It's spring break here in lovely central Ohio (at least for my kids) and this weekend I'm at a Taekwondo tournament in Kentucky, and next week I'm in the State of Delaware (don't ask). So why do I bring up such a busy social agenda? Easy, it means episode reviews are running behind.
It's especially complex with "On The Head Of A Pin" because that episode was so shocking, so groundbreaking, so absolutely fucking fantastic that coming up with a sound review is proving to be a challenge. I can give away the grade right now. A+. Top ten best episodes material. So, since we're looking at earliest Sunday, likely Monday before a review will be published, luckily an alternate option has come up to hold you guys over until then.
Elle2 was kind enough to send me her long, well thought out analysis. I'm going to share her words with you, and feel free to give your opinions. See that poll on the right hand side about Sam's powers? It applies to this episode too, so if you haven't voted already, chime in! Was this episode as brilliant as many of us think? As Sam said in "I Know What You Did Last Summer", don't spare the details.
I'm not sure how this has come to be, but it seems lately I've been getting these preview clips while in a hotel with slow internet access. Slower than home anyway. But, clips are clips, and I do love getting them, so here are three for the upcoming episode "It's a Terrible Life". It's a nice comedic rest after the two very intense episodes we just got (I'm not complaining though!). Below is the official episode description:
Sam (Jared Padalecki) and Dean (Jensen Ackles) are living very different, normal and separate lives and although they are working at the same company and donâ€™t know each other, they find themselves teaming up to solve a mystery with supernatural elements. Guest stars Kurt Fuller as Mr. Adler. "It's A Terrible Life" was written by Sera Gamble and was directed by Jim Conway.
â€œDeath Takes A Holidayâ€ is one of those episodes loaded with so much, that this means an ultra long recap. Iâ€™m just going to get started, since thereâ€™s plenty to cover.
In what is one of the shortest teasers on record, two guys come out of a bar are having a spirited discussion about fantasy football. You know, I work in a male heavy field and you would think with all the talk that goes on in the cube farm about fantasy football, Iâ€™d understand and crave the phenomenon. I donâ€™t. Iâ€™d rather talk about real games. About how much The Detroit Lions suck.
Guys go by an alley, robber comes out, gets surprised by an employee by the dumpster and a shot goes off. One guy is hit point blank in the chest, goes down, and then comes back to life with a wound that isnâ€™t bleeding. Something tells me Sam and Dean will be hearing about this.
Birds. You know what kind. Logo in Red. Its serious crap.
Blogcritics just posted my review of "Death Takes A Holiday." For those that are new to the site, usually when a new episode airs, I do a condensed and more analytical review of the episode for Blogcritics, and then post a full episode recap on this site (which is coming in a day or two). Here is the link, and feel free to tell me if I'm right or wrong.
The first panel on Day Three was Jim Beaver. He was supposed to only speak for an hour, then sign autographs, then catch a plane back to Vancouver for early shooting on Monday. His schedule changed though, and he didnâ€™t have to go back so he could stay around. He was given a longer panel (an hour and a half) and his autograph session was moved to late afternoon with the others.
Here is it, my loose transcription of the entire Misha Collins panel at the NJ â€œSalute to Supernaturalâ€ con. Needless to say, he was a huge hit, and handled this crowd that was determined to embarrass him very well. No spoilers in this. All the panelists were very tight lipped about what was to come.
Iâ€™d be remiss if I didnâ€™t share two great fan stories before going on about how wonderful our day three with Todd Stashwick, Charles Malik Whitfield, Jim Beaver, and Misha Collins was.
I missed a big highlight from day two, and for that Iâ€™m sorry. One of the Creation diversions was the costume contest. There were four winners; one Dean, one Sam, one Bobby, and to me and everyone else, the true grand prize winner. A man dressed himself in a brown teddy bear costume, when fluff coming out of the giant hole in the back of his head and a replica of the sign, â€œLife is meaningless. T. Bear.â€ He was the hit of the ballroom for the afternoon, and just about everyone posed for pictures with him (including guests Traci Dinwiddie and Gabriel Tigerman). Everyone but me, who absentmindedly left the camera in the hotel room. Luckily, my friend Lindsay had me covered.
