This past weekend, I spent hundreds of dollars to meet my childhood crush, Luke Perry (best known as everyone's favorite bad boy with a heart, Dylan McKay). Again. I first met Luke Perry at RewindCon in November, 2016. Let me start by telling you that convention life is expensive, but the experience is totally worth it.
RewindCon (although run terribly) was an amazing experience. There, I met the majority of the Beverly Hills, 90210 gang, Alan Thicke (Growing Pains), Zach Galligan (Gremlins) and one of my favorites, Keith Coogan (Don't Tell Mom the Babysitter's Dead/Adventures in Babysitting - all of the babysitting movies). RewindCon was right up my nostalgic alley. However, this latest convention I went to was dedicated to Riverdale only. If you're unfamiliar with Riverdale, it's a new teen drama (currently in Season 2) darkly diving into the characters based on the Archie comics.
Riverdale airs on the CW. Check your local listings for airtime.
Season 1 currently on Netflix.
When I first heard about this convention, I was ecstatic because Luke Perry was going to be there. The youngins on the show are great and incredibly attractive, but I was there for the dads. Plus, it would be a little weird if I was there for the youngins (I'm 36). In addition to Luke Perry, hot dad, Skeet Ulrich (best known as Billy Loomis from Scream) also made an appearance (on Saturday only). I hemmed and hawed about whether I really needed to buy a 2-day pass, but then I decided that standing in line to meet Luke Perry 2 days in a row is better than not standing in line to meet Luke Perry 2 days in a row.
Appearing at RiverdaleCon was Cole Sprouse (Jughead Jones), KJ Apa (Archie Andrews), Charles Melton (Reggie Mantle), Casey Cott (Kevin Keller), Ashleigh Murray (Josie McCoy), Lochlyn Munro (Hal Cooper), and the 2 people I was mainly there to see, Skeet Ulrich (FP Jones) and my main ma'an, Luke Perry (Fred Andrews).
RiverdaleCon was hosted by Charles Melton throughout the whole weekend. What a ham! On day 1, he welcomed everyone and then went straight into the Q&A with Luke Perry. After listening to a few questions, I got the guts to go up and ask a question myself. This was a big deal for me. I perform stand-up and storytelling, so you think I would have no problem with going up to ask a question, but it's not every day that I stand in front of a room full of strangers and LUKE PERRY to ask a question near and dear to my heart. Also, I still get terrified every time I go on stage to perform anything, even karaoke (and I can sing a pretty mean "Give It Away" by the Red Hot Chili Peppers).
Seconds before asking Luke Perry a question at the RiverdaleCon Q&A Day 1.
The time came for me to ask a question and Luke Perry looked my way and I said, "Oh hey, Luke Perry. I'm here for the dads." He laughed and said, "Hey," back. GASP! I then said that as a 90210 fan, I wish that they would occasionally throw in lines from that show and that one of my favorite lines from 9-oh is "May the bridges I burn, light the way." I then asked if during a heated fight between him and Archie if Archie were to say, "May the bridges I burn, light the way, DAD!" what would he say in response. Luke Perry said, "Where's the match?" Besides being able to hug Luke Perry multiple times (spoiler alert), this was my favorite part of the weekend. So dang satisfying as a long-time 9-oh fan.
After Luke's Q&A, I sat in the Q&A for Lochlyn Munro for a bit while I mentally prepped to stand in line and get my first fancy pic with Luke Perry. Although I had just asked a question, this was going to be our reunion. Whoo, boy. I fixed my face and stood in line. These things are funny convention wise because leading up to it, it feels like a big deal, but it goes by within seconds when it's your turn to have the pic snapped. I walked up to Luke Perry, we shook hands and hugged. I told him we met before and I run the Whoa. Within seconds, we had that convo and this picture of me as a giddy dork with Luke Perry was taken.
Luke Perry & I are ready to sell you real estate. STAT!
Throughout the afternoon, there were other Q&As with other cast members and even a costume contest, but I was on a mission and didn't participate in these events as I was there for the dads. I excused myself from the hotel holding the convention and went to another hotel across the street and refueled on a Bloody Mary and cheese curds as you do (when you're from Wisconsin).
Delicious Bloody Mary and mound of cheese curds
courtesy of the Hilton in Rosemont, IL.
The time came for me to stand in line to get my fancy pic with Skeet Ulrich. I loved the movies Scream and The Craft growing up so I was excited to meet him. Skeet Ulrich had a huge line for his pics. Although a fan, I was surprised as I thought everyone else was there for Luke Perry too. Turns out more people were there for Skeet Ulrich than Luke Perry that day.
As the line inched forward, Prince's "Kiss" came on and I hugged Skeet Ulrich and got this pic taken where we went to side-hug prom together.
Skeet-Skeet-Skeet-Skeet, Muthaf-er. Skeet-Skeet-Skeet-Skeet, God damn.
