Part 1 – cocktails, breakfast, unexpected Misha meetings and odd boots…..
(photos by sweetondean)
Last weekend I attended the All Hell Breaks Loose III convention in Sydney. How it works is, Sydney gets the cast on the Friday night and all day Saturday, before they fly to Melbourne on the Saturday night for another full day of panels and whatnot on the Sunday. Busy cast is busy! Our very special guests this year were Misha, Jim, Richard, Traci and Corin. Corin was literally last minute as AJ Buckley and Travis Wester were late pullouts. So Corin basically hopped on a plane at a moment’s notice, bless him and thank goodness because he’s awesome…but I’ll get to that later.
I got myself the big ticket. That’s the one that gets you into all events. Yep, I went Platinum. I bought it when the tickets first went on sale in 2010 would you believe! I can’t even remember if any guests were confirmed at that stage…it was so long ago!
Anyway, I live in Sydney about 40 minutes from the city, but as the Friday night cocktail party and the breakfast on the Saturday morning were both going to be held at the Mercure Hotel in town, I thought, well, why not make a weekend of it. So on the Wednesday before the convention, I booked a room for the Friday and Saturday nights.
I took the Friday off work and headed to the hotel about 2 in the afternoon. I checked in and went up to my room just as Jim tweeted a picture that looked startlingly like the view I was looking at out of my window at that exact moment! Right down George Street with a glimpse of Central Station. Hmmmm.
Seeing as I was probably going to have a couple of drinks that night, I decided I better pop out and get a snack. So I grabbed my wallet and headed down stairs. I got out of the lift and walked towards the lobby and stopped in my tracks. There standing right in front of me playing with his phone was Misha Collins. An unexpected Misha sighting! I froze. About a million things went through my mind. Is that…yes it is…oh God it’s Misha….wait…should I say something…he’s staying HERE? I guess so….whoa that’s odd….so should I say hi…maybe I should just leave him alone…I probably shouldn’t bug him…I don’t want to come off as stalky….is it weird to go say hi? It’s probably rude not to right? Hang-on…is he looking at me? Gah! He’s seen me looking at him…okay, he can tell I’ve recognised him…I better say something…I’m going say something…oh no I’m walking past him…why am I walking past him? Amy stop being an idiot…turn around and…..
So there I stood chatting to Misha Collins in the lobby of the Mercure Hotel in Sydney.
He stuck out his hand and I shook it….
Me: “It’s good to see you again, welcome to Sydney!”
He had that, hang-on I’ve seen this one before, look that the cast members seem to get when you go to a few conventions. This was the 5th time I’d met Misha.
Misha: “It’s good to see you too, we’ve met before haven’t we?”
Me: “Yes a couple of times. Are you looking forward to the weekend?”
Misha: “Yes, it’s going to be fun, are you going to be at the function tonight”
Me: “Yes I am, that’s why I’m staying here.”
Misha: “Oh, you’re not from Sydney?”
Me: “Yes I am.”
Pause. I suddenly felt awkward and thought maybe I should leave him alone.
Me: Well I’ll....”/Misha “Where…”
Me: “Oh sorry, what were you going to ask?” I kinda grabbed his arm at this point.
Misha: “No, no it’s ok.”
Me: “No, sorry, I interrupted you.”
Misha: “I was going to ask where in Sydney you’re from?”
Me: “Oh, the Northern Beaches”
Misha: “Oh I went there last time, it’s beautiful.”
Me: “Yep I grew up there it’s only about 40 minutes away but I thought I’d stay in the city for the convention you know make a weekend of it have a mini-break.” Ooops forgot to breathe and I was beginning to babble.
Misha: “Oh, nice.” Small awkward silence. Shuffle. Shuffle.
Me (soldiering on): “Are you travelling with your family?”
Misha: “No, I’m flying solo, but my mother is meeting me in Melbourne.”
Me: “Oh that’s lovely!”
Misha: “Yes it will be.”
Me: “So are you off to do some sight seeing?” (So much for not bugging him!)
