Hell's Half Acre (hells_half_acre) wrote,
Hell's Half Acre

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VanCon 2010: Day 3 (AKA: The day I met my Helen of Troy)

Today started at the crack of 9am. When I woke up an hour before my alarm, pretty damn excited...and also with an amazingly sore neck and a pounding headache. I checked on the tweets from the J2 Breakfast, from which there were very few tweets, but surprisingly a youtube video already! So, I laughed at the youtube video of Jared talking about the backfiring Misha-phone prank - and then realized that I was actually going down to that hotel to see those VERY people...and I got pretty excited and decided to leave early.

Which was a good decision to make, because I didn't actually end up leaving THAT early and really I made it there with just enough time to relax a bit and forget momentarily that something epic was about to happen...

I have to say though, the place really was buzzing with a different energy than the previous 2 days...there was more of a nervous excitement in the air.

But...wait for the shocker...STILL EMPTY SEATS!! I couldn't believe it. I estimated about $30,000 (at least) of wasted money. When I told my sister about it this evening, she pointed out that those people would could have done the world a favour and donated that money to charity instead (thus making it possible for people who actually wanted those seats to buy them). The conversation went like this:
Sister: You could build a village in Africa for that money.
Me: You could save a whale for that money.
Sister's Friend: You could save a couple of whales for that money...you know, just not the high maintenance whales.
Me: Yeah, some whales, man, I hear they can be pretty demanding.



The lights dimmed and they played a fanvid that I actually found on youtube the other day and favourited. Half-way through the video, it suddenly hit me that Jared and Jensen were going to be on stage in a second...that I was going to see them in person, and not just on TV...man, I suddenly got swoopingly excited...and then they arrived on stage:

My note here just says "Lord God they're huge"

They really do have a commanding presence...and it's not just because they're both huge. The minute they walked on stage, they demanded your attention without saying anything or doing anything. Even if I had absolutely no knowledge of Supernatural or who they were, I think if I met them on the street I'd think they were people that I would notice and want to know.

The first question off the bat was for Jensen to sing...arg...ok, I get it, Jensen has a nice voice and can carry a tune, and he's not a singer so it's impossible for you to hear him sing whenever you want...but REALLY?! This person took the time to stand in line and be FIRST IN FRICKIN' LINE and THAT's the question?!?! (Again, sorry if the person who asked that reads this...I understand, but I think your comprehension of social protocols is severely lacking.) Not only did she ask that question, she wouldn't frickin' GIVE IT UP.  Jensen handled it well though, making jokes about how doing something once means it's suddenly expected of you, and that's why Jared is never on time for anything.

So they took the next question, and the questioner was like "This is a question for Jared" at which point Jensen jumped in and said "take your clothes off!" - and not only was that hilarious, but I think it very succinctly drives home the inappropriateness of the first question. I know Jensen sang in Rome, but at least the person there was phrased it as "I see Jason brought a guitar on stage....maybe we could hear something?" or something along those lines...it was far less forward and there was at least a sign from the stage that singing MIGHT be in the cards (at least on Jason's behalf). 

I forget what the second question was, actually, but I think it might have also been lame...it's either that or it's this next one that I'm going to talk about...

Finally, someone asked a good question, or as Jensen said: "Oh wow, a real question!" - Personally, I love the fact that Jensen is being WAY more vocal in his approval/disapproval with the questions at this convention...I'll talk about another instance later on, but I seriously think people would rethink their questions if they knew they would be reprimanded by Jensen for asking stupid ones.

Anyway, "the real question" was whether they've felt like there has been a change on the show now that Eric has stepped down and Sera is in charge. Jared said the filming of the show was just the same, but the characters are slightly different because of what they've gone through...Jensen said that he DOES think it's different, because Sera's scope is still really really large, and she hasn't learned how to scale it back to fit the budget/time restraints, but she'll learn.

Someone asked about Jensen's directorial debut and the audience WOOed, to which Jared added his own: "Woo! Take it off!" and Jensen replied "Way to class it up there, buddy."

Then there was a questioner who informed them on Misha's antics of yesterday - about how he joked about having a shrine to Jensen in his bedroom. Jensen stated "I don't understand what the issue is" and told us that Jared used to have one too, but he made him take it down. Jared said he dismantled his and gave most of the stuff to Misha, and that he really helped Misha make his what it is, because Jared knows all the good websites.

