By Stacey Gillard
After crawling to bed in the wee hours, the fact that Saturday panels started at 9.40am on Saturday was not overly exciting, but we all made our way to the grand ballroom for Richard’s introduction of Co-Executive Producer Jim Michaels, his first appearance at a Creation event. While it was his first time as a guest, he had dropped in to VanCon just 7 weeks into his job on Supernatural and he cites that as the moment he knew he was involved in something very special. Being a part of the family and getting to interact with the fans is his favourite part of the job and it was obvious that the fandom holds a very special place in his heart.
Rob Benedict once more took to the stage, this time with the Karaoke Kings themselves Richard Speight Jr (Trickster/Gabriel) and Matt Cohen (Young John Winchester). The three of them bounced off each others humor fantastically and the energy level of the crowd was raised immediately. Much of the humor was at Rob’s expense but there’s an obvious affection between these three men, proven when Matt was asked what the best thing was that he took away from Supernatural and he pointed at Rob and Richard.
After lunch, location manager Russ Hamilton regaled us with his knowledge of the show. His passion for the show and its fandom shone through as he talked with great pride about the efforts he and his team go to in order to allow the writers and directors to get the locations they want. As Richard applauded Russ off stage, he pulled writer Robbie Thompson up on stage to much cheering. Robbie and his writing cohort Adam Glass were at the convention for most of the weekend and astounded fans with their willingness to hang out in the lobby and chat to us whenever we wanted.
Advertised as the “bad guy panel”, Mark Sheppard (Crowley), Mark Pellegrino (Lucifer) and James Patrick Stuart (Dick Roman) attempted to defend themselves by saying that they’re actually the good guys James stated, the show is “about a couple of pricks who won’t do what I tell them!” All three men are fascinating, having had much experience in the entertainment industry and at times it was like watching three old friends from the same business catching up and chatting about their mutual friends!
After the intermission we were introduced to our “Super Surprise Guest”, Felicia Day (Charlie Bradbury). Everyone was thrilled when it was announced she would attend and she certainly didn’t disappoint. She’s obviously at ease on a stage and her answers to fans were humorous and insightful. She had very strong feelings about how “geekdom” or “fandom” are perceived and was obviously proud to be an icon for so-called nerd girls. She said she sees Charlie, not as a “female character” but rather as a “character” and her gender is incidental to that.
With a warning that his panel is for adults only, Sebastian Roche (Balthazar) quickly showed us exactly why that is! During the entire panel we think he answered 3 questions, the rest of the time he spent walking around the crowd, finding inappropriate misinterpretations of questions that were asked and performing profanity-laced soliloquies from Shakespeare!
Misha Collins (Castiel) closed the day with a great panel. With his patented self-deprecating sarcasm he amused us for 45 minutes but also talked about his pride in the orphanage in Haiti his charity, Random Acts, has managed to fund. During his annual scavenger hunt (GISHWHES) he had asked participants to carry out several tasks using duct tape, so a fan celebrating her birthday asked him to decorate her using duct tape and random items donated by the crowd. After 5 minutes of decorating her on stage with crumbled cookies and deodorant, he taped her hands and feet together and carried her off stage, much to the chagrin of our host, Richard, who was just thankful that Misha’s was the last panel of the day.
All photos: credit Stacey Gillard