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For part one of my con report, Friday and Saturday, go here:  

http://www.thewinchesterfamilybusiness.com/articles/33-con-reports/17899-con-report-salute-to-supernatural-new-jersey-2013-friday-and-saturday.html


Sunday at New Jersey con, aka J&J day.  My day started with a text message from Stimtastic Appie.  Everything was running behind because Jared and Jensen got stuck in Manhattan because of a bike race.  You mean the bike race that a large team of French Canadians eating up all the breakfast in my hotel lobby was supposed to be competing?  Yep, it was a rough start all the way around.  I was lucky to come out of there with a muffin and some coffee.  

So I got up really early and went to the Gold member’s breakfast, right?  Not exactly.  Seems there was a format change this time.  Instead of a breakfast, we were given at noon a box lunch, and we got in the ballroom a private panel with Jared and Jensen from 1:30 to 2:00.   Wherever you sat in the ballroom, that was your seat for the panel.  There was no table seating this time.  

So why the format change?  Logistics and cost.  This was a very large con, but only one ballroom to use.  So, given the five or six hundred gold ticket holders, that meant the one ballroom (with 1200 seats) had to be torn down and reset up with round tables for a large crowd.  Sure, they did that the night before for the cocktail party, so why not leave it for the breakfast like they have in the past?  

There’s a few reasons.  First, there wasn’t a whole lot of time to reset up the 1200 or so seats in the ballroom that morning.  There were a large amount of photo ops for Jared, Jensen, Jared and Jensen, and even later Jared and Jensen and Misha.  They’ve gotten in the habit of seating these folks in the ballroom because there’s no where else that can hold that large crowd.  I guess there are fire laws.  Those started around 10:00 am.  The schedule also ran later since Jared and Jensen didn’t have to fly back to Vancouver that afternoon like at other cons.  They ended up arriving late (as I mentioned earlier), just in time to go through the long line of photo op recipients.  If there was a breakfast, the J’s would have had to arrive around 7:30 am, and they don’t do that well, especially after a fun night in New York City.  

Also, the box lunch meant that people would have to eat anywhere they can find, and Creation didn’t have to provide a room.  Less cost.  There were hundreds of us eating anywhere we could, scattered all around, which isn’t exactly the same experience I remember of socializing with people I know from table to table in our own private reception.  But hey, it saved money, right?  That $619 for a Gold Ticket gets you a cold turkey sandwich, a bag of chips, a drink, and a bag of regular old Famous Amos cookies.  What a deal.  

Please indulge me in this paragraph for a small rant.  Feel free to skip ahead if you don’t want to read this.  It still boggles my mind that these cons are getting larger and drastically more popular, there are more photo ops than ever (aka lots more revenue for Creation), they are offering private meet and greets with every guest for a nice premium, yet Gold and Silver ticket prices continue to skyrocket.  With those rising prices, we now get autographs from a selection of guests rather than all of them (although Jared and Jensen’s are still part of that package), the full blown dessert and drinks at the Saturday night party was taken away for a cash bar only (I hope you like paying $8 for a beer), and the full breakfast buffet and intimate panel we used to get is now a box lunch where you have to find your own seat to enjoy it and an extra half hour panel.  I would always recommend a Gold ticket experience to someone once, but once honestly is all you need.  It just isn’t worth it anymore.  

As for our bonus panel, which happened after I was able to find a place to eat and work, was good, but again the seating lost a lot of the intimacy you get from the breakfast.  I think it honestly felt different to Jared and Jensen, because they weren’t their usual loose selves.  Still, they entertained.  At least they kept with the format of random questions from the audience, rather than having people line up at the mic. 

Here’s some of the highlights that happened that I’m remembering from my tweets and off the top of my head.  This panel felt very short compared to past Gold member panels:

  • The guys came out doing weird poses in front of their pictures on the screen behind them.  Jared was wearing a white hat to cover up all that wonderful hair, and both guys have a lusicous beard going by now.  

