Saturday, November 5, 2011

Sunday at Chicago's all about Jensen.

Well, I’ve been promising to do this all week, so finally, here it is.…Jensen and the Q&A....

As many of you know, I went to Chicago Con. It was my second US Supernatural convention. I live in Australia…so yeah; it’s a ways to go, but so totally worth it! LACon in February was my first experience with Jensen and I was blessed enough to attend his inaugural jam session with Jason Manns, which is an experience I will forever hold and treasure in my heart as one of the most amazing moments of my life.
This time around I was determined to do the Q&A with Jensen. That’s twenty people in a room with him for ½ an hour. Hazel and I, my buddy and convention cohort, who I joyously experienced the jam session with, had decided come Hell or high water that Q&A would be ours. So we bid together and to our upmost pleasure, won two spots! There were texts flying between New Zealand and Australia at 4am that morning let me tell you!
Now the Sunday at the convention is all about the boys. The Friday and Saturday had been a blast. Karaoke was something else. Really, really something else! I nearly peed myself when Mark Pellegrino showed up! I have this thing for his Lucifer….awkwardly….and there he was on stage, beer in hand, jumping up and down. The guests were all amazing. Misha was his usual wicked self. My friend Bianca and I beat him up in our photo…it’s hilarious. Matt told me he was “fuckin’ awesome” I’d have to agree. Chad and I compared black nail polish, and I managed to get a couple of really good hugs from Mark Pellegrino. Lucifer is a hugger and he also has a potty mouth! I’m totally smitten with that man. So the Friday and Saturday were amazing, utterly amazing, but for me, the con is all about the Sunday.

I thought, as I’d done this Jensen and Jared thing once before, I’d be cool. Wrong. I actually think I was more nervous this time. Maybe it’s because I’m even more in love with Jensen now, damn it, so I got up ridiculously early and meticulously got ready. Everything looked ok, outfit.…check….hair….check....stomach….flip-flopping….oh well, two out of three ain’t bad! With Hazel by my side, I headed on down to the Js breakfast panel. Whoa! I had the most awesome seat, right in the middle, dead centre and strangely, sitting with my friends Andrea and Chris from Perth…3 Aussies on the one table! What are the odds!
The breakfast panel was great. Lots of yucks. When the boys came out I think I gasped a little, I know Andrea did! Jensen looked AMAZING. Jared was wearing a tie on Gen’s instructions that Jensen had to do up for him….bless them both. I’m always totally baffled at how beautiful they are and how at ease and totally sweet they are with everyone.  As usual it was over way too quick and we were off to the auditorium to await our photos with the Js.
I was with a bunch of friends and we were all sharing photos, so it was quite strategic how we’d sorted it out to ensure we took the least amount time and caused the least amount of fuss. We had a running order for the Jensen op! I was involved in 7 photos! I actually said to him at one point, “I promise I’m going soon.” He laughed….he’s so polite. He was in a great mood. There were all the hugs we could ever want and I managed to get the mystical ‘hug from behind’ shot….see my twitter profile pic. It’s all so quick and discombobulating though! I find the photo ops incredibly challenging! For one of my J2s I asked Clif if I could get the Sam & Dean Mr Potato Heads, the Spudchesters in a shot and he organised it for me with the Creation people, bless him, he’s an absolute doll. Then last but in no way least it was Jared. Now, because Hazel and I were both doing the Jensen Q&A we got to go first for our Jared pics. I was going to ask him to get behind me and do a muscle flex, but when I started to say can you go behind me….he just went “Oh sure” and got me in a big hug from behind….I ain’t complaining. My Jensen and Jared ‘hug from behind’ shots were my favourite from the convention.
So in a flurry of awkwardness and nerves the photos ops were done and Hazel and I ran down the hall to the room where the Q&A was to take place. There had been much discussion as to how we would be seated. Would it be first in best dressed? Would they pull numbers from a hat? Apparently both of these scenarios have happened before. But the Creation dude at the door just asked our names and said, “You’re in seats 9 & 10.” I looked down and saw that the first row started with 1 and the second row started with 11……bloody hell….we were in the front row! I have to say Hazel and I have been incredibly blessed with our con experiences. We had the perfect seats for the jam, Jensen wiggled his chair so he was looking directly at us….poor bugger….we were teary nearly all the way through it….and now, here we were front row of his Q&A! Our best guess is the seats were allocated on the winning bidding order. Anyway, regardless, my heart was racing. I was so damn excited. ½ an hour with Jensen? BLISS! I’m such a nitwit in the photo ops, I didn’t think I’d ever be able to ask a question….but I was wrong!
The Creation dude gave us a run down of how things would happen. Jensen would arrive in a few minutes. He was there for us to talk to him. This was our chance to ask him a question without an auditorium full of people watching and judging us. They’d give him a two minute warning before the end and he’d take one last question, but we had his undivided attention for ½ an hour. Like I said, BLISS. The Creation dude left the room and we all sat there with baited breaths, or at least I did. A couple of minutes later the door behind and to the left of Hazel and I opened and we heard him walk in.