Misha: “Yes I’m about to.”
Me: “Oh well enjoy, at least it’s stopped raining”
Misha: “Yes, yesterday wasn’t very nice”
Me: “I know, sorry about that.” He laughed. “The morning was nice though.”
Misha: “Yes, it was lovely in the morning, I got to go out and enjoy it.”
Okay……. we’d resorted to talking about the weather…it was time to go!
Me: “Well… I better let you go, I’ll see you tonight.”
Misha: “I’ll look forward to it.” Smiles. Winks.
Then I walked off, grinning like a freakin’ idiot.
I waited while the dude at the bakery heated up a vegie pie for me. I was kind of buzzing all over the place. I kept giggling! The pie dude was looking at me like I was an insane person. I was bouncing on the spot with a crazy smile plastered across my face! Then, pie in hand I went back to the hotel. As I walked down the stairs into the lobby…well looky here…there’s Richard!
I went through the whole thing again. Should I say something? He was standing and Misha was sitting talking to some guy. So as I walked past Richard I said, “Hi Richard!” all bright and nonchalant.
Now Richard actually recognises me from the conventions. He recognised me in Burbank and when we talked at the autographs he asked if he’d be seeing me in Australia and I said yep in Sydney and we had a short chat about how it was going to be his first time downunder and he hoped he would get a few days here to look around. So Richard turns around and goes…
“Hey! Hi! It’s good to see you! How you doing?”
(Misha looked up at this point…he probably thought, oh no!)
Me: “I’m good. Welcome! I’m really looking forward to the weekend.”
Richard: “Thank you. Me too we’re going to have a blast.”
Then Richard kind of looked over at Misha and back to me, like…wait did you see Misha.
Me: “Misha and I have already said hi, we ran into each other earlier.”
Richard: “Oh, ok. Will you be at the party tonight?”
Me: “Yep I will.”
Me: (learning finally) “Ok I’ll leave you guys to it. See you tonight.”
I waved at Misha, he waved back.
I walked to the lift laughing and shaking my head. Random. So totally random to run into them like that! Talk about a fantastic start to the weekend!
My plan was to have a little nap before the evening event, but as you could well imagine, that plan went out the window in a flurry of fan-girl excitement. Instead I sort of stalked around my hotel room not knowing what to do with myself! At 5.30 I headed down to the bar, tweeting a couple of pals who were also staying in the hotel, asking them to meet me down there.
Now…this is the thing, as much as I love and adore meeting the cast, one of the highlights of attending a Supernatural convention, especially one in my hometown, is catching up with my fellow fans. I see these people every day on twitter and Facebook, so though we may not have seen each other for a year or maybe two or maybe have never officially met, we all feel like friends. It really is one of the most wonderful and gratifying things about this crazy Supernatural journey…the friends that you make along the way.
The cocktail party was due to kick off at 7.30. This year they had pushed tables together so there were only 5 set-ups for the 5 guests. We all grabbed out seats…I chose to sit opposite where the guest would be sitting.
From where I was, I could see them coming up the stairs towards the function room…then they were there…then they were being introduced…then they were sitting with us. We were blessed with Misha’s company first.
He said hi to everyone and said to me, “I’ve already seen you.” He kicked off his time with us by tossing cherry tomatoes at Richard at the neighbouring table. He then chatted about Vivid, which is the light show Sydney was hosting. We screen crazy lights all over some of the buildings around the harbour. He said it looked like the buildings were on acid and also that it looked like an American Apparel ad. I said, really that’s not great and he looked at me and said no it’s great and said something about young girls in skimpy outfits and then said to me “You’d like that.” I said…”Errrr I think you may be confused…” and he turned to my friends and said “What, she doesn’t like American Apparel?” I was left thinking, Misha thinks I like girls? Of course he was teasing me. I’m pretty sure he could tell by the way I flailed in his pretty presence that I was more likely to be partial to him. But seriously, the man is an oddity. He then talked about how he still hasn’t seen a kangaroo, except dead on the side of the road. We told him they are nasty anyway, well, the big ones will take you down and that he should go to the zoo and see one there. He was totally unimpressed. Then he made fun of a lad at our table called Dean. He was flummoxed that this guy’s name was actually Dean. He said Dean was in for a good weekend! Dean had come all the way from Kuwait. to Sydney for the event. I follow Dean on twitter, so I know him a little. Dean basically became the one that the cast members tortured all weekend! By the end of the convention, everyone knew Dean!
