13 June 2011 @ 10:42 pm
NashCon 2011: Um, what?  
I'm was going to make my con report short and sweet. Mostly because everyone has already said it better and they have pictures to prove they were there. All I have are the two mostly washed-out vids of the J2 and Misha panels. But then I got wordy. As I do.

In summary: wherein I drank a gallon of amaretto sour, walked several miles of the hotel, watched Creation and Gaylord have a collective conniption fit when Misha decided to take his Meet and Greet on walkabout, and Jared got a twitter.

Thursday night .

Or rather I had dinner with [ profile] squeemonster, [ profile] blue_fjords, [ profile] qthelights, [ profile] littlehollyleaf, and [ profile] hils and we sleepily moaned at the moon. The alcohol was plentiful. There were S'mores. We scared the people at the next table. All in all, it was what I would consider a fairly typical fangirl outing aside from the sheer awesomeness of having everyone in the same room. I mean, really. That's my favorite part about these things. It makes me pissed that I really can't go to Wincon this year. I want to. So. Much.

Friday .

No, really. Waiting for the handyman to finish. Waiting for the cookies to bake. Waiting for the illegal roll-away to arrive.

Finally, I got someone at the front desk to give me a straight answer, and found out that due to fire code they don't allow roll-aways in rooms that already have two beds. That's three hours I'll never get back. Not that I'm really complaining. It was nice to chill for a while after all the scurrying of the previous couple of days.

Still, we managed to make a liquor/CVS run for snacks and goodies and a hot water bottle for [ profile] qthelights and wrapping materials for the Letters to Cas book before it got too late.

We almost waited in the horrendous registration line, but decided to pop out and have dinner instead. By the time we got back to the ballroom, they were setting up for karaoke and there was no line to speak of. I took this opportunity to purchase a Jared op. It was a whim at the time, but a whim I'm glad I gave in to. Like I've said on twitter, the most surprising thing that came out of this weekend for me was a newfound epic love for the Padalecki. Dinner was delightful - empanadas and guacamole - and the company even better. Karaoke was equally delightful on a sports bottle full of amaretto sour. I spent most of the time squeeing vicariously for [ profile] morganoconner, though, so that may have skewed my experience a bit. Friday night wrapped up around 2AM, I think, and it was to bed so that we could be up for the J2 breakfast (that was really more like a brunch) the next day.


One of the things I have little patience for is being herded. I hated it in school (no really, I was always the one leaning out of line as far as I could) and I detest it as an adult. It’s not the waiting. It’s the fast food philosophy with which con-goers are handled. I have a letter drafted to Creation that I am still tweaking, and while I realize that a certain degree of herding is required with an event this size, there are other ways to do things. I would pay a little more not to be pushed through line like a heifer to slaughter, to not have my eardrums constantly assaulted by, “No props, don’t ask for poses, don’t ask for hugs, don’t look the actors in the eye, don’t this and that.” I’m pretty sure the foreign cons go off without all the hullabaloo. Yes, I said hullabaloo. Anyway. I digress.

Saturday morning was the J2 breakfast. The spread was okay, the coffee was delicious (and necessary), and we sat with a Dean clone. Seriously. He had a duffel bag full of replicas he made himself. Dean’s Colt 1911, Ruby’s knife, John’s journal. It was pretty fucking awesome. The boys were not only gorgeous but gracious and good spirits. They were also late. I didn’t catch the why, but in my defense I think I may have been blinded by the scruffy hotness. There wasn’t much of substance covered, though Jared very rambunctiously confirmed his twitter and Jensen said that he was thrilled to be in Nashville because he’d never been and it was on his bucket list. They caught shit from some of the attendees when they both said they’d be in town for a few days. I think the exact words were: “So why the hell are you only hanging with us for one day?” Jared admitted that he had to go see Jack Daniel and then was very confused when we told him the facility was actually in a dry county. I’ll attest to the fact that both J’s did stay in town for some time after the convention. Jared was obviously documenting his and Gen’s Gulch crawl. Jensen and Danneel obviously hung around for the CMT Awards (and probably some of the CMA Fest the following week). I’m personally pleased they seemed to enjoy the city so much. Nashvegas is my adopted home and whether or not it’s precisely my cuppa, I’m proud to see it make a good impression.

I digress. Again.

After breakfast wrapped up, the herding began. No, seriously. From the time I got up from my table it was go sit and wait - herd - go sit and wait - herd. I have no idea what the folks without J2 ops got up to, but there wasn’t anything else going on until 2:30. OMG, really? You couldn’t offer something, anything for those who didn’t want to lay down MORE money to get pictures? IDK. It’s a Creation failing, I think. While a lot of folks are there for the stars, they are also thinking, sometimes scholarly members of fandom who might like to discuss Show. That’s in my letter too. I knew what I was getting into, having done Vulkon cons with Buffy, but I was hoping that conventions had gotten better - become more about the actual show instead of just being an extended circle jerk of the same regurgitated questions. Alas. At least Guy Bee got invited.

