An Open Letter To Andy Dick

Dear Andy,

I haven’t really watched Dancing With The Stars since The Voice began airing. Despite my love and devotion to TV, there are only so many hours on Monday and Tuesday nights. Even the promise of Tristan and Maks was not enough to lure me away from Blake and Adam.

The only reason I even tuned into the first episode of this season was to see HotSean! Lowe strut his stuff. The Dose of Reality is a The Bachelor friendly environment, and I had to see if HotSean! would be a show stopper or a dud in the dancing department. I didn’t even know who else would be on the show this season.

I have to admit, as I watched Tom Bergeron introduce all of the new cast, I groaned when your name was announced and you walked down the steps with your partner Sharna. I’m not proud of that now, but it’s true.

You see, I remember seeing you on News Radio. You were funny. That whole show was great. But I also remember many, many accounts of you doing horrible things in real life. Things that made me disgusted.

You seemed to have a penchant for eccentric and bizarre behavior. You’ve exposed yourself in public several times. It’s been reported you’ve groped numerous women against their wishes. I remember reading you were forcibly removed from the set of Jimmy Kimmel Live! for being inappropriate with one of his other guests.

I’m sure your behavior was fueled by addiction issues, because I also know that you have had a very serious problem with drugs and alcohol for a number of years. You’ve been arrested for driving under the influence and for disorderly behavior, among other things. I don’t know how many times you’ve been in and out of rehab, but I know it’s more than once or twice.

The thought of you on the show made me uncomfortable. I wondered what the producers were thinking.

Andy

 

 

Well, I found out. Something happened that I didn’t expect as I watched that first night. I was re-introduced to you–the real you.

 

 

 

Before they showed your rehearsal footage you came right out and admitted that you’d had a terrible couple of decades, lost everything, and hit rock bottom. You were sober now and working really hard on that. You just put it all out there.

And then, things didn’t go well in practice that first week. The foxtrot was proving to be difficult and discouraging. You hit a breaking point. You kind of slid down the wall and began sobbing. You said you just didn’t want to let Sharna down.

Andy, that vulnerability really touched me. You see, I know you have kids. I know you’ve probably let your family down in ways that are hard for me to fathom. You’ve undoubtedly hurt many people over the years. You seem to be sincerely sorry for the pain you’ve caused. You don’t want to let *anyone* down any more. This left you sobbing in the practice room.

It left me sobbing in my den as I watched, too. Because Andy, we’ve all been there in one way or another. Sure we don’t all have a problem with drugs and alcohol, but we all have our things…our issues…that shame and humiliate us. Whether it’s our weight, financial irresponsibility, broken relationships, or unsuccessful careers, we are all grappling with something. We all struggle, and sometimes we all fall short.

But watching you, Andy, has been inspiring. Despite the very public failures of your past, you are out there trying. You’re still working on your sobriety and doing all you can do to heal the damage you’ve caused over the years. You haven’t given up.

It takes real courage to get back up and try again when you’ve been knocked down. It can feel futile. It’s scary to think you might fail other people (or yourself) again.  It’s difficult, sometimes, to stop berating yourself for past mistakes. But you have to in order to move forward, make amends, and have a future.

And if you can do that, Andy, maybe I can, too. If you haven’t given up in spite of all of the obstacles in front of you, maybe it’s not too late for me to keep trying. Maybe it’s never too late for any of us to keep trying.

So I’ve been tuning in to Dancing With The Stars every week. It’s not for the shirtless muscular chests or the awesome dancing, although both are on display. It’s not due to a devotion to HotSean! or the hope of catching a glimpse of Tristan. It’s for you, Andy. I want to see you shine. I want to see you succeed.

I felt a real sense of triumph as you danced the Viennese waltz you dedicated to your daughter a few weeks ago. You wanted to put all of yourself into this dance to show your love. You’re not a fantastic dancer, but that doesn’t matter. The dance was absolutely beautiful.  *You* are absolutely beautiful.

I hope you don’t ever give up. I pray this time it’s different for you. But, if you get knocked down again, I hope you find the strength somewhere to get back up and keep trying.

I’m rooting for you, Andy. I’m rooting for all of us.

Sincerely,

Lisa

 


Comments

An Open Letter To Andy Dick — 120 Comments

  1. I have not watched Dancing with the Stars in ages – but after reading this I may have to – my gosh! You Dose Girls will be responsible for getting me hooked on TWO shows (The Bachelor of course) AND Pinterest!

