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04 June 2009 @ 10:10 pm
Suggested Guidelines for Conventions  
Uh, Supernatural Fandom?

Hi, could we chat for just a sec?

Super!

Here's a topic -



Originally written April 7, 2008, but not posted publicly. Now, though, after reading an Asylum report by shannon_doll, I don't care if I get flamed, this stuff really needs to be said.

Convention Etiquette

Here are some suggested guidelines for convention-goers.

If you happen to be a "wild rebel" who doesn't give a rat's ass what anyone else in the fandom, or anyone else period, thinks of you or what you do, including the actors, and nothing pisses you off more than someone else telling you what to do, you should spend your time elsewhere. This won't help you anyway. These are not the droids you're looking for. Bye-bye.

First Rule - The Actors Are Human Beings.

Therefore -

I. Do not embarrass the actors.
- A. Do not ask about fanfic, wincest, photomanipulations, or fan art - these are all FAN generated, NOT SHOW or ACTOR generated! These are fandom pursuits, they do not involve the actors, directors, producers, writers, or anyone officially connected to the show! It is a SEPARATE thing. It is not the responsibility of the actors to acknowledge, condemn or condone it, leave them OUT of it! They're ACTORS, doing their JOB and they take time out of their PERSONAL LIVES to come and meet with fans at conventions.

-- 1. If for some reason you are just dying to know, check YouTube or LJ. It's already been done, MORE THAN ONCE, let's not do it again.

- B. Do not present them with fanfic, or even mildly obscene or homoerotic works of art.
- C. Do not bring up fandom problems or problems you personally have with something regarding fandom i.e. you hate Wincest and want an actor to back you up. They are NOT there to arbitrate fan disputes or make comments on fandom controversies! You deal with your fandom problems YOURSELF!

- D. Do not insult them or their character, even indirectly.
- E. Do not express a preference for one actor over the other.
- F. During a duo Q&A, try to make sure they are asked an equal number of questions.
-- 1. Have questions ready for each actor and ask the actor who is getting fewer.
-- 2. Ask a question both can answer.

II. Do not bore the actors.
- A. Check YouTube or LJ to see if your question has already been asked.
-- 1. If you must ask a question that has already been asked try to make it more specific, i.e. What is your favorite episode could instead be -
--- a. What is your favorite episode of the most recent season?
--- b. What is your favorite (co-star) scene/performance?
--- c. What has been your favorite stunt/set/prop/piece of wardrobe?
(I'm not inferring that these are great questions, just examples)

III. Do not put the actors in a situation where they have to tell you no.
- A. Understand that there are 100 or so other fans who want to ask a question.
-- 1. So have your question ready, and do not ramble.
-- 2. Don't ask for hugs or kisses because there isn't time to hug and kiss everyone.
-- 3. Do not give gifts during the Q&A because it takes up too much time.
--- a. Give gifts at the autograph table.
--- b. If you weren't financially able to purchase an autograph ticket, and you must present the gift at the Q&A, make your way to the stage as quickly as possible, and be brief in whatever you have to say.

Autograph Table Etiquette
I. Understand that there are 100 or so other fans who want an autograph.
- A. Do not ask the actor to write a novel on your pic.
- B. This is your face-to-face moment, think about what you want to say.
- C. Do not ask the actor to sign anything you wouldn't show your mother, or his mother.

Photo Op Etiquette
I. Understand that there are 100 or so other fans who want a photo op.
- A. Do not ask for a special pose.
-- 1. If you must ask for a special pose, be the last in line.
--- a. If you must ask for a special pose, and you cannot be the last in line, at least ask for something simple and quick.
- B. If you have props, get them out and ready during the previous photo op.
- C. Don't ask that a second pic be taken because you screwed up.
-- 1. Pay attention to the photo ops before yours.
--- a. If the photographer isn't asking anyone else when they're ready, Be Ready.
-- 2. Talk AFTER the pic is taken.
--- a. If you talk before, you will be talking WHEN the pic is taken.
- D. If the actor is sitting/standing, don't ask him to change positions
-- 1. Unless you are physically challenged
-- 2. Unless the height differential is more than seven inches
-- 3. Unless he asks if you'd like him to.

