Torcon 2015: Friday!

Torcon is finally here! Oh my goodness I feel like I have been waiting for this weekend forever and now it’s here!

This is the first time I’ve been to Torcon for a full weekend. I’ve gone for the past two years, but only ever went on the Saturday because it’s always been too expensive. This year it was still expensive, but the show’s been on for ten years and I decided to splash out a little bit and go for the whole weekend.

I’ve been really good about not splashing out anymore on any merchandise and I’m hoping to keep it that way. The way things are looking tomorrow I may not be entirely successful, but we shall see.

Alright, so I was a little late getting to the convention today so Richard Speight Jr. (who is MC-ing the whole event) was already on stage. However, I was there in plenty of time to see all the panelists.

The first one up was Alaina Huffman (Abbadon)!

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Alaina was a little minute addition to the guest list after Ruth Connell unfortunately had to cancel. However, I’m so glad Alaina was here! She’s amazing and hilarious and she’s Canadian!

It was really funny because every time someone would answer a question she would give them candy. Richard Speight Jr. made the joke I think many of us were thinking which is that taking candy from strangers doesn’t matter when you’re at a Supernatural convention.

Something I really liked about Alaina’s panel was that she talked about women’s roles (or lack thereof) on TV and how women need to be given more roles. Yes! I am so glad she mentioned this especially at such a huge event for a huge show. It’s absolutely amazing and completely true.

Next up was Osric Chau (Kevin Tran) who spent a lot of time talking about Cosplay. For anyone who doesn’t know, Osric cosplays a lot and you can find tons of amazing photos of him in so many phenomenal costumes online! Seriously, Google it.

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He was completely hilarious and talked a bit about how he’d like to see Kevin come back. Maybe Kevin could come back as a ghost, after all, ghosts can’t die again, right? Has he even seen the show?! Of courses ghosts die again, and it’s normally Sam and Dean who kill them! His reaction when he learned this was hilarious and it really was a great panel.

These panels were followed by the Supernatural Yes/No Trivia Game which was hilarious because by the time they got down to the final two people, it lasted forever! Both contestants gave the same answer as the other over and over again and often times they were both wrong! It was so funny.

One the Yes/No Quiz was over it was back to the panels and up next was Gil McKinney (Henry Winchester)!

Alright, so I’m a huge fan of Supernatural (obviously), but I’m also a huge fan of Once Upon A Time and I didn’t know that Gil McKinney plays Prince Eric on OUAT.

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I had no idea! Looking back now I’m smacking myself in the forehead for not realizing it. It definitely makes rewatching OUAT all the more exciting now.

Something else I learned at this panel is that Gil McKinney is an amazing singer! Seriously fantastic. Go look him up on Youtube I guarantee there are tons of videos of him singing and you will not be disappointed.

I took a couple videos at karaoke, but I’m betting you can find some better quality ones on Youtube than what I got on my phone.

Gil McKinney is also the reason I may end up spending money this weekend as I’m considering buying a photo op with him. If I don’t do it this year then I’ll probably have to come back and do it next year cause he’s amazing and getting a photo would be awesome.

The final panelist was Erica Carroll (Hannah) who also talked about women’s roles on TV. One thing she brought up about this in regards to Supernatural was the relationship between Hannah and Cas which she didn’t like too much.

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She said it was very easy to go that route and you know what, she’s right. You have a popular male character on the show and bring in a badass female character to work with him, it’s really easy to put them together and suddenly she just turns into a love interest.

I’m really glad that’s not what happened with Hannah and I’m definitely hoping we’ll see more of Erica Carroll in the new season!

Something else I learned during her panel is that in the episode with her naked scene? Not actually her. Yup, she said she made a choice and she stood by her choice and I think that’s amazing.

They needed a naked back for that scene and she didn’t want it to be hers and I give her major kudos for that.

Lena Headey did something similar in the most recent season finale of Game of Thrones. We see all of Cersei Lannister completely naked, but we’re not seeing Lena Headey who opted not to get naked.

Huge kudos to all the women who choose not to get naked on screen and you know what? Huge kudos to the women who do get naked on screen.

Kudos to the women on screen. Erica and Alaina are right, there isn’t enough of you so I give you props for getting out there and being badass no matter what you do.

The final event of the night was the karaoke party (not spelt kareoke which is what I did all night) and this was great. I wasn’t sure if I was going to go originally cause I’d already gone back to my hotel, but I’m so glad I did cause it was so much fun.

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There were so many people there and so many of the actors got up and sang. Richard, Rob, and Matt were dressed as the Three Amigos while Kathryn Newton (Claire Novak) came dressed as Sailor Moon and she was completely rocking the look.

