For part one of my Toronto 2015 con report, go here:  http://www.thewinchesterfamilybusiness.com/article-archives/con-reports/19490-salute-to-supernatural-toronto-2015-report-day-one

I’ll confess to you, it was a beautiful Sunday in Toronto, and since I had no photo ops, I divided my time between the convention and checking out the scene Harbourfront.  There wasn’t a cloud in the sky, we found a great brewery on the water, lots of people were out walking, there were actual restaurants open there, and NFL football was on and our beloved Cincinnati Bengals were involved in a nail biter (the exciting overtime win I missed because of the J&J panel).  So, as a result, the only full panels I went to on Sunday were the J2 Gold members panel and the J2 regular panel.  Considering they were scheduled 5 hours apart, there was plenty of time for local sightseeing.  If anything, I managed to fulfill my goal of getting 20,000 steps on my Fitbit.

Yes, it is kind of strange though that because of the high volume of photo ops on J2 day, not to mention the private meet and greets, the real festivities in the theater don’t get started until 2:30.  That’s pretty late if you ask me.   But I can see all those people waiting for photo ops probably don’t want to miss anything else happening on the stage.  Still, it’s something that has always watered down my con experiences.  There’s only so many times I can pose for photos with the guys (my photos are sitting in a drawer as it is) and not doing so really saves the budget.  

Anyway, it all started at 10:00 am, at the Gold members Jared and Jensen panel.  As usual, it was a perfect way to kick off the day.  

Jensen and Jared Gold Panel

Gary from Creation kicked things off by stating something we heard all weekend long, “Supernatural” is the longest running genre show in North American television history.  Yes, that subtle little reminder that this whole weekend is based on one extraordinary and rather unexplainable phenomena.  We just shrug our heads and enjoy the ride.  

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(All photos taken by Alice Jester).

The boys came out rather casual and low key, because this is really an early start to what will be a very long day for them.  Jared started as usual with his polling of the crowd, first timers vs. the MANY timers like myself.  Then he did a poll, “Have you all seen the season 11 premiere?”  Jensen - “Don’t say anything, I haven’t seen it yet.” Jared - “Dude, there are gonna be spoilers.”  During this whole time too Jared is messing with the mic stand, which isn’t tall enough.  They were eagerly anticipating the premiere because now they can talk about it.  They had been told on a daily basis that they’re not allowed to say anything.  At Comic Con they were given a massive “DNR”, aka “Do not reveal” list.  Jared - “It used to be pretty low key, like don’t reveal the big blah, blah, blah.  Now it’s ‘Keep your damn mouth shut.’”  “Seriously, can we mention they’re brothers?”  Nope, not that either.    At least this year at Comic Con they had Rob and Richard to run the circus. 

Jared spotted a girl in the crowd wearing a wedding dress.  He didn’t get it until she mentioned Becky.  “It’s your wife!” Jensen said.  “Nice to see you Becky,” Jared said.  “You didn’t get the annulment papers?” Jensen pointed out that normally you take your dress off after your wedding day, or he takes it off for you.  Jensen - “Spoiler alert!”  Jared - “That’s on the “Do Not Reveal.’”  

Onto questions!  Someone has to write a short story for journalism class and was hoping they could give her a plot.  Jared said, “How about you write it and we do the script?  We’re talking monkeys.”  What are the parameters?  Keep in PG.  Jared - “There goes my idea.”  Then someone in the crowd shouts “Jared!”  Jensen - “Hi, Jensen, how are you doing?” 

The next person is the fan from Malaysia, who’s asked a few questions this weekend.  If she’s traveled all the way from Malaysia, she has a right!  She Tells Jared how good it is to see him well, thanks Jensen for being a great friend to him and covering the conventions Jared had to miss.  She went on about their heroism and they thanked her humbly, not to mention everyone that has had to travel so far to be there.  Eventually Jensen gets to the point.  “Do you have a question?”  Yes.  Why hasn’t Sam had a bromance in ten years, while Dean has corned the market?  Jensen had a very quick answer.  “Dean’s a whore.’’  Jared just shrugs and agrees.  Then he reveals,  “Without giving away too much, Sam’s going to get a friend this year.”  I think I know what he means about this, so without giving away the spoiler (no one else can in the comments either), it’s not going to be what you think.  See the spoilers on the episode Richard just directed (11.08) .  