Convention Hotel Etiquette
I. If you see an actor in the hallway.
- A. If they are standing still, approach, be polite and be brief.
-- 1. Do not interrupt them if they are having a conversation with someone else.
- B. If they are walking, approach and be very very brief.
-- 1. Note whether they seem to be walking toward a restroom, in which case, do not approach.
- C. If they are running, do not approach.

II. If you see an actor in the elevator.
- A. Be polite, make casual conversation.
-- 1. Do not follow him out of the elevator to continue the conversation.

III. If you see an actor in a restaurant/bar. (Not during a special convention event)
- A. Approach, be polite, be brief.
-- 1. Do not greet actor when he is chewing.

IV. If you see an actor in the restroom.
- A. Do Not Approach.

Second Rule - See First Rule

Third Rule - Behave As If Everyone Else At The Con Will Be Reporting YOUR Every Move On LJ And Posting All YOU Do And Say On YouTube The Next Day.

I think all this is reasonable. Conduct yourself with a little class, is all I'm saying. Put yourself in the actor's place. For instance, I'm not saying the actors don't LOVE to be asked about fanfic, maybe they do. I'm just saying that, to me, it's not appropriate. It's a fan thing. It's not part of their job. They didn't sign on for it. They shouldn't have to deal with it, or be confronted with it in front of large crowds of people.

Be nice. Be thoughtful. Do your part to make everything run smoothly. You do what you can to make the actor feel comfortable and have a good time, and he'll do the same for you, and everybody wins.

Also, I'm not posting each of these in response to some horrible incident that has occurred at a Supernatural Convention. I'm posting it because I thought that all of these were basic understandings that all fans had, and apparently some of them are not. I think they should be. Maybe you don't, fine that's your opinion. And of course, even if you agree with the rules, there are always special circumstances which are the exceptions which prove the rule.

Finally, I'm not a perfect picture of manners and etiquette. NOTHING gives me the power to tell anybody else what to do, much less an entire fandom. If you disagree with the rules, or take issue with me posting them, fine, don't follow them, do what you want. Ask about Wincest. Insult an actor. Take one down with a flying tackle if you feel that's an appropriate behavior. Just don't say, "I don't understand why I shouldn't?" or "I didn't know I wasn't supposed to!" or "Why is everybody mad at me?" or "I can't believe (Jensen/Jared/Jim/Dairwendan) got a restraining order against me!"

6/4/09 revision

Some final notes/reminders.

1. The actors are not your friends. It's fine to be casual and friendly with them, but you don't get to try to embarrass them, make fun of them or make negative comments on their personal appearance.

2. When both actors are onstage, it is RUDE, and UNACCEPTABLE to declare in any way which one is your favorite or (believe it or not, this is true) to ask a question of only one of them. I realize that few people understand this, but the truth is, if you have a question that only one of them could answer, you should ask that at his individual panel. This is not about YOU getting to ask YOUR question and OMG what if you don't get in line in time for HIS panel, so you have to ask it NOW!!!!! I know many of you may disagree with me, but it's true. It's about the actors and the fans having some Q & A time. The REASON that there are panels with J2 is for questions to be asked of THE BOTH OF THEM! The reason that there are panels with each one individually is for questions to be asked of each one individually!

3. The money you pay to go to the con doesn't entitle you to ANYTHING regarding the actors! You are paying guests at the con. The actors are paid guests at the con. You are all guests there together. It is the con organization and staff who are HOSTING you both. The actors don't run the con. So when they do their very best to accomodate things like autographs, photos, Q&As, greetings and farewells, even though the schedule is completely fucked up, and things are running late or short, you need to understand that they are doing that out of the goodness of their hearts, and their appreciation of you as fans.

4. Before you open your mouth to speak to an actor, especially to ask a question at a Q&A, consider three things.

First, please, imagine that you are about to ask this question of a similar sized man, face to face, who is not in front of an audience and has no obligation to be polite to you. Still think that's an appropriate thing to say?

If so, then imagine that it's you up there, in front of a bunch of strangers, knowing that this moment will probably be on YouTube within the hour, and that you have to be not only polite but good-humored, and someone asks you what you are about to ask? Still want to do that?

