This event occurred over the Saturday and Sunday the 26th and 27th of May.
I met up with my little sister Nicole (29) who is currently working in Singapore (gymnastics coach) in Sydney and on Friday afternoon we both crashed out for a few hours in our beds in some dodgy hotel in called High Cross Park Lodge. We were both doing our best to catch up on much needed zees – Nicole after a 9 hours flight from Singapore straight after work and myself from flying halfway round the world.
Let me tell you the “Lodge” (see below)
was not so much like a Lodge but more like a halfway house in the midst of renovations and sketchy reception service, which is to say there was NO ONE on the desk when I huffily hauled my two mammoth suitcases (okay only one was mammoth, the other one was a relative lightweight at 23kg) into the narrow hallway which couldn’t even remotely begin to resemble a lobby. There was no lobby. There was a dusty cold, wind tunnel of a hallway and that was it. Oh and and a very lovely, of elderly persuasion, cleaning lady who did her utmost to get my room ready and find a key for me so I could just lay down, out of the cold and sleep. She didn’t know when someone would be back on reception but she certainly did her best to get me into my room and for that I will be forever grateful. So my sister arrived at some point in the afternoon and we decided to sleep before we needed to get up and head out to Australian National Gymnastic Championships. We headed off to Sydney Olympic Park around 6.30ish via taxi and vaguely wondered how we’d get back given the distinct lack of taxi rank spots outside the Olympic Park. Details, details.
The Champs were good and once again proved to me that this sport is indeed one of the most hardcore of sports. Gymnastics may be filled with tiny girls, with pretty hair and cute little smiles but underneath that seemingly innocuous exterior lies a fearless little warrior heart that never hesitates a millimeter, even when flinging her lithe frame into the air above a beam of wood the width of a human foot, or launching at great speed from uneven bars or being vaulted off a springboard at a great rate of knots. I do enjoy watching other people take risks apparently and certainly share their joy in a successful round. We eventually found our way back to the NotALodge and hit the sack knowing we’d be up fairly early the next morning for the walk up to Sydney University where the Supernatural con was taking place.
So the Supernatural Con. I’ve realised I didn’t actually post anything about the Jus In Bello Con I attended in Rome. Surprising because it was definitely one of the major highlights of the year so far for me. But these events are things people react to in one of two ways – they are either fascinated, intrigued and all enthusiastic and encouraging about it and want to know more OR they are just completely baffled, possibly a little disturbed and often fairly generous with the slightly judgmental looks that imply perhaps you should be spending your money on other things. It’s not alcohol or drugs or fast food so I say if it makes you happy spend it – you could be hit by a bus tomorrow and then where would you be? Either in the ground as resentful worm food or burned in ashes full of regrets thinking If only I’d… true facts. Anyway all metaphysical observations aside the Italians hosted an excellent convention event. What for? The TV show Supernatural. Supernatural has been on tv screens now for seven seasons. They are about to start filming season 8. This is no small achievement for a network TV show. It does show in Australia and around the world. Don’t ask me what it’s about because that would require a whole blog on it’s own (yes blog not blog post). If you want to know you can go here.
Anyway the show has a cult status following (it’s not a massively high rating show) with several million viewers around the world. As a result (much like Star Trek and co) it has Conventions that fans can attend. The Supernatural conventions are pretty different though – there are often very relaxed panels where fans of the show can interact with writers, directors, actors and other cast and crew as this show very much has “family” feel to the people who work on it for 9 months of the year. Most crew and cast have been with the show throughout all the seasons and there is an easy camaraderie on set that is lead by the two main stars of the show Jared and Jensen (who play Sam and Dean Winchester respectively).
Jared Padalecki above (Sam Winchester) and Jensen Ackles below (Dean Winchester)
The conventions make the fans feel like they definitely get their voices heard about the show, are able to feedback to cast and crew what it is about the show they like or don’t like as the case may be. There’s autograph sessions, small group meet and greets with cast members (groups of 15 to 20), photo sessions, general Q&A panels etc and so on. There’s always a few fans who dress up for the occasion and usually there is endless talk about the show, the stories in it and speculation on where it’s going next.
So I attended the Rome one and was blown away by the approachability of everyone there. Made new friends, am now in frequent contact with them via the social networks and just generally reveled in the fact that I could turn to the people next to me and just talk about the show in detail and they know exactly what I’m on about. That kind of connection was very cool. I met Ana from the UK, Linda from Vienna and Kat from Germany and Krista from USA…and I wasn’t the only Aussie there! Over 45 Nationalities attended this con.
Got to have a few pics taken too!
It was great to actually meet the guys and talk about their work on the show and in other projects, you get a very detailed insight into the makings of a TV show like this, what the daily grind is like for them (not grinding much at all really – they work long hours but are paid well and hey it’s not rocket science although acting definitely presents a more than a few challenges).
So the Rome one was very special as it had many cast members there and the Aussie ones were pretty good as well – although missing Jared and Jensen they did manage to get a number of other regular cast members to attend and that was brilliant. Nicole and I had breakfast with them all on the Sunday morning and that was great, very relaxed (although some in attendance looked a little overwhelmed by it all) and laid back with much comparison between US and Australian breakfast foods and the actual legitimacy of vegemite (a couple of Americans there pro Vegemite a couple there vehemently ANTI vegemite!) as a spread that people would consume and enjoy. We both got photos done with all of them as part of the ticket price on Sunday and that was a lot of fun. It was Nicole’s first convention and it looks like it’s definitely not her last. There was even a fantastic 1967 Chevy Impala (this car is iconic in the series and practically is a main star character on the show!) – all black and and shiny, I took plenty of pics of it.
The guy who plays the Angel on the show Castiel – Misha Collins was kinda taken with this young fan’s efforts to emulate Castiel on the show:
Misha and young fan. Oh and this is not a TV show for this age group by the way – in case you were wondering! Yes it’s probably safe for 13 years and up…and not those rare sensitive souled 13 year olds either…more like the ones that think Saw and Halloween are way cool!
Rare Sister Moment!
Next up….THE NATIONALS!!!!!