25 November 2012

ChiCon 2012 - A Very Supernatural Convention Experience: Part Three -- The Letters, The LEGO, The Ultimate Autograph Experience

A Very Supernatural Convention Experience: Part Three -- The Letters, The LEGO, The Ultimate Autograph Experience 


Welcome to part three of my Very Supernatural Convention Experience. This is where I talk about my autograph experience. Let me start by saying this -- this is my proudest project to date! I cannot wait to share with you the nuts and bolts of my ChiCon autograph projects as I re-live some of the most memorable seconds of my tiny little life.

The Planning


The best thing I've done last year at LACon, apart from hugging Jensen, was to ask him to sign my iPhone. The idea was epic, the experience was epic, the look on Jensen's face as he picked up my iPhone and asked "ARE YOU SURE?" was priceless! I couldn't have done it without the help of my dear friend Tinny, who attended LACon with me last year. I wish I could get Jensen to sign my iPhone again at this year's ChiCon, but all tickets were sold out. There is always next time!

Apart from the iPhone idea, winning the signed stage banner from the LACon auction last year was still funny to me! In general, I wasn't very creative with my own autograph items. But I learn from past experience and I was determined to make the most of it this year. I spent months in thinking about the autograph items. You've got to plan these things, you know?!

I wasn't going for the 'whatever' and I was ruling out the greatest hits -- posters, photos, books, banners, magazines, companions, DVDs and t-shirts. My LACon autographs were all over the place -- some autographs were on the Official Companion, others are on different magazines and photos. Don't get me wrong, they were great and the experiment was great, I wouldn't change a thing. But this year I wanted more -- a 'home' for all autographs. I was determined to make it a project!

About two weeks before I flew to the Western sky in my Nimbus 2012, I went shopping with my dear friend Tinny, and she came up with the first brilliant idea. I am still astonished as to how the ideas came about. All I can say is this -- awesomeness happens when you least expect it! We were shopping at a shop called Typo, which is a stationery store here in Australia. They sell individual wooden letters in lower and upper case, and numbers and symbols. They come in black and white, and you can buy them individually. The letter is wood solid (but not heavy) and it's perfect for Sharpies -- the black ink works well on white surface and the silver ink works well on black surface. The letter's flat bottom makes it stands very well by itself. Alternatively you can put a hook on top of the letter and hang it somewhere. Watch your head!



Seeing that I am a Jensen girl, getting a capital 'J' for Jensen to sign was all I thought about. But I found myself staring at these wooden letters longer than I thought, painting a bigger picture in my head -- may be I should get a letter each for each guest. But I KO'd that idea pretty quickly. Even if I could use up my 23 KG luggage allowance, I wouldn't! What about my shopping, right? I love you all, but I love the 5th Avenue too. So there I was, at the shop, in deep thought, ignoring the shop boy who was exceptionally nerdy but in a hot kinda way, my brilliant friend Tinny suggested I buy the capital letter 'S' and 'N' -- 'S' for 'Super' and 'N' for 'Natural' -- with all autographs on it -- five signatures on each letter. I was like.. MATE! SERIOUSLY! Why haven't I thought of that idea!? I got a mental block from looking at the blocks! Typo was having a sale, so I got three letters for $10.

On the 'S' I have the autographs of Jensen Ackles, Misha Collins, Rachel Miner, DJ Qualls and Richard Speight Jr. 

From top to bottom: Richard Speight Jr, Rachel Miner, Misha Collins, DJ Qualls, Jensen Ackles.
On the 'N' I have the autographs of Jared Padalecki, Jim Beaver, Matt Cohen, Kim Rhodes and Rob Benedict. 

From top left: Matt Cohen and Rob Benedict; Center: Jared Padalecki. From top right: Jim Beaver and Kim Rhodes.
I got two sets of autographs because my sister was also an attendee. What's hers is mine. My brilliant friend Tinny out-smarted herself by coming up with the second brilliant idea! She was on fire! Who says dentists are boring? Or is it accountants?

Tinny's genius plan was for me to ask the cast to sign LEGO bricks. We are both fans of James May's LEGO House, as shown on Toy Stories. In that episode, he actually built a LEGO house using nothing but LEGO bricks, including the toilet and the poo inside. If you don't know what I am talking about, Google it! It's great! Never before have I cried while watching a documentary with James May in it!



