So this past weekend saw the annual Supernatural fan convention in Vancouver come and go.
A variety of the cast, both regulars and sporadic came to talk, take photos with fans, and sign autographs....all at the absurdly exorbitant prices the con runners were able to gouge for. I have nothing against a company running a convention and making a reasonable profit, but when I hear from someone that JUST her convention ticket and extras has cost her over $1000, I think your ripping these people off....aaanyways, back on track.
While the majority still were there for the Winchester boys Jared Padalecki & Jensen Ackles. Fans came from around the world to also see the likes of Misha Collins, Sebastian Roche, Alona Tal, Corin Nemec, Chad Lindberg, Chris Heyerdahl, Matt Cohen, Richard Speight Jr, Steven Williams and Colin Lawrence.
This is not a report of what happened INSIDE the con. Theres enough blogs to report and document that. I wont pay this companies prices...even though I would have loved to see a couple of the panels.
Lots happened that weekend for me. I got every cast member there with the exception of J2 and Colin Lawrence (whom I couldnt find an item for).
The strangest situation that weekend in my opinion, wasnt the completely naked guy running around the courtyard of the hotel on 1 of the days. No, that odd situation 9which I missed luckily) was outdone by me getting an autograph from a person who has publicly on twitter confessed his hate for me. Yes, "Tiny" (aka - Clif Kosterman.. aka, J2s bodyguard) signed a photo I had of him from his role on Supernatural where he played a prisoner that ends up dead. I thought that weekend would be the chance to get him to sign the photo. I had carried it around for over a year, but it wasnt till now that I felt...he might sign it. You see, Clif got in some hot water earlier this month with a single meaty digit on his hand being raised a tad too high in a photo that a local wannabe pap took. Now obviously no one but those on the inside know what was said/done to reprimand him for this action, but the outward view is pretty clear, he is on damage control.
He invented the "duck nation" (which I wont lie...if anyone but him was running it, I would think was kinda cool...even if it doesnt have any relevant connection to SPN that I can think of) idea that SPN fans have been contributing to by sending in rubber ducks to the studio. The fact that it came up IMMEDIATELY after the Trudeau salute, and has had "no set cut off point" yet tells you the PR people that peddled the idea for him are playing it by ear.
When I saw them in New West a couple weeks ago, I sort of suspected then he was on damage control when he was waving at the fans as he drove away with a duck in his hand. But it was the pushing of this "duck nation" then his suprisingly civil response to me on twitter when I publicly stated that maybe I would ask him for an autograph this time that made me aware, he is on his best behaviour.
Even the autograph interaction was shockingly "friendly" from a guy who has publicly belittled me. In fact, 2 of the 3 people he publicly stated a hate for were there for the moment, and not only did he sign for me, he called over the photographer that was the other person in question telling them "you should get a photo of this". It wreaked of "I'm trying my best to look good right now.". All that aside. I say, shockingly, good on him. Whatever the studio/PR team said to him. He got the message. If this new leaf is permanant, perhaps I can put aside some of the past issues I have with him. Of course, if he ever returns to his previous demeanour, this entire damage control kick will be even more transparent. Anyways...good Cas have I talked too much about this....but, I knew from diff emails I got, it was a topic of discussion in places. So theres my take & interpretation of his "Duckspiracy" (as someone who emailed me called it) and his interaction with me this past weekend. At this time...I will give him the benefit of the doubt, and hope this turned leaf is permanent.
So back to the Con guests now...right?
Like I said, I managed to meet pretty much all of them.
First 2 I met were the day before the Con started.
Richard Speight Jr (who I would see 2 more times over the weekend) was first up. I had met the man who was Gabriel/The Trickster last year, and this meeting was just as terrific. He chatted about the show, how much he missed it and about his role as pitchman for Pepsi Max. Truly a class act. I got him to sign a few photos that night, then a couple more later on the weekend. On both occasions, he signed all that was asked of him.
