Previously Known For: 10 Things I Hate About You, Party of Five and 7th Heaven
|Currently Known For: Founder of the Full Circle Community Spiritual Center in Venice Beach, California|
“Hi, I’m Andrew. Today, I’m here to activate high vibes…” Playing into two of the hottest topics of conversation around the country by combining his own fame with his faith, Andrew Keegan has managed to rise above his early stardom and establish himself as a spiritual leader. That’s right… the former 10 Things I Hate About You bad boy has settled down in Venice Beach, California where he spends his days giving surf lessons, practicing yoga and leading a congregation of believers at his Full Circle community spiritual center. So, how exactly did he make the transition from teen heartthrob to meditating guru with a hundred followers who hang onto his every word? We thought you’d never ask!
Long before he ever imagined becoming an actor or graced the covers of Teen, Tiger Beat, and Bop magazines, Andrew Keegan Heying was born on January 29, 1979 in Shadow Hills, California where his mother worked as a hairdresser and his father worked as a voice-over actor. With his younger brother showing an interest in performing, Keegan thought he’d try his hand at acting and went to a handful of auditions before he landed his first role at 15 years old as a teen rebel named Zack Dell in the 1994 cult classic, Camp Nowhere, starring Jonathan Jackson and Jessica Alba. Shortly after, he made his television debut as Jack Kelly on Thunder Alley and added in credits in television films like Freaky Friday and Fight for Justice: The Nancy Conn Story as well as in series like Full House, Step By Step, Boy Meets World and Sabrina, the Teenage Witch.
In 1996, Keegan’s popularity soared when he snagged a minor role in Independence Day starring Will Smith, which set the stage for his next recurring role as Wilson West in the popular family drama, 7th Heaven. Sticking around 7th Heaven from 1997 to 2002, Keegan also starred as Reed Isley in eight episodes of Party of Five and climbed the ranks of heartthrob status as he gave a stellar performance as Joey Donner in 10 Things I Hate About You in 1999. Dubbed a teen idol, Keegan graced the covers of Tiger Beat, Bop and Teen magazines alongside fellow heartthrobs like Jonathan Taylor Thomas. “It was like total mayhem,” he said of his early stardom. “Some of these images still make me cringe. Maybe one day I’ll make a friend at Google and they can all be taken off the internet… but, back then, I’d be at a mall and a traveling soccer teams of girls would run up and be like, ‘I love you.’ Anonymity was an almost impossible experience.”
Adding in film credits in O, The Contract, The Broken Hearts Club: A Romantic Comedy, and A Midsummer Night’s Rave, Keegan saw his popularity dwindle after he wrapped up 7th Heaven in 2002. He appeared in minor films like Perfect Opposites, Cruel World, A New Wave, Dough Boys, Fast Glass and Love, Wedding, Marriage as well as in television series like House and Related but couldn’t find staying power and chose to focus his energy on theater. In 2009, he made his theatrical debut in a production of He Asked For It, but even bigger things were in store for Keegan when he broke up with his girlfriend, country singer LeeAnn Rimes, and moved to Venice Beach for a fresh start.
Stepping out of the spotlight in exchange for days spent surfing and meditating, Keegan had a life-changing experience in 2011 when he and his friends were attacked by a gang and held at gunpoint. “The significance of this occurrence is that it happened at the same time the tsunami hit Japan,” Keegan said. Claiming the incident awakened him to his inner spirituality, he had a series of experiences that forever changed him. “I had a moment where I was looking at a street lamp and it exploded. That was a weird coincidence,” Keegan recalled. “At a ceremony, a heart-shaped rose quartz crystal was on the altar, and… this whole thing happened. It’s a long story, but basically the crystal jumped off the alter and skipped on camera. That was weird.”
The events inspired Keegan to further explore his spirituality, which is what led the former 10 Things I Hate About You star to establish his own spiritual community known as Full Circle in 2014. “When I moved to Venice, I was out of a relationship and there was a lot of emotional work,” he recalled. “So, I was introduced to something at that time called Human Design, which was the combination of astrology, numerology, I Ching, and chakras.” Sharing his experience with others, Keegan dumped most of his savings into Full Circle as the media reported the former actor had started his own cult and a new religion.
“Full Circle is an open source spiritual community,” Keegan said in his attempt to set the record straight. “We have a creed. We do believe that everything is an expression of the creator and that coming together creates our own destiny, our own path… Full Circle is a non-denominational spiritual community center where people of all beliefs and backgrounds come together to meditate, practice yoga and engage artistically.” Ironically, part of that artistic expression was challenged in May 2015 when the California Alcohol Beverage Control division raided Full Circle and accused the church of distributing an alcoholic tea with traces of alcohol known as Kombucha without a liquor license. Full Circle and Keegan downplayed the event and argued they had no knowledge of needing a separate license.
With the issue later resolved, Keegan resumed his place in Full Circle where he promoted peace, love and understanding among his followers. “It’s positivity, it’s doing good. It’s a smile, it’s a hug,” he said. “If you do things with a place of love, you will feel good and it’s an energy exchange. It’s being one with the environment, one with each other… It’s about being bigger and larger than yourself, and so that’s what this has been. And it’s not just for me. It’s for everybody that’s here. So, to see us all raise our vibration together is really what it’s about and what we can do from here.”
Sadly, Keegan’s desire to promote positivity came to an end in June 2017 when Full Circle closed its doors. Today, it seems the 38-year-old former teen idol has once again disappeared from the spotlight, which means he’s likely catching a few waves on the Pacific Coast or meditating privately with his former congregation!