Friday, November 18, 2011

Salute to Supernatural Chicago 2011 Photo Album

Too many pictures for me to post on here so I've uploaded the album for everyone to enjoy. Includes pictures of all the guest stars including the cocktail hour and the breakfast with Jensen Ackles and Jared Padalecki.


Thursday, November 17, 2011

Salute to Supernatural - Cocktail Party

Saturday already was a full day. There were the panels for Corin Nemec, Amy Gumenick, Matt Cohen and Richard Spreight Jr. along with the Misha Collins panel followed by the autographs. We had just enough time to have dinner and get changed for the cocktail party. One unexpected treat was on the way down in the elevator Rick Worthy was right behind me. When one of my friends pointed this out, I went into full fangirl mode and Rick launched into sexy Alpha Vamp voice. I later was able to dance with him with several fans at the cocktail party.

Unlike the breakfast the next morning, the cocktail party had no assigned seating so if you lined up early to get into the banquet room you got the best table. As the evening went on this was less of an issue as the guest stars didn't remain on the stage but went around the room visiting our tables to chat with us for a few minutes before they were tapped on the shoulder by Creation employees to keep moving. Like the karaoke party, I found the cocktail party very satisfying and worth the price of the gold ticket. It gave the fans a chance to interact with the actors in an informal and fun setting.

Before the actors made their appearance, there also was a centerpiece contest and some of the lengths some fans went to decorating their tables was amazing. Perhaps the most impressive was a tablecloth replica of the seance table Pamela used in "Lazarus Rising." On the same table was a replica of John's hunter journal with painstaking research and drawings of monsters and how to kill them.

Next to the table I was at - adjacent to the right of the stage - was a small model of the Impala, a toy moose, a couple of rubber duckies and several toy soldiers. Misha Collins enjoyed going to that table where he subsequently started doing dirty things with the soldiers.

Some fans were disappointed with the cocktail party compared to past conventions because there was no dessert and you had to pay for the drinks at the hefty price $4 for a soda and $8 for a beer. This wasn't a big deal for me as I mostly enjoyed chatting with the actors and having that personal time. If I wanted a drink and dessert I'd go to the bar down the street.

After the actors were announced and went to the stage, Creation allowed 3 minutes for you come up with your camera and take all the pictures you wanted before you were asked to put away your camera for the rest of the event. I enjoyed this one snapshot where it appears Amy is lecturing Matt. I was okay with the no pictures policy as it allowed the actors to enjoy their time at the party along with the fans without the pressure of taking pictures or getting photo ops.

Matt Cohen was the first one to visit our table. My first thought was, "Wow he's gorgeous!" followed by "Look at the muscles on that guy."

I asked Matt if he'd like the ability the archangel Michael had to make people forget just by touching their forehead.

"I'd love that ability. Especially if a cop pulled me over for speeding," Matt replied.

One of the fans asked him what his was secret to looking so good.

"Not enough sleep, starve yourself and work out," he said smiling.

After he moved on to the next table, the fans there subsequently ruined his diet by feeding Matt cupcakes.

Amy Gumenick was all smiles when she came to our table. I asked her about her very sparkly necklace and she told me her sister made it and showed me she could take it apart and create a choker out of it.

I freaked out a little when Mark Pelligrino visited us. I thought, "OMG Lucifer is sitting with us!" But quickly this thought disappeared as Mark is such a relaxed, down-to-earth person and just a real pleasure to talk to.

Sebastian had a glass of scotch when he sat with us and started to dance with several fans. He also hugged fans throughout the night, including one that was almost too shy to ask for one.

I asked Misha Collins what his plans were for world domination.

"Are you on Twitter," Collins asked.

When I replied "No." He said "You're lost. There's no hope for you."

Around 1 a.m. the rounds finished up and the DJ cranked up the music. Sebastian and Rick got out on to the dance floor and most of the fans joined them. Later I heard from a fan that stayed up after the cocktail party that Mark Pelligrino and Rick Worthy stayed to chat with the fans. I heard from one fan (who stayed up the whole night) Rick was on the floor chatting until 5 a.m.

Overall it was a fun night with wonderful actors who really care about their fans. You guys (and gal) are awesome!

