Saturday - So I headed to the hotel first thing to meet up with fresleyforever and see what the plan for the day was. Turned out that even at 8 in the morning, the queue for photo tickets was stretching up to the third floor (the con was on the first floor). Since I wanted to get an Alona photoshoot ticket, I joined the queue while Mary was getting her missing passes sorted out. I got talking to some lovely people in the queue but I have a terrible memory for names – I'm so sorry!
As the queue was moving pretty slowly, I sort of resigned myself to not doing very much in the morning, and when wenchpixie and elle_dritch turned up, we ended up just hanging about having a breakfast of faux Hob Nobs and Bourbons waiting for us to get anywhere near the front of the queue… which we did eventually, just after all the drama.
There are so many stories out there right now about what happened, I didn't see any of it so I can't say for sure what did happen, but it seems like some girl got over-excited and threw herself at Jensen as he was coming out of his photo studio. Literally threw herself at him, wrapped her arms and legs around him and kissed him. She was dragged off and Jensen was hustled into one of the lifts where she tried to follow and had to be forcibly restrained by security staff. She was thrown out of the convention and I believe has been given a lifetime ban from Rogue Events as a result. She is bloody lucky she wasn't arrested for sexual assault. She is also bloody lucky that Jensen was okay about it – it would have been easy for him to pack up and walk away and none of us would have blamed him for it. He didn't, he stayed, and security was amped up after then. (the cigarette burn and cracked ribs that I've been hearing aren't all that likely, if she'd done either of that she *would* have been arrested.)
So, oblivious to what had just gone on, I got my photo ticket for Alona and my extra autograph passes (so hard not to call them Badgers…) for Jensen and bumped into smeckles90 and kitty_cat89 who had just come out of their photoshoot with the man himself. There was much bouncing and squeeing and the three of us ended up joining the autograph queues for Nicki Aycox, Brooke Nevin and Alona Tal. (Our numbers hadn't actually been called but in our defence we didn't realise that!)
As we got near the tables, the girl in front of me asked Nicki if she liked England and Nicki replied that it was her favourite country ever and she was thinking of maybe moving there at some point. Well, I couldn't let that go so as soon as it was my turn, I asked if she'd ever been to Scotland and we got chatting about the Hogmanay celebration that she'd been to in Edinburgh in 2001. She said the only thing she wasn't sure about was 'all the men in skirts' and pointed out that Douglas Arthurs (who was there as well) was wearing one - so I told her about kilts and said "And you know of course that you're not supposed to wear anything underneath..." She looked a little bit shocked and said "Don't let Douglas know that!". I thought Nicki came across as very sweet and generous, she was the one who went hunting for the silver sharpie so she could sign on my DVD box set. I've seen a few people comment that she was a little standoffish but she was really sweet to me.
Brooke was next and I totally didn't recognise her, to the extent that I had to double check with kitty_cat89 and smeckles90 that she had actually been in SPN... *headdesk* I know I spoke with her but for the life of me I have no idea what I said! (And here's where the first part of my awful recall ability becomes apparent!) And then on to Alona. I know there is a huge amount of dislike for the character of Jo and although I'm not particularly fond of the Dean/Jo set up the writers seemed to be forcing (especially when she seemed to regress into being a silly little schoolgirl) I do appreciate what they did with her and I felt kinda bad for Alona. But she was really sweet and seemed to win over a lot of doubters this weekend. She signed her name in both Hebrew and English which I thought was lovely, even though I only have her word for it that it is her name... realistically it could be anything!
After that, it was getting kinda close to the time for Jensen's panel and the three of us went into the main hall (where poor fresleyforever was manning the doors and thus missed most of the panel!). Surprisingly enough there weren't many seats left, but we did manage to find some about halfway back along with unhobbityhobbit et al, but I ended up getting up and standing further down in the aisle so that I could take some pictures (Grrrs at photo processors again...) alongside kitty_cat89. Jensen was an absolute star, he seemed a little nervous initially but damn that man can read an audience! When someone asked about the oft-told bee story he picked up on the fact that we'd all heard it a million times already and told us a much longer variant than we'd heard up till then, including he and Jared being tested for allergy by having a bee sting them on the arm through a piece of gauze to reduce the amount of poison and having the crew stand around waiting for them to go into anaphalatic shock... and the now infamous solitary bee sting he got during filming. (the recollection of which amused wenchpixie and I to no end at 5am on Sunday/Monday! "pumping and pumping and pumping in my ass" *g*)
Again, my memory sucks and I know Jensen was really good in his panel but I can't really recall any other details. The Jensen effect has killed far too many of my braincells I think!
I haven't actually mentioned that I had my heeled boots on through this whole morning have I? They were almost 4 inch stiletto heels which were actually pretty comfortable so long as one is not standing up in them and taking photographs with a heavy SLR camera complete with zoom lens... I figured there was a Primark right next to the hotel, I'd run out, buy a cheap pair of pumps and change back into my heels for the photo sessions. fresleyforever came with me and we found the cutest pair of purple pumps ever. Except... as I was going to pay for them I noticed that my reg badge was no longer on its clip.
I will fully admit I panicked. We'd already been told that there would be no replacement badges and so far I'd only seen one panel... I transformed into an uber-bitch at that point and I apologise profusely to fresleyforever who kinda got the brunt of that (and am heartily glad none of my new friends saw me in that hour!). I basically abandoned everything and went to plead my case at the reg desk, the staff were doing the whole "make an example" thing until I magically said "I still have my Steward Badge" and that seemed to fix everything, there were no blank badges for me, but they took the steward badge and wrote my reg number on the back with a 'lost badge' note and sent me on my way. I had about 20 minutes from then on until my steward duty started and I hadn't had lunch so I ran out, tried and failed to find Mary and ended up in Boots where I bought... a bottle of water. Yeah... I kinda didn't eat much this weekend.
