NJCon 2014 Wrap Up
NJCon was my first Supernatural convention and it did not disappoint. Festivities kicked off Friday with Richard Speight Jr. (Gabriel) and the Elastic Waste Band. Following the convention introduction and some great music. Rob Benedict (Chuck Shurley / God) was the first panel.
Rob started off with a great story of arriving at the convention and trying to call Richard from the hotel phone, but accidentally calling 911 (thinking Richard was going along with the prank and it wasn’t really emergency services). After calling the operator “Honey” a few times, Rob realised what he’d done and he hung up, followed by informing the hotel. Richard found it hilarious so they recreated it for video only to get a knock on the hotel room door from the actual cops! Also, Rob referred to Richard as “Suzy Calls A Lot”.
Rob was then asked about his last night on earth and they used the phone call prank as a movie pitch complete with car chases and explosions.
The best question was followed by a story of Rob and Richard telling a story about sharing a bed and how horrified one of them was to do so. The next question after that? “What’s your favourite indoor hobby?” Everyone laughed.
One of the last questions was how Rob felt about the spiritual / religious themes of Supernatural, and he felt that the show created it’s own lore or “bible”.
Following Rob’s panel was Osric Chau (Kevin Tran), or rather “Iron Tran”, as he showed up in a Iron Man chest piece and gauntlets. This was after we were subjected to the Kevin death scene on the monitors.
Osric discussed E4K and League of Legends, conversing on how he’d like to incorporate some sort of physical activity in with doing it, especially if it involved Misha Collins. He also revealed that Misha isn’t that organised. I’m sure for most, that wasn’t a surprise.
Osric was asked if Kevin was given a choice after his death, would he have stayed for Team Free Will? Absolutely, he felt that they were family and would have done anything for them. He also said he would be Crowley if he could change characters.
He also apologised that his costume was not as involved, as he blew all his time and effort on DragonCon, though he did not even tell anyone that he was going. He even called the organisers and said he just wanted to go, no panel, just to attend.
Osric then got serious talking about his love for education, though he was an “terrible student” he loves education and learning. He also believes that he is the sort of person that, as long as he applies himself, he can accomplish anything.
After a lunch break, we headed back to the main room for Gil McKinney. This was only his third or so time appearing at Creation Events, and he was excited to be here. I actually ran into him coming out of my room later on that evening nearly walking right in to him. He was really nice and told everybody during the panel that they were more than welcome to just come up and talk to him.
During his panel, he talked about how he’d love for Henry to return and travel in the Impala with the boys. Further, he really liked the idea of a “Men of Letters” spin off, focused on Henry (my seat mates and I imagined it similar to “The Librarian” series). Gil then sang some Sam Smith for the crowd. You could tell he was classically trained, but he has never done musicals beyond university.
He also discussed the similarities and differences between Once Upon a Time and his role there (Prince Eric) and Supernatural. Also, if anyone knows any mermaids, let Gil know.
Julian Richings (Death) was next. He told us of how people are actually scared of him because of his roles, which tend to be a bit dark (We all love him though!). He talked about growing up in England and being a character actor, which is apparent from his extensive resume.
When he was cast for Supernatural he was filming an indie film in the wilderness of Canada, and had no idea what he signed up for, yet it’s a decision he does not regret at all. Especially since he felt like “such a badass” with his character introduction (which you should go watch on YouTube right now). The crowd even went to far as to argue that it might have been the best introduction to date, even better than Castiel (Misha Collins)! I am not commenting on my preference for introductions, I think they were both equally epic.
Julian talked lot about his relationship with the Winchester Boys, and how Castiel deserved an ear flick some times. Though I, and many other con goers, don’t like when the discussion of fan fiction comes up to actors, Julian was okay with that question. He finds it flattering and encourages you to write stories involving his character.
Julian marked the end of Friday’s panels, but after dinner was the famed karaoke party. Matt Cohen (Young John Winchester / Michael) came out dressed as “Ted” Theodore Logan from “Bill & Ted’s Excellent Adventure”, Rob as Carl Spackler from “Caddyshack”, and Richard wearing a costume from “Ernest Goes to Camp”. Though Julian showed up, he wasn’t dressed up, and Gil was partially decked out in Bushwood attire and Osric as Mary Winchester.
The songs were mostly 80s, though some took liberties
(Backstreet Boys and Sir-Mix-A-Lot), and somehow my phone, and then almost simultaneously myself, ended up on stage. Phones were being passed forward, and when my name was called to sing, Matt and Rob were playing with it already. I went up with my roommates for the weekend and sang “Africa” by Toto. It was a good night.
