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Want to write fanmail to your favorite actors (like Alan Rickman) but don't know how to start? Here's a handy dandy guide, so listen up!

First, get out some paper and write your letter to Alan. Address him appropriately and politely. ("Whaddup R-Man?" is not an appropriate address.) Keep the letter simple and short! You may think you're more special than the hundreds of other people writing to him daily, but trust me, you aren't. And try not to sound too freaky on the page, because rumor has it, Alan keeps all his fanmail, and you don't want to come off as a gibbering idiot.

If you want to request an autograph, ask politely. You'll get a better chance of having a reply if you enclose a picture you want to have him sign. If not, he'll probably send back to you a standard black and white signed photo. But in case he runs out, it's always a good idea to enclose something for him to sign, like an index card.

And now here's the most important part. Enclose a SASE. A SASE is a self addressed stamped envelope. Meaning, you write your own address on it and stick some stamps on it so that when Alan replies, he'll use your envelope and won't have to spend a single penny on stamps and envelopes. If you don't live in the UK, enclose three or four International Reply Coupons (otherwise known as IRCs) rather than putting stamps on your SASE. IRCs are like universal stamp currency that will cover the cost of the return mail.

If you can't get IRCs or stamps, at the very lease give him a self addressed envelope! You can fold a standard nine by twelve envelope in thirds and fit it in a standard letter envelope.

Okay, now so you have your letter, your SASE, and your index card. This might be a little more heavy than regular mail, so add sufficient postage! Oh. You need Alan's address. Here it is...

Mr. Alan Rickman
c/o ICM
Oxford House
76 Oxford Street
London, W1D 1BS
England

Well... that's the basic idea. You can stop reading now. Unless you want to read on.

Okay, well, for those of you avid fans of reading, your hard work has paid off! Here are some informations about Alan that might be important.

First, Alan's assistant's name is Ms. Melanie Parker. She's the one who reads your letters first. And she's a very hardworking lady who often will send you back a letter if Alan is unable to sign autographs at the moment. So... you know... be nice to her if you want your letters to get through...

Anyhoo.

Ms. Parker has said around August 2003 that due to Alan's work schedule, Alan is temporarily unable to fulfill requests for autographed photos. So, please temporarily restrain from writing, until the sheer volume of mail is reduced. I'm not sure how that is going at the present moment, but if you decide to go for it and send a letter and get nothing back, it's because Alan is busy.

Oh, and for those of you who want to know, no, I have not actually sent Alan a letter. Why? I can't seem to write letters under 5 pages in length. I'm very verbose, as you can tell, especially when it comes to Mr. Rickman. But I have written letters to other actors and musicians I adore, and have gotten back siggies from Hans Zimmer, John Rhys Davies, Frank Oz, Antonio Banderas, Nia Vardalos, Dido, Ewan McGregor, Zoe Wanamaker, and Craig Parker. Fanmail is so addictive.

And please. Never buy autographs online. Never. They're always fake, and what's the joy of buying Alan's siggie when you can ask for one yourself? Personalized to you, no less? And besides, would you really want to see other people profitting off of Alan's signature?

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