Someone said they had a question for Jensen, and Jared pretended to fall asleep...which included laying down on the floor and snoring. Jensen got up and pulled out his wallet and (what looked like) a couple of fives and pretend he was going to pay the questioner for getting rid of Jared for him. (The question was about voice over work)

Someone asked what the most disturbing thing a fan has ever done...they hemmed and hawwed for a bit, and then Jensen said that sometimes people send things to his parents house (like used underwear) and that's not cool. But over all, Jensen said that they lucked out with Supernatural fans because we don't tend to be crazy. Or in Jensen's words: "Not crazy Twilight fans...[Supernatural fans] actually have self-respect, and they respect the show and the guys who work on the show."

Then Jared started immitating a crazy fangirl (just the voice) and it was hilarious just for him to be doing such a high voice.

And then...someone asked if anything Supernatural had ever happened to them. I can only guess that this was this person's first convention, and they don't have access to the internet, and they are 14 years old...because, honestly, SICK OF THIS QUESTION. It was funny though, because Jensen just turned it around and asked her, and she explained this story about a weird thing that happened in a friends house, to which Jensen said "You watch the show, you know what to do...salt your door!"

Someone then asked if Jensen was disappointed that he didn't get to play Michael - I actually liked this question, because although I'm happy with the way it was written, I know Jensen would have killed it as Michael. Anyway, Jensen said that he wasn't disappointed, he liked the way it all turned out. He was just happy that Dean was finally part of the mythology, instead of it just being about Sam with Dean along for the ride...while he spoke, Jared muttered "eye candy" audibly into his mic, which cracked him up.

Oh man, and then...I couldn't actually HEAR the question, because the mic was really quite and the dude mumbled...and it WAS a dude...but he asked how they felt about slash (specifically the Dean/Castiel stuff)...and here's where Jensen kicks ass, because he just said "I'm going to answer that by not answer it." and then as the dude walked away, he added "sorry, but that was dumb." - YAY! No more being polite about not taking inappropriate questions.

Ok, then someone tried to ask a question on behalf of their mother about whether Jensen was an "old soul" or not, and it had something to do with seeing him on the outtake reels...anyway, Jensen couldn't understand the question. Jared turned it back on the questioner and said "Are you an old soul?...just the outtakes?" It became a running gag to either talk about being an old soul or outtakes.

A prank question for Jared...sigh...well, whatever. Jared IS still pranking Misha, so I suppose it's valid.

Someone asked what the difference was between shooting horror movies and shooting a horror show. Jared said that the horror movies he's shot don't have Jensen in them, to which Jensen added "And they're called Christmas Cottage." Then Jared said that the difference is how the character continually changes on TV: "[You read a script and you say] 'Oh hey, I'm going to collage' Then you get the next script and your like 'I'm the devil!?'"

It suddenly occurred to me somewhere around here during the panel that Jensen and Jared played Sam and Dean. I know this seems a strange realization to have, but I can't really explain it. It was like I realized that this was as close as you could get to meeting a fictional character in real life...that these people, somewhere within them, contained the mannerisms and voices that make Sam and Dean who they are (though they do not contain the WORDS that make Sam and Dean who they are). Anyway, basically what I'm saying is that just as I was getting over being starstuck by Jared and Jensen, I was re-starstruck by Sam and Dean.

Someone asked if their personality types were similar to the characters' personality type. I think it would be quite obvious for anyone who has watched the youtube clips of interviews and whatnot, that the answer is no. And it was indeed no. But Jared was funny, because he tried to think of any scenes where Sam was similar to him, but he said "Scenes where I have been similar to Jared..." - so Jensen looked at him like he had just lost his mind, and everyone laughed...Jared: "laughter hurts!"

There was a Ghostfacers question (are they coming back?)...Jared said "y'all" and then corrected it to "yous guys, eh" and apologized for forgetting where he was.  Then answered that it depended on the fan support for the idea. They finished off the question by looking at each other and singing "Ghost-Ghostfacers!"

A girl asked them if they could recommend tourist spots in Vancouver for those not from here. (Probably the same girl who asked Misha the day before). Jensen recommended the Aquarium for a relaxing thing to do, and the Grouse Grind for a rigorous thing to do. Jared said: "Ladies and Gentleman, Jensen Ackles: Vancouver Tourist Board" - I should mention that Jensen also pointed out that she didn't need to know this since she lived here....I think American celebrities should get little explanatory sheets when they come to Canada that explain things like: Canadians like to hear about how much other people enjoy their country/city/anything-Canadian.