Saturday morning then rolled around, and with it came a morning panel with the Trans (Osric Chau again, and the lovely Lauren Tom, aka Mama Tran). Osric explained his costume choice for the night before saying that it was “just there” so he had to wear it. Lauren said she was supportive of her son’s choices. Osric joked that with all the female cosplay he does.
Lauren also was also cast in Osric’s “Iron Tran” family. During his panel he mentioned Mark Sheppard (Crowley) would make a good Hulk, but Lauren would be a better one, and you could stick Mark in the leather body suit as Black Widow instead.
Lauren also mentioned her work on Futurama, citing the fans as the reason it was renewed. She also hoped for some Futurama conventions in the future. She also mentioned that thanks to Osric, she is going to participate in GISHWHES next year! So that’s another celebrity team that Misha has been able to recruit.
Following Lauren and Osric was Gil again. There were a few new questions following yesterday’s panel. Apparently, he’d body swap with Dean, because Jensen is ridiculously good looking. Interestingly enough, in real life, Gil’s first car was a ’62 Chevy impala, black with a red racing stripe, red interior, and “a big back seat”. Guess it does run in the family!
The afternoon panels rolled around starting with Mark Sheppard (Crowley), who was fabulous. He roamed around the room as he spoke and answered (and didn’t answer) questions. He also made an interesting point, when asked about Crowley being a demon: “Have you ever seen my eyes flash?” The answer is no. Could this mean that Crowley isn’t a demon after all?! Could he be a fallen angel? Or something else? A very exciting possibility coming into Season 10.
Mark also remarked that with his new svelte trim, he thinks that it’s Crowley’s turn for some naked sex scenes. Considering the amount Dean and Sam (even Castiel) have had, it’s only fair. Speaking of J2, he loved all the insults they came up with for Jared/Sam, but felt that “Moose” was the most representative and accurate. He also said Crowley had some affection for Dean, now that they are BFFs.
Mark also said that he will never reveal what other shows he wants to be on or will be on until he’s finished filming. He did go so far as to say “don’t cross the fan streams” and his definition of Superwholock was getting him on Sherlock. Everyone liked that idea.
Next on stage were Matt Cohen, Richard Speight Jr., and Rob Benedict. It’s interesting that even though between the three of them, they have been in just over 10 episodes of Supernatural, they are truly fan favourites.
Most of the first part of the panel was Rob and Richard making fun of Matt for not waking up untill very late that day, having been to karaoke the night before. They then concocted a song in response to Rob not being able to answer a fan’s question honestly, hence “Lie to the Crowd” was born. I’m sure it will make a reappearance at other Supernatural conventions in the future. The best part of the song is how they kept cutting it off on Matt.
They also pitched their own tv comedy pilot for the three of them, where Rob’s life would be a complete mess, Richard would be the one there to put it back together, and Matt would just be shirtless. Interestingly enough, it was Rob who found a dollar in his underwear after last night (After the panel, there were a few more that people tucked in there)!
Richard discussed his appearance in Season 9, both Rob and Matt were shocked as they didn’t know of his cameo until it aired. Additionally, Rob and Richard did not comment on the current whereabouts or status of their characters, so there is a possibility they could return. And Richard specifically would not answer if he was in episode 200, though no one would expect him to reveal that anyway. Spoilers!
Honestly, this was one of the funniest panels, and I spend a majority of it laughing. They kept the jokes coming so fast, it was hard to keep up with tweeting. I definitely recommend going to the Matt, Richard, and Rob panel if you ever have the chance to go to a Supernatural convention.
The next and final panel of the day was Misha Collins. Not for the first time that weekend, he was running late. Richard and Rob felt it necessary for them to sabotage his water as a punishment. The crowd was nice enough to warn Misha to steer clear of the bottles once he picked one up, though he still drank it.
When Misha did arrive (and man did he look tired, poor guy), it was fabulous. He admired a girl dressed as his grace before he started with questions. Not many of the questions revolved around the show, but where a bit more personal than with other panels. To be honest, I’m not too comfortable with that, but Misha handled it well. He also shared a short video of his daughter, which was sweet.
He did talk about the “time wasting” that him and J2 tend to do on set “not appreciating real comedy genius when they see it”. He pointed to a recent incident where he could not keep it together, and people came over from the studio to watch him repeatedly mess up. He also mentioned how he tends to get in trouble with things he says about people, as everything is recorded these days. All of this was in good nature.
He also mentioned how he’d have J2 clean out all the change from his car (which is still there from a previous Jared prank), if he had “control” over them for a day. He’d also pie them in the face repeatedly. Misha also discussed GISHWHES, and the “French Maid Debacle” from this year’s meet-up event, where a few people suffered from heatstroke.