To be honest, I can’t remember all the questions in detail, though I’ll give it a bash. There are quite a few reports around that can give you that blow by blow. I more remember and treasure the moment and how it made me feel.
Jensen strode into the room…there’s really no other word for it….saying hello to everyone as he walked. He took his seat in front of us. It was a nice high one so everyone could see him. He was only like a metre away, so really, really close! Straight off the bat I was just amazed by him. He said “Hi” to everyone and looked around the room and said, “Do I know you all, yeah I think I know you all.” Then he kind of mentally ticked us all off, except one girl in the second row. He called her out as a newbie and she said it was her first con. He asked where she was from and she said about 10 minutes away and he said “Nice of you to schlep your way down here!”
The whole thing was really casual and relaxed and I was shocked at how relaxed I was! He gives off the most amazing, calming energy. Really, I wish I had enough superlatives.
For some reason neither Hazel nor I can remember what the first question was! But it was asked by the girl 2nd along in the front row. The next question came from Hazel! We’d pondered few times as to whether Jensen would have someone famous he’d love to meet or have his photo taken with. So Hazel said to him that we’d both been wondering “Does he ever fan-girl over anyone?” He looked at us both and said “No.”  We said “Really?” And then he thought about it and launched into a story about meeting Luke Perry, yes Luke Perry, at LAX after flying back from Vancouver on the same plane as him. I think he meant to use the story as an example of how Danneel fan-girled over Luke “It’s Dylan!” Perry, but it kinda came across like he fan-girled! He really loves the movie 8 Seconds and wanted to tell Luke what a fan he was. Luke was super polite and asked his name and then said he recognised him from Supernatural and congratulated him on all his success (I’m a Luke Perry fan so I was all nawwwww over this). They ended up walking out together where Jensen introduced Luke to Danneel and this is when Danneel had her little moment! Jensen said the blood left her face. He thought it was pretty funny because to him, she’s always just so cool. It was a very cute story ending in Jensen being a little over excited that Luke said if ever he got another cowboy script he’d give Jensen a call. So, maybe Jensen does fan-girl!
Now the thing is, it’s not so much the beautiful, articulate and highly entertaining answers Jensen gives; it’s the way he gives them. He locks on to you. Complete eye contact. He looked between Hazel and I as he explained his answer. He thinks about it. He makes you feel important. He makes you feel like he really is interested in talking to you. I know I’ve said this before, but he is an incredibly gracious human being. My heart was equal parts racing and exploding at being this close to him and having him speak to me like, well like a person he’s interested in speaking to and not this crazed nitwit in his photo op! Like I said, not enough superlatives.
We had a fantastic moment when a girl asked about the J’s weapons training for the show. She was on leave from Afghanistan and said the guys in her battalion really wanted to know about how they train because of the way they are able to handle and clean the guns etc. Jensen, very proudly, told us how he can take apart and put back together both Dean’s Colt 1911 and Sam’s Barretta without looking and while delivering dialogue, but though he looks great at the gun stuff he’s really just TV great. He’s good enough for what he needs to do for the show. I have a sneaking suspicion he was being modest. He then got all excited telling us about how they go over the border to Washington to this friend’s place to practice on his private firing range. Then he pulls out his iPhone. Just a couple of weeks ago they’d been there practicing and Clif had taken a video. He hopped of his chair and told us to gather around so he could show us. So that’s what we did. There we all were huddled around Jensen as he showed us this…really rather hot….video of him firing weapons and being a complete boy! I was so close that I could see every single damn freckle and though I was watching the video, honest I was, I took a moment to take in every inch of the beautiful man standing in front of me, from his shoes to the top of his head, surreptitiously of course. Call me a perve if you want, but when do you get that kind of opportunity, to really check out Jensen Ackles! I can’t even with the perfection.
The first video, I think he was firing Dean’s 1911, ended with him turning to the camera and giving this huge cheesy grin! Idjit! We all fell about laughing, as did he and we all went to sit down and he said “Wait, come back I’ve got another one.” He then showed us a second video, this time of him firing some kind of automatic something or other, that looked kind of like the guns Leviathan Sam and Dean used. He said, “First I take a couple of practice shots” pop pop pop “Then I fire it” blammmmmm! Oh my God! Ok, I really am not a gun fan at all, but it was SMOKIN’ hot! Like seriously SMOKIN’ HOT! But the best bit about the whole thing was how pleased with himself Jensen looked! He was absolutely beaming as he showed us that video! It was just such a lovely moment, to allow us to get that close to him and to share his personal video with us. Special, that’s what it was.
There was a woman there who was a midwife who shared a story about how the baby she’d just helped deliver was named after him. She had pictures. Jensen hopped down and took them off her to have a really good look. He then told us about how he was born with a full black ‘fro and his dad thought “Hmmmmm” but then he went platinum blonde until he was about 12. He seemed genuinely astonished that the baby was named Jensen, not just because they liked the name but because they like him.
