Ilse, our LittleDutchTreat has had the privilege of attending a few European Cons and here are a few of her experiences!
Apart from the title of Supernatural Season 1, episode 10, Asylum is also the name of a European SPN convention. Every year two Asylum conventions are organized in Birmingham UK, a major one in May and a smaller one in October. A Twitter friend drew my attention to the existence of Asylum. Little did I know! Of course, I had heard about the big American conventions such as VegasCon, but conventions in Europe….. Aren’t they only in the US?! Apparently not. For this 50+ wife, and mother of 2 teenage daughters, a whole new world opened up when my daughters introduced me to SPN and the SPNFamily. My second youth commenced in 2014!
But returning to the topic of conventions… Meeting SPN actors? Right, that was it, I had to be there! However, my timing was not good. The moment I realized that European cons existed, the tickets for Asylum12 had been sold out. Balls with a capital B! And to make things worse a new special guest was announced: Jared Padalecki. OMG! I guess most of you can imagine how I felt at that moment. Not a happy girl! Luckily, I seemed to have a little angel on my shoulder, because my previously-mentioned Twitter friend warned me a few days later that a few extra tickets had been released. I never knew I could be that fast on the computer; I had to get a ticket. And YES! Thank Chuck! I was just in time and got my hands one of the last tickets for A12. I was beyond happy, I was in seventh heaven, but anxious as well. OK, I got myself a ticket. I was going, but what next? I had no idea what was going on at a con and how I would get there. But I wanted this, so damn me if I would show fear. I was going to do this. Badass Mama.
By this time the rest of my family doubted my sanity. Hubby was OK with my plan as long as he didn’t have to go. He would change his mind later, but that’s a different story. It was up to me to make my trip awesome. Me and my big mouth. Oh well, I arranged an airplane ticket and hotel and waited for D-day with butterflies in my tummy.
Anyway, flight went well. Hotel was fine. And there I was, feeling like a nervous teenager in the Hilton Birmingham Metropole Hotel (place of venue). What now? I had no idea. There were so many people there who all seemed to know each other and knew what to do and where to go. But then the SPNFamily sprung into action. I felt like I was being emerged in a warm bath. Everyone was there for the same reason, everyone knew what you were talking about, everyone was more or less nervous and everyone was swooning. Young or old, big or small, English, French or Dutch, it didn’t matter at all. So I went with the flow and before I knew it I was acting like an accomplished con-visitor. Haha! And I really loved it. I felt 18 again.
And I haven’t even mentioned the men and women who were the reason I went in the first place. OMG, SPN-stars in the wild! I will never forget the moment that I saw my first celebrity. Misha just walked by in the hotel, right in front of me. Like he was just a human being! Lol! I guess my mouth dropped to my knees. Awkward! Fortunately, I eventually got used to seeing all the celebs during the weekend, so I didn’t continue to make a fool of myself. Fortunately for me, but for the SPN-star in question as well.
I immensely enjoyed all the talks. I absorbed everything, like a sponge. SpongeBob move over! Food, drinks, nah. Who needed that, while listening to these awesome men and women? My biggest problem at the time was ‘What do I do for the photo ops?’ What can I come up with for an original pose with my boys? Apart from the rows and rows of people waiting for a moment with the hero of their dreams, I noticed weird stuffed toys, tiaras, and every other attribute you can think of. When it finally was my turn, I couldn’t think of anything other than “a big hug.” Hey, I was already happy that I was able to speak in front of the actors! And oh, it felt so good! The big hug thing, not the speak thing. Duhhh! And I even managed to be in a “sandwich.” I probably wasn’t really subtle in my choice of who to hug: Jared or Misha? I didn’t even see Misha, all I saw was Jared, Jared and Jared. Geez, that man is tall! If I remember correctly, I almost ran to him with open arms. It surprised me that the poor man didn’t step back and call bodyguard Cliff! He must have been used to silly girls like me.
I admire him for keeping his cool. And Misha had to be accustomed to all the girls falling for Moose, as he didn’t flinch, but immediately joined Jared and me to complete the tasty sandwich. That pose became a picture that I will cherish for as long as I live. And I will never forget the feeling of that muscular body against me. Drool!
What else did I notice during my other photo ops ? Mark S. never left his grumpy Crowley-role, but was charming as hell. Mark P., tall gentleman, soft spoken. Osric, cutie, approachable and the kindest of them all. Ty, gentle rogue, bit shy. Sebastian, whirlwind, fun, ambiguous. Cliff, considerate and impressive. Needless to say that it cost me a small fortune, but it was worth every penny of it.
