DALLASCON 2013 REPORT - BY SWEETONDEANAKA - COWBOY HATS, PRINCESS BUBBLEGUM AND PIGS welcome to a Supernatural convention.
Part 3 - Sunday with the Js my happy place.
*As most of you know, my Js breakfast and panel photos memory card got damaged somehow. Though Alice and her hubby made heroic efforts to retrieve them, it could not be done. I'm going to try a data retrieval company when I get home. I had a couple on another SD card - so I've included those, but they were from the very end of the panel. If by some miracle some of the other photos are retrieved, I shall share them gleefully...because they were awesome...
So, all too soon it was Sunday. It's a weird thing, you can't wait for Sunday because it's J-day, but you also don't want it to be Sunday because that means the convention is nearly done! So torn.
The Gold breakfast kicked off at 8 with the boys arriving at 9. We got up crazy-town early to get ourselves J-day ready. Our outfits were all sorted so it was just a matter of making sure it was a good hair day (it was), getting the right lippy happening (always red) and heading down to the ballroom.
There was an epic queue when we got downstairs, so we joined it, merging with st50 (hee) and began the waiting.
You never really know how good your breakfast table is going to be - unless you're VIP - the numbers are unintelligible to us con-goers and it always feels like a crapshoot. Sometimes it's awesome; sometimes it's off in the boonys! Our table was pretty damn good. Central, in the third row and with nice clear view through to those two microphones waiting on the stage.
I sat and picked at a piece of melon as we all waited for the guys. I'm incapable of eating on J-day. You'd think after meeting them a bunch of times now, I'd be cool with it, but I'm always really nervous until I see them and then I calm right down. I still get nervous before the photos, but not to the point I once did. I'd say I'm more excited. Maybe it's excitement and not nerves that prevents the eating? Whatever it is, my tummy does not want anything put in it on J-day! It's too full of squee!
The guys were running late. There was a lot of roadwork going on around Dallas and apparently they got held up in traffic. So we sat and waited, waited, waited. There was one empty table near the stage with a reserved sign, which we guessed must have been for family. Last year the guys had family there and it looked like that would be the case again.
Finally, the moment arrived and they were introduced and in they came in a flurry of mass apologies for being tardy!
I love the breakfast panels and I'm going to be super sad if Creation do away with them. I know Vancouver next year has the "EXCLUSIVE TO GOLD SUNDAY SPECIAL SUPERSTAR PANEL " which is a panel in the auditorium with all Gold patrons in their assigned seats. I know they did this at New Jersey this year - it looked okay, but not as nice as the breakfast. There's something really casual about the breakfast panel. Everyone is sitting at their tables with food and coffee, people just fling their hand in the air or yell stuff out, there's seems to be a much more relaxed back and forth between the audience and Jensen and Jared.
Jared was wearing his beanie - which cost him 15 bucks! He took it off later and briefly, but the beanie was on and off all day (off for photos though). Jensen tried to get a few words in around Jared! The moose can really talk! He came out guns blazing! They were in great spirits. They talked a little about the season 8 finale, they couldn't say much about season 9 - okay, nothing - but their excitement is palatable. I've seen these guys say they're excited before, but they are so very excited about the coming season. Jensen gifted us with that one eye roll into the centre thing, he said it was kind of disgusting and when the coverage is on Jared he'll often just let that one eye drift to the centre. He's right, it is kind of disgusting but also kind of awesome and super adorable all in one. Someone showed the guys a photo of Osric as Princess Bubblegum. Jared popped off stage and grabbed the fan's phone and bought it back to show Jensen who was totally confused about the whole thing. He said it looked like the colour pink threw up all over Osric! Jared said, "He knows he's in Dallas right? They'll shoot you here!" Their reaction was precious and I fear that Osric is in for a lot of teasing once they're all back working together! You know, Jensen once took my phone off me to look at a photo of my parent's dog, which is the same kind of dog as Oscar, and I panicked! The back case is Dean and the screensavers are all Jensen and he was flicking back and forth between a few photos of Teddy (the dog) and all I could think was, please don't flick past the dog photos onto the some 4000 photos of you that my phone contains! I think I stopped breathing until he handed it back!
