So, I'm gonna start from the beginning - on Friday morning at about 10 ish we jumped on the train to Birmingham and arrived at the Birmingham Hilton at about 12-12.30ish and tried to check into our room. Unfortunately, we weren't allowed to do that til after 3pm so we left our bags in the designated luggage waiting room, wandered around a bit and then joined the already long queue for registration. Registration was supposed to start at 2pm but it all went a bit pear shaped and registration was delayed for over an hour because of a problem with some things they were waiting for from the printers (surely this should have been done ages ago?). After waiting for what seemed like ages (and I'm pretty sure it was too) we were registered! During that queuing Jo headed back to reception and checked us is and took our bags up to the room. Unfortunately, something else went wrong as we didn't have our J2 Photoshoot tickets in our registration pack - so we then had to join another queue for customer services with loads of other people who were also missing various different things from their packs too. After standing in the queue for an hour or so it became clear that the queue hadn't moved a all! Tne organisers then decided that if you had a printout of your e-mail receipt/confirmation you were sent after booking the photoshoots you could just head straight to the photoshoot instead of waiting to get your actual tickets first - good decision actually as we were starting to freak out because we were worried we'd miss the photoshoot completely.
Once we'd joined the queue for the actual photoshoot, I started getting quite nervous as I couldn't believe we were actually about to be in the same room as Sam and Dean! When it got to our turn in the room it had been previously decided (not by me) that as there was a two person limit to the photoshoot and none of us wanted to go in alone I'd be in both of them. I felt quite bad about it but Jo and Vicky agreed and said it made sense that way.
Anyway, soon enough it was our turn for pictures and I made Jo walk over first 'cause I was too scared! Lol! She ended up next to Jensen with me next to Jared who looked around and said "hi" to me - I replied with the same thing - and our picture was taken. Jo wasn't ready and after checking the picture the photographer said he'd take another one. I thought it was really good that they did that. Then Jo moved to one side, I shifted along so I was now next to Jensen and I motioned to Vicky to come in next. So she stood next to Jared this time. After that picture I said "thankyou, bye" and waved back to the general direction of both Jensen and Jared. It was all over in a matter of seconds - which I'd expected actually - but we'll have the pictures for ever. And I said three whole words to the boys! I was quite proud of that actually.
They came out really well too - we may have looked at them at least once every five minutes on Saturday after we'd got them. I don't have any jpegs of them yet so I've just taken pictures of them on my camera to share with you. They're are much much better quality in reality. It's really hard to take a good picture of a photograph!
Once I get jpegs I might post them again so you can see them in the quality that they actually are. We were really really pleased with how they came out. I think we were worried all Friday night that they might be really unflattering or something. They're really good though - and, really, they should be for £60 a time. A lot of money but well worth it. In five years we won't have the cash but we're always gonna have the pictures.
Friday night was the mullet party (well, School of Rock was the official title but Jo, Vicky and I refered to is as the mullet party which I think sounds better) which was cool. We put our mullet's and 80's gear on and rocked out to some classic rock. The music could have been better chosen though. We ending up going to bed at about 2am as we spent a little while trying to think of questions for Saturday's Q&A's.
On Saturday I woke up at about 7am and Jo and Vicky were already milling around. We headed down for breakfast at about 7.30am where they had a buffet with a great selection of different breakfast foods - we also stocked up on rolls etc from there for lunch too. Saved us buying anything. After that we headed to the opening ceremony were all the guests were introduced. They were, Matthew Cohen (young John Winchester), Amy Gumenick (young Mary Winchester/Campbell), Gabriel Tigermen (Andy from season two), Samantha Smith (Mary Winchester), Fredric Lehne (The Yellow Eyed Demon), Richard Speight Jr (Trickster), Charles Malik Whitfield (Agent Henricksen), Micha Collins (Castiel) and, of course, Jared Padalecki and Jensen Ackles.
We spent most of Saturday in talks - the first one was with Jensen and Jared - unfortunately, it was so busy and so many questions were asked that I don't actually remember any of them. Jensen and Jared seemed friendly enough considering they were probably as tired as we were and there were probably 1400 excited fans in the room! We then went up to our room for a while and had lunch before heading back to the talks room where we spent most of the afternoon.
The first talk of the afternoon was Amy, Matt and Samantha who gave a nice, entertaining chat. We weren't gonna attend that talk but I'm glad we did. Matt was adorable and Amy and Samantha seemed like genuinely nice people. And Jo got brave and asked them a question about what it was like to work with the legend that is Mitch Pileggi. Matt and Amy answered it indepth, especially Amy and the question itself got a round of applause from some of the crowd. According to Amy, Mitch is one of the nicest people in the world. I would love to meet him. Maybe they could get him for Asylum 4?
After them it was Misha Collins who was absolutely awesome and had excellent control over the crowed. He was especially good at answering questions without actually answering them. That's a definite skill. The talk was very entertaining even though someone thought it was a great idea to ask him about slash fanfic! As soon as the question was asked the whole room gave a collective uncomfortable sigh. He answered it well though and didn't seen uncomfortable. After his talk one fo the organisers came out and requested that we not bring it up again because it's just awkward. People must have listened and respected the request as it wasn't brought up again - in the talks we attended anyway.
Jared's talked followed (after the fan video competition) and he was entertainig and seemed more alert than in the earlier one. It answered most questions really nicely and seemed like a total sweetheart. He even answered some of more bizarre questions and, strangely enough, he seemed to get weirder questions than all the other guests. It all got a bit suggestive sometimes. Which made him and everyone laugh a lot.
It was the heaven and hell party on Saturday night - where Genevieve Cortese made an inpromtu appearance and signed only 40 pictures. We didn't stand a chance as the queue was full before we even got in the room. From what I heard she was very very nice though.