Salt and burn baby!
(one of the table centerpieces)

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Focus! I said FOCUS!!

Perhaps a writer's best friend is living in a distraction free environment. I used to live in that world - sort of - when I was about 12-18 years old. Once the Internet became fast and more efficient than AOL ("You've got mail!") and Netscape (which would take 5 minutes to load one page) my writing career took a sharp nose dive. Why slave over writing or cry yourself to sleep from lack of inspiration when you can waste hours surfing the Net while creating the illusion you did something productive with your life?

Well now I can say I'm back to the slaving and the crying again because I found a program that helps me write like back in the old days when my computer wasn't jacked into the World Wide Web.

I have found perhaps the most boring word processing program in the world.

Focus Writer.

It blanks out the screen leaving just you, your blinking cursor and anything you write on the page. Tools, menus and scroll bars vanish unless you move your mouse cursor near them. You can't see any windows that are minimized when you're in the program. You have to either exit FocusWriter or minimize it in order to see any other minimized windows or programs.

FocusWriter is free if you want to try it out. You can customize it to any color font or screen you want. You can even use an image as your background although I find this pretty distracting. One cool little feature I've found oddly conducive to boosting my word count are the typewriter sounds feature. I love the clicking sounds as I write although when I start a new paragraph the sound of the "typerwriter" sliding back still scares the shit out of me. There are a lot of other nice features such as a timer (if you want to write a set amount of time) or a word count goal for the day.

Places you can download FocusWriter for free:

FocusWriter with an image background

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Salute to Supernatural - Misha Collins

Aside from Jared and Jensen, Misha Collins has got to be one of the most popular and highly anticipated guest at the Supernatural convention. Misha's "minions" (fans) exhibit a devotion displayed in the many "Castiels" at the convention. Some fans even wore feathered angel wings, sock puppet monkey hats or wore black-veined "Leviathan" makeup painted across the face. When Misha gave a brief appearance at Matt Cohen and Richard Spreight Jr.'s panel cheers erupted from the audience. The crowd grew restless after a small delay and Creation ran out of Castiel-themed music videos to show. Silly Creation. They could have asked any of his minions to stream Youtube videos from their iPhones.

When the speaker announced "GOD HAS ENTERED THE BUILDING" the audience screamed and cheered.

Q&A Paraphrased

Fan: Does your refrigerator work? Because we had to use the bathtub to keep things chilled.

MISHA: I don't understand. It seems like you're using your hotel's appliances for the wrong reasons. "Gee, I'd like to take a nap, but I can't fit in the microwave."

Fan: How has your life been adversely affected by Moose (Jared Padalecki)?

MISHA: There's been property damage. He's to blame for several hangovers.

Fan: Will Sam ever hug Cas?

MISHA: There's a clause in my contract that Sam has to hug Cas. Jared won't stop hugging me. He texted me last night to come and wrestle with him in his hotel room. He later texted me "C'mon. Don't be gay."

Fan: It seems when you played the Leviathan you were the most like your usual self.

MISHA: I'm glad that came across. When I decided to play the most evil maniacal being imaginable it came across as just me.

Fan: What was it like filming the Leviathan scene?

MISHA: Horrible. I came down with food poisoning while filming, which I rarely do, but I was so sick. I spent most of the time between takes on the couch or sitting on the toilet. I was looking at the pail (to vomit in) several times during the scene. It didn't help that I had black goo dripping into my mouth. I don't know about you but I don't like black goo oozing from my head either. They ended up shooting some of my coverage with my double.

Fan: How'd you come up with the name Anaximander (the middle name of Misha's son, West).

MISHA: I do what most fathers do when their wife is expecting their first child. I read Greek philosophers. Each time I mentioned the name we'd laugh. I call him "Waxy."

Fan: Would you heir your minions to West?

MISHA: That's kind of dark ages, feudal system passing my minions on to him. I'd have to be dead to do that. I don't like that idea anymore.

Fan: What's the weirdest gift you've received?

MISHA: A needlepoint of my face. It's terrifying. Maybe I can decorate my wall with pictures of my face all over it. I'd stare lovingly back at me.

Fan: What was it like working in the White House?

MISHA: I'd take some of the job applications home with me and laugh at them.

Fan: What product would you endorse?

