I hope you all are good, and that you've enjoyed the rambles. I promise to reply to your comments this week. Take care of yourselves!
I'm at the O'Hare airport, slowly filtering back into reality. I'm a habitual eavesdropper (sorry) and standing in the security line it was strange to hear conversations about work and kids and travel and deadlines and money… and not Sam and Dean and John and YED and Ruby and the Impala…
This day was extremely surreal. I'll just tell you that now. It's over and I am actually a bit surprised. Everything was amazing, but happened so fast. I should warn you that I won't be able to give you the Full Boy Experience that you could get from some other reports. I woke up this morning, looked at the clock and thought, "The boys are in the hotel right this minute."
Then I giggled. Then I laughed at myself because I giggled. These boys have the power to make grown women giddy.
The Gold Ticket peeps had breakfast and the boys stopped by for 15 – 20 minutes to chat. I wasn't part of that, but I snagged wolfpup and got her take on it. She let me know that the boys were relaxed and in really good moods. They looked rested and happy and they were really friendly while the talked about the fact that they'd been reading things on the Internet about the con—and had heard Richard Speight's story about Jared's dogs.
With as many people that were there, the fact that random facts were misconstrued and full-on rumors were started didn't surprise me. It disappointed me, but it didn't surprise me. I didn't pay much attention, though. For the same reason I generally avoid forums and boards. I don't want to know all of that silliness.
After breakfast, amyblair and I camped out in the lobby talking to people, watching those we knew coming out of the photo shoots fanning themselves and grinning like happy fools, and IMing with people. I finally got to meet kamelionwriter after trying to coordinate all weekend. Oh, and I also managed to meet metalligirl and raputadabuta from TVGuide.com later in the day. Also? I had been sitting next to Winchester73 all weekend and had no idea until right before I left. Hee.
In general, we sat around and absorbed the energy all morning. I was very relaxed, almost sleepy, to be honest. As if nothing big were going to happen later that day. I never caught a stolen glimpse of the boys—the hotel and con crew kept them pretty sheltered and focused. When the auditorium opened up for the last auction, I went in and was amazed by how packed the room was. There were so many people there that for a moment I got a slightly suffocated, panicky feeling.
I got over it, though. We sat through the auction, then the rules about no pics, no personalizing the autographs, one question per person (which basically everyone ignored), be polite, etc. The rules made me anxious because there were so many people and people in general are totally unpredictable and… yeah.
Anyway, they played a fantastic vid (another of the contest winners) that was essentially a series recap. It seriously gave me a rush and I felt butterflies in my stomach for the first time.
The vid ended and Jared literally jump/rolled up on stage. I couldn't really see what he was trying to do, but I don't think he did what he meant because he hopped up with a little grin and a "Ha! That did not go as planned." He was wearing a black beanie-like hat with a brim, a black pea-coat looking thing, and a blue plaid shirt. He was basically dressed like Sam.
And the boy. Is. Big. Not just tall, he's solid. Built. Just. Wow. He gushed about the vid that was shown, said that it gave him chills and he wanted to look it up on YouTube. Guys, seriously, he is a total puppy. He sat in the chair nearly the whole time, but his being bounced. He laughed and kept commenting on how many people were there, thanking everyone for being such fans of the show and showing their support.
He talked about a football game with a BBQ and wine involved, and getting a pic at 2am that someone took of Jensen passed out on his bed with Jared's dogs Harley and Sadie taking advantage of Jensen's, um, altered state and laying in bed with him. Said it was a pic of his "three dogs." A girl came up to the mic at one point to ask a question, got completely overwhelmed and started crying, then just walked away, unable to talk.
Jared was like "Aww! Hey!" and jumped down off the stage (to the horror of his bodyguards, I'm sure) and chased her down and gave her a big hug. I melted. Sam may not be my "guy," but Jared is a friggin' sweetheart. He managed to complete the stage roll he'd attempted on his initial arrival the second time he took the stage and joked that he obviously has a stunt guy because he was winded and he just injured himself.