The second story came from the Charity Auction and Gold Ticket Breakfast (despite what they say, it was not a brunch). Sitting at my table was Kat (aka gigglingkat from LJ), who had in her hand a newly made book of her 2006 project, â€œI am Not Jared.â€ At the Fangoria con in February 2006 in Chicago, Jared was supposed to be a guest there, but had to cancel last minute. About 150 gold ticket holders, all fans of Supernatural, hung around in the bar playing pool and making scrapbooks, deciding to blow off the convention. Kat made a sign â€œI am Not Jared,â€ and took pictures of several of the bar patrons holding the sign. Then she went out to the convention at large, and even got David Arquette to pose with the sign, because in her words â€œshe has no shame.â€
She made a book of the entire experience that she shared with us at the table. I absolutely loved the picture that showed how a roll of duct tape made Supernatural fans feel welcome. One strip of the grey heavy tape was placed over the â€œJared Padaleckiâ€ listing on the Fangoria photo ops sign.
Kat had the infamous sign in her possession, and considering Jared cancelled this weekend for NJ, she was doing another version of â€œI am Not Jared.â€ All of us at the table posed with the sign, and I saw how she got many others to pose throughout the day. I canâ€™t wait to see her final results. The photos for the original book can be found at gigglingkat.livejournal.com under â€œMy scrapbook.â€
So, the day started with the breakfast, and after an hour of some decent food and conversation (see the â€œI am Not Jaredâ€ mention), Charles Malik Whitfield (Henriksen), Todd Stashwick (Dracula), Jim Beaver (Bobby), and Misha Collins (Castiel) were introduced. All men were looking fine and were all smiles for the crowd, posing for pictures before spending a few minutes at each table for quick conversation. I do mean quick (I kept thinking about the bungee boss from Dilbert).
Malik (yes, thatâ€™s what he prefers to be called) was first, and asked where we were all from. As soon as I mentioned Columbus, Ohio, he said he was there two weeks ago for a project. The project was a play that heâ€™s producing for a church and theyâ€™re looking for a theater right now. Before I could get more info he had to go on, but Iâ€™m working on getting more info since Iâ€™m always interested in covering local projects.
Next was Misha Collins, and Iâ€™m still swooning. He looked tired, but oh so pretty. He had on a button in honor of Kim Manners, and talked about the amazing energy and enthusiasm Kim had during the one episode he worked with him (â€œLazarus Risingâ€). He also mentioned how exhausting the filming has been recently, and he doesnâ€™t know how Jared and Jensen do it all the time. He got his tap on the shoulder and he was gone, ready to do it all over again at the next table.
Jim Beaver came next, and he was worse than Misha in the fatigue department. He doesnâ€™t drink coffee, and didnâ€™t have any of his much desired Dr. Pepper. He talked about how his daughter is doing and the ill friend heâ€™s been blogging about lately. He also mentioned that his book is coming out in April and heâ€™ll probably be promoting that, so he had to turn down a movie role in a film starring Johnny Depp (at least I think he was being serious). With that comment he was gone, as the game of musical tables resumed.
Last to our table was Todd Stashwick, and heâ€™s quite the character. Heâ€™s very funny and outgoing, and mentioned how much of a fanboy he is and itâ€™s strange for him to be on the other end this time. He talked about how he had to learn how to drive an automatic Vespa for â€œMonster Movieâ€ (he only could drive manuals), and spent much time practicing on the lot. He ended with a plug about â€œThe Richesâ€ season two coming out on DVD soon.
With that everyone went off to the first photo ops of the day. I never buy photo ops since I hate being photographed, which is likely the reason why my profile picture on Facebook is Gossamer, the red headed monster from Looney Tunes. The photo ops were located in a remote location on the second floor, which made it nice for those of us that wanted to navigate the lobby and other public areas without fighting an anxious crowd in line.