Jared talked about how Tom can smell other babies on him like dogs can smell other dogs. He said, when he holds JJ (nawwwwww) Tom's like, that's not my smell, that's not my poop! These guys are so comfortable together. We know they're best mates, they've told us over and over how close they are and how tight their friendship is, but I have to say that every time I see them, I think the seem to get closer. There is such an easy and intimate familiarity between them. They're not afraid to be physically affectionate - lots of patting each other and slapping each other to enhance a story. I think it's awesome that they are that comfortable with each other and that comfortable with us.
One of things to make us all nawww was Jensen. Yes he's just that adorable. Okay, he actually did something, we didn't just nawww because of his adorableness (okay, we did). Jensen said he'd have to behave because his surrogate family was there and he nodded over to the reserved table where Mr and Mrs Padalecki were sitting. It was when a fan asked about what he'd said to Misha a couple of nights earlier that had Misha in stitches and in trouble with the director. Jared slapped Jensen and said "You gotta tell me these things" and Jensen said, "You know I got your back when you're not there". Poor Misha! But Jensen declined from telling us what he said - because obviously it was too dirty (yay!) and Jared's mum and dad were there, so he was on his best behaviour. Nawwww, right? The guys then talked about all the terrible things they want to do to Misha. Jensen said, "He's too easy, he's like a little puppy you can bat around a little bit." Ha!
They also talked a little about the wine company they are starting. Jared said Jensen introduced him to wine back in the day and now they're looking at putting out a wine together, but it's very early days, but he's hoping that we'll all enjoy it. Pretty sure I might have to take up drinking wine again!
As usual, it was a super fun panel. It kicks off the day in such a nice way. It gets my excitement levels all pumping (like I need that) and it gets me soooooo excited about what comes next the photos! And for me, meet and greets with both the guys!
Let the craziness begin!
Because Hazel and I had Jared's meet and greet, we had to go first for Jensen's photo op. We got to see him stride (he strides those legs!) into the room and hug Chris the photographer before going up to get our shots - I had 2 with each boy, plus a J2 and some shared ones with Hazel. I knew for one photo with Jensen I wanted to get a hug photo, of course, but I was still baffling about what to do with photo 2. Literally in the queue I made up my mind. I'd be toying with asking Jensen if we could hold hands, but for some reason that seems very personal to me and I didn't want to make him feel uncomfortable. So I decided to frame it like, can we hold hands like we're little kids or something. So I go up and say, good morning, nice to see you again blah blah blah - there's definite recognition these days, it's like he turns around sees you and his face goes, oh yeah I know her and a big smile happens, which is cool because it seems to make everything easier! These photos are so quick and so important - I mean, I've been planning them for 6 months! But Jensen always has a way of making you feel totally at ease, well not totally, but as at ease as humanly possible under the circumstances! Anyway, so I ask for a hug photo, got it and then I said I had another - though I pretty much don't have to say anything because Hazel and I do the same each con and we have a routine that Chris knows and after Dallascon, we were pretty sure the guys were across too! So I turn to Jensen and ask if it would be okay to hold hands, we could be like little kids or something. He looked and me and said, "Hold hands?" and I said, "Um yes ." and he goes, "Sure!" and he stands in real close to me so we're shoulder to shoulder and grabs my hand. I've held Jensen's hand. I.Have.Held.Jensen's.Hand. For some reason this seems better than all the hugs put together (maybe not that mega squishy hug in Vancouver where I was completely mashed into him.) Of course, part of the fun with these photo ops is that you have no clue what their face is doing. I've had some fantastic surprises and this one was no exception - in fact it was the best! It's totally my favourite op ever. Jensen has this massive cheesy grin. It made me think, I bet he was the kid that pulled the face in all the class photos. I have this theory about Jensen, I think he's the trouble instigator but somehow everyone else gets the rap! Like say, Jared. But I have this theory Jensen plants the mischief and walks away clean and pretty! You can just see the naughty in him! Anyway, then Hazel and I shared a photo with him and oh my gosh, once again, his face was too precious. This time it's just the widest smile ever. When we saw it we were both, oh look at his great big smile! So lovely.
Photos ops 1 done so we dashed upstairs to Jared's meet and greet.
You know this meme?
