Tuesday, 11 September 2012

Bears and Mooses and Jensen, OH MY! Supernatural VanCon 2012 - Part 3

J-Day and Jensen’s Q&A….The Happiest Day Of Them All.

So Sunday arrived. It’d had been an awesome convention so far. I’d run into loads of people I’d met before, had a few nights out with fellow fans and generally had a blast.
I’d seen Steve Carlson for the first time and enjoyed him playing Jensen’s guitar! I’d seen Mark Pellegrino sing “Sweet Transvestite”, quite possibly one of the hottest things I’ve ever witnessed! I’d watched the wonderful Jim Beaver be a somewhat calming influence on the wonderfully kooky Misha Collins. I’d had a hilarious conversation with Richard about his porn-stache and what he calls “the ever evolving story” of my hair. Bless. It’d been a fabulous week leading up to the convention and a fabulous 2 days of the convention so far….but now….finally….it was J-Day!

As usual Hazel, my convention cohort, and I had the Jensen Q&A to look forward to. Ever since our first Q&A with Jensen in Chicago, we’ve vowed to always be there in that room with him for those magical 30 minutes…

But first up, it was breakfast with the boys and some photos!

I’m always shocked at how nervous I am on the Sunday. It didn’t help that I’d had some kind of allergic reaction to something and was covered in angry, swollen, blistering welts! They’d started coming up on Saturday and were in their full glory by Sunday. Itchy and MASSIVE and hot! Thankfully…most were coverable with a sleeve. I only had one of my forehead and I have a fringe so that was ok, but there was one threatening to take over my eye. Hazel gave me an antihistamine and I stashed my sunglasses in my bag, just in case by the time I saw the boys, I looked like some monster from one of their episodes! I covered it with make-up and said a silent prayer to the convention Gods that if I just left it be, it’d stay mostly invisible. Thankfully, it did!

Breakfast was, quite frankly, brunch! But I wasn’t complaining. Usually you have to get up at sparrows-fart for these things, but this time, it didn’t start until 10am with the boys not arriving until 11. My tummy was all over the place as usual…somersaulting here, back-flipping there…going for Olympic gold again. I wonder if there’s ever going to be a time where I’m not all nervous when I meet the Js? Probably not and I’m kind of glad about that.

We found our breakfast table over to the side and as far away from the stage as a side table could be. I have no idea how Creation do the layout. We had 3rd row seats and yet were at a table further away from the action than people we know who had seats a couple of rows behind us. It was still a good seat though. I could see clearly…and I was on Jensen’s side.

The boys arrived with little fanfare. Normally we get a 5-minute warning or something, but this time Adam introduced them and then they were there.

I don’t know what it is, but I always feel so damn good when I see Js! Endorphins maybe? Ok dumb statement there I know, we all feel good when we see them. But I feel like their presence washes over me. It’s like I exhale. I guess it’s all the excitement building and then finally seeing them. They’re just such a wonderful duo. I love watching them interact, I adore watching their friendship on display, I love how they concentrate on each other as the other speaks. They truly are each other’s biggest fans and supporters and it’s a thing of beauty to behold, as are both of them!

Of course, Jared instantly broke his microphone, causing Jensen to use his stern (read: smokin’ hot) voice. There were the usual shenanigans. Jared making a snowflake out of a napkin – it was an attempt by Jensen to keep Jared’s hands busy and away from the mic…Jared then wore it like some Jason Voorhees mask. Jared did the 50 States song…with encouragement from Jensen. When he got to Texas they turned to each other and said “Hi Y’all” with a hearty wave. Seriously, I’ve watched the video of that about 500 times since then and it still makes my face ache from smiling! Jensen talked about directing this season and how he was in the episode so much he found it very difficult to keep up with the work. They discussed learning and running their lines in the car on the way to set or location and consequently not knowing where anything is or how to get anywhere, because they’re never paying attention. I love how they laugh so easily at themselves. Jensen fiddled with his water bottle and somehow managed to pop the lid off across the room – I think it surprised him more than anyone else! He kind of looked around to see if anyone noticed! They chatted about the up coming season. Jensen said there’s been a lot of Dean so far and he wants us to make some noise to get more Sam so Jensen can have some time off! They said it balances out though, so we’re not to worry. They also discussed the Edlund script for episode 5 they were currently shooting – the one I watched them doing scenes for – and Jensen said it was his favourite of the season so far. Apparently episode 4 is a bit different, kind of in the vein of “Chronicle” and they really dug it. I love listening to them talk about the show, they’re always so passionate. They finish each other’s thoughts and look to each to other for affirmation. As usual, it was all over way too quickly.

