The Purgatory 6 experience

Guest Post by Rose Richards

Purgatory 6 happened between 27-29th May in Dusseldorf, Germany. The venue was Crowne Plaza Hotel – Neuss.

A few days before, I was remembering the first photo ops I took with Mark and was excited about when I was going to see him. Also, I tweeted weeks ago that I was anxious to see him back in Europe cons, and he was looking forward to it, all they had to do was invite him. Suddenly he announces his presence… At Düsseldorf con…and told me in private he fucked up on TDO because it was supposed to be a surprise, and well a friend gave me a ticket, and suddenly boom, I was meant to be here. Everything around this announcement happened magically and smoothly.

So now I’m here writing at the dinner, after the first day, 5h sleep and feeling exhausted I’m going to write our first day.

I just had the best risotto ever with Katrin.

Not going to lie here, this week has been draining, and those who read this, know perfectly what I’m talking about.

This time I stayed at the con hotel, and after the registration and shop all the extras I desired, I went to a shower and prepare for the COCKTAILS WITH THE DEVIL.

I was not anxious or nervous like the first time, but when I saw him on the corridor coming to our table… He was so happy to see us at table 1. ‘Here is my table’ and so he stayed with us for a long time. What a warm big hug ‘Look at you all the way down from Portugal!’ He immediately vented about what has been happening on Twitter, he faced me and I gave him an argh look, because I was so done with the drama. I even called them something and Mark laughed.

Before he left our table he said ‘Oh don’t drag me away from my friends’ He grabbed my arm before leaving. Funny thing about this… our table him included didn’t drink alcohol. I asked him about karaoke… because we all want to watch him singing again. ‘For the sake of old times,’ I said. Because ‘Sweet Transvestite’ was on the karaoke list. I told him I was challenging him. I just remembered that I was asking Mark something and the barman interrupted our conversation… but now I don’t fucking remember. I had so many questions… oopsy.

At the end of this part, he came to us knowing he couldn’t stay with us more, he hugged us and after my hug with him, I felt Frankie’s fur in my mouth. That’s a full Mark Pellegrino experience. His hugs are the absolute best.

After dinner, I joined our group and we played Cards Against Supernatural until midnight… Ruby was all over the cards. I always wanted to play this game. 5h of sleep was time to go to bed.

Saturday, I took my breakfast with Sarah my roomie, and Katrin. The open ceremony was starting and I brought my camera, I got the opportunity to shoot every panel and moment on stage. Was a thrill to see the cast all together on stage, the weekend was only beginning. I didn’t have any extras until midday, so I watched Samantha and Jim, Sachin panel, and I was ready to get a few selfies with the devil himself. The extra was petting Frankie while I waited. He is so sweet and calm. I want to give him all the cuddles. Mark laid on the floor with his buddy, I could feel how tired he was.

Lunch time before the photo ops with Mark, I tried german sausages and fries… damn I was trying to be healthier!

On the line, I said ‘Hi’ to Mark Sheppard. He was heading to his panel (which we saw after our photo ops).

There’s something about these photos, we took this time… the first ones (in DLC4) were great, the first is special, overwhelming… but now we know each other and… I love how we looked in these new ones! We could watch him striking different poses while we waited in line. When it was my turn, suddenly my heart awoke but I wasn’t anxious anymore. I had two, so I explained after greeting him and Frankie. I got ready and magic happened. Very happy with the result.

After the photo ops, we went to Mark S’s panel and then David’s.

Mark was going to be the last one. Since everything that happened on Twitter… I decided to be bold, and gain courage. I wrote a few words for him and went there on the microphone to read in front of 1000 people. He did say so… ‘Don’t be nervous, everyone is watching you so I greeted everyone and Frankie, and started to read. “I have no question for you Mark, But a shout out, from me and everyone in our twitter fam, you know who they are, and yeah in person. It’s been hard 2 years, without no contact, and still getting back to normal, I had to plan this trip last minute because I really wanted to be with you again, and with our friends. This was the best surprise. You’re awesome, brilliant, and an inspiration to me. I’ve been learning a lot and I have to say, finding someone that shares some perspectives as I liberator.

