DallasCon 2012 in Review

Creation Entertainment has been hosting Salute to Supernatural conventions for five years, the first few riding alongside other conventions, until the show got more popular and more and more fans started showing up—DallasCon 2012 had been advertised as the biggest Salute to Supernatural yet, though many people agree that the ones in Chicago and Las Vegas attracted a bigger audience. In either case, there were plenty of fans and guests at Dallas this year, and as far as I could tell, everyone had a blast.

The Vendor’s Area


As with all conventions, DallasCon had a vendor’s area, though a little small. There were tables with Supernatural t-shirts, mugs, trinkets, charms—basically anything you

Richard Speight Jr. himself perusing a vendor.

could think of that’s Supernatural-related, along with an entire table of glossy, relatively cheap photographs that you could buy to get signed by the actors, or even just to keep for yourself. Though honestly, I think the most impressive table was the one that had signed photographs for sale, not just from the Supernatural actors, but from nearly every show you could think of. Of course there were the shows that Creation Entertainment hosts conventions for—Star Trek, The Vampire Diaries, Twilight, etc.—but they also had autographs from Doctor Who, Teen Wolf, and basically any Joss Whedon actor you could think of, all for prices that in no way broke the bank. There was even a fairly extensive stand just for generic amulets and jewelry, for those who subscribe to more ‘supernatural’ views in real life, or maybe just like shiny things.

The Video Contests


Before some panels and intermittently throughout other events, the creation staff showed entries to their music video contest. And I don’t know about any other years, but this year’s videos were awesome. So awesome that—wait for it—when the Jared and Jensen panel was delayed for a while, they showed the crowd videos to keep them satiated, and we were hardly even upset. There’s just something amazing about singing the beginning of “Renegade” with a full house of Supernatural fans who all cheer every time Death shows up on screen.

The Trivia Games


Do you know a lot about Supernatural? You may think so, but I saw half the contestants get knocked out on the third question during the trivia game, so you might know a little less than you think. It’s all yes/no questions, and you get to participate just by grabbing your yes/no cards (assuming they don’t run out) and going up on the stage. Surprisingly competitive, though of course all the fans are well-mannered enough to keep it civil.

The Costume Contest


Besides people just generally milling around in costume throughout the entire day, the costume contest was a great exhibition of what exactly the fans put into this sort of thing. It was a record showing of contestants, judging by how crowded the stage was, featuring—among others—an EMF meter, a Busty Asian Beauty, a Unicorn, and about five Castiels, one of which did an amazing job staying in character throughout the entire convention.

The Gold Events


There are a few events that, sadly, I couldn’t attend—but word of mouth assures me that they were awesome. The Saturday Night Cocktail Party is sort of like a miniature meet-and-greet with each of the actors, the ones who were there cycling around tables and talking to everyone who attended. And, despite the name, it’s actually open to all ages, since drinks are optional.

Then there’s the Sunday Morning Charity Breakfast, hosted by Supernatural’s very own Jared and Jensen. It’s like a little J2 panel all to the attendees’ own—and of course, all throughout is a silent auction, which proceeds go to the charity of Jared and Jensen’s choice.

The Karaoke Party


Mark decides to show up at Karaoke.

Do you think those gold events sound way cool? Are you sad because you don’t think you’ll be able to afford the most expensive weekend package? Well, don’t be—because the arguably best event of the entire weekend is free for all con-goers to attend, and no matter your ticket type, you’re encouraged to crowd the front of the stage and scream with the best of them. The Karaoke Party is hosted by Richard Speight Jr. and Matt Cohen, who regularly go all out in their 60’s attire and sing with anyone who’s brave enough to sign up and come on stage, keeping the audience going for a good four or five hours into the night, guaranteeing a menagerie of hoarse voices the morning after.

And just because it’s hosted by Richard and Matt doesn’t mean other people don’t show up—throughout the night, various guests decided to join the party, some even coming off stage and visiting with the fans. Attendees this year included—besides the hosts—Gabriel Tigerman, Chad Lindberg, Sebastian Roché, and Mark Sheppard.

But really, what else more do I have to say than this; singing “Carry on my Wayward Son”, at the top of your lungs, in a room full of Supernatural fans. It was awesome.

The Panels!


But of course, what convention would be complete without the panels from the guests? This year we had panels from Chad Lindberg, Gabriel Tigerman, Sebastian Roché,

These two definitely had fun.

Mark Sheppard, the Richard Speight Jr. and Matt Cohen duo, Mark Pellegrino (surprise!), Richard all by his lonesome, and of course, the infamous Jared and Jensen. All the panels were awesome, of course—the Supernatural cast just plain doesn’t include the stand-offish celebrity types—but what really stood out to me were Richard and Matt, who decided to roam the crowd instead of sticking to their places on the stage. A little disappointing to gold members, maybe, but to us general admission seats in the back, it was basically the best thing ever.

Jared and Jensen were also, in my opinion, fairly giddy this year. Jared of course is a regular goof ball, but Jensen is usually a little more reserved (compared to the rest of the cast). This year—maybe because they were happy to be home—both of them were extremely friendly, and Jensen joked around a lot with Jared and the con attendees—especially the Klondike Bar Girl. Which, by the way, you go Klondike Bar Girl. Four for you.

The Rest.


No, not ‘rest’ in sleeping—trust me, if you experience the con to its fullest, you’re not going to get much of that—the ‘rest’ as in, ‘there’s no way I can put all of this in one category’. I haven’t yet mentioned the autographs, photo ops, and meet & greets, which were there, but there’s not all that much to say about them.

Sebastian talking to some fans near the elevators.

They’re what you’d expect, with all of the actors being such great guys as they are. The great thing about conventions—especially if you stay in the hotel where they’re hosted—is the things that aren’t on the schedule. I imagine DallasCon 2012 will forever go down in history as the-one-where-they-announced-Misha-was-having-another-baby-and-couldn’t-show-up, and Mark Pellegrino agreed to replace him at the last possible minute. Actors crash each other’s panels (Matt showed up in Gabriel’s), attendees run into the actors in the middle of the hallways and end up having conversations instead of getting brushed off. Creation Entertainment brought a ’67 Impala that you could have a professional photo op with for $25, but a fan brought theirs and offered pictures for free. Richard’s wife popped in during Karaoke to the delight of everyone, and Jared and Jensen seemed to have dragged their entire extended family along to the con with them. Con tickets? Somewhat expensive—seeing Jensen tease his dad onstage? Priceless. If you were paying enough attention, you might have even managed to catch S. E. Hinton wandering the hallways.

All in all, whether you go gold, silver, or decide to be thrifty, Salute to Supernatural conventions are an amazing thing, and I hope to see every single one of you at the convention next year. Trust me, you will not regret it.

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