Dear Mackenzie Astin,
From the moment I saw your feathered hair and upturned pink collar in the seventh season of The Facts of Life, I knew I would be writing you a fan letter. You were so precocious … so sweet-faced … so B-list that I knew I would be virtually guaranteed a response should I mail you a handwritten homage.
I found your address in an issue of Teen Beat. You found your way into my heart. Oh little Andy Moffat … even your character’s name made me melt. Sure, I could have written to Kirk Cameron or Jason Bateman like all the other girls were doing, but I saw something special in you. It didn’t even bother me that your father was Gomez Addams.
When I saw the autographed glossy 8 x 10 photos of Brian Bloom and Martha Byrne netted by my friend Amy's fan letters, I thought I might receive the same gift from you. This seemed to be how the celebrity / fan dynamic worked. So I waited by the mailbox. I waited so long that you eventually left The Facts of Life entirely, moving on to illustrious projects like “A Child Lost Forever: the Jerry Sherwood Story.”
Why no response, Mackenzie Astin? Did you get wind of the fact that I played not Wendy nor the sultry mermaid but Captain Hook in the all-school Peter Pan musical that year? Did someone mail you a recording of me singing “Never Smile at a Crocodile?”
Or maybe you saw my fifth-grade class picture. The one my teacher laughed at, twice, before handing the envelope of prints over to me.
But perhaps it was this sentiment from my letter: “I like to dance! Do you?”*
That alone should have guaranteed me a response, don’t you think? Because clearly, I was one small step away from making other cringe-worthy declarations like, “But my mom says I’m cool!” or “It’s called lice, and it’s nothing to be ashamed of!” before being brutally shoved into a locker by a cool kid.
In closing, happy Saint Patrick’s Day, Mackenzie Astin. Good luck on your next made for TV movie or cameo on Lost.
PS: Please tell your brother Sean I enjoyed his hobbity performances in the Lord of the Rings movies. Even though his hairy feet were completely gross.
*Actual lines from the letter.