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Jared went on to give more of an answer, saying he thinks they learn more about Sam from Sam while Dean has a bigger wall up so we need to learn about him from other characters.  Not sure I buy that, but okay.  

In the upcoming “Baby” episode, how many impalas did they use?   They have six in total, but only three are working vehicles.  One is just a shell, where they can put cameras in the trunk, remove the roof, etc.  #1 is the hero,  #2 is the stunt car, #3 they use if there’s noise concerns in the neighborhood, because #1 makes a lot of noise.  They bust up number 3 (aka shattering windows) and leave #1 in tact.  They had to use all three cars during filming so they could shot multiple scenes at the same time.  They went from Impala to Impala all the time.  Sometimes they had to film Jensen in one car and Jared in another at the same time for daylight concerns.  They are very excited about the episode and can’t wait for it to air.  

Over the years, what are the scenes that have been emotionally grueling?  Jensen - “Many.”  There are many emotionally grueling days.  “Every day,” Jared jokes.  Jared said he got advice from Peter O’Toole while filming The Christmas Cottage to save his tears for his character, not himself.  Jared’s most memorable emotional scenes are in “Sacrifice”, “Heart”, and “Croatoan.”  Jensen said for him it was telling Sam about his experience in Hell (“Heaven and Hell”).  You can’t turn your emotion off when they say cut because it feels real to your body.  He had to take a walk after that.  “Season four, episode 10,” the fan said.   “You’re hired,” Jensen joked.  

Since the fan brought up that episode, Jared started the story about how it had the most bizarre, funniest scene to film of all time.   That had the massive showdown in the barn with Ruby, Sam and Dean, Castiel, and lots of angel and demon goons.  It was a big scene and was shot over two days.  One of the demons was killed on day one, but the actor had to come back for day two and be a dead body in the background.  So they’re shooting and then suddenly hear loud  snoring!  There’s so many characters and different things happening in the barn that it was hard to capture it all.  They got a wide shot for a while.  During the fight scene there’s a part where a knife disappears, so they all had to freeze, the prop girl ran in, grabbed the knife, ran back out, and they continued the fight scene.  For the big angel explosion, they had to guard their face, but they didn’t get a cue as to when to stop.  They called cut and they thought that was the worst acting they ever did.

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Jensen did come up with one more scene to finish out the question.  The big one for him was sitting next to dead Sam in “All Hell Breaks Loose Part 2.”  He discussed how to shoot it with Kim Manners because he wasn’t sure how many takes he could do.  Kim blocked off the set and they did it in two takes.  One wide shot and one close.  Jared had the hardest job because he had to lie there and not breathe.  That’s very hard to keep your eyes closed and not move when the camera is on you.  Jensen - “It’s virtually impossible.” 

What did Dean do to not to kill Cas last season?  “That Misha has a contract.”  They wouldn’t get any days off if they killed Cas!  Jensen said that scene was all about the internal struggle within Dean and less about the relationship with Cas. 

It’s the Jared Padalecki bad joke part of the session:  He wanted a scene with Crowley introducing Cain.  “Cain, Dean, Dean, Cain.”  Jensen - “You are a super man.”  Jensen claimed they had been working on that for months.  (For those where the reference is lost, Dean Cain played Clark Kent/Superman in “Lois and Clark: The New Adventures of Superman,” a show that Robert Singer worked on).  

A fan told her inspiring story.  She came to a convention alone from Buffalo, even though she suffers from really bad anxiety.  She was very scared.  She found friends online to guide her and help her through the con and it has truly been a family for her.  It’s been the most incredible experience of her life.  She thinks the fandom learns that from watching them and seeing how they act with each other and members of the cast.   She’s cried the entire convention, good tears.  Her question, what is harder, playing the dead character or reacting to the other dying?  Jared first  thanked her for her story.  Jared thinks that it’s harder to do light stuff because Sam isn’t like that, even though he’s a goofy guy.  It’s not difficult to get there emotionally, it’s just something they can’t fake.  Their bodies don’t know that they’re acting.  That sucks, but it’s not difficult with the writing.  The writers know their characters good enough to help them get there.  

