Sunday, October 19, 2008

EyeCon2 Day 3

Morning began a bit early for those wanting photo ops, as we had to be looking human, alert, and hopefully devoid of red eyes or pillow face, lol, by about 9:30 a.m. Today was the Big Day for the Big Guy, and people appeared in droves, seemingly pouring from the woodwork to fill the halls and lobby. Heh, it looked a bit like someone had chummed the water and feeding time was near ... ;-)

I had tickets for both the Hunters op with Jared & Jim and Jared by himself, but I thought it would be fun if Karina would share it with me. Maybe I'm a coward who's afraid of photo ops alone, but also she's just such a neat lady that I wanted to share something EyeCon-special. LOL, when I asked her, she stared at me as if I'd suggested standing in front of an oncoming truck, but ... she caved. *G* For which I am grateful, because it gave me more reasons to hang out with her, despite being the old cougar with the cool younger chick. :-)

They were trying like heck to be organized and timely, with all the lines for the different photo ops situated just so down all one side of the hallway and back up again. Things progressed quicker than I expected, yet somehow the photo ops themselves didn't strike me as overly rushed. The Hunters op was fun, Jim recognizing us from the weekend and Jared greeting us with a bright and chirpy, "Hey, hi guys!" I don't know whether he recalled my face from last EyeCon, or if he just likes to greet everyone with such familiar cheer, but whatever, it made me smile. Karina he definitely knows, since she met with him at the Dallas con. ;-)

Anywho, we smooshed together for a nice squeeze, Karina startled that she somehow ended up sandwiched in the middle, lol. I'll say again that Jared is just very nice to smoosh! He's sooo narrow about the waist, but if you look up, (and up!!) those muscular shoulders are as broad as *two* of me! Jared was cute, too, when I called him "hon" in passing and he got all happy about it. LOL, maybe that's a Texas thing.

Then with cheery thanks, we scooted off again to resume the line for the Jared single ops. Again, Karina was hesitant about doing another photo op, and given her association with Truckzilla and being known to Jared for it, I don't doubt she felt kinda dorky about getting her picture taken with him. ;-) But yanno, he's a great guy and he's *glad* she has Zilla, so why not enjoy the moment and have a little fun? So says I to myself, and she didn't say no! *g*

Thus, we went through the line again, during which we were treated to the diabetic-coma-inducing sweetness of Jared with a young couple's small baby. I don't know if they even intended for *Jared* to hold the baby for the photo, but he scooped that little tyke right out of her mama's arms, cradled her in those big paws, and made duck lips and cooing noises whilst the wee one stuck her fingers up his nose, LOL! I think my ovaries asploded into utter goo. ;-) When the picture was done, Jared didn't seem to want to give the baby up, still holding her and grinning like a wonderful dork, and we all had to go, "awwww." Finally he handed the little one back to her momma, and wrapped the mom in a gigantic squishy hug. :-)

ETA: I've learned since that the parents are such SPN fans that they named the baby girl Sam, after Sam Winchester. They told Jared this, so the shmoop-fest was his reaction. Awwww!

When it came our turn, Jared greeted us once more with that patented Padalecki charm. I have to say that the camera really doesn't do him justice, and this time ... yeah, this time I noticed just how TALL he really is! Anyway, we scrunched together and Froggy snapped, but for whatever reason, Jared declared that shot wasn't right. I really have no idea why, but he wanted to do over, so we stood there all cozy-like while Froggy reset the camera and fired again. LOL, having later seen both frames, I've no clue why Jared felt something was wrong with the first, but hey, we weren't gonna complain about the holdup. ;-) He and Karina then chatted briefly about cars (and I got the interesting sense that Jared was calling the shots on the delays) while I enjoyed just hangin' there for a moment, being relaxed with Jared.

Now, this may sound like dorkitude of the ninetieth power, but I gotta wonder if those moments of interaction aren't a treat for Jared, as well. You know? A few seconds here and there to see, and be seen, as an actual human being? Maybe Chad's movie made me hyper sensitive about some things, but I found myself viewing pretty much all of Jared's time here through a new and entirely different lens. After that, we thanked him, got another big smile, and took our leave.

Then while Karina went off in search of food and a quiet place to make some calls, I queued up for the Nicki Aycox photo op. She is *such* an adorable little thing! When I got up there, she had put on this sort of oversized tweed cap that looked indecently cute on her, and she wore the most dazzling smile you ever saw. Upon seeing that, I went ahead with an idea I had, and asked if, since she had been the demon, we could sort of cop an attitude for the camera. With girlish glee, she declared, "Oh, I have *just* the pose!" and snapped into instant!vamp. LOL, I could barely keep a straight face, but I pasted on my best smirk, and we gave the camera hell, and *click*, there we had it. I thanked her and told her how glad I was that she came, and she sent me on my way with such a smile that I felt like I'd won a blue ribbon.

