Santina Muha is an actress so filled with joy and energy that even a recent extended tiptoe past death in the hospital left her already love-filled heart about to burst with more. Always interested in television, she felt pushed by the universe to jump into the world of entertainment, and so she did. She grew up on Seinfeld, SNL, Full House and Saved by the Bell, but her all time favorite is Beverly Hills 90210, which she watched as a girl in New Jersey, and she still rolls her eyes heavenward as she talks about her love for Luke Perry’s character in particular.
Even though she was finding success in New York acting, doing commercials and as a journalist specializing in celebrity interview for tweens, she moved, in her late 20s, to California, the land her favorite zip code. She is a story-teller with an exceptional ability to weave the laughable into the horrible that may leave you wondering how you can laugh at a time like this. Well, she can and does. And, here is where one of the best love letter stories ever comes in to play.
Santina suffered a small cut that would not heal. She kept showing it to her doctor who kept assuring her it was fine, and, indeed, it did look like a small wound from the outside, but a year of not healing was all she could take and she switched doctors to the one who found that the infection had been festering and worked its way all the way to her bone. She was in the hospital for three months, seven weeks of which were spent on intravenous antibiotics. She tells this horrific experience step by step and midway through it brightens and says, “There was a silver lining to all this.” What silver lining could there be in finding herself critically ill and three months in a hospital? Funny you should ask.
An actress friend of hers wrote a letter to Luke Perry, via his manager, telling him about her devotion to him and being bed-ridden for so long. And, shortly after, out of the blue, the nurse announced simply, “your visitor Luke is here.” She says she cried like a baby seeing this man standing in her hospital doorway, this man whose face she has seen thousands of times on her television, seen daily in the giant Luke Perry Posters all over her wall and on the pins that adorned the clothes she wore to elementary school.
To listen to her talk about this visit, about the kind of man Luke Perry is and why he came to see her is to know that the world, at its best, is perfect.
Her love letter? So many people deserve them. Has she written to Luke Perry to tell him that she went that day from loving Dylan McKay to loving Luke Perry? Does she write letters? She is a writer, after all, now focusing on independent projects, her own book, scripts and stand-up routines. “Does email count?” she asks. Sure, but because you will not be able to read them in 100 years what should she do with love emails she sends and gets?
Just for the overwhelming joy of it, listen to Santina talk about all of this and the reality of what love letters have meant to her the two times she was hospitalized in critical condition. Not only is she beautiful, talented and smart, but she is endlessly exuberant and positive, and sees even her most difficult times glowing with silver linings. That, in itself, is a momentous talent.