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Jensen agreed, they’re able to control it better.  He likes the comedy episodes.  They just did a comedic episode that Richard Speight Jr. directed.  “He did not crap the bed, he did a great job.”  He’s excited to see how it all comes together.  “There’s a saying we have on the set, there’s no joke too cheap.”  

This fan had me rolling!  He brought up the scene when Dean rushed back to Harvelle’s roadhouse to investigate the carnage, saw the body with the wristwatch on it and said “Aww, Ash.”  He laughed.  Jensen iterated, “No joke too cheap.”  Jared laughed hard.  “I never thought about that.”  Jensen said it goes back to the sick and twisted mind of Eric Kripke.  He put two and two together when he got on the set and thought it was sick.  He’s glad the fan got that.  

If they could go back and fix any continuity error or plot hole, what would they fix?  Jensen - “Leviathans.  I would just fix the whole thing.  Nope, they never came.”  He did like Dick Roman though.  

Jared:  I guess Dick Roman is kind of like an Ash thing.
Jensen:  Are you kidding me?  It was like two years of dick jokes.
Jared:  I just started watching on Netflix, give me a chance, alright?
Jensen:  I can’t help you. 

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Anyway, it wasn’t his favorite monster situation.  He thought there were some good episodes in that season, but overall the monster wasn’t his favorite.  They asked the fan what she would like to fix?  “Adam.”  That got a reaction.  Jessie (the little kid antichrist), and when Sam went from purgatory to Hell he literally left the door open.  Jared - “Oops.  I was gassy that day.”  Would she fix that Adam was in the cage or the brother thing?  The brother thing.  Jensen talked about how its inevitable to have things that don’t work over the course of ten years…and Jared corrected, 10.5.  SPOILER - the subject of Adam comes up in the episode they are currently filming right now.  As for Jessie, Jensen said, “Give us another 11 years we’re figure that one out.”  

A fan suggested iron rings to punch ghosts.  They thought that’s a good idea.  Jared - “It would be like Criss Angel.”  Jensen - “We’re stealing that.”  Jensen also mentioned life vests filled with salt and Jared mentioned the bungy.  “All things you’ll see in season 11.”

With that the panel was over, and it was time for the long break of photo ops and private meet and greets.  As for me, I was off to see more of the city.  

Jared and Jensen panel

There was a panel in between the Jared and Jensen panel that I did catch a bit of; Tahmoh Penikett, aka Gadreel.  I’ve told this story before, but the very first Comic Con I attended, and I was there on a press pass, was New York Comic Con about 8 years ago.  One of the panels I covered was the “Dollhouse” panel, with Joss Whedon and Tahmoh.  So yes, whenever I see him appear, especially now with “Supernatural,” it makes me smile.  They did run a trailer for his independent project that they’re trying to get off the ground, “The Riftworld Chronicles.”  He said they filmed that in December in Toronto and he froze his you know what off just for us!  All in all it was a pleasant panel from a really nice guy, but given the capacity crowd everyone in the room was waiting for the big panel.  

As usual, the panel was loads of fun.  Talk about a huge entrance!  Louden Swain got the action started by breaking into Journey’s “Anyway You Want It.”  As they got through the last verse, suddenly Jared and Jensen were rushing on stage from the right and they had instruments!  Jared was playing the cowbell (more cowbell!) and Jensen had a tambourine.  The crowd went wild, they all jumped in unison at the end going on Rob’s cue, and we’re all going nuts over such a barn burning entrance.  

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So the panel starts, right?  Not really.  After Rob leaves and the other members of Louden Swain settle in so to provide musical interludes on cue for the panel, Richard comes out because there was a bit of an incident.  He explained how it’s normally Jared that breaks musical instruments they give him, so that’s why they gave him a cowbell with a broken drumstick this time.  What could he damage?  But this time, Jensen came out with a tambourine, slammed it on the ground, and it’s now broken.  Richard joked with Louden Swain they’ll have to dig into the kitty.  Needless to say, Rob, who wasn’t on stage, would be having a problem with this later.    

