Supernatural Convention Phoenix, AZ
I have been to DragonCon and to the Heroes and Villains Fan Fest, so this was not my first convention. I had spoken to a few people who had already been to a Supernatural Con. I thought I was prepared for the adventure I was about to embark on in attending the Phoenix Supernatural Con. The Con started as I expected. You get there, you "pre-game" a little, and then you get in line.
In classic con style the schedule for the Thursday registration came out on Wednesday afternoon. There are four different levels of packages you can purchase at SPN PHX. Gold ($889 - $1550) Silver ($549), Copper ($320) and General Admission ($199). The packages include admission, seating in the panels, and autographs. We learned that Gold lined up first at 8:00 PM, Silver (this was us) at 9:15 PM, Copper at 9:45 PM and General Admission if they were so inclined could register at 10:30 PM.
We arrived around 7:00 PM to have a few cocktails at the hotel bar and assess the situation. Sure enough, everyone queued up at 8:00 and just hung back until the volunteer saw fit to allow us to have our wrist bands and photo op tickets. I have a personal rule to talk to at least five people at these sort of things. I find that strangers always add a little something extra to the experience. I began talking to the folks behind me where I immediately realize that drinking is not a Supernatural thing (I know shocking right!?!) If you watch the show, you know there is a whole lot of whiskey and beer consumed in the show. I’ve had three adult beverages though, so I don’t care. Fortunately, we got our wrist bands around 9:15pm. If we had waited until our allotted time it might have been considerably later. We then proceeded to the Vendor Hall.
It was a nice size room filled with vendors selling various pictures, salt shakers, buttons, clothes, bags, posters, stuffed toys, kazoos (more on this later), CD’s, and many more amazing things that I wanted to spend all of the money I have, and money I have yet to earn on their purchase. My sister (my con companion) has a rule that we must circle the entire room and review all the merchandise before a purchase can be made. We immediately broke this rule and then regretted it. We purchased stuffed toys for my niece as they were for charity. Then rules just became suggestions. We bought things to be signed in our autograph sessions. Then later found other things which may have been more suited for autographs(but more on that later). As spending good money after bad is not a habit I have, after I purchased several photos, I still decided to purchase the poster I found later with blank faces and names that included all of the folks that were at the Con. The vendor hall was a decent size but smaller than the ones I had previously visited at Heroes and Villains and a great deal smaller than the many stories of shopping available at Dragon Con. It was still quite a treat and we visited it several times.
Panels or Q&A Sessions as they are referred to at SPN
So the biggest difference is the assigned seating, there is no line. You just show up whenever you want. It can be right before or even right after a session starts. You find your seat and enjoy. You chose your seat online when you purchased your ticket package. Unlike other Cons where events might take place in different places this Con revolved around the main auditorium where it was MC’d by Richard Speight Jr, the actor that played Gabriel on the show. The band Louden Swain also played music in between sessions. In my opinion, Rob Benedict, the actor who played God/Chuck on the show and who is the lead singer of Louden Swain and Richard Speight were the best part of the Con. They had me laughing on a constant basis. I will be checking out their series The King of Con to see more of their shenanigans. They had a lot of the actors from the show in these sessions including Mark Sheppard, Misha Collins. And of course, the boys themselves, Jared Padalecki and Jensen Ackles. These sessions were just as apt to make me cry as laugh, but I was entertained.
On Friday night, there is a karaoke party run by some of the actors on the show. It was run like your typical karaoke night. It was awesome! There was maybe 100 people that went. Most were not dancing, but you know I did. In fact I am pretty sure I gave myself whiplash when someone sang Bohemian Rhapsody by Queen. But the highlight of the evening was when a young chap named Karl sang a Bowling for Soup song. He was amazing and I love that band. My sister and I kept seeing him and pointing him out throughout the weekend until "Where’s Karl" became a game for us. On the last day we found that we were not the only ones playing that game. Other people were taking pictures with him in a thread on the SPN PHX Facebook account.
Concert and Kazoo’s
On the second day of the Con I bought a kazoo as the members of Louden Swain would sign it for free. I of course played that kazoo all day, annoying everyone. At some point It was explained to me that the kazoo was meant for the “Medicated” song during the concert and that folks didn’t usually play the kazoo otherwise. I continued to still play it, but once it was signed I worried I would smudge the signatures and put it in my purse.
The concert was amazing! I mean Rob Benedict really loves to sing and play guitar. There were rumors that Jenson and Jared may show up as they had the previous year. But it was not promised explicitly. They didn’t make it. I was waiting for the band to play “Medicated” because I wanted to play the kazoo. My heart sank when they left the stage and my kazoo was still in my purse. No one screamed louder than me for their return I was going to have my kazoo moment! They came out for the encore and it wasn’t the first song that they played or the second. I was beginning to get worried, but they did play it. It was the last song of the encore and it was everything.
These are also ridiculously expensive and when you factor in tickets, hotel and airfare, I am not sure how I split the cost of these with my sister. They ranged in price from $40 - $449. We got two. One with Jared and Jenson and one with Misha and Mark. I have done photo ops before but nothing can prepare you for getting your picture taken with four of the most attractive men you have ever seen. Speechless…. for sure.
Several autographs came with our package. These really aren’t my thing but it did give me an opportunity to chat briefly with the guests so that was nice. Of course I didn’t say much, other than to freak out at Matt Cohen that he signed in the wrong place, only then realize that he didn’t and I am in fact the devil. I also spent a good deal of time psyching myself up to talk to Jared to get him to ease my sister's woes over the photo op. I did it! I talked to Jared Padalecki about the photo and he was super nice, he reassured my sister and even winked at her. But he also talked to me! Just to tell me that his name was spelled incorrectly on the poster that I had been getting autographs on the whole weekend. Yep. It says “Wincheaster” instead of “Winchester." He kindly edited out the extra “A” with his pen. It being too late to turn back as I only had one autograph left, I went ahead and let Jenson sign the messed-up poster.
This was a super expensive Con and is created for the fans of this show. There is very little cross fandom talk, and folks are hard-core about the show. The various charities that the actors participate in also gave the fans a little extra motivation in ticket prices, and topics like depression are discussed in panels. They try and create a family for their fandom. I learned a lot about the show, and had a fantastic time.