It was time for festivities in the ballroom, and first up (after watching several outdated and already shown videos) was Jim Beaver. Considering his schedule changed and he didnâ€™t have to be in Vancouver early on Monday after all, he was given time for an extra long panel because his autograph session was moved to later in the afternoon with everyone else.
Jim took questions for an hour and a half, easily having the longest panel of the weekend. He was in perfect character, had us laughing and often took every opportunity to tease the audience and call them out on stupid questions. Speaking of stupid questions, Jim, like everyone else so far, got the cheese and chocolate question. After taking a long pause, he answered, â€œWho cares?â€ Thatâ€™s exactly what Iâ€™d been saying every time I heard it! That ended up being the last time the question was asked, and now I love Jim Beaver even more.
Like I said, his panel was super long, and Iâ€™ll have every single detail posted sometime in the next day or two. From what I remembered, he shared a sweet story about his daughter, talked about how he learned Japanese and misspoke it once while in Japan, took on a bunch of hypotheticals with long answers that sometimes had him conceding in defeat, and taunted us about episode 4-20, 4-21 and 4-22, refusing to share anything.
There was a long two hour break after that (for me anyway, since I ignored the no bid minimum auction and the trivia contest) and a desperately needed one since I was still tired from getting up way earlier than I normally do. I got back just in time for the trifecta of panelists, starting first with Todd Stashwick. He was very entertaining, and went over his very diverse background. He started of doing improv with Second City, and eventually worked his way into television, where heâ€™s done a combination of many different things in both comedies and dramas. His most known role is Dale in â€œThe Riches.â€ He had plenty of stories about that role and his Supernatural one, comparing in one question working on Supernatural with other things. He won over the crowd by re-enacting his Dracula role from â€œMonster Movieâ€, doing the line â€œIs there garlic on that pizza?â€
Charles Malik Whitfield came up next, and he chose to change it up a little. He started with an inspirational speech about no limitations, and half of the crowd hung on every word, while the other half wondered where he was going and what he was talking about. Considering most hadnâ€™t seen him at other conventions, they probably didnâ€™t know about his hard upbringing in The Bronx and what heâ€™s overcome in his life. The confused looks were understandable. I actually adored what he said. He went on to take questions about Henricksen next, and had a great sense of humor with several of the questions. A kid asked him about getting a swirly from Jensen in â€œJus In Bello.â€ Malik looked in the audience and asked jokingly, â€œWho does this kid belong to?â€ He also joked about being freaked out after seeing the pilot, instantly going to turn the lights on. He also shared a tattoo on his chest when asked if he could describe himself in one word. â€œReborn.â€
We knew Malik was close to being done when Misha started teasing him from behind the curtain. Malik joked that there was an angel back there, and heâ€™s stripping. And thereâ€™s a pole back there. That got a reaction. He left the stage and the crowd got very anxious over what was coming next, for Misha was the big draw since it was his first con and his character is almost as lusted after as Jared and Jensen. Judging by the lady behind me, more than J&J. Creation teased us though, going to another fan video that hinted of Wincest with a Celine Dion song, thus making me ill. I'm still trying to block it from my mind.
Finally, the grand moment arrived. Misha was introduced and the room went wild. He looked a lot more awake than when we saw him at breakfast. He first thanked Malik for being a pimp, and then went straight to questions. The first was about his apparently infamous role on Nip/Tuck as a yoga instructor, which he confessed was a role he got because he lied about knowing yoga. Needless to say, it caused him a great amount of lingering pain and he acted pretty embarrassed about the whole thing. So then, why shouldn't a fan be inspired to setup more embarrassment by holding up his poetry book and asking him to read one of his poems? He didnâ€™t remember one, so she brought the book to him. His color was now a lovely shade of beet red. Someone in front of me shouted, â€œWe love youâ€, and he said to just wait, for they hadnâ€™t heard his poem yet. He read one, we cheered, and there was another shout, â€œWe still love you.â€ I still love him too but I've never been a fan of poetry, so I felt as awkward as he did.