Yeah. I might have a slight girl crush, there. *G*

When it came time for Jared to do his Q&A, they lined us up by badge numbers and the line wrapped around the mezzanine. So, let's see where to start ... First of all, I'd heard of a gal who had commissioned a specially made Supernatural Chess Set as a gift for Jared Padalecki. I had thought, you know, chess set. Well, she meant CHESS SET! The thing was like 3 feet across with hand-carved figures between 3 and 6 inches tall, every piece hand made. The black pieces are all evil SPN characters - including a Yellow Eyed Demon piece that really had yellow eyes - while the white were Sam and Dean and assorted Good Things, including the Impala as I think a Knight. She had designed the board herself, complete with a gigantic pentagram painted in the middle.

Anyhow, Jared had no sooner arrived to his usual torrent of screams and cheers, when the MC, our wonderful Dizzy, directed him to the chess set. It rested on a couple chairs near the door, and I swear Jared's eyes just popped. LOL, he loped over to the thing like a gigantic great kid, and while the girl shyly told him about it, he bent over and peered at it from first this angle and that, clearly and utterly astounded. He hugged her and thanked her with a boyish look of glee, then went *back* to ogling the set once more. LOL, Dizzy had to remind him there was another reason for him being here. *G*

But wait. Fandom was not done with Jared, no sir. Next Dizzy called up Becky, aka janglyjewels, who as many fans know had headed up a charity drive for The Animal Rescue Site, gathering funds from fans to the tune of $5,000!! The endeavor began as a fandom project wherein Becky collected photos of fans with Jared, to be compiled and printed as a book. People volunteered to help with printing, she ended up with more money than the book needed, and so she decided to donate the excess to The Animal Rescue Site in Jared's name. And then? The money REALLY began to come in. To the tune of five big ones.

So, here comes Becky with her arms full of book, oversize check, and a couple drawings of Jared and his dogs that an artist in the UK sent to go with the book. She read aloud from a prepared letter introducing the project, while Jared's eyes just kept getting bigger. By the time she handed him the book and the $5,000 check, Jared was beyond words. He wrapped her up in the biggest hug and smooched her on the cheek, and the crowd almost cheered the roof off.

It gets better. When Becky went back to sit down, Jared sat up there with this stuff in his lap, and he was nearly speechless. He stammered around, looking at the book, the drawings, the check, and the magnificent chess set by the door, and finally said he wondered what he was doing up on stage, when he was surrounded by people so much cooler than him. On the flight over, he said he was so tired and running short of sleep, that he wondered what he was doing this for. We, the fans, just gave him his reason.

We done good, guys. Everybody who partook in Becky's charity drive, give yourselves a pat on the back. I was right there in the second row, video taping it all, and yeah, I know he's an actor, but people, he had *tears* in his eyes. For a moment, he simply reverted to that patented Padalecki sign language, where he pats a hand above his heart and looks out at us all. Never doubt, fellow fans, that an actor's muse needs feeding just as much as any writer's, and we let him know that we're willing to go that extra mile, just for him.

SO! On with the show. :-) The Q&A itself didn't reveal much new or astounding, so I mainly enjoyed watching Jared simply be Jared. This being my second time seeing him, I settled in to savor it, and I'll tell you something that occurred to me. Jared is damned good at what he does.

Under that boyish, self-effacing, gosh-I'm-just-from-Texas exterior lies an awfully astute mind. He knows how to work a crowd, how to make us all feel at home, how to embrace an entire room like we're just hangin' out over beers - and yet he fields fan questions from the awkward to the downright silly with deft aplomb. Jared is running the room, it's not running him, and I find it impressive how well he does it, and makes it look like he's not doing a thing. Someone later told me he had excelled in debate in school, and I can certainly see that, now, in his ease in front of a crowd where anything might come at him.

As everyone by now has heard, Jared confirmed that he and Jensen do live together, him upstairs and Jensen down. Jensen had been rooming with another guy, but the guy sold his condo and Jensen moved in with Jared just as a temporary measure ... and the arrangement works so well he simply never bothered to leave. :-) Jared noted with some firmness that he wanted to quash any "fantasies" by talking about this, but hey, we know fandom doesn't let reality get in the way of its fantasies, lol! I think he knew this, though, the way he played with us about the whole situation. *G*

Meanwhile, some tidbits from his Q&A:
The latest prank? He and Jensen were filming an episode where both brothers are using binoculars, and when they put the binoculars to their eyes and took them down ... each turned to see the other sporting - you guessed it - sooty black rings around their eyes! LOL, the best part was, neither immediately realized he'd been pranked, himself! *SNORK!!*

Asked whether humor or emotional scenes were harder, he replied, humor. That's because they have to do crazy things and make it seem easy, plus he has more experience with drama. Plus emotional scenes usually move the plot along, which he likes.