On Sunday we attended some more talks - Richard was awesome! I love the Trickster and he was very good at working the crowd and answering all kinds of questions about all kinds of different things. He talked indepth about his work on "Band of Brothers" and was so close to asking him if he worked with Simon Pegg and Andrew-Lee Potts while doing it. Next up was Jensen and (musician) Jason Mann. Jensen was awesome in this talk and played off of Jason Mann a lot. You can tell they're friends. He didn't get as many strange questions as Jared which was nice. I like the strange random questions as much as the next guy but a questions that could lead to indepth answers are better. I loved it when he was asked if he has any pets and he showed us all a picture of his adorable pet dog (which was on his iPhone) though.
After that we headed to our first autograph session. The first autograph we got was Samantha who was very sweet and wrote our names when we asked. She also looks a lot younger in person. I'm getting better at making conversation at signings too as I asked her how she was enjoying the weekend and then told her it was our first time at a convention. She was very friendly. Next was Amy who was also a very sweet and friendly person and when I asked her if she was enjoying the weekend she said it was a lot of fun and asked me if I was too - I then told her too that it was our first convention, thanked her and said it was nice to meet her. After that it was Matt who looked at me and smiled making it impossible for me to think or say anything coherent. I think I just told him it was nice to meet him. He was very pretty. Jo told him he was better looking in person! Lol!
After him it was Misha who is incredibly pretty and has such an intense stare he totally derailed Jo when he looked her in the eyes! She asked him to personalise it and even though he wasn't supposed to he just did it anyway. I asked him too and said it was nice to meet him. I had no other thought it my head once he'd looked at me. Lol!
Then we joined the queue for Jared's autograph - before doing that Jo called him and we waved! He smiled back. Jo went up first and asked him if he was allowed to write her name on it, he wasn't allowed but seemed like he didn't want to say no so did it anyway. I was proper sneaky and asked him too by saying something like "I know you're not allowed to but please? It's Tracy!". He was looking me right in the face so I could have said anything! Lol! Then I added that it was nice to meet him. After that Vicky asked him too which lead to a whole debate between him and a crew member. After getting his autograph we all felt quite bad because we think we made him feel bad for asking him to personalise even though he wasn't really supposed to. I think we put him in quite an awkward situation because I don't think he wanted to refuse. He's also absolutely massive in person! Not just tall but really broad too. He's freakishly tall! And very very pretty upclose.
It was about lunch time by then so we headed off to find somewhere for lunch - on the way we were passed by Richard who said hello after I said "Trickster!" in his general direction. He seemed like a cool dude.
Sometime during the day we also watched Fredric Lehne's talk. Again, he worked the crowd brilliant and I think he could talk for ever and ever if you let him. He opened with an altered version of "Sympathy For The Devil". He's changed the lyrics so it was about Supernatural! Lol!
After lunch we attended another talk - Jared and Jason Mann this time and once again the Jared talked seem to being out the crazies with fans asking him to marry them, to describe his perfect woman and if he was picking out a sexy outfit for himself what would it be and why. Lol! Someone did tell him how well the show was doing in the ratings over here which he didn't know about so that was nice. It was another entertaining, suggestive talk though.
Then we sat in the talk room for a while - Samantha, Matt and Amy were next up - before we were called for the second and final autograph session. First up was Charles Malik Whitfield who was really nice and seemed grateful when we mentioned how much we liked and miss Agent Henricksen. He also looked so much younger in person. Do they age people up all the time on the show or what? Next was Gabriel Tigerman was very sweet. I honestly hadn't thought of anything to say to him so ended up asking him if he was having a nice weekend and said that it was my first time at a convention. I think I added something about it being nice to meet him too.
The we headed to Fredric, who was chatting to everyone and shaking hands! He asked Jo her name and then shook her hand introducing himself with "hi, I'm Freddie" then he asked her if I was a friend of hers, asked my name and shook my hand introducing himself the same away again and then asked the same about Vicky before doing the same to her. He was supernice and we were moving off and he kept calling us back to talk to him still.
Richard was next and was an absolute legend! We collectively told him how much we loved the Trickster and asked if he was ever coming back - he said he didn't know, that it was up to the writers and that if we went to the message board we could get a message to the writers telling them how cool the Trickster is and that we'd love to see him again. He was such a dude!
The final autograph of the day, and the weekend, was Jensen. His queue was massive and we were way off schedule by then so it was super fast signing and ended up being a "hi, thankyou" situation. He did his best though and did look up and smile to every fan! I think if I'd been him I would have been getting a bit grumpy by then.
Next was the closing ceremony - and all the guests (apart from Jared) were bought out to say goodbye to everybody - where Jensen came out and apologised profusely for the earlier signing being so rushed and said he hoped everyone got everything they wanted from the weekend. He seemed genuinely sincire about everything and said how great it was to be able to come to a different country and realised how much people love the "little show they make in a small corner of the world". Awesome!
All in all, it was a great weekend and all the trouble on Friday night became a distant memmory! As tired as we felt last night we can only imagine how tired the guests were. They all worked their arsed off over the weekend! When they weren't signing, they were doing photoshoots and when they weren't doing either of those they were answering fan questions during talks. They must have been paid a lot to be there! I can't imagine many other people putting themselves out there with fans as much as these guys too.
Roll on Asylum 4!
For more details on questions asked etc, check out the Asylum 3 page on Supernatural Wiki.
Oh and my "Primeval" series three DVD came this morning! It's gonna be hard to not watch the finale before Saturday!
I've loads of TV to catch up on now - last nights "Supernatural", of course but also "Criminal Minds", "Dexter" and "CSI: NY". I'm so glad "Primeval" wasn't on as well.
Holy cow! Look how long this post is!!