Someone brought up his working with the Olsen twins (which totally took me a minute… I was like Olsen what? Twins who?) and he pulled his hat down low with a "And thank you for bringing that up!" He said what got him into acting was that he'd had a crush on a girl who had "JTT" on her folder and so he wanted to be on Home Improvement to impress the girl. Then he just found that he liked it.
He comically scratched his nose with his mic, then realized what he was doing. Rubbing it under his arms he said that it would be the mic Jensen used. Boys… *shakes head*
There was a comment that this season Sam has only been strangled once—he said it was because he was tired of being strangled, so he just started to act poorly whenever he got strangled so that they would stop. He put his fingers around his own throat and in a totally dead voice said. "I can't breathe. Dean. Dean. Save me." He shared how hard it was to do the ADR voice overs when there was a strangling scene… personally, I couldn't imagine.
The questioning when a tiny bit south with a, "Now that Sam's only into dead chicks…" *insert groan* Someone called his mind-control hand power thingy an ipecac hand (wha??)… He didn't get it at first… which, neither did I because I always call it "using the Force" but they explained it was because the human "threw up" the demon. So… this became a running joke, as did Sam's apparent necrophilia. *sighs* Fans are a strange brew.
He talked about the episode Yellow Fever and said that it was so hard not to laugh at Jensen—he ruined a bunch of shots because he was laughing so hard. He said he had no idea how far Jensen would take the Eye of the Tiger spoof, but that he was dying in the background and commented on how you could hear it because he was miced.
Someone asked him about Sera Gamble episodes, and he said that for him, Sera = getting naked, crying, or getting naked and crying. Which, of course, the audience went crazy over. He spoke a bit about working with Peter O'Toole on "The Christmas Cottage" – and that the man was a true inspiration. He also talked about working with Bon Jovi in "Cry Wolf" and that he (Jared) was a true fan and that JBJ was just a regular guy, drinking a beer in a bar.
*note to self: rent Cry Wolf*
He started to address the "relations" with Sam and Ruby when Jensen came out to an incredible roar from the crowd.
Jensen, man… he is beautiful. He carries himself so differently from Jared. He wasn't rolling up on the stage and bouncing like a Labrador. He moved smoothly, almost carefully. I know this is going to sound odd, but he moved like Dean—shoulder roll, bowlegged, prepared. After seeing Jared be so different from Sam, it was interesting to see Jensen be so like Dean.
He was in a white button-down, untucked, with a tan sweater over it. The tails of the shirt poked out from beneath his sweater. He also had on jeans and boots. He was dressed more like…Jason Teague than Dean Winchester. But man, he wore it good. He has that triangle frame, you know? The broad shoulder tapering to the narrow waist.
Someone said that she made action figures and wanted to know what they'd want their action figures to look like. Sam teased about his "hand of ipecac" and Jensen said his arm would have to bend at the elbow so that Dean could still eat. Since that's all they seem to want him to do. *grin*
Here's something I observed. Their body language betrayed their personalities—or at least the personalities they were comfortable sharing with a crowd of 800+ people. The chairs they sat in were those sling-back director's chairs, and Jared sank back against the seat, right leg crossed over left, ankle resting on his knee. His right arm was hooked over the back of the chair and he rested the mic on his chin a lot of the time.
He was very open, inviting.
Jensen, however, for the most part, sat forward on the chair, his heels hooked in the front run, elbows resting on his knees, mic tented in his hands. He almost seemed to be curled in on himself. Very I'll decide if you get to come in. I thought of Jason Manns' comment on how he could see Dean in Jensen and Jensen in Dean, and in this, I saw Dean in Jensen. But in the way he talked, he wasn't like Dean at all, really.
They were both just as everyone said: gracious, super-nice, friendly, and funny as hell.
They were flirty with some of the questioners—for example, someone came up to the mic with a "what's up, cutie?" and Jensen came back with a "what's up yourself, sweet thing?"