  • Jared started by asking about season 8.  What do we think of it?  Big cheers.  Jensen, “What do you think about season 9?”  Bigger cheers.  “It’s going to suck,” he joked.  
  • Both guys were really excited when they found out Curtis Armstrong was cast as Metatron.  They were texting each other, they get to work with Booger!   
  • While taking questions, someone shouted out “Jensen!”  Jared took a little offense to that.  “Questions start with who, what, where, when, not Jensen.”  
  • I’m not sure why Jared was giving modeling advice, but there he was up on stage, doing a full blown demonstration!  He put one leg forward, twisted the hips, put his hand on the side of the hip (it came very natural to him) while pushing the hips forward, twisted his neck, and sucked his cheeks in.  Yep, that got some big applause.  Jensen - “You just got schooled.”  Jared was worried that maybe we got a picture of that.  Oh yes, I most certainly did.  Jensen then got up for a demonstration of his own, showing off the move that Felicia Day gave in “Pac-Man Fever.”  You know, the bend with the red outfit on.  He said when she did that, every one there, including him just cracked up.  Felicia called it her Tyra Banks.

  

  • There was a question about the TV shows of old, like Magnum.  “Not Don Johnson,” Jensen said.  She wondered if that was intentional, the themes of fast cars, womanizers, and action in their characters like those old shows.  Did they like any of those shows?  Jensen loved “Airwolf.”  Jensen wasn’t sure if that was the intent for Dean, but he attributed that to the fact that Eric Kripke was a child of the 80’s, and those were the shows he loved.  It was only natural he created characters with that feel.  Jared - “I watched Fraggle Rock.”   Jensen - “You got to remember, Jared was born in the 80’s.” 
  • Little time was wasted in asking a question that’s been burning with people on this site for a while, do they get upset when the writers screw with canon?  Yes, they do.  Jensen - “Sometimes they paint themselves into a corner, so the only way to get out of it is to hit ctrl alt delete.”   He defended Jeremy Carver though, because he’s the third showrunner and usually the new showrunner inherits stuff from the old showrunner.  Jared mentioned he touched on that in his “private” (obviously meet and greet), but all the crowd heard was “touch” and “private”, so we all cracked up.  Jared - “Anyways, when I was touching my privates...”  Jensen interrupted, “Which by the way, also has issues with the methodology of the show.   

Now for the serious answer.  Jared explained that Kripke and Sera Gamble really had no idea how long the show would go on, so in continuing the story they had to make some rules and now they’re breaking them.  He doesn’t love it, but he realizes that some scenarios can be explained.  He gave the example of why the holy water didn’t work on fake Sam and Dean in “The Great Escapist.”  Well, it was fake holy water.  “People may not like that, but we’d rather the show keep going.”  The crowd was in agreement.  Jensen - “After shooting 172 episodes, sometimes the writers have to take some creative liberties.  So bear with us.”  

@winfambusiness - Jensen - "Once we finish an episode we’re like, ‘moving on.’  It’s the only way to keep your sanity.”
 
  • A fan mentioned how thrilled they were that the brotherly bond was back this season.  Jared let out a loud scoff.  “You’re going to hate the finale.”  He thinks Sam should have killed Dean (yes, he was joking people).  
@winfambusiness - “What happened to the colt?” Jensen - We ran out of bullets.”

 

  • They weren’t able to answer the colt question, so they tried texting Kevin Parks on stage for an answer.  He didn’t respond back.  
  • Jensen explained that even though the show films in order, they really have no idea where the story is going to go.  They are constantly surprised.  So, when something happens that doesn’t seem right, they have to forget about it and move on.

  • The Gag Reel was mentioned, namely why aren’t there more clips?  Jensen - “We could literally have a 3 hour gag reel.”  Jared - “Gag Reel, the movie!”
  • The topic of Jensen’s impending fatherhood came up.  He talked about how he asked Jared for advice on parenting books.  Are there any good ones out there.  Jared looked at him blankly and shook his head.  “They’re not going to help.”  He did get some really great advice from Misha.  When the baby is sick, stay far away from the internet.  Do not try to diagnose from there.  It’s all horror stories!  It’ll scare the crap out of him.  He was also told to let Danneel know that, but Jensen acknowledged it was already too late. 
  • Will Jared ever direct?  Nope.  He saw what it did to Jensen and he’ll never do it.  
  • Jared went off on this long thing about Teenage Ninja Mutant Turtles when asked about it.  To be honest, he was such a spectacle to watch talking about them, that I really didn’t get anything he said.  Obviously, he had tapped into his major nerd side and let his inner fan boy run free.  
  • A guy wanted to get advice from Jared on Jensen for any men in the room on how to be awesome.  “We know all the babes love you.”  Jensen - "You’re saying awesome to a guy who just barraged you with talk about Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles.”  Actually, he came up with a great answer.  “Get on a TV show and shoot 173 episodes.”   
  • I thought this was pretty exciting.  At Karaoke I ran into @mainegirlwrites, who has written a few pieces for us here at the Winchester Family Business and who I met at New Jersey con for the first time in person last year.  She introduced me to her husband, who came along this time.  It was their 15th wedding anniversary that weekend and his gift to her was two Gold tickets to New Jersey con.  Yes, this is the greatest man ever.  Anyway, at the end of the panel, he stood up and mentioned that very fact to Jared and Jensen.  They were in complete awe and congratulated them.  Jensen said that was the true definition of awesome.   So yay @mainegirlwrites, you really do have the most awesome hubby ever.  