(Misha's microphone squeaks shrilly each time he tries to speak)

MISHA: I get the message. I'd endorse Creation Entertainment.

Fan: What was it like playing the role in "Karla"?

MISHA: I had nightmares about my character. I was worried I wouldn't get out of that head space. There's a restraining order on the director. I came to the set and heard he shot some people.

Fan: If you were any animal what would you be?

MISHA: A naked molerat, for their translucent skin. You don't get that in other animals.

Fan: What super power would you like to have?

MISHA: The ability to walk in a straight line. One leg is longer than the other and it'd be useful not to veer off on to one side of the sidewalk.

Fan: Was Cas happy when he blew out the windows in "Lazarus Rising"?

MISHA: Castiel didn't know what he was doing then. He needed to learn to control his bodily functions and not fart.

Fan: What is your dream?

MISHA: I'd like to drop a bus into a live volcano, which is difficult because there are not many live volcanoes. I also found out the lava wouldn't be hot enough to melt the bus.

Fan: Did you enjoy playing evil!Cas or future!Cas?

MISHA: Future Cas because of the orgies. Lots of rehearsal went into that. I was very sore.

Fan: Who'd you marry, shag and kill?

MISHA: Marry Matt because he's good at cleaning. Shag Chad because of the boots. Push Richard off a cliff but with a parachute. We need him for the karaoke. I'm not doing that.

Misha thinks the "Castianity" T-shirt is creepy

Friday, November 4, 2011

Salute to Supernatural - Amy Gumenick

I was still groggy from going to bed at 3 a.m. after the karaoke party the night before. I could see who else stayed up as late from the bleary eyes and yawns. Some of us missed the Corin Nemec panel, myself included.

Amy Gumenick (young Mary Winchester) greeted the audience with a bright smile. She wore jeans, a gray top and a sparkly necklace. I was amazed by how petite Amy is. She also wore her beautiful blonde hair straight instead of Mary's long curls. Amy is cheerful, upbeat and sweet, the kind of person you'd love to hang out with as a best friend. Like many of the actors on Supernatural she was very cool around the fans and didn't give any airs of being an "actress" or "a star."

(Q&A Paraphrased)

Fan: Were you a fan of Supernatural before you got the part?

AMY: I actually started watching it after. It was daunting as Mary is such a well loved character. I was going for not portraying (the older) Mary. She's younger and hopeful. I tried to make her my own, which worked because they were looking for more Mary's spirit rather than a copy of what was done.

Fan: What was it like working on the set?

AMY: Everyone was so nice. This was only my fourth role so I've gotten so spoiled.When I go on to a set I think, "This is fun but it's not Supernatural."

Fan: Did you know you were auditioning for Mary?

AMY: No, I didn't. They had some other character down when I did the audition. It was only after I got the part they told me who I'd be playing.

Fan: Did you do any preparation to get into your character?

AMY: When I got back to my trailer I'd keep a journal writing out her history/backstory. I'd also twirl knives. *laughs* I miss that knife.

Fan: Who's the better kisser? Matt (Cohen) or Mitch Pileggi?

AMY: Matt of course. *laughs* He's sweet and good looking. Just look at our children! The kiss with Mitch was harder. Mitch really was like a father to me and then I had to kiss him. Poor Mitch was so nervous that day. He kept chewing gum. The only direction I got during the kissing scene was "Resist."

Sometimes it's difficult as the first scene you do with an actor is either kissing or a sex scene.

Fan: Why do you hate the Impala?

AMY: You can't put car seats in the Impala! (a fan mentioned they should do a scene where the boys are born in the Impala)

Fan: What was it like working with Julie McNiven (Anna)?

AMY: We spent a lot time together on the fight sequences and we became friends. I gave a speech at Julie's wedding. Afterward Julie's dad came up to me and said "Are you the one who tried to kill my daughter?" Well, she tried to kill me first! *laughs*

Fan: What's the auditioning process like?

AMY: Sometimes you walk into a room and see a bunch of supermodels. You think, "Well, I'm not going to get the part." but you never know. Maybe they don't want a supermodel. You never know what they're looking for so you got to try.

Fan: You've died in a lot of your previous roles.