Richard left and now the panel could begin.  They get started with the usual warm ups, saying hello to the various sections of the crowd, polling new people, and asking how everyone liked the premiere, etc.  Once all that was out of the way, it was time to get to questions.  

Will there be a deaf character on the show or use sign language?  Jared - Yes, coming up  (Jensen gives the appropriate SPOILER ALERT!!!), they have a character that uses sign language.  

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Where do the boys’ scars go?  “Network television scarring cream.  It erases everything,” answered Jensen.  Jared joked, “If the boys had scars, they’d look like Misha.”  Jensen also added that if they scar their face in real life, they then have a visual effects department that will fix that.  Apparently he’s speaking from recent experience!  Jared prompted him to tell the story.  Jensen tried to give the short explanation, he split his face open and they fixed it, but the crowd and Jared weren’t taking that answer.  “When the incident that shall not be named happened, Voldescar-“  Yes, Jared actually used a Harry Potter reference!  Jensen harassed him for that, then told the story.  He was visiting Ivan Hayden, had some drinks, and while Jensen was waiting for the taxi, he hopped on a ledge that held a planter.   It was higher than he anticipated, and he went down and banged his chin.  He started bleeding profusely.  He wasn’t sure what to do.  Blood was all over him.  He was sure that the cab driver wouldn’t let him in so he called an ambulance.   Luckily he had the next day off, but not the day after.  He looked pretty bad when he showed up.  The visual effects department had to remove the pooling of blood and bad swelling so he had dots all over his chin.  Jared - “He looked like Jay Leno.”  The irony to this story is he was out with the previous head of the VFX department, the very department that had to fix his chin on camera.  

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The next fan was actually bold enough to ask these guys for relationship advice, since they’re two successfully married men.  How do you get the attention of the person you like?  This went way better than expected!  They re-enacted the meeting of Gen and Jared, cueing the romantic music from Louden Swain.  Jared played Gen, who was reading a book, and Jensen played Jared. I was rolling!  Jared played the casual “I’m reading a book” stance while Jensen played Jared being a doof.  Eventually “Gen” agreed to go on a date with “Jared” so he would leave her alone.  Jared - “I was playing a much taller version of my wife.”  Eventually Jared did answer the question.  He said it’s the same advice for career as much as relationship.  Be yourself.  Jensen’s answer, “Bring them to a Supernatural convention.  If it goes well you’re in.”  

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Are Sam and Dean becoming more villains than heroes?  Jared mentioned what Mark said on the set, which Mark actually brought up in his panel the day before, the Winchesters have killed more people.  “If you ever want a one man scene to become a four man scene, just hire British actors,” said Jared.  They started making fun of Mark and the way he acts.  It’s one of those “had to be there” moments. They did answer the question eventually.  Jensen said they brought that up in the premiere, asking when did they get away from their mission statement?  He loves that Carver and team brought that back up.  It’s sending the brothers back to be to what they set out to do.  He thinks Dean lost his way and Sam is bringing them back.  Jared thinks it goes back to “the road to Hell is paved with good intentions.”  It’s a very human struggle, it doesn’t always work out perfectly.  Jared also promised a lot more shirtless Jensen scenes.  That got the crowd going.  Jensen was cued to take his shirt off from a little well timed music from Louden Swain, but he backed off.  Drat!

Someone asked about Misha’s Director’s cut of the Mockumentary.  How did they come up with their characters, like douchy Jared?   Jared - “Came up with? That’s just me.”  Jared said they tried to play on the Hollywood stereotypes, like they did on “The French Mistake.”  They came up with all theses funny ideas on how to do those Hollywood types with Misha on the set and Misha got clearance to shoot it.  Like the wig in the trailer.  It was a collaborative effort.  Jared said they know people in the industry that are like that, names they won’t reveal in case they become heads of the studio, but it was a chance to make fun of that. 