Oh, I just want to add, that during that last question Jensen and Jared started calling out the names of the various cities and towns that make up the greater Vancouver area in order to see how much of the audience would cheer for each one...then they stopped when Jensen said "Wow, we have been here a while. I don't think I even know that many parts of Los Angeles."

Then a girl told them all about how Misha had his coat on inside out and then sat on his water bottle...they had a good laugh about it. The girl followed up by asking if anything like that has ever happened to them, and Jensen said "well yeah, but not on stage in front of 600 people!" Jared thanked her for the dirt on Misha. Jensen turned to Jared and suggested that maybe they should have a day when everyone on the crew wears their coats inside out.

A girl asked which one of them was funnier. Jared's response was: "Thems fighting words!" And Jensen said that Jared goofs around more on set and blows more takes by being ridiculous.

Then they were asked if they drive the Impala outside of the show...which again, I thought was a silly question, because it doesn't BELONG to them. Jensen basically said the same thing but more polite, also joking that it'd probably draw a little too much attention to him if he did.

They were asked if there were any shows that they geek-out over...they talked about how they don't have time to watch TV, and Jensen ran through the comedy shows that he likes...but basically the answer was no.

And yeah, THEN IT WAS OVER! It seemed to go by SO QUICKLY! They got up and excited and they kept the lights down...and then they came out to sign the banners on either side of the stage (all the guests have been doing so all weekend)...and yeah, I was surprised by how much of the audience didn't even really notice they were back out standing there signing things...others did and stood ten feet away from them with cameras flashing...and yeah, they were flanked by security, but despite the small crazier contingent of fans out there that DO exist, I would have to agree with them that Supernatural fans really do seem respectful...at least in not swarming them anyway.

BROCK KELLY (Young Dean in S4's After School Special):

In a sign of things to come, I had almost forgot Brock was talking today. He was REALLY nervous, it was adorable. He didn't quite hold the mic high enough and he talked really softly, so it was sometimes a little hard to hear him. But yeah, just adorably nervous.

He didn't watch the show before he was cast, because he didn't have cable (YAY! Someone else who chooses not to have cable - I have it now, but that's because my sister makes me). He watched them on DVD so he hasn't seen the fifth season yet.

He advised us to stay in school, because the first time he went out to LA no one wanted to hire a high-school drop out. So he went home and graduated and tried again.

The asians behind me started chatting up a storm here...I think they were Japanese....one of them had a surprisingly deep voice for a woman. Anyway, it made it even harder to hear.

Oh man, I have a quote written down and I can't remember the set-up...it was something about a questioner asking Jared an awkward question or something? Damn it, I can't remember...I just wrote down that Brock's answer was "I'm sure he could handle it, he's a big dude."

Then a questioner started off sounding like she was going to ask a good question, but it morphed into a prank question. Sigh. Brock said that Colin Ford (young Sam) pranked him by telling him that Young Dean had been recast as a 28 year-old buff guy.

He talked about Colin Ford a bit, saying what a great kid he was, and how professional he was, and basically how wonderful he is all around. Apparently they hung out back in LA and played video games. Brock wondered by Colin wasn't at the convention, and I have to echo that question - I'd have loved it if Colin was there. Sadly, it probably has something to do with the fact that he's only 13 years-old.

Brock is from New Orleans, so someone asked him how his family faired in the Hurricane...apparently not very well, they lost their houses and they lost contact with his step-father for a bit and it was really scary...and some of his family is still displaced in Arkansas.

A German woman, god bless her, tried to ask a question about the filming process that was either too technical or too common-sense-should-answer-this for Brock to answer well. It was rather awkward.

Speaking of awkward, another questioner tried to get him to dance around like Matt and Demore did. Ok...I actually met the woman who asked this question, and she's lovely, so I feel bad saying this...but please learn to read social cues. Brock is obviously nervous enough just standing there holding a mic....asking more of him than that is a little...unkind.

In conclusion: Brock is an adorable guy! (And he's 25! I would have placed him at 20 at the most before.)


So, I chatted with raloria  beforehand, and I told her that I had something to say for Jared but not Jensen...so we brainstormed something up. She had been able to have a very nice moment with him by talking to him about his directorial debut, so I figured I'd go along the same lines and tell him I was looking forward to seeing the episode...

My row was called and I got into line and chatted with my seat-mates all the way to the curtained off section...and sometimes I get so carried away chatting that I forget what I'm doing or where I am...so my heart did a flip when I happened to glance over and see Jensen Ackles sitting RIGHT THERE...in a slightly tight grey t-shirt and a huge smile on his face. He really is just as stunning as he looks on screen...only better because he's three dimensional. He's really got gorgeous eyes, and smiles with his whole face.