Okay, last test, imagine it's your mother/father/grandpa/little sister/son/daughter or other loved one and they are in the actor's place and what you are about to do is going to be done to him/her/them. Is it going to embarrass them? Hurt their feelings? Irritate them? Make them uncomfortable? Put them on the spot? Are you REALLY sure you want to say this?

If your question/comment passes the tests, go ahead.

5. The actors signed on for a particular set of activities - answering questions, signing autographs and taking pictures. Don't go beyond the job description. This means do NOT ask the actors to sing, dance, say a line, make a face, recreate a scene, etc. Especially not when they've been asked over and over. And you certainly do not BOO an actor when they decline to perform for you! Remember, you are at a convention, not an improv show! You don't get to shout out demands and have the person onstage do whatever you say!

6. You do not know the actors' personal business. If an actor doesn't come to a certain event (a wine tasting, a party, a stage farewell, etc.) you do not know WHY this is. You do not know the health and well-being of all of his friends and family. You do not know how he physically feels. Is he ill? Are his eyes hurting? Is his arm aching? You do not know how he mentally feels. Is it the anniversary of a death or negative event in his life? Is he worried about something or someone? Is he just plain in a bad mood (all human beings are allowed to have those, by the way)? You do not know his schedule for that day or the next, there ARE more things going on in his life and career that weekend than this particular convention. You do not know who may be depending on him to be in a certain place, or call at a certain time, or why. So how about giving him the benefit of the doubt, is that really too much to ask?

7. There will always be those whose behavior will embarrass the entire fandom. When someone says or does something inappropriate in your presence, first audibly gasp in horror and physically turn to stare at the person for their complete lack of couth. If you don't feel comfortable doing that, then maybe you could roll your eyes, shake your head, or drop your head into your hands. Please do something to show the actors that MOST of the fandom does NOT think that what this person said/did is okay. Get the attention of a con staff member, if one isn't already there. Then let the staff handle it.


ETA: I (probably insanely) posted a cleaned up version of this on Super-Wiki (no F-word, much less sarcasm and CAPSLOCK and without the "wild rebel" paragraph). Now I guess I'll see how many people will be offended by my saying 'hey, don't be rude'. Or if the admin team will delete it. Don't know why I'm doing this to myself, except that I kind of hope that someone who has been told that he's fat or boo'd because he wouldn't perform on command, might maybe look at it and go 'Oh, hey, yeah, that was just one stray crazy. They're not all like that.' Not because they're actors, but because they were essentialy bullied. And I gotta stand against that.

Anyway, it cleaned up nice and pretty.

2ETA: It was deleted from Super-Wiki the next day. Too inflammatory. And that was the NICE version! *LOL*

 
 
 
khek: spn whoakhek on June 5th, 2009 02:39 am (UTC)
Sadly, the people who NEED to read this will never consider doing anything other than sniffing contemptuously at the thought--as they think they already know how to behave. And then they will go on to break every rule listed.

I was at a con once (not SPN) where a fan pretty much did everything she shouldn't have, including, when the actor was leaving, shouting at him to wait, because she had something else to say as she was pushing tables and people out of her way. She was blocked, quite effectively, by other fans. Not before, however, she injured three people.

Some people are just nuts. I'm not sure that cons shouldn't start instituting some kind of mental health assessment before allowing fans to attend. If I were an actor, faced with some of the shit these guys have seen from their "greatest fans", I'm not sure I would ever consider going to a con.
Dairwendan Mirthmakerdairwendan on June 5th, 2009 03:52 am (UTC)
I know you're right. But I just felt that maybe if I had posted it last year, at least one horrible thing might not have happened to the boys in the conventions since.

Also, Not that they will necessarily read my LJ, but I thought maybe there are some con attendees who really never thought of at least one of these points, you know? Maybe.