Oh, but the embarrassment didnâ€™t end there. Eventually, someone asked him to do his line â€œYou should show me some respect.â€ He did after much reluctance, and he was getting rather tired of these requests by then. So, when someone asked if heâ€™d show us part of his audition when he thought he was playing a demon, he rightfully refused. The fan did the sad face, but he didnâ€™t fall for it. â€œIâ€™m not your monkey,â€ he said, getting huge laughs. Yep, it was right about there he officially owned us. Oh who am I kidding. He did that at his entrance.
My favorite part was when he talked about having to fly out to Vancouver a week early to be fitted for his outfit with the wardrobe department. He didnâ€™t want to, but did it anyway. They had a suit picked out and he went along with it right away. He mentioned that if he knew heâ€™d be wearing the same thing all year, he wouldnâ€™t have picked the â€œfuckingâ€ thing. Our angel has a potty mouth and I love it.
There were plenty of golden nuggets during his panel (just like Jimâ€™s), and again Iâ€™ll have the full summary shortly.
Wait, Thereâ€™s More!
I waited a while for autographs, but considering these guys didnâ€™t have to be rushing out to catch a plane (a MAJOR switch for a Sunday at the con), they were spending time talking to the crowd. I didnâ€™t mind the wait this time just for that reason. I had a great conversation with Malik about his play in Columbus and he signed my copy of the book, â€œIn The Hunt.â€ I talked for a bit with Todd about his role as a Romulan pretending to be a Vulcan in Enterprise(one the hubbyâ€™s favorite shows, so I had a story to bring back), because the line was being held up for Misha. He signed my gold pass â€œU were my first and U were fantastic.â€ Yeah, right after we talked about my hubby the fanboy. I adored his strange sense of humor, for Iâ€™m that way too. Luckily, hubby appreciated the joke as much as I did.
It was finally my turn for Misha, and I showed him my season four premiere promotional package that I had Traci sign the day before. He was impressed to see one since heâ€™d only heard about them and thought it was cool. I told him how that was delivered to my doorstep the day I lost my job, thus making things all better. He smiled and signed it â€œFrom one angel to another.â€ Yep, I melted. I then got Jim to sign the copy of my first article, similar to the one that Jensen and Jared signed in Chicago. I told him how that article pushed me into this whole blogging for the fandom thing. He was grateful for the efforts and signed a nice note, â€œThank you and much luckâ€ on it. I told him it was a thrill to finally meet him, and he said it was nice to finally meet me. Iâ€™m surprised between him and Misha that I didnâ€™t go thud on the floor right there.
It was almost 9:30 by that time, and the line was still huge. I canâ€™t imagine how long they were there signing. Our group went out to dinner, and we were pretty much mush the entire time. We were in awe how well this con went, and for once had nothing but kudos for Creation for putting something so great together. Yeah, I was shocked too. The smaller and more personal con wins, and the circus surrounding Jensen and Jared on Sunday for once wasnâ€™t missed. Granted each one of us has experienced that before, and I only hope this crowd gets that same thrill next year in New Jersey. Theyâ€™ve earned that chance to go through it at least once.
Thanks for the memories â€œSalute To Supernaturalâ€ Cherry Hill. Well done, despite all the obstacles. I know Iâ€™m not alone in my happiness either, for a few I talked to in the autograph line said that they were very happy with the way things turned out, even though they thought about not coming after Jared cancelled. They even posed with the â€œI am Not Jaredâ€ sign. All was forgiven.
This has been what I call â€œbizarro con.â€ Thatâ€™s not a bad thing. All throughout, I couldnâ€™t avoid comparing this con to the Chicago one from last November. The differences between the two are night and day. Turns out Chicago is the night, and Cherry Hill is the day. Iâ€™m so incredibly behind on reports and panel recaps because I spent all my free time socializing, dealing with a full schedule of events, and having a great time. Go figure.
I had plenty of free time in Chicago. When I wasnâ€™t waiting somewhere for fans to go through autograph lines and photo ops, I would get an uncomfortable sentence or two from attendees I didnâ€™t know and then weâ€™d all go about our business. Unless there was screenname recognition, I wasnâ€™t worth the trouble. Considering I publish under my real name and not a screenname, I got plenty of brush offs. My business there ended writing up con summaries alone in the lobby and ballroom. Not to say that I didnâ€™t meet some nice people in Chicago, but the larger crowd (twice the size easy) actually worked against the intimacy and willingness to open up to others.
