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Asylum 14 AKA A Weekend With The Cast of Supernatural

Asylum 14: Jensen Ackles in Birmingham

Jensen Ackles at Asylum 14

As many of you already know (after following our extensive spamming on social media), we spent the weekend at Asylum 14 in Birmingham with our lovely fellow Supernatural fans. And what a weekend it was… Here’s a recap of a few things that happened plus tons and tons of photos of our beloved cast! Plus tweets. Can’t leave out those tweets. 

FRIDAY

We arrived for registration in very good time and joined the queue for photo op tickets. It was a looong one, but with all the happy excitement and the company of fellow fans, we didn’t mind a bit.

Soon enough things kicked off with Mark Sheppard‘s talk. He walked around the hall asking questions from fans and answering theirs. As usual, he managed to confuse a lot of shy people by snarking back and treating everyone with extreme sarcasm. What a delightfully grumpy bugger.

The next talk we saw was a duo talk from Timothy Omundson and Curtis Armstrong. What a pair! They were so hilarious we were in stitches the whole time!

Asylum 14: Curtis Armstrong in Birmingham

Curtis Armstrong at Asylum 14

We also saw talks from the absolutely adorable Ruth Connell, cutest of all Travis Aaron Wade, our official girl crush Alaina Huffman, mommy dearest Samantha Smith, sweetheart Erica Carroll and another amazing tv mom Lauren Tom, and by this time we were already convinced it was going to be the greatest weekend ever.

On top of seeing all these fantastic faces, we bumped into the one and only Orlando Jones (who was trollin’ around in the Hall all night) and got the tightest of hugs known to mankind. It’s been a year since our breakfast with him in Wilmington, NC, so it was very lovely to get a quick catch-up face to face.

He also got to ask a question from Metatron and Cain…

CHOO CHOO! ALL ABOARD METATRAIN! Orlando Jones, asking the hard questions…

After all the afternoon talks we had a quick dinner at the lobby bar and then checked out the 80’s disco party. Well, they didn’t play a single 80’s song during our short stay in the hall (what is that about?!), but we did manage to witness the coolest thing of all times: Steve and Bucky discodancing in sync on the dance floor. Ah, the regrets of not trying to film the thing!!

Apparently, the disco got shut down early because someone slipped on a drink and dislocated their knee. We heard it through the Asylum grapevine that they were total troopers about it and got their photo ops and autographs sitting in a wheelchair. At least they’ve now got a story to tell…

SATURDAY

When you get to start your day by listening to Jared Padalecki and you’re dressed up as a dorky version of Team Free Will with your mates, it is not a bad day at all. After the total chaos of the confusing queue system (or lack of such, to be honest) we managed to get decent seats in Hall 2. Tiia wanted to ask Jared a question (well, to give him a short thank you speech for his Always Keep Fighting campaing, really) but never reached the mic. Luckily, she still managed to snap a few photos of our beloved Moose’s beautiful face.

(If you’re really curious about that speech, it’s posted in all it’s shortness on our Instagram.)

Asylum 14: Jared Padalecki in Birmingham

Jared Padalecki at Asylum 14

Jared was very relaxed and polite with fans, talked about funny incidents on set and all sorts of other essential things – like his wife being very scared of worms…

…and the practical jokes him, Jensen and Misha play on each other on set.

Too bad Jared’s talk was only 20 or so minutes long as he arrived late to the scene. Maybe because of a late night with the boys and girls of Supernatural…? If so, we really hope they had fun at least!

Next up we had the fabulous Timothy on stage again, this time flying solo. What a charismatic specimen of a human being. So unbelievably entertaining!

Curtis is a lot of fun to watch and listen as well. He clearly cares about the show, his character and the story, and takes time to answer fans questions with thought and consideration. He said the Supernatural fans are “passionate, well informed and very invested in these characters”. He is not wrong.

We also got a very informative panel with Jim Michaels (who started his talk by pouring salt on the edges of the stage… as you do) and loved hearing about his thoughts and seeing how invested he is in the show. He said he’d like to have William Shatner on the show (YES) and that he’s actually pretty excited about the idea of ending the show with a feature film, although nothing has been officially talked or decided yet.