Time for photos!

Jensen was up first. I got another fabulous cuddle. Gosh he’s so very nice to cuddle. This may sound weird, but he seemed more relaxed with me. Maybe it’s because I’m a little more relaxed and can speak to him a little bit more like a normal human being now! Only slightly though. It’s still sensory overload. I find it hard to look into his eyes for any length of time. That chick in “Tall Tales” was right…it’s like looking into the sun. He’s just blinding! He’s so damn lovely. I pretty much have no idea what goes on in the ops until I get my photos back! Then I’m like…hey, he’s resting his head on my head! He was resting his head on my head! Why didn’t I notice that at the time!? SENSORY OVERLOAD! He’s so polite and sweet and fun and gah! Sorry….remembering makes me all fan-girl!

Then it was the Js together. I have to say the photo with Hazel and I with the boys is one of my favourite photos ever. We all look totally comfortable, like a bunch of buddies hanging out…me particularly as I’m resting my head on Jensen’s back! For my shot with the Js, Jared asked what I wanted. I said, how about a hug? He said, “You can have anything you want beautiful.” I went, “Ohhhhhhhhh” blushed and turned to Jensen! Seriously. Jared is a flirty boy. I actually turned to Jensen for support I think! Ha! I got a “Beautiful” “Girlfriend” “Love” and “Sweetheart” from Jared on Sunday. I wish I could’ve recorded each one of them. My sandwich shot is HILARIOUS! I’m grimacing! I don’t know if they discussed this before hand, but they basically squeezed the crap out of everyone that day! All the breath left my body! I made an “Ooof” sound and went “Oh God!” Then my back cracked! When they released me…laughing, I looked at them and said “Good grief!” I then said “Wow thanks for that Jared, I think you put my spine back in place.” “You’re welcome sweetheart.” Amy dies. Then Jensen goes…”Pretty good huh? You get a photo and an adjustment all in one.” Amy dies again. I appear to be standing in the middle of the Js having some form of conversation! Well they were conversing….my brain was dribbling out of my ears. When I saw the photo, I’m totally and utterly pressed into Jensen. Like totally. His arms are all the way around me. My face shmooshed against his neck. My boobs are crushed against his chest! I wish I could go back and pay more attention! Jared’s arms are fully flexed and around me onto Jensen, his fingers are digging into Jensen’s back. That’s how tight they were squeezing me! Everyone came out of the photo room going “Oh my gosh, my back!” I think they must have planned it! Bless their squishy hug hearts!

Lastly, it was Jared’s solos. Hazel and I had to be up first for Jared’s op because we had to go to Jensen’s Q&A. More fabulous cuddles… This time it was…”What’re we doing girlfriend.” Well Jared, if you’d stop being so damn adorable for one moment maybe I’ll be able to get my brain into gear and answer you intelligently! At one point his collar was in my face and I kinda pulled back to try and get it out of the way and he said with a great big grin, "What's going on, do I smell bad or something?" and I said "Yes horrible." He laughed. I mumbled... "No you smell great as usual." I could feel him kind of chuckling in the hug. Somehow my photos with Jared are always amazing. I have no idea why.

Photos done! Boo. They’re way too quick!

Now it was time for what I’d been looking forward to all day, actually for about a month, ever since I won the auction. It was time Jensen’s Q&A.

Here’s a funny thing. From the night before I started saying to myself. I’m going to be front row; I’m going to be front row. Then…I think I’ll be in seat 3…seat 3…seat 3. So all the way down the escalators as we sprinted to the room for the Q&A, I was going 3, 3, 3 in my head. It’s a lucky dip for seating. I put my hand in. I pull out…..3! WEIRD! I am so doing that next time! In actual fact I sat in seat 9…because Hazel was in 10. Still front row, so 9 and I swapped seats so Hazel and I could sit together.

Then, we waited for the boy to arrive.

Jensen strode in. He strides. I totally love the way he walks. He has a certain gait. He’s kind of languid. Maybe it’s those legs! I’d recognise his walk anywhere. Jensen was in a great mood. He was very chirpy and a little cheeky. He seemed to be having a really fun day. He started off asking if anyone had embarrassed themselves at the convention. Somehow we got on to Russ Hamilton and Jensen made some comment about how Russ could be embarrassing at a coffee shop! I’d say that’s true! Then he asked us for questions, as we all know 30 minutes goes very quickly. I’ve said this before in past reports on Jensen’s Q&A; he gives you his full attention when you ask a question. He focuses on you, listens, thinks and then answers you without breaking eye contact. It’s like you have him all to yourself for that fleeting moment. He really gives you his time. If you’re anything like me…the room around dissolves and the only thing highlighted is Jensen. It’s like he glows. Maybe that’s just me…but I bet you anything it’s not.