Here in Cherry Hill, every one was outgoing, friendly, thrilled to be there considering this is the first time a Supernatural con has been held in this part of the country, and most conversations I got into were long, detailed, and either incredibly amusing or fascinating. I met the most wonderful people this weekend, and it rejuvenated my love for this fandom. We were one big happy family, and a laid back one at that. I think all the guests picked up on the vibe too, for each one of them were wonderful.
So anyway, day two, or what I call â€œsleeping in day,â€ started off normally. The first event wasnâ€™t scheduled until noon, and the first panelist wasnâ€™t scheduled until 12:10, so even when I finally emerged from the hotel room looking like a Supernatural freak of the week reject at 10:30, there wasnâ€™t a badge wearing Supernatural con attendee to be found. There was a lobby full of college students for another convention going on, and I could see the jealously in their eyes. Where was their â€œsleep in dayâ€?
After a strange bit of motivation where I managed to get in a workout (two thumbs up for the fitness center at the Crowne Plaza Cherry Hill BTW) it was time to finally register and get my free gift. I got a small black bag with a patch on it that said â€œDean,â€ and it was just large enough to hold a poster. Then they gave me said poster, Jensen in the form of season two Dean Winchester. For what I paid for this con, a signed poster would have been more impressive, but I canâ€™t complain, for it still brought the pretty.
The laid back crowd were treated to a fan video kick off, and there was one common thread in the videos shown all weekend. Most of them featured season one and season two. Thereâ€™s a little season three, and none from season four. I donâ€™t think it took a rocket scientist to figure out these videos were from a while ago. Too bad, because I have some great current ones to recommend.
Recapping panels is a long arduous process, and one Iâ€™m willing to do with glee, when thereâ€™s time. Since there hasnâ€™t been time, Iâ€™ll post each one as soon as theyâ€™re ready. I can summarize though, and up first was Richard Speight Jr. (The Trickster). Just like the first time I saw him in Chicago, he was loose, had tons of fun and put on a very entertaining panel.
He started off by mentioning the karaoke the previous night (congratulating all the singers on a â€œbang up jobâ€, and then got a show of hands as to how many were at a convention for the first time. I was rather surprised to find a large show of hands. I guess an East Coast con was long overdue after all. I hope they keep doing one (next yearâ€™s has already been announced) and hopefully Jared and/or Jensen can make it. This crowd is so deserving after their fantastic behavior this weekend.
Before I go on, Iâ€™m going to get this out of the way now. One girl has this entire weekend chosen to ask EVERY single panelist the same lame question. â€œIf you could give up cheese or chocolate for a year, which would it be and why?â€ Iâ€™m going to pretend that the question never happened (lalala, not listening!), except in Jim Beaverâ€™s panel (which Iâ€™ll mention in Day three coverage). If his answer didnâ€™t shut her up, nothing did.
Okay, back to Richard. He talked in detail about Jerichobeing cancelled and then brought back (really great story), answered a ton of questions about â€œMystery Spotâ€ and â€œTall Tales,â€ and took on several hypotheticals, which seemed to be especially popular at this con. The funny came after he admitted early that he hasnâ€™t watched the show except for his episodes. Someone asked what sort of situation as the Trickster heâ€™d put Dean in, since we saw what he would do to Sam in â€œMystery Spot.â€ When he thought he was being clever by answering a situation involving his Mommy or Daddy Winchester, someone shouted out thatâ€™s been done already. Richard played it up well, but he clearly had egg on his face.
Gabriel Tigerman came up next (after some unnecessary trivia filler), and he was a lot more relaxed and in a better mood than when I saw him in Chicago. He tackled a lot of these strange hypotheticals well, but my favorite part was when he lamented over the still unknown fate of Andyâ€™s van, objects and all. Heâ€™s the only panelist I asked a question to, and I did mention to him that the velvet tiger painting from his van ended up on the wall in â€œLazarus Rising.â€ He was floored by that information, and we treated it as a shout-out to Andy. I also asked him what it was like to drive the Impala, and he said he got to drive it about 20 feet at 2 mph, so it wasnâ€™t all that amazing.