His dream project? He'd love to so something like Lord of the Rings. He loves that it told a story and how the actors must have really lived it, so clearly he's a fan of the grand and epic. LOL, though he did tease about having hairy feet and trying to be a hobbit - all 6'4" of him!

Asked about the angel/religious thing appearing in Season 4, he said that initially "Houses of the Holy" upset him with its religious angle, bothered him a *lot*, but it ended up being a favorite episode of his. Now he's enthused about the idea of something "much bigger than us" happening, much bigger than Sam and Dean in the Impala. He was of the opinion that it only made sense that a Higher Power would take notice after the Devil's Gate opened and all that. Someone also asked if Sam was sleeping with Ruby, to which he simply replied, "Well, they were doing *something*." That's just veiled enough to leave it open to interpretation, and may mean that Jared himself really doesn't know. ;-)

He doesn't hear anything about future episodes until he gets the script, so he's as eager as we are to see what happens, to see if Sam gets to go "darkside" and do more kick-ass stuff, or what, but he's totally stoked over the season's new direction. Plus he reiterated his wish that he'd love to see the brothers clash, and that he wants a Butch 'n Sundance sort of ending for the boys. ;-)

Oh, and at one point the Ghost Busters peeked in and interrupted things, lol! Jared said he loved that episode, but he hopes he never works with them again, because all he does is LAUGH! *g*

Jared did make mention of The CW's shaky status, which in a worst case scenario could mean there won't be a Season 5 if there's no more CW, which is one reason they're pulling out all the stops for Season 4. However, I'm stuffing my fingers in my ears and chanting, "La-la-la-la-la-la-la-la-la-la-can'thearyou-la-la-la-la!" on that one. *G*

Overall, his Q&A this time almost seemed more low-key than last EyeCon, maybe someone can confirm or deny, but it struck me that way. The prevailing thing I noticed was his gleeful excitement over the unfolding of Season 4! LOL, I love that he's almost a fanboy of his own show, even if he can't see the finished episodes until later. In all, Jared was as chatty, fun, affable and delightful as he has ever been. The only bummer of the entire Q&A? I finally had the microphone *IN MY HAND* when Dizzy let Jared know the time was up. DAMN! Foiled. ;-)

Thus, off our beautiful boy went, presumably to stuff some FOOD in himself before we ran the legs off him, once again. I think I went in search of something food-like, myself, the memory gets a bit hazy, there....

Come autograph time, my seat was in the B row, so not very far into the general line. But just as I neared the table, the handlers and helpers organizing the whole mishmash began chivying us to pick up the pace. But something in me said, "Not yet, dammit." Time *was* of the essence, Jared had to be at the airport by like 3:30, but I just wanted to treat him like a person one more time, before he had to turn into an autograph scribbling machine.

So I crouched down by Jared's table to roll out my poster for signing, and I felt weirdly better for being where we could look each other in the eye. Whatever, it earned me a smile and those warm hazel-green eyes, and I handed over my gift, telling him that since he gives so much to us, I wanted to give something back. He glanced it over with a boyish grin, exclaimed, "No way!" and accepted my handshake of thanks with a smile. And that's that! :-)

Which I'm glad I did, because from what I heard, the autograph session swiftly turned into an assembly line. I guess people soon weren't even getting their autographs personalized, and I wonder how many folks were bitterly disappointed for that.

But all things said and done ... I was glad he came, and I deeply enjoyed my few little moments with our long tall Texas boy. And I'm glad I coaxed Karina into coming with me, because she understands the sort of dorkitude with which I am afflicted. :-) Thank you, sweetie! *smish*

Some while later, Jared's visit ended and the place emptied right back out again, the weirdness of the exodus striking more odd notes in my mind. Just goes to show these cons wouldn't be much if neither Jared nor Jensen appeared, that's for sure! ;-) And amidst the vastly shrunken congregation, Chad Lindberg got up for his Q&A.

I decided to sit in just because it was part of the deal, and I was here for the total con experience. After all, who knows when or if I'll do another? Karina sat with me for a time, and called susannaheanes (home sick,) and relayed a question for her to Chad: what's he working on, now? The answer is a film called "Once Fallen" starring Ed Harris, for which YAY, Chad! *g* Chad also relayed his "Hi" back to Suze, which I thought terribly cute. Then Karina took off for a drive to the coast, which I later envied because, hello? Sunset on the Atlantic Ocean? I've never even SEEN the Atlantic!