Holy. Crap. How shallow am I that hearing his voice roll that out turned me to mush.
Jared did a Jensen "I take life very seriously" impression. He couldn't help himself. People were talking to Jensen and Jared was very much that puppy bouncing up and down looking to be petted. He's so adorable.
There were comments thanking them for bringing moms and teenage daughters together, questions about what they feared, what their favorite color was… Jensen told a story about how he liked blue and that on SPN his marks were blue, Jared's were red. But while filming MBV this summer, he was looking for his mark, totally confused, and when he was shown the red marks, he basically said they had to talk. He was way too used to looking for blue and knowing that Sam was on red.
Jensen speaks with such profound and moving respect about his Dad and how the man inspires him. It's fantastic to hear. Not everyone can say that, and when you hear such genuine admiration about such a person, you can't help but warm to the idea. Even if your own might not elicit the same response. It's nice to know that such feelings are out there.
Jared said that he would go back to do a Gilmore Girls' movie, if there was one. He'd go back to playing "Dean." Jensen said that there was only one Dean, to which Jared replied that he was the first, the original, and he'd been Dean for five years. Jensen simply shrugged with an "I'm gaining…"
Jensen was asked to reenact the "cat" scene from Yellow Fever, but he declined saying he couldn't do it justice, and he was 99% sure there would be several outtakes on the DVDs. Which I can't wait for because his "that was scary" still breaks me up.
They talked about the scariest thing that happened to them—not on the show. Jared succinctly replied that he'd flipped a car once while filming Flight of the Phoenix and thought he was dead. Jensen said he'd been in a small 11 person flight from Denver to somewhere in New Mexico I think and it was through a terrible storm and his buddy literally turned to him and said "it was nice being your friend." They white-knuckled it all the way in. *looks apprehensively out at snow falling on tarmac*
When asked what mythology they'd like to see on the show, Jensen immediately replied "Nessy." I laughed and thought of Bayre who had recently written a zine story called Monster Lake that was along those lines. Right on, man!
Then Jensen said he'd like them to do a time-warp episode where the boys could go back to the old west, and I chuckled again, thinking of EagleGirl6 because her birthday story that I have planned, called Heroes for Ghosts, is just that thing. Hee.
Someone said they'd heard Jared was fluent in Italian and French and I thought the boy was going to choke laughing. The one foreign language he speaks? Canadian, apparently. Let's see… Jensen drives a Toyota Tundra… Jared never turns down a Guitar Hero challenge (I'm telling you, the questions were wide-spread and somewhat random). Jared's superpower would be similar to Aquaman, while Jensen went with "flying"… to which Jared gave him a hard time.
If they could go back in time, Jared would go back to meet his parents when they were his age to see if they really didn't do all the stuff they said they didn't do, while Jensen wanted to go back to the Midevil times so that he could be a true hero and rescue a damsel in distress. Hee. Jared teased him saying he could get a real bitchin' one-horse-powered wagon.
They answered an "after SPN, will you still be friends" with enough sarcasm that I think they confused the poor gal asking. When asked about tattoos, they said they didn't have any real ones, and weren't against them, but that to have them as an actor meant two more hours in the make-up chair a lot of times and they'd rather sleep.
--boarding to Kansas City—
Okay, I'm home now. I have to get this finished and posted tonight while the experience is still fresh and before real life leaches the surreal aspect far enough away that I start to doubt it even occurred.
So, where was I? Oh, right. Tattoos. Anyway, the subject of them living together was brought up and it was unanimous between them that Jared took longer to get ready in the morning, laughingly making him "the girl." While Jared chuckled, I felt a bit bad for him. His excuse was that he worked out every morning (and damn does it show) and that he had two dogs to corral. Jensen just sighed and said he could write a book called "Waitin' on Jared."
When it was Jared's time to leave, there were some chair antics—just boys being boys—and then it was Jensen alone.