From “Bad Blood” to “Lighters” to a lot of Bon Jovi, it was one of the best nights of my life.

There’s still two more days of Torcon left and plenty more to see and do. Hopefully I won’t spent too much money, but I’m definitely looking forward to seeing everybody on Saturday and then Jared and Jensen on Sunday! This is the first time I’ll be seeing them at a convention so I’m super excited!

Were you a Friday Person at Torcon? If you were I’d love to hear what you think!

If not I’d love to hear what you think anyway! Let me down below your thoughts on Supernatural, conventions, if you’ve been to a con in the past, or maybe just about the meaning of life. Whatever you want!

I’ll be posting soon about Day 2!

Also, I’m hoping that if I attend again next year I’ll have a proper camera and can take some better photos than the ones I got on my phone as my phone isn’t crazy about the bright lights they point at the stage. A lot of the pictures turned out either out of focus or, if they were in focus, the people were glowing. I got some good Saturday shots because some of the people like Mark Sheppard and Misha Collins wander through the audience which means they turn the lights back on. Yay! This means pictures turn out looking like people! Woohoo!

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Fan Expo 2015: Sunday!

Fan Expo Book

Oh boy, I thought Friday was amazing and then I went back to Fan Expo on Sunday. Insane! Best day of my life.

The first panel I went to on Sunday was The Walking Dead panel with Norman Reedus, Chandler Riggs, and Lennie James. I was in the same room as Norman Reedus, Chandler Riggs, and Lennie James. What.

I showed up early that morning and was glad I did because I got to the room the panel was going to be in just shortly after 10am (the panel was at 11) and it was already packed! One nice volunteer helped me find a seat (right smack in the middle of a huge group of people, that was fantastic). However, once they came out it didn’t matter where I was sitting. There they were. Three cast members of The Walking Dead.

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It was like the heavens had opened up and angels were singing. To some people that might sound stupid, but keep in mind I only bought my ticket a week before this all happened. So literally a week before the idea of seeing the cast of Walking Dead live was just a far off “off day” dream for when I could hopefully afford it.

The panel was amazing. From the sounds of it there’s lots of exciting things to look forward to in season six as pretty much every answer Chandler gave was that we’d have to wait for season six.

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Lennie James couldn’t say too much about his character as obviously we’ve only seen him a handful of times so far, but he did say we’d probably get to see how his character went from the crazy guy we saw in season three to the zen master he is now.

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Norman Reedus described season six as being like “season one on Viagra”. From anyone else I think that might have sounded weird, but from him it was just hilarious.

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All three guys were so polite and funny throughout the panel, answering each question as best they could without spoiling anything. It was so great and I’m so glad I decided to go.

I’m also glad I decided to buy a photo op with Chandler Riggs which I went to right after the panel. Since I’d already bought a couple things on Friday I hadn’t planned on really buying anything on Sunday. Maybe I’d get the Murphy McManus Pop Vinyl so I’d have both twins, but then I made a spur of the moment decision that morning before leaving for the train.

I bought a photo with Chandler and it was both terrifying and amazing and I couldn’t stop shaking. He was so polite and he thanked everyone for coming and it was one of the most amazing moments of my life.

Photo Op with Chandler

I watched a few episodes of The Walking Dead a few days after Fan Expo and I just sort of laugh because I watch it now and all I can think is, “I’ve met him.”

From that photo op I went to a panel called “How Fanfiction is Taking Over the World” which was hosted by Wattpad. This was so awesome because I’m a huge fanfiction writer as many of you know so it was cool to see a panel of people who have written or currently write fanfiction.

It was also really cool to meet other fanfiction writers and hear about what they write and how they got into it. I loved it because I don’t know a ton of people in real life who write fanfiction. I know a couple who have written a couple things, but no one who writes a lot like I do so meeting fellow fanfic writers was fantastic!

Once the panel was over I actually got to hang out with one of the girls I had met at the panel and we wandered around in the vendors area in the South Building which, until she brought me there, I didn’t know it existed. Yes, I’ll definitely remember that for next year instead of attempting to figure out my map.

We eventually went our separate ways as I had another photo op to get to and this is where I have a story.

I bought a photo with Sean Patrick Flanery. I’m a huge fan of his, I love Boondock Saints, he was great in Criminal Minds and I have a ton of other movies he’s done. Needless to say, I was incredibly nervous to actually meet him.