He spoke again about how difficult his episode was to direct this season. There’s a lot of Dean and there were new guest stars who needed his director’s input, but he was also concentrating on finding Dean again and he found that balance very difficult to achieve. He spoke about how he found it difficult to go from the clear head of an actor to the busy mind of a director. It was a pretty long answer! He stopped after awhile and sort of apologised for taking so long to get to his point. As if any of us would mind. Hearing him speak about his work is a joy.

He discussed the fact that Jared and him had agreed to do season 9 and 10. He said the deal wasn’t officially done, but yeah there’d been the discussions and yes they’ve agreed to do it. Then he reminded us that it was up to us to keep them on the air that long, we’ve got to keep watching if we want them to be able to do those seasons 9 and 10. Um, I don’t think there’s much of a worry on that front Jensen!

He discussed his music. On Friday night Steve had told us the news that Jensen would be singing a song on Steve’s new covers album. He told us Jensen actually approached him and made the suggestion. They recorded the song in the ADR van on the “Supernatural” set and Jared shot a video for it on his iPhone! So Jensen talked about that project a little. He said he simply enjoys music as a way to relax and enjoys playing music at the end of his day. He doesn’t consider himself a musician. As someone who’s lucky enough to have heard him sing, I beg to differ. He is a musician. But he sure doesn’t think so.

Jensen talked about how he’s never been great at anything but he’s good at a lot of things. He talked about sports and how he was never the stand out star, was always good, just not great. He said he’s a good actor, but not a great one. He’s a very modest guy is Jensen. My friend Kim interjected at this stage and told him that yes he was great, then added with a smile…ok maybe there was one better than him. Kim’s a Jared girl! Jensen, as quick as a whip and deadpan, “Not on our show.” Oh, how we all laughed!

Hazel asked a question about whether he’d ever got any advice or learnt anything from a fan. We’d been discussing how being a fan of the show had opened us up to so much, introduced us to new music and all sorts of creativity. So we wondered if Jensen had ever had an experience with a fan that opened him up to something new, or that he took a lesson from. Thoughtful as always, he said he’d have to have a think about it if he was going to speak in specifics, but that he’s learnt a lot from the fans. Hazel said, “Like how crazy we are?” We all chuckled at ourselves. Jensen laughed too, “No…” Then he went on to discuss how much the fans bring to the show. That when they’re well into the season, exhausted, shooting at night, in the rain, having the fans and knowing the fans are out there reminds them of why they’re doing this crazy stuff, that it’s for us and that they’ll have stories to tell us. He said coming to the conventions allows them to put faces to the fans. At this, he looked from Hazel, to me, and then back to Hazel. Hazel and I discussed this comment later and the fact that he looked between us both. It felt like a quiet moment of recognition because we’re always together when we see Jensen.

Then my friend Amy, who was sitting behind me, asked how they learned all their lines. Jensen said it was pretty easy now, but I thought it was really interesting when he said once he had the lines in his head, getting on set made everything fall into place because then he has the spatial association and the lines take form within the action. I could sit and listen to him talk about acting all day. Actually I could sit and listen to him read the phone book quite frankly. His voice and the way he speaks with such consideration, is compelling.

Next it was my turn! As some of you may know, I work in TV in promos and sometimes it can be hard to keep the creative juices flowing doing the same thing day in day out. It’s easy to lose your mojo. I asked Jensen about whether there were any creative challenges to playing the same character for 8 seasons. Jensen did that laser vision thing on me. He said the difficulty was in keeping it fresh, keeping Dean fresh and making the dialogue and action seem fresh season after season and for each take. But he said they’re lucky, because they have great writers who are passionate about the show and their passion helps keep everyone else’s passion alive. He said that he thinks that it’s a really good show, so it hasn’t been that hard to play Dean for as long as he has. Then he said he’s playing Dean a little differently this season. We all gasped! He laughed and settled us down and told us not to worry, Dean won’t be that different, just a bit edgier. He reckons we’ll be able to pick it when he doesn’t do it that well. Bless. My question was answered; Jensen looked away….and….I breathed again.