(A Supernatural feature film?! I mean, YES PLEASE. I think we, as a fandom family, could get behind that?)

One of our favourite questions came from the audience: what do you think is the most important message Supernatural wants to share with the world? The answer: “Family doesn’t have to be blood to be family.”

familygif

Samantha did another panel in Hall 2 on Saturday, but sadly, we missed a part of it. However, we got back in time to hear Curtis’ song he’d written for her. Too bad there are no video recordings of it, but we can reveal it included the rhyme “your panel – English channel – army boots and flannel”, so it was quite amazing.

Some time in the afternoon we heard that Jeffrey Dean Morgan was leaving early, but we phew’d in relief as we got confirmation that he was still doing his Hall 2 talk (although we were going to miss the amazing J3 talk altogether). It was a lovely talk too. This guy has such a presence and charisma, that it’s really really hard not to like him (not that we ever tried to be honest). He told us how he doesn’t see John as a bad dude, just a man who loved his kids but also loved his wife, and wanted to know what happened, and wanted revenge.

Jeff also joked about always confusing Sam and Dean for Jared and Jensen, thinking stuff like “oh, they turned out ok!” when someone talks about his sons. Again, one of the loveliest things was the way he talked about this fandom: he thinks it’s absolute “insanity” that the fandom is still growing after all these years, and how he wouldn’t be doing any conventions at all if he didn’t love us so much. He’s simply too busy these days for anything extra.

But we all teared up, starting with him, when he revealed the reason he was going home early: to say goodbye to his dog who was apparently being put down very soon. What a heartbreaking day for him. We hope he got there in time and got some comforting doggy cuddles. We’d like to send him all our love!

After Jeffrey’s talk we adventured around Hilton for a while in search of drinks and food, and pretty quickly got in line for Jason Manns’ concert.

And boy, what a queue it was. There were already dozens of people waiting in the hallway when the rumours started going around: Jensen had tweeted that he was gonna be at the concert. We thought, pfft, it’s just rumours, let’s just go see Jason and be done with it. But the queue just got longer and longer and the doors did not open in time.

Finally, after about two hours of queueing, we got in and got nice seats (on the floor! Seems to be a thing at Manns’ gigs). He played some of his own songs as well as lovely covers.

When it was time for the break before the encores, some security dudes came in from the side door. And not a minute after that, we saw a glimpse of Ackles. For the first time ever, mind! Excitement ensued. Actual squeals were heard. Jason came back on stage and wham, it wasn’t Jensen who joined him. It was THIS DUDE!

We were VERY MUCH entertained! What a night. And it only got better.

Asylum 14: Jensen Ackles performing in Birmingham

Jensen Ackles performing at Asylum 14

What, you’d like to see video of his performance? Ok, you got it. FQ provides.

(And if one video isn’t enough, you can have a look at the other one, too.)

That concludes our Saturday at Asylum. At this point we wondered if it’s even possible to top such a day… well, little did we know.

SUNDAY

Sunday kicked off with the Overlord’s Misha’s solo panel. We were a bit sleepy after just a few hours of sleep, but seeing his amazing face & grace certainly woke us up.

Asylum 14: Misha Collins in Birmingham

Misha Collins at Asylum 14

The whole thing began with safe topics like what it’s like to work with J2…

…the future of his character…

…his kids…

…and other things that are important to him…

…but when someone’s question got censored, it quickly turned into a hilarious gigglefest. He demanded to know what the question was, and after 10 minutes of solving the situation with Asylum crew and the fan in question, turned out she only wanted to know what Misha thinks about people calling him dad on Twitter.

