Wrecking rules in a Supernatural style

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By Megan Preisch  

TORONTO — When meeting or getting the opportunity to see a celebrity, there are very strict rules that apply to the fans. There are bodyguards and people from public relations to make sure that the celebrities are in the safest environment in which they can be. Some rules you need to follow really make you wonder what the story behind the creation of them was. Some can seem ridiculous or even impossible to break.

However, there are some very “dedicated” fans who would do whatever it takes to get that quick selfie or video with that one person.

After getting the chance to spend all day at the Supernatural Convention in Toronto, I noticed something strange about these very strict rules: The worst offenders are the celebrities themselves. Whether the celebrities are in a situation with fans or just it is the celebrities together, they would rather break the rules to make the overall experience for the fans more enjoyable.

Before I had the opportunity to see Jared Padalecki, Jensen Ackles, Misha Collins, Mark Sheppard, Richard Speight Jr, and Rob Benedict, I researched the do’s and don’t’s of the convention:

No hugs (unless it’s your pose)

No kissing/getting kissed.

No getting picked up/trying to pick them up.

No talking/sharing personal stories.

No yelling to interrupt the panel.

No harassing celebrities (and don’t worry, they have a very detailed section in the convention day schedule in case you were wondering if your plans were considered harassment).

And absolutely no video recording or flash photography at any point during the program.

Well… here’s how I watched the cast of Supernatural break these rules to make the convention the best possible experience for themselves and the fans:

1 and 2) No hugs and no talking

While waiting in line to get my picture with Jared Padalecki, I began to understand why there was a “no hugging” rule because I thought some of those girls were never going to let him go… which is completely understandable.

My pose was going to be a hug. When I approached him, I was completely blown away by his casualness. Grabbing my “Jared Padalecki Love Yourself First” sweatshirt, he pulled me in for a huge hug saying “I love your sweatshirt.”

He pulled me in for a huge hug saying “I love your sweatshirt.”

A million thoughts rushed through my head. He talked to me first so if I responded would I be tackled by security? If so, would it be worth it? Of course it would be worth it. So before the camera flashed I blurted out three words: “You’re my hero”. It hadn’t even registered that I had said that out loud until Jared pulled me back to reality. He grabbed my shoulders, looked into my eyes, and said a simple “Thank you, darling!”.

The big shock came when he pulled me in for A SECOND hug. As I walked away, I felt unstoppable. I had just been an accomplice with Jared in breaking two of the biggest photo op rules. This moment cemented in my brain went unnoticed by the “all powerful hierarchy” that is the Supernatural security branch. But then it hit me, the fact that I had just had a conversation with Jared Freaking Padalecki.

Following that, I did what any normal person would do: I immediately broke down into tears. Jared breaking those rules was the best thing that could have ever happened to me.

3) No asking to be picked up

I never thought that Mark “The King of Hell” Sheppard would be the actor to make my heart melt. A young girl, about seven or eight, was in front of me to get her picture taken with Mark. ”I’m so excited to meet Crowley!” she said as she jumped up and down. The mom made it very clear how jealous she was of her daughter. “It will be great, he will make it so fun for you. I’m glad you aren’t nervous.” The mother said, reassuring her daughter.

Now, Supernatural isn’t the most “family friendly” show. To see a young girl so excited to meet the King of Hell, a character frequently seen drinking a glass of fine whiskey while yelling insults at the Winchester brothers and their angel sidekick, really showed me the diversity of the audience. I was also quite curious to see how this encounter was going to unfold.

As she walked over to him, he bent down, shook her hand, and asked, “Want to come up?” She nodded and he picked her up. I don’t know if it was the huge smile on her face or how sweet he was or a mix of both, but the collective “ awwwwww” from everyone in the room was deafening. No one cared that Mark broke a rule. People only cared about the ear to ear smile on the little girl’s face.

 

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4 and 5) No harassing the celebrities and no photography or video recording

“What do you miss most about not being famous?” A lucky fan asked Jared and Jensen during their panel. “The thing I miss the most… I’m not able to be just another face in the crowd”, was Jared’s response.

He continued to reassure everyone that he loves his fans and told everyone to never shy away from coming up and saying hi to him. Jensen and Jared made it very clear that fans should never just try to take pictures of them from a distance or awkwardly record them (even though that’s what every person in the convention was doing at that very second). This must have sparked an idea for two of the fan favorite actors and hosts of the convention, Richard Speight Jr and Rob Benedict.

Next thing we knew, they were army crawling on the stage with their phones out. They were recording, narrating, and taking pictures of Jared and Jensen. The two were completely mocking Jared’s response while directly violating the panel rules. Now, if that isn’t harassment, I don’t know what is. That little moment of improvisation was hilarious and it was completely based off of harassing Jared and Jensen.

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Megan Preisch, second from left, and cousin Leah Giles with actors Rob Benedict and Richard Speight Jr. from Supernatural

6) No interrupting the panel

While waiting in line to meet Mark Sheppard, I was able to watch the very funny and animated Rob and Rich share stories. A girl was at the mic waiting to ask a question when all of a sudden Mark came out and ripped the mic from her hand. “WILL YOU TWO QUIET DOWN! I AM TRYING TO WORK.” He then apologized to the girl, turned away, and laughed to himself.

Rob and Rich continued to say how the big bad Mark Sheppard was just cranky and that was him in his best mood. In reality, it was all a big show to make the audience laugh. The character he plays for the audience, from what I can tell, is his polar opposite. Mere seconds after his rude intrusion, he was autographing photos with “x’s for kisses”. Mark always complains about being a very underrated actor and that’s actually very true. Mark’s talent to play the bad guy, even when he’s not on screen, adds so much dynamic to the Supernatural cast. He’s going out of his way to give the fans whatever “Mark Sheppard” would he thinks will make them enjoy their time even more.

As weeks of working out my carefully articulated, non-rule breaking plan was flushed down the toilet with each time I saw a different cast member, I realized that the best part was not knowing what to expect. Being calm and not having a perfect plan made each moment more enjoyable than the last.

I felt like I was actually meeting people, not some kind of on-screen gods; people who care about their fans so much that they were willing to break every rule in the book to make them happy. Jared, Jensen, Misha, Mark, Rob, and Rich broke the convention rules with the ever growing Supernatural family who will never forget their experience in Toronto. I know for a fact that these are stories I will never stop sharing.

 

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