I got your back never forget that. And thank you for everything. Love you” I don’t remember shaking that much. I was so nervous I immediately sat down. I enjoyed the rest of the panel while I took more photos.
Autos were next… the line was a nightmare, I was so tired I had to sit on the floor and almost fell asleep. Finally, it began to move faster, since Mark was almost done, they were calling for people with his autos. I supposedly just had one auto, but obviously, I ended up buying another one :)) I forgot my Jacob funko pop at home, so my auto was going to be in a photo op, so for the random one, I looked at my Polaroid camera and I thought… ‘What if we take one and he signs?’ I really didn’t have much with me.

When it was my turn I explain my idea first to the handler, and she refused my request as photos weren’t allowed, Mark saw my face and asked me if I needed help and I explained to him everything. He wanted to do this, and he asked ‘How much in trouble I would be’ – In Paris, we took a selfie with no problem… – I was surprised they were still refusing this Mark really made an effort but they weren’t that nice. Also, I was surprised by these rules. I guess you have to buy everything lol

So, after the failure, I had two autos for tomorrow. I talked a bit with him, about watching him sing on karaoke, he told me he wasn’t going to sing and he would only stay for 15m and I was like… ‘Come on I’m tired too, been working for weeks’ But he said we were young and tough. ‘Ah you’re tough too’ I went to my room to organize things and rest before changing for karaoke night. The party was themed – TIME TRAVEL.

We had a quick dinner as I was too anxious to be in the front row. And soon as they opened the doors, I ran fast as I could and I did it. Only Mark S didn’t show up, the cast stayed with us for 4/5 songs? I don’t recall. It opened with “CARRY ON MY WAYWARD SON”, that’s either a song you open or close the karaoke!

I was sad to watch Mark leaving without singing or me singing with him; after Paris, our challenge to sing together was postponed. Not meant to happen yet. But I finally got to sing on stage! Fucking hell. ‘Zombie’ by the Cranberries. Everyone told me I rocked the stage, finally, I could scratch this on my list. I don’t remember the last time I sang and jumped so much. I think when I saw Ghost live – in December 2019. This karaoke lasted 3 fucking hours! In Paris was only one hour. One of the best things in karaoke was receiving compliments about my outfit, saying how awesome I looked. I and my group took a photo on the stage after the end. And… since the majority are Misha girls…they said I was a Mark girl apparently and.. ‘Don’t say anything bad about him because she will find you’ That’s right!! I laughed so hard, but it was gratifying to spread the love and positivity this weekend. Also, there was a girl that I met, that fell in love with my pics from him, we became an inspiration. So, she made a pose inspired by one of our kiss pictures the very next day.

Sunday… bloody Sunday.

Sundays are always…bittersweet. Because on the one hand, it’s a Mark day and you will be with your friends again and have fun, but it’s also the day you’ll say goodbye. After the first panel, I went to the corridor by myself and I met two friends, and suddenly Mark pauses and grabs my arm. He was heading to more selfies sessions I thought.

I and a couple of friends went to the impala to shoot, and since I was the photographer, I took several pictures of them in the car. In the end, we took a Polaroid of my vintage ’70s camera.
Mark gave a panel with David next, and two VIP friends saved me a first-row seat, where I could take great shots and it was so worth it, in the beginning (unfortunately) he was explaining he had an experience with a mean person, and then he was appreciating the good ones and he looked at me and gave me a gesture with his hands. My friends screamed for me, as I was blushing. Oh my dad. I decided to ask a different question to both of them, so I got in line and waited until the very end; I almost didn’t do it AGAIN but Mark called me Rosie and said I needed to do it because I tried it before. Satan rocks! The panel didn’t end before my question, ha.

Next… more photo ops!

I wanted to do one more devilish, and another I challenged him to pick the pose, so he chose to hug me and I felt his arms squeezing me.