Anything funny happen on set recently?  They brought up Richard directing and this is the first Richard directing story we got all weekend!  Jensen has known Richard for years, buddy Richard, fellow actor, short, smart and funny guy, short…and suddenly saw him go into Dad mode.  Now he understands why his sons are so well behaved.  “He was herding us like kittens.”  He kept demanding they to get into place.  “I don’t have time for this, let’s go, we’ve to go!”   Jensen was like, “Who is this guy?”  

Jared revealed that Richard has a funny directing quirk.  “A better part of a decade we’ve known this guy.  I’ve stopped trains with him for God’s sake. And he gets on set and we’re like, ‘Richard buddy, dude, congrats, its good to have you here. He’s like, ‘Good Sam, you get over here, Dean, you’re over here.  And we’re like, ‘Is he calling us by our character names?’”  Jensen said they called him out on it every time.  He didn’t stop.  So when he called Jared Sam, Jared would say “Yes Mr. Director, sir.”  Jensen did that too!  They ended up doing that several times.  

They did a lot of “cutting up” on the set because it was a funny script, so much so that they couldn’t finish a take because they were laughing and in tears so much.  While they love having a good time on the set (according to Jensen that’s why they have lasted this long and haven’t killed each other yet), it’s detrimental to the director.  Richard was pulling his hair out over losing time while Jared and Jensen were joking around telling a story they’ve told for the fifth time because it gets a good laugh. Jensen - “We’re having a great time because guess what?  We know we’re going to have a job next week.” 

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The next fan wanted to know what sort of pizza they would order.  This went into a whole long bit about what they like on pizza, and then they even acted out a pizza ordering scene!  Jensen pretended to be the pizza guy while Jared tried to order a pizza.  He kept rambling about liking olive oil but not olives and Jensen gave him a hard time, calling him “Ma’am.”  After all that, Jared recommended watching the video on You Tube of Arnold Schwarzenegger ordering a pizza.  I hope someone got this video! It was just as good.  

What inspired them to be actors and what advice do they have for new actors?  For Jensen, he got inspired on the job.  He fell into it.  He wasn’t sure if he was truly passionate about it until he got around some seasoned actors and season technicians.  He learned about filmmaking and he was like a sponge, taking in as much as he could from each experience.   That got him excited about acting.  Now, he’s inspired by working on a show he loves and playing characters and seeing other play characters he can relate to.  “Learn as much as you can.  Knowledge is power in this industry.”  Jared is always humbled by those that continue to be humbled.  In other words, by people with long resumes who still come to the set to learn.  He’s always been interested in the human struggle.  “Every human being in this audience has a story to tell, has something that I would die to hear and learn. I want to know, I want to give that voice, I want to bring light to those issues.”  He also said, as he touched on in the earlier question, be yourself. 

A fan asked for another fan what cologne that they wear since she thought they smelled so good in the photo ops.  This led to a long answer where they were joking about Old Spice, toilet water, and we’ll just chalk this whole thing up to another “had to be there moment.”  Then this person got to the real question.  She brought up a Buffalo urban legend about Pig Man.  Somewhere, in giving an answer to this woman about camping out to investigate the legend, Jared blurts out “I sleep naked.”  Jensen joked that fan fiction sales just went up.  And Old Spice sales plummeted.  I had one very hard time getting that visual out of my head!  

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What was their memorable story with Clif?  They didn’t really give an answer, but they joked he has a memoir that will never ever be released.  Jared and Jensen did say he has been a great friend that has been there when they needed him.  

What’s the weirdest thing they’ve done for “Supernatural?”  Playing themselves in “The French Mistake” was out there.  Jared came up with something else, after remembering the “Nutcracker” scene.  “Doing a herpes commercial.”  Jensen remembered his scene in “Monster Movie.”  He was tied to a wooden plank, dressed in Lederhosen, when a guy in full Dracula outfit (Todd Stashwick) came up to him and said, “Dude, we’re grown men, and we get paid to do this.”  

