The Greg Brady Project

Welcome to the official Barry Williams' blog

My friends call me Barry. From time to time I also hear the name Greg. Yeah, as in Greg Brady. The Brady Bunch represents a fun time in my life. But it’s only part of the story. There’s more to say and that’s what The Greg Brady Project is all about – a place to say it. So, I’ve invited some friends to join me and share their perspectives on the Brady’s, the 70′s and just about everything else. Now, I’m inviting you…

10 Feb
Mary Jo and John Tenuto

Love, Florence Henderson

written by Mary Jo and John Tenuto in Blog | 2 comments

When our son was younger, we were looking for a hobby that as husband and wife we could enjoy while attending to the needs our son. We enjoyed going to Star Trek and popular culture conventions, although we thought that travel and expense were prohibitive then. We thought of perhaps writing to the celebrities we would have otherwise seen on stage at conventions to ask for signed pictures. It started out with a few letters asking for signatures. Yet, the fun of getting an envelope in the mail, knowing it was a signature, yet not which signature, was kind of like Christmas for adults. It is much better than the bills that usually arrive in the mail.

Our hobby began to grow, and we try to write about 20 letters each month. What we have found is that most celebrities appreciate their fans and are kind enough to send back pictures, sometimes letters. Here are suggestions for fans who might want to start this fun, inexpensive hobby.

A) Each letter should include a 9×12 or larger return envelope with 2 stamps and your return address

B) Each letter should be genuine and hand written. Typed letters are too impersonal. Only write people you genuinely like because your letter should let them know why you are a fan, talking about their performances or writings.

C) Utilize stickers to decorate your envelopes. Let your letter show the person you took time out to write them with a nice looking letter.

D)Don’t send letters to celebrity homes and show respect. Send your letters to their agents or publicist. A good website for beginners to learn where and how to write is www.star-collector.net which has a free database for fans.

E) Write non actors, such as writers and special effects artists if you enjoy their work. We like learning about films or television shows, and we appreciate the artists who design our favorite entertainments. They usually do not get fan mail. What results is not only making the artist happy, they are often very generous with their replies. We enjoyed the set designs and special effects of Star Trek Enterprise our favorite show. The artists from this show not only sent us their signatures, which we appreciated very much, they sent storyboards, pictures, their art work, and sometimes entire crew photos signed for us. The very talented stuntman from the previous Indiana Jones movies sent us a signed picture of him and Harrison Ford from the Indiana Jones feature films!

F) Send something the celebrity could sign. Sometimes the actors do not have pictures or it is too expensive for them to send. About 90% of those from the Screen Actors Guild do not earn more than $40,000 a year as actors. Therefore, if possible, send something like a trading card, article, website photo, or a simple index card for signing.

G) Be sure to include your letter, sase, and item for signing in the envelope you send to the celebrity. We suggest using a 9X12 envelope for the sase to accommodate their signed picture, yet this could be folded and sent in a smaller envelope. Two stamps are required on your envelope and two stamps on your sase.

Here are few favorite stories or celebrities

Florence Henderson (no introduction necessary here!) is very generous. We sent a letter and 10 days got back six pictures, one of Florence and one from the Brady Bunch for each of us in our family.

Zachary Quinto (Heroes, Spock in the next Star Trek film) sent us a picture and a letter. The letter we wrote got to him the day he signed the contract to play Spock and he told us that our letter was his good luck charm. His kindness towards our son who is a Star Trek fan earned him our real appreciation as fans.

Rick McCallum (Producer of the Star Wars films). Three years after sending a letter, Rick sent a letter and photo of him with R2D2 and George Lucas. He apologized, saying our letter had been placed on his desk three years ago and he thought he had sent the signed picture. We didn’t mind because it meant our letter was there during the writing of Star Wars!

John Ottman (Composer, Editor Superman Returns). Our son loves Superman, and we wrote many people who worked on the film. Everyone was very generous, sending Nicky posters or film memorabilia. One of the nicest is John Ottman who sent Nicky a signed picture and letter the day he started composing the music for the movie. Every year we try to give Nicky signed items for Christmas. This year will be from the next Star Trek feature film.

Enjoy the hobby!

 

2 Comments

    Tom
    on Feb. 11th, 2008

    Florence Henderson is a real Lady. I’m an ex volunteer fireman. I have severe c.o.p.d emphysema and Florence
    took the time to research and send me information on making a living will. In a day when “celebrities” try to make
    a fast buck off a photo. Florence Henderson is a class lady.

    Tom Whitehead

    Bob Hunt
    on Feb. 11th, 2008

    Back in the 80′s, I sent a fan letter to Walt Parazaider, woodwinds player for the band Chicago. My letter explained how a friend had caught one of their drummer’s sticks at a past show, and I was hoping to one-up him by obtaining an autographed played-on reed from Walt. Not only did he oblige my request, he wrote a nice note and threw in a second autographed item – a luggage tag from the Caribou Ranch, where the likes of Chicago and Elton John recorded during the 70′s.

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