Friday, March 17, 2006

Follow-up to my July 23, 1986 Fan Letter to Mackenzie Astin

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.


  1. His father is Gomez Addams? Man, learn something new every day, eh?

  2. I drew a portrait of Jonathan Brandis of Seaquest fame when I was younger. LOVED him. When I found out he killed himself in 2003 I was shocked and saddened...(Sorry for the downer!)

    But YOUR guy is super cute and so was your follow-up letter. You should actually send it to him. See what happens. Could make for yet another hilarious post! :-)

  3. I LOVED Sean Astin when I was a kid!

    Him and the Coreys

  4. Anonymous12:59 PM

    Adorable picture. I liked Kirk Cameron, and now he is very scary and I am very ashamed. See what he's been up to here: See? Terrifying.

    Sorry your fan letter didn't get answered. What a disappointment. Sounds like you took it well and are only marginally scarred. I'm impressed how well you've moved on with your life, despite such a bitter rejection.

  5. Anonymous1:04 PM

    I had 8 year old lustful dreams over Ricky Schroeder... OOPs I mean RICK shroeder -


    I love it.

  6. It's a damn good thing those celebrity teen boys rejected you girls like they did. All of us average, humdrum boys would have been awfully lonely without you :)

  7. "It’s called lice, and it’s nothing to be ashamed of!" LOL. Quote of the day.

    When I was 9 I wrote a fan letter to Paula Abdul. I got back a post card with an offer to be in her official fan club. "Only 3 easy payments of $12.99!" I was crushed. But I'm over it now. *Sniff*

  8. Anonymous2:08 PM

    You are right, Jess. He totally should have responded, since you asked him a question in the letter. How rude. You are better off without him.

    p.s. -- and mackenzie is a GIRL's name anyway.

  9. I didn't know that Sean had a baby brother. We've been enjoying Sean on "24." Until he died, that is.

    My childhood crush was David Cassidy and his photo was all over my dictionary and anything that everyone would see all the time. I did not have the guts to write a fan letter. I'd say that Mackenzie owes you one!

    Great post, as always.

  10. Anonymous2:14 PM

    Please tell me you are really going to send the letter. Please. My big crush as a youth was on Michael Jackson, which now...ew. Just ew.

  11. Anonymous3:22 PM

    If he only knew your pain....

  12. Anonymous3:31 PM

    "I like to dance! Do you?" So so funny but so sweet! I cannot make fun.

    I was so random with my crushes...I would watch The Love Boat week in and week out for the off chance that d-lister Tommy (Philip McKeon - Nancy's brother) from the show Alice would be on. Lame.

  13. Anonymous4:11 PM

    So funny, Jess.

    I love hearing about all these celeb crushes from childhood. Mine started when I was super young. I had a huge thing for David Cassidy, Andy Gibb, Donny Osmond & Leif Garret. When I was in Jr high, it was Rick Springfield.

  14. Hmm, very interesting strategy, pick the nerdy stars that nobody likes for the chance of a response! I like it. Good work, Nancy Drew! that's why I liked the bass players from bands. NOBODY likes the bass players!

    On another note, WOOO-HOOO, I am comment #13 on this post, I never thought I would make it in under the 25 mark. This is a proud moment. :)

  15. okay I guess it's time to fess up. apparently I was into "older" women when I was a teen I liked Olivia Newton John and Linda Blair, in my late teens Samantha Fox was extremely hot! The scary part is I actually liked Sean Cassidy's music and had his album( did he make more than one?).

  16. Anonymous4:34 PM

    I never wrote a fan letter, but I composed about a jillion of them in my head. My particular love was Rick Springfield. I feel a little swoony just thinking about him. Sigh.

    (never tell my husband I just said that. not because he'd be jealous, but because he would tease me until the end of time)

  17. I think it's time to let it go Jess, just let it go...

  18. Anonymous6:25 PM

    Obviously that weasel Mackenzie Astin didn't know how to dance and obviously didn't know what he was missing.

    His loss. I hope youv'e moved on.

  19. Anonymous8:48 PM

    Wow. You need a hug?

    I have Kirk Cameron's autograph on this scrapbook that I made up with pics of him in it. When Alan Thicke came here to speak to SADD in HS, I had him sign it, too.

    I have no idea where it is & like caryn I'm now very afraid of him.

  20. Anonymous8:51 PM

    ahhh the days of teen beat!! Kirk Cameron graced my bedroom walls!!

  21. WOW, I didn't know who his dad was or that he guest-ed on Lost. Your cool. LOL and I'm glad your mom thinks so too.

    Oh girl I read Tiger Beat too, don't remind me. ~cringing~

    Oh and I LOVE Jason Bateman. LOL. Love. Do you think he likes to dance?

  22. His BROTHER! Aha! thanks for making that connection for me. I never would have, and my life is richer for it. (Seriously. I live for that shit.)

  23. I hope this post has helped you get closure and move on with your life. He's not worth all your tears! LOL.

    I bet you could get an autographed picture from him now, though.

  24. He was probably just shy. You know how boys are at that age. :)

  25. Maybe it was the vial of blood you wanted him to wear around his neck to "signal you" in the next FOL episode that scared him off.

    When you asked him about dancing, did you have him check a yes no or maybe box for his answer?That was always a winner.

  26. Or gay. He could well be gay. Yeah, I'm going with gay.

  27. I didn't know that was his father! Wow.


  28. Clearly he was in the closet at the time....or he would never have been able to resist you...

  29. Anonymous9:00 AM

    Dear Jess,

    I'm sorry Inever wrote back to you. My manager at the time said it would be wrong to encourage all my fans, and so took away all my paper and pens. I think my brotherm ade him, because I was the cute one.
    Anyhow, it's great that you remember my show, and how cute I was then. I still have feathered hair, BTW.

    All the best,

  30. Maybe you can buy one of his teeth on E-Bay. I think one of the Corey's tried that.

  31. I am far less cool than you. I wrote a fan letter to Glen Campbell because I loved the song "Rhinestone Cowboy" so much when I was 4 or 5. But he did write back and sent me an autographed picture which i still have!

  32. Anonymous9:48 PM

    he did act in a few indie movies later on in life. one such movie with ione skye (yes, i have plenty of useless trivia in my brain) where he was a skeezer. that's the lasting thought i have of him then and now, especially since he didn't respond to your letter.

  33. LMAO, Cute post!
    I was a Ricky Schroder Fan from "Silver Spoon".

    And I got Lice once when I was six from a sleep over. My mom realized that I had it at dinner time and made me go finish my dinner alone in the garage. Sweet huh! Then she went to my school the next day and had the girls that I stayed the night at pulled out of class and sent home.

    I was a popular one!

  34. Now I see why you were all obsessed with Mackenzie Astin on my blog. Very cute!

  35. My big crush was on the Coreys..that was a very funny post...