“You people are devoted, and dirty, and we love you!” — Richard Speight Jr., JaxCon 2017 intro
“This fandom, fans, there’s nothing like you. You are a small change in the world. You get behind us, you back us up.” — Mark Sheppard, JaxCon 2017.
Posted by Dawn and Jaymee
Photography by Shannon Laree Photography aka @reelnerdy (unless otherwise noted)
DAWN: I love sleep. So much. It’s probably my favorite hobby and I have long been trying to figure out how to get someone to pay me to sleep. Now, you may be asking, “Hey, lady, wtf does sleep have to do with JaxCon? Shut up and talk about the boys already.” Well, let me quickly answer that–Over the JaxCon weekend, I probably got 12, maybe 14ish hours of sleep. And I was having so much damn fun that I literally thought, “Whatever. I’ll sleep when I’m dead*.”
*”Dead” does not include all the times we died and went to fangirl heaven. Which were many, at JaxCon.
JAY: I had a lot of expectations going into this con, I love conventions and have spanned the USA, from east to west coast and a few places in between, attending cons of all different topics and genres. Cons are kinda my hobby. I have to say nothing I expected even came close to how much I enjoyed the Panels. Of all the conventions I’ve attended, of all the functions put on at these varied cons, I don’t think I’ve ever enjoyed anything as much as I enjoyed listening to the actors of Supernatural speak.
Let’s get Dawn’s obvious bias but still very true observation out of the way first — Richard Speight, Jr. is an amazing emcee and a gift** to Supernatural conventions and the fandom. Also, Rob Benedict and Louden Swain are the perfect accompaniment to said emcee and also every single panel. We may never be able to get Rob singing “Mr. Crowley” out of our heads, and we are totally fine with that. (Dear Louden Swain: Please do a cover album of all the SPN panel intros. Everyone will buy it, we promise. Love, us)
**Jay would like it noted that since we’ve only experienced a con emceed by Rob and Rich, we really can’t comment on his/their skill versus, say, Kim and Bri, but since we usually let Dawn gush about Rich, we are going to allow it here too.
SPN cons are a whirlwind. You run from panel to photo-op to panel to autographs to random guitar sessions someone just tweeted about to cramming food down your throat and trying desperately to remember to hydrate, and then suddenly it’s time for dinner and a quick shower and getting ready for the nighttime events on Friday and Saturday. There’s also meeting people, making friends, shopping, and, like any fun ride, a lot of waiting on lines. Then you get up in the morning and do it all over again, for anywhere from two days to four, depending on how early you got there and how much you decided to do.
And then you get home and finally break out of, what the fans have dubbed “the post-con depression,” you have to figure out how the hell to organize it all so you can post an article about it all. Thank Chuck we live-tweeted this con so that we have things to jog our memory. We’ve thought about how to do this report and decided to take it in two parts, person-by-person, with two bonuses for karaoke and the Saturday Night Special concert.
Here’s the thing about this fandom and this show, for those who might be unfamiliar. It’s called the SPNFamily for good reason, and one of the strongest reasons behind it is how much the actors themselves make themselves part of that family. Being part of the SPN Family was a tremendous part of the weekend and was mentioned in almost every panel, by almost every actor, and always in a positive, smiling, heartfelt way. They say they love being part of this family and we believe them, because they back it up, from campaigns like Always Keep Fighting and You are Not Alone to every amazing story about meeting the actors at cons or by accident, and how welcoming and genuine those meetings were every time.
JAY: This convention took place during the Women’s March, which was a global event, a global movement, to draw attention to women’s rights. I for one, was shocked and pleased to see how much the social and political climate affects the actors on this show and how much they spoke, eloquently, and most importantly positively about the movement and our role in it as fans. There was not one panel, not one moment, where the actors were on stage where they didn’t talk of solidarity, of coming together and being united, of how proud they were of what this fandom has done and will continue to do. I wasn’t expecting it.
DAWN: I would also like to throw-in special shout-outs to Misha Collins, Rob Benedict, and my boyfriend Richard Speight, Jr. for their tweet streams about the women’s marches. All three of them kept the tweets coming fast and strong Saturday. I thought I couldn’t love them more. I was wrong.
Jared and Jensen
We know what you want, it’s the boys first even though they were, in fact, one of the last things at the con. Sunday was their day, starting with the gold-only panel, which sadly we were not able to attend. We were at the normal panel, though, and it was a Chuck-damn delight.
Jared opened the panel by saying, “Who’s a first-timer? Welcome to the family.” And then it was question and answer time, and terrific stories. We learned the the one time Jensen came on set with his hair styled to the right Jared was so confused about what had changed and why Jensen looked ‘weird’ that now he can only ‘dress left’, as they say. The infamous “Pudding!” line from 5 x 11 was originally supposed to have been Sam’s, but when the boys saw the script, they decided it was ‘a Dean line’ and changed it. All those “Wanted” posters on the set? Names and pictures of real crew members. Jared confirmed Misha’s story about the time a pre-dad Jared fed Misha’s son sugar packets, then assured the audience that karma was paying him back because “according to my text messages, I currently have two demons at home.” Yes, Gen was texting him about their kids, and his face lights up with the most adorable smile every single time her name is mentioned, and his face, let us just tell you, the adorableness is fatal. In fact, when someone asked How the show has impacted his life on a personal level, he answered simply, “Well, I married Ruby.” The audience as a whole applauded and cheered. We love LOVE, people. What can I say? And Jared agrees:
“Now more than ever, it’s important to spread love and acceptance.”
Jared talks a lot more than Jensen, but Jensen got a few great things in, including something he’d like his kids to learn:
“Respect for others. It’s something I pride myself on.”
“My procrastination skills are amazing! But I don’t want my kids to learn that from me.”
It was our first experience with the pomp and circumstance that comes with the J2 panels ‘Final Question’. Rob Benedict comes back on stage to join Jensen in singing a short rift as Jared escorts the lucky fan on stage to ask… The Final Question.
Dawn: But IMO, Jensen’s shining moment came when a fan was brought on stage with them to ask the final question, and as Jared just chatted away busily, Jensen leaned right in, gave her a wink., and stole her attention utterly. It. Was. Hysterical.
Jay: I was completely enthralled at how Jared made it a point to ensure he maintained contact with the fan, keeping his hand on her shoulder. It was obvious that his goal was to ensure she felt safe and comfortable in, what could be, a very stressful situation. I was utterly impressed with the concern, care, compassion, and attention Jared showed in that moment and really, in every moment he has with the fans.
Lucky fan Kathleen Pereira getting the “how you doin’” look from Jensen Ackles (courtesy Diane Elyard)