Happy Birthday, Briana Buckmaster! Read Our Staff’s Favorite Bri Moments!

Image courtesy of Staff Photographer Mandi.

While July 14 is a national holiday in some places in the world, the true holiday comes on July 15 when we celebrate the birthday of one of our absolute favorite humans: Briana Buckmaster. She came into most of our lives in the form of the character Donna Hanscum on season 9 of Supernatural, but she has stayed for several more reasons than a mere acting job. Briana has become a vital part of the convention circuit and, thanks to the continued success of her album Begin that was released last year, she has taken part in numerous tours all over the country and is about to embark on another tour with Jason Manns, Billy Moran, and Paul Carella later this week to share new music and collaborations with the eagerly awaiting fans.

Briana is one of the kindest, warmest, and most inspiring women we have had the pleasure to meet, and that’s why we want to take this opportunity to wish her a happy birthday and share some of our favorite memories and moments with her. Happy Birthday Bri, from all of us at Nerds And Beyond!

Suzette

My favorite memory of Bri was singing with her at karaoke in Minneapolis in 2017. I was nervous because it was my first convention and my first time meeting any of the cast up close. My nerves must have been obvious, because Bri welcomed me to the stage with a “You got this!” Throughout my song, she gave me words of encouragement. When the song was over she hugged me and said, “That song can be difficult cause it gets really high, but you killed it girl!” I could not stop grinning the entire weekend. Even now, more than two years later, I smile when I think of how those few simple words of encouragement made me feel like I could do anything. Thank you, Bri, for being unapologetically you and encouraging the rest of us to do the same. May your birthday be filled with nothing but happiness.

Image courtesy of Staff Photographer Mandi.

Conny

Even though I have met her multiple times now, Bri is still one of the people who will make me nervous and blush and probably giggle like a school girl when I meet her again, because I look up to her so much and because she has such an impressive aura. I can’t even express what she radiates, but it has made me admire her basically from the minute I first saw her. Bri is a talented, intelligent and sincere human being, who manages to show empathy and express her feelings with just a few words and maybe a touch to the shoulder. Her attitude and fearlessness is something to which I look up on a daily basis, because she’s not afraid to admit to having her own demons and doubts, but overcoming them with the strength she draws from different things, music being one of them.

Hearing her sing is such an experience, I will probably never get tired of it. I remember hearing her perform at my first overseas convention and just being in absolute awe of her talent and stage presence. Adding to that, Bri brings so much more than just acting or musical talent, she brings true heart into her projects. Looking back on what she has built with Kim and other people involved in the fandom has given and still gives me so much hope for women and other people who need to be lifted up because the rest of society won’t.

I could probably go on and on about how much I love and admire her, but I wanted to share my favorite moment with you — it was probably at one of the Rockwood backstage parties, where she had casually put her arm around my shoulder whilst chatting with my other friends or playing Cards Against Humanity with us. I’d been having a hard time for one reason or the other, but her presence calmed me down instantly (and her hand on my shoulder probably made be blush again). Happy Birthday, Bri. I think you’re absolutely amazing. Keep shining!

Emelie

I first met Bri at one of the Asylum conventions in Birmingham. I wasn’t quite prepared for the energy she brought, and her kindness and genuine interest in the things going on around her blew me away. I constantly find myself looking up to her, because she brings passion and all of her heart and soul into every project she does and it is so clear for everyone to see. She is also not afraid to put herself out there: she is fierce and protective of the things that matter the most to her. She is honestly one of the best people out there, every interaction with her is top notch.

My favorite Bri moment is probably her mentioning my group of friends on stage at Rockwood, calling Rob out for him and Jason claiming we were making fun of her when we were actually quoting Alaska from RuPaul’s Drag Race. Please keep being the stunningly awesome star you are, Bri. Happy Birthday!

Muriel

I first met Bri three years ago at a convention in Dusseldorf. It was a turning point for me. I always struggled with accepting myself and hearing her (and Kim) talking at their panel and the whole Wayward movement helped more than I can say. I am so grateful for each interaction I have with Briana, small or big. She inspires me to be better and to accept myself how I am.

I met her at conventions or Rockwood a few times now, and I can’t pinpoint my favorite meeting. Each time is precious to me. Last time I saw her, it was in Paris. It was special to me because it was my birthday and I sang karaoke with friends. I don’t think I would have been able to do that before meeting her. I truly can say that she has a huge impact on me. Thank you Briana and have an awesome birthday!