I was being a smart ass and saying that we should all pull that face when Jared walked in. I've got my fists to my chin and go, "We should all do this!" Everyone is cracking up laughing and saying we totally should. So we're all having a great big belly laugh about how funny that would be and Jared walks in! One of the fans in the front row was actually still doing the face! And she goes, "Oh no, I did it!" and we all just howl with laughter and Jared is standing there going, "Did what? What? What's going on? Why are y'all laughing?" And we're all like, in tiny giggly voices, "Nothing". We got totally busted! Jared kind of looked at us suspicious, like okay what were you guys doing! Hee!
This was the second time I've done Jared's meet and greet and they're different experiences to Jensen's meet and greets. You can see how different these two guys are and yet how the same. They operate very differently and yet say very similar things. Jared comes in and just sits down and starts talking. He'll crack into some story and just keep going. Jensen is concerned that everyone gets a chance to speak to him and ask his or her question, where as Jared is more likely to start telling a story and chatting to us about Jared stuff before opening up to questions. When Jared drew a breath and started to ask did anyone have anything .before he could finish, Hazel shot a hand in the air and blurted out "Can I ask a question?" Jared was like, "Oh yeah, okay!" I should also mention that Jared's mum and dad were there and sitting directly behind Hazel and I.
Hazel's question was about whether Jared had made any choices for Sam in the early days that he now regretted. Jared said, "Oh like Misha and the voice?" He basically said that he hadn't. He said he'd played Sam a certain way in the beginning because Sam was written as being smart. Jared said that he's a smart guy, with a teacher for a mum and so he thought he knew how to play smart but that maybe he'd played that a bit too much and maybe now he would have played "smart" a little different, but that over the years, Sam had changed so much along with Jared, that he just transformed Sam into how the character is now. Still smart, but not in the so obvious way that he was in the early episodes.
Jared talked to me about how excited he is about season 9 and that if the story is still as good as it is now, especially off season 8, which both the guys loved, then they see no reason to stop making the show. He said as long as the story is still being served, they can't see why it can't go season 10, 11 and beyond. One of the fans in the front asked if Jensen also felt that way. Jared said Jensen felt exactly the same as him, that they were both in exactly the same place; he's digging it too. They both feel, as long as they're still enjoying it and happy, they'll keep doing it. So they can't see why the show can't continue. He so desperately wanted to tell us about season 9, but was under strict instructions - no spoilers!
The fan in the front row that got busted doing the face, spoke to Jared about how difficult it must be for him and Gen to see some negative comments focusing on her and Jared said, they're aware of such things but that they also understand that it comes with the territory. He also was thankful for all the love that was sent their way. The fan had a blanket that she had made for Jared. It was patchwork with all different photos of him and he said, "Is that for me? Can I have it?" and the fan said "Really?" and Jared said something about how if he licks it, it will be his and the fan was like --------- and then she said she'd need it for her photo op could she give it to Jared later and he said sure and when he was leaving he said something about sleeping with it and the fan was like, WHATTTTT? It was hilarious! Jared is a bit of a flirt!
Just before the end of thehour, my friend Deborah asked Jared about vegetarian choices in Dallas and he said, "You mean steak, right?" Errr. Nope. Neither Hazel or I eat red meat either (Hazel is totally vegetarian), so I said, "Actually we'd like to know that too because we're going to be in Texas for a couple of weeks." Jared goes, "Cool, where y'all going?" I told him, Houston for NASA, then San Antonio, Austin and back to Dallas it was only later that I realised I must have sounded like a creeping creeper who creeps checking out the places associated with the Js! So then we got into a conversation about restaurants particularly in Austin. The parental Padaleckis joined in and at one point, Hazel and I were turned around chatting to them! They seem like lovely people - no surprise there. We ended up going to Hula Hut in Austin, which Jared and his mum and dad recommended, and it was AWESOME!
Then it was over and Jared thanked us all and said to enjoy the day and left. Just on a side note - excuse me while I objectify - but the Padaleski just keeps improving. He was wearing a white shirt open over a white v-necked t-shirt and he looked amazing. Hazel and I have taken to calling him the Golden God, because seriously he is glorious.
Next up, it was J2 photos time! I had a single and a shared with Hazel.