He was so dissappointed. It was all sorts of amazing. He couldn’t believe that question got censored and asked for a naughtier one. “Well, what’s your favourite position?” the girl uttered. The audience burst into more howling laughter. Misha giggled on stage and after a while, went “now THAT is a question I can get behind!” He blamed British people for being all shy and polite, but “when you crack it open just a little bit, they’re immediately demanding to HAVE SEX, ON STAGE, RIGHT NOW!!!” Fans started shouting “I volunteer!!”. Misha giggled. People laughed some more. At some point, a fan’s Angel Blade was brought on stage but carried back because it had a “certain stickiness” to it. It was hopeless. In the end, Misha was apologizing to all the kids in the audience.

It was a howl fest. We were literally hurting after his panel. The rest of the day is a blur. We tried to see all the panels, but we couldn’t. The Sunday scheduling was honestly a bit of a nightmare for us in later letter groups (we were in group Q). We were trying to hold on to our seats that we had queued for for two hours in the morning, and trying to get all the autographs, but missed some. Happily, we managed to get some of our sceneframes signed (one, two), which was all sorts of amazing. Samantha called us artists and said it was “interesting and impressive”. Jim was flattered we went all the way to Vancouver to take the photos, “Vancouver thanks you!”. Mark told us he’s “seen these on the internet” (yeah, possibly because he retweeted the photos from us two days before Asylum, you silly grump!) All kinds of nice things were being said. Even Misha took a few seconds to stare at the photo and went “aah, Riverview mental hospital!” After the autograph hassle, we got our photos taken with Tim and Orlando. They were both so relaxed with fans, trying to make everyone smile by dorkying around with dance moves and props. Amazing fellas.

Asylum 14: Orlando Jones and Fangirl Quest in Birmingham

Orlando Jones and Fangirl Quest at Asylum 14

After our photoshoots we literally ran to make it back to Hall 2 in time for the legendary panel of Misha & Orlando. Misha was running a bit late, but Orlando kept the audience well entertained on his own. The guy’s a comedian, after all!

After a while, Misha walked into the room and joined OJ on stage. Hilarity ensued. Also hugs.

Again, we tackled some important questions such as:

The Angel Blade was brought back up again. Misha was already laughing before he told Orlando about the stickiness. The face he pulled after understanding the innuendo is one of our fondest memory from the whole weekend. Just look at it:

It’s a good face. Here’s a few more shots from the panel.

Next up we had the J2 panel, the first time we actually, “officially” saw Jensen this weekend. And boy, was it a treat for superfans. Seeing these guys together on stage is the most amazing thing. It doesn’t matter how many hours of interviews and panels you’ve watched online, the feeling of sitting in the same room with the Winchesters is just the best. And they are so loving, so giving towards their fans. They understand it’s us who keep them going. They repeatedly tell us that they’re happy to be here, that they’re happy to see us, that they’re thankful for everything.

Jensen explained how people think it’s exhausting for them to do these things, and how he keeps telling them he has no complaints because he’s surrounded by love.

 

During their panel, we talked about important things like the storylines in the show, but also checked out if a fan’s costume had left glitter on Jensen’s butt (the answer is “yes”)…

…and another fan got his tummy signed by J2 so he could tattoo their signatures on his skin permanently, along with the SPN cast ones he already had…

At this point, it was time for something legendary… the J2M photo op. We joined the queue and watched along dozens of other fans how the trio joked around and had fun with fans. There was loads of hugging, loads of silly faces and poses, and we managed to stay somewhat calm and collected.

We wondered if we should do something dorky or if we should go for hugs. Hugs won, in the end.

After the photo, we took five seconds to thank our heroes. Satu hugged Jensen, Tiia thanked Jared for his Always Keep Fighting campaign and told him that it matters. We managed to stay calm and collected all the way up until the moment Jared whispered “keep fighting” and gave Tiia a hug.

We’re not embarrassed (ok we are a bit) to admit we left the room in a state. An extremely teary state.

(Again we wondered: “Why do these people matter so much to us? What is fangirling all about, really?” and found no legit answers. Some people just have it in their genes, some people don’t.)

Sadly, we missed Alaina’s & Ruth’s panel due to clashes in the schedule, but made it back for a bit of lovely Travis. He’s such a great dude to listen to! There’s something old-soul-iness about him, but at the same time he seems to be like everyone else in the Supernatural cast: a bit nutty and a whole lotta lovin’ towards the fans.