Image courtesy of Staff Photographer Anna.

Shannon

I’ve seen Briana at several conventions now, but my first time talking with her was at the Decatur brunch in December 2018. It was so nice to have a candid conversation with her. My favorite Bri moment so far though, isn’t in person. It would be reading some of the amazing quotes that she posts on her Instagram stories. Some of them come at just the right time when I need them.

Thank you for being so awesome Bri!  I hope your birthday is the best!

Adrienne

I first met Briana at my first ever convention in Chicago back in 2017. I was super nervous right before my photo op with her, but after walking up to her, I just felt so at ease. She was so nice. I met her again last year in Chicago, which happened to be the day her album launched, so I bought one and took it to my photo op with her and she was so excited when she saw I bought it.

Briana has quickly become one of my favorite people. She’s incredibly nice to everyone and she’s so powerful and captivating and such an inspiration to girls and women everywhere. Happy Birthday Briana!!

Michelle M.

Having been to many conventions, I have had the pleasure of seeing Briana and Kim’s amazing and sometimes raucous panels. Their panels are definitely a highlight of the conventions, and I always enjoy their friendship and stories. For me, however, my favorite thing about Briana is her candidness and her ability to come across as a strong and fearless female. She is a wonderful role model for women of all ages. Listening to the Wayward Podcast helps me get through my work week, and listening to Briana has given me many self-realizations. I find myself relating quite a lot to Briana’s experiences and how she deals with certain aspects of her life. As a kindred spirit, I want to wish Briana a wonderful birthday!  You deserve it!

Image courtesy of Staff Photographer Mandi.

Sarah

Everything I have heard from those who have met Briana has been full of love, laughter, happy tears, and hugs. While I have yet to meet Briana in person, those stories make me thankful that we have such a strong, kind, and inspirational woman in our lives. Briana has taught me to be authentically and unapologetically myself, to come out of my shell and to be loud and heard. Whether she is on stage talking during a panel or belting out beautiful music with her powerful voice, she is a rockstar!

Kailey

Briana Buckmaster is one of a kind. She radiates sunshine off her smile and she will surely light any room she walks into. I met her briefly at Jacksonville in 2018, and she is so sweet! She has an amazing stage presence, and her voice is beautiful. I look to her for strength because she even if she struggles, it never stops her. Happy birthday Briana. Thank you for all that you do!

Image courtesy of Staff Photographer Liz

Kaci

There is so much to say about Briana. I could write novels, but I’ll keep it short and sweet. I’ve had the pleasure of meeting her a couple of times, and I can honestly say she is a light in this world. During every photo op experience I’ve had with her, I felt so happy. She radiates this unique energy that automatically calms you down and excites you at the same time. I’ve also had the opportunity to talk with her during a meet and greet, and I felt welcomed right away as soon as she walked into the room.

Because of Bri, I have been able to accept who I am and be unapologetically and authentically me. She is a strong voice that every single woman needs in her life. For that I am so thankful. Briana, happy birthday!!! You deserve all the love and happiness today (and every single day for that matter). You are a rockstar!

Mandi

The first time I met Bri was back in 2015 at her first convention in DC. She was an absolute gem, and her panel with Kim Rhodes made me cry. That wouldn’t be the first time. Seeing someone so open about who they are and who they aren’t, has helped me grow into the person I am today. I appreciate the heck out of these strong women, and Briana has played a huge role in that. So, with that said, Happy Birthday to an amazingly strong woman!

Image courtesy of Staff Photographer Anna.

Rachel F.

Who has curly blonde hair that’s a little harder to tame? Yes, both myself and Briana. Growing up in Australia where straight hair is considered the norm, it’s always been incredibly hard to embrace my African roots, but she rocks it so effortlessly I’d be a fool to not at least try. Now, I only straighten my hair on the occasion. That’s merely the start of how she’s helped me with my body image journey when being diagnosed with body dysmorphia. She’s talked about the topic countless times at Creation’s Supernatural conventions, and each one has brought an insightful takeaway which strips the power away from society’s conditioning. Whether it may be an idea of how we look doesn’t correlate to how successful we’ll eventually be in our careers, or how our body isn’t something to prod at, rather a vessel letting us experience the joys of life.

Happy Birthday to the bright light in all our lives and never forget, keep rocking this world, and of course, keep being Wayward AF! Cheers!