A few highlights and quotes:
– The main attraction was not of flesh and blood, but a ‘67 Chevy Impala. And yes, I also had to have my picture taken with Baby.
– Misha moved a fan to tears because he had arranged for an entrance ticket for her. “No big deal girl, I just told the Rogue people to send you one.”
– Mark S. spent more time off stage than on stage, scaring the hell out of the fans. Still, he tried to comfort a nervous crying fan the best he could in his Crowley way.
– Jared showed us so many faces. No wonder he became an actor. Awesome.
– Cliff never left Jared’s side. And so it should be.
– Besides showing the stars on stage and warning when the photo ops started, the big video screens were also used for a bit of fun .
– Seb and A.J. Facetimed Travis Wester, who was in the US, on an IPad. Travis interacted with the men and the fans. He even sat on a chair on stage and made A.J. do a lap dance for Seb.
– Seb was walking through the room without his feet touching the floor. He walked on the chairs and made sure everyone had fun, being the master of the party. Singing, dancing and ambiguous comments. That’s Seb.
– Misha spent the spare time he had visiting the Random Acts stand. Bless him.
– First talk of Sunday: Jared and Misha. Much to the hilarity of the fans Jared was too late. He had begged Misha to wait for him. Misha agreed, but we know Misha….. You would have thought Jared would too. Misha was alone on stage until Jared came running, out of breath, excusing himself and cursing Misha.
– Jared was exceptionally expressive, so much that at one point of a stage talk, he fell off his chair with laughter.
– Heard while waiting in a photo op queue: “What is this queue for? This is Crowley’s version of Hell, welcome.”
– Seb got a fan on stage to sing Let It Go from Frozen with him and was stunned when the girl turned out to have a beautiful voice. It was a treat for everyone.
– Jared left early on Sunday afternoon. He returned to the stage during Seb’s talk to say goodbye to the fans, and explained that he was returning to Gen and the boys in London to see Tom and Shep before they went to bed. Aaaawwwww.
– Osric and A.J. used their joint talk to discuss the campaign “Save SPN in the UK” with the fans.
– JP: “When Sam said he’d let Dean die he was lying. He wanted to hurt Dean ‘cause Dean tricked him. They love each other the same. You hurt the one you love.”
– Misha and Jared got asked what the funniest way was they could say apple crumble. They just looked at each other and cried laughing.
– MC: “Danneel and West love each other.”
– Ty: “You know me, ‘Ty don’t do that’….. I go and do it anyway.”
– MC: “For a while, I thought of Cas as Dean’s guardian angel.”
– OC: “I have an obsession with Mark Sheppard.”
– Jared to a young fan: “I hope your daddy has a lot of shotguns cuz you are a cutie.”
– Misha and Jared promised us a Cooking Fast and Fresh with West and Thomas.
– Tyler: “I found it awkward filming the torture scene. I was strapped down and helpless and the crew would just plod on around me.”
– Someone asked why it had to be Cas that pulled Dean from hell and Misha jokingly said: “Cas was leering at him from the clouds before saying I VOLUNTEER.”
– Mark S. on fans leaving his stage talk to go to the Misha photo op: “Any of you that get up now are dead to me.”
– Misha called Cas on his cell phone during the joint panel with Jared. Jared asked Cas to tell Misha to tell Sam that his hair looks great.
– On the last SPN episode: JP: “Everyone dies.” MC: “All live happily ever after.”
– JP: “I put a fish in Misha’s car. Misha first blamed Westy.” MC: “Where did you get the keys?” JP laughing: “From your trailer.”
– MS: “Crowley is very aware that Sam would kill him and that Dean wouldn’t at the moment.”
This was my first SPN convention. I loved every minute of it and this certainly wasn’t my last one. Asylum 13 followed in October 2014 and in May 2015 I’ll visit Asylum 14, where I will meet Jensen for the very first time! SQUEEEEE! Maybe I will sit down for a piece on those two as well. If anyone wants me to…..
Oh yes, before I forget. The end of this story got another twist: Guess who I met at Birmingham Airport and who turned out to be on the same plane to Amsterdam as me. Misha! Lovely man. After an entire weekend of fans, fans, and fans, he didn’t mind having a chat and having his picture taken with me. At Schiphol (Amsterdam Airport), he even waved at me and called out: “See you.” Oh well, these are the little things in life that make me happy.
Ilse, LittleDutchTreat, aka @ilseverboven