I'm going to tell a story here that I went back and forth about sharing. This past weekend a strange and frankly humbling thing happened. First, a little back story.
Last week I attended the Supernatural Giving Back Tour in Cleveland. In addition to the normal fun and games- like photo ops, panels, autographs, karaoke and the Saturday Night Special Concert- there were also a ton of chances to interact, both with games on stage with the actors, and with some challenges that you did on your own or with friends.
A year ago when I bought my tickets, I was intrigued by the Creative Quest- an art contest that would marry Rock and Roll with Supernatural. I wanted in, even though I knew I was not the best artist. I racked my brain for what I could do that would be in my wheel house and still fit the parameters... then I landed on it, I would paint an acoustic guitar. It took me months to figure out what to do and how to do it. There were several failed attempts, and numerous points where I almost threw the whole idea away. Then, with a few weeks left to go, I finally hit my stride. Still, I ran out of time. Life got in the way and the night before I had to leave the guitar was not nearly what I wanted it to be. It was missing several symbols I wanted to include and I never got the epoxy on to seal it all in. I almost left the guitar home, but decided to bring it anyways and enter the Creative Quest. When I saw the other entries I knew I was out of the game- the level of artwork that was on display was incredible. I was in awe of the talent that this family brings to the table.
Then a funny thing happened. My name was called as a winner. I had to go on stage to speak about my work. Now, I love to be on stage and I have no problem talking to large groups of people. I should have been in my element, but I felt like a fraud. How could my work have won anything when up against some of the stuff that was entered? It felt a bit like one of those moments you see at awards shows where the winner steps on stage and says "I never thought I'd win!" I normally think those people are full of it, but now I think I know the feeling. I'm not even sure what I said up on the stage, and I don't know what the judges saw in my work that made them choose it (I almost asked for a critique!). I do know that the more I reflected on it, the more I realized that I was being given a chance to do something great. No, the guitar wasn't perfect, hell, it wasn't even finished, but they saw something in it that was worthwhile. So I came home and I finished the guitar, I made it into something that I am proud of. Something that I actually want to do more of as well- I already have some ideas for a few more guitars.
So here it is:
I painted this used acoustic guitar using acrylic paints. The flower design was done free hand and then I added in 9 Supernatural symbols into the design, before I put a clear glaze over the top to seal and protect the work.
Symbols included: Anti-Possession, Mark of Cain, Tibetan Tulpa, Horn of Gabriel, Angel Banishing, Purgatory, some Wings, Azazel Sigil, British Men of Letters (Aquarian Star).
Last January I treated myself to a once in a lifetime trip to a Supernatural Convention in Jacksonville, FL. It was an amazing weekend (recap here). It was amazing, and much like everything else in my life, if it proves to be an awesome "once in a lifetime" kind of thing, I immediately begin to plot on how I can do it again. It wasn't even a month after SPNJax that I had my tickets to the convention in DC. I've already talked a bit about why Supernatural and this community is such a big part of my life (book review of Family Don't End With Blood), so I will resist the urge to rehash here, and instead just do my level best to recap an amazing weekend in DC.
We pretty much saw every panel (except the gold J2) and there were some definite highlights. My favorite is always Mark Sheppard because he wanders through the audience as he answers questions. DC was one of his last conventions and the fans showed up for him, someone created signs that had some of Crowley's best quotes and Mark took some time reading the ones he went by, making the crowed cheer by simply saying "hello, boys". Mark is also that perfect combination of hysterical and terrifying, because you never know how he will react to a question, and it always leads to entertaining moments.
Other highlights include Misha coming out with his friend Darius, which led to some great stories from their childhood as well as Jensen and Jared talking about Jared playing Jensen's leg guitar (which is remarkably not a euphemism for anything). It was also great to see panels by some of the actors who were not at Jacksonville, including Samantha Smith, Jeffrey Dean Morgan and especially Kim Rhodes and Briana Buckmaster. They gave an amazing panel and are basically friend goals at this point.
I did a Storify of my panel tweets and pictures- but for whatever reason it will not embed right now (it just shows as a big blank space)- So I'm linking instead. If you want to get the full recap of my panel thought, check our my SPNDC Storify!
