Awesome Con is in full swing this weekend. Taking place at the convention center in Washington, DC, the first day was pretty eventful. After taking pictures of several cosplayers and roaming the exhibit hall floor for a couple of hours (and trying not to buy anything), I headed up to Hall D to sit in for a panel called, “An Evening with Kevin Smith.”

Director and writer, and sometimes actor, Kevin Smith has been working in the entertainment business for well over two decades. He’s directed films such as “Clerks,” “Dogma,” “Jersey Girl,” and “Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back,” and most recently, an episode of The CW’s “The Flash.” Now whether or not you’re familiar with his work, Smith is a great storyteller and his panel, which lasted well over two and a half hours, was one of the best that I’ve seen.

Smith, known for his passion and enthusiasm about the things he loves–if you’ve seen his reaction videos to “The Flash” on YouTube or listened to his stories, you know he cries a lot–immediately builds a rapport with the audience. He joked about being long-winded (which he is, taking an hour to answer a question by way of an anecdote), but Smith speaks with such reverence about many things that included his relationship with the late comedian George Carlin, visiting the “Star Wars: The Force Awakens” set and crying in the interior of the Millennium Falcon, having a panel in the famous Hall H at the San Diego Comic Con, and his chance at directing one of his favorite TV shows, “The Flash.”

Smith easily endears himself to the audience, his comedic timing is on point, and his ability to weave in anecdotes and still sound so awestruck about his work and what he still gets to do is wonderful. One of the most impactful moments of the panel is when a fan named Becky tells him that Smith is her George Lucas and influenced her to write screenplays. After ten years of struggle, she finally landed a script supervisor. Crying, Smith brings her up to the stage to talk about her process. He’s touched that he’s been able to influence her and says that it’s the best part of his job, to be able to pass on the torch to the next generation.

Smith knows how to hold a room’s attention and the panel was entertaining, insightful, and Smith’s inspiring words, that anyone can do what he does and it’s not only about skill, but about the will to do it that’ll get you far, were thoughtful and touching. Two and a half hours of time taken to chat, share stories, take questions, and be one with an audience who, whether or not they were Smith’s biggest fans before, walked out liking and respecting him a great deal more.

You can check out some highlights from the panel below!

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About Author

Mae is a Washington, DC-based film critic, entertainment journalist and Weekend Editor at Heroic Hollywood. A member of the Washington, DC Area Film Critics Association (WAFCA), she's a geek who loves discussing movies and TV. She is also a voting member of the Black Reel Awards. If she's not at the movies, she's catching up on her superhero TV-watching, usually with a glass of wine in hand.

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