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Convention is a whirlwind of activity for fans of 'Supernatural'

"Can I buy something else?"

"Should I buy something else?"

"I’m going to buy something else."

Last weekend at the "Supernatural" convention in Toronto, those three sentences were what I repeated to myself on a regular basis. I had two days packed full of autographs, photo ops (may of which were last-minute impulse buys), and panels. However, with some stressful and very meticulous planning, I was able to fully enjoy the experience.

To me, these actors and this show is much more than just a show.

I discovered "Supernatural" one day when I was about 13 years old home sick binge-watching Netflix. I had just been diagnosed with Crohn’s disease and was too sick to go to school.

Instead, when my dad would come home from work to check on how I was feeling, we would sit together and watch a couple episodes. Even since then, I’ve been hooked.

This convention felt more like a gathering of friends and family than celebrities and fans.

To start the weekend off, Emma Mack, a senior at Mount St. Mary Academy, had a photo with Misha Collins, who is one of the stars of the CW show. Not only was this her first photo op ever, but she had the first one out of our group. As she moved along in line, I slowly saw her disappear into the room where the photos were taken. Then after a couple minutes went by, she came out.

"I don’t remember what happened. I think it turned out really bad. I might have blackout," she said in a panicked voice. "He was way taller than I thought but he was so nice."

Then after that photo op, we sat down for an afternoon filled with laughter and stories from the cast of the show.

Kim Rhodes, Briana Buckmaster, Matt Cohen, Richard Speight Jr., Rob Benedict, Mark Sheppard and Misha Collins owned the stage on Saturday. They answered questions, shared experiences about working on the show, told stories about their personal lives and gave advice.

Many of the actors interacted with fans in different ways. Mark Sheppard would be sarcastic and tease the fans, whereas Benedict and Speight would take the simplest questions and turn them into full skits and stories that they would perform on stage.

For example, when asked whose character on the show would win in a fight, Benedict and Speight went off on a tangent, acting out how funny some of those fights would be.

After seeing how different the actors were in person than on TV, the experience of meeting them became very real. These on screen characters became real people. Real people that I would be meeting and taking pictures with.

Waiting in the line to meet them can be extremely intimidating and nerve wracking. You forget that they are just regular people.

Before heading to Toronto, I reached out to Kevin Polowy, senior correspondent for Yahoo Movies in Los Angeles, on tips for the convention. He explained why it can be so common for people to freeze up and panic when they meet someone famous.

"I think it can be tough for people to distinguish the identities of characters they love from the people who play them, so in turn celebrities take on larger-than-life personas in the eyes of their fans," said Polowy, who frequently hosts celebrity interviews at fan conventions.

Keeping this advice in mind, I went to wait in line for my photo with Jared Padalecki, Jensen Ackles, Misha Collins and Mark Sheppard. These are the stars of the show, the ones that have kept the show going for more than 12 years. I was about to be in a big group hug with all of them. I worked on my deep breathing and being calm and collected. I got a great picture with them and I went to walk away and share my experience with Emma, when a woman grabbed my arm saying that someone must have blinked so I had to retake the photo. I am honestly surprised I was able to keep it together the first time around, I had no clue if I could do it again.

"I’m sorry, I probably blinked and messed it up," I said, talking to try to calm myself down.

"No, you’re perfect, don’t worry," Jared Padalecki said as he pulled me back in for the group hug with the four of them for the second time.

"I mean," I mumbled, "I’m not going to complain."

Megan Preisch is a senior at Mount St. Mary Academy.


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