I’m standing in line and the closer I get to the curtained off area the more I start shaking. I am mere minutes, seconds, from meeting Sean Patrick Flanery. This was terrifying for me! It had been several hours and I still hadn’t recovered from meeting Chandler so the fact that I was about to meet SPF just sort of hit me all at once like a train.

Closer and closer, there’s now only a couple people in front of me. I finally make it to the curtained area with only one person in front of me and the fact that he’s mere feet from where I’m standing is now making me shake harder.

Then I look just slightly to the right and who is standing there? Norman Freakin’ Reedus.

Really?! I’m going to assume if you’re reading this then you’re laughing cause that’s what everyone I know did when I told them.

I was already beyond nervous to meet Sean Patrick Flanery\ and then Norman Reedus is just chilling about three feet away. Yeah, I forgot how to function. To make it even worse (better) SPF was hugging everyone he took a picture with.

Photo Op with Sean

I was prepared for the arm around thing, I can do that. Me and hugging in general is a struggle so this just increased inability to function.

Also, I’m so glad these are the first two pictures of myself that I’ve ever shared on this blog. Nothing normal or professional looking, but two times in one day where I was nerding out so hard and forgot how to function properly.

So yes, I thought I was close to The Walking Dead cast that morning and then that happened. It was wonderful and scary and wonderful and amazing and scary.

Honestly though I had a fantastic time at Fan Expo Sunday. Best. Day. Ever.

There will be other conventions I go to and other photos I’ll buy despite not really being able to afford things, but nothing like this. Nothing will ever be like this.

Thank you to all the people who run Fan Expo and to all the celebrities who attend! We all appreciate it very much and it definitely made it the best day of my life!

It’s definitely made me want to go again next year!

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Fan Expo 2015: Friday!

Fan Expo Book

Where do I even start? This was my first time going to Fan Expo and it was all pretty spontaneous. I only actually got my tickets the Monday before it was happening and originally planned to only go on Sunday. Then I was looking through the schedule and there was a lot going on on Friday and decided, why not?

And you know what? I’m so freaking glad I went! Friday was pretty much non-stop for me. I took the train in and, since I’d bought my tickets online, I had to go exchange them for wristbands which wasn’t nearly as confusing as I thought it would be as there were tons of signs all pointing to where people needed to go for certain things.

So, skipping all the boring stuff about trying to figure out the map and me getting lost, the first panel I went to was The Boondock Saints panel with Sean Patrick Flanery and David Della Rocco.

Sean and David for BlogThis panel was amazing! If any of you have read my review about the first Boondock Saints film then you know I’m a huge fan of these guys so seeing them in person had me completely freaking out (internally of course). The panel lasted for an hour and was better than I could ever have imagined.

Both these guys are hilarious! Rocco (David? That sounds weird to me) sat back for most of it, but when he did talk it was golden with discussions about peanut butter and salad dressing.

Sean was amazing and answered every question genuinely. Also he likes Tim Hortons which, as a Timmy’s addicted Canadian, this made me very happy.Sean Patrick Flanery and David Della Rocco 3

They talked about various projects and antics they got up to, Sean talked a bit about his book coming out next year, and it sounds like Boondocks 3 is definitely in the works so I’m incredibly excited about that.

Also at this panel I met the two girls who run boondock_girls on Instagram and you guys should definitely go and check them out!

From there I went to a panel called “Steakpunk 101”. I didn’t actually learn what Steampunk was until recently and I didn’t really understand it at all until I went to this panel. However, I have an idea for a novel that I’ve kind of unintentionally been incorporating Steampunk in to and am glad I now understand it better so things make more sense.

There was a Steampunk vendors booth there and when asked where it was located they told everyone:

“[It’s between the Daleks and the Stormtroopers. Listen for the Daleks, but if you hit the Stormtroopers you’ve gone too far].”

Amazing.

It was a really interesting panel featuring several members from different Steampunk societies and groups and I really enjoyed it. I learned a lot and am looking forward to exploring this topic more for my novel.

After that it was on to another celebrity Q&A, this time with Graham McTavish from The Hobbit and Outlander. Now I’m going to be totally honest and say that I didn’t know he was in Outlander as I haven’t watched. I want to, it definitely looks like a great show and I hear all these great things about it, but I just haven’t had the chance yet.

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That didn’t make any difference to how fantastic this panel was. I’m not sure what I expect to happen in these Q&As, but I definitely don’t expect the actors/actresses to be as funny as they are. He spoke a lot about both The Hobbit and Outlander and the crazy stuff that had happened both on set and off. Two stories in particular stick out in my mind:

After being asked what the most physically demanding scene he’s had to film was, Graham McTavish said that it happened during The Hobbit. In the scene where they’re running from the Wargs in the field they’re loaded down with all this heavy gear and shoes that are too big to add dwarvish proportions, they had to run. For weeks.