    And honestly, I can’t help but root for someone who’s been knocked down a little bit and who is also humble enough to admit it.

    • Isn’t that the truth, Ilene?! I just root for him week after week. He’s frequently at the bottom of the leader board so he’ll be eliminated eventually, but I am really enjoying watching him and seeing him do well until then! :)

  2. What an amazing inspiring story! Thank you so much for sharing I don’t watch dancing with the stars so I never wod have know about this transformation. I didn’t know he had substance abuse issues either. I’m so happy he is doing the basic thing of trying and trying *hard* at that. Beautiful post.

    • Thanks, Nellie! He’s had such enormous problems, I feel like many people would have thrown in the towel. It’s really inspiring to me that he is still in there working and trying to make a good life for himself and his family.

  3. Wow – I love stories where people are trying to change their lives and make amends for the past! This was pretty inspiring to read! Once again, you Dose Girls keep us up-to-date on the happenings out there! Love reading your posts!

    • Thanks, Michelle! You really only expect some snazzy outfits and good dancing when you watch DWTS. It’s just a good time. I never expected to be so moved by someone week after week. :)

  4. I am not a huge fan of this show anymore, but after your letter here have made me want to watch and see the new and improved Andy Dick. Wonderful post and really said it quite beautifully here!! :)

  5. Aw, man…I don’t even know if I have room on my DVR and now I’m going to have to delete something like, “My Strange Obsession” in order to watch “Dancing with the Stars”. I love a good comeback and I always root for the underdog. This was a very heartfelt letter that I hope he somehow sees.

    • Oh, I hate when that happens!! DVR shuffling is stressful!! This has been a great season thanks to Andy, though!!

  6. I’ll be interested to see if this is a long-term turn-around for him. I hope it is, but I’m also pretty cynical about the face everyone puts on for reality TV. It’s easy to look like the good guy for an hour a week with the help of editing. Hope it’s real and not DWTS’s attempt to make him a sympathetic competitor.

    • I hope this time it’s real and long term for him too, Lisa. Because all of the other competitors on the show seem to adore him, I think it’s genuine and this isn’t just something edited for tv. I hope so, anyway!!

  7. Lovely, heartfelt letter.
    I’ve only watched DWTS once (and it was not voluntary, but The Voice was not on yet) and did see Andy dick dancing. He looked like the Mad Hatter in the outfit he wore. I had no idea who he is, but I really did pick up on that vulnerability and how he put himself out there. Good for him.

  8. I haven’t watched or followed the show in ages, but I can see how you would want to follow his story. It’s very inspiring to see someone pick up the pieces and keep trying. This is a lovely letter, Lisa!

    • It really is inspiring, isn’t it Kim?! I hadn’t really watched the show regularly in at least 3 years. I’m so glad I had a reason (HotSean!) to turn in to the first episode because I’ve loved watching and being re-introduced to Andy.

  9. I’ve recently taken a liking to open letters and this one has gotta be my favorite of all.
    You are so encouraging. I’m with you! I’m rooting for Andy’s success to stay sober and to not disappoint anyone else, who he loves so much. Awesome letter!

    • Thanks, Mariann!
      I know he’s not destined to win this show, but the fact that he’s out there still working on his sobriety and not giving up…he’s definitely winning in the ways that actually matter.

  10. The most inspiring stories in all the world are not the ones that go swimmingly from the get-go. They are not the ones were there are no failures or trials. We all expect the ones that start in success to end in success, with beauty and grace and no lacking of too much achievement – no trial, no error and just way too unattainable.

    The stories that inspire are those that have the mountains and the valleys. They are the rollercoaster rides that leave you breathless. They are the ones that make you wonder who will win. They are our Cinderella stories. Those stories give us hope. Those stories let us know that we can…If we don’t give up and believe. Those stories fill our world with the sense of the miraculous and show us that all is not lost…no matter how bleak it may look, but we have to choose to right it, to turn it around and press on.

    May we never forget that it is not where you’ve been but where you are going. We can overcome…if we work at it. One day at a time, step by step and with God’s help.

    Thank you for sharing, Lisa. I’m with you in cheering him on and praying that he indeed will succeed in the changes he’s made and that he’ll have many more successes to come (and you, too, my dear friend!). :)

  11. This is amazing, Lisa. I did not know all this about him – I only knew him from a comedy series I watched a long time ago, but reading this has given me hope and inspiration :)
    I hope he reads this…he needs to know. It’s beautiful :)

    • Thanks so much, Xae….and thank you for sharing it earlier today and tagging Andy Dick. I do hope he knows that he is an inspiration and that so many of us are rooting for him!

