We all know the guys really love it there because, well hello? Rome ...
It's pretty much a given that all the guys let their hair down at JiB;l there's a real 'holiday' atmosphere, and this year was no different. Once again, Jus in Bello was a very, very special experience, and I feel so very priileged to have been a part of it.
I headed to Rome on the Thursday, arriving about teatime, and ran straight into Elisa and 'Lone, two lovely ladies from Denmark. Sitting in the hotel bar, we had a few drinks and a bit of cheeky banter with the waiter. Then I decided it was time for Gelato (well come on, when in Rome ...).
This is where I learned what happens when you order a gelato after being cheeky with the waiter.
Debate raged for a time as to whether this was a Jared or a Jensen special ... the question may never be answered. We'll just have to use our imagination instead ...
On Friday, after a leisurely morning reacquainting ourselves with friends old and new, the fun started with a Rob and Jason panel. I decided to head for the autograph hall, and try to get as many as I could to try to free up time over the weekend.
When you think of events being held in Italy, you could be forgiven for thinking that everything is a melee of eye-rolling, arm-waving chaos. Here at JiB, however, nothing can be further from the truth. Daniela runs JiB with a rod of iron, and military precision is the order of the weekend. The auto sessions were no exception. Within the space of an hour, I had (with the exception of Jared, Jensen and Travis) all the autographs I needed.
The highlight of the Friday at JiB is the cocktail party that takes place in the evening where the Angel pass attendees get to mingle with the guests. Usually, it takes the format of all of us sitting at tables while the guests circulate around us, spending two minues at each table. This year, the JiB team tried a different format where the guests sat and we mingled around them. I can completely get that they wanted to try something new, to keep things fresh, but unfortunately it didn't work. It was the closest the whole weekend came to descending into asylum-level chaos, and Richard Speight confided to a few of us that it felt like being in a zoo!
I can't see it being repeated next year!
Having said that, I did get a chance to have lovely long chats with Tahmoh and Gil!
(Photos by xlittleangx)
Of course, Saturday is when the J's appear and that's when JiB really starts in earnest. And they didn't disappoint. Our boys were on fire. They were entertaining, naughty, daft and downright bloody hilarious. The 'apple juice' was flowing freely ... the J2 panel was lunctuime on Saturday and Jensen was already partaking (and had been for a while methinks!) I think Jared must have been on the apple juice too - how else do you explain the whole 'salmon Dean' exchange?
During the course of the weekend, I had a number of photo ops, and without exception, the guys were adorable:
I told Jared and Misha that just for once I wanted to be the tallest person in the picture. We only just managed it :D
Mini Sam finally got the opportunity to meet his real life counterpart. I said to Jared, 'can my little friend join our hug?' He said, 'sure, he's my little friend too!'
Gil and Tahmoh. It was Tahmoh's birthday and he was being spoilt all day ... and loving it!!
When I asked for a hug in my trio, I nearly got pulled over by Misha. Not that I'm complaining, mind ...
I know there's been some controversy surrounding Travis recently, but all I've seen is a lot of hearsay. And let's face it, we all know how Twitter is such a trustworthy source for reliable facts and rational debate!
Travis was the same charming gentleman I met at Asylum 14. If I'm proven wrong, then I'm proven wrong, and I'll judge the man then. But until any 'proof' surfaces, I'll judge him on my own experiences which have been nothing but positive.
I've never got around to having a photo with the sweet and lovely Jason Manns before ... this weekend was time to put that oversight right!
I also managed to get my last two portraits signed by Jared and Jensen. Jared was delightful, and very carefully signed the mount because he didn't want to mark the 'awesome artwork' ...
Jensen was delightful too - but he had no such reservations!!! :D
At this JiB, I had somehow managed to secure myself a meet and greet with Jensen. Twenty minutes sitting in a confined space with the man. I wasn't nervous, no of course I wasn't ...
Okay, well maybe I temporarily forgot that you have to take the lid off a bottle of water before you pour it into your glass, but - whatever - it's just details!
I had prepared a question (which I had totally stolen from a friend who asked Jim Beaver at Asylum 16). Memorised and rehearrsed it, so I wouldn't sound like a total gonk, and I actually got to ask it. Holy hell, he looks straight at you when you ask a question. Doesn't break eye contact; doesn't blink. I could feel my bones liquefying ...
This was my question:
'I was interested to hear you talk at Asylum 16 about overcoming your nerves when performing in front of live audiences, and I know you've done some theatre work in the past. With this being the 400th anniversary of the death of Shakespeare, and there are celebrations of his life and work going on everywhere, I was wondering if you had ever fancied doing Shakespeare? Is there a particular play or character that would really inspire you to do it?"
Jensen's answer was:
Yes, h really liked the idea of doing Shakespeare. Then one day he went to see a Shakespeare play and thought, 'I can't do that'. He went on to explain that his problem with shakespeare (apart from the language) is the rigidity. He likes to be able to develop a character and storyline, and all the Shakespeare plays and characters have been established over hundreds of years, so they have been developed as far as they can go, and the dialogue leaves no room for flexibility. There's nothing more that can be done. Although he has total respect for the people that do Shakespeare, it's not something he would be looking to do.
I thanked him, and finished off by saying 'for what it's worth, I think you'd make a great Henry the Fifth!'.
He grinned and replied; "Oh, I could do that one!"
I couldn't help but notice Daniela (who is, I know, a theatre buff) sitting behind him nodding furiously!
The weekend finished as always with Jensen and Mish'a hilarious panel. Jensen revealed a talent for British accents that's right up there with Dick van Dyke, and his Castiel 'voice' is just ... disturbing!
That left us with just the concert at the Jailbreak club on Monday night. Unlike previous years, we knew for sure Jensen was going to be there. So was Rob, Richard, Tim and Jason.
And we were treated to something spectacular. It was a fantastic evening, and everyone put their heart and soul into performing. Jensen sung his heart out - and got his arms out - and as if the crowd weren't emotional enough because of that, we then had a Jensen and Rob duet of 'Fare thee Well'. By then there wasn't a dry eye in the room, so they decided to finish us off with Hallelujah.
By now, the whole venue was awash with tears, so that's when they decided to announce Jus in Bello 2017.
How the roof stayed on the place I'll never know.
So that was Jus in Bello 2016. A fabulous, wonderful rollercoaster of love, laughter and more J2 prettiness than you can shake a stick at.
Here are a few more pictures ... here's to great friends from far off lands. A european union that actually means something worthwhile!
With Wendy (Belgium), and Anne and herminekurotowa (Germany)
With herminekurotowa (Germany), xlittleangx and heavenli24 (UK), Wendy (Belgium) and two other lovely ladies whose names escape me!
All other photos by xlittleangx
with xlittleangx (UK) and Wendy (Belgium)
With Wendy (Belgium), xlittleangx (UK) and herminekurotowa (Germany)
So finally ... I'll just leave you with this, which kinda sums up the whole weekend ...