AMY: I have. At least with Mary she starts out dead so I can never die. *laughs*

Fan: I loved the awkward family road trip scene.

AMY: What I remember most about filming that was Jared on the phone talking to Genevieve and giving her instructions on how to pop his dog's anal glands.

Fan: How'd you get into acting?

AMY: When I was a girl I wanted to play Roxie Hart. I told my parents I was going to play her which is probably horrifying for a parent to hear their little girl say. *laughs* I did play her when I got older.

Fan: What song would you sing at karaoke?

AMY: Lady Gaga's "Born This Way."

Fan: Who would you take with you to a desert island?

AMY: My family and friends. It's not as exciting as say Brad Pitt, but everyone knows something (cooking, etc.) and would be useful on a desert island.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Salute to Supernatural - Karaoke Party

The Karaoke Party stands out as one of the best experiences in the entire convention and certainly the most fun. The karaoke delivers what fan conventions should be about: Having fun and interacting with the guest stars, not waiting in long lines, paying tons of money for rushed photo ops or barely speaking a word to the actors before being herded off.

The karaoke party still was talked about the rest of the weekend because the actors of Supernatural get what a convention is all about: It's for the fans.

I knew I was in for something very different when most of the expensive "Gold" seating was cleared away to make room for a dance floor where anyone, regardless of how much they paid for a ticket, could get up close and party with the actors.

The karaoke party started late due to Matt Cohen's delayed flight. Some fans stood anxiously outside the still-closed theater at 10:30 p.m., checking for Matt's Twitter updates and wondering if he'd make the karaoke at all. By 11 p.m. the doors officially opened and Matt was there in his leather fringed vest, plaid pants and the first-ever Dick and Matt's karaoke commemorative T-shirt.

Jared Padalecki was seen briefly, wearing a black sock cap over his hair. Jared joked with Matt and Richard before disappearing behind the curtain for the night. Chad Lindberg wore a long blond wig and began to rock the house as he played air guitar. It didn't take long before Sebastian Roche (Bathalazar) broke Creation's cardinal rule of "No body surfing" and started the night-long trend of not only body surfing but face down.

Sebastian got the rest of the stars to body surf, including Rick Worthy (clearly the heaviest from the amount of struggling fan girls needed to keep him from the floor) and Mark Pelligrino. Matt made several jokes about the groping, including making an exaggerated motion of zipping his pants back up after a body surf. Richard Spreight Jr. commented on all the "bad touching" he got during his body surf.

Matt replied, "What happens in karaoke stays at karaoke!"

The karaoke included many songs featured on Supernatural, "Carry on Wayward Son," "Wheel in the Sky" and "Back in Black." Some were fun songs meant to wind the crowd up such as, "Jump," "Love Shack" and "Dirty Deeds" sung by Guy Bee.

A fan brought a package of fake mustaches for the actors to wear, which became a running joke for the night. Many of the mustaches kept falling off, so Richard wore two mustaches as eyebrows while Sebastian wore one on his forehead and then plastered the extra mustaches obscenely on Richard's karaoke poster. Richard commented on that later: "You wish you had mustaches on your crotch!"

There was some confusion with the karaoke photo ops as originally it was scheduled for 11 p.m., but since the karaoke started so late, Matt and Richard started the photo ops at 12:30 a.m. For photo ops, several fans came dressed up, some with bell bottom pants and psychedelic blouses. One fan gave Matt rainbow peace-sign sunglasses, which he wore for the rest of the night. I wore a flowery tunic, jeans, wrapped my pearl headband around my head and clipped some silk flowers to the side. When I came up for my photo op Richard said, "Look at you! Nice!"

After photo ops, many fans left for bed (Corin Nemec was going to speak at 9:30 a.m. next morning), which meant the party really got going. The remaining fans crowded near the stage, jumping, dancing and singing.
Matt, Richard and Chad took iPhones and cameras offered by fans and shot live videos on stage or during a body surf. Perhaps the most hilarious part of the night was when Richard called for "Mark" to come up on stage. No one from the audience responded, then Mark Pelligino came out on stage and sang "Big Balls."

You know you got a great party when the Devil shows up.

Karaoke wrapped up around 2:30 a.m. Many of the fans didn't want it to end.

I was one of them.