I decided I was going to do the hand holding thing again. So my turn comes up and I go forward, Jensen smiles at me and Jared says hi, because we were just hanging out and then Jensen puts his arm around me and kind of guides me into the photo and puts me in between them, gets me all organised and I go, "Oh actually, I was wondering if we could all hold hands?" and Jared goes, "Hold hands? Yeah okay!" and Jensen goes, "Oh, okay" and kind of laughs and I go, "And you had me all organised too" and Jensen goes, "Yeah, I did!" and then we all held hands! Squeeee! Then Hazel and I shared a shot and put Jared and Jensen in the centre and we all kind of just snuggled in and leaned all over each other and it's an awesome comfy photo awesome, so awesome.
Then we had to wait for Jared and go up first because we had Jensen's meet and greet.
I literally danced up to Jared. Chris always has music pumping and he was playing The Doors and I literally danced up - without thinking - and Jared turns around and goes, "Yeahhhh" and starts wiggling towards me. OMG. I suddenly thought, sweet lord of the rings, why am I dancing! Anyway, first up Padaleski pulled me into an all powerful and very sweaty hug! He was all damp! Which was way more awesome than it should have been. Then we held hands. Oh my gosh, his face is so adorable. Then Hazel and I grabbed a photo with him, and as usual, it's gorgeous. Our Jared photos always turn out great. Then we bolted upstairs to spend half an hour with the boy!
Jensen also had his family with him. Before Jensen came in, his mum and dad, his brother Josh and sister-in-law Ali and his nana came in and made their way to the back of the room. The Jensen strode in, all legs and smiles and said Hi to everyone. He always makes sure people feel special. He always looks around and acknowledges those of us he knows - the "familiar faces" and the new people. It makes you feel embraced right of the bat.
Jensen introduced his family to us and called them his auditors! He then said hi to everyone again, asked if we were all having a good time and then asked if anyone had a question and we were underway.
Hazel asked a question about nerdy Dean. About why Jensen thought it was that Dean is so into pop culture. Jensen said that in some ways, Dean is a voice piece of the writers and so the writers use the character to talk about things they think are cool or current. But beyond that, Dean spends a lot of time in motel rooms and watches a lot of TV and deeper than that, with such a crappy life, it's an escape for him. You can understand why he might lose himself in Dr. Sexy MD when we know what the outside world hides from him. Jensen did confirm that Dean does not read romantic vampire fiction though!
I got to ask a question - I asked, off the back of Jared speaking about how affected he was by his performance in "Sacrifice" and how Jensen said that Jared really took it home with him and Jensen told him to pull back a bit, is it harder or easier to shake off the big emotional stuff after living with and being immersed in Dean for so many years.
Jensen looked at me and went "Hmmmmm", thought for a moment and said it's probably easier. He said, the reason is that he knows Dean so well now, that it's no longer Jensen trying to portray Dean's emotions, it IS Dean's emotions. He said in the early season, him and Jared used to use their own experiences and sense memories to get them to the emotional place they needed. But after living with Dean for so long, now he knows how Dean would feel. He knows how he would feel if something happened to his brother, so he feels how Dean would feel - so it's really Dean doing the feeling. I guess this is why Jensen's emotional work always rings so true.
Jensen carried on to say, when he's on hiatus, to shake Dean he concentrates on the aspects of Dean that are different to Jensen, but he admitted he sometimes slips up, which ends up with Danneel telling him to stop using his Dean voice! He also said that it'll be interesting to see how he handles it when the show eventually finishes. Now he knows that he shakes off Dean for a few months and then he puts him back on again, but when the show eventually wraps up, he wondered what it would be like after a few months when he doesn't get to return to Dean. He said it would it's going to be strange to not be getting in and out of the Impala every day. I said, "Well you may still be getting in and out of the Impala" and Jensen laughed and looked at me out of the corner of his eye and said, "I might, I might, I'll just have a different long haired person sitting next to me."
Jensen always makes you feel like you have his absolute attention. The way he thinks through your answer, the time he takes, the way he makes eye contact, the way that, even is someone comments on something from your question he always makes sure he comes back to you.
At the end of his answer he turned to me and finished off the answer. He so obviously loves Dean, it pours out of him and he obviously enjoyed Dean in season 8. I've seen him talk season 6 and 7 Dean, and while he's always positive about Dean and the show, there's a little bit more excitement or something after season 8. I'll say that for both the guys and their excitement is incredibly infectious!