We did some research and found some very amazing stuff!! Basically you get the cast to sign different LEGO bricks (same shape and colour scheme). Once I collected them all, can build something like a LEGO wall. The autographs can be scattered around randomly -- like a collage. I wasn't going to build a wall and bring it with me because that would be a nightmare from the logistics point of view. Seeing I was going to be in New York before the Convention in Chicago, I visited The LEGO Store at the Rockefeller Plaza and brought two tubs of individual LEGO bricks. You can buy them like lollies. You fill up the small or large container with bricks of any shapes and colours. It only costs you something like $9 for the small container and $15 or may be $17 for the large one. If you buy LEGO bricks individually online, they charge you per piece. I did some sketches and planning during my flight, so I have a pretty good idea on how many pieces by colours I needed to buy. Once I got my LEGO bricks, I was getting super excited!! I just prayed that this idea would work! Or everything would go into the bin like Dean's amulet!


I built my LEGO on the go. I built a small 'block' for each guest to sign on. Each 'block' contained approximately three to six bricks in different colours. Each brick was made up of two piece of LEGO because one would be too thin. I also have to consider the length of the names, for example the LEGO for Kim Rhodes contained lesser bricks than Jared or Richard because her name only has nine letters. I kinda have to guess how they might sign it too, just to make sure the LEGO is big enough for them to scribble. With Jensen, I wanted to do something super special for him. In my research, I found a love heart LEGO built by someone, it was such an amazing concept! I borrowed that idea and built my own love heart LEGO for Jensen to sign on. 


I love the idea that this is a piece of LEGO artwork and the cast of Supernatural is the main contributor to making it possible. Although I have a rough idea about how the finished artwork might look like, but I won't know for sure until the cast out their signature on the bricks. The LEGO wall project is a work-in-process too, because I still need to get others such as Mark Pellegrino, Mark Sheppard, Amy Gumenick and many more to sign their bricks. There is always next time!!

The Autograph -- The Actual Signing

My sister was in charge of the letter 'S' and 'N', while I was in charge with the LEGO. Brilliant! The queues were long and there were multiple queues (more than LA!). But it was worth the wait! The photo ops are usually very rush, and that's why I actually love the autograph sessions a little more because you get to have a conversation with the cast and you can look at them sitting down pretty.
 
Kim Rhodes 
Kim was the first guest to sign the 'N'. She picked up our accent and asked where were came from. Australia, mate! Australia! Not that I have a strong Aussie accent since I declare myself a Citizen of the World. Kim started talking about how much she wanted to come to Australia and she hasn't been invited to come over. So I told her I will work on it. Cough cough.. I didn't know why I said that! But hey all you people from Supanova, OzComicCon, Hubs etc.. please invite Kim Rhodes from Supernatural to Australia. We love her! When Kim saw the letter 'N', she was like.. "Oh.. ok.. why N?" And then my sister was like.. "N for natural.. as in SuperNatural." Kim smiled and went, "Oh…. I see…" She actually looked at the 'N' and thought about where to sign it. After signing the letter, it was the LEGO. She was seriously impressed, I told her I was building a LEGO wall and said it was a great idea! She may have asked me where to sign it, and I may have told her "Just in the middle." Kim was super cool! And she told us to drink more water.


Rachel Miner
Rachel was at the table next to Kym and heard our conversation with her. Before we said anything, Rachel was like "You guys came a long way! I heard!" And we chatted for a bit. Poor Rachel was really sick that day, so we wished her well and take care. I am so impressed with Rachel, she was super sweet! She was articulate on stage and she gave some of the best answers in my opinion. She handled the Cas/Meg questions very well and spoke her mind about the potential of their on-screen relationship. I won't be surprise to see her return soon in season eight.


Matt Cohen
Matt was super cool but poor guy he looked really tired when I saw him during his autograph session on Saturday. Matt and Richard had a super busy weekend -- having hosted the karaoke the night before, then came back on the next morning, then went all the way until the evening's cocktail party. I don't know how they do it! My friends always say "oh they get paid to do this and they are actors." That's true but seriously they have to be super cool human beings to do this. They were having fun and they were so professional! Anyway, Matt was signing autos like a machine, our letter and the LEGO managed to get a 'wait a second.. what's this? Oh cool' reaction. Priceless! And then it hit me. The letters and the LEGO were a great ice-breaker/ conversation starter! I don't know what I will do without my brilliant friend Tinny, who wasn't even there with me!  

DJ Qualls
DJ was like Matt. Very cool, but looked a bit tired. DJ has a very cute and warm smile! He was very very nice to fans. He also gave me a 'wait a second.. what's this? Oh cool' reaction. I think I may have told him I have loved him since he was Toby Loobenfeld on The Big Bang Theory. As mentioned before, I was a bit starstruck when I saw DJ. May be he was this guy who have been on two shows that I love very much and it was just brilliant to see him in person. He was awesome! 