But I'm not sorry I stayed for Chad, simply because I've grown to kinda like the guy. ;-) The crowd for him was small and the atmosphere relaxed and informal, and even lazy. LOL, though I'm not sure what prompted it, at one point Chad imitated his Italian friend, the maker of "My Big Break," and further imitated Tom Cruise by jumping on a couch, a la "Risky Business." *SNORK*

Asked if he was afraid of backlash from Hollywood, if "My Big Break" gets distribution, Chad stoutly said he's looking forward to it. That's because it would mean people are seeing it. gwendolyngrace later asked about acting, saying that some actors look for roles that showcase skills they already have, while others like to learn skills they don't already have. Were there any skills Chad had learned? LOL, I don't think Chad tracked the question entirely as Gwen meant it, but he did say he'd played a little baseball in one... :-p

Let's see ... other items include his tattoos: scorpio, a tribal breast cancer ribbon (which I later saw) a raindrop, and a Chinese character that he hopes but may not mean "courage". He'd next like a humming bird, since he tends to view them as little spirit guides or loved ones returning just to say, "Hi, it's cool!" ;-) He spoke also of the stress of intense roles, how the demands of filming override illness and everything.

He also spoke of later going back home to his parents in Washington State to re-collect himself after the events shown in "My Big Break." This was even after he was recognizable as an actor, and for every job, he is simply grateful. Heh, at one point he noticed Jim Beaver sitting in the back with his hand raised, and with exaggerated courtesy called for his question. Jim responded, "Why are you still talking?" ROTFLMAO!! Very cute to see the camaraderie of Supernatural lingers even amongst actors no longer on set.

And ... that was pretty much it for EyeCon! I chose to skip the Q&A's for Steve Carlson, and instead went with the girls for a nice lunch/dinner in the mall. heidi8 had already left, and roguebitch had only like half an hour before she had to leave, so I enjoyed some last moments with her and gwendolyngrace, and etakyma.

And that was that! I did miss the fan panels, or anyway the presence of *something* that would be "by the fans, for the fans." I think it's important to have that, and even a static display like a fan art show or even fan-vid viewing would be great, too. We need something that's just for us, y' know? Something BUT! I still had an awesome time, and I wouldn't have missed it for the world! Here's me crossing fingers for another land-based EyeCon, sometime in 2009. :-)

THANKS, Kenny and Voni! You guys put on a helluva show. :-)

EyeCon2 Day 2

Day 2 of EyeCon 2 began for me with a trip to the downstairs Starbucks for a nutritious breakfast: a muffin, a fruit smoothie, and a cup of decaf. The muffin was awesome. The smoothie tasted like ... a liquefied vitamin pill, lol! I also made a mosey around the autograph tables, where I said good morning to AJ & Travis and Chad.

Anyhow, the day's events kicked off with a Q&A by the one and only Jim Beaver! I can safely say he has got the hang of all this convention stuff, including taking the mickey out of us. *g* He opened with this truly silly charade of having a faulty mic, very animatedly talking and gesticulating - while making no sound at all. He followed this up with fragments of voice, as if he were cutting in and out, and I think he missed his calling as a human sound effects machine. ;-P

Before the good stuff started, though, we had a redheaded staffer, Yvette, with ... well, some sort of gift/joke where she presented Jim with a "I'm a Bobby Girl" T-shirt, and then commenced to sing (badly) a song to go with it. *scratches head* Um ... yeah. Needless to say, she rendered Jim and a good part of the audience pretty much speechless.

But on with the show. Jim was in his usual rare form, funny, snarky and sardonic, addressing us as if we were all his somewhat dim but no less loved relatives, lol. He especially played with us about spoilers, hemming and hawwing to cries of protest until revealing the dramatic fact that ... Sam and Dean will be investigating something really scary. LOL! (For those wondering, his T-shirt was quite tame this time, reading only, "I do my own stunts" with a little cartoon of a guy falling down.)

Of course, Jared and Jensen figured into some of Jim's talk, including Jim stating ominously that Jared's only played one prank, but he hasn't dared any more. Jim promised he has a plan for revenge, but (insert deep, wicked voice) it may take two or three years, heh heh heh. Jared is, Jim assured us, 6'4" of baby, who thinks he's in kindergarten and when he's 90 years old on his deathbed, he's going to pull a stunt. ;-)

The Qs and As were fun and entertaining, not a whole lot new but mainly just a chance to enjoy Jim being Jim. LOL, a note I both treasure and dread: when I raised my hand for my chance to Q, when he saw who it was, he got this sardonic, teasing grin and said, "Yes, Erin." Oh, noes, he knows me by name across a room - eeps! *face-palm* But, being dead tired on little sleep and rather much wine, last night, my thinky question of earlier evaporated completely from my mind. So, instead I asked him about wrestling down a big ol' kid like Jared, as Bobby did Sam in the season premiere.