  12. I never watch DWTS and I’m not a big Andy Dick fan for all of the same reasons you listed above. However, I watched the video you embedded and now I’m a fan. :) He really looks like he’s trying and I’m a sucker for a dad and his daughter. I hope he keeps it up and even thought he won’t win DWTS, he’ll leave the show a new man. Great letter!

    • I’m a sucker for dad and daughter sweetness, too, Jen. I loved how he kept looking over to his daughter during the dance and as it was over. I genuinely hope he does keep on this path. He may not win DWTS, but he is winning in the ways that truly count.

    • Hahaha.
      I almost typed “that’s what she said” after your last sentence…but I’m glad I restrained myself.

      wait…

  13. One of my favorite sitcoms was NewsRadio so I remember Andy’s drug addicted days and they weren’t very pleasant.

    But this post right here, might make me want to watch Dancing with the Stars which I never really cared for but this post was very inspiring!!

    Go ANDY!!

    • When I’ve watched DWTS in the past, its definitely for the dancing. (I’m a sucker for a dancing show). This time, I’m enjoying the dancing, but I’m *really* turning in for Andy.

      TEAM ANDY!! :)

  14. What a lovely letter – I had the same feelings about Andy as you did, but I don’t watch DWTS. I had no idea he was trying to turn his life around – I hope he is successful! If I were him, I would pin this post on my bedroom wall to remind me to stay strong.

  15. WOW. So inspiring… I don’t know a thing about the show, (I know, shame on me) or this story- but I am now deeply touched by your beautiful letter and this man’s humble new beginnings. I hope he sees this!!! :)

  16. Thanks for the tears. Luckily I don’t wear make-up or else I’d be a huge mess!! LOL His story is one that we can all relate to. We all have some sort of demons that we need to overcome, no matter how small – they are OUR demons and when we do, the world is better for it.

    • You are so right, Krystal. We, and all those around us, are better for it when we refuse to give up and keep trying to overcome our demons. It’s really never too late and you are never too far gone, to improve your life. :)

  17. I haven’t seen Dancing with the Stars in a while, but I am familiar with the past struggles with drug abuse and Andy Dick. I am happy that he has been making changes and living a life of sobriety. This story was really touching to me. I hope that he continues to do well in life. Great letter.

  18. How nice. I wasn’t aware of all his issues until I so happened to watch the episode when he dedicated the dance to his daughter. He’s something. I truly do hope that he pulls himself together. On another note, I NEVER watched The Voice before this season. I LOVE it. I’m considering going on the show in the hopes that Adam Levine will give me a hug…lol!

    • That moment for his daughter was just beautiful. :)

      Andrea, Ashley and I are gaga over this season of The Voice. I think it’s our favorite one ever. Despite the fact that we didn’t know much about her except that her hips didn’t lie before this show, we are both absolutely nuts about Shakira. (We’ve long adored the interactions between Blake and Adam). And Usher, to no one’s surprise, is a FANTASTIC coach. This season is amazing!!! :)

  19. I think it would be so hard to struggle with something so heavy while in the public eye. I’ve always had a soft spot for Andy Dick, and have been able to see his vulnerability in interviews in the past. Dancing With the Stars seems to truly be able to transform people’s lives, and I hope it does in this case, too.

    I loved your compassion in this letter. Great job, Lisa!

    • Thanks, Amy.
      It can only make it more difficult to struggle so publicly. It really takes courage to get back up and try again when you know so many eyes are upon you. I hope he continues to be successful for himself and for those who love him.

  20. Oh girls, I love this post. I love this way of talking about AD and his struggles and his triumph. He’s the Robert Downey Jr. or the everyman whose addiction has played out before our eyes. Damn. I am texting hubs to take DWTS because I love a good triumph-from-addiction story.

    • Thanks, Christie! His struggles have played out right in front of us. I can’t imagine how much stress and difficulty that adds to it all. His vulnerability and openness has touched me, and I am rooting hard for his continued success.

  21. Yep girls. You’re right. It’s NEVER too late to improve and become a better person. A very touching and insightful way of reminding a lot of people this truth. And since you have many faithful followers, it’s a perfect place to share this message. That was a dose of reality fo sho!

