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Service with a song

Local letter carrier makes television debut in holiday ad campaign

Posted: February 3, 2014 2:00 a.m.
Updated: February 3, 2014 2:00 a.m.

U.S. Post Office Letter carrier Mike Andrews reacts to his coworkers at the Valencia branch of the U.S. Post Office on Thursday as they kid him about his new-found fame as a singing letter carrier in a recent USPS national ad campaign. Signal photo by Dan Watson.

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Editor’s note: Faces of the Valley is our weekly feature on people who represent the Santa Clarita Valley in a unique way.

Valencia resident and city letter carrier Mike Andrews has always been a singer.

“I’ve been singing since I was in junior high,” he said.

He graduated from California State University, Northridge, with a degree in music and worked for a time to break into the industry.

Though he was unsuccessful in that effort, he’s been able to carve out a noteworthy niche in the Santa Clarita Valley.

Andrews sings in the choir at Valencia United Methodist Church where his wife, Michelle, is an assistant pastor.

He also sings in a local master chorale, so his ability was hardly a secret to those that know him.

But with one line, a national audience of people learned of his tonal aptitude this holiday season.

“Five mysteriously heavy holiday fruitcakes!”

With that lyrical take on the classic line from “The Twelve Days of Christmas” Andrews went from walking his mail route to the silver screen as part of a holiday advertising campaign for the United States Postal Service.

But, as he noted during an interview at the post office on Creekside Road, his original line delved deeper into just how mysteriously heavy those holiday foodstuffs were.

“‘Seriously, like 70 pounds,’” Andrews recalled, “but they cut that part out of the commercial.”

Andrews was one of more than 500 Postal Service employees nationwide who tried out for a spot in the advertising campaign and one of several who made the commercial cut.

Not a bad result for someone who threw his name into the hat for consideration at the proverbial 11th hour.

“I didn’t get the notification until an hour before entries had to be submitted,” Andrews recalled.

So he pulled a coworker aside to film him singing a portion of “The Twelve Days of Christmas.”

The video was sent in and Andrews later learned he was one of those selected.

Filming took place in early November at Disney’s Golden Oak Ranch off Placerita Canyon Road.

“I didn’t know what the industry is like, I’d never been on a set before,” he said.

He said the reaction for the commercial has been positive.

“I’m getting Facebook posts, I’m getting people at church, toward the end I was getting people in the Ralphs in Granary Square going, ‘Hey are you the guy in the (commercial)?’” he said.

The longtime Santa Clarita Valley resident has worked as a letter carrier in Santa Clarita since 2000, though his experience with the Postal Service goes further back — to 1981 when he worked as a truck driver for a company contracted with the service.

Though working his mail route can be physically demanding, the weather occasionally daunting and he has had a few close calls with dogs (though no bites yet, he notes) Andrews said he enjoys the fact that he doesn’t spend his work time exclusively in an office or behind a desk.

“My office is my vehicle out there and I’m in it for six to seven hours a day,” he said.

Besides, all the potential negative aspects of the job seem trivial when compared to the reaction of someone who receives a long-awaited package.

“But they’ll be other days that you deliver the package and you see the smile on someone’s face,” Andrews said. “When the parent comes out and they say, ‘Oh here’s your birthday present’ and the kid goes nuts, that’s kind of rewarding.”

It’s because of that he’s not looking to retire from the route anytime soon.

“I think I’ll finish my career as a carrier,” he said.
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