The next person had to actual nerve to start her question with “after Supernatural” and Jensen popped up all mad, throwing his chair in the IMG 1353process.  Jared was right behind him, trying to get him to remain calm.  So he gave him the damaged tambourine. “Here, break this.”  He threw it down, breaking it into smaller chunks!  “Next time you say, ‘after Supernatural…’,” Jensen said.  Jared - “That will be your face!” he said, pointing to the shattered tambourine.  Anyway, the question, would they consider doing live theater?  Jensen tried that.  “It didn’t take.”  All kidding aside, he liked it.  He’d try it again.  Then they started lamenting over the history behind the dead tambourine.  Like maybe it was Rob’s grandmother’s tambourine or something like that.  

Back to the questions.  Do they mind being bothered in public and being asked for pictures?  They’re fine with it.  But in a tangent, Jared told the story of how he likes to check out old places where he filmed something before when he visits cities like Toronto.  He checks out the old set of “The Gilmore Girls” when he’s at Warner Brothers in LA.  So when he does that he walks really fast.  But yes, if they can catch him, come say hello.  Jensen - “Leave me alone.”  No, they don’t mind, but it does get weird when someone comes up to them asking for a picture that have no idea who they are after seeing other people come up asking for a picture.  “Tom Brady!” a fan shouted.  “Tom Brady?  I do have a bunch of deflated balls in my trunk,” joked Jensen.  Groans everywhere, including fans in the room from New England, who are aware that the Patriots were playing their beloved Cowboys that day.  Back to the question, sometimes they’re spotted and fans try to get a photo by doing a selfie from the other table, with them in the background.  That’s when Clif intervenes.  So, to demonstrate, Jared and Jensen took a selfie with the crowd in the background.  Jensen - “Treat us like a friend, because we are.” 



The next fan starts crying asking the question.  Jensen - “We’re just your friends.”  Aww, they were so sweet as she tried to pull herself together.  She wanted to know the challenges for Sam and Dean should they switch bodies?  Jensen - “I’d struggle with shaving my head.”  Sam would struggle with seeing himself in the bathroom mirror.  “I’d have to jump.”  “Swap Meat” was supposed to be them switching bodies.  It didn’t go well and the producers thought it would end up being a “Jump the Shark” moment if they continued with that idea.  So they went with Gary instead.   

Suddenly Rob came out!  He’s devastated!  Jared and Jensen fake astonishment over the shattered tambourine.  “What happened?”  Rob picks up a piece of cymbal, holding it like he lost his best friend.  Jensen - “In cooking they would call that a reduction.”  Rob just goes softly, “How???” then a much louder, “WHY???”  Richard added, “When???”  Now, I really don’t know how this lead to them joking about Rob’s favorite smell, but he joked it was Jensen.  He would go through a cologne section in the department store and go, “Hmm, Jensen.”  They said it takes three seconds for the smell to travel.  So Richard demonstrated what happens when Jensen or Jared’s musk make it to the back of the room.  They see the boys, take a whiff, and then fall to the ground!  He actually did that on stage, a few times.  He also claimed that now people are going to blame all their shortcomings in life on the musk.  So that’s what probably obliterated the tambourine.  It shattered the molecules.  So Louden Swain broke into “Do the Molecule! Blame it on the Musk.”  Yes, the gag actually strayed that much!  

They do one more question.  They broke into the “last question” song and even brought the fan up on the stage.  She’s from Boston (a little bit of animosity given the Tom Brady comment) and wanted to hear them say something in their best Boston accent.  Jared did a terrible one.  Jensen did one based on one of his favorite stories at Logan Airport.  There was a delay, they had to move gates, so the lady (someone he calls a wise woman) got on the loudspeaker and said, (he does this in his best Boston accent), “Alright everybody, listen up, when everybody’s come off the plane, I want you to board, get on the plane, don’t f*** around with your bags, and sit down.”  Jensen was stunned by the use of language and looked around for anyone who was offended, and no one was.  Jared - “They were actually all deflating footballs.”  Yes, nothing ends a panel that has gone off the rails better than a bad Jared Padalecki joke!   

The Rest and a Time For Reflection

From there, I went back to the Harborfront to have dinner with my family.  I did miss Mark Sheppard’s second panel of the weekend, but hey, his was so great the day before I was pretty damned happy with that.  I did come back in time for autographs, and I only have one story to come out of this.  Jared remembered who I was!  I think that’s priceless given the number of people he meets, but Osric and Misha never remember.  I don’t play this game with Jensen BTW.  He’s too cool for that!  

