Tuesday, 24 November 2015

Looking Back at the First Ever Supernatural DenverCon

-by Elizabeth

I am so excited to write this recap for Supernatural DenverCon. I am a born and raised Wyomingite (from Wyoming USA, for our international readers) but all of my family is from Denver, Colorado. I grew up going to Denver frequently and currently live very close. I have always wanted a Supernatural convention in Denver and had asked (maybe begged) for one for years. You can imagine my excitement last September when they announced a convention for Denver! I bought tickets that same day. 14 months later it was FINALLY here!! 

All of the other conventions that I have done are the larger ones that Creation holds. Denver, in comparison, was much smaller and much more intimate. Even Richard and Rob mentioned that the first day. Also, because it was the first time on the convention circuit, Denver had a majority of first-time con attendees. The excitement and anticipation was high and tangible the whole weekend. 

A neat feature at the hotel was that the vendor area sat in the middle of an indoor courtyard that the hotel room balconies looked down into. Creative fans decorated their balconies so that you could see it from the floor.
photo by Elizabeth


Friday had one of the latest start times I’ve had at a convention. We didn’t kick off until 2pm. It was because there was a smaller guest list so we only had two panels. Rich and Louden Swain kicked the weekend off with their normal intros. This time the two running jokes were the extremely high elevation of Denver which made all of them short of breath. And then Colorado is one of two states in the U.S. who has legalised marijuana and so, of course, that was a very popular running joke. They even did Rules and Regulations in a “high” state of mind, LOL. 

Gil McKinney was the first panel up. It struck me again during this panel how cool it is to see how much this show has impacted the actor’s lives as well as the fans. Gil did 2 episodes of Supernatural (not even an arc) and yet I can’t even imagine what our SPNFamily would be like without him. He rediscovered his love of singing and even moved to New York to try and pursue a career with it. Gil promised us a “PG....13 panel” as he put it. He said he appreciated the SPN crowds at convention because they got his jokes and even took it a step further! He said at other show’s conventions nobody gets his jokes!

Osric was up next with his “tall man” shoes. Apparently after cosplaying as Jared a couple cons before, he was so in love with the feeling of being tall that he googled “tall man shoes” and found a whole store! He quickly bought a pair and is wearing them all the time. Rob was sad because he was now shorter than Osric. 

As per tradition, my friend Tara and I did a photo op with Louden Swain on Friday. These are quickly becoming one of my favourite con traditions. We wanted to do a band picture with us popping out from behind them. The guys in Louden Swain are so relaxed and unrushed in their photo ops. They visit with you and they are all so huggable. We told them our idea for the picture and they loved it. I happened to be behind Billy when we lined up and he kept leaning backwards towards me. I had no idea what he was doing until he found my head and leaned against it. Chris snapped the pic and we all did another round of hugs. When we picked up our photo op later we just laughed and laughed! It was such a great photo :D

photo by Chris Schmelke
We went to karaoke that night. It was a bunch of fun. My favourite part of karaoke is watching how much other people enjoy it. I was sitting with Tara and my friend Kristen who was volunteering for the weekend and so we chatted and caught up while watching all the fun shenanigans. 


Saturday morning opened bright and early with an excellent back to back panel set. First up was Sebastian Roche. Sebastian’s panels are always a screaming hoot and wildly inappropriate for anyone under the age of 18. He came on stage all dressed up nicely in a handsome sweater and by the end of the panel he was down to his v-neck t-shirt with his sweater stuck on his head like an Egyptian headdress. He did manage to answer 3 questions this time!

Tahmoh was up next. His first question out of the gate was a guy asking if he could help him propose to his girlfriend. Tahmoh was SO giddy about it. He brought the guy up on stage and had him propose there. It was rather sweet. Throughout the rest of the panel, Tahmoh just kept bringing it back up. Tahmoh talked a lot about his new passion of meditation and his work with Zen4Minds.

Tahmoh reacting to a fan proposing to his girlfriend
picture by Elizabeth

Gil & Osric were up next with their duo panel but we left because we had photo ops with Clif! FUN STORY: In Vancouver this summer, Clif was chatting with us in an autograph line and people kept coming up to him to take pictures. After about the third or fourth person, I said “Clif! You need your own photo op!” He laughed at me and said “Nobody really wants a photo op with me.” I chuckled, saying “Obviously that isn’t true.” When I got to Denver and they had added a Clif photo op I said “This was my idea!!” When I walked up for my photo, I said “Clif, I told you that you needed your own photo op in Vancouver this summer and you laughed at me!” He threw back his head laughing and said “I KNOW!! I thought of that when they came up with this idea!” 

