The quarantine that the global coronavirus pandemic has forced us into has changed a lot about our lives. Instead of working at an office in business attire, we’re working from our couches in sweatpants… and instead of actors being busy making shows and fans preparing to travel for in-person fan conventions we have… HomeCon!
Billed as the first of its kind, HomeCon is a virtual fan convention conceived of by Paul Amos and Rachel Skarsten, stars of SyFy’s cult hit Lost Girl. With coronavirus shutting down entertainment productions and forcing the cancellation or postponement of several fan conventions, Amos (Darken: Before the Dark) and Skarsten (Batwoman, Reign) thought it would be uplifting for actors and fans alike if they could still connect somehow. So, with help, Amos and Skarsten in two weeks built HomeCon, which used the gaming platform Twitch to broadcast panels featuring actors videoing in from their living rooms, and Zoom for ticketed 5-minute one-on-one video calls with actors. (10 percent of sales are going to the charity First Responders First).
The two-day con launched Friday with a Lost Girl panel, and later came one of the convention’s most buzzed about events: a panel on SyFy’s current hit Wynonna Earp. Stars Katherine Barrell, Dominique Provost-Chalkley, Tim Rozon, and Megan Follows — just four of the approximately 30 actors who participated in HomeCon — virtually convened for a panel. The thousands of fans who tuned in from around the world were not disappointed. Technical difficulties and interruption from Barrell’s dog Bernie only added to the fun. Fans were also treated to Provost-Chalkley and Rozon briefly speaking as their characters, and Tim dropping some big news: he became a father in December!
Here’s a dive into what else unfolded during this virtual HomeCon Wynonna Earp panel.
Moderator Jacki Jing asked the cast about their quarantine lives. Rozon, who sported a black cowboy hat worthy of his Earp character Doc Holliday, said he “selfishly” is enjoying quarantine because he’s spending time with his new baby boy. Follows, who wore a black sweater and her hair in a bun and was eating soup the whole time, seemed a little less Zen, as quarantine halted a new acting gig (with which Rozon was also involved), and she’s stuck in her childhood home “surrounded by [her] entire f—in’ life.” But she said she’s biding her time cooking and cleaning.
Provost-Chalkley, who was dressed in a T-shirt and ball cap, said just before quarantine, the cast had gone home for a regular shooting break (they were halfway through filming season four), so quarantine just feels like an extended vacation. However, she’s anxious that the show had only just gotten back on track after a year hiatus (production company financial woes threatened the show but a ferocious fight from the fans helped fix things). Barrell, though content at home (she said her and Provost-Chalkley being only children prepared them for this) echoed Provost-Chalkley’s concern.
But Barrell — who wore a baby blue top and her beloved dyed-red hair down — and Provost-Chalkley remain optimistic, citing excitement about season four and lessons learned from quarantine.
“Talking with people all over the world [in the one-on-ones] it really did give me a sense of ‘WOW, this is everywhere, everyone is feeling the same things,’ and it was sort of comforting in a way,” said Barrell.
Reflecting on their Earp roots
Fans went wild over cast audition snippets shown during a SyFy Wynonna Earp marathon the day before the panel, so Jing asked the cast to reflect on their auditions.
Follows said she struggled with hers, but her daughter pushed her on it. Follows added that when she directs projects, she gives actors second chances, to see how they take direction and to let them overcome nerves. Rozon said his initial audition for the role of Dolls didn’t go well, but when he auditioned for Doc, it felt right. Similarly, Barrell initially auditioned for Waverly and Wynonna. Those experiences made her feel more prepared for her Nicole audition, but she considered herself too “ingénue” to play a cop so she didn’t think she’d get the part.
Jing then asked about their characters’ introduction scenes.
“It was just perfect, it felt so right and it was a big moment for me in terms of finding who this character was,” said Provost-Chalkley, whose first scene was Waverly kicking down a door holding a shotgun. “The writers obviously wanted that to be the first impression — for Waverly to have that… fire in her that came through really strong.”
Barrell, whose first scene was Officer Nicole Haught meeting and flirting with Waverly Earp (aka the beginning of the “Wayhaught” same-sex relationship that propelled the show and actresses to icon status), was excited about being the pursuer, which she and women in general don’t often get to do.
“That scene was so direct and forward and has a perfect amount of bravery and going for what she wants, but also there’s a sensitivity and sweetness, too,” said Barrell. “It just has all the elements. I’m such a huge fan of the way that scene was written.”
Production stills have been released for the season 6 premiere of Good Witch and several stills feature Kat! I believe that she will be in the premiere episode, as well as the following week (as the stills suggest), but we won’t find out until the show airs on May 3. The episode summaries are posted below, as well as the gallery link & previews. Enjoy!
6×01 – The Anniversary: Premieres Sunday, May 3, 9/8c – Now empty-nesters, Cassie and Sam celebrate their first wedding anniversary. Abigail and Donovan’s relationship continues to be challenged by their families’ curse. Cassie’s Grey House guest has intentions for visiting Middleton that are different than she claims.
6×02 – The Chili: Premieres Sunday, May 10, 9/8c – Cassie judges Middleton’s chili cook-off, which brings out fierce competition among residents, including Sam. Martha receives unexpected competition in her once-uncontested run for re-election. Cassie unearths a time capsule that reveals information about her current Grey House guest’s background.
– Production Stills
Hallmark have released a teaser for season 6 of Good Witch — spot Kat! — and confirms that the season shall be airing May 2020! I can’t wait!
Syfy will air a Wynonna Earp “Fan Favorites” marathon in March, as one part of a wide-ranging “We Are Her(oes)” Women’s History Month programming event.
The Earp-athon (of what is in actuality just the first 10 episodes of Season 3) will air across three Fridays — March 6 (from 6:30-9:30 am ET), March 20 (6:30-10:30 am) and March 27 (6 to 9 am) — leading up to an exclusive behind-the-scenes look at the upcoming (and lonnnnnng-awaited) Season 4, during the network’s 20 Women to Watch in 2020 documentary special (airing Friday, March 27 at 11 pm).
Said docu-special, produced by the SYFY FANGRRLS brand and leading out of the series premiere of Vagrant Queen — adapted by an all-female team of writers and directors, from the Vault comic book series — will spotlight “rising women across film, TV and comics who will make an impact in the genre in 2020.”
Other “We Are Her(oes)” programming includes a “MAN-SEL in Distress” movie marathon (on Sunday, March 8 aka International Women’s Day) showcasing strong female characters who are the heroines of their stories (e.g. Mad Max: Fury Road, Lara Croft: Tomb Raider, Lara Croft Tomb Raider: The Cradle of Life, Zombieland, X-Men: First Class and Power Rangers).
Welcome to Loving Kat Barrell, a fansite dedicated to the Canadian actress, Katherine Barrell! Since today is the official first day of production on season 4 of Wynonna Earp (after a year long hiatus), I wanted to launch the fansite on the same day to celebrate the return of our precious sh*tshow. Like many fans, I was first introduced to Kat through this show and fell in love with her acting talent, gorgeous looks & her beautiful, caring, personality. So, this fansite is my little token of appreciation for our favourite actress. I do hope you all enjoy & thank you for visiting!
Please note: Some of the wonderful photos out of the 9,000+ images in the gallery, namely from Earper conventions, were taken by the lovely Petra — so please visit her website for the full collection of amazing photos featuring Kat & the rest of the Wynonna Earp gang.