To me, the best part of the cons is meeting and talking with other fans.  The people next to me in the row were very nice, and they were in Gold for the first time after being in General Admission last year.  I talked quite a bit with the young person to my left, who really wasn’t much older than my daughter.  She was taking lots of pictures and notes so she could share this whole experience on her Tumblr.  She wanted to come back next year, but affording it would probably be a problem.  This con set her back quite a bit.  Still, every penny was worth it to her.  She was experiencing the fan girl dream. 

I’ve noticed through the years of doing these cons, especially as they’ve gotten bigger, the crowd has gotten younger.  I have reported on this before, but its “Supernatural” generation 2.0.  These  kids younger people are easily the around the age or slightly older than my own kids, so while I can relate to them, I have run into several wondering what this older lady was doing sitting around them.  Or why my kids weren’t with me.  I laugh too, because I’m in the age group that actually can afford these cons.  Or, I’m in the age group that is paying for their kids to come to these cons.    

Affordability turned out to be an issue for many people I spoke with.  This Toronto con didn’t sell out.  Now I can see why.  It was $700 Canadian for a gold ticket, and if they paid for merchandise in Canadian dollars, everything was 30 percent more.  All prices at the cons were in US dollars.  That’s pretty nuts to come to a foreign country and not charge prices in their home currency.  For me, thanks to a 1.30 US per Canadian dollar exchange rate, my trip was a lot more affordable.  Even the con ticket was much cheaper.  The same cannot be said for many people in that room though.  I also heard from many people that it was rough getting the time off from work.  As someone who had to miss Friday, I could relate!  Another disadvantage of Toronto con was the guest lineup wasn't as many as it is with other cons.  There were several repeat panels and certainly less of them. 

I do confess that coming to these cons is a humbling experience, but that’s not a bad thing.  I need these reminders in life once in a while.  Fan sites and web sites are so “passe” with not only a lot of these younger fans, but just fans in general.  When I told several younger attendees that I have run for years a successful “Supernatural” fan site and mentioned “The Winchester Family Business,” most were both unfamiliar with the site and not very impressed with that I did.  They were instead telling me how they were ready to share their photos and experiences on their Tumblr and Facebook.  Everyone in that room has a story to tell.   “Eww, a website?  Nobody does that anymore.”  It’s easier to express yourself more than ever.  Its empowerment of every individual and its pretty freaking cool.  No fan is better or cooler than another in the SPN family.  That is just one unique aspect of this “Supernatural” phenomenon that never ceases to amaze me. 

Still, I do feel like I’m on the obsolete side of things as this show goes on, and Toronto Con was a huge reminder of that.  It’s something I’ve struggled with for a while now and have publicly spoken about it.  This isn’t the show I fell in love with.  Even the younger fans concede that the newer seasons aren’t as good as the older ones, yet they latch onto this fandom experience more than they do their own families.  There’s something special that happens when fans get together in a room that cannot be explained.  It’s the greatest feeling in the world.  While I get that special feeling to this day, I also feel like I’m the grown adult in the family that’s ready to strike out on her own and move on.  It’s an interesting struggle to have all these years later after the cons started as mostly middle aged women who felt like teenagers. 

Every time I go to a con I swear it’s my last one.  While affordability isn’t my issue, time is.  Now that my kids are older, the hubby and I like to visit places and go sightseeing, go visit wineries and breweries, not sit in convention centers all day for three days blowing all sorts of money on photo ops, merchandise, and tickets.  Time is way too precious.  Don’t get me wrong, I love all these actors and they put on the most incredible show.  I love the fans.  A “Supernatural” con experience is second to none and as you could tell from my two reports, there were a lot of “had to be there” moments.  But I feel like my time at these things has come and gone.  In other words, I’m getting to old for this crap. 