Random for a moment—someone asked me if my draw was to Jensen or to Dean. I bet many of us have pondered that very thing about whichever character is our favorite. My answer was that I found Jensen to be an amazing actor. He has actually spoiled me for many others that I used to eagerly anticipate. There aren't many out there that can draw from me the emotions that this guy does. And aesthetically, he is quite possibly the most attractive man I have ever met. Wow, I can actually say that, now.
Anyway, point is—after SPN is over, I will watch anything Jensen is in. TV show or movie. Because I enjoy him and I admire him.
However, Dean is my muse. It's the character of Dean that pulled me in. It's that character that I identified with. That started me writing again. And the character is an amalgamation of the talent of the person who created him, the writers who craft him, and the man who embodies him.
Okay, so, blah blah blah, Gaelic, get back to the boys, right?
The audience actually shifted when it was just Jensen. With Jared—and even with both of them—we seemed to all respond to the frenetic energy that Jared exuded. I think inside we were all bouncing. When it was just Jensen, it seemed as if the room sighed and we leaned back in our seats. He even commented on how quiet everyone was suddenly. Let's see… questions that he was asked… he said that his least favorite epi so far was "In the Beginning" simply because Jared got to go to Hawaii for a week and it was a lot of hard work taking Dean through that journey.
He talked about Sam's hair—that Jensen was sick of his own hair and how he had to keep it short, and he knew Jared was ready to cut it, but wouldn't. He said both "Son of a…" and "that's awesome" and, God help me, I grinned like an idiot. He was asked to reprise his Eye of the Tiger dance, and after a face palm with a "Why did I ever do that" mutter, he pulled out the leg guitar, then winced with a "I pulled a hammy."
He said, and I'm pretty sure I detected a note of humor in his voice when he answered, that if he wasn't acting, he'd like to be a fisherman—just not Deadliest Catch kind. I got the feeling that he was like "I know ya'll watch the YouTube downloads of other cons… maybe don't repeat questions?" Well, at least I was like that…
He said that he modeled the "cat scream" after Jared's Season 3 gag reel scream when Peter DeLuise pulled out the gun and Sam screamed, then Dean joined in. Hee. He said that yes, he would have been friends with Dean in real life, but that Dean would be the friend he was always having to pull out of trouble. Season 4 has been by far his favorite, that the magic fingers bed really had a big, sweaty grip underneath shaking the hell out of the bed, and that the last concert he'd been to was Martin Sexton in Vancouver.
After that series of questions, someone brought up that Season 5 was to be the show's last season according to Kripke and Jensen revealed that actually Kripke wanted to end it with this season. It was their syndication season, and all he had to do was get through this and they could be in rerun heaven. He told the boys that they were tossing in all the chips and going for broke. Boys were like "bring it." Then the ratings came in. And Kripke realized he couldn't stick with that plan.
Jensen promised that the ride was going to be awesome—that they've adjusted the overall story arch to accommodate another year, and that some of the stories that were canned because of the writer's strike last year would actually get their moment to shine.
When someone brought up the suicidal bear from Wishful Thinking, Jensen got up and actually started to pace a bit—which made it hard to take pics, but I didn't care, because I adore watching him walk. He said that his first thought upon seeing the script was "What are they thinking?!" But, he said, it was true Ben Edlund, so what could you do.
Let's see… he learned how to say "I love you" in Chinese by a fan and spread his arms wide to encompass the audience, repeating the phrase. He said that driving the boat that is the Impala is a kick in the ass (naturally). His favorite gun is his Colt 1911. He laughed saying that if the sawed-off that he shot were filled with live rounds, it would most likely knock him on his ass when fired. He repeated Jason's BB gun story, saying "That's what Texas guys do when they're bored." He acted out getting shot in the leg by a BB, then turned around and in a pained voice said, "Okay, Dude, your turn."
His favorite pie is his Gran's chocolate… and then… he was done.
