I know…I deserve to be slapped for this one.
And yes…I am committing one of the greatest cardinal sins of being a man; acknowledging a woman being a certain age before she gets there.
However, before you go upside my head with a high-heeled shoe, let me explain why I’m saying “Happy Birthday” to you now rather than waiting until March 6th.
Number one, I am obviously a big fan of yours.
Number two, being that you have thousands upon thousands of other fans who already flood your social media every day and will do so on any other birthday, this milestone…I’m sorry…mile-pebble birthday coming up will probably see a whole lot more of that.
I don’t believe you are on social media all that much as it is, so you may not see this anyway. But on that day, I’m almost certain you will not. So I thought that maybe writing now may give this a better chance of reaching you.
Three, the day I’m writing this is January 20th. I don’t have to tell you what that means. Since the bridges to jump off of were all taken, I figured I would do something positive.
I just wanted to say that I admire you very much and have for quite some time. I sincerely hope that doesn’t come across the wrong way. You’re a wonderful actress, but just a wonderful person in general as well. You’ve adopted your son and given him a much better life than he would likely have otherwise had. Plus you’re very passionate with standing up for what you believe in.
It’s not only issues that directly affect you (such as women’s rights, sexism, etc.), but also, many that may not (the refugee crisis, equal rights for people of color, and so on) that you stand up for. I hope this doesn’t sound weird to you, but I really do look up to you.
Also, as I am an aspiring professional screenwriter, you have been a tremendous help and inspiration to my writing.
You may wonder, how does an actress inspire someone looking to be a professional writer?
It honestly started around mid-2015. I came to your Twitter page because as Nashville had just wrapped for the season and I saw the other actors tweet about the concerts they were doing, while also knowing you often spoke about movies you were working on, I wanted to see what you would be in.
I then looked to the left and saw a picture of you and Charles Esten (posted in April) and you wrote, “#Spinoff: When Deacon and Rayna get their own sitcom.”
I thought that was a nice picture and thought, but as I continued my workout in the gym that morning, I remembered that I was looking to begin another project.
Long story short, I ended up writing a “Rayna-Deacon” sitcom. (By now, four different versions of it just to keep it current with Nashville).
I certainly don’t expect it to go anywhere, but I’ve learned so much more about writing throughout the time I’ve worked on them. Any aspiring professional writer will tell you how great it is to be working on something new to keep busy and improve our craft.
Anyway, around the time I finished the first version of it and was looking to propose sending it to you (around July), I saw that you made a post on Facebook about being jet lagged following a return from a trip to Africa. I think you mentioned that you were unable to visit where your son’s biological mother lives.
You also mentioned a book you read. You spoke very profoundly about the conditions there, comparing it to how we live here in the U.S. I found it to be so incredibly touching.
There is one particular phrase that stood out to me, and it is what you ended the post with:
“We are all human beings. We all experience pain and joy within the confines of whatever world we were born into. We cannot compare. We can only look on and say ‘Hello. I see you. I know you. I cherish your humanity and I thank you for making me bigger than I am alone.’ “
Being a huge fan of and respectfully admiring a beautiful actress isn’t easy for me sometimes. Mentioning you at times leads people to think I have a crush on you, or that I “love” you and all this and that. And as you know, people aren’t always the kindest or most mature when expressing that.
I sincerely hope this letter doesn’t convey the wrong message to you. I just would like to thank you for being such an inspiration to me and such a big help to my writing.
There are really only two people I hope do not get the wrong idea about me sending you something like this. One is my wife of almost 18 years (she doesn’t), and of course, you. That happens, then I don’t care what others have to say.
Because of not being on social media much, you will likely not see this the first time I send it to you, which is why I’m sending it more than once. The minute I realize you’ve received it, I won’t do it again. There’s a good chance you may not see it at all. But I hope you do.
I could do like so many others and just force “Happy Birthday!” in on the day itself, but I just wanted to do something a little different and I hope it brings a smile to your face.
Thank you so much again and I hope you have a wonderful and well-deserved, AMAZING 50th birthday. You couldn’t be more beautiful. Take care.