Hiya peeps. Here 'tis today's experiences if you want to read. Hope all is well in your worlds and that you have reasons aplenty to smile.
So I thought I'd post a ramble a day, experiences and thoughts in their most basic form. It's a lot to take in, actually, and this is only day one. I really hope I don't disappoint anyone who is reading this. I'm not a seasoned con-goer, and as I write this, nearly everyone else is either in the Steve Carlson concert or singing karaoke in the hotel bar.
For, me, the whole thing started rather early—3:00am CT, to be exact. My flight left Kansas City at 6:00am, and it's an hour drive from Lawrence. Needless to say I was driving down I-70 with the tunes blaring. I think I may have startled the toll-booth lady when I rolled down the window and the Foo Fighters' My Hero was screaming out at her. Oops.
One itsy-bitsy little commuter plane ride later, and I was in Chicago, calling up amyblair and seeking out my ride. We were able to check into the hotel even before breakfast, which was nice. I saw wolfpup, supernaturaljunkiejude, Vanessa, Nana56, IMTheresa, JM Griffin, Evesong, and several others that I was so happy to meet in person. It was really a rush to see "familiar" faces in this virtual world of ours.
After breakfast we registered and got our lanyards and wrist bands, then wandered the vendor room. I'm trying to be smart about purchases, but man, you see those boys' faces plastered on items from posters to T-shirts to coffee mugs and you get grabby fingers. My wallet smacked the back of my hand several times. But, I did get pics and a calendar for which to have boys sign.
First panel (do they call them panels? I'm not sure… Q&A?) was Gabriel Teigerman (Andy). He was adorable. Hilarious, full of energy, very cute. He was also a lot smaller that I'd pictured—and not just because I was in row W. I think his seemingly boundless energy wore down any extra "meat" on his bones. His hair was tussled and even when he grinned he looked slightly apologetic about it.
He apparently was recently married and loves the show Dexter, which I haven't followed because I can't afford Showtime. But I hear it's very good. The audience was good about the types of questions they asked—keeping it focused on him and the show. I liked listening to his candid responses and found him very comfortable in his own skin. He was once asked who he'd liked to be trapped on a desert island with, and I can't remember his real answer, but he said in the fanfic world, it would be Chad Lindberg. Which I found rather funny.
Next, the Con peeps put on a "test your knowledge" quiz where the audience asked a panel of volunteers SPN trivia. That was moderately entertaining, but I used the time to stretch my legs a bit, so I'm not sure all of the questions that were asked. Early on in the day I found that I had to keep moving or my mind wandered too far. I blame lack of sleep.
Steve Carlson was up next, and I have to admit that besides Come Around More, Alabama (because of Jensen's back-up vocals) and a few of his ballads, I wasn't very familiar with his music. But, I've read the LJ boards and knew of his popularity with our fandom, so I listened avidly. I've only rarely seen an up-close pic of him, so I can't really remember what he looks like, but he wore what is apparently a trade-mark fedora-like hat, pulled low over his forehead with his shoulder-length blond hair escaping in a bit of a tangle on either side of his head.
He spoke a bit about his new album and a musical he's writing. He talked about working with Christian Kane, who I liked watching in Angel a lot. He apparently saw some familiar faces in the audience because he carried on what appeared to us back in Row W to be one-sided conversations since we couldn't hear the questions.
He was asked what actress he would like to appear in one of his music vids and when he immediately replied "Rachel McAdams" I barked out a laugh. Turns out Steve likes Brenna. Kinda. In a way. *grin* Also? One audience member questioned him at length what he would cook for a girl he was interested in and what song he would play. I started to get a little uncomfortable for the guy.
They showed some YouTube-like music vids between sets. I missed the first one—I was eating. Sorry. But the second was LSketch's hilarious SPN vs X-files vid. I've always loved that one. The third actually won a Creation Con award and gift certificate for merchandise. It was wolfpup's "Bitch" and I clapped and whistled once I realized it was her. They said her full real name and I was basically staring blankly until she went up to accept her prize. Hee.
The next vid I watched was a Season 1 tribute set to AC/DC's Highway to Hell, but I'm not sure who made it—they didn't show credits. Oh, I did take pics of all the speakers today, but the lighting didn't like my camera, or visa-versa, so they appear rather darkly lit on my preview pane. We'll see if I can swing some magic when I get home and upload them on the computer. I'm sure there will be several people posting nice shots, though.