Steward duty next, I was on the photo studio for Alona Tal and Nicki Aycox. I got talking to my fellow steward (who was called Vicky and who I never even thought to ask if she was on LJ - she was such a sweetie as well, Vicky? If you somehow manage to read this I hope things are easing out for you a little. *hugs*). There wasn't a huge amount of people in the photo queues but there was enough for people to magically begin blocking exits and fire routes... the British have a reputation for queuing so why are they/we so damn bad at it?!! So because Vicky had a problem with her back being sore, I started heading down the queue asking people to keep back against the wall, to keep the exits clear and to make sure they were ready before they got into the studio because the turnaround rate was kinda awesomely fast. At every con I've been to there's been a loud Scot shouting out instructions to people in the queues... This time the loud Scot was me. Apparently I haven't lost the vocal projection that I learned in drama class and choir... (what are you trying out for, bass?) From there it was pretty much a logical step to start running up and down the stairs making sure everyone who had a ticket knew to get to the studio asap.
And that's when I remembered that I had tickets as well and now had a thoroughly red face from imitating a blue arsed fly... Alona was a sweetheart, I went in and said something like "You look fabulous today!" and she said thanks and that was pretty much it. Because we got through the shoot so quickly she was able to head off at around half past when it seemed like there was no one else coming. And then of course two minutes after she left other people with tickets showed up. Luckily we managed to arrange for them to come back during the Sunday sessions so it wasn't a total loss. Around this point, a tall good looking guy wearing a hat kept going past me and I knew he was one of the guests but had no idea who he was so I didn't want to say anything to him. (I don't watch SV at all so as far as I knew it could have been one of the main guys from that show!) Turns out it was Jason Manns, looking deliciously scruffy, and I'm kicking myself for not having spoken to him...
Anyways, Nicki's photoshoot coincided with both Vicky and mine's batch numbers being called for the Jensen autographs so we kinda took it in turns heading down to see if we could get through. The stewards down there were more than happy to push us to the head of the queue so we could get back to duty but... Jensen wasn't back yet so there was basically all these folks just standing in a growing queue looking bored out of their minds. So it was back up to the photo studio, telling everyone on the way that Nicki's shoot was starting soon and we were getting through so quickly that if they had a ticket they needed to head up there. (Try explaining that to the group of French girls I spoke to in the lobby who had no hope of understanding me - I was *this* close to trying it in French when one of them finally got what I was saying!). Queue control was fun, but it was more fun running around the place shouting at people so I ended up doing that again. I went into the autograph signing room where Brooke, Alona, Justin and Alan were signing and rather than shouting it out there, I started telling everyone who caught my eye. So I figure no blame should be held against me for asking Brooke Nevin if she had a photoshoot ticket with Nicki...
At some point during stewarding duty, I forgot to put my heels back on for the photos which is probably just as well since both Alona and Nicki are shorter than me, but when I went to take them out of my bag they were gone... Yes, I lost a pair of boots this weekend. Me who never ever gets rid of shoes...
When the steward duty finished neither myself or Vicky had actually managed to get down to the Jensen autograph session so the head steward came down with us to explain that we'd not been able to be spared from duty when our batch numbers were called. (I also forgot to get her name as well - she was such a sweetheart and so lovely! I really hope if you read this you'll give me a shout out so I can say thank you again!) Got down to the autograph queue and it turned out that the batch number idea had long since been abandoned so we joined the end of the queue and I got talking to a lovely group of women who kept me entertained right through the queue. (And I'm glad I didn't realise it was eloise_bright et al because I would have ended up fangirling over them as well as Jensen!) I spotted smeckles90 and kitty_cat89 across the room and gave them a quick wave just as they were heading towards the signing table. You both handled yourselves really well girlies! When it got nearer my turn I suddenly started yawning non-stop, and Eloise was joking with me that I wouldn't be able to say anything to Jensen because I'd be too busy yawning in his face...
There was a family in front of me, with two little girls, and I got to see Jensen talking to them in the sweetest way. He is so good with kids! He was leaning down so he was on their level, talking directly to them and teasing them. When one of them ran off and then came back he pointed to the promo pic he'd just signed for her and said "And who's that then?" She got all shy and crowded against her mum's leg and Jensen laughed a little and said "She's thinking, 'Dude, I know who that is how come you don't?'" - so adorable!
So it was my turn eventually and he looks up and gives me this blinding smile and I stuck my hand out and said "Can I just shake your hand?" Man he's got a firm grip! (And I have a Jensen induced bruise on my knuckle now - my ring was sitting in a slightly odd way and when he shook my hand it dug into my knuckle. I'm not complaining though! Jensen Ackles bruised me!) I said something about how I hoped we hadn't been too overwhelming or came across as too nutty. He laughed and said not at all, that it was nice to be around people who made him look sane, and the next thing I know it was over and I was walking away with a huge goofy grin on my face.
Oh. And as I was getting my stuff out of my bag to get signed, I found my reg badge. I have no idea how it ended up in my bag, but yay! I found it.
So during the day on Saturday I managed to actually most of what I was planning on doing done, all that was really left was the Jensen photoshoot on the Sunday morning and that meant I'd have the whole day to chill out and catch the panels and Q&As which I can't actually beleive I managed to miss so many of on the first day!
Next time on Shona's rambling recollections: You're at a gig to listen to the music, so shut the hell up!; More fangirling of Jason Manns; The hypnotic power of synchronised dancing and Leffe beer.