I had a little time before the Q&A with Skeet Ulrich and of course wanted to see Luke Perry again so I went up to his table where he was taking selfies and signing autographs. If you're looking for the best convention experiences, I suggest going up to the celebrity's tables because you get a more personal experience than the professional pic experience. You get to talk to the celebrities a bit more and sometimes they're cool enough to let you take pictures like this with your very own phone.
Luke Perry, RiverdaleCon Day 1
Seriously, Luke Perry let me take this picture of him. How stinkin' cute does he look? Thanks for this, Luke Perry! This picture is dedicated to our pal, Darren Martin (a.k.a. the9021bro). If you don't know who Darren is, make sure you follow him at the9021bro on Instagram ASAP. The man created my favorite day of the week, McKayMonday.
At this moment, I told Luke that Darren said, "Hi" and that he wanted to be at the convention too. Luke immediately pulled out his phone to show me a stamp that Darren showed him of himself that he never knew existed. How neat is that? Then we took this picture for Darren too.
Luke Perry holding a picture of stamp he didn't know existed at RiverdaleCon Day 1.
Then with the beauty of social media filters, I changed my Facebook picture into this:
During this time, I gave Luke Perry my Luke-pun Christmas cards that I make. He said that he was going to hang them on his tree because his kids would get a kick out of them.
As if that wasn't enough, then Luke Perry made all my dreams come true and complimented my MS Paint skills. Thanks for indulging me, Luke Perry! I asked if he would quote the next one and he said, "We're Luke-in' Good!" Not bad.
Day 1 ended for me by attending the Q&A with Skeet Ulrich. One of the most fascinating parts during the Q&A was when someone asked Skeet what role he most identified with. He said it was a Hallmark movie with Keri Russell called the Magic of Ordinary Days. Who woulda thunk? I mean, before this moment I didn't really think anything of what roles Skeet Ulrich identified with and now I know it's a Hallmark movie. I better not forget something important for now retaining this information.
Again, there were other events going on at the convention that day and there was karaoke with a few of the cast members that night, but the dads weren't going to be there so I called it a day and went home to gush to my friends.
Feeling a bit more relaxed and confident, I approached day 2 going straight into another fancy pic with Luke Perry. I bought a new dress for the occasion and was feeling good. As I waited in line, I got to see fans interact with KJ Apa. It was cute to see the teens gush over him. He's a looker, that's for sure. While waiting, the most magical thing happened, though. I heard the songs of one of my favorite bands, Van Halen (David Lee Roth era only, of course. Duh). "Panama" started and Luke Perry was singing along and drumming on the wall. All of my worlds were colliding and I couldn't have been more excited. I mean, does Luke Perry even know that my alter ego is David LeeAnn Roth.
David LeeAnn Roth hosting Appetite for Rock n' Roll Storytelling
(Every second Wednesday at the Elbo Room)
I walked up to Luke faster than David Lee Roth could high kick. We hugged again and took this fancy pic:
Hot damn, do we Luke good together! RiverdaleCon Day 2.
I guess all I need to take a good picture is Luke Perry. Thanks for the photogenic gene, mom!
Later in the day, Luke Perry had a second Q&A. I didn't ask a question this time because I couldn't think of a better one than the first one I asked. During this Q&A, someone asked about a 90210 reunion. Luke said he's not opposed to it, but a lot of things would need to be done right for him to participate and that it just wouldn't be the same without Aaron Spelling (R.I.P.). Fingers crossed that one day this will happen, but honestly for now, I'm not holding my breath.
A little while after the Q&A, Luke came back to his table and I had to get one more interaction with him and boy, was it worth it. I told him that I sent Darren the stamp pic and that it made his day too. Luke Perry is so stinkin' nice. He's really personable and truly does these events for the fans. I paid for one more pic with him and got probably the best picture I have ever taken with anyone ever and it just happened to be with Luke Perry.
The time I became a model with Luke Perry at RiverdaleCon Day 2.
Before the pic was snapped, Luke Perry was on the other side of me. He ran to the side shown and said, "This way the dog is looking at you." I joked saying that it looked like the dog was checking me out in our other pic. Luke Perry (THE LUKE PERRY) responded, "Him and everyone else in those polka dots." OK, Luke Perry, you just made my life. Now, not only is this known as the weekend the time I was reunited with Luke Perry, but it's now known as the weekend I was checked out by Luke frickin' Perry. I will now update any online dating profiles stating that I was once checked out by Luke Perry and then sit at home by myself and watch reruns of Beverly Hills, 90210. That concluded my time at RiverdaleCon and I can't think of a better way to go out. I am flying high on cloud 9(0210).
Here's a breakdown of what I paid in case you're looking to attend conventions in the future:
2-day general weekend pass: $70.00
Fancy pics with Luke Perry (blue backdrop): $70.00 each
Selfies at table: $50.00 each
Having Luke Perry hit on you: Priceless
There were opportunities to have private Q&As and autographs, but all of those cost even more so save up! The experience was definitely worth it. I wish every weekend was "Meet Luke Perry" weekend.