Next, I and Katrin had the M&G, but unlike Paris, he wasn’t alone, so we met Samantha Smith as well. The room had like 8 people (me included) as we sat, we waited a bit for the guests to arrive. Everyone was quiet, I didn’t even know what to talk because I never met Sam before, just Mark. Sam even joked like ‘we should have brought pillows’ but the convos started to happen naturally. Well…you know M&G are a secret 😉

The autos were beginning, I didn’t want to go yet, because it was the last moment. I hate goodbyes. And since I wanted to talk more with Mark and to take that polaroid, I wanted to be the last one. But both Marks were the first guests to do it faster and they were calling for people that were doing both guests (Mark S had the dinner and Mark P had an early flight). I was in line with Regina and Katrin and since I wanted to be the last one, I kept letting people pass, the reactions were hilarious, I couldn’t stop laughing ‘Oh really? Thank you!’ No, I mean you’re doing me a favor!! People wanted to hurry and get that done I was simply delaying the moment I would be sad. But my moment finally arrived quickly. There was no one left (for now) so I had to go. Mark looked at me and I smiled. Ok, let’s do this. He told me he couldn’t find any moment to take the photo (he was hoping for a break) I gave him two shirts he didn’t have; he loved the BANG BANG shirt he was happy to have more tees and I commented that I saw a girl wearing one at the con – I was so happy to have my brand recognized as he also noticed it. We arranged the polaroid thing.

I told him about karaoke and the song I sang and that lasted 3h! He was tired.

I showed the polaroid after asking if he preferred to sign the photo op or the polaroid, he chose the Photo OP and I showed him the polaroid of the morning with Misha girls, and I said I was the Mark girl for them. First, at the end and we scheduled our Polaroid between auto when he finished and the ceremony. Not the goodbye yet!

I was anxious because my internet was shitty and I was waiting in line with Regina, her auto, and Katrin when I noticed Mark was done so I decided to get out and try to connect with my internet. I had to talk until the reception (almost) and finally, I got the signal, and I had a message from Mark from 3m ago to ask about the photo, I went to the impala outside, and I saw him near, he was waiting for me, he wasn’t alone, his handler and another guy was with him. I asked if we could do it at the impala and he said ‘of course. I gave Katrin my Polaroid camera from the 70s, when it shot, I was waiting for the photo to appear but nothing. It was a failure because it said it had two more (which I saved) but none left. Mark said ‘we tried…’ but I remembered… I had my iPhone, let’s just take one with it since we got it here and done. The last moment with Mark was amazing. He hugged me and Katrin ‘See you guys online, fighting the good fight’. And he went to his flight.

A girl that was near the impala recorded a video of me and Mark, so she came to me, and sent me. Seriously, I was so happy to have a memory from this moment.

The closing ceremony was next, I sat in the second row, and when I looked back, I saw the woman with my T-shirt BANG BANG, and I thanked her – she said she had two more and this was amazing. To see my clothing line recognized.

I went to the VIP row seconds after, to take a selfie with Judith and Lilie, I wanted more photos with everyone.

They were late a few minutes, everyone from the cast except Mark was there (his flight) and it was great how emotional this last part always is. European cons always have open and closing ceremonies, but apparently, Creation doesn’t. The cast feels these cons are more intimate and we can create a bond. In the end, they presented a video they made and the cast sat on the floor on the stage and I could hear people crying. When it ended, I went to meet everyone, and I saw almost everyone in tears and hugging. We went outside to grab our tickets as souvenirs, and when I got them, we started to say goodbye. I fought hard not to cry, like in Paris. I managed! In the end, my heart was fulfilled and complete. DLC4 was the first con, but Purgatory 6 was everything and beyond. It’s only the start of this journey.

I went home to Regina when I stayed and we had dinner, and she showed me all the cons she went to and some Supernatural memorabilia. Almost midnight I said… Let’s go to bed, I had to wake up at 3 am for my flight at 6 am to Dusseldorf airport.

I have no words to express how wonderful was to meet another city, to be with Mark again, to be with my friends again, and to meet new and wonderful people. I felt so welcomed in Germany, I was surrounded by beautiful souls and positive vibes. This was my therapy.

See you all next time.

Check out Rose’s photos from Purgatory!