Each cast member sat at our table for about, I don’t know, 15 or 20 minutes or so. A lot better that the 90 seconds you get at the Creation events! But then there were only about 60 people at the VIP/Platinum cocktail party compared with around 300 at a Creation Gold cocktail party…
Anyhooo, when Richard joined us he talked about Sydney. He’d walked the length of the city, right down to the harbour to see the Opera House. You can do that in Sydney, it’s compact and flat. He talk about how he loved cities you could walk around, like Vancouver. He talked a little about the conventions and the karaoke, he talked to me quite a bit when discussing these because he recognises me from the Creation events.
Traci talked about all the animals she’d met when she went to Featherdale, which is a wildlife habitat. We also talked about her poor rib. She’d put something out and was in quite a bit of pain. She’d seen someone for an adjustment but it was still hurting her every time she breathed, though you’d never know it. We also chatted about how a few of my friends on the table with me had Skyped her and Chad about a year ago and the upshot of that was that she’d dragged me on to the stage at LACon 2011 to hug the life out of me, because my friends had told her to! Traci is just magnificent. A beautiful looking woman, whose spirit simply shines through. She hugged us all and she called me sister all weekend.
Corin…ah Corin. Corin of the neverending grin. What a lovely, lovely guy…and very nice lookin’! I’d met him in Chicago last year, but having the chance to sit and chat to him was wonderful. He is simply adorable, there’s no other word for it. We all fell in love with Corin. I found out he’s a graffiti artist. I had no idea! I asked if gets commissions and he said he often pays for the opportunity to have him and his crew paint murals around LA. They love what they do that much. Like on a wall in a poor neighbourhood so that the kids don’t look out the window at bricks but at a painting of trees and sky. I asked where this all started and he said back in his break dancing days! So I asked if he had a break dancing name…and he does, it’s Kid Cruz (or maybe Cruise I didn’t ask how to spell it). He’s awesome. Each and every one of us that attended AHBL3, left smitten with Corin Nemec.
Jim had been on the convention whirlwind and Australia was the last stop in a pretty big commitment. Jim also teased Dean quite a bit! Poor Dean, he was sitting next to the guest so he really did cop it. Jim talked about Bobby and how he has no idea as to whether he will be back or not and this time for real, he’s not faking us out. Of course he’s very hopeful he will, but he really doesn’t know. He said the writers had only just got back together last week to start planning and writing season 8.
There was a time limit on the cocktail party, but it was pretty cruisey. Jim and Corin actually stayed for quite a while after the rest of the cast had left. A few of us went to the bar downstairs for a night cap where we saw Richard and Misha obligingly taking photos with a whole lot of fans. Then they escaped into the night, one would assume to have a feed, though Misha did eat a couple of satay sticks at the cocktail party…and we swear, he ate 2 but only one stick remained. I was reminded of the bizarre napkin-stealing incident at the last Aussie con. Even Misha was spun out by that!
Being Platinum meant that the next morning we also got to have breakfast with the cast. Now this is not like the Js breakfast where they do a panel. At this one the guests literally sit and have breakfast with us! This time around we were split into 2 tables. There were only around 30 Platinum ticket holders, which was awesome.
