Music Fangirl Confession #6: I have a new addiction…
So last weekend I went to my very first Supernatural Convention. (Supernatural the tv show, not supernatural as in ghosts, though that would be a cool convention as well, and, well, the tv show does deal with ghosts, and there was an episode that involved ghosts AT a Supernatural convention…. But I digress.) In Vancouver, one of my absolute favourite cities in the world to live in and visit – second only to Dublin, perhaps.
Ok – you might be thinking: ‘Hey, I thought your blog is about Rock Gods and music… What the heck do Supernatural conventions have to do with Rock Gods?!?’ Right? Well the two are very connected because, hot damn, these actors can sing, and sing well.
One of them, Rob Benedict, had his own band (Louden Swain) before he came on Supernatural, and, well, he plays God on the show… so definitely a Rock God! (I reviewed their latest album here.) And the soundtrack to the show is pretty much classic Rock Gods.
In fact, music is a constant theme throughout the conventions – Louden Swain play in between panels and have a Saturday night concert. There’s also Friday night Karaoke where fans come up and sing karaoke with the actors… Yes, that’s right – the fans sing with the actors… so cool! (No, I did not get up and sing, we’ve surely discussed this before, nobody wants that, trust me…)
So yes, Rock Gods at a Supernatural convention… This must be heaven for me. I knew beforehand I would become addicted to SPN cons… I mean, I was already addicted to the show. AND I’ve seen a number of panels from previous conventions on YouTube and was aware of the concert and karaoke, all reasons why I wanted to go to a con in the first place.
And then the three main actors, Jared Padalecki, Jensen Ackles, and Misha Collins announced this upcoming season would be the last and I knew I had to go now, in case the cons end with the show…
Vancouver seemed the logical choice as I could visit friends and family, the show is filmed here so the cons are always extra special with some of the crew dropping in, and the timing fit.
So I went. And it all boils down to laughter, love, and music.
This is the essence of a Supernatural Convention. Sure, there is more – friendship, support, family (the SPNFamily – I love that the two fandoms I am most engrossed in both are called family, rather than fandom, by both the fans and the actors/band), shopping (:)), creativity, compassion, make the world a better place-ness, inspiration, etc. But these are all rooted in laughter, love, and music.
All of the panels had both audience and actors splitting their guts, in tears laughing. These people are gifted story-tellers and the chemistry between them when there are multiple people on the panel have them cracking each other, and therefore us, up.
I’m still crying from Misha’s massage story and Jared’s ‘Sam Winchester, merci’ tales, And Ruth’s vulva latin tongue twister… oh my Chuck! My cheeks hurt from smiling so much all weekend and still. Laughter really is the best medicine.
There are deep emotional ties between the actors, many have come to be best friends. Jensen and Jared’s brotherhood beyond playing brothers on tv is legendary, as are their friendships with Misha. (The looks on Jensen’s face as Jared tells his stories…)
But there’s also Kim and Briana, Rob and Rich, Briana and Lisa, and the list goes on… It’s phenomenal when you hear the horror stories of actors hating each other, not getting along on set, etc. But this crew can’t seem to stop forming tight bonds…
And their love for each other is very clear in the panels – how they act with each other and the stories they share.
Likewise, the fans have developed close-knit friendships with each other thanks to chatting in lines, meeting online to come together for activities, sharing rooms, and seeing each other over the years at multiple cons. (This is very reminiscent for me of U2 fans that travel to multiple concerts per tour and the friendships that have developed over the history of the band for the same reasons.)
And then there is the love between fans and actors. Of course you would expect the fans to love the actors – it’s why we are there, some coming from around the world. But there is no doubt that the actors love the fans too. Again, in part due to seeing familiar faces over the years and at multiple cons.
But there is something more than this. The actors and fans interact in ways that are deep and personal. Fans share stories with the actors while getting photos and autographs – stories of how the show/actor saved them, inspired them, gave them courage, helped them through difficult times. The actors in return share equally personal stories with us in their panels as well – stories of their struggles, of their families, their childhoods, etc.
It may not be a conventional way to get to know each other, or the typical friendship/family bond, but there is an undeniable closeness that has developed. In fact, Jared is the one credited with giving the fandom it’s ‘family’ name. He referred to fans as his third family.
The closeness that developed between actors and fans have led to astonishing works – a crisis support network, fundraising for countless non-profits, GISH, and so much more. Misha even named a star ‘SPNFamily’, tweeting;
- If you ever doubt you have a place in the universe, it’s at Pegasus RA 21h 36m 27.82s D 13°7’ (RA 21h 36m 27.82s D 13°6’ 34.06”, to be exact).
- I had a star named for the #SPNFamily just in case you forget—& so whenever you look up at the night sky, you’ll know you’re not alone.
These guys, seriously! The world is truly a better place because of the love between actors and SPNFamily, and that love is clear during the con.
Like I said, this con is surrounded by music and Rock Gods – it’s basically one big weekend of concerts. And Louden Swain are marvellous. FYI – each guest is introduced with a theme song (Misha’s is He’s Our Angel or Where’s Misha? because apparently he is often late :D; Ruth Connell’s was Little Red Corvette :’D).
They also do an acoustic jam in the vendors’ room before they sign autographs. And then there is the Saturday night concert (aptly called the Saturday Night Special) with the band and all the musical guests.
At this con, Kim Rhodes, Briana Buckmaster, Ruth Connell, Richard Speight, Jr, Matt Cohen, and Jensen Ackles all came out to sing songs with Louden Swain.
So did Jason Manns, the amazingly talented singer/songwriter/producer and friend of Supernatural, who also provides musical entertainment throughout the con. His vocals are seriously like honey! And when he sings with Rob and the other cast members, man, they blend so beautifully! It was fabulous. Seriously, this cast and this con are Rock Gods!
And they all filed out for the last song with numerous crew members – the stage was packed! and the emotions high! Such sweet moments (we go back to the love, so much love on this stage and in this audience)!
Fans handed out little finger lights for all the audience to wear during two particularly emotional Louden songs – So Amazing and She Waits. It was super cool and effective!
And then there was the moment in the Briana/Kim/Lisa panel when Briana sang the song she wrote for Jonathon Taylor Thomas when she was 11. It was sweet! Serious talent so young, I am telling you!
Laughter, love, and music. So yes, I was instantly captivated by this con. The SPNFamily are all I’ve heard and more – welcoming, supportive of each other, creative (the costumes!) and dedicated. The actors, charming, warm, hilarious. The venue, awesome (the chairs had hooks on the back so you could hang your bag!). It was perfect.
I also learned that like BonoMono and U2 tour head for U2 tours, there is con crud and con drop for SPN conventions 😀 (BonoMono and con crud are the nicknames for the illness you catch at these things due to inhaling each other’s germs and not sleeping, eating well, standing in lines for long hours, etc. and tour head and con drop are the emotional drop – all the adrenalin and happiness, laughing all the time, hanging out with friends and seeing our beloved band/actors in the flesh then back to reality.
I haven’t fully dropped yet – I had instant exhaustion as soon as my taxi pulled away from the con hotel, but I’ve been on a whirl wind tour of visiting friends, family and my favorite Vancouver site since then – no time to drop. I imagine it will hit tomorrow when I get home.
Luckily I have another con already booked 😀 and I will no doubt be back for even more… I told you, I have a new addiction!