I had a Meet&Greet with Tahmoh again in Denver. Anyone who knows me knows that I was (and still am) a HUGE Battlestar Galactica fan. Helo (Tahmoh’s character on BG) was my all-time favourite. I literally ran around the house SCREAMING when he was cast on Supernatural. It was like the best of both worlds! Many BG alumni have had roles on SPN but this one was by far my favourite. Anywho...I digress. Tahmoh talked about skiing (he is from the Yukon in Canada) and delved more into his Zen4Minds connection. He also told us many of the neat things to do if we ever were around his hometown in Canada. Tahmoh is a big history buff so he always laces his stories with the historical significance of people and places. As a history major and a librarian myself, I always eat those stories up.

We had three more panels in the afternoon. R2M (Richard, Rob and Matt Cohen) was unusually serious this time. There was still laughter and shenanigans but the highlight of the panel was Richard’s story about his character on Band of Brothers. He was doing research on him and his family for the role and ended up making this huge impact and connection with the real life family. If you can find a video of Richard telling this story, please do it. It is so beautiful and heartwarming and will make you reach for tissues, I guarantee it. 

Mark S. panel is a great time as always. Mark wanders the audience and speaks with fans in the back of the room and with kids and generally gives everyone a hard time. But Mark has serious love and respect for the fandom family of Supernatural. He always ends his panel with a shout out to us and the passion that we display that keeps them going and enjoying what they do. 

Misha’s panel was craziness as always. He normally gets fun, out-of-the-box questions from the audience. Misha is a very smart guy and I love when he gets questions that bring that out in him. This time, he was asked the question “Why do you think this is a male dominated show and why when a woman does gets on the show she is usually killed off?” Misha has such a well thought out answer. He said that from the beginning this show has been about a brotherhood. Not many shows attempt (or successfully achieve) this kind of storyline. Starting with the actual Winchester brothers, this storyline envelopes characters along the way that weave themselves in with the brotherhood narrative. Key examples being Castiel, Crowley, Ellen, Jo, Charlie, Kevin, Garth, Benny, Jody, Donna etc. This isn’t a romantic tale (in the dramatic sense). The story has never resonated correctly when that has been the focus (i.e. Lisa & Amelia). Misha said that our storyline almost rises above the male/female line and exerts the theme of a brotherhood regardless of gender. Beings fighting for a cause and for the good of themselves and others. Plus everyone dies on the show, male or female :D 

Tara and I had 5 autographs lines to get through before heading to dinner with some of my family in the area. As the autographs started, we had 40 minutes before we needed to be at the restaurant. Luckily we were in Row B so with that, and some creative line finagling, we did 5 auto lines in 35 minutes. We were mighty impressed with ourselves as we headed to dinner.


As always, this is my favourite part of a Supernatural convention. (well besides J hugs...duh!) But this night truly embodies what it is like to be apart of the Supernatural family. It is pure love, talent, inclusion, openness and honesty with some damn good music thrown in. Louden Swain is so talented and they bring out the best of talent from the SPN cast, family & friends as well as Creation event staff. I love the moment each time when Chris Schmelke hops up on stage to play the bass. 

A couple highlights: • Gil and Osric singing “When I See You Again” from Furious 7. That song is so raw. • Robbie singing “She Waits” written about his mother. I will never not cry when he sings that song. • “Seven Bridges Road” with Louden Swain and Richard. • And the end when every person comes out on stage and sings “I Get By With a Little Help From My Friends” It gives me chills every time.

Mark Sheppard on the drums during SNS
picture by Elizabeth


Sunday opened early with the J2 Gold panel. Jared and Jensen laughed that they were already winded when they got on stage because of the altitude and the day hadn’t even started yet! LOL! Jared said they had been asking to come to Denver for years and were very excited to finally be here (ME TOO!). This was the first convention after the episode Baby (11.04) had aired so they immediately wanted to hear everyone’s thoughts. The boys just gushed about the episode. It was obvious that this episode had a really special place in their hearts.

After the J panel it is always a rush of photos. Watching people come in and out of photo lines and in and out of the theatre as their numbers are called is so special. The effect that Jared and Jensen have is like no other. They are touchstones. All my photo ops were wonderful, unique moments. I rarely share what happens because it is something that I like to keep close. But I will share one moment. 