My question inadvertently sparked what's apparently become a favorite note of the evening, LOL! After chiding me for not thinking he could really *do* it, Jim told how he had to hold Jared for the shot of Bobby restraining Sam from attacking the newly-risen Dean, and teased that yeah, the rest of us would love that, lol. When it took them time to set it up, he *kept* holding Jared preparatory to each take, and meanwhile felt up Jared's pects and chest and the upshot now is ... they're engaged. ROTFLMAO! (He later also noted that they're registered at Home Depot. *SNORK!*)

Oh! Jim did spill that in Episode 6, Bobby gets to drive the Impala. HEE!

Some A's from Jim's Q's include:
His current project, Harper's Island, is under uber strict confidentiality agreements, because the effectiveness of the show depends on the audience being surprised. Jim's own role is very different from Bobby, instead a man who rarely speaks, and it's a more internal role.

Deadwood was, he said, a role he was born to play.

The nature of a character and the scripts writing have more to do with him getting into character than the period or the costumes.

He finds it most chaotic to shoot a scene with lots of people or lots of Special FX. The fight scene with the boys' blasting ghosts during Bobby's ritual in 4:02 his example.

And ... that's kind of it. Jim doesn't know what Bobby is doing after about Ep. 6, and he figures we won't see much of Bobby for a while, until Harper's Island is wrapped and the latter episodes of SPN are to be filmed. HI would let Jim go film SPN if needed, but he hasn't got the call for anything further on, yet.

In summary, Jim was awesome and amazing and a pure joy to see/hear. He treats us all like ... well, like occasionally exasperating family whom he nonetheless loves to have around. :-)

Next on the schedule were the Ghost Facers, AJ and Travis. To be honest, I was kind of "meh" about seeing them, figured I'd do it just because I'm here, but ... no squee involved. I even came back in a few minutes late... and I was very pleasantly surprised! They were funny and goofy and borderline slapstick and played off each other hilariously. AJ seems the mellower of the two, with Travis so amped he had to put aside his chair just so he could pace and bounce around, lol! They also did a hilarious in-house riff where AJ flattered Travis about we don't even know what, while Travis went all "golly shucks" - all in an absurd verbal shorthand that meant nothing to anyone else. They really should be a stand-up team...

Tidbits of their talk include: a very great deal of Ghostfacers was shot by them, with their ghost hunting crew actually holding the cameras. It was scripted, of course, but they were given lots of room to just do their thing, which made for a very different acting experience. (For example, the rat Travis freaked over was just tossed in the room for atmosphere, but Travis saw it and chose to scream and react.)

AJ and Travis also spoke very highly of Jensen and Jared, as well as riffing about how HUGE Jared is, how big *both* boys are compared to their smaller statures. AJ told how Jared one day just picked him up and ran around with him slung over his shoulder, while AJ freaked that he was going to be dropped, and Jensen chastised him to put AJ down. LOL!

Fave lines from the show: "Sweet lord -" "- of the Rings!" and the "chisel chest" exchange. Apparently that absolutely broke Jared up the first time they said it, and they said Jared laughs *huge*, and when he does, everything just stops.

Yes, they miss Corbett, and if we smell French Vanilla, that would be Corbett farts. :-p

Asked about pranks, they said Jared would do just anything to distract and make you laugh. They also told the already-immortal tale of them trying to keep straight and do the ghostly train-death victim scene - while Jensen was goosing AJ in the ass with a shotgun! AJ would go "AH!" and the director would ask, "Why do you keep going 'ah'?, and Jensen would echo, "Yeah, why do you keep going 'ah'?" LOL!

In all, they were funny, boyish, hyper, and played off each other hilariously, as well as being easily distracted by their own silliness. They also had great fun with the guy who ran the mic around, Steven, sending him dashing from one side of the crowd to the other.

Next up - Fred Lehne, the Yellow-Eyed Demon himself! Having stepped out for a break, I came in late, so I missed his entrance, but I got the bulk of his Q&A. The poor guy was *not* well, and his voice was half gone, but he carried on like a trouper. I honestly didn't know what to expect, and I've heard some iffy things about past con behaviors, but the man I saw today was just plain fun. He told us about his underwear - Calvin Klein - his fan boy moments - Bruce Springsteen and Elizabeth Taylor (her eyes really were violet, and she rendered him completely incoherent.)

My question to him was how much was him and how much was direction, in the YED's smarmy, supercilious demeanor. His response: they just let him go, and what we saw was what came out when he played the scene. Someone also asked if he ever thought about the poor janitor the YED had possessed. Fred responded with a practiced sneer that the janitor had more fun with him then out in the basement with the mops, lol!

