No matter where the event, expos and conventions allow passionate fans to gather with other individuals from anywhere around the world to share and enjoy the mutual love and appreciation for the whichever show, film, game or comic has taken residence in a special part of their hearts.
This passion was in strong form at Fan Expo Canada by the Carmilla fandom, also known as the Creampuffs, which I got to experience firsthand.
Carmilla was set to host its own 90 minute panel at Fan Expo. The panel was set to be a chance for fans to meet and get the autographs from some of the actors and actresses who star in their favorite webseries, have a Q&A session and even see a live reading of various scenes. Shannon Kook (Theo), Nicole Stamp (Mel), Aaron Chartrand (JP 2.0), Kaitlyn Alexander (LaFontaine), Sharon Belle (Danny), Annie Briggs (Perry), Natasha Negovanlis (Carmilla) and Elise Bauman (Laura) were all in attendance. Although the panel was scheduled for 5PM, that didn't stop the excitement of the Creampuffs.
— Carmilla Series (@carmillaseries) September 4, 2015
Creampuffs started lining up in the hallway of the Metro Toronto Convention Centre's South Building as early as possible to secure their spot in line. At least two different lines were being formed hours before the panel started; these lines were full of Creampuffs from all over the world, including individuals who lived nearby, came from the United States or even across the Atlantic for whatever surprise the Carmilla crew had in store. The numbers grew, with Creampuffs getting to know each other and noticing some notable members of the fandom in attendance.
Soon enough, the crew began to set up -- but not before showing some love to their dedicated fans.
By 4:45, the doors finally opened up, and fans got to file into the room to fill the rows and rows of seats. Even a delayed start didn't stop the strong warm reception once the cast was introduced.
Hey #Creampuffs ?? We were all touched and overwhelmed by your reception. We love the cards and presents!!! It was lovely & all too brief to meet you all flying from out of town and overseas to meet us. We are very lucky to have your support. We hope to meet you all again soon. #Carmilla #FanExpo @carmillaseries A video posted by Shannon Kook (@shannonkook) on
Sam Maggs, the moderator, wasted no time and got right off to the live readings of scenes from Season 1 and 2 with some bonus ROLE REVERSALS! The cast read from "Advanced Interrogation Techniques" (1x19) with a slight switch mid-episode to feature Negovanlis and Bauman playing each other's roles during the famous scene where Carmilla convulses due to blood starvation before begrudgingly telling Laura her story. There was also a reading of "SNN" (2x03) which had Negovanlis and Bauman returning to their regular roles and hilarity ensuing from their fellow cast members' portrayals of other characters.
After the third episode reading, the panel immediately jumped to answering various questions from Maggs as well as from the audience. The cast provided meaningful answers for questions about things such as funny moments on set and gave honest advice for those interested/curious about joining the entertainment industry -- but, of course, it wouldn't be like Carmilla if there weren't some trolling involved.
When the entire cast was posed with the question of their favorite scenes this season, a majority of the panel agreed that a particular episode that has yet to be seen is their favorite. There were many concerned groans when Stamp acknowledged that the episode they all enjoyed featured the dreaded Giraffe Shirt.
For those who aren't aware, the Giraffe Shirt was shared in a behind-the-scenes photo by one of the crew members. The picture shows Laura being on the verge of crying with a slight look of hurt or despair. With only eight episodes left and the cast being so excited about that episode in particular, there was definitely some excitement for fans in what to anticipate for the rest of Carmilla.
After only a couple of questions, the panel ended to allow autographs as soon as possible to try to ensure every Creampuff in attendance got one -- but not before one more surprise: an exclusive trailer for the remainder of Season 2.
The trailer started off lightly, with a voiceover from Laura earlier this season playing over different clips, causing some laughter from the audience. Carmilla's tragic yet beautiful speech about running away with Laura also played over more clips of the various things the group has gone through so far.
Then, the screen cut to black before we just saw a black screen with Carmilla's voice ringing in people's ears (where she sounded like nothing we've ever heard from her) warning someone about not coming close to her because she will kill -- before the trailer ended, causing Creampuffs to erupt in applause and excitement.
The trailer played twice for the audience (possibly because of a technical difficulty, but there also was a significant amount of noise during the initial viewing) before the panel officially wrapped so that the cast could get started on autographs. Unfortunately, fans couldn't get pictures with the cast because of the sheer number of Creampuffs in attendance, but we did manage to get a chance to briefly talk to some of the cast as we got our autographs.https://instagram.com/p/7T653Hx9xQ/?taken-by=kadoesthething45
This panel was an unforgettable experience. It was truly incredible to see so many people who shared my love of a webseries that is based of an 18th century novella. The fellow Creampuffs I met were all amazing, and it was inspiring to see how far some of us traveled just for those few hours at the panel.
The cast was so amazing to fans. The answers they provided during the Q&A were fantastic, and, at the end, they were genuinely torn between not getting a chance to really talk or get pictures with fans and wanting to get to as many people as possible (since they technically only had the room until 7PM when the expo ended). I know many people were so thankful for the opportunity and wouldn't have traded it for anything else in the world.
Speaking for myself, this panel made me both more excited and worried for the rest of Season 2 of Carmilla, but I honestly wouldn't have it any other way.