After more â€œfiller,â€ which I ignored by talking with more people, the last panelist, Traci Dinwiddie, who plays psychic Pamela Barnes, took the stage. This was her first con, and she came sick. She was still all smiles though and the fans were as delighted to have her as she was to be there.
Traci got the grand prize for answer of the day. One of the first questions asked (maybe the first) was what was it like to grab Samâ€™s butt. â€œThat thing is bulletproof.â€ Needless to say, the entire auditorium erupted in cheers. Thatâ€™s the way to win over a crowd full of hormonal women.
Traci talked about Pamelaâ€™s flirtatious ways, and gave great detail on what it was like to film the scene where her eyes went up in flames. She wasnâ€™t spared the hypotheticals either, and was forced to babble about what Pamela thought about either coming across an angel or becoming on.
After Traci was done, it was time to wait for the autographs. I was in the last row of Gold Ticket, however, there were 7 rows of Gold ticket holders at this con where there were 12 or 13 rows of Gold in Chicago. It took hours before my turn came in line there. This time, I waited about 45 minutes. I definitely love smaller cons.
I had Richard and Gabe sign my copy of â€œIn The Hunt: The Unauthorized Essays of Supernaturalâ€ since their characters got mention, especially the Trickster. Richard was tickled when I told him The Trickster got his own essay. I had Traci sign the inside cover of critics season four promotional package I received, the one with a preview of â€œLazarus Risingâ€ and â€œAre You There God Itâ€™s Me Dean Winchester.â€ My cunning plan was to have her and Misha both sign it, since their characters were both introduced in the â€œLazarus Risingâ€ and Misha was in both episodes. More on that in the day three report.
After risking life and limb to navigate a parking lot to get to a mere restaurant (New Jersey really hates both left turns and traffic patterns that promote vehicle safety), we came back to arrive to the evening Cocktail and Dessert party a few minutes late. Every table was taken, and there were about 12 of us standing around unable to move, dodging dessert goers with plates. They told us they were fetching a table and had to put the table on the only available spot, the dance floor. We were wondering how they miscounted the number of guests. Eventually the table arrived, but then we had to wait even longer for chairs.
It wasnâ€™t all bad though, for two of the latecomers were, Lynn and Kathy, two college professors that are researching a book on Supernatural and its fans. They also write for Supernatural magazine, and have been conducting interviews of the entire staff (including actors) and fans of Supernatural, flying out multiple times to both Vancouver and LA. They also attend all the cons. They shared with us their experiences visiting the set on Supernatural and talking with the staff there as well as Jared and Jensen after a late day of shooting. I wonâ€™t share too much since their stories will be making it to the magazine and the book, but they were there a week after Kim Manners died and everyone was devastated. I had nothing but questions for them, and they humored every single one of them. It was an awe inspiring experience hearing all theyâ€™ve uncovered since stumbling onto this show midway season two. This fandom has something about it no other show or movie has, and these two are doing their best to understand it. I canâ€™t wait to see what theyâ€™ve discovered.
Richard, Gabe, and Traci made their rounds, each being timed two minutes per table (yes, I think even they found the concept ridiculous), and poor Traci still felt really sick (her handler was carrying a box of Kleenexes). All were so wonderful to chat with, even in the short time frame, for they looked really pleased to be there. Once they did their visits, the crowd broke up. Since it was daylight savings time and the Sunday breakfast was moved to 8:30 am, it was time to call it a night.
Day three kicks up the excitement level about ten notches, for Jim Beaver, Todd Stashwick, Charles Malik Whitfield, and Misha Collins all blessed us with their greatness. Iâ€™ll have the full report tomorrow evening, after Iâ€™ve taken another scenic drive through Pennsylvania and Ohio.