  22. DAgnabbit now I am sitting here bawling like a baby.. My mother LOVED this show and watched it faithfully. Needless to say I have not watched it since she passed. So this was a beautiful and painful thing to watch all at once. I would love to see him win.. period.

    • I would, too, but each week he remains safe, it’s a triumph for all of us! I bet your mother would be loving this season. It’s a really sweet one. :)

  23. OK. I read the title and sat down thinking, This will be good! I braced myself for some subdued naptime giggling. What I was NOT prepared for was that I would be in tears by the end of this post! How did you do that? Admittedly, I haven’t watched him in Dancing, so I wasn’t sure what I was getting into, but WOW. You expressed that with such poignancy that I really wish he could read it. I need a tissue.

    • Aw! Thanks so much, Stephanie!
      We try to bring the funny most of the time, but Andy and his story have touched us so much, we had to play it straight this time. We just hope he knows how many people are inspired by him and are rooting for him! :)

  24. I haven’t watched DWTS since my son was born. I also loved him on NewsRadio, but I’ve stopped being attention to his antics since his life sort of became a train wreck. But you’re right: we should all root for him! He is fearless and a great lesson in turning your life around.

  25. I love this perspective!

    I don’t watch but my parents are HUGE fans so I catch a few episodes each season and yeah, I went” Andy Dick is on DWTS? Isn’t he the guy who was, well, such a …dick?” It is refreshing to see that he is turning things around.

  26. I fell off with DWTS a few seasons ago (thinking Pamela Anderson turned me off???). Might need to check it out again. I always did find the show entertaining and I was always in awe that the famous people really bring it usually wih ZERO dance experience. I for one could never get up there – so I take my hat off to each one of them – Andy D included.

    • I couldn’t agree more, Dana. It’s amazing to me that they all have the courage to go out there and do something that is out of their wheelhouse…in skimpy outfits to boot!

  27. I don’t watch Dancing with the Stars – but what a story! I love how you are honest and direct, yet so compassionate. I think most of us could do with a bit more compassion thrown at us. Thank you for setting the example:) You guys are the best!!

  28. I am a regular DTWS viewer and I had the same reaction when I found out he was going to be on the show. He may not be the greatest dancer but the dance he dedicated to his daughter was touching and he adds entertainment value to the show. Great post!

    • He is really the heart of the show this season, isn’t he Jeanne?! I’ll be sad when he leaves, but I am so glad I’ve had the chance to be inspired by him!

  29. Hey, we live in the good old USA. We have to root for the comeback kid. I hope he has turned a corner and doesn’t go dark again. I’m all for people learning from their mistakes and moving on. Hopefully this is the case with Andy.

  30. I just started watching Dancing with the Stars last week, and had no idea about Andy Dick’s past. It really is inspiring. I guess I have to look at him with a little less disdain tonight.

  31. I never thought I’d root for Andy Dick, but your compassionate love letter to him hit home for me. I’ve left my share of messes and am grateful for the second chances I’ve received. My heart is more open and full after reading this touching, inspiring letter. Thank you! (FYI: I need a new show like I need a Red Bull before bed, but I’ll happily watch DWTS after reading this great post!).

  32. Very inspiring! I’ll have to get the updates here though. We rarely watch regular television anymore unless it’s something like Flea Market Flip or Breaking Bad. :)

    • We’ll let you know how it goes, Crystal. I’m afraid he won’t be on the show much longer, but I am hoping he will last a few more weeks at least! He’s just so fun to watch.

  33. Damn you, Lisa! I am trying not to sniffle here. I SO know!

    I was thinking, seriously? Andy Dick? Since Less Than Perfect I had little need for him. And even when this season started, I was lik, ugh, with the bawling and crying, and … Wait. Whoa. Sniffle. Well said. I think that it will be his time to go soon, but it would be kind of awesome if he lasted a week or two more!

  34. Isn’t it great that people can turn their lives around? It’s amazing what strength a person can have…and do what is right. What an inspiring story!

  35. A nice sentiment that many of us share and written with good intention, however, don’t get this wrong, I feel, like my English teacher taught us, you should have slept on this and not submitted it (published here) before you read it carefully and with a clear head and put yourself in his shoes: was it really necessary to recap all the negativity and his past failures so graphically? Your letter is about 90% negative with barely about 10% positive encouragements. Also why the cheesy “hotSean!” in red ink? I know you bloggers make a lot of money in advertising so you have to write fast and you wanted Andy’s attention fast but please think the next time. Remember how tactless Brooke was the first time she interviewed Andy backstage? The gist of your letter was written with good intentions but the gross of your letter made me cringe over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over again. I cringe for how Andy must have felt. To me it felt tasteless and like you were lecturing him. Please take my advice and think twice about your good intentions because I do feel like you wanted to “rub his nose into it so he’ll be a good boy next time” like a puppy. Yes Andy is an inspiration to many of us, but you are a bit too preachy and self-righteous here.