Rob Benedict
Rob and Richard are inseparable. They were chatting during their autograph session and they made me wait! But that was cool because it gave me more time to look at two of my favourite characters on the show -- Chuck Shirley (God) and The Trickster/ Gabriel (Son). Yeah! They commented that during their panel! Awesome! Rob saw my LEGO and went "OH WOW!" My reply was "Yeah. I am building a LEGO wall..or something." He was like "Oh cool." He looked at it and decided to sign at the bottom of the block, securely thinking (may be) other guests will sign on this tiny little block. He was just so so sweet! He almost dropped the LEGO when he handed it back to me, so there is a bit of smudge on it, and he was like "Oh. Sorry!" And I was like "It's ok." Imperfection is part of the arts.

Richard Speight Jr
Richard was cool. Last time he drew his cartoon face on my Official Companion. I don't know if he would do the same thing if I was to give him a magazine or something. I think he asked me if anyone else was signing the same LEGO, I said "No. This is for you only. You can sign anywhere and be creative." Or something. So he signed his name in the middle of it, which was perfect! And then he looked at it for another second and added a finishing touch with a stroke at the bottom of his name. I love that arty farty move Richard!

Jim Beaver
Jim was SUPER tired when he arrived on Saturday. Poor guy! He didn't sleep, he was hungry and he was super tired. AH! Somebody please give him a hug!! His autograph session was cut off half way through because he was just too tired, so we had to get his autograph the next day. He was more refreshed after a good night sleep. Jim was always super nice. He may have mentioned about 'N' being the letter of his middle name. My sister had no idea what he was talking about and went "Oh really?" She was enthused enough! Jim saw my LEGO and I told him I was building a LEGO wall. Jim too thought it was a great idea. He was so sweet, he wrote his name in the middle nice and tidy, and said "Just in case you loose it, it won't be too hard to put it back together." Can I cry now?

Misha Collins
Moving on the Misha… Oh Misha Misha Misha!!! You never know what Misha was going to say or do, and I didn't want to look silly or to embarrass myself in front of him! You know what I'm saying?! I was so nervous! And I know a few girls were in tears after they were touched by the angel. They were so overwhelmed! What if that happened to me? All my make-up will be gone! Anyway, when my sister gave him the 'S', he just signed his name nice and big in the middle, like he was putting a stamp on it! Not that I was reserving the middle for Jensen but that's ok. I was channelling my inner Darren Brown -- Jensen's or Misha's signature would land right where I predicted. Misha liked the idea of the letter and I forgot what he said, he was probably talking to his college buddy, Dave, who was visiting him at the Convention, he sat next to Misha during his autograph session. After signing the letter 'S', it was the LEGO. He told Dave "This won the most creative award.." Or something along that line! I was like..dying..you know! He signed the LEGO. He handed the LEGO back to me but he wouldn't let go of it for some reason. And I told him "I am building a LEGO wall." His reply was "Obviously!" I know it sounded silly and you may say "what's the fuzz?" But it was an interaction I won't forget! I was doing a happy dance as I walked away from Misha. My hand was shaking! I had to make sure I didn't drop the LEGO! 

Jared Padalecki
Next up was Jared! He is a giant even when he is sitting down and I am standing up! He makes me look like a hobbit! Jared always has this super friendly smile on his face. I don't know if it is the fact that he is a dad now, and Thomas and Gen were at the Convention with him, there was something extra friendly and warm about Jared this time around. I think he's been signing the usual items like a machine, and then he saw 'N', and went "Oh cool!" My sister just got so used to saying, "N for natural in Supernatural." She was getting so good at it!

Jared and Jensen, in particular, are super polite, it's sick! I noticed that they would look at you in the eyes at least twice during the autograph -- when they receive the autograph item from the assistant, and said "Hi" to you; and after they signed the autograph and said "thank you". It is very clinical but I don't care!!! SHIT! I cannot handle too much hottest in one day! Oh wait…I actually can and I did. But I want more. When Jared looked at the letter, he went "Oh cool!" There was only one spot left for him to sign. That was easy! SMILE!!! When he saw the LEGO, he cracked up in the Jared fashion! You know he does that when he laughed. With the LEGO, I told him I was building a LEGO wall. He then asked me where to sign it, and I was like..Jared, don't ask me a question!! Wait, did you just ask me a question? My heart was racing! Silly, I know! And I probably didn't say anything and then he thought about it for a second, and then he was like "can I sign here?" I was like "Yup."
He turned the LEGO sideway and signed it. My hand was shaking, again, as I walked out of the autograph area. My shaking got worst from Misha to Jared. Holy Mother of all hottest.. Jensen was next!!

What I love about this particular autograph experience is that I love seeing the reaction on their face when they saw the items, which broke patterns. It was pure joy to get them into thinking. It was so much fun! EPIC!


