It's hard explaining to someone what a convention is like if you haven't been to one. I certainly would never have understood it if I hadn't witnessed it first hand. :)
I went to an AHBL convention in 2010 (I think it was) and I got a little taste of what a convention is like, but that really didn't compare to this one. This one was much (much!) bigger and a very different experience for me.
The things that stuck with me the most:
- The feeling of absolute passion that is shared between the fans - no matter which character you are into, is incredible. It's quite an amazing feeling being amongst like minded people - people who you don't have to explain yourself to. There was a fan gathering the night before the actual con. I got to talk to a few new people (and met the lovely kazluvsbooks!). There was a lovely energy in the room and even though the fans were into different characters, we all came together to wish the best to Jared.
I was so happy to be part of that for him.
I'm holding on to the second A (right up the back).
- The cast members were true professionals. I mean, of course you'd hope them to be, but each of them performed so well - maintaining humour and passion throughout. I was particularly impressed with Mark Shepard. He surprised me tbh. He came out and was pretty abrupt and quite short with some of the fans. I didn't immediately warm to him. But then he spoke about other cast members, his experience with the show and talked about how lucky he feels to be part of all this, and I realised it was all part of the performance. And I loved it. He called out the people asking "stupid" questions - which was refreshing. They must hear the same questions over and over and some of them must drive them nuts. He was asked "which Winchester would you like to play?" and he said something like "it's never going to happen so why ask that?. It was gruff, but also funny. Though when he was asked which Winchester would Crowley like to kill he said Sam. Makes perfect sense of course, but I wasn't happy to hear the big cheer that went up after he said that. ;/
He then spoke about being here with the fans and his gratitude really shone. It was very moving (and yes, I wish I had a transcript of it). He said something about the passion that's put into the show - and I wanted to say it's why the show is so loved. He admitted to it not being perfect, but the commitment to it from all involved is what makes it so special.
- Osric, Tim, Richard and Matt were all great too. Osric pretending to fall asleep on Tim's lap while he sung a lullaby from Galivant. It was ADORABLE! He patted him and Osric curled right into Tim. He then ended with a kiss on Osric's forehead. I asked Osric a question (!! :D) about the parody and how he got involved. He talked about it for quite a while - including how each of the cast came in to do the little dance bits after the Vegas con (Osric knew the girls from a previous parody and it sounds like that connection helped get the other cast members involved). Richard and Matt were highly entertaining. The moved through the crowd fast, and lots of questions were asked. Richard called people out on silly questions too. Though Matt some lost brownie points I think when he said he'd like to play Crowley and thinks he could do it better (probably joking of course, but it got a little boo from the crowd…)
- Jensen was absolutely wonderful. I wished I was up closer so I could just sit and stare at him. I think he was probably quite tired but he gave us a lot of himself. His gratitude was also obvious. I truly think these guys continue to be shocked by the utter love and devotion the show receives. He spoke lovingly about Jared and you could actually SEE that love. He said he was looking forward to getting back home to check on him.
Here are his exact words (pinched from missyjack's journal):
"Speaking of continuing to fight, Jared got – he got tuckered out. His batteries ran a little low. As you know he is a big guy and he gives a lot of himself to a lot of people. Emotionally and physically and then just, well not physically, that’s weird. Scratch that! Scratch that!
Seriously though, he is an emotional man and I love him for that. He is my brother, he is my best friend and he happens to be a co-worker. So it’s all – it’s all good. He is back home. He is getting some rest. He is with his family, he is with his kids. I am excited to head back that way and check in on him and make sure he is just getting recharged the way he needs to be. He just - he has a problem with you know reserving, keeping some in the reserve tank and in my opinion that’s not a bad thing. But when it gets a little low sometimes, I have to be like, hey back to the filming station. So that’s where he is and I knew he wouldn’t be able to give as much as he would have wanted to, to you guys and that would have really upset him and I know you would have wanted him at his best and I would have wanted him at his best and he would have wanted to be at his best, so he is excited to hopefully see you guys in the future. I know he was really, really looking forward to coming here. So keep him in your thoughts, keep supporting him, keep sending him good messages. He gets them. He knows the love is out there. He knows the support is out there and I will remind him when I get home.
He is just a big dumb emotional Moose. Sometimes the smart little squirrel has to tell him what to do." (Oh god, protective!Jensen will be the death of me...).
He even took footage at the end of all of us "for Jared".
2 all my friends in Sydney & the #AHBL6 crew...thanks 4 an amazing event. Thanks 4 the love and inspiration. Cheers! pic.twitter.com/vwU1sQNRqs— Jensen Ackles (@JensenAckles) May 25, 2015
- Something Jensen admitted was the writers writing themselves into a hole at the end of each season (since season 5) with no idea what happens next. I'm not at all surprised to hear that, but also…I kind of was. Well, more disappointed than anything. But yeah, it makes sense seeing how the last 5 years have been I suppose.
- They played some of my vids! I can't begin to tell you what a thrill that was. I got some tweets from peeps in Melbourne to say they had seen my vids and it totally made my day (and I happened to be with my little sister at the time, who was nicely impressed *g*). Apparently the played 4 in Melbourne, but only 2 in Sydney (which is cool, I was in the audience when they came on so it was an extra thrill.
- I got to meet some absolutely wonderful people. I finally put faces to reggie11 and kazluvsbooks. Both of whom are a lovely as you imagine they are! I also got to catch up with my Perth pals redteekal and vyperdd (and met some other fans from Perth too!). I also saw missyjack again. :))
- There was a LOT of waiting around while the photos were done, but this ended up being a great opportunity to chat with different people.
So. All round a great weekend. I would have loved Jared to have been there (of course, totally understanding and accepting why he wasn't). Jensen said Jared was disappointed about not being able to come and would come again another year. I truly hope he does - I am TOTALLY going to be there for that (I'll start saving now!).