My Time at the Supernatural Convention
When I say the word "convention" there will be most likely be two things you will be thinking. One of them relates to a boring exhibition that you were most likely dragged to, but the second thing you might think of when I say "convention" is a bunch of people gathered together all dressed in weird costumes.
Both of these would be typical assumptions, but the experience I am about to describe to you is anything but typical. In fact, you might even say it was supernatural.
All Hell Breaks Loose
In late May 2012 I was lucky enough to have scored tickets to the "All Hell Breaks Loose 3" Supernatural convention in Melbourne.
Supernatural, for those of you who are unaware, is a television show chronicling the experiences of two brothers, Sam and Dean, who hunt supernatural creatures in an attempt to rid the world of darkness and prevent the Apocalypse from occurring.
Being my first Supernatural convention, I was uncertain as to what it would be like. I was especially unsure as to whether I would enjoy it, as I had had a run in with a Stormtrooper at the Armageddon Comics and Science Fiction Expo earlier in the year, and it had freaked me right out. Based on that incident, I knew that the people you generally encounter at such places tend to be a little on the strange side.
As it turned out, I didn't have to worry, because Supernatural conventions are run by fans for fans. Even though the organisers didn't manage to secure Jared Padalecki and Jensen Ackles, who play Sam and Dean respectively, the guest list was still pretty awesome and consisted of Traci Dinwiddie (who plays Pamela Barnes), Corin Nemec (who plays Christian Campbell), Richard Speight Jr (who plays Gabriel), Jim Beaver (who plays Bobby) and Misha Collins (who plays Castiel).
To give you a rundown on these sort of events, basically what happens at a convention is that each of the guests come up on stage and the audience asks them questions about their work, the characters they play, and practically anything you can come up with.
Me and Misha Collins
There are also photo opportunities where you can have your photo taken with a celebrity of your choice. Photo ops can get a little pricey, with most costing about $45 depending on the celebrity (moreso if you want to take the opportunity to have what they call a "sandwich", which involves two preselected guests and you).
I got a single photo with Misha Collins, and I was so very very nervous. I wasn't really sure what to say or how to act, despite receiving advice from one of my best friends earlier on in the day to just "be yourself".
Luckily for me Misha was very welcoming. He asked how I was and that kind of put me at ease. I just said, "Hi I'm good." He was a lot better looking in real life then I was expecting, which flared up my nerves a bit as well, but he put his arm around me and they took the photo, so that was pretty awesome.
Meet the Stars
First up on the discussion panels was Traci Dinwiddie, who was really down-to-Earth with a great sense of humour. She answered everybody's questions and even played the drums for us. Richard and Corin were hilarious, with Corin talking about how much of a master prankster he is. The two of them were both roaming the audience as they answered questions. Richard even took a question from a five-year-old who referred to him as "The Richard", which was adorable.
Jim Beaver's panel was pretty cool. He talked about how great it was to work on the show and how everyone is like one big family. He also described how he was confused about how big Australia actually is and how he thought he could take a taxi to Darwin.
Misha's panel was just Misha being himself. There was a lot of laughter going around and it was all smiles, which was great. It was all over so fast, though.
Finally there were the autograph sessions. Even though once again you need to pay for these, they are well worth the money. You can either bring something of yours to sign (e.g., a poster) or just get them to sign the photographs that they have with them. Autograph sessions are another chance to chat to the actors briefly, so if there is something you want to ask them or say to them, go for it!
I had so much fun at this convention. I would do it again in a heartbeat and I will be definitely going to another one whether it be here or overseas.
Tips for Going to a Convention
Conventions are a great opportunity to spend time with fellow fans and meet your favourite celebrities. I would recommend them to anyone. Here are some useful tips if you're thinking about going to a convention:
- Take plenty of water and snacks - depending on where the convention is being held it may be difficult to find a cafe and there may only a short lunch break between events.
- Be prepared for things to be expensive - work out how much you can afford to spend on things like photo ops, autographs and merchandise, and stick to your budget.
- Be prepared to wait in line - things like autographs and photos take time.
- If you want to ask a question at a panel, don't make it something that the actor may have no idea about (e.g., fandom stuff) or something that is going to confuse the actor - this sort of question is met with groans of annoyance from the audience, and people get frustrated (it also ruins the vibe).
- When you have a photo op or get an autograph, try and stay as calm as possible (I know this is easier said than done, believe me, but you definitely don't want to freak people out or scare them off).
- Sometimes at conventions things don't go to plan and they run behind schedule, so if you have someone picking you up be prepared to tell them that you are going to be later than you thought you would be and make arrangements
- If you are taking public transport and the convention runs later make sure you know when the next train or bus is and how to get home.
- Follow all the directions the convention staff give you - this includes general etiquette towards guests and rules relating to when you can use cameras.
- HAVE FUN!!!!!
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Articles Written by Natasha
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