This is normally the part where your crack on the job blogger gets to spill all the wonderful details about day one at "Salute To Supernatural" in Cherry Hill, NJ and it's amazing events. Except I wasn't here for most of it. I was on the PA turnpike instead. I had resolved to take my time, plus I had to do a quick alcohol run in Delaware for cheap and tax free spirits. I totally endorse Total Beer and Wine in Claymont, DE by the way. It's the holy grail of wine and beer stores for it's the size of a freaking mega mart.
Anyway, I wasn't in a rush, since the only two guests scheduled for Friday were Chad Lindberg and Jason Manns, two guys that I saw in Chicago. When I arrived at the hotel around 8:00 pm, I instantly met up with fandom friends at the bar, and the reunion was thrilling. It's great how you connect just as well in person as online. I had my drink in no time, and unlike the really crappy lounge at the Wyndham O'Hare at the Chicago con in November, these bartenders actually knew what went into a purple nurple (coconut rum, blue caraco, cranberry juice and triple sec, not the Chicago version of vodka and cranberry juice). That drink of course came up because Richard Speight Jr. (The Trickster) was a few seats away, chatting with fans and trying to eat.
Actually, I have nothing but praise so far for the Crowne Plaza in Cherry Hill (once I found it. New Jersey traffic patterns are quite bizarre). It's a much nicer hotel than the afore mentioned Wyndham O'Hare, with a much larger and cozier lobby, nicer ballroom and eating establishments that serve good food without requiring you to take out a second mortgage. They also offer free parking and free wireless internet (concepts lost on the hotel in Chicago), so they won me over quickly.
I was having so much fun drinking in the bar, enjoying their margarita special, the pleasant atmosphere, and catching up with friends, that I completely missed the Jason Manns concert. According to the people that I rode up with in the elevator after the concert let out, "it was good." I held them to that quote.
I didn't totally miss out though, for I got to experience all the action at the karaoke party after the concert. The organizers setup the karaoke in a separate meeting room, which was nice for an intimate fan experience, but bad because there was no bar or beverage service. No drinks and bad singing make Alice go something, something (Simpsons reference for those scratching their heads. The eventual answer is, CRAZY). Most in our group eventually went to the bar across the lobby and brought their drinks back. I went the cheaper route, and went up to my room and poured some wine that I picked up on that quick detour to Delaware.
Once alcohol was involved, the evening picked up. Chad, Jason, and Richard were in the room and chatted with fans the entire time. They were a blast to hang out with and very gracious with the fans. They were all in a great mood and happy to be there, giving me the impression anyway that mingling among the fans was the huge perk of their trip. Getting to know them like this was way better than sitting in a mass audience and hearing a panel.
I had the most fun with Richard, who was kind enough to offer a formal introduction before I talked with him. Right after he said "pleased to meet you," I told him I met him in Chicago, so he played along with that. My good friend Lindsay has a great picture capturing that reaction, so I'll have to get that from her and share it later (3/10 ETA, it's now below. Thanks Linds!). As a matter of fact plenty of fans had stories to share about Richard, so he got around.
Yep, the cat's out of the bag. I'm a redhead. This is the fan experience I missed out on in Chicago, and that becomes the advantage of this Cherry Hill con despite the absence of both Jensen and Jared. This is a much smaller con, so the smaller crowds make the setting more personal and more enjoyable for everyone. In Chicago, the special guests were a little more intimidated and were kept on a tighter leash by the handlers. Of course judging by the behavior of many fans in Chicago, I didn't blame them.
Karaoke fizzed out before long, so we ended up in the bar until they kicked us out well after last call. The bartenders joked around with us even though it was clear it was time for them to close up and go home. Yep, it's official, I love this hotel. In Chicago, getting served drinks in general was an ordeal.
Afterward we went back to the room to play the clips for "Death Takes A Holiday" that I had received a few hours before from Warner Brothers. Just this simple act reminded me why these cons are so memorable. It's so much more exciting to watch these clips with a group that shares the same love and seeing their reactions rather than me squealing with glee in front of the cat and dog at home.
There's plenty to report on Day two, so I better get cracking. More coming tomorrow.