A couple times he turned the questions back on his audience, which earned fun results. When people floundered for answers, he laughed and said, "Not so easy, is it?" He also set himself up with innuendos several times, chiding us, "You've got *dirty* minds. I like it." LOL! On the many times he's died in various roles, he quipped, "I've died so many times I'm afraid when it really happens it'll be a disappointment - hey, this isn't like on Supernatural!" His favorite film death(s) belonged to "Lost," where his character apparently died several nasty times.

Upon being asked, "Do your kids ever show any interest in acting?" he replied, "No, not even mine!" LOL! His favorite SPN line: "You're going to live long enough to know the taste of your own intestines." He declared it's not often you get to say something like that! ;-)

So ... there's that. He gave us nothing new, but simply because he *has* nothing new, but he was by turns warm, funny, irreverent and teasing, a very comfortable presence to be around. I found him to be a pure pleasure and lots of fun, which rendered me happily surprised.

Subsequently came Nicki Aycox, aka the demon, Meg. Now this girl? Was an absolutely unexpected joy. My first impression was that she is *tiny*, lovely, a bit nervous at first, but utterly spunky and witty.

Highlights of her talk: her fangirl moments were with X-files movie co-star, David Duchovny, where she had to appear in a scene in a yukky hospital gown. Not exactly the circumstances in which she wanted to meet him, lol! And ditto with Bruce Willis, when she met him before playing a part with him.

Asked if Jared and Jensen ever pranked her, she replied tartly, "Pranks? I'm too smart for that." Did she prank them back? Nicki smirked and said, "It wouldn't be an even match." ROTFL!

On filming SPN: she told of how hard it was for Jensen to slap her for a scene, to the point he almost couldn't bring himself to do it. (Awww.) Per getting along with the boys, she said they were Texas boys and she was an Oklahoma girl, so they got along just fine. She spoke of Jared and Jensen in the very highest of terms, nothing but praise and affection for them both.

My Q to her was regarding the episode, "Shadow." I loved her sensuality, her sexual aggression in Meg, the imbalance of power with Sam and Dean as her prisoners. I wanted to know how much was her and how much was direction? She replied that the words were all scripted, but the actions were all hers, the crawling back and forth and sliding around the pole, kicking Jensen's/Dean's leg aside, etc. She had *wanted* that imbalance of power, wanted to give a strong woman character. Jared and Jensen had no idea how she was going to play the scene, so she asked the crew to keep them in the dark until they were rolling, so she'd get the sort of genuine reactions the boys gave.

A trivial note: they sometimes used ramps to get hers and Jared's faces in the same frame, lol! She also repeatedly praised Jared and Jensen, saying she'd come back for them in a heartbeat and do anything on SPN, and equally praised the SPN workplace. In all, I found Nicki to be articulate, smart, forthright, and a real treat to hear, and she was fiercely proud of how the SPN fandom had embraced Meg.

Jason Manns had the next Q&A, which I attended since I liked his music so well. (I must here add that Karina bought me Jason's CD, which makes her eleventy billion new kinds of awesome.) Up there in front of a couple hundred inquisitive eyes, Jason came across to me as affable, relaxed, low-key, and a man at home in his own skin.

My Q for his A was about how he wrote songs: in effect, did he tend to find words first and then the music, or music first and then the words, or what? I told him that a handful of my own poems came out with such a strong sense of internal rhythm that they sometimes felt like they could be songs - were it not for my total lack of musical talent. Jason replied that it was both, sometimes he'd get words in search of a tune, and he has snippets of tunes just waiting for the words. He went on about the songwriting process for a little bit, which pleased me to no end, talking about songwriting teams where one person is the lyricist and the other the musician, and finished by advising me with a smile that I should find a friend with a piano. *G*

Other answers to fan questions included: He did encourage Jensen to sing, but Jason also explained about the commitment needed to really pursue singing. He reminded us that Jensen was simply too busy for the amount of practice that would give him the confidence to play and sing in front of audiences, and that being a musician/singer is a thing that requires work. Jensen, Jason said, is just not prepared to make the change from music he plays to relax into music for work. Right now Jensen's work is acting, and he prefers to keep music just for fun.