Anna

I have adored Briana since we met Donna! Her energy, waywardness, and attitude toward life has led me to call her my spirit animal many a time.

My favorite Briana moment was during my very first Bri and Kim op at MinnCon16. I was wearing my unicorn onesie and I was trying to get a WaywardAF t-shirt on overtop of it and I was struggling. My friend was laughing at my struggle, as were most everyone else watching, but Briana said “Come here!” ran over and helped me pull the shirt down over my costume and hugged me. It ended up being one of my favorite photo ops!

Happy Birthday Queen B!

Image courtesy of Staff Writer Nancy.

Nancy

The thing I love most about Briana is that she is unapologetically herself, but isn’t afraid to let us know that getting there was no easy task. We tend to look for the easy answer or the instant gratification, but she has always been honest about her struggles with her own sense of self-worth, and how hard the journey to acceptance has been for her — but how worth it that journey has been. Briana, I hope you have the most fabulous of days to match the incredible person you are.

Nat

I’ve been lucky enough to have met Briana quite a few times. Every time I see her, I get a little nervous, but she is such a warm and welcoming person who has a way of making you feel accepted. Even the short interactions I’ve had with her stay with me.

I remember doing a Gish item one year in which I recreated one of her photos from a photo shoot, and was a little scared to post it to social media and tag her in it. Luckily, she ended up sharing the item to her own social media. I ended up bringing a printout of the tweet to autographs at one of the Vegas conventions, nervous again about what she would think. When I handed it to her, she laughed, gave me a high five, and said that she remembered it and loved it and eagerly signed it for me.

Aside from my brief moment of “fame” because she actually shared the item, some of my real favorite Briana moments really have to be when she’s on stage. Whether it’s her performances during SNS or even being able to see her first show at The Hotel Cafe for her album, her voice and stage presence are phenomenal.

Happy birthday Briana! You’re an inspiration and a gift and we are so lucky to know you.

Image courtesy of Staff Writer Nancy.

Heather

I have always been inspired by Briana, first from her portrayal of Donna Hanscum on Supernatural to seeing her confidence during panels at conventions. But my favorite moment will always be seeing her sing “I Am the Fire” at the Supernatural convention in Las Vegas 2018. I’ve since seen her sing several times but that moment will always stick out in my head. She came onto that stage and owned it. She blew me away with the sheer power and emotion in her voice and performance.

Image courtesy of Staff Writer Heather.

Margaret

I’ve had the great fortune of seeing Briana in person several times now, through several SNS performances and a PJ Party in Chicago a few months ago. But the one moment that I will never forget is the very first time I met Briana, which happened at the Swainlanta brunch in December 2018. I was so nervous to meet her that I literally did not speak to her during the brunch. Literally! I couldn’t get one word out of my mouth. But what I loved about Briana was that she saw how nervous I was and she made sure to include me in the conversations, without requiring that I participate. She demanded nothing from me but made sure I was still able to enjoy the experience — and I absolutely did! She set me at ease so much that, at the very end of the brunch, I was able to thank her for her time and ask her for a hug.

Happy birthday, Briana! I hope you have a wonderful day and year, and I hope you know how important you are to so many of us. Thank you!

Hailee

I looked up to Briana the minute I saw her on screen. She is bright, bubbly, fierce, talented, and completely true to herself- everything that I have always aspired to be. I have had the genuine pleasure of meeting Bri and having a few meaningful conversations over the course of many PJ Parties, meet and greets, and this past year’s Swainlanta concert. While every moment spent with her has been amazing, I will never forget the first time that I knew she recognized me. Hearing Bri yell my name in the op room in Cleveland after introducing myself at her and Kim’s meet and greet was surreal. Every time that I hear her say my name or “Hey girl, I’ve missed you,” my stomach does a little flip and my brain begins to yell about how this incredible and amazing woman somehow knows who I am.

Thank you Bri for consistently bringing a lightness to those around you, and hopefully this will give you an little extra spot of happiness on your special day. Happy Birthday, and don’t ever stop being uniquely you!

Image courtesy of Staff Photographer Liz

Briana, all of us at Nerds and Beyond wish you a Happy Birthday and hope that your day is as fabulous as you are!!

Conny

Conny joined her first fandom at the tender age of three and somehow never stopped finding new things to obsess about and love. Her current love is everything Marvel, especially two characters who tend to be frozen at one point or the other. From Drag Race to Harry Potter or musical theatre, as long as it makes her smile (or cry), it’s probably her thing.

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