Yes, apparently filming this scene went on for weeks and they would run and run as fast as they could in all this gear and these shoes he said felt like flippers and they’d get to the end, feeling like they were dying, and Peter Jackson would go, “Alright, that was great, but can we do it a little faster?”

Everyone died. I feel so bad for the actors having to film this, but that’s absolutely hilarious. The other story also involves Peter Jackson.

Apparently Peter Jackson owns an old tank that he’s restored and Graham and some others were over at his place firing guns and just hanging out (the police had been warned beforehand) when Peter Jackson decided to take the tank for a spin. It started out innocent enough until he started driving it through Wellington!

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Now I tried to picture what this would look like and I couldn’t. I also couldn’t stop laughing. Just imagine being one of the people living in Wellington when this happened and you look out your window to see a massive tank driving down the road at night.

Apparently the police showed up later and Graham McTavish said they seemed kind of bored. I guess this is a regular thing with Peter Jackson which I think is something I should be surprised about, but after all these years of hearing and reading similar stories, I’m not.

After his panel I went to one called “Writers Unite!” Jim Zub, Ray Fawkes, and Charles Soule were the guys running the panel and they basically talked about comic book writing/designing, what that process is like, sending it off to people, making connections, etc.

Anyone who reads this blog knows I’m a writer of many things (mainly novels). But what some of you may not know is that I’ve been interesting in trying to create a comic/graphic novel/zine or something along one of those lines.

This panel helped me so much and the ideas haven’t stopped flowing. All of three of these guys weren’t originally looking at comic design as a job originally (one of them even went to law school!), but that’s where they are now.

This panel not only helped me with ideas and understanding comic book writing better, but it also really helped me with my novel writing since they talked about not making it right away and the different things they went through. Zub, Fawkes, and Soule were amazing and I highly recommend checking out their twitters which I have listed below with everyone else I talked about in this post!

The last panel I went to on Friday was for James and Oliver Phelps AKA The Weasley Twins!

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Even though I was there at the panel, it didn’t actually hit me until Saturday that I had been in the same room as two of the guys from Harry Potter! It was such a surreal moment.

These two guys are hilarious which definitely makes sense after playing two jokers for so many years (they did the first Harry Potter when they were just 14!). They answered a bunch of questions and told some great stories including one where none of their school friends believed they were in Harry Potter even when the dyed their hair red.James and Oliver Phelps Panel for Blog 1Another was the story of how *spoiler alert* James found out Fred died in the final book. Apparently they were given no heads up and they were actually on a train on holiday somewhere just after the seventh book came out. James was reading the book and got to the part where his character dies! How horrible would that be?!

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Someone also asked them which death was the hardest in all the films. Hmm, yeah, I wonder? Fred’s of course!

I would love to tell you more about all these panels, but I was a little too in awe and blogging was kind of at the back of my mind. The main thing I kept thinking was “I am mere feet from [this person]” and it was insane.

Of course it wasn’t just panels all day. I wandered around the vendors area in the North building for a while (which was crazy busy and amazing!) and I bought these:

Pop Vinyl and Shot Glass

This is a Connor MacManus Pop Vinyl figure from the Boondock Saints and a Walking Dead shot glass. For anyone who doesn’t know I collect both of these thongs.  So far my shot glass collection has far more to it than my Pop Vinyl collection which really isn’t saying much as I have this Pop figure and a Daryl Dixon one.

I also saw a lot of people in amazing costumes! I saw a lot of anime characters, a lot of Walking Dead characters, many bronys, and so a huge array of others! Including this guy:

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I don’t know how this guy was doing it. I was in a tank top and shorts and I was dying of heat so kudos to this guy for walking around in full Sauron gear.

I didn’t take anymore pictures of cosplayers because it was either too crowded or I was too in awe of what I was seeing and by the time I remember they’d already be gone.

Seriously though, to anyone out there who cosplays, well done. I applaud you. I don’t know how you do it. The amount of time and money that must go into these costumes is crazy and I can’t even believe it. Amazing job.

I had such a great time at Fan Expo on Friday! It was so much greater than I ever could have imagined and I’m so glad I decided to go.

I’ve never blogged about a convention before, but had planning on blogging about the Supernatural convention and decided to practice with Fan Expo! I’m hoping if I go to any conventions next year I’ll have a professional camera and know more about what I’m doing.

I’ll be posting about Sunday soon! Hope anyone who was also at Fan Expo this past weekend had a great time!

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