I know that if even half of the stuff I've seen on YouTube and/or heard on LJ happened to me, I would NEVER do another convention again! Seriously! People go there as 'fans' and then deliberately treat one or both of the boys like shit! What the fuck is up with that?
Kristynicenicegirl on June 5th, 2009 04:08 am (UTC)
i'm just making it easier on everyone involved and never going to another convention again. at least not another Supernatural one. i'd rather not waste my money to get treated like cattle...or like shit...or both.

if there's ever another Buffy one tho, i'm totally there.

and if i like The Vampire Diaries enough, i might go to one of those too......but i'm kind of biased with that show no matter what because IAN FUCKING SOMERHALDER!! omg! lol
Dairwendan Mirthmakerdairwendan on June 5th, 2009 05:56 am (UTC)
I've never had the money to make it to an SPN convention but way back in the 80s I went to some ST conventions and the fan run ones were fun, but with no celebs of course. The Creation ones were a rip off, too expensive and they treated the fans like we should be grateful that they allowed us to pay them the money to come. And they're even MORE expensive now!

I've never been to any as disorganized as the Asylum cons have sounded, thank God.

I hope Vampire Diaries is as good as it looks to be.
Kristynicenicegirl on June 8th, 2009 05:41 am (UTC)
the Buffy one actually had quite a few of the stars from the show, and it was a very relaxed atmosphere i really enjoyed myself at that one.

yes Creation is EXACTLY how you've described. like we should be thankful we're even allowed there, it's terrible. and i keep hearing bad things about Asylum, as well.

Invisible Friendel1ie on June 5th, 2009 08:27 am (UTC)
I guess I'm another one who has just been appalled by some of the behaviour around this con and as you know I don't get about much but just from scanning through a couple or three reports I want to seriously hurt some people. There have been rumblings for a while about all questions in future only being asked by a moderator and I was interested in how things were going and from this? I say the sooner this happens the better.

Is it a sign of the times? Has this over abundance of information on the net somehow delivered this insanely rude entitlement all around? Are fans getting so used to hiding behind keyboards that they honestly don't know how to behave in public any longer?

It used to be maybe one or two crazy questions or one act of weird behaviour per con that eventually circulated around, but this is getting ridiculous, just hearing one or two of the incredibly personal questions being asked of what comes down to a couple of blokes you don't know and I'm wondering what the hell became of my gender - I've been embarrassed to be a SPN fan this week but I've also been embarrassed to be a woman too.

And that? Pisses me off!

Sadly I'm with khek here too, those that really, really NEED to read this and consider their behaviour are far above even considering anything they do could ever be wrong - seem to consider themselves above common courtesy and seem to consider themselves an elite group who are entitled to private information about private lives.

Quite honestly they also need to remember this was a SPN convention not a who's fucking who free for all and as much as I know that many understand that the RPF fic written about J2 in this fandom KNOW it's fiction, there are far too many reading and writing shit that are crossing boundaries and are unable to tell their own fantasies from reality.

As Sam would say "Your mixing up your reality and porn".

Good for you posting this and I hope some of our disgust over some behaviour does trickle back to the crew of the show, because I feel dirty just thinking about some of what was being said and is now circulating around fandm.
Dairwendan Mirthmaker: Orli8dairwendan on June 5th, 2009 10:36 am (UTC)
I guess I'm another one who has just been appalled by some of the behaviour around this con and as you know I don't get about much but just from scanning through a couple or three reports I want to seriously hurt some people.

I know exactly what you mean.

There have been rumblings for a while about all questions in future only being asked by a moderator and I was interested in how things were going and from this? I say the sooner this happens the better.

It's too bad that people can't be relied on to act with just a modicum of class and respect, but it looks like it will be best for the boys if a moderator does the asking. I've heard that is what Creation is going to do in Vancouver.

Is it a sign of the times? Has this over abundance of information on the net somehow delivered this insanely rude entitlement all around? Are fans getting so used to hiding behind keyboards that they honestly don't know how to behave in public any longer?

I think it's very possible. A clue to me was that people didn't know enough to keep fan fic within the fandom ONLY. Then they began using boardspeak in their questions, as if the actors would know what that is? Like thy're sitting with them on TWOP or on someone's LJ talking about Sam's bitchface or hand of Epicac! Hello?