As it turned out, I didn't end up using my line, because just as I got there the organizer beside him murmured something and Jensen was laughing at whatever it was when he bent over my photo to sign. I didn't mind, because I got to here him chuckle, which was pretty sexy. He looked up and looked right at me, and gave me a smile and said "thank you" so I said "Thank you!" and that was that.

Then I went over and got in Jared's line, and started happily chatting away again. And we got to the room he was in and the organizer was telling the boys in line behind me about how she had had to tell some Japanese girls to stop staring at him because they were holding up the line (apparently they were just standing there staring instead of realizing that the line was moving in front of them)...and while I listened to her say this, I stared at Jared.

As we got closer to the table, I sort of shook myself and talked to Hema a bit, and so I was looking at Hema (in front of me) and then I glanced back over at Jared, who was talking to the person he was autographing for, and Jared was looking at me. I immediately looked away, because that's what I do when people make eye contact with me. Then I kicked myself and looked back - he glanced in my general direction again, but he probably wasn't looking at me.

When we got to the table, he accidentally thought Hema was from Guam, which confused both her and him. Then he went on about Singapore (where Hema is actually from) and how his buddy had been, but he never had, but he hears it cool and a clean city...and I can't remember what if anything Hema said to all this, because I was too busy staring at Jared (in a totally non creepy way I swear!)

The thing about Jared is that he is BEAUTIFUL. This is what I realized in that moment: Jared is not photogenic. Every picture you see of him is actually a bad picture. Every film and television episode is actually not doing him any justice. He doesn't look like that...he looks 10 times BETTER. Jensen is very handsome, but Jared has a face for which I would launch a thousand ships.

So, Hema departed after the discussion on Singapore, and Jared bent over my photograph, and I drummed up the courage to say my rehearsed line. 
Me: I just have to say, I love your wife's evil smirk.
Jared *looks up with a huge smile on his face*: Her evil smirk! I love it too! I mean, I married her for it!"
Me: "Well you're a lucky man." *I go to walk away...*
Jared: "Except..." 
Me *realises Jared is STILL TALKING TO ME and I stop turning away and just sort of hoover awkwardly to the side, with, no doubt, an extremely goofy smile on my face*
Jared: "....I don't like it these days when I see it because it means she's mad at me - it's like 'oh man, what did I do?'" *the latter bit said with corresponding bewilderedly wary face*
Me: *insert machine-gun giggling here* 
Jared *smiles*
Me *realises I'm holding up someone ELSES Jared moment, and that I must make my exit*: Thanks, have a nice day!" *turns to go*
Jared *from behind me, yelling to my retreating back*: "YOU TOO!"

And then I might have done something embarrassing like floated over toraloria  and in an extremely flustered matter re-tell the entire story to her and thank her profusely for selling me the ticket...but I completely deny it. 

I do, however, take back EVERYTHING I SAID about Photo-ops. I would have gladly forked over $200 to put one warm across Jared's back and pose for a photograph. I suddenly understand how beautiful girls can drain men of all their money...I would have handed over my visa in that moment to spend even a little more time with him.

JOHN MARCYNUK (Art Director):

So, depending on who you listen to, I may have been so flustered that I completely forgot that John Marcynuk was giving a talk...

Thankfully I remembered just in time to run downstairs and catch it. For those trivia fans out there:
-There are 8 people in the art department, and it takes 25 carpenters and 17 painters to put together a typical set. (I so should have gone to college for carpentry instead of being all academic...yarr....I also love painting.)
-Last year they built over 300 sets. Typically there are 16-17 sets per episode.
-They build their own motel signs for the most part.
-The "witches" house in Bedtime Stories was Bobby's House redressed.
-The Grandmother's house in Bedtimes Stories was the same house they used for the Campbell household.
-Dixon's lair in Fresh Blood was in Terminal City, which is quite near to where I live.

A lot of their stuff doesn't make camera...and it's GORGEOUS stuff.

After the first time they used "The Beautiful Room" in Lucifer Rising, they threw it out...so they had to recreate it again for Point of No Return. I love how they call it "The Beautiful Room" - I like that better than "the green room." It seems more deceptively sinister.