But hey, as long as there are fans that keep coming in and experiencing this unique environment, these cons serve the purpose of demonstrating the extraordinary power and love of the SPN family.  To me, I’ll cherish my con memories forever.  But I’m at a state where I don’t need to make any more fandom memories.  Sure, maybe next week or next year the opportunity will come up to go to another con and I might decide it’ll be fun.  I get nostalgic.  For now though, I’ll leave it up to the younger fans to have their fandom thrills and learn from the excellent example of everyone involved with “Supernatural.”  I quietly pass on the family torch.  I’ll also pay for my daughter or son to go any time they want.  After all, I know they will be in the greatest company possible.  

So that’s a wrap on Toronto Con.  Here’s the gallery of photos from Sunday.  Feel free to share, just give Alice the credit.  Thanks much! 


AdmirorGallery 5.2.0, author/s Vasiljevski & Kekeljevic.

Comments  

love2boys
# love2boys 2015-10-22 22:49
I enjoyed your Torcon reports. I've never been to a con, although I long to. I dream about it. I'm of an age where I should be earning enough money to go to cons, but money and I just never hooked up.

I've been a fan since the Pilot. I am one of the letter-writers of the early years. I did that on my own since I didn't know anything about the on-line fandom then. So I would say I have been a passionate fan for more than a decade now, and much of my daydream time has been overtaken by thoughts of Supernatural! But I will never ever have enough money to go to a con. There will be cons in Jacksonville and Atlanta in 2016, both of which are within driving distance of my home. I looked at the prices and actually cried.

I am glad you have been to so many cons. I am happy for anyone that is able to attend. But there are those of us out there that are "of a certain age," poor and clinging to Supernatural with both hands in hope that their financial picture might change. I, for one, would absolutely LOVE to be the mom in a con full of kids. Just once. Before it's all over and the chance is gone forever.
cheryl42
# cheryl42 2015-10-22 23:50
You know if I am not mistaken you can go just for Sunday and the J's. Maybe someone else can provide more information but I looked into it when there was a con in San Francisco last March? it wasn't all that expensive. I didn't realize that until after the con but if they come back this year I am definitely going to look into it. It doesn't include photos and autographs but you can buy those separately if you want.
Anyway might be an inexpensive way to get to see the guys before the end of the show.
cheryl42
# cheryl42 2015-10-22 23:56
Thank you Alice for your report. I watched the video of the panels and it just sounded like you say, just a great time.
I would assume with the show winding down the conventions will be as well. So sad that an era is passing but everything has to come to an end sometime. I would give anything to be able to see the J's while the show is still going. It just looks like so much fun. But for now I watch videos and read others reports on all the fun they had.
LEAH
# LEAH 2015-10-23 01:35
My situation is the opposite I have ton's of time since I retired, but not much money for extravagances. I did finally get to go to a con this year, as you know, and I am grateful to have been able to do so. Still paying for it.:) I would attend a lot more if I could but I consider myself very fortunate as many will never get to go. Thank you for your con report Alice I always enjoy them.
njspnfan
# njspnfan 2015-10-23 11:10
Hi Alice - thank you for the report; I was surprised to hear that the convention audiences are skewing younger now; always figured it was middle aged+ individuals with sufficient disposable income to afford it because these conventions aren't cheap. I thought they'd start winding down the conventions but I checked the Creation web site and there are 14 conventions scheduled for 2016.
sylvia37
# sylvia37 2015-10-23 12:08
Thanks Alice. I always enjoy reading your Con reports. I understand you feeling as though you've done it enough. It would be one thing if the show still enchanted you the way it did back in the day. Thanks for all you do.
Mallena
# Mallena 2015-10-23 21:31
I'm sad that these conventions are becoming something that you no longer want to do. No judgment, though. I am 50 something and would probably not go to a con and spend thousands of dollars to stand in long lines. I get tired!! Also, I have an adult autistic daughter that lives at home and that makes it hard to go places. I watch the videos on YouTube from the comfort of my own home instead. I look at those pictures of the crowd and think that I'm happier on my couch, but I love reading about your up close experiences.. I have read all your con reports from the very beginning where you were very excited, and I love those!! Also love the slideshows, Sam's hair articles, and articles from the seasons that you enjoyed. Please inspire your writing buddies on this site to keep it going. If you ever wrote a book on SPN, when the show ends, I would buy it.
jimmi
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