(The panel ending gratuity shot)

And that was the “private” panel (I’ll always be the breakfast panel to me).  The guys had a strict schedule to maintain before their panel for the rest of the crowd in an hour and a half.  So, to entertain us, we got Richard and Rob on the stage again.  I do apologize, but I missed a chunk of this panel so I could enjoy the long line in the only ladies public restroom in the hotel lobby.  I met a lot of wonderful people in that line through the weekend, including some first timers from my home state!  They drove from Dayton, which is really a couple hours longer than Columbus.  Huge props to them.  O.H.I.O!

My dear friends Bardicvoice (who I met at this con for the first time even though I knew her online for years) and Lynn at Fangasm did write up a few tweets about Richard and Rob’s panel.  I’ll just share them here, so you know how much fun these two are up on stage together.  They’ve said many times they never knew each other on the show (their episodes were different) but they’ve become close friends through these cons. Cod Piece and Dangerbottom rules! 

@FangasmSPN:

  • Serving cocktails to Richard and Rob is Ty Olson :) 
  • Richard: we were having a nice male three way and you had to make it dirty. 
  • How Richard woke rob up this morning: a text saying Adam (of Creation) was pissed and where is he?? 
  • Rob when he mistakenly ogled Richard's wife: omg I cheated on Richard with his wife in my mind!
  • Rob singing The Prom with help from Richard. Gives the fan who brought the guitar a CD.
  • If Rob and Richard switched bodies? No one would notice! 
  • Richard: this fandom is so interconnected and amazing. You guys are so cool. Awww.
  • Richard starstruck by Michael Stipe and Rob by Eddie Vedder
  • Rob had a fanboy moment with Eddie, got so flustered he asked for a cigarette even tho he doesn't smoke.
  • Mark P's choice to make the scene where he kills Gabriel sad made it surprisingly emotional.
  • Richard tells his favorite joke.  Rob literally doesn't get it.


@Bardicvoice:

  • And @TyOlsson - our favorite bartender! - delivers drinks to Rich and Rob!
  • "A little soda, and about three finger of roofies!" @dicksp8jr guessing the content of the drinks Ty provided!
  • Rob about mic placement: "That's making me uncomfortable. It's in my way." Rich: "If I had a dime for all the times I've heard that"
  • Mark Pellegrino's actor choice to be sad about killing Gabriel surprised Rich and made moment much richer. 


(Coming up on page 2, the Jared and Jensen panel)

Comments  

novi
# novi 2013-05-31 01:40
Thank you, Alice, for this sweet, positive and detailed report! Hope you had as great time visiting the con as you gave me with this read! Never enough of a good thing, so looking forward to reading your next reports - and shame on Creation for being greedy!
EireneS
# EireneS 2013-05-31 02:59
Alice, nice to read this report. Do you think this format change will be at all the conventions or only at the biggest ones, like Las Vegas and New Jersey? Is Vancouver a large convention? I finally decided to buy a gold ticket to Vancouver, after reading how wonderful the meet and greets were but if the format has changed, I want to prepare myself as much as possible for the changes.
So glad we are able to read these personal reports of the different conventions.
Sylvie
# Sylvie 2013-05-31 10:32
Thanks for yet another great report. Nice to see you in some of those pics! :-) Ty Olsson sounds like such a nice person to meet. I can't wait for my first con in Toronto, he's one of the invited guests. But I have the same question as EireneS about the format of the convention. Do you know if all of them will be changed? Because I have a gold ticket, and as you've stated, they are pretty pricey, so I want my money's worth for sure. :D
fanotheboyz
# fanotheboyz 2013-05-31 12:43
Thanks, Alice!
I'm just clarifying something without opinion: On the first question, the audience did not groan when the questioner said "bisexual". They groaned when she said "subtext". As a member of the audience, It's an important distinction. I listened to it a few times to be sure.