The good? Jensen and Jared were both smiley and relaxed, and they both smelled good in different ways. Jared’s impossibly tall and so charming, and even though I wasn’t “nervous” I’m not talkative with strangers so I’m glad to have at least gotten out a, “Hey,” and a “thanks for all your hard work.” And yes, I may have grinned when Jared called me babe. I’m not immune. I don’t care if that makes me twee. I’ll own my inner teenager.

Jensen and Jared’s panel was fairly laid-back. They started out by dressing down the fan that dared use a Celine Dion song for a fanvid (which OMG, why show a Wincest vid right before the boys went on? DISCOMFORT.) and then gave a shout out to Allison Krauss. There were more twitter shenanigans and they were both so ridiculously flamboyant about Jared’s flowing mane I can’t believe it wasn’t fanservice. They re-enacted the leg grab from the filming of the finale again with the extra added bonus of Jensen’s impression of the camera man. There was Mishalecki fanservice from Jared that went thusly: “I ask Misha nothing. I tell Misha.” Which was immediately followed by a discussion of testicles. This fandom, I don’t even know. But apparently Jensen has a smoker in his backyard so he can do authentic Texas BBQ away from home. Someone asked them if they’d miss the big, crazy, loud fans of Supernatural when they inevitably move on someday and Jensen esponded with a, “No, because you’re all coming.” And Jared said that’s part of why he got a Twitter, to be more connected. Then the panel devolved into Twitter mockery. Again. Heartfelt fan project presentation? Check. Talk about Jared’s noxious ass? Check. It was a J2 panel. There were over the top antics and serious Show talk and we all shouted Happy Birthday to a girl who was supposed to be there but was in the hospital. So. About what I expected.

Post panel, the pace picked up. Autographs with the J’s. Panel with Matt and Richard. Photo ops with Matt and Richard. Special events and/or meet ‘n’ greets with Jared and Jensen. Some of us ran to get food and missed part of the Matt/Richard panel b/c we figured the autos would run late. They did, but Creation stuck Matt and Richard on stage while people were still winding through auto lines, what? The highlight in my opinion was the story RSJ told about travelling (or trying to travel) to Amsterdam with the Padaleckis and their fleet of luggage. I’m sure it’s all over the place by now, but suffice to say that Jared is an adorable dumbass sometimes and Genevieve ended up with beautiful clothes. Brian Buckley played and it was...weird. And then everyone went to get changed for the Saturday night cocktail party. Now, I’ll preface this by saying I had a good time, but it was a good time because of the fangirls not because of the stars. That’s not to say I didn’t enjoy the stars coming around to each table, I did, but I’d much rather they were allowed to do as they liked instead of (again) being herded and always under the careful supervision of either a Creation staffer or a bodyguard. Still, Matt snatched our cookies and Brock looked uncomfortable and Richard was a rush of all smiles. Then it was time for bed again. 2AM and a 6AM wake-up for the Misha Meet’n’Greet in the morning. Sleep? What is this thing called sleep?

I crashed hard.

Sunday .

I’ll make no apologies or excuses. The Meet ‘n’ Greet made the con for me. It’s supposed to, I guess. But I value small doses of authentic interaction over Flash! Crash! Wham! sparkly interaction every time. So maybe I didn’t get to talk to Misha forever. I wouldn’t have wanted to, anyway. I was content to listen and walk and thrilled that he managed to turn an innocent question: “Have you seen the hotel?” into an out for all the potential awkwardness. I heard tell he’s good at that sort of thing. I certainly have no idea what I’d have done with myself if I’d had to sit in a room with him and nine other girls for an hour. We were fortunate in that most of us had at least met one another.

Anyway, I digress, again. What struck me, I guess, was something I knew already, theoretically. It’s how much more subdued Misha is when he’s not required to be “on” for the crowd. I’m not kidding myself that this was some great revelation or that the him we got was the him. But it seemed closer.

He talked candidly about Cas and his arc, that he’d been told Castiel was going to die at the end of Season 6. That he hoped for a redemption storyline that ended with Cas crying in Dean’s lap (yes, poking fun). And while I’m no expert at reading people, he didn’t seem mad or upset. He seemed slightly irritated that he’d pulled up stakes in Van if he is indeed coming back, and admitted that he’d miss the Cas he’d spent three years digging into and living with if he never came back. Again, I took it as wistful. He obviously cares genuinely about the show and the character, but I don’t think he’s RAWR ANGRY.

I do think, like [ profile] qthelights has said, that Creation scared the ever living fuck out of him with regards to the Tumblr troll and that the walkabout was about taking back his agency. Because hello, Leo much. Oh, [ profile] blue_fjords and I brought goodies for everyone that they seemed to enjoy, and Misha snarked about them being poisoned, so he couldn’t have been too concerned as he still ate them.