We had the, what is your favourite season question. Season 1 right? I think I could pretty much answer that for him, but it was nice to hear him speak about how he loved the format of the MOTW closed end episodes of season 1. Then he spoke about how he really didn’t enjoy season 6. He says it’s because of the workload and not having his relationship with Jared to play off, but you get the distinct feeling that he didn’t much care for how Dean was playing out in 6. I really don’t think he was into the domestication of Dean Winchester.
Then the last episode he directed was brought up and this gave me a chance to ask a question! Off the back of whatever the answer to that question was (sorry I can’t remember), I put up my hand and he nodded at me and I said “Off that, there was a scene where Dean is lying on the couch and there was some audio on the TV, one bit was a My Bloodiest Valentine gag ad and the other, my favourite, was about the Wildebeest lazing on the savannah. Was that your creative or was that in script?” And guess what! I actually sounded like an intelligent human being! He then went on to tell me about how something’s are in script and others are added in post. As he’s not as actively involved in the post due to shooting, I asked, “So were these your suggestions?” and he said “Yes they were.” He gave them his ideas but that didn’t necessarily mean they would get in, though in this case they did and it turns out the voiceover on the Wildebeest video was done by none other than Bob Singer! So that was a nice little tidbit he shared! Then Hazel nudged me and mumbled to ask about the Goo Goo Dolls track that was in the scene with young Sam & Amy, because she’s a fan. Jensen explained that song was not originally chosen, but sometimes you can’t get the rights or the song you want is too expensive so they work their way through until they find one that works and fits the budget etc. I have to say, I used a Goo Goo Dolls track for a promo I produced and it was incredibly good value!
The whole time he answered my question, he looked right into my eyes. I found myself leaning so far forward in my chair I was at risk of falling off! He’s so compelling in how he speaks and specifically how he speaks to you. I know I’m crazy-town in love with him, but seriously, I can say enough nice things.
One of the last questions was one about Dean. He was asked if he ever gets a script and thinks “Dean what are you doing?” Now, I would quite like to ask this question again, but phrase it differently, because I took it to mean action, as in Dean’s actions or story arc, but Jensen took it to mean dialogue. Anyway, he then went into a brilliant story about how sometimes Jared and him have to change the script to Sam and Deanify the words. He used the break-up scene at the end of “Slash Fiction” as an example. Of course, we were yet to see this episode so he tried not to spoil us and just said Dean and Sam “Have a falling out.” He then did a magnificent rendition of how the scene was originally written and how it sounded like a bad break-up from a rom-com! He did it complete with the ‘speak to the hand’ hand and the pouty head turn. It was brilliant! He said this was the second time this season he’d had to tweak Dean’s dialogue but that everyone trusts him because they know he’s just about protecting the character. He speaks with such love for Dean and respect for everyone involved in the production. He’s very open in telling us this stuff, but incredibly professional in how he relates it.
Actually that’s what I’d say, in these small groups, like the jam and the Q&A he’s very open. People always call him reserved, I’ve even heard standoffish, but that is so not my experience at all. I find him incredibly warm and giving and a very open and honest man. Gracious and generous. Again, like I said, not enough superlatives.
Before I knew what was happening, it was over. Though I have to say it felt like a good long ½ hour. He thanked us all for coming said his goodbyes, walked past me, smiled down and said “bye”….and then left.
Hazel and I sat there for a moment, silently squeeing and ever so slightly clinging to each other.
I can’t even express to you how blessed I feel to have had these experiences with Jensen. He impresses me so much and not just because he’s so damn gorgeous it makes my eyeballs ache but because he's just such a lovely man. A really, really lovely man. He's a beautiful soul. Damn, I wish you could have all just heard me sigh as I typed that.
Anyway, of course we had the Js panel next, which was fantastic and ended in Jensen sharing the very touching and moving story about his youngest nephew Levi. It was the way he shared it that made it especially moving, he told us the story like we were his friends. You know how Jared and him always say we’re family? In that moment I believed 100% that is how he feels, that we’re family. This man….
Then I had my autos. I bought one of the banners so I got to go up first. This gave me the chance to thank him for the day, to which he said “You are most welcome and thank you” and then I said “See you in LA” and he said “Ok!” and then I walked away feeling elated and crushed. Elated because I’d just had another totally amazing experience with this man that I respect so much and crushed because, well, it was over, and now I have to wait until LA to do it all again.
Of course Jared was a complete doll too, he really is beyond adorable. He called me a tease! I nearly died from the hotness. It was all about the Spudchesters and butts and I don’t know what I said, but he looked at me and said….”Oooo you’re a tease.” DEAD.
So that was the Jensen Q&A and Jensen and Jared Sunday. Through the Supernatural conventions I’ve met the most amazing people, some of which I now consider my closest friends. This time around I got to meet my good friend Nicole, whom I’ve known through twitter for ages. I’ve spent time with the cast of a show that means so much to me on a daily basis, that it’s difficult for me to put into words. And I’ve spent time with Jensen, listening to him sing, listening to him speak, coming eye to eye with him in conversation….. I’m not sure how everyone else feels who has met him, but it seems to me, the more time you spend with Jensen, the harder it is to walk away…..
Bring on LACon. Supernatural conventions are my happy place…..