So, fans who love Jensen's angelic voice, there is your answer on that. :-)

Jason rounded out his session by playing a song or three in his mellow, beautiful, acoustic style, including a gently-jazzed version of "Sittin' On a Dock of the Bay." I really, really like this guy, both the easy, comfortable way he has with people and the sheer beauty of his voice, the artistry of his music. When I want something to just be mellow with and feel good, I think I've got me some new tunes for my playlist. :-)

There were breaks between things, too, I'm just not writing a strict chronology, but I did make time to mosey about a bit. At one point Karina and I took a turn around the mall, nosing in a couple shops and getting her a pair of sunglasses, me a new Led Zeppelin t-shirt, and just sort of stretching our legs. In the vendors' room I replaced my SPN poster that I'd lost/left coming through airport security on my flight out, and looked at all the SPN goodies that were on offer. They also had a vendor selling corsets and other goth-type costume stuff, which actually seemed to sell. Me and corsets? Not so much, lol.

I also did my photo op with Jim, figuring to get that out of the way before the Sunday crowds. I missed Nicki's Saturday op, but she would be there again on Sunday. Meanwhile I got some of my autographs for my spiffy SPN poster, including Jim's, AJ's & Travis', Nicki's, Fred's and Chad's. This year everyone including Jim were at tables off the vendors' room, which made casual chatting much easier and more fun. So, all I needed was Jared's autograph! YAY! Uh, I think I also took time out to grab a quick lunch in the food court along with roomies gwendolyngrace, roguebitch, heidi8 and etakyma. LOL, I couldn't just keep forgetting to eat, or I'd tip over!

Later that evening, I had some things on my mind and dinner plans fell through, so I threw monetary caution to the winds and bought myself a Banquet ticket. I had no one to sit with, and really just expected to end up with fans, but to my amazement found myself with a choice: Fred, Jason or Steve Carlson. LOL, I was so flustered by this unexpected chance that I just went for the easy choice, Steve, since I'd already talked to him a few times both this con and last April. I guess I wasn't feeling brave enough for Fred and just kind of spazzed over the idea of sitting with Jason, lol.

Anyhow, it made for a pleasant interlude. I sat among strangers and there was a bit of initial awkwardness, but Steve was so laid-back about it. In fact, he led us in staging the first assault on the buffet table, lol, when everyone else seemed to be waiting in exquisite politeness for some sort of dinner bell. After a while we relaxed into comfortable conversation, and enjoyed.

The food *was* better than last time, served on steam tables rather than allowed to get cold and yukky whilst trying to figure out how to serve umpty hundred dinners at once. I think there were fewer people this time, too. The dinner itself included rice pilaf, chicken, roast beef, a tasty pasta dish, something with zucchinis and yellow squash, and pie. :-) Maybe not 4-Star, but they made a noticeable effort to improve, and my roast beef was tender and delicious. (Plus being able to go back for seconds was a definite plus, lol!)

Across the room, gales of manic hilarity burst frequently from the tables headed by Travis & AJ and Chad Lindberg. LOL, evidently they were having a fake-laughter contest. Those of us with Steve were just as glad to play it mellow and let those guys have all the rowdy fun. ;-)

Steve eventually had to leave to prepare for his concert, but for those who remained at our table, AJ stopped by to chat a bit, just a really nice, gently-spoken guy, then Fred popped in to joke and tease, despite his raspy voice and lingering cold-bug, and he made us laugh over I don't even remember what. Chad stopped by last, when I think only 4 of us remained over pie, and we all had a *very* nice chat about his movie. He's very earnest about it, passionate in his desire for it to reach a larger audience, and sincere in his inquiries about our reactions. I think it really pleased and touched him that we understood its message, the need to understand about the acting industry and how easily the lines blur between fiction and reality, too often with tragic consequences. I think of the entire dinner, I enjoyed the chat with Chad the most.

Anyhow, it was worth it to me, given my temporary state of mind, to just say f** it and throw some money at the chance to embrace one more con experience. I enjoyed it, and I was *very* happily surprised that my late dinner ticket and lower badge number (106) still got me a celeb seat. :-) LOL, the only thing I might do different would be to *plan* slightly ahead, so I could have changed into better evening clothes.

Things were running late by then, but I looked forward to Steve Carlson's concert, having enjoyed his music at the April EyeCon. A good crowd gathered and I thought it was cute that, when he first took the stage, he asked lighting to turn off the spot for a few minutes. Before we make love, he says, we should at least make eye contact. Flirt. ;-)

As before, his show was warm and fun and intimate, just a storyteller and his songs. At one point he called Jason Manns up to join him in a duet, singing an upbeat version of "Stuck on You," the two of them swapping lead vocals. Good? Honey, there were angels weeping at the beauty of those two voices. :-) Jason remained in the front of the audience for the rest of Steve's concert, and the two palled around all weekend. In all, Steve once again gave us a terrific show, closing with a high energy encore with a sweet finish and awesome, awesome guitar. :-)

And after that ... uh, what next? Oh, Platinum Party! Right. So we had the platinum party, and again, Kenny and Voni made a real effort to improve. The room was much bigger, the bar more accessible, and people had more room to mingle. The party room was dominated by the Rock Band game setup, and we got to watch Travis, Chad and several fans horribly mutilate a couple songs, lol! Chad followed with a rock star rendition of "Eye of the Tiger" which is probably all over YouTube by now, very funny!

