Friday, June 10, 2011

I Heart Richard Speight Jr.

As Trish mentioned in her Wednesday post, she and I just attended the SALUTE TO SUPERNATURAL con in Nashville. Great time! And seeing the actors in person (all of whom were lovely to the fans) solidified my deep admiration for them--especially for my favorite guest star of all time, Richard Speight Jr. (aka The Trickster aka Gabriel). I didn't know this, but Nashville is actually his "hometown." Also, the people who put on this convention have already decided to come back to Nashville next year and Jensen/Jared are on board, so start making plans now!

We actually saw two panels with Richard--one on the first day, alongside Matt Cohen who plays John Winchester (and Michael!) in trips to the past, plus another on the second day, with Brock Kelly (young Dean in "After School Special") and Chad Lindberg (the awesome Ash, aka Dr. Badass.) You can tell Richard by the empty chairs in both sessions--because the man constantly moved, usually through the audience and paying particular attention to the back rows, where it was hardest to hear and see. I tried like crazy to snap pictures, but they're all a blur because the man is a bundle of nonstop energy! So the picture here is from Trish. I'm almost sorry we missed him as master of ceremonies for the Karaoke party the night before the con started!

Richard is a quick thinker, extremely funny, generous (he is soon to jump out of a plane in order to help raise money for a monument but all the guys there are active with different causes--Misha and Matt are about to go to Haiti to help build an orphanage!) Anyway, Richard is very personable and answered questions about everything from the recent Pepsi commercials (in which he got to snap and do some magic which got Pepsi fanmail) to guesting on Justified (he could not say enough good about Walton Goggins). But of course most questions were about Supernatural and he encouraged fans to write letters demanding his comeback :-D His pet theory is that Gabriel trapped an ACTUAL Trickster to model himself after. He wants to play the real Trickster escaped and his first prank should be to shrink Sam and Dean, especially Sam, and chase them around. Richard joked that the reason he doesn't stay on stage is so you can't see how short he is next to co-stars. Unfortunately, Richard is so nice that some fans took radical advantage--and began the nonstop HUG request, even requesting him to get Chad and Brock down off stage for "threesome" hugs. I was cringing like you wouldn't believe.

Chad was very laid-back about the whole thing (he actually DOES remind me of Ash, but without the mullet and he admits to not being very computer-saavy) but Brock seemed a little uncomfortable with the repeated manhandling (although once he'd started accepting hug requests, he never told anyone no. Seriously good sports). Okay, guys, if you've never been to a con, here are my two pieces of advice: Wear comfortable shoes and don't molest the guest celebrities kind enough to appear.

BTW, the guests got asked lots of miscellaneous questions, from the random "what's your favorite color?" "what would be your spirit animal?" to the vaguely inappropriate, which I won't be repeating here. Toward the end, Brock Kelly, looking slightly dazed by things, gave one of my favorite answers. He was asked what he would do if time travel turns out to be possible, and he said he'd like to see the future. "I'd go forward. I'd just go and go and go until there was nothing left. Then I'd back up a little bit."

These panels reminded me of a big reason I love Supernatural. Yes, Jared and Jensen are completely awesome, but they often find just the right guest stars, even for single appearances and supporting roles. It was suggested by one of the fans that sarcastic "party-angel" Balthazar was a replacement for Gabriel, leading to several jokes by Richard including "glad to hear he's dead...I want my damn job back."

So if YOU were going to write an episode where you brought back the Trickster, young John, young Dean or Ash, how would you do it?


Trish Milburn said...

Richard was hysterical. I admire people who can think so quickly on their feet. And it was funny how he had the security guy walking all over the ballroom to stick close to him.

And I agree with you about the incessant asking for hugs. It was irritating and got ridiculous.

Natalie J. Damschroder said...

I blame Matt Cohen for the hug thing. Creation makes very clear that you are NOT allowed to ask for hugs. Last year in NJ, one of the girls who went up to ask a question said she was really nervous. It was his first con, so he ran off the stage and gave her a hug. When someone else teasingly said something like "what about the rest of us?" he turned it into a thing, and gave hugs the rest of the weekend, never tiring of it and saying over and over that there aren't enough hugs in the world.

Which is all well and good, and *I* wasn't complaining about my three Matt Cohen hugs. :) But the NJ venue is a MUCH smaller crowd, no one asked for the hugs, and no one forced hugs on anyone who was uncomfortable with it.

Richard was my favorite attendee to the first con I went to, too. He's so smart and really enjoys talking to people. I was bummed when he had to cancel last year.

*sigh* I'm so jealous of you guys! Maybe we'll make the trip down to TN next year, since Jensen won't come to NJ. It's only 12 hours! :(

Anonymous said...

Am I the only SPN Sister who hasn't been to a con? The horror! I think we should get all the sisters to stay at Trish's house next year and go as a group. Wouldn't that be awesome? Of course, only if that was okay with Trish. LOL

MJFredrick said...

I've not gone, Terri. It was hella expensive!

Natalie J. Damschroder said...

OMG YES, Terri! Then the whole trip is expensable. I mean, I expensed the con anyway, because I have a book featuring actors and another one inspired by Sam and Dean, and you could, because of Hollyweird, but we'd have the whole extra element of our promotional blog, too! :)

I'd want to stay in the hotel, though. They often hang in the bar or work out in the gym and stuff. You guys could use my room, even if you didn't want to stay overnight in the hotel. :)

Anonymous said...

When it gets closer we should all see if we could swing it. Maybe we'll get lucky, MJ!