Number One (my oldest daughter, turning 15 tomorrow) and I saved up the money for tickets, but we weren't going to go this year unless Jared and/or Jensen was going to be there. Except she really wanted to go anyway, and it was a week before her birthday, so I was prone to saying yes. When they announced ticket sales and the only guests were the Ghostfacers, we (me and Lori and Megan, my compatriots from last year) were on the fence. But we wanted the Gold Package, we wanted row C, so we caved and bought tickets.
Then they announced Misha. And slowly, over the next several months, Richard (Trickster), Alona (Jo), Samantha Smith (Mary), Aldis (Jake), Rob (Chuck), and Katherine (the last Lilith). So that was cool. Not thrilling, but cool. Then one of the Ghostfacers backed out—Ed, I think. No, Harry. No, Ed. Oh, who cares? It meant one Ghostfacer. We were hoping for Jason Manns again, but we got Steve Carlson. Who was fine! I don't want to offend Steve Carlson fans. :) But I like Jason better. Over the next seven months, we had several bitter conversations about how Jared and Jensen hate us, and then they started filming and would have canceled at the last minute anyway. I don't know which would be worse. It was a lot of money for no Js.
Then Richard and the other Ghostfacer backed out two days before the convention, and I was muy disappointed. They added Matt Cohen (Young John Winchester) and Fredric Lehne (Yellow Eyes), which was cool. But honestly, last week, I wasn't excited. I looked forward to a trip away, and time with my friends, and a unique experience with my daughter, but the rest...meh.
So guess what happened?
It was better than last year.
I'm going to do the same thing I did last year: post my personal experiences, instead of reiterating stuff that's been all over the web for a week already. I don't have a lot of pictures to post, because we were too far from the stage and they mostly came out dark or blurry or you can barely tell who they are. Kayleigh from last year (with her sister Mallory) was right up front and posted some great photos and notes.
In case some of our readers don't troll the web or have Google alerts set up, I have to tell you that Fred is going to be back on Supernatural! He teased it on Friday, and credited us (the fans) for making it possible, then said flat out on Saturday that he was filming this week. So he'll be showing up early in the season.
I suggest everyone over 18 Google "Fred Lehne hamster pile Twister."
And check out reports of Misha's first stage session, especially.
Matt Cohen gave free hugs for two days. He gives good hugs.
Observations from Stage Time
Everyone was great. Funny, sweet, engaging. They all seemed really happy to be there. You could tell who had done this a lot (Misha) and who was new (Katherine). The new people were a little more guarded, though not in a "hold back" kind of way, more in a "what are they going to do to me" kind of way.
I loved Matt Cohen as Young John (or Baby John, as Megan calls him), but wasn't that fussed about him. He's about a million times cuter and more charismatic in person. Even if you think he's adorable or hot or whatever...until you meet him, you have no idea. Hooooooo, boy!
I was surprised how many of the actors are from NJ originally. Fred,
There were a lot more people there this year, right from the beginning, and more guys (probably due to there being more female guests). We saw tons of familiar faces. The most obnoxious people weren't there (we had a new one, but I won't talk about her...). I'm still bad at social interaction, but managed to muddle my way through a few conversations. *waves at Kayleigh and Mallory*
We actually had a lot less one-on-one time with the stars this year. But somehow, that didn't make it less of an experience. The karaoke party was more official, and Alona and Matt emceed and sang with some of the brave souls. Number One took too long to pick a song, though, and she got called up on stage two songs after they left. :(
Lori's husband's club membership got us rooms on the top floor, which is of course where the celebrities stayed. I had three encounters with them:
Random Man Walking Down the Hall with Woman Who Dropped a Piece of Paper: Hey. How ya doin'?
Me: *polite smile* "Great, thanks. How are you?"
Man: *smiles back, friendly* "I'm awesome."
Me: *OMGTHAT'SFRED* "You were great today!"
Fred (over his shoulder): "Thanks!"
Me: "No, thank you!"
Steve Carlson Passing Me in the Hall: "Hey."
Saturday night, very late, Lori, Number One, and I caught a 1.345-second glimpse of Matt crossing the hall from one room to another. Megan had walked in the other direction and our whispered screams for her attention didn't reach that far. No dialogue on that one.
I reiterate my assertion from last year: The Gold Package is the only way to go! Dessert Party, Concert, Breakfast, AND a far shorter wait time for autographs.
So here were my one-on-one experiences:
In his first Q&A session, he didn't give a single straight answer to anyone. It was all craziness. SO different from last year! At the autographing, I asked at what point (between last year's con and this one) he went insane. He said it was always there, but latent. We talked a little about how it's more fun, etc., and he agreed that it curbs the boredom of the same questions over and over again. He went a little straighter on the second day. It must have been the tie.
I hardly remember what Misha talked to us about at the dessert party, besides the awfulness of the pie. Oh, yeah, he commented on how the four of us seem to belong together. LOL Then he left his pie at our table.
We won't say any more about that.
Matt is one of those guys who is so good-looking, and who works so hard at maintaining his hotness, that he's very obviously aware of it and his effect on people. But he also managed to seem sincerely appreciative of our appreciation and was even slightly red a couple of the times he claimed to be blushing.
When someone at the mike said she was nervous, he got all up in her face, teasing her, then hugged her in consolation/comfort. So then the next person said she was nervous, so he hugged her, and then he said he thought we needed more hugs in the world, so he hugged every person who came up to ask a question, every person who got a photo op, and every person at the dessert party. When he came to our table, I asked if he regretted it yet, and he said no, his arms weren't tired, his chest didn't hurt. I said, "Yeah, but three or four conventions from now..." and he said "Maybe it will just be a New Jersey thing."
So you know what that means. Put July 8-10, 2011, on your calendars right now. :)
Matt charmed us so much we all pitched in for a second photo op and all got in the picture. We bought two ops, plus the jpegs, and Chris, the photographer I mentioned last year who's so freakin' cool, made extra prints for us on site. The second photo was a little more candid and a brilliant reminder of the awesome weekend.
Poor Aldis. He finished filming in Portland at 3:00 a.m. Saturday and flew to Jersey to be on stage and then in the photo ops and autographing, then he was at the dessert party until 12:30. I asked him around 6 if he'd slept all day, and he hadn't. Number One started to tell him, as he signed her poster, that she hadn't been watching Leverage but was about to start, but she pronounced it LEE-verage out of habit, and he teased her. :)
I can't remember what he talked about at our table. Not having time for TV, I think, because I said "well what are you doing, cool stuff like inventing watches and building violins?"
Yes, I am lame.
Samantha and Katherine
They were at the breakfast on Sunday, and I was so intimidated by Samantha's beauty and grace and so taken by Katherine's sweetness that once again, I can't remember what we talked about with them! Megan will remember, as she carried the conversations, as she always does.
I have a very hard time not calling Samantha Mary.
We didn't get one on one with Alona, except for Number One, who got a photo op with her, then endured many comments that they could be sisters. She was told to dress like Jo for the costume contest next year. :)
I'm going to wrap it up there, leaving you with my favorite fan vid of the weekend. The creator won a prize with it, as well as with a pop-up book she created for the centerpiece contest. It had a winged Castiel, the Impala, and a column of light (really lit!) in the convent. She's very talented. :)
So you all must join us next year! Okay, I don't know if I'm going yet, it depends. I have absolutely no hope Jared or Jensen will decide the Northeast is worth their presence, but now I know Creation and the guests they do get will guarantee us a good time.