As for what I talked about with him, it was mostly Nashville itself. Things to do, places to eat. Music venues. He mentioned the Gulch and what I thought was the best place to go, and I told him honestly that I tended to go a little off the beaten. That I spent most of my time in places like Mercy Lounge, The Basement, and Cannery Ballroom. He asked where that was and I said off 8th but that I wasn’t sure what they’d have kicking since it was a Sunday in the Bible belt. I meant to recommend Margot’s to him, out in East Nash, but forgot until after the fact.

I’m just glad that it seemed like he took time to talk to everyone. Because hey, he’s awesome like that.

And yes, my favorite part was watching his handler go: “Uhhhhmm,” when Misha said, “Let’s take a field trip!”

I reserve the right to expand this at some point in the future as I remember stuff, but for right now I just want to have this down and out of my hair :D

Once we were done with the M’n’G, those of us with photo ops skipped to the head of the line (shhhh!) more by virtue of the fact we walked out INTO the line than anything else. And the only thing that struck me in the photo op with him was how he was relatively hubby-sized aside from the fact that he’s taller.

After that it was downstairs for Guy Norman Bee’s panel, which was fascinating. He talked a lot about Frontierland and a little about Family Matters and said he’s doing at least three eps in Season 7. He let slip that they had to cut a bunch of Frontierland and he hopes that the extended version of the one scene makes the DVD extras because it was really cool. Originally, Sam has a conversation with Colt about The Colt. Asks if he’ll be okay without it and Colt just pulls out Ruby’s knife and says “I think I’ll manage” or something. I can’t remember verbatim, but I thought that was a really neat addition. He talked about the process of directing and how he has it so much easier coming from where he comes from. How important it is to get the shot and what sort of influences he relies on for inspiration. I wish they would invite more of the creative team. I know some people don’t care, but I do.

Then there was the weird, never-ending panel with Brock, Matt, and Richard. I just...I guess they were trying stuff out because it was a new city? Richard was extremely charming, but by the end every other question was: “Can I have a hug?” It was weird.

Snagged food finally in the break between the trio panel and Corin.

Corin was unexpectedly awesome. So charming and amiable and willing to screw around. I don’t remember much about the panel, honestly. I was really tired. Though I do remember him talking about how they started a real war with their fake war and how Denis Leary was bitching about the fact that the village they were staying in was out of Jameson. He talked about Stargate and The Stand and how he got nicknamed Corky. And I laughed a lot. That much I do remember.

I think we went back to the room briefly at this point to fix drinks for the rest of the afternoon/evening. Sunday afternoon gets kind of blurry because of the tired. Soon though, it was time for Misha’s panel.

Misha’s panel was mostly a retreading of the Meet’n’Greet while wearing his “on” persona. He did teach us the knot trick and got up in a Cas cosplayer’s personal space, but I felt like most of what he talked about had already been said. It was fascinating from a certain perspective, to see the different deliveries based on group size. I may have more about the panel once I re-watch it, but I don’t know. He talked with his hands alot and refused to do Cas and was his general snarky, amiable self.

Then there was another round of weirdly set up autographs (Yeah, IDEK at this point.) and our farewell dinner.

Thank you all you awesome ladies, simply for being awesome. I wish we could have roamed Nashvegas with you, but the King he was a callin’.

I guess my thoughts overall are that I don’t know if I’ll do another Creation con. I don’t plan to pull any punches about this with Creation either, for whatever good it will do. If I do attend next year, I’ll get a GA ticket and spring for more of the special events.

Problem is, I don’t think they get it. They invite the wrong guests (um, charming as Brock can be when he loosens up a little, why is he attending every con from now until forever?), pair the wrong guests up, and they instill such a sense of urgency to everything it stresses people out. Mostly because they’ve oversold the events and photo ops in a bid to Make More Money. The overseas cons (from what I can tell) don’t do it this way and so everyone is more relaxed, happier, freer to roam as they like. I mean, these guys are adults, they know what their job is for the weekend. They’re going to circulate to each table eventually if they’re allowed to do so. Creation is too involved. They babysit the stars to the point of suffocation and it’s really NOT necessary most of the time. Sure, have security standing by if things get out of hand, but there’s no need for staff to hover like particularly persistent locusts. Not that I have a problem with any of them. The staff at NashCon was awesome (save a solitary exception that nearly required face-punching), they were just too...present. I guess that’s an American thing in and of itself though.

Anyway. It was strange. Good, but strange. There were no moments of giddy glee like I’ve had even through ridiculous con vids, but I don’t know if that was me or the con itself. I suspect it was the con. And dear lord in heaven I'm tired just typing all that so...time for bed. Seriously.

ETA: Okay, I take the no-giddy-glee back. Because I distinctly remember emailing [ profile] elizah_jane after I cleared the door of my Jared op and literally describing the color and shape of the hearts in my eyes. Because OMG, I was NOT a huge Jared girl before this con. Now I want to ruffle his hair and make him food. Which, okay, yes. Oddly maternal for such a ridic specimen of manly manhood, but I never said that I make SENSE. He's just so earnest. In conclusion: YAY JARED!