    • Oh, gosh.
      I’ll answer your question about “HotSean!” first. We at The Dose of Reality absolutely love The Bachelor and wrote about Sean Lowe many times this season. We call him “HotSean!” whenever we reference him because…he is hot and his name is Sean. It has to be written in red, because that is the intense nature of his hotness. If you think that is cheesy, you should see how we write about Arie Luyendyk Jr!

      But on to Andy… I assure you that my intent in including a bit about his past was not to be judgmental. Far from it. If you read any of the other comments, several people weren’t familiar with Andy or his past, so they would have been very confused had I not given his past a mention. I felt it was necessary to include to make it clear as to why I found him so inspiring.

      I was also not attempting to lecture him or anyone else. In fact, my sole intent in writing this piece was to point out that I (and many other people) can identify with his struggle because I struggle, too. We all do. I admire and am touched by his courage and tenacity.

      To me Andy is the heart of this season, and I’m rooting for him. I hope he knows how many people he has touched this season. I think he’s amazing.

      I’m sorry you didn’t enjoy this post, but thank you for stopping by and taking the time to comment.

  36. This is such a great story! I love it. Thanks so much for sharing this with us, it reminds me to talk to someone before I judge their past mistakes. It reminds me to talk to myself, who I am now, before judging past actions. Thank you for this, it came at a perfect time.

    ~Dakota

  37. I think I felt the same way. Each time I would hear that Andy Dick was attached to anything I would groan and suck my teeth. Even when my kid had me watching DWTS I was groaning but you’re right. He is not so bad.

  38. I love how you were able to get so much out of his being on DWTS. Honestly, I don’t think I would get all that. But now that you laid it out there I see it. I hope Andy reads your letter.

  39. This was an incredibly inspiring and thought provoking post. Andy has always been eccentric, in fact some of us would have called him “off” (he went to a neighboring high school). But while those of us who didn’t choose his career path could suffer our struggles in relative anonymity, he could not (although that was his choice).

    I hope for his sake and his family’s that he is serious this time. I thought your words were incredibly kind.

    • I can only imagine how difficult high school was for a scrawny kid with the last name of “Dick”. It’s a gold mine for a comedian, but you’d definitely need some sort of defense mechanism–eccentricity even– to survive the early years.

  40. Wow. This is such a beautiful and kind piece. Looking past someone’s flaws, especially when they are so public, is a hard thing to do. You did it well, and reminded me to be kind to even the worst of us, because those are the ones who need it the most.

    xo

    • Aw! Thanks, Tracie. We were rooting for him on the show, but rooting for him even more in actual life. :)

  41. Before I started watching DWTS this season I had absolutely no idea who Andy Dick was (I’m Canadian…does that give me a pass!?) 😉 However, I liked him from the very moment he entered the stage. When he broke down and explained his reasons for being there I was intrigued by his past (and had to Google him). Everyone makes mistakes in life, and he is all the better for owning up and trying to rectify those mistakes. I wish I could vote, for I would definitely vote for team Andy!

    • Could not agree more, Kim!! We all make mistakes and struggle with something. It’s inspiring to see someone owning their actions, making amends, and moving forward. I didn’t know you couldn’t vote in Canada. What a rob!!!

  42. Thank you so much for this beautiful post and that phenomenal video. I’m still crying. I didn’t know all this and I don’t watch the show, but I sure do love a triumph story. Even more, I love a story of triumph for your child(ren). The part of the story where he said she used to dance for him and this was him dancing for her — awesome! This one’s going to stick with me. Thanks for the warm fuzzies. Wonderful post.

    • Thanks so much, Robin
      And Couldn’t agree with you more… seeing someone triumph for their child, it GET you. 😀

  43. Totally missed this post while I was traveling. I’m so glad I came back to it. I’ve worked for several years in the addiction treatment field. I’m familiar with Andy Dick’s background. It is wonderful to hear that he is sober and really working on his recovery. What a great tribute to his hard work. Love this post!

    • Thanks so much, Jennifer. He’s doing great. I have so much respect for him and how hard he has worked.

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