The best question came from a little girl who asked if he was a real angel. Misha said that’s why they cast him for the role, and it was his first professional acting experience and he wasn’t really an actor. He then had a nice discussion with the girl and how her named was picked. Completely adorable.
Near the end, Misha decided to sabotage some water bottles for the next panelists (J2 the next morning), but rubbing it down his pants/crotch. Richard then ran onstage and wrestled him for the bottle, ran offstage, then back on drinking water (undoubtedly from a different bottle, but acted as if it was the “crotch bottle”).
The cabaret later that evening Osric went outside his comfort zone and playing “Save Tonight”, which was amazing. Gil McKinney sang Sam Smith again. And Louden Swain rocked the house. Misha was there briefly, and then hopefully went to sleep. There were a few covers, but mostly it was all original music from Rob and the band. I didn’t make it to the after-party. Like Misha, I was dead tired.
Sunday finally arrived and with it the J2 breakfast panel for gold ticket holders in the morning, luckily, I had one.
I’d also like to point out this was the beginning of the end for my phone. It had an accident with another con-goer and some very hard floors/stairs. It was a good phone, and will be missed. I was able to get off a few tweets, but had to beg and borrow to do so. And sadly, no photos.
It was very informal, which was quite nice. Jared and Jensen came on stage to loads of cheering. Jared then told a story of how he got into the hotel late last night and met a large guy in the elevator banks who kept staring at him. He then asked if he was on Supernatural, Jared said yes. Jared then asked if he could help him figure out which way his room was, and the guy (who was an employee) helped him. A little later, Jared, in his underwear watching CNN, gets a knock at the door. Same guy. He asks how he can be an extra on Supernatural. Jared does his best to be nice, but tries covering himself with the door considering he was in his underwear. He was happy he wasn’t the phone with Gen at the time, as that’d be even more awkward.
They mentioned how they just finished episode 200, and how it was “two shows in one”. Jensen didn’t elaborate, but it might to point something intriguing. I would like to point out something else interesting that I noticed immediately. Jensen kept referring to Demon!Dean in the past tense. Furthermore, Jensen’s hair was considerably shorter than we saw previously, and he said he grew his hair out for Demon!Dean. Could this mean that Dean is cured by episode 200?
Jared also mentioned the fact he might want to produce, but not direct, though Jensen enjoyed it (from a very different perspective from acting). He was also asked about his voice acting experience, which he didn’t remember doing specifically. Jensen enjoyed it, but preferred on camera acting (despite getting to work in a bathrobe).
What characters would they like to bring back? “Ruby” for Jared, of course. They also mentioned the idea they once had after Season 7, where they thought of pulling some sort of reset button, but they like the direction the series has taken since Season 8. Jensen would bring back Ben Edlund, as he loved his writing and had great Dean scripts.
Jensen was also asked about “Imaginary Lover”, a topic I’ve covered previously. He said it was an obscure song, even for him, not sure if he’d heard of it before. He did tell us that Bobby Singer was the one to pick it, having said that it was one of two songs he knew about “self pleasure”, though not revealing to Jensen what his other choice would have been. The crowd offered up a few, and Jared revealed he just found out what the song “Relax” by Frankie Goes to Hollywood actually was about. Jensen then continued to talk about how Demon!Dean was selfish and this song was an embodiment of not caring about anyone else but himself.
After lunch, the Mark and Misha panel began. First things first, “Where’s Misha? (I Don’t Know/Care)” is everyone’s new favourite song. He was about 6 or so minutes late, so Rob, Richard, Mark, and the band created a new song that had at least 30 verses or so (with Mark on the shaker). Richard went backstage and to the lobby, looking for our wayward friend. They finally found him in the bathroom, but he eventually made it on stage.The “I Don’t Care” part, was Mark’s line. Best song of the weekend.
When Misha finally arrived (looking well rested), they shared a stool and cuddled briefly before questions. Mark remarking “I can’t wait for the velvet painting of this.” Mark took to roaming the room again, while Misha mostly stayed on stage (when not trying to make those asking questions uncomfortable from “personal space” issues).
There were some really great questions asked during the panel, one of the first about how they manage their time with all of their other activities. “Yes, we’re all really impressed with Mr. Collins. Bloody do-gooder, Mr. Collins. He builds stuff. He makes people’s lives better.” Mark remarks, then states that “he puts no heart and no effort into anything”. Misha then agrees “yes, slacking off and not caring really goes along way.” Oh, my I love these guys. The sarcasm is strong with these ones.