Alona Tal would be next. I wont go into all the details...but I will just say, another hound & myself actually scared her by accident. Later on, when we saw her again, she explained her reasoning to her reaction to us, we explained our reasoning, and both sides apologized (although I dont know why Alona felt the need to apologize since we got her reasoning quite well). When we finally did catch up with woman who plays Jo Harvelle that night she was splendid. Signed everything we had, took photos with, and was pretty candid about not just things surround the awkward situation of earlier, but any other topics we could muster the braincells to talk about. Great girl.
Next day was the start of the actual convention, so there was a schedule that some of the guests had that made assessing where to be and when a bit easier.
There was a lull for awhile that day, but then in a 5 minute span I got 4 cast members.
Corin Nemec (Christian Campbell from season 6) was 1st up. Having met him a couple times before, I knew to expect a chilled out and friendly guy. Again, he was just that. He chatted for a few minutes with us about how things have been around here, the photos we had and how he was disappointed to find out that a photo 1 of the autograph hounds inquired about that he had seen for sale on the shows website was not infact for sale at the convention. Eventually, we let him get on his way.
Shortly after 3 cast mates crossed paths in teh courtyard before we could move in on any of them they had started interacting with each other, so we kept a reasonable distance till they were done. However, a fan eventually interrupted the trio and so everyone else then moved in to get the 3 stars.
I went up to Chad Lindberg 1st. (Ash) to get my autographs. I didnt get a chance to chat with him because my panic to get the others kicked in (as it turned out they were around for a bit though).
Next up was Matt Cohen (young John Winchester). He signed everything I had and chatted with the fans for a bit. I again, didnt speak too much with him as I wanted to get the final part of the trio.
Sebastian Roche (Balthazar) was the final 1 of my trio. He too signed everything, again, I didnt get a lot of oppourtunity to chat with him because by this point a dozen or so fans had converged on the 2 actors.
Later that night we saw several of the cast leave to dinner together. We got Alona to sign again (I had 1 photo I missed from the day before.) and the group, which included chaperones from the convention people, essentially abandoned her with 2 adult males in the dark (good job guys). Luckily, Alona I am sure was feeling a bit safer this time around knowing it was us & didnt feel the need for security, but still, not a great idea on the staffs part. Its nice that you let her decide for herself whether to sign, but you probably shouldnt walk away from the person your supposed to be protecting.
Day 3 was the Saturday for us.
My day started with more Richard Speight Jr. autographs. He remembered my name from the other day & was still as classy as he was in the previous interaction.
There was a considerable lull for me. But I saw Corin Nemec again, as well as Speight Jr another time. Another hound who was just getting there asked both of them for autographs and they both obliged. At that point, the convention handlers decided to stop this as much as they could.
I saw Steven Williams (Rufus) strolling along with Matt Cohen aalong an inside walk way. So I decided to cut them off at the pass, but was denied when Williams looked at his convention handler, then back at me and said "I think I can only sign inside..get me inside".
I frustratingly left wondering if that was the end for autographs. Quite awhile would go by before I had another chance for autographs...again with Mr. Williams as he left the convention to go out to dinner.
It was pitch black in the courtyard & all Steven said was "I cant see...what am I signing", so I pointed to an area on the photo, and he signed it. I had a 2nd photo, but with how much trouble he was having with that 1, I let it go.
Shortly after that, God himself appeared infront of me. Misha Collins was being escorted by staff to somewhere outside the convention area. I have met the man who plays Castiel many times always been terrific. This time, no different. With a Convention handler literally perched over his shoulder glaring on with disapproval, Misha signed everything I had for him.
After chatting with a couple friends. I decided that was enough that night, and headed home.
Sunday was the last day of the Convention...and with the exception of my Clif autograph, a shutout for autographing.
I spent the majority of the day hanging out with fans, and chatting with a blog writer.