Update! The Amazing@BeanieJedi33 came through with some video clips over on twitter of Karaoke. I'm stupid levels of happy about this. I couldn't be more thankful that she snagged this video and shared.
Rich, Rob and Matt: This was one of the ops that I didn't get at Jacksonville and ended up regretting, so it was one of the first that I got for DC. I also knew pretty early that I wanted two pictures here. I see a lot of people posing with Matt while Rich and Rob seem put out, so I thought it would be funny to start there and then flip the script and take one with Matt looking upset at being left behind. I think the pictures came out great and I'm constantly reminded that Matt is almost completely unable to make a normal face in a picture and it almost always makes the picture that much better!
Rich, Rob & The Kings of Con: These were our first and last photo ops of the weekend. Like I've said in other posts, I initially got hooked on Supernatural and went to my first Con for Jared, Jensen and Misha.... but I stuck around for these guys (and Matt). They were some of my best ops and experiences at Jacksonville and that trend continued in DC. I LOVE these photos and both Rich and Rob are just really good guys to boot.
Louden Swain and The Wayward Sisters: Louden Swain is one of my all time favorite bands. I love seeing them live at the Saturday Night Special concert at the conventions and I never pass up a chance to get a picture. I just went for the group hug because by this point on Sunday I was fried, and who doesn't want a group hug from these guys. For Kim and Briana we went for a Charlie's Angels pose and I absolutely love it. It wasn't until after that we realized that we somehow managed to pair ourselves off with the two brunettes with our tattoos, mohawks and black outfits on one side and the blondes with their fierce red outfits on the other. We couldn't have planned it better! After the picture we got hugs from both Kim and Briana and I continue to be jealous of how awesome they are.
Misha and Jared Part 1: I also had a Mishalecki op later in the day, but these were some of the Ops I was most looking forward to, if only to rectify the not so amazing Ops I got with Jared and Misha in Jacksonville. While neither picture at the last Con came out great, they both had good stories to go with them, so I was mostly out just to improve on the situation this time. Instead of trying to come up with some great photo op pose I decided to just go with the classic hug pose. Sure it isn't nearly as exciting, but I figured we'd be less likely to mess it up. With Misha it was quick and easy. With Jared I nearly died (only a slight exaggeration) and that's why there are two pictures. With the first one I made the horrible mistake of asking for a huge hug. Jared gives great hugs. His normal hug is perfect. I upped the ante by asking for huge and it nearly cost me my life (or at least my ribs). On our first go Jared's scarf got pressed directly into my mouth and because he was hugging so hugely I had no where to go. I believe when he let go I said something like "So you're scarf nearly suffocated me. Apologies if it has lipstick on it now!" and walked off resigned to having another awkward Jared picture. Luckily Chris Schmelke called me back for another go. This time I said "apparently we hugged to aggressively, try again" and I put my hand on his scarf to hold it down. Jared then announced "nobody can stop my hugs" and proceeded to hug me hard enough that I came up off the ground. Which is why I making a completely surprised face. Initially I didn't like this picture either, but the more I saw it, the more I really loved it.
J2, Mishalecki and JDM: So here's a mixed bag of pictures. For J2 we showed them an example picture in which the two couples were looking at each other. So we pose and I notice Jensen look over my shoulder and then at the camera, at that point I was thinking to myself "If I move I'm going to mess the picture up" so I just kept staring at Jensen. So the result is everyone but me looking at the camera, but who cares. I'll just keep on staring at Jensen, because who wouldn't want to just stare at his face? For Mishalecki I showed them the two hats, the bow and an example picture and Misha asked who was going to be in the middle. I said "generally me, but technically whoever gets the bow", and he immediately grabbed the bow. That out of the way Jared snagged the Naughty Hat and said "Double kiss face" I have exactly zero idea how it went from double kiss face to Jared having a fan girl moment and Misha going with the "someone save me face", but the picture is hysterical, so I'm happy with it! JDM was an easy one (once we made it through the ridiculously long line), we asked for a flex pose and he complied. I think that picture came out great as well!
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