He told us how it was one of his favourite gigs he’d ever done and how genuinely lovely the whole cast & crew on the show are. 

He told us about J2’s practical jokes…

And finally, like summoned, Jared himself appeared just to hug Travis on stage and to tell us we should support him because he’s an amazing guy.

So, Good stories were exhanged, tiny fans’ questions were answered. A great panel!

The weekend had a good ending. We folks in Hall 2 got Jensen’s solo panel as our last big thing.

Again, he kept telling us how happy he was to be there and seemed very relaxed and genuinely happy. That’s the thing that makes us happy, too: to see that the guests enjoy themselves and are not there just for the money or just because they have to promote the show.

We got some answers to many questions, but of course, the thing also had to get a bit dirty… because it seems that’s the sort of audience we were this weekend.

A fan asked a question about whether or not Jensen thinks Dean’s going to lose his arm just to get rid of the Mark of Cain. Jensen took a moment to think about it and innocently answered “Dean would be ok as a leftie”. But pretty soon all the speculation about using guns, cleaning, loading and shooting them turned into a collective gigglefest.

We swear, even his ears blushed.

And it was beautiful. In the middle of his panel a song started playing. Jensen looked confused for a sec, but quickly recognized it as Taylor Swift’s Shake It Off. The doors to the hall opened. The music got louder. A conga line appeared. Halfway the line Misha Collins was jamming his butt off. They circled us. Jensen closed his eyes and pulled a “done” face. The audience got to their feet, singing and laughing. More people poured in. And last, but not least, Orlando.

(Now, the audience wasn’t allowed to film any videos, but we’re so happy some naughty people did anyway, because this happy moment needed to be shared with the world. Let’s not tell anyone we shared this link, ok? Just, shhh. Let’s keep it within the fandom.) When the tail of the conga (aka Orlando) reached the stage, Jensen went “aw f*ck it”, dropped his mic and left the stage. We thought that was it. We were grinning like madwomen. But they came back for the last epic battle of wits and humour. And as it turned out, OJ had stolen Jared’s belt from Hall 1 where he was having his final panel. Jensen said “that’s actually Sam’s belt, the guy steals his clothes from set, he’s too lazy to shop”. They ended up sniffing the belt. Orlando licked it.  And Jensen couldn’t quite handle it. He half-fell on the floor and we were done. Tears and laughter.

Tears and laughter. Those would be the two words that we’d use to describe this weekend. It was such a good experience and we’re so thankful we managed to get tickets, managed to beat a horrible flu, managed to see everything we saw despite of the clashes in the schedule. We’re not quite sure how, but we’d love to attend more Asylums. Maybe we’ll see you guys there, huh?! Anyway. That’s it, these are our memories from this magnificent, Supernatural weekend. If you have anything to add, don’t hesitate to say hi in the comment field to share your favourite memories with us and our readers! In case you’re a Tumblr person, there’s this handy tag (for a few additional photos that didn’t fit here) in our blog!

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Tiia / Fangirl Quest
Tiia / Fangirl Quest
Photographer, illustrator, graphic designer, copywriter, marketing assistant. I once traveled across North America in flipflops. I love dogs, ketchup and many inspiring people. Visit my photo portfolio here.

3 Comments

  1. Sue says:

    Thank you so much for this!

    (I cannot begin to tell you how frustrating it was to be in Hall 1 and therefore not allowed to go to the only J2 panel of the event on in Hall 2. If only there had been a video stream…)

    I am still gathering notes/pics but will try and add some hall 1 stuff for you

    Sue x

  2. Jen says:

    Glad you guys had so much fun at Asylum and that you were also in Hall 2!!! So much happened over the weekend that it’s great to get to re-read some things & remember!
    One thing I learned that weekend, when I grow up I wanna be Tim!!!!

  3. […] last year’s event (see Asylum 14 photos here!) was already quite a crowded one, many were understandably worried about the queue times and […]

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