Then the lone man in the group asked what Jensen’s next challenge was. Jensen put on that fake stern voice of his and said “Geeze isn’t that enough for you? What do you want me to sing and dance? Shine shoes?” We all giggled. I love it when Jensen pretends to be strict with the fans! He then went on to talk about how he’d like to get better at photography, but that these days he always forgets and leaves his good camera at home and takes shots on his iPhone. Which reminded him…. He hopped down off the chair, pulling his phone from his front pocket and showed us all a photo he’d just taken of the Impala. He walked around the group so we could all see it. Then he got down on his knees and showed us all how he took the shot, said he put an effect on it…he was a bit excited! It’s moments like this that make these Q&As so special. These small personal moments when Jensen takes the time to share something with us that no one else gets to see.

Then it was over. Damn. He thanked us. We all clapped and thanked him and Jensen strode from the room. As usual, Hazel and I sat for a moment absorbing what just happened. 30 minutes is nowhere near enough with this man, but I feel so blessed to have these fleeting moments with Jensen.

Of course next up was the panel with the Js. It was a really good one I thought, with not too many dumb questions. Some highlights were when Jared talked about Dean’s performance and then realised he said Dean instead of Jensen and ran around the stage in mock confusion. Jensen, quick as a whip “It was just that good.”

Jensen kept saying things that were just a little inappropriate. For once Jared was forced to take Jensen’s mic! When a girl came up dressed as pie and Jensen said “Yummmmmm…” Jared took his mic! At the end of the question, Jensen asked what kind of pie she was, she said cherry, Jensen said, “Yeah you are…” then offered his mic to Jared to take away! Like I said, he was in a cheeky mood!

They both told embarrassing stories about their wedding days. Jared’s was about wrestling on the floor at his buck’s party and cutting up his back. Then having to have his shirt pinned by his brother and Clif on his wedding day so he didn’t bleed all over it. Jensen’s was about his wedding photographer using the F word constantly and Jensen being worried for his grandmother (nawwww).

Jensen talked about his dad being in the episode that he directed and how his dad was worried about embarrassing his son and Jensen had to say, “Dad, get on a plane and get up here.” Stern voice again….

As usual, it was fun panel, which went way too fast. It ended in an auction for a gift pack from Jared’s 30th that Gen had made for him. The party was on a boat, so there was a towel and a life jacket with a beer opener attached! Jared said all the guests got one and Jensen pouted because he didn’t. Jared made excuses because Jensen was overseas at the time and then said, but all my family and friends got one and Jensen pouted again and Jared said “Except those that weren’t there”. Cuties.

The party pack went for $8,000. There was a hilarious moment when it was getting close to 8 grand when Jared said, “If we make it to 8,000 you’ll get Jensen too.” Nearly every hand in the auditorium shot up. Jensen completely lost it. Full-body-belly-laughter! You know the one that makes him bend backwards and then forwards and put his hands on his knees? He came back giggling going “All of a sudden, hundreds of hand shot up into the air!” Of course they did!

Jared was blown away but how much the auction went for. The money raised was for a war vets charity. Later Hazel and I witnessed Jared give the girl who won the auction the shirt off his back. Literally. He literally stood there, while we were waiting for our autographs and took his shirt off and put it around the girl’s shoulders. He was wearing a t-shirt under his shirt don’t worry. He later told Hazel he was “F***ing humbled” but the experience.

Then it was on to the autographs. Jensen commented on how well I’d cropped my photo I was getting signed! Too funny! I’d put 2 of my favourite Jensen and Jared hugs together! Clif said, “That’s your twitter picture isn’t it?” I said yes and Clif said, “See I know something” and Jensen said “Yeah, not much.” I thanked Jensen for another wonderful day and he said “Oh you’re so very welcome” and gave me a beautiful big smile.

Jared loved the photo too and commented on it. I also had a moose dressed in Sam clothes for him to sign, which he thought was pretty funny, even funnier when I told him I couldn’t find a moose big enough for the Sam outfit. Hazel and I gave Jared a Boba Fett M&M dispenser full of M&Ms to get him through the autograph session, which made him laugh. I wonder if it made it out of the auditorium….

And that was it. It was over. Over for another year. Over until VegasCon. We’d been planning VanCon for nearly 12 months and suddenly it was done. It felt so fast. Like it flashed by. But it was a wonderful. A wonderful convention with a wonderful cast and wonderful friends, culminating in the happiest day of all…… J-Day.

Well that’s it from me for now. Thank you for reading and joining me for my VanCon adventures! See you next time.

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