Last panel thingy was Richard Speight, aka The Trickster. I loved this guy's panel. He stood almost the entire time, and was also smaller, like Gabe, but built. He had the untucked oxford with jeans look that I find very appealing. And his hair was an asset to his story telling on many levels.
It was his first Con, but he was so natural and funny and engaging that I was sorry when it was over. He introduced himself by making sure we knew he was a god…on the show. Someone asked him about how it was to work with the guy who played Ernest in Ernest Goes to Camp (and I'm sorry, I'm blanking on the actor's name). He shared a story that immediately had me thinking of Terry.
He said he was 17 during the filming of that movie and that during a break once, he was standing next to actor-who-played-Ernest and Ernest turned to him and says "Do you know the trick to winning a knife fight?"
Richard replied, "Um… in fact, no."
Ernest reveals, "You don't want to stab them. You want to slash them. Stabbing risks losing the knife in your enemy. You slash and you weaken them."
Richard blinks, pauses, then replies with a heightened level of wary respect, "Thanks. Good to know."
He shared a lot of on-the-set stories about filming Band of Brothers where he played Skip Munk—one story in particular about tracking down Munk's family and finding the soldier's sister. The family had never really gotten the full story of how Munk died at the Battle of the Bulge and he was able to bring closure to them through his research into the part. His telling of the story was very touching and gave me goosebumps. My husband and I had enjoyed watching that mini-series because the hubs' grandfather was also at the Battle of the Bulge and we felt a connection to it. .Listening to Richard talk, I felt that same closeness.
He talked about getting the part as The Trickster and thinking he was going to be playing a janitor. Feeling rather confident that he had a handle on what janitors did, and therefore not really needing to do much research into the part, he hopped on the plane with the kid who played the college kid who was eventually probed (again and again and again, and then one more time) by the aliens and started reviewing the script—only then realizing that he was actually playing a god. He totally winged the whole Trickster mythology. But, hey, it worked for us, yeah? He said the best scene for him was watching Jensen get the crap beat out of him by two hot chicks.
He also shared that he'd once been invited to watch a Dallas Cowboys vs Green Bay Packers game with the boys in Jensen's trailer, but got the boys' trailers mixed up, accidentally breaking in to Jared's trailer and encountering two very big, very protective dogs. With a very amusing display of dexterity and balance, he elaborated on his expression and escape from Jared's dogs and his entrance into Jensen's trailer. Funny stuff.
His session ended with Gabe T's niece stepping up to the mic to ask him a few questions. It was funny, cute, and Richard handled it well.
After that, there was an auction (which I didn't participate in for previously voiced financial reasons) and another trivia game, but I took advantage of that time to head back to the room, freshen up, and call the hubs to inquire after Mo Chuisle. So far so good on that front. *breaths temporary sigh of relief* The silver ticket packet included autographs from all the stars, so at 6pm, amyblair and I were dutifully in our seats awaiting to be called alphabetically by Row. Gold tickets were to go first, then Silver, then privileged guests (or something like that).
By 8:30, they had only gotten to Row I. By 9:15ish, they moved all who were left (and this was a sizable amount of people) out into the lobby to line up because they had to get ready for Steve Carlson's concert. We had tickets for that, and it was supposed to start at 9:30, however, it soon became evident that food had to be in our very near future. I have low blood sugar issues…
So, we ducked out of line, went to the bar, ordered, started eating, nearly finished eating, and still were able to get back in line to get our autographs. At the end of the line, but still. We got our calendars signed at 10pmish. By this time those guys had been signing autographs for 4 hours. I felt so bad for them—and, I was a little worried about how it was all going to go on Sunday with Jared and Jensen…and making my plane at 8:40pm.
But I'll worry about that on Sunday.
Seeing TV actors up close was a new experience for me. A very pleasant one, actually. Even after all those hours of smiling and signing and being personable, both guys were still really friendly and gracious. Gabe signed my calendar "Sorry I'm dead," while Richard signed "Glad I'm not dead." Hee.
When we returned to the bar to finish eating, they were setting up karaoke. And that's when I hit my wall. Almost literally. amyblair and her husband decided to take on Chicago for a bit (they're night owls), and most of the other people I'd met or knew were going to the concert and then karaoke.
I, however, went to my room with my thanks for the gift of this day, my waves to those I passed in the hall, and my eternal gratitude to the inventor of sweatpants. Bliss.
I'm sure Steve's concert was fantastic, but I missed it. I am looking forward to Jason Manns tomorrow night, however. His songs I know rather well, thanks to a gift of a CD from EFW. *thanks, E!*
So, that's it for Day 1. I'll be back.