private battle of everyday lifeâ€™.
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 donâ€™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 â€“ apart from all other aspects â€“ this is what glues us to the screen: the sheer fun we have watching Supernatural.
I still canâ€™t believe that Iâ€™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 exitingâ€¦ 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. Iâ€™ve read some reports about conventions, of course, and watched some videos on youtube, but those canâ€™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.
Iâ€™m curious like hell what it will be like â€“ about the fans Iâ€™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 â€“ there is no space for derogatory comments on the actorsâ€™ private lives etc), what the actors will be willing to share. There will be numerous moments that will capture my attention, Iâ€™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 â€“ 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 â€“ I could not justify visiting the US for the Convention only, I had to stay a bit longer and meet you yanks, as itâ€™s been a while since Iâ€™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 actorsâ€¦ what will happen at the photo ops? Will Rob Benedictâ€™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 â€˜annoying Winchester douche nozzlesâ€™? Will I utterly forget my English grammar when meeting â€˜the guysâ€™? 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, Iâ€™m sure, unlike my dear brother in spirit, Indy, I will have to say: yes, it had to be conventions.