And then… I got nervous. Thanks to the generosity of a friend, I was able to stand up with the whole "those who have the special tickets" and head to the front of the line. I held amyblair's banner and my photo—I'd purchased one of the new S4 promo shots with both boys because I had no idea what I was going to have them sign, and that seemed like a good idea—and talked with the others in the line about who knows what.
The boys were sitting at a table behind a curtain in the main room; Jensen first, then Jared. They pulled back the curtain and allowed two-three in at a time. When it was my turn, I was the last of a group of three and found myself suddenly staring at Jensen. I had that tight feeling in my chest that I get at the mere concept of having to stand in front of people and talk. I told myself this was silly, I could smile, I could breathe. He's just a guy.
I watched him sign the pic of the girl in front of me, and noticed how he looked down at the pic and then swept his eyes up to her and smiled. Good Lord, people. He truly is a beautiful man. His eyes crinkled at the corners, his lashes were so long, they actually caught a glint from the overhead lights. It was my turn.
I kinda felt a bit like we were in the kitchen of the Soup Nazi the way they had us hand over our tickets, step to the side, no personalization, no pics, move along, move along…
So, I handed him my picture—facing me, not him, like an idiot—and he turned it around to face him. I noticed his hands. He has very sturdy hands, blunted fingers, strong looking. He tilted his head at the pic and then looked up at me. His eyes were most definitely green. He says, "You like this?" sounding doubtful. I took it to mean the S4 promo pics.
I nodded, and without a trace of tremble in my voice, heard myself say, "Yeah, I think they're good. I like the one with you in the denim better, but Jared wasn't in it."
He narrowed his eyes a bit, pushing out his lips, and said, "So?"
I had nothing. I just grinned. He signed it, pushed it back toward me, and said, "There you go, sweetie." I almost forgot amyblairs banner as I stuck out my hand like a stiff-armed robot. If I missed this opportunity, not only would I kick myself, but Terry has threatened me. With knives.
He had the pen still in his hand, but he smiled—that half cocked grin—and took my hand. It wasn't a wussy-I-don't-want-to-touch-a-stranger grip, either. It was an honest-to-God handshake. He said he'd sign the banner for me as I stepped over to Jared.
Jared looked at the pic, signed by his figure while I was gathering up the banner, and then he pushed it back toward him. I said, "Thank you, Sir." I didn't mean, y'know, sir Sir. I just say that. Ma'am and Sir. But Jared kinda half-laughed with a "Hah!" and I looked up. I realized his eyes were a lot smaller than Jensen's—something I probably noticed in the show, but never really cared about. But with the enormity of Jensen's eyes still seared into my brain, Jared's appeared small. But he was grinning, and there's not much you can care about when that boy is grinning.
He said, "You're welcome, hon." And, they showed me the exit.
I think I actually stood rather still for a moment, processing the fact that I'd just spent the last 30 seconds with the boys I bring into my living room each week. It was… well, yeah. Surreal.
I spent the rest of the time talking to different people I'd met there and/or before, filling time, ignoring the fact that my hands shook. I took Amy her banner, then retrieved my suitcase. They moved the audience through the signing wicked fast and the guys were out of there by 6:15. So… in hindsight, I could have still made my plane. But, we really had no way of knowing that.
And now… I'm left to find a way appropriate enough to thank my new friend for this quite literally once-in-a-lifetime gift. Because while it was an unbelievable experience, one that I will remember and recount for years to come, I don't think I'd do it again. Not this kind of con, any way. The professional, structured, meet-the-stars con. Kazcon is coming up in August, and even if I wasn't on the planning committee, I'd still go.
Because then we can talk about the muse, the story, the antics, and our love of them all.
But as I sit here in my kitchen with toothpicks propping open my eyelids, I feel my face relaxing into a grin that I actually breathed the same air as the boys for a short time.
Pretty freakin' awesome.
I'll see what I can upload as far as pics ASAP, promise. Hope you all are well and happy, and I can't wait to "see" you on Thursday/Friday after the epi.