They do put in metaphors and relate the set design with the theme of the show....in The Song Remains The Same, when Dean is dreaming of the burlesque dancers they actually decided that his dream would take place in an altered version of The Beautiful Room...because it's Dean rebelling against his role in the apocalypse subconsciously.

The Watchman guys actually vandalized their set when they left it, so that other productions couldn't recreate it exactly as it appeared in The Watchman. It took 40 people from Supernatural over a week to redress it.

You can't really tell in the episode, but in Swan Song, Lucifer is tormenting Sam in a rundown theatre that was a very detailed and well designed - because it's all about "playing roles."

He opened it up for questions after his slid-show presentation. Someone asked what they do with old furniture, "return it, throw it out, or store it" and apparently a few years ago rats got into the store room and ruined a lot of their stuff - "rats don't respect it."

Someone asked what he recommended as a way to break into the art+design aspect of the film industry - he said that people who could draft always had work. Good to know.

Someone asked about pieces of furniture or objects that repeat - if they have any meaning....he said that no, not typically, but there was one painting they kept using just because they wanted to mislead the audience into thinking it was important....just for kicks.

And that was that!


I went out to dinner with some of the girls I met. Conventions are a neat place to meet people. I might even now have a local friend that I could have Supernatural viewing parties with...we'll see.

For the most part people were sane. Some were a little more quirky than others, but you can be quirky and still be sane...I mean, I'm terrified of spiders and I hate fingerprints on shiny surfaces...

Some people ARE insane. The girls told me about one girl who bought 23 Jared photo-ops. Yes, I know I went on about how beautiful he was and how I'd spend more money to spend more time with him...but um...WITHIN REASON!  The thing that got me about this, besides how creepy it is, was that those are photo-ops that OTHER people may want...people like ME. Photo-ops sell out and someone hogged 23 of them, that's pretty uncool in my book. Apparently they've now put a cap at 7 for next year...I still think that's too much, but that's just me. I'd put a cap at 3 or the very most 5. Another girl told me about a fan from South America (not in attendance at the Con though) who basically set up a stalking-Jared facebook page, and found out where he was staying and made all these plans to...well, STALK him. So, there ARE crazy fans out there...some at the con, some not....but again, I have to agree with Jensen - for the most part the fans have self-respect and respect the actors too.

I had started planning to come back next year (with last minute tickets again) as early as yesterday. Not so much because of the actors, but because of the people I met at the convention...I think this is what happens to cause people to go to so many of these, (and perhaps a reason why we're mostly women?): You form a little social circle, and you want to see that social circle again...and the way to do that is to keep going to the conventions. 

As for the panels etc...yes, with my seats, it would actually be more convenient for me to wait for the sneaky youtube videos to see the J&J panel. However, the other actors are always sort of spotty when it comes to vids...and I must say that they were all delightful in different ways.That being said, I think it's that 3 seconds of one-on-one getting autographs that makes the conventions feel special and worth it. To conspire together. 

Basically, I paid $400+ to 1)make friends, 2)be thoroughly entertained for 3 whole days, 3)to look into some actors' eyes and tell them that I appreciate their work, and 4)to completely fall into crush with a married man. 


1. Cons are too expensive for what you are getting:
- If we round out the hours of the convention to 12 hours each day (it actually seemed more than that), then it'd be the equivalent of spending $12/hour to be there. I'll leave you to draw your own conclusions on whether or not they are worth that.

I think my strategy for next year will be to look for last minute tickets again...and maybe a last-minute Jared photo-op. I still think the photo-ops are too expensive, but at the same time...I want one now.

2. Cons are full of rich people...crazy rich people.
-Partially confirmed: I still believe this for the majority of the gold ticket holders and some of the other ticket holders....but there are actually a wider range of people than I imagined. Also, not all people were crazy, and not all the rich people were crazy...some were, yes. That is true...but the real crazy people were the ones that didn't even come.

3. I'd spend the whole weekend being vicariously embarrassed because people would forget that the actors were people too.
-Vicarious embarrassment percentage: 5% of the weekend.
-People forgetting that actors are people too and not your own personal toy to play with percentage: Hmm...10%? Maybe as high as 20%

As I was walking around, I did overhear a conversation speculating on J&Js personal lives based on "clues" in their conversation or something....I don't know, I didn't stop to listen...it was a disrespectful conversation and one of those ridiculous things where if they talked about their wives or if they didn't, either way, these girls would have taken it as a sign of marital strife.


If you are able to find like-minded positive individuals to hang out...CONS ARE FUN!
Tags: conventions, vancon2010

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