The hardest aspect of playing their characters? Besides doing Castiel’s voice and “working with Jared”, they mention SWD (or Seasonal Wardrobe Disorder). This is when the scene calls for clothing that isn’t appropriate to the weather. Heavy coats while shooting in summer or shorts when it’s below freezing. It’s a common problem for many. Also, a minor spoiler maybe, Crowley has shed his overcoat in Season 10. Maybe because of SWD, though.
They were also asked what their character’s theme songs would be. For Crowley it’s the “Song of the Volga Boatmen”, and Castiel’s is “The Rainbow Connection”. Both very fitting. The panel ended with more music, and a reprise of “Where’s Misha?” and some dancing with Mark, Misha, Rob, and Richard. Definitely a very funny panel.
J2 finally took the stage to a very crowded (and hot) room (which made Jared keep his beanie off for the majority of the panel). Jared talked about a prank involving stealing a friends patio furniture, which caused the fried to report her house robbed and her partner to fly in. Jared and Gen were mortified, but where able to patch things up. For Jensen pranks, they always involve Misha. They also said that whenever they have computers or writing on screen, it always goes south aka obscene or whatever breaks the person across from them. They still can’t believe that the studio hasn’t caught on that giving them internet access is such a bad idea.
They also gave a slight spoiler, maybe, saying that the doughnut scene from 9×13 (“The Purge”) was one of the best/funniest moments from Season 9, and Jared “sure hopes she comes back” in a cryptic tone. ‘She’ being Sheriff Donna Hanscum as played by Brianna Buckmaster. Jensen also added that she was an excellent actress and didn’t break, until he took a ridiculously large bite from a doughnut, though Jared’s shoulder might be shaking from laughing a bit. They went through maybe a half dozen doughnuts each in filming that scene.
They briefly read a bit of script from the Season 8 finale, intentionally very badly, to promote it for an auction later. Just before cooling themselves with a fan’s green handheld fan. I don’t blame them, it was boiling in there. And what funny script would they do? A body swap with Sam and Dean, which was written, but never filmed. They did laugh at the thought that saving Adam from Hell was offered as a “funny” script. Jensen remarked how they’ve really done everything, and mentioned “a brother in Hell”. Poor Adam.
They did give a minor non-spoiler for Season 10 scene where they were in a both with a female character in a diner. They were filming over J2 onto the actress, who for some reason started to drool. So when the camera angel reversed, J2, the eminent pranksters they are, took sips of water before the scene started, and when Dean is meant to speak, they both drool a lot of water over themselves. They do love the gag reels (and no, the fall from LARP and the Real Girl was not planned). Jensen also briefly sang a few bars of Survivor’s “Eye of the Tiger” during the panel.
A favourite moment was Jensen and Jared discussing their “selfie” faces, which was Jensen trying to figure out to use his phone, and Jared “cheeking his teeth and for boogers” (which Jensen does in person on set). The 200th episode photo from Jensen’s twitter by the way? Taken with Jared’s phone because Jensen’s phone camera is broken, and took loads of bad ones before using Jared’s.
Jensen then sang for a second time, after both being asked about their favourite music. Though a fan of classic rock in high school (Jared made a joke that it was just rock back then), he sang a few bars of Marty Robbin’s “El Paso”, a song his dad always used to sing. Jared admitted that he loved grunge.
For the final question, they brought a very nervous fan on stage and got well into her personal space. She asked about mannerisms and tells, then J2 spilled the beans on each other. Jensen knows how to tell if Jared has completely forgotten his line or has spaced out. How you ask? He clears his throat and a slightly longer pause. Now have fun re-watching all the seasons for how many times this happens. Hair flip and all.
What about Jensen? When it’s a heavy mythology episode, season opener/finale, someone has died, Jared looks over at Jensen and can see the wheels turning in his head thinking “yeah, time to duck face.”
The J2 panel finished with Jensen singing with Louden Swain. It was a a rendition of The Outfield’s “Your Love”. All in all a great time had by all.
Sadly, I missed Alaina Huffman (which I was devastated about), but if I had stayed, I would have missed the last train home and would have been phoneless and homeless in East Whippany, which Mark referred to as Hell.
Outside of the panels, I had a few autographs and photo ops. Everyone was really nice and super friendly. Even had the chance to chat a little bit, as I went last in line for a few things. Highlight of my weekend though? Torn between a wink I got off Misha and Jensen telling me I was his favourite person right now.
Ultimately, it was an amazing convention. If you have not been to Supernatural convention, you should try it at least once. During one of their panels, Jared also stated that he sees Jensen as his brother and how with Supernatural you kind of create your own family. Jensen said that “friends are the family you chose, and your family are the ones you didn’t”. He also remarked for the newbies to both the show and convention, that they were now welcomed to the Supernatural family, and that’s how it really felt that weekend, like family. It’s a weekend I wouldn’t trade for anything.
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