The noise in the room did, however, prompt people to drift back out onto the Mezzanine by the game room, where folks congregated to talk and hang out. Having not sufficiently humiliated myself with Jim Beaver yet, I joined the little circle of folks standing with him. I was touched once again by him talking about his little girl, Maddie, and the journey she's made from losing her mother so young to a precocious 6-year-old who is, Jim fears, destined for world dictatorship. *G*

Tonight I only had a single glass of wine, so I took the chance when offered to chat with Jim about writing, the subject I'd *meant* to bring up in his Q&A before hanged-over-ness turned my brains to applesauce. ;-) I can only say again what a good and decent man Jim is, to lend himself and his attentions to us. I truly enjoy how articulate and intelligent he is, how deeply he thinks under that gruff exterior. We chatted for quite a while about his upcoming book and writing in general, and I hope he knows how much I appreciated his time. :-)

And ... that was pretty much that. I straggled back on up to the room, where the rest of my roomies were already asleep. Karina and I, however, stayed up nattering and whispering for probably another hour, until we conked out. Tomorrow was JARED DAY!

EyeCon2 Day 1

Wherein I post belatedly - very belatedly - but I want to round out the set. *g*

This is my account of the *second* EyeCon, held once again in Orlando, Florida, September 26-28, 2008. Beginning with Friday, here we go! :-)

First, Chad Lindberg's movie, "My Big Break," was SO not what I expected! It started off as a sort of whacky guy-thing kind of film, complete with all sorts of "inappropriate" behavior, including opening scenes of one of the guys trashing a big ol' pile of film in the back of his truck, finishing with peeing on the whole, mess, lol! But as the film followed these four young actors through their trials and tribulations in Hollywood ... it became grew into something much sadder and sobering. By the end, the scene of the film being destroyed was not a bit funny, at all. It is, as the creator/filmmaker Tony V said, a denunciation of Hollywood, and it really *really* made me think. Of course, Chad as presenter with Tony was awesome and adorable, and we showed him the love!

Jason Manns - Wow. That man can sing like an angel. His folksy soft accoustic sound was absolutely beautiful, and as I texted to Lindsay, lol, that man can sing me to sleep any night. He was an utter doll to talk to, as well, sweet and engaging and just the kid next door. My roomie and generous friend, Karina/aka blacklid bought me his CD, which makes my ears very happy! *G*

Then the Cocktail Party - w000t! WE HAD ELBOW ROOM! Gone was the claustrophobic cattle call of last year, but this time a generous room with *two* bars set up, and they did not charge for my wine, at least, until they shut the bars down for the night. :-) Per celebs - LOL, I had a hard time getting *to* anybody simply because I kept running into fan friends and LJ acquaintances! But I did chat just a bit with Chad, who was cute as ever. I forgot to say that not long before the film, Karina and I ran into Chad with his lovely girlfriend down in the Mall, and Chad recognised and greeted us warmly. What a doll! *G* Back to the cocktail party, I honestly never *saw* Nicki, which makes me feel bad. I probably looked right past her, without that blond hair. :-/ I saw Travis but ever got over there, didn't see AJ but again, probably just missed him. Jim Beaver, however, repeated Chad's welcome when he recognised me from last EyeCon and gave me a big hug. LOL, the poor man really was snowed under by eager fans, and I fear we backed him into the corner, but he's getting the hang of this crowd-working thing. I missed seeing Fred, as well, so I'm sorry to read Jane's report that he's ill. Sinusitus? GAH! Hope he can get some antibiotics.

Anyhow, so I had an *awesome* time chatting with fandom pals, and it was very cool to be recognised by Jim and Chad - though maybe I should be vaguely alarmed, since there is the possibility that makes me notorious ..... Hmm .... ;-)

I hung with the die-hards until the threw us out, whereupon I retired to congregate with the folks down at Crickets. Jim Beaver was down there, too, but engaged in private conversation as well as getting something to eat. As I said, I flat *forgot* to eat, just had a power bar, so it's probably no wonder 3 glasses of wine pretty much rendered me rediculous. *g*

Other characters to meet were of course Kenny and Voni, who looked awesome and greeted returnees with huge smiles and hugs, and Dizy the MC, who is still the outragous flirt. *G* Of course I saw Yasmine and Megan and met Jane and I don't even remember who all, lol, so if I forget I saw you that night, please don't hold it against me!

More to come ....