All that I accomplished that day was a couple frames of Jensen ( 1 thats quite blurry) a few frames of Misha Collins and a few of Chris Heyerdahl (Alastair)
It started with Jared & Jensen arriving together driven by Clif. Clif was not going to make things easy for me. He had the truck backed up into a loading bay so the boys could get in without reallybeing seen.
A little while later I saw Corin Nemec again. We chatted for a bit, asked him if he had any new projects on the go, he said not right now. Then he went on his way and headed home.
One of the more fascinating things about this convention for me was how the fans of the show will get anyones autograph associated to the show. I watched the location manager, Russ Hamilton, sign an autograph for a fan in the lobby during my hanging around time. A little while later I saw Guy Norman Bee sign for someone. It never donned on me to get autographs from the people not infront of the camera.
As the day went on, I saw Misha Collins a couple more times, Christopher Heyerdahl several times. Chris was the only person all weekend that the convention staff managed to get to, as he told me he couldnt sign for me there... but, that he would get me next time he saw me...which I know is highly likely to happen, so it was not that upsetting.
I eventually left that evening, and just as I was getting up...who drove by me? Clif, with 1 (or both) of the boys, he acknowledged that I was there and was on his way. Thats how my Supernatural convention ended...Clif waving at me.
Certainly was an unusual weekend at times.
As a bonus....heres a couple Jared Padalecki shots from a couple weeks ago that I wasnt sure what to do with since they werent very good and not enough for a blog.
You can find us on twitter http://twitter.com/canadagraphs
You can find the celebrities written about in this article at these twitter addresses
Misha Collins http://twitter.com/mishacollins
Alona Tal http://twitter.com/talalona
Richard Speight Jr http://twitter.com/dicksp8jr
Chad Lindberg http://twitter.com/ChadLindberg
Sebastian Roche http://twitter.com/sebroche
Jared Padalecki http://twitter.com/jarpad
So last summer the Supernatural fanbase converged on Vancouver for a SPN convention.
While the vast majority of the fans were clearly there to see the likes of Jared Padalecki, Jensen Ackles & Misha Collins. Like with any show, theres fans of most every imaginable character.....its reported some people even lined up to get the guys bodyguard Clif, because he was in 1 episode for blink or you'll miss him long.
For someone like me, its an opportunity as well. These events promote a list of guests that are scheduled to come. For a fan of the show, who is also an autograph hound, this is a huge help. It means I dont have to speculate on who is in town that week
This particular con had quite an array of guests, from momentary prison-mates, to angels, to demons, to the Winchester boys themselves.
I had a prefered list I was hoping to get to the convention, and some were in fact there. Of my "wish list" of the top 3 for me, I managed to get 2 of them.
While I did miss Demore Barnes (Raphael), I did infact get a couple of the ones I really wanted.
First was Aldis Hodge (Jake Talley). For SPN fans, he really rings as little more than a 2 episode piece to advance a storyline. Best known for shooting poor Sam in the back, I was more eager to get him because of his work on a show I had just started watching weeks earlier, Leverage. His role as hacker extraordinairre on the show was what I was more excited to see him for. We managed to catch him out for a walk on his day off & he was more than gracious in signing & taking photos. Thanked us for our time & for watching. Great guy.
I also managed to stumble upon Richard Speight Jr. The playful arch-angel Gabriel, known in earlier episodes as The Trickster. With a full beard going on, he almost tricked us, but another hound was able to properly identify him from a distance & we managed to get him & just like Hodge, super friendly, very patient & thanked us for coming.
Finally we met Katherine Boecher (Lilith) who made it a hat trick of positive encounters as she stopped to sign & do photos with before heading out shopping.
We also saw Misha Collins temporarily that weekend taking a cab and on more than 1 occasion I saw Brock Kelly & Clif lurking around.
Anyways, a few pics from the weekend....a couple months late.... and a couple bonus photos of former Ghostfacer A.J. Buckley from awhile before that.
I occasionally argue with inanimate objects, but I usually win. So its all good.