Misha and Richard sat first at the table I was on. These two really get along well by the way. They’re obviously great mates and they totally feed off each other. It’s the comedy stylings of Misha and Richard. Misha was trying to tweet a video of Richard and his Blundstones (Aussie boots), which I admit I still haven’t seen! He was having great difficulty getting the tweet out and while he was struggling, Richard told the story behind the video. Richard has a very old pair of brown Blundstones and while he was out shopping he picked himself up a new pair of black ones. He was going to head out with Misha to check out the town and the Vivid light show, but Misha decided he needed a nap, so passed. Richard also took what he called a powernap and then got up and decided to head into town. He got dressed in the dark. He was walking down the street thinking, wow this city feels weird, like it has a weird feel under foot. He was doing these goofy movements to illustrate, Misha was opposite him grinning like crazy. Anyway, Richard finally looks down at his feet and realises he has two odd boots on. In the dark, he’d put on one old brown boot and one new black boot. He was out in Sydney wearing odd shoes. He rang Misha to see if he was up and what he was doing. Misha was out buying sunglasses! Richard was like, WHAT? He thought Misha was still asleep. So not only had Misha bumped Richard for a nap, but then he’d slipped out without Richard knowing! So Richard told Misha about the shoes and Misha said he was going to a pub and to meet him there. Richard headed towards the pub, map in hand. He went to cross the road and realised the lights were about to change, so at the last minute, he decided to make a dash for it. As he ran, his new Blundstone boot…the black one…slipped out from under him with it’s shiney new sole and he face planted in the middle of the road! He said he went down, two different colour boot clad feet flailing in the air and map skidding out in front of him…arms out…spread eagled! He even grazed his knuckles! By this stage we’re all in tears as he acts out his tumble. Misha was thoroughly enjoying this story too! Richard gathers himself up and makes his way to the pub. When he walks in, he sees Misha is talking to a couple of locals and the first thing Misha does is point at Richard’s feet and say “See….you don’t dress like that around here do you?” Poor Richard, grazed knuckles, odd boots and then Misha to contend with! Honestly, it was such a great story, complete with actions and Misha giggling across the table! I totally adore these two. By the way, Richard still had the odd boots on at the cocktail party, but no one noticed. Mind you, we weren’t exactly looking at his feet….
When Jim sat with us he talked a bit more about Bobby. He said as much as he didn’t like the fact that they killed him off, he did admire the balls it took to do it. He understood the drama and he liked how the writing team took the angle of stripping everything away from Sam and Dean in order to force them back together again. He thought that was great story telling. He wasn’t so keen on the whole ghost Bobby thing. He’d rather have not been a ghost and he hopes that somehow the writers find a way to bring Bobby back and not just in flashback, not just because Jim values his job but because he loves working on the show so much. Jim also discussed his long time in the writing book on the original Superman, George Reeves and how Jim had learnt German for his great grandfather, but then never got the chance to speak to him in that language. He did get a chance to use a smattering of it though, when he was at AECon3 recently.
Corin was sitting opposite Jim at this time. The thing about Corin is, I don’t think he knows many of the cast that well, so he asks just about as many questions as we do! He’s really interested. He was fascinated by Jim’s George Reeves book project. When Traci came and sat opposite Corin, they had an epic conversation about Yoga, Chakras, metaphysics, low-level vibration therapy and India! Corin talked about his experience of making a movie in India and how confronting the poverty was. I have to say, I could have listened to Traci and Corin for hours. They are both very smart, connected, articulate people. Oh and Traci’s mum used to call her Taz, after the Tasmanian Devil cartoon character. I say this only because she saw a Tassie Devil for the first time during this visit and was quite surprised by it’s bizarre appearance and wondered out loud what her mum was thinking! Bless.
Having this time with the cast was fantastic. The breakfast in particular was so laid back it afforded us a great opportunity to have a relaxed chat with these wonderful people and get to know them a little more.
When the breakfast was over, the next stop was the convention proper, which was about 20 minutes away by car.
Well that’s it for part 1! It’s just such a truly special experience to be able to sit and natter to these people we all care for so much. I tried my best to remember most of what was discussed, but I’m sure I missed a lot!
Part 2 will be the panels! And I took notes…so hold on to your hats!
Thanks for reading…see you soon as AHBL3 continues with…
Cossack dancing, sing-a-longs and penis t-shirts.