Jensen also loves the brothers and their relationship. I think he may be their greatest champion. I told him how much I'd enjoyed season 8 and he thanked me and I said how much I loved season 8 Dean, "He was a hug monster" which got my second eye crinkly laugh! *Sigh*
A fan asked about his directing and he said that he wouldn't be directing this season, as he didn't want to end his hiatus early because he had just had a baby. The directing slate for season 9 is full, so there's no room left for him to do a later episode. But he did say he's hoping to do an episode next season and that everyone knows that he's keen. He also talked about how he's always super organised when he directs, that he has Kim Manner's voice in his head asking him if he has done everything he could. So he always turns up on the first day with all 8 days shot listed. Things still change, but at least he's organised and he feels more in control that way.
Lynn from Fangasm asked why Jensen though Dean considered the MoL Bunker a home where as Sam thinks of it as a place of work. Jensen said that he thought it was because home is something that Dean knows and remembers, where as Sam doesn't have the same memories, because he was just a baby when Mary died. Lynn said, that of course because Dean remembers what home was like when he was a child and Sam doesn't, he'd have different feelings towards home and family and Jensen said, "I think you just answered your own question!" Lynn agreed!
Another fan asked if he'd ever like to work with his dad again and Alan, from the back of the room said, "Who says I'd want to work with him again!" Ha!
It was a great meet and greet. There weren't as many questions as usual, so Jensen's answers were long and detailed and all the questions were great and in-depth. His passion for the show and for Dean just radiates out of him and both Jensen and Jared continually reference each other, reinforcing that casual intimacy they have in their friendship.
Then it was over and Jensen got up - did that bend forward and slide his palms down the front of his jeans thing to straighten them up - thanked us all, said his goodbyes and strode that sexy stride of his out of the room. Like Padaleski, Jensen gets more and more beautiful. His laughter eye crinkles were on high beam in this meet and greet. He looked bloody amazing. There's a softness to Jensen. He seems like a soft person. I don't know if it's just that he's gentle with us, but I have a feeling he's a soft and kind man. It's lovely.
His family all filed out, except for Ali and his mum. Ali was chatting to a fan in the back row. Mrs Ackles was standing next to me and someone said something about JJ. Mrs Ackles said, "She's so beautiful. I'm in hog heaven!" Bless!
Both the guys meet and greets were fantastic. They both make you feel comfortable - seriously I find these things the least stressful time of the day! I love how different and yet how the same their energy is and I love having the chance to speak with them and see their genuine love and respect for what they do.
Then it was panel time!
Honestly, I can't remember much about the panel except cowboy hats and pigs!
It opened with Richard bringing up a little boy dressed as Dean, who is a massive Jensen fan. People know him as "Little Dean". Richard took him backstage and then Jensen came on stage with the kid on his shoulders. It was super cute!
It was a fun panel. There was lots of jumping up and acting out things. Lots of sideways, cracking up glances at each other. And for the most part, the questions were great. Whether in depth character stuff or simply fun and cheeky, Texas, you did a great job with the questions!
Things we learnt in this panel were:
Jensen would have a bikini (yes, someone asked what their bikinis would be like - and they barely blinked), made out of Impala centre caps and the grill would be the bottoms.
Jared calls his nether regions "Hamsterdam". Which cracked Jensen up.
Jared is a Jonathan Taylor Thomas fan.
Jensen thinks that's why Jared called his son Thomas.
Jensen has floor to ceiling windows in his apartment and it overlooks the harbour in Vancouver. He likes to stand at the window and play his guitar and pretend the boats are a massive audience. "Thank you Vancouver."
Jared thinks he should pretend to squish the tiny boats between his fingers.
Jensen looks amazing in a cowboy hat. Yes. Yes he does and he's also great with pigs, apparently.
The pig thing was awesome. His name was Icarus and he's a service pig, giving emotional support in hospitals, for kids and the like. His owner is a fan and decided to bring him to the convention as a great environment to get him used to crowds. Misha met the pig and decided to bring Icarus on stage with the guys. Jared took the pig off Misha and then promptly plonked it into Jensen's lap. Jensen had that face, you know the one? That, why is this happening to me deadpan face. But the pig seemed to fall asleep. The pig was totally relaxed. It sat in Jensen's arms, occasionally contributing grunts and eating cheerios looking happy as, well a pig in you know what. Jensen told Icarus, life's going to be tough, shoot for the stars and stay out of the mud. I was laughing and shaking my head and nawwwwing and laughing some more. Only at a Supernatural convention!