Finally! Jensen happened. Man! This guy cannot look ugly even if he tries! I was glad his line was going quite slow. When I entered the acceptable distant to stare at his exceptional good look, I was reminding myself "Do not forget this moment!". I was so close, so close I wanted to ask him, "Jensen, can I touch your face?" If he said no, I'd ask "What about your hair?" But I didn't because a rejection from Jensen would be embarrassing and I would pass out. Anyway, I could not stop looking at him. I just could not! I was just thinking about our two seconds of heaven during the photo op. My blood was boiling, my legs were weak. I could not stop staring at his arms, his face and his hair. He has big hands. I took a deep breathe and reminded myself -- I get to talk to Jensen Ackles for the second time today and I am standing here, worshipping his exceptional good look. I can smell him from here. We hugged this morning. Is this how what's-her-name wrote that Shade-y story?

Jensen presents himself very well -- he is very calm, cool and collective. He is exceptionally hot and he knows it! He is always articulate. He always thinks before he speaks. He answers questions very well. I think the director aspect helped him in developing his maturity to the next level. I just love that about him!

Jensen Ackles
Jensen saw the 'S', and there was only one spot left for him to sign, so he signed it. I think my sister was like whatever, she actually didn't say anything to him when the letter was passed on to him from the assistant. Jensen actually looked at my sister first anyway and said "Hi!" And then my sister was like "Hello." I was thinking to myself.. SIS! HE SAID "HI" FIRST! I know he does that to everyone. But I am usually the one who said "Hi" first. I was loosing my cool! Anyway, when he saw the love heart LEGO that I built for him, and he has this sexy dirty smirk on his face! I was so loosing it! I was about to die! I want to handcuff myself to his arms! May be that's his 'surprise' reaction number 1! Anyway, I said "Hi, Jensen, how are you?" He saw the LEGO, he picked it up, looked at it for two seconds. I told him I was building a LEGO wall. Is he astonished about the kind of crazy ideas fans come up with just for him because we love him? His mother must be proud! He has the most beautiful sexy smirk! Then he signed his name nice and big right in the middle of the LEGO heart. Jensen is a piece of art! He looked me in the eyes, all I could say was, "Thank you!" And he said, "Thank you" back. My world was in slow-motion and my heart stopped. My whole body was shaking, if Jensen stood up and gave me a hug, I would break down in tears like there was no tomorrow. I love you Jensen Ackles. I LOVE YOU!!! 

One thing my sister noticed about Jensen is that -- he tested the Sharpie before he signed the autograph item! She saw him testing the Sharpie on a piece of paper or something to make sure it was the right colour or in good condition before he signed something. He cannot screw up because, fans pay for it and the autograph items could be one of a kind (*cough cough*). It tells me that he cares! My ovaries are about to explode! That's a great man, right there! Sitting in front of you. Considerate. Caring. Polite. Talented. Articulate. Not to mention super hot! 

This is the first look of the LEGO wall when I put the pieces together.

Not finished!
After a few weeks of shopping for the right tools -- including a photo frame and more LEGO bricks to fill the gap -- I have finally completed the first chapter of my LEGO project. As I collect other cast members' autographs, I'll pull it apart and rebuild it. 

Finished!


'Cast of Supernatural' was built from the LEGO Business Card set, which I got from the LEGO Store. I also have so many leftover LEGO bricks and workpeople from previous sets that I used for the DuckNation project. I thought the skeleton was kinda fitting for this, so I put it there. The workman hanging down from the top is supposed to be Dean with Ruby's knife, and the worklady at the top right hand corner is me. I know! It's totally poetic! 



There you have it! This is my LEGO wall with the autograph of Jensen Ackles, Jared Padelecki, Jim Beaver, Misha Collins, Richard Speight Jr, Matt Cohen, Rachel Miner, Kim Rhodes, DJ Qualls and Rob Benedict from the Creation Entertainment -- Salute to Supernatural, Chicago 2012.

It is with great sadness that my Very Supernatural Convention Experience has come to an end. After three post-con reports, I am still finding it hard to move on. Chicago is a great city and I will always remember why I was there in the first place -- I was there to meet the cast of Supernatural; I was there to hug and touch Jensen Ackles and friends; I was there screaming, laughing and secretly crying; I was over the moon; I was on cloud nine; I had the time of my life; and I swear I will do it again.

This is Tiny -- A Supernatural fan.

Signing off...

Related posts:

-- A Very Supernatural Convention Experience Part I
-- A Very Supernatural Convention Experience Part II -- The Photo Ops and the Hugs
-- My ChiCon Photo Album on Flickr

-- ChiCon 2012 Photo Set -- Misha and Jim
-- ChiCon 2012 Photo Set -- Jensen and Jared 

2 comments:

  1. Deanie _24 Love the Lego idea!! Turned out awesome. I too noticed how Jensen tests the sharpies before he signs. He really does care!!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I cannot stop smiling!!! CANNOT!! He is just wonderful! One of the kind!

      Thanks V :)

      Tiny
      xoxo

      Delete

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