B CROWD CELEB ENCOUNTERS: LUKE PERRY
Hi, I’m LeeAnn and I’m a mistake. My dad had a vasectomy before I was conceived. But for whatever reason, I was put on this planet and I think the reason is to keep Luke Perry’s career relevant.
A little over a year ago, a friend told me that Luke Perry was coming to a Holiday Inn in Crystal Lake, IL for a convention called RewindCon. I couldn’t wait to stand in line to meet this man soon enough. You see, Luke Perry is not only a man who I have a crush on, but my childhood crush. As soon as he came on screen portraying bad boy with a heart of gold, Dylan McKay on Beverly Hills, 90210, my 5th grade heart went a pitter-patter. Come on! Those sideburns, the brooding, the cheating, Dylan McKay was a preview of pretty much every man I would date in my adult life.
RewindCon was originally scheduled for a weekend in September 2016, but was rescheduled to the second weekend of November. This was a big time in our country. We just got a new shitty President and I was about to meet the man of my childhood dreams. RewindCon was a very welcome distraction of everything going on. Not only was I lucky enough to stand in line to meet Luke Perry, but a lot of other 90210 alum including Tori Spelling, Jennie Garth, Jason Priestley, Gabrielle Carteris, James Eckhouse and Christine Elise. This was big. For those of you reading this who know me, you know this was a big deal for me. For those of you reading this who don’t know me, this meant that I was going to cream my tights while standing in line to meet Luke Perry instead of creaming my tights at home while watching reruns of Luke Perry on Beverly Hills, 90210. A seriously big deal.
I went to RewindCon with one of my best friends who I have known since 2nd grade. We both love 80's and 90's movies, TV shows and music so this whole convention was right up our alley. I’ve never been to one of these conventions before. They’re weird, but pretty fun. The gist: you stand in line to meet old celebrities. You have to pay for everything. You pay for the ticket to get in, autographs, blurry selfies, and even more for fancy pictures. If you ever plan on going to one of these things, save up because I had no intention of paying $20 for a blurry selfie with James Eckhouse, a.k.a. Mr. Walsh on Beverly Hills, 90210, but then you’re standing right next to him talking about how it’s crazy that the dad from Ferris Bueller’s Day Off was originally cast for his role on the show and you look into real-life Mr. Walsh’s eyes and just have to fork over $20 for a picture.
Now on to the important matter at hand: meeting Luke Perry. We waited to get in and gazed/creepily stared at the celebrities as they piled in watching them take pictures in front of the Step and Repeat. In came in Christine Elise, then Jason Priestley and then Gabrielle Carteris. Gabrielle shouted out Jason’s name and they ran to each other and hugged. There was The Blaze right in front of my eyes.
My friend and I went downstairs to get our fancy pic taken with Alan Thicke. At the time, I couldn’t believe I was standing next to Mr. Seaver from Growing Pains and now this picture means even more now that he’s sadly no longer with us.
While waiting in line for this picture, we saw Jason Priestley and Luke Perry emerge from the Green Room. The moment was coming. Here is teen heartthrobs, Jason and Luke only a few feet away from me. It’s a good thing I brought extra tights.
Luke Perry was within feet of me, but I wasn’t ready to meet him quite yet. We stood in line forever to meet Tori Spelling and then she went to lunch. That’s when we sidled over to James Eckhouses’s table. What a sweet guy! Seriously, he was so nice. After our chat with real-life Mr. Walsh, we stuffed our faces and then fixed our faces as it was time to stand in line to get the fancy pic taken with Luke Perry. Here I was, a 35-year-old woman who was really stinkin’ excited to meet Luke Perry. Really, really stinkin’ excited. They ushered us into the room and my time was coming up quick. There was Luke Perry right there, waiting. I shook his hand because I’m a professional. He asked my name. I replied shyly, “LeeAnn.” He said, “Hi, I’m Luke.” AS IF I DIDN’T KNOW! Then he said, “We hug.” You can sure as well bet that I creamed my Walgreen’s brand tights at that moment. We embraced and then stood cheek-to-cheek and got our picture taken. I had a moment where I thought I was never going to wash my face again, but then remembered that adult acne is a major bitch.
As the day went on, we met Gabrielle Carteris and Jason Priestley and then sat in on the Beverly Hills, 90210 panel. An audience member asked the cast what some of their favorite lines were from the show. Jennie Garth said, “I choose me.” Then she opened it up to the audience to tell them our favorite quotes. I raised my hand and Gabrielle Carteris called on me. In front of a room full of strangers and the majority of the cast of Beverly Hills, 90210 staring at me, I said, “Have a good time at the gynecologist!” as there is no better moment from that show than when Brenda Walsh told Emily Valentine to have a good time at the gynecologist in the halls of West Bev. These are the memories I am going to tell younger family members. Some people have memories of weddings and kids, I have overpriced pictures with old celebrities.
You would think this day would have been enough. Nope! There was still a whole other day. We started off Sunday by standing in line to meet Luke Perry again. I wasn’t done. I had to tell him all about the website I run about them and how I was on the Steve Harvey show talking about how I date the Dylan doll version of him.
Luke entertained me and asked me to show him a picture of these dates we go on. I showed him the pic of the doll popping of the cake for my birthday.
He laughed and then joked that his butt really looks like that. Oooowiiieee. I love me some flesh colored underwear. We took another picture together and he signed my picture and gave me a sneaky free autograph on my “Boys of Beverly Hills, 90210” book.
My friend and I then went downstairs to get our fancy picture taken with Jennie Garth and Jason Priestley. We met Jason the day before, but this was my first interaction with Jennie Garth. The whole cast was incredibly nice and fun. As we were waiting in line, we saw that Luke Perry was also in the photo booth. I said to my friend, “Maybe, just maybe Luke can be in our picture too.” We walked into the photo booth and Luke looked at me and we had a bit of an awkward moment as he thought I was there to get yet another picture with him. I said, “Uhhhh, actually we’re here to get a picture with Jennie and Jason.” Luke stepped aside and we started to pose next to Jennie and Jason. Jason asked if we wanted Luke in the picture too. Then with my arm around Jason, he and I started calling over to Luke motioning for him to be in the picture with us. Then I got this picture where it looks like Luke is ready to cop a feel. The universe was listening.
I thought that was it, but then Jason asked if I wanted one with just him and Jennie. I sure did! I nudged Jason and asked him to pretend to punch me in the face like the opening credits. These are the things that make me happy in life.
Later in the afternoon, we finally got to meet Tori Spelling and get our fancy pic taken with her. When getting ready that morning, I was in between two outfits. I decided to wear my favorite dress and told my friend, “I hope Tori Spelling compliments my outfit today.” While in the photo booth, Tori eyed me up and down and said, “Cute dress!” I told her that I got ready hoping she would compliment me. She then said, “Mission accomplished!”
What a frickin’ weekend. My life has changed so much since I got to meet the majority of the cast of Beverly Hills, 90210 and specifically childhood crush, Luke Perry. For example, I recently heard from an ex from out of the blue. I told the ex that a lot has changed since we last talked, I met Luke Perry and our faces touched. Take that. Every weekend should be “Meet Luke Perry” weekend.