That was about it. Richard came on and the panel was over. Boo!
Then it was autos with the guys. Jensen had to be away by 4, as he was back on set the next morning with a 6.30am pickup. Poor thing. He must have been exhausted. So I got my autos with Jensen - I think he had a bit of a cold because he had to stop and blow his pretty nose in the middle of mine! I thanked him, he thanked me and that was the last I was going to see him for six months Boo again! Then I went over to Jared. As Jared had Monday off and wasn't due back until Tuesday, he was taking his time. So you got more of a chance to chat to Jared. He actually stayed and signed and chatted to fans until around 6.30. Which was super cool. He came on stage to say goodbye and said that Jensen was already on his flight back! He then thanked us all on his and Jensen's behalf and disappeared through the curtains. Boo! Great big sigh!
Normally that's it. Normally after the Js it's all over, but this time, we had 2 more panels! Rachel Miner and Corin Nemic.
Rachel was amazing! Hazel and I went and got a photo with her and it's adorable because she is so tiny and cute! We tower over her, but we're all kind of squished in and leaning forward.
I have to say, everyone who came up to the microphone gushed love for Rachel. Everyone in the room was crazy about her and Meg and everyone told her! It was like a Rachel Miner love in.
And one stage someone asked after her health as we'd all heard that she'd been unwell. It was then that she told us that she has MS. That she's had it for a few years and that Supernatural were amazing, working with her to ensure she was okay to continue her role as Meg. She says she's doing well and that she now sees that there's a lot more to life than our bodies. We put so much stock in our bodies and how they look but when your body goes against you, you start to realise you are so much more than that. She was incredibly inspirational.
When I got my auto with her I told her how much I love Meg and how much I curse Robbie Thompson for killing her! She laughed. I also told her I'm permanently scared by her character's death on Sons of Anarchy! She said, "Yeah?" I said, "It was horrific!" She said, "Well that's great, I'm glad it worked!" I said, "Oh yeah it did!" and she said, "Great, because I spent 2 days in that pit, I'm so glad it was worth it!" She is wonderful.
Then we had Corin. It was his first con since his horrific accident. He still walks with a cane, knowing the extent of the accident, I think there's a good chance he always will, but he said he's still in rehab and he's doing great and hopefully has more improvement ahead.
Corin is one of the most positive people I've ever met. He's always smiling. He's a lovely guy and a great storyteller. He talked a little about how he never knew Christian Campbell was a demon until "Family Matters" when his demon self is revealed. He was candid enough to tell us about when he was younger and what a huge ego he had and how this one time, out of pure arrogance, he blew a meeting because he thought he had it in the bag, didn't need to be there and so he didn't try. It was a massive lesson for him and changed him and how he approached his work in the future. He also talked about how he was going for a role, as a Captain in a Star Trek online series but wasn't sure he was going to get it because of the cane. He was waiting to hear if the character could have a cane. I saw him tweet a picture in his Trek uniform the other day, so I guess that means it all worked out. I'm so very happy for him. He is a doll of a guy.
And that was it. Dallascon was done. We went and got our jpegs from Chris, gave him lots of cuddles and said we'd see him in Vegas. Then the 3 Aussies, 1 Kiwi and 1 Canadian headed upstairs for some much needed food before hugging it out and saying our goodbyes. The next day Hazel and I were hitting the road and heading on our Texan adventure!
Dallascon was one of the best conventions I've done.
Thanks so much for being patient with me! I hope I managed to capture some of the excitement. I'm still in Texas, in Dallas. I'm off to Comic-Con fanday and then the Cowboys game on Sunday and then it's home. I get home the day that Supernatural season 9 starts, so at least I have something to look forward to at the end of what's been an epic holiday.
And I'll be back with the weekly previews and reviews. The craziness is about to kick off again! I can't wait.
I also can't wait for Vegascon and then Vancon - both next year (who's going to be there with me?) The more I do these cons, the more I miss these guys and all my friends. Who needs food when you can subsist on lurve!