It used to be maybe one or two crazy questions or one act of weird behaviour per con that eventually circulated around, but this is getting ridiculous, just hearing one or two of the incredibly personal questions being asked of what comes down to a couple of blokes you don't know

I'm shocked too!

and I'm wondering what the hell became of my gender - I've been embarrassed to be a SPN fan this week but I've also been embarrassed to be a woman too.

And that? Pisses me off!


Aw. I understand how you feel, but I guess my feelings are more along the line of being horrified and hurt for the boys. Though I am embarrassed for the fandom.

Sadly I'm with khek here too, those that really, really NEED to read this and consider their behaviour are far above even considering anything they do could ever be wrong - seem to consider themselves above common courtesy and seem to consider themselves an elite group who are entitled to private information about private lives.

Hell, they probably think they already KNOW all of the information

Quite honestly they also need to remember this was a SPN convention not a who's fucking who free for all and as much as I know that many understand that the RPF fic written about J2 in this fandom KNOW it's fiction, there are far too many reading and writing shit that are crossing boundaries and are unable to tell their own fantasies from reality.

EXACTLY! They think these guys ARE the guys they read about in RPS! They think they know how they live, what they say to each other at home, how they feel about vacations and holidays, because they READ IT IN A FANFIC!

As Sam would say "Your mixing up your reality and porn".

If I ever go to a convention, I'll make a t-shirt with that quote!

Good for you posting this

Thank you!

and I hope some of our disgust over some behaviour does trickle back to the crew of the show, because I feel dirty just thinking about some of what was being said and is now circulating around fandm.

Me too. I want to say "Please, just know that not only are we all NOT complete whackjobs, but most of us are as horrified at the whackjobs as you are!"
Invisible Friendel1ie on June 5th, 2009 11:09 am (UTC)
I think it's my age, I remember how hard as a woman to even feel free enough to go into a pub on your own, to eat a meal in a restaurant alone and not be branded a prostitute. I also remember a time when women in the work place were treated like dolly birds to be felt up at any and every occasion. It seems we've lost our goal to be free and equal in the rush to equally treat guys like performing monkeys and pieces of meat. **UGH**

I would like any of these idiots who are moaning about NOT being able to hug and grope how they would feel being trapped in a room full of men ogling your tits and dreaming of you in bed, writing about you naked and then being asked to hug EACH AND EVERY ONE OF THEM and then to be told "it's your job, suck it up". It's not. It's a bloody photo or autograph you've bought not a human being - last I heard slavery was outlawed.

I really feel like writing to Creation and asking them to put a "terms of behaviour" list on EVERY ticket, on every seat, in every room, under every rock and it would include just about everything on this list, make 'em all read it, sign it and throw the whackjobs out the doors for rude comments and heckling I've been hearing about. And yes, as you say this does mean squealing about this behaviour to officials, but someone somewhere needs to make a stand and tell them there is a line between fandom and actors.
Dairwendan Mirthmakerdairwendan on June 6th, 2009 06:25 pm (UTC)
It seems we've lost our goal to be free and equal in the rush to equally treat guys like performing monkeys and pieces of meat. **UGH**


Ah, I see what you mean.

I would like any of these idiots who are moaning about NOT being able to hug and grope how they would feel being trapped in a room full of men ogling your tits and dreaming of you in bed, writing about you naked and then being asked to hug EACH AND EVERY ONE OF THEM and then to be told "it's your job, suck it up".

OMG EXCELLENT POINT! I hadn't even imagined it that way, but you are so right!

It's not. It's a bloody photo or autograph you've bought not a human being - last I heard slavery was outlawed.


Yes, the big word out of this con is "ENTITLEMENT"! Because you bought a ticket, you are entitled to certain things, but your 'expectations' are not your entitlements, and your DEMANDS certainly are not.
Invisible Friendel1ie on June 5th, 2009 11:53 am (UTC)
P.S.

If I ever go to a convention, I'll make a t-shirt with that quote!

Clean up my grammar first! Your/You're - Eeek, sorry.
Dairwendan Mirthmaker: Orli4dairwendan on June 6th, 2009 06:27 pm (UTC)
*LOL* If I had the money, the number one reason I'd get a paid account would be to have the ability to edit my comments, especially for spelling and grammar!