We had a Meet and Greet with Jensen so we were in the very front of the line for Jared’s photo ops. I find myself being very time conscious when in J ops because they have so many people to get through. I had two ops with Jared so when I walked up I told him that (so I wouldn’t just walk away after one...I have done that before!) He chuckled and said “We will get to that. First, it is good to see you again! How are you??” I never assume to be remembered from con to con, there are so many faces that they see so I was rather shocked (and very pleased!) I said “I am well! So glad you are here in Denver! This is my hometown so it was nice not to have to travel far this time.” He said he was excited and said that is why he likes DallasCon so much too. He grabbed me close for a hug and Chris took the picture. I went to tell him my pose idea for the second picture and he interrupted me and “OH! I want your opinion on this new AKF design! What do you think??” (He was wearing the hoodie with the design.) I said I absolutely LOVED it and it was my favourite design so far. He got all giddy and bounced saying “I know!! It is my favourite too! I am so excited for this one!” The volunteer was like “Jared...” He winked and said “Okay babe, what’s your pose?” I told him and we did it. As I thanked him and walked away he grabbed my arm and pulled me back for a hug. 

This was the first time that I had the opportunity to do Jensen’s Meet & Greet. I was over the moon excited! Jensen talked all about the show so I will share some bits and pieces from it. He spoke a lot about Baby. He said that he knew the short shorts weren’t going to be in the shot during the car wash scene but the script said Dean was wearing them so he dug up a pair of very short shorts (he got up and demonstrated how short they were LOL). He said after they got the shots they needed it turned into a big water fight and they were all dancing around soaking wet (Please Chuck let that be on the gag reel). 

Somebody asked if they would ever really take SPN on the road and actually film them solving cases. Jensen said that is really just a pie in the sky dream as that would be much too expensive to actually pull off. Someone else mentioned getting the car across the border. Jensen mentioned the car is coming across the border eventually because he will be driving it home to his garage at some point. Then he demonstrated “fleeing the border” in Baby with a devilish grin. 

At one point he was talking about his reverse-180 stunt in Baby. He had taken her on two test runs during lunch with Todd (his stunt double) to kind of get used to the feel of doing that spin. Then after lunch he and the actress got in the car for take 1 (she didn't know he had practised) and she looks over at him and said "Uh, you have done this before, right?" Jensen said he looked over and with a completely straight face said "Now is not the time to be asking me that." The whole room burst out laughing and without even thinking I said "You’re a big meany!" He grinned at me and said "I KNOW!!!"

He also asked if we could tell which shots were Sam & Dean and which shots were he and Jared in the Night Moves scene in Baby. We guessed that the whole “hands off the wheel/you’re not looking at the road” was he and Jared. He said yes the whole shot from that angle was all Jared and Jensen. Which kind of gave me warm fuzzies that Jared and Jensen driving in Baby is identical to Sam and Dean driving around in Baby. *FEELS*

Mark Pellegrino was up next in the theatre. Mark is such a joy to watch on stage. He has a remarkable presence. For all the characters that he plays in television who usually have deep, dark sides, Mark is just a loveable guy. He has this fun habit of bringing people up on stage with them while they ask their question. 

Jared and Jensen’s main panel followed Mark. It is really hard for me to remember things that they talked about in their panels. I think I just get so enthralled watching them and listening to them that I forget to actually pay attention to what they are saying. I am so very grateful for fans who record their panels because I always have to go back and rewatch them to remember.
photo by Elizabeth
All in all, DenverCon lived up to my amazing expectations. To see all of my SPNFamily recharges me. We have truly found something magical in this that I hope we never forget. 

Thank you for joining me for another convention recap. I really enjoy being able to relive the weekend through these posts. Thanks to Tara for being my con buddy for the weekend. Thanks to Amy for giving me an outlet to squee :D See you all on the flipside!

P.S. Special shout out to Chris Schmelke, without whom all of the greatest moments of the conventions would only live in our minds. Chris gives us a way to treasure the moments time and time again. He is an invaluable member of our Supernatural family. I would encourage you to make a point to thank him for all he does if you ever attend a Creation SPN convention.

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for the recap. I travelled from the UK for DenverCon and attended Jensen's M&G too (also Jared's). It's amazing how much I forget afterwards but your recap brought it all back. (How could I forget Jensen's story about the short shorts?! I blame a combination of the altitude and jet lag.) This was my third Creation SPN con and easily my favourite. Like you said, much more intimate than some other cons I've attended and I loved the balconies decked out with Supernatural stuff - the Croatoan zone particularly stood out! I find it hard to